Spring 2013 Tuesday Lunch Schedule
Tuesdays 12:30 – 1:20 pm
Welsh Hills Room, Burton Morgan All members of the General and Emeriti Faculty, and Supportive Operating Staff are welcome. Feel free to either bring a lunch or purchase the lunch buffet (subsidized by the Provost’s Office). This series is a wonderful way to interact with colleagues and learn about their work.
January 15: Jonathan Maskit, Philosophy Department
“Trash in Transition: The Aesthetics of Garbage”
Consumerism is, by many accounts, one of the great contributors to our current environmental woes. Yet many new products are touted as environmentally virtuous because of their recycled content. When can such products actually serve to ameliorate our environmental problems and when do they, as products, serve to reinforce the underlying forces of consumerism?
January 22: Tommy Burkett, Emeritus, English Department
“The Evolution of Drama in England: Denison’s Longest Running May Term Course”
Comments and anecdotes about the course, which came into being during transitions in Denison’s curriculum in the 1970’s, then evolved into The Literature of Place, and finally into Drama in England.
January 29: Joanna Grabski, Art History Department, and Christian Faur, Director of Collaborative Technologies, Mulberry MIX Lab
“What Happens after a Workshop on New Technology in the Arts?”
Joanna Grabski and Christian Faur will discuss their recent collaboration on the documentary film, Market Imaginary (2012). The film is very much a product of the possibilities of the liberal arts environment and Denison’s resources in collaborative technology. Based on research conducted in Dakar, Senegal, the film was produced using resources at Denison following a series of workshops dealing with new technology in the arts. Both in subject and media, the film crosses boundaries and represents new directions in teaching and research. Joanna and Christian will discuss various aspects of their collaboration including how the research material was visualized as a film; the complexities of composing the narrative; and the creative process for individuals working outside of their usual medium of expression.
February 5: Brenda Boyle, English, and Warren Hauk, Biology Department
“Transitions to Teaching Queer Studies: A View from Near and Far”
Queer Studies recently was revived by faculty across the disciplines. Facilitated by a summer-long study group that developed programmatic understandings, participants translated their disciplinary values and conventions into the Program’s. Warren and Brenda learned that enhancing student capabilities to deal with complexity and ambiguity would govern their classes. Warren learned that the methodologies he uses for introductory Biology courses transfer to QS 101; as a queer theory scholar Brenda learned students would need to be led through the material deliberately. Both learned that the model Queer Studies devised—of developing programmatic understandings—might be useful to other campus programs.
February 12: Rebecca Rosenberg, Psychology Department
“Babies’ Brains: Investigating the Infant Mind”
William James famously described the infant’s world as “one great blooming buzzing confusion” (1891). Yet the past 30 years of research in infant cognitive development has shown that infants are able to reason in many more sophisticated ways than previously thought. By focusing on the origins of knowledge, we can more easily understand the transition from the mind of an infant to that of an adult.
February 19: Cheryl Mc Farren, Theatre, and Stafford Berry, Dance Department
“Embracing Transitions: Flowing with The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God”
Assistant Professors Cheryl McFarren and Stafford Berry, accompanied by student performers and crew, discuss the process of bringing Djanet Sears’ epic play to life. The challenges of this play offer a number of exciting possibilities for creative problem-solving, and its production celebrates interdepartmental teaching in an increasingly diverse community.
February 26: Karen Spierling, History Department
“Reforming Religion, Transforming Society in Early Modern Europe”
The European Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was a period of major cultural and societal transition, with great potential to change the dynamics of family life and broader social interactions. This talk will look especially at Protestant ideas about gender relations and about interfaith interactions among various Christian sects as examples of issues that provoked resistance and required negotiation during this transitional time. While the debates and conflicts of the Reformation seem far removed to many people today, I will suggest some of the ways that understanding this particular historical period of major transitions might help us to think critically and productively about the kinds of social and religious transitions we see happening globally today.
