Lecture Series

Fall 2016

All lectures take place during Common Hour, 12:15p.m. - 1:15p.m. in Dangremond Family Commons.
A light lunch will be provided. 


Letters of the Unlettered: Class, Literacy, & Communication in the Civil War

Christopher Hager, Associate Professor of English

September 15

The U.S. Civil War compelled millions of little-educated Americans to become writers—often quite prolific ones. The departure of men from home put a premium on literacy among poor farmers and tradespeople. In the numerous letters they exchanged, soldiers and their families took an old, well-wrought, and largely élite medium and adapted it to working-class life in wartime. How they did so illuminates ordinary Americans' experiences of the Civil War as well as our own experiences of new communications technologies.

 

Using Organic Triarylcations as Tunable Catalysts for "Green" Chemical Reactions

Cheyenne S. Brindle, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

October 27 

Catalysts facilitate chemical reactions by lowering the energy barrier of a process. In addition, catalysts are not consumed in a reaction, so they can be used in very small quantities. Many catalysts contain toxic and expensive metals, which has created a new push for "greener" alternatives. Triarylcations are a potential solution to this problem, as they contain no metal atoms, but activate reactions in a similar fashion. In addition, this reactivity is tunable, allowing for the same catalyst structure to be applied to many different types of chemical reactions.