Past Trinity Workshops

Common Hour Workshops, Fall 2018

"Swimmer Among the Stars"

Thursday, October 18th, Common Hour
Dangremond Family Commons, Hallden Hall North

The author, Kanishk Tharoor, will read from his book and answer questions afterwards.

Kanishk Tharoor is the author of the short story collection Swimmer Among the Stars, a Guardian and NPR Best Book of the Year and the winner in India of the Tata First Book Prize for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, Atlantic, The Nation, New Yorker, Paris Review, Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. His short story “Tale of the Teahouse” was nominated for a National Magazine Award. He is the presenter of the BBC radio series “Museum of Lost Objects.” He studied at Yale, Columbia, and New York University, where he was a “Writer in Public Schools” fellow. 

"The Four Pillars and Eight Characters of Fate: Horoscopic Divination and the Virtual in Contemporary South Korea."

Thursday, November 8th, Common Hour
Dangremond Family Commons, Hallden Hall North

Horoscopic eight-character divination (saju p’alcha) flourishes both face-to-face and online in South Korea. Contrary to a face-to-face reading, however, the fortune teller is no longer necessary in digital divination. This presentation highlights some of the transitions and tensions between more conventional forms of divination and their digital counterparts. Rather than conceptualizing these transitions in relation to a loss of authenticity or material presence, this work examines the potentials of online mediations in regard to how they are not only consumed as knowledge, but also as phenomenological and affective experiences connected to the virtual. 

Panelist:   David J. Kim, Assistant Professor, Anthropology / Media Society and the Arts, Purchase College, SUNY
        Katherine Lahti, Associate Professor, Language and Culture Studies, Trinity College

"The Murder of Mesopotamia: War, Looting, and Cultural Heritage."

Thursday, December 6th, Common Hour
Dangremond Family Commons, Hallden Hall North


This illustrated lecture explores the rise and fall of the cultural heritage of ancient Mesopotamia, as seen in the context of modern political developments.  The story begins in the 19th century, with the competing imperial agendas of England and France, and continues post-World War I, with the work of Gertrude Bell in creating the new nation of Iraq's cultural identity.  The talk concludes with an appraisal of the irreparable damage to cultural heritage as a direct result of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Karen Polinger Foster specializes in the art and archaeology of the Bronze Age Aegean, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Her co-authored Civilizations of Ancient Iraq, in which she writes on Mesopotamian artifacts with and without context, received the 2010 Horton Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America. She has also organized several international events, including Iraq Beyond the Headlines, The Future of the Global Past, and The Decapitation of the Past, as well as a panel at the Yale Law School on stolen and counterfeit art. She has done fieldwork at an ancient capital city in northern Mesopotamia, now part of Syria. 

Common Hour Workshops, Fall 2017

Thursday, April 5, 2018, Common Hour, Dangremond Family Commons (Hallden). 

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching & Learning. 

Teaching Climate Change Across the Disciplines 

At the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris, then President Barack Obama called Climate Change the "one issue that will define the contours of the century more dramatically than any other”. Despite attempts to debunk global warming as a “hoax,” there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that the earth is warming, that human activity is a major contributor, and that—without immediate and drastic measures—the consequences will be severe. Education is crucial, but how to teach Climate Change, both within one’s own field and across disciplines? What should a modern “Climate Change Curriculum” look like? 

Environmental Educator Stephen Siperstein, editor of Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities, will give the key address.

Panelists include: Professors Beth Notar (Anthropology) and Amber Pitt (Environmental Science). ​

​​​​Thursday, March 27— 12:30-1:30 — Dangremond Family Commons 104 (Hallden)

“A Conversation with Lisa Brooks, the author of Our Beloved Kin”

 Come and join a conversation with Lisa Brooks (Abenaki), Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College, and author of Our Beloved Kin. Grounded not only in extensive archival research but also in the land and communities of Native New England, Our Beloved Kin provides a complex picture of colonial America, recovering a narrative of war, captivity, and Native resistance during the “First Indian War” (later named King Philip’s War) through the intertwined stories of Weetamoo, a female Wampanoag leader, and James Printer, a Nipmuc scholar, whose stories converge in the captivity of Mary Rowlandson. Selections from the book will be available to interested attendees: contact Hilary Wyss (, Thomas Wickman ( or Anne Lambright ( for further information.

A PDF of Our Beloved Kind, Chaper 7 is available upon request through


Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Common Hour, Dangremond Family Commons (Hallden).

A Woman or a Womb?  Reproductive Legislation from Ancient Rome to Dystopian Future

Presented by Professor Serena Witzke, Department of Classical Studies, Wesleyan University

Between 18 BCE and 9 CE, the Roman emperor Augustus passed a radical set of social and moral legislation that enforced citizen marriage, prohibited adultery, and imposed heavy penalties on the childless. Oppressive regimes’ use of invasive legislation to control the citizenry via women’s reproductive rights and autonomy is far from a relic of the past. Ceaușescu’s Romania sought to revive enforced reproduction and women’s reproductive rights are seriously threatened in Republican-controlled America today, as dystopian literature and film express our fears of those threats becoming reality.

