Lectures Past Years

Spring 2015 Lecture Series

February 19: Kifah Hanna, Assistant Professor of Language and Culture Studies

Love and Desire in Lebanese War Literature

Kifah Hanna presents new trends of unique, even radical, literary representations of gender and sexuality as mediated by the Lebanese civil war. She investigates literary expressions of love and desire by examining subordinate masculinities as a novel venue for such inquires. 

March 26: Zayde Gordon Antrim, Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of History and International Studies

Mapping the Middle East

Maps have become so ubiquitous that we are not used to thinking critically about them; likewise, the Middle East has dominated headlines to the extent that its equation with conflict and fragmentation seems self-evident. Zayde Antrim will challenge these assumptions by analyzing maps that show the different ways people have visualized, expressed belonging in, or asserted control over Middle Eastern land over the past millennium.

April 9: Martha Risser, Associate Professor of Classics

Sacred Space at the Bridge of the Untiring Sea: The Sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia during the 6th through 4th Centuries BCE

Every two years, when athletes, musicians, poets, and painters from throughout the Greek world came to the Isthmian Games to compete with one another for prized wreaths, they sacrificed hecatombs and feasted at the isthmus between the Corinthian and the Saronic gulfs. This biennial festival served also as a cultural bridge, uniting people from the many and variety city-states of ancient Greece even when at war. The Sanctuary of Poseidon prospered with the increasing popularity of its contest, but managing crowds and administering a major feast on the narrow V-shaped plateau must have presented challenges. How were people fed and accommodated? To what extent did the spatial organizations of the sanctuary change in response to growing interest in its PanHellenic festival? How did they cope with the fiery destruction of the Archaic Temple is ca. 450 BCE?

Fall 2014 Lecture Series

October 16: John Platoff, Professor of Music
Francesco Benucci, Nancy Storace, and Sarti's Fra i due litiganti in Vienna
l 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 learni

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

                                                 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

Hebe 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
                                                                                                        Two  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​
Christopher Glass - Physics   

Pingo Scars: Remnants of Connecticut's Glacial Past  


2005–2006 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              


                                                                                             The Route to Les Lauves: Cezanne’s Studios and Evolving Studio Practice


Jonathan Elukin – History                             Deceiving the Devil: Shylock and Salvation in The Merchant of Venice


Timothy Curran – Chemistry                      Conformational 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—                            Developments in Human Rights Training for Health Professionals in South Africa   

Health & Human Rights                                 [postponed to 2006-2007]