Faculty Colloquium: Michaela Kleinert