Lectures Past Years

Fall 2014 Lecture Series

October 16: John Platoff, Professor of Music
Francesco Benucci, Nancy Storace, and Sarti's Fra i due litiganti in Vienna
Fra I Ilitiganti, an opera by one of Mozart's leading contemporaries, was an overwhelming success throughout Europe. However, mot cities heard a version of the opera with substantial amounts of music not by Sarti at all. My examination of over 50 manuscript scores and printed librettos reveals that a standardized Viennese version of I due litiganti supplanted the original version. New arias for the leading singers Nancy Storace and Franceso Benucci established the musical and dramatic profiles that made them beloved favorite of Viennese audiences.

October 30: Kent Dunlap, Professor of Biology
Ecology of the Brain: How Social Interactions and Predators Influence Brain Cell Production in Electric Fish
Although it was once thought that the structure of the brain became fixed in adulthood, it is now clear that brain structures are continually influenced by the environment throughout life. I examine environmental influences on brain cell production in South American electric fish, which have an unusually high degree of brain plasticity. I will present findings from lab experiments as well as field studies in Uruguay and Panama showing how social interactions and the presence of predators modify the birthrate of new brain cells in brain regions associated with communication behavior and learning.

November 20: Kevin J. McMahon, John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science
The Mass is Over: Law, Politics, and the Death of the Great American Church
It's al gone now. In a little gritty city in upstate New York, what was once a great structure reaching toward the sky fell into a pile of bricks in late Spring 2013. How did it get to this point? How did a church that once strained to hold its flock end up empty and in disrepair before ultimately succumbing to the wrecking crew. Where did all the people go? More specifically, to what extent do law and politics generally and legal decision specifically matter in the closure of churches? And what does this single case say about the state of the Catholic Church in America today?

2013-2014 Lecture Series

Pablo Delano- Fine Arts                                              The lives of Photographs: Puerto Rico 1980 and Beyond

Brett Barwick- Physics                                                 Imaging at the femtosecond and nanometer scales with

                                                                                               ultrafast electron microscope

Lida Maxwell- Political Science                               Zola, the Dreyfus Affair, and the Politics of Lost Causes 

Scott Gac - History and American Studies          An Attempt to Reduce them by Force: George Washington and the

                                                                                               Origins of a Violent American State


Scott Smedley - Biology                                              Into the Woods: How Human Activity, Past and Present, Influences

                                                                                               Connecticut's Forest Wildlife

Jeff Bayliss - History
                                                   Western Sport, Eastern Empire: the Dilemma of the Colonial Athlete in
                                                                                               Imperial Japan


2012-2013 Lecture Series

Lucy Ferris- English                                                     Honor: A Novelist's Field Research Among the Pashtuns

Beth Notar- Anthropology                                          Civilized Driving or Flooring It! Contested Mobility in Urban China

Sonia Cardenas- Political Science                           The Global Rise of National Human Rights Institutions

Craig Schneider - Biology                                           DNA Sequencing and Species Recognition

Cristopher Geiss - Environmental Science            Predicting the Fate of Arctic Carbon

Laura Holt - Psychology                                             Who is at Greatest Risk for Problem Drinking in the First Year of College?


2011-2012 Lecture Series

Dan Lloyd—Philosophy                                           Mind as Music
Susan Masino—Pyschology                                    Diet Therapy for Brain Disease
Anne Lambright—Language &                              Cultural Production and Transitional Justice Efforts: The Case of Peru
Culture Studies
Christopher Hager—English                                  Emancipation and the Act of Writing
Jack Dougherty—Educational Studies                 Scholarly Publishing with open Access Web-Books: On the Line Lin                                                                               and Writing History in the Digital Age
Lisa-Anne Foster—Biology                                     Tracking the Microbial Populations Inhabiting Humans
Seth Sanders—Religion                                            The Rise and Fall of Ancient Jewish Science: 'Pagan' Astronomy and the Language                                                                      Language of Knowledge in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Peter Yoon—Computer Science                               Cheap Computing: Using General-Purpose GPUs in Scientific Applications

2010-2011 Lecture Series

Barbara Benedict—Classics                                          'Male' and 'Female' Novels?  Gendered Fictions and British Reading 
                                                                                             Public, 1770-1830

Chloe Wheatley—English                                              The Prose Works of John Milton
Guardiola-Diaz—Biology                                   Mylein Matters
James Trostle—Anthropology                                     The Ethnography of a Bus Ride in Costal Ecuador (and what it can say
                                                                                              about the environmental change, scale and landscape)
David Rosen—English                                                  Literature an the Idea of Privacy (working title)

2009-2010 Lecture Series

 Robert Fleming—Biology                                           Altering cellular signals to reveal cell specification mechanisms during
Raymond Baker—International Politics                The epoch story of Islam: The struggles of ordinary Muslims in
                                                                                           extraordinary times
Sarah Raskin—Psychology                                        Remembering to remember: Studies of prospective memory
W. Miller Brown—Philosophy                                 The Case for Perfection: Genetic enhancement and sport
Alden Gordon—Art History                                      The organization of patronage and art education in 18th-century France
Andrea Dyrness—Educational Studies                  Schooling the Transitional Citizen: Education and Civic Identity in
                                                                                          Salvadoran Schools
 Ralph Morelli—Computer Science                         How free software is changing the world
Maurice Wade—Philosophy                                      Black Skin, White Masks: Frantz Fanon and the Lived Experiences of the


2007–2008 Lecture Series


G. James Wen—Economics
Why Did China Retreat to Its Agrarian Past after the Song Dynasty?
Mark P. Silverman—Physics
Finding the Length of the Emperor’s Nose: A Test of Collective Knowledge
Clinton Bailey—Research Fellow
The Bible’s Bedouin Background
Paul Lauter—English
Multiculturalism and Immigration Shock
Dan Lloyd—Philosophy & Neuroscience                     
This Is Your Brain on Politics?
Barry Schaller—Public Policy
Bioethics on Trial: The Promises and Perils of the Brave New World of Biotechnology
Ellison Findly—Religion & Asian Studies
Religion and Textiles in Southeast Asia
James Trostle—Anthropology
Disease Transmission and Social Change: Anthropology Meets Public Health in Northern Coastal Ecuador

Luis Figueroa—History
Border City Boulevard: F.D.R. Avenue and Colonial Suburbanism in San Juan, Puerto Rico​
Christoph Geiss—Physics

Pingo Scars: Remnants of Connecticut’s Glacial Past 



006 Lecture Series


Institutional Racism and Organizational Change in the U.S. Banking Industry
Martha Risser—Classics
Feasting at Isthmia
Frank Kirkpatrick—Religion
Community Beyond Political Philosophy: The Political Thought of John Macmurray​


The Route to Les Lauves: Cezanne’s Studios and Evolving Studio Practice
than Elukin—History
Deceiving the Devil: Shylock and Salvation in The Merchant of Venice
Timothy Curran—Chemistry
Conf​ormational Constraint: Putting Peptides on a Leash

Christoph Geiss—Physics
Soil Magnetism: What Iron Oxide Minerals Know about Regional Climate
Dan Lloyd—Philosophy
The Brain and Consciousness
Mark Silverman—Physics The Inside Story of a Black Hole and Other Dark Matters of the Cosmos

Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven—Health & Human Rights

Developments in Human Rights Training for Health Professionals in South Africa [postponed to 2006-2007]