Response by: Joan Hedrick, Charles A. Dana Professor of History

Thursday, February 15— Common Hour — Dangremond Family Commons 104 (Hallden)

Stress and Resilience: Individual, Social, Political

Stress can be conceptualized at a variety of levels including the biological, the social and the political.  It is crucial for us to begin to investigate the interactions of these aspects of stress. Dr. Grahn will discuss the impact of stress on the brain, and in particular the role of particular neurotransmitters in response to anxiety provoking events. Dr. Chang will discuss the effects of complex trauma on mental health and provide examples of trauma-informed care, with an emphasis on the Latino community. Dr. Kamola will discuss broader issues of stress and trauma within cultures and countries.

Presentations by:
Ruth Grahn, PhD, Connecticut College, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program
Rocio Chang, PsyD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center
Isaac Kamola, PhD, Political Science, Trinity College


Moderator:  Sarah Raskin, Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Trinity College 

Thursday, February 1, 2018, Common Hour​, Dangremond Family Commons (H​allden)

Time No Longer: 21st Century Realities and Why Washington Resists Them

Patrick Lawrence has many years’ experience observing American culture and politics from the privileged vantage point of the foreign correspondent. In his book Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale, 2013) he argued that the hypertrophy of the country’s founding myths within our body politic has increasingly impaired our ability to think clearly and rationally about what we need to do to insure the continuing health of our culture and society. Lawrence wrote for many years as “Patrick L. Smith.” In this talk, he will update this vision in light of the events of the past five years. 

​ Panelists include: Kent Dunlap and Johnny Williams



October 19, 2017

Dangremond Family Commons, Common Hour

In affiliation with Bridging Divides:  Higher Education's Role in Advancing Understanding and Promoting a Just Sociery, TIIS  welcomes Sarah Schulman to discuss "Conflict is not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair”

In her bold and provocative new book Sarah Schulman argues that in recent years our society has come to confuse what she calls "normative conflict" with unacceptable forms of abuse.  She suggests, moreover, that there are now enormous implied pressures upon people who are not direct parties to a given conflict to choose sides, and to recur quite rapidly to censorious and punitive behaviors, rather than healing ones that can benefit all involved. 

Sarah Schuman is a novelist, playwright, historian and lesbian rights activist.  She is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at College of Staten Island (CSI) and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities.

Moderator: Tom Harrington, Language and Culture Studies/Hispanic Studies

Co-sponsored by American Studies, Center for Urban and Global Studies,

and the Dean of Faculty’s Bridging Divides Initiative 

Q&A to follow

A light lunch is provided

October 26, 2017

Rittenberg Lounge, Mather Hall, Common Hour

Filmmaker Peter Kahane​

September 19, 2017

Dangremond Family Commons, Common Hour

“Mental Health, Law Enforcement and the Judicial System: Problems and Solutions”

Sept 19 event 2016 Norko et al - Assessing Insanity Acquittee Recidivism in CT.pdf

Sept 19 event Improving police interventions during mental health related encounters past present and future.pdf

Sept 19 event meta-analysis crisis intervention training for police.pdf​

Mental illness—a complex interaction of biological factors and the social and cultural environment—can be difficult to treat and is often misdiagnosed or left undiagnosed: stigma and fear of negative consequences may lead some to avoid treatment. The discussion will focus on mentally ill people in US prisons (more than in hospitals receiving treatment) and recent events that call for greater education and law enforcement training. 

Erin Leavitt-Smith (Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services, State of Connecticut) has worked with incarcerated persons with mental illness and designed, implemented and assessed programs for first responders.

Sohrab Zahedi, MD (UCONN Health, Division of Correctional Managed Healthcare) is a principal psychiatrist at the Hartford Correctional Center & a medical officer at Tangerine Project. 

Joined by Trinity Professors Jason Gockel (Psychology) and Rebecca Beebe (Anthropology)

Q&A to follow

A light lunch is provided

Common Hour Workshops, Spring 2017

Dangremond Family Commons, Hallden Hall North Wing

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Common Hour

"What do you Acquire by Creating Intellectual Discomfort, and What do you Lose?"   