March 5: Hanada Al-Masri, Modern Languages Department
“Arabic Teaching in the US: Changes, Challenges and Aspirations”
Success in today’s world requires the understanding of other languages and cultures. Currently, the Arabic language is one of the fastest growing languages in demand in the US. However, the teaching of Arabic in the US actually dates back to the 1650’s. This talk presents an overview of the following topics: the historical interest in learning Arabic in the US and the approaches used to meet the needs; the recent shifts in the objectives for learning Arabic as a strategically useful and even critical language; the latest approaches adopted in the 21st century to teach Arabic as a foreign language; the sociolinguistic challenges facing the teaching/learning of Arabic as a diglossic language; and finally some prospects of teaching Arabic in the US.
March 12: Spring Break
March 19: Margot Singer and Dennis Read, English Department
“From High School to the Hill: Celebrating (Nearly) 20 Years of the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop”
Since 1994, Denison has been home to the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop, a week-long residential summer camp in creative writing for high school students, held each June. Over the years at least a hundred program alumni have chosen to come to Denison and are making their mark in the writing world—attending top creative writing graduate programs, winning awards, and publishing their poetry and prose. Current Director Margot Singer and former Director Dennis Read will be joined by current Denison students/program alums for a conversation about this unique transition between high school and college.
March 26: Ron Abram, Art Department
“Märchenbrunnen: New Work in Sculpture, Printmaking and Animation”
This artist talk presents a work in progress, a two-year ongoing project that demonstrates transitions on technical and conceptual levels. The interdisciplinary project combines printmaking, sculpture and animation. The work focuses Queer themes through the use of a particular historic site in East Berlin as visual metaphor: Märchenbrunnen in Volkspark Friederichshain, a "fairy fountain" park built in 1913. The talk will give an overview of the artwork, its contrasting elements and how the Berlin creative Queer community has influenced a re-wiring of my professional and academic life.
April 2: Sherry Harlacher, Denison Museum Director
“Transitions in Stewardship: From the Denison Art Treasure Room to the Denison Museum”
In 1942 Denison President Brown and University Trustees believed that the study and appreciation of high-quality original works of art are (were?) indispensable parts of an excellent liberal arts education. They launched the formation of the Denison Art Treasures Collection that now numbers around 8500 items. The University’s Collection now comprises a majority of objects traditionally excluded from definitions of “fine art,” but potentially rich in resources for intellectual and historic inquiry. Dr. Harlacher will describe ongoing efforts to facilitate access to the Collection and to promote innovative pedagogies that incorporate object-centered approaches to learning.
April 9: Dale Knobel, Denison University President
“Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Perspectives on 15 Years as Denison's President”
You learn a lot in this role--about the opportunities and constraints of leadership, about the nature of a college community, and about what it takes to keep an institution of higher education healthy. It's also a good time to think about what we've accomplished together and the work that likely lies ahead.
April 16: Lyn Robertson, Education Department
“Learning How to Change the World”
Audacious as it sounds, Denison students are learning how to change the world—through service learning, volunteer service, and social entrepreneurship. Lyn will be talking about her time in the Alford Center for Service Learning and how she understands service learning as a critical, transforming pedagogy.
April 23: Mark Anthony Arceño, MCSA Program Coordinator
“All Invited to the Table: Thoughts on the Transitions of Our Global Culinary Cultures”
Not only has food been found at the source of political uprisings, economic insecurity (or prosperity) and social movements, but it has also more generally served as a symbol of identity. Reflecting on the past three years at Denison University, Mark Anthony will share his thoughts on the role that the study and celebration of food has played across cultures and will offer the following menu: the shift from fast food to slow food nations; the importance of translating gastronomic oral traditions into written history; the evolution of the diversity metaphor from melting pot to salad bowl to sandwich; and how Mark Anthony's love for food has developed into a lifelong career both in theory and in practice.
2013 Coordinator: Gabriele Dillmann, Modern Languages Department