Lecture Series

Spring 2016

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

March 10

Lao Shamanism and the Mythic Imagination
Ellison Findly, Scott M. Johnson '97 Distinguished Professor of Religion

Terrace Rooms B & C, Mather Hall

As the central core of the shamanic tradition in Laos, textiles transform the sick and the dead during the ritual process. These textiles are performative because their designs are hybrid:  elephants with serpent trunks, birds with serpent heads, and humans with serpent appendages.  But the real power of the designs comes from their origin in the deep recesses of human consciousness, where shamanic training allows ancient histories to emerge in the performer’s shamanic trance. 

April 7

Some adventures in global health and interscalar travel.
Jim Trostle, Professor of Anthropology

Hallden Hall, North Wing

Studying global health requires understanding human behavior in ecological context.  For the past 13 years I and my colleagues have studied 26 villages in rural Ecuador with funds from NIH and NSF to understand how rapid social change -- prompted by a new road built where none existed previously -- influences the transmission of disease.  This project has required travel across multiple scales of analysis, from genetic to cellular to human individual to household, village, and region.  I will summarize our results highlighting how our use of various contexts (cultural, social, biological, geographic, hydrologic) helps explain the spread of pathogens and disease. 

Fall 2015

All lectures take place during Common Hour, 12:15p.m. - 1:30p.m.
Hallden Hall, North Wing

October 8

Music of the 21st Century: A New Common Practice?
Dan Román, Associate Professor of Music

The 20th century was a time of turmoil, revolution and discovery for classical music. It was a time of great controversy, innovation and even public riots during performances of new compositions, and presented the galvanization of classical music as a separate form of musical art, isolated from the trends of popular music. The end of the 20th century, however, started to show openings and cracks within the walls that separated those cultural traditions, and now that we see ourselves firmly into the 21st century, we appear to be witnessing a new "Common Practice" that, despite its incredible diversity and multiplicity, is bound by a new openness and spirit of experimentation.

October 29

On The Line: Hartford’s Urban-Suburban History in an Open Access Book
Jack Dougherty, Associate Professor of Educational Studies

On The Line, a book-in-progress, traces how schooling and housing boundaries have shaped metropolitan Hartford over the past century, and the struggles of families and activists to cross over, redraw, or erase these powerful dividing lines. To share this story with broader audiences, contributors and I have created an open-access scholarly book, including interactive maps and oral history videos, under contract with Amherst College Press. Learn more at OnTheLine.trincoll.edu.

November 12

Biomechanics of the Heart
Joseph L. Palladino, Ph.D., Professor of Engineering

The human heart is a complex pump built from equally complex cardiac muscle.  Understanding how the heart generates pressure under a wide range of conditions has been of interest for over 2000 years.  Popular biomechanical models of the heart, and heart muscle, are not as dynamic as the natural system.  This work offers a new approach that treats heart muscle as a dynamic force generator, resulting in a unique measure of heart dynamics.