Four Trinity faculty panelists and a moderator will discuss intellectual discomfort as a mode of inquiry as a learning experience that can present expected and unexpected challenges.  In the classroom, out of the classroom, or on the field and the court, faculty challenge students with what is difficult and perhaps unfamiliar.  What are constructive ways to create discomfort?     ​

Com​mon Hour Workshops, Fall 2016

Dangremond Family Commons, Hallden Hall North Wing

Thursday, September 29 Common Hour
Global Displacements
Readings:   Werner, M. (2015). Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Caribbean.  Wiley-Blackwell. 1-232.
Special Guest:   Marion Werner, University at Buffalo, SUNY 
Moderator:   Jack Gieseking, American Studies 

Thursday, October 13 Common Hour
Climate Change and Advocacy: From Local Impact to Big Picture
Special Guest:  
 Ezra Silk, Co-Founder and Deputy Director, ​The Climate Mobilization; Devi Lockwood, Poet and Climate Activist
Moderator :  
 Johannes Evelein, Language and Culture Studies 

Thursday, November 3 Common Hour
The Hungting of the Presidency 2016: An Agony in Three Fits
Presentations:      "The Yawning Gender Gap", presented by Adrienne Fulco; "Requiem for a Republic", presented by Gregory Smith; "Religion Bows Out", presented by Andrew Walsh
Panelists:   Adrienne Fulco, Public Policy; Gregory Smith, Political Science, and Andrew Walsh, Greenberg Center

Thursday, December 8 Common Hour in Rittenberg Lounge
Food and Urban Agriculture in Hartford 
Readings:      TBD
Panelists/Special Guests: 
  Dario Del Puppo, Language and Culture Studies; Martha C. Page, Hartford Food System; Trisha Tiamzon, Sociology ​

Common Hour Workshops, Spring 2016

Hallden Hall

Tuesday, February 9 Common Hour 
Cultural Heritage and the Tourism Industry
Readings:   Bawaya, M. (2014). Land of Make Believe. New Scientist Journal. 221(2950). 34-37.
Panelists:   Dario Euraque, History; Jack Gieseking, American Studies; Beth Notar, Anthropology 
Moderator:   Martha Risser, Classics

Tuesday, March 29, 4:30 p.m., Terrace Rooms, Mather Hall                                              

Spirit Tech: Brain-Based Technologies of Spiritual Enhancement 
Part of "25 Years of Neuroscience at Trinity"

​Special Guest   Wesley Wildman, Boston University School of Theology 

Thursday, March 31 Common Hour
The Art and (Neuro)Science of Mysticism
Part of "25 Years of Neuroscience at Trinity"
​Readings:      Wildman, W.J. (2016). ​Spirit Tech. Unpublished manuscript. ​
Panelists:   Sheila Fisher, English; Gary Reger,Classics & History; Ellison Findly, Religion
Moderator :   Tamsin Jones, Religion 

Thursday, April 14 Common Hour in the Mather Hall Terrace Room
Using the Arts to Heal Brain Disorders
Part of "25 Years of Neuroscience at Trinity"
Readings:      Furman, L. (2011). Last Breath: Art Therapy With a Lung CancerPatient Facing Imminent Death, Art Therapy, 28:4, 177-180.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Koelsch, S. (2009). A Neuroscientific Perspective on Music Therapy, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169: 374-384.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Panelists/Special Guests:   Lisa Furman, Albertus Magnus College; Kathleen Howland, Berklee School of Music; Katherine Appel, Sarah LawrenceCollege Moderator:    Douglas Johnson, Professor Emeritus at Trinity College​

Comm​​on Hour Workshops, Fall 2015                      

Hallden Hall 

Thursday, October 15 Common Hour
Trigger Warnings and Intellectual Discomfort
Co-sponsored with the Center for Teaching and Learning
Readings      Todd Gitlin, "Please be Disturbed: Triggering Can Be Good for You, Kids" Tablet (March 3, 2015)
Massimo Pigliucci, "The False Dichotomy of Trigger Warnings"Scientia Salon (May 28, 2015)
Panelists   Molly Helt, Psychology; Sara Kippur, Language & Culture Studies; Timothy Landry, Anthropology and Religion
Moderators    Maurice Wade, Philosophy; Sean Cocco, History 

Tuesday, December 1 Common Hour
Neuroscience and the Humanities: Shaping Memory
Port of "25 Years of Neuroscience at Trinity"
Readings      Aaron Seider, "Context" and "Methodology" (pp. 13-27) in ​Memory in Vergil's Aeneid: Creating the Past​. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Adam B. Blake, Meenely Nazarian & Alan D. Castel (2015)
The Apple of the mind's eye: Everyday attention, metamemory, and reconstructive memory for the Apple logo,The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68:5, 858-865. 
Jesse Rissman and Anthony D. Wagner (2012) "Distributed Representations in Memory: Insights from Functional Brain Imaging." Annual Review Psychology, 63: 101-128. 
Panelists   Elizabeth Casserly, Psychology; Dario Euraque, History
Special Guest Aaron Seider, Classics, Holy Cross
Moderator    Meredith Safran, Classics 

Thursday, December 3 Common Hour
Neuroscience and the Arts: Tone, Color, and the Brain
Part of "25 Years of Neuroscience at Trinity"
Readings      Loui, P., Alsop., D., & Schlaug, G.  (2009). Tone-Deafness: A Disconnection Syndrome? Journal of Neuroscience,   29(33), 10215-10220.
Bevil Conway, Color Consilience: Color through the Lens of Art Practice, History, Philosophy, and Neuroscience.  ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES 92012) 1-18.
Panelists/Special Guests Bevil Conway, Neuroscience, Wellesley College; Psyche Loui, Psychology, Wesleyan University
Moderator    John Platoff, Music

Common Hour Workshops, Spring 2015

Hallden Hall 

Thursday, January 29 Common Hour
Representing the Garífuna People: An Afro-Caribbean Diaspora *Part of Black History Month*
Reading      Lara Putnam (2013). "Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age."  The University of North Carolina Press, 21-49.
Panelists   Pablo Delano, Studio Arts; Milla Riggio, English
Sp​ecial Guests   Lucy Blanco & members of the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble
Moderator    Dario Euraque, History

Tuesday, February 10 Common Hour
Education: Emancipation, Enlightenment, Efficiency
Reading​        Jacques Rancière (1991). "The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation."  Stanford University Press, 2-19.
Panelists    Chris Hager, English; Isaac Kamola, Political Science
Special Guest      Jen Sandler, Director of the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation and Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Moderator        Jack Dougherty, Educational Studies 

Thursday, March 5 Common Hour
The Art of Creation: Improvisation and Gender in Music and Dance
Reading        George P. Upton (1890). "Woman in Music."​ A.C. McClurg & Co., 15-30. 
Panelists       Gail Woldu and Jennifer Allen, Music; Lesley Farlow, Theater and Dance
Special Guest         Lisa Coons, Composer
Moderator         Dan Román, Music

Thursday, April 16 Common Hour
Animal Consciousness: Perspectives from the Humanities & Sciences
Reading       Philip Low (2012, July). The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness​. Declaration conducted at the Francis  Crick Memorial Conference, Cambridge, UK. Retrieved from         
Panelists    Shane Ewegen, Philosophy & Classics; Kent Dunlap, Biology; Dan Lloyd, Philosophy
Moderator  Michelle Kovarik, Chemistry

Common Hour Workshops, Fall 2014                                          

 Hallden Hall 

Thursday, September 18 Common Hour
Herencias: Contemporary classical Puerto Rican music and culture
Join us for a conversation regarding the culture, politics, and history of contemporary Puerto Rico in anticipation of guitarist Yovianna García's concert ​Herencias, at 7:30 PM in Goodwin Hall.
​Reading       Edgardo Díaz and Peter Manuel (2009). "Puerto Rico: the rise and f​all of the danza as national music." In Peter Manuel. Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean. Temple University Press, 113-122.
Panelists     Dan Roman and Eric Galm, Music; Luis Figueroa, History; Yovianna García, guitarist
Moderator Anne Lambright, Language and Culture Studies/Hispanic Studies  
Event Photos
           Eric Galm, Music (Below)                                                         Luís Figueroa, History (Below)
                                                             Yovianna García, Special Musical Guest (Below)
Thursday, October 9 Common Hour 
Beauty, Culture, Freedom: Western norms and women's bodies

Who decides what "progress" and "empowerment" mean for women's bodies? Join feminist scholars in examining the politics of globalizing dominant Western beauty ideals and the resulting constructions and controls of women's bodies, including veiling, female genital cutting and body weight.
Reading      Lisa Wade (2009). "Defining Gendered Oppression in U.S. Newspapers: The Strategic Value of 'Female Genital Mutilation'."  Gender and Society 23:3: 293-314.
Panelists    Tamsin Jones, Religion; Tanetta Andersson, Sociology; Afshan Jafar, Sociology, Connecticut College
Moderator Janet Bauer, International Studies

Thursday, November 20th Common Hour
Canon, Curriculum, Cultural Authority: Shaping the "educated person"
Why does a society form a "canon"the body of art and literature deemed "important" or "great" by cultural authorities? What is the ideal or practical relationship between canon and curriculum?  How has the changing notion of the "educated individual" challenged the traditional Western canon?
Readings    John Guillory (1993; re-issued 2013).  Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation. University of Chicago Press, vii-xiv; Caroline Winterer (2004).  The Culture of Classicism. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1-9.
Panelists    Seth Sanders, Religion; Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, Educational Studies; Bill Mace, Psychology 
Moderator Meredith Safran, Classics

Information and PDFs of associated readings can be found by visiting​

Co-Directors: Johannes Evelein, Language & Culture Studies & Gail Woldu, Music

For more information, contact Rashana Lord at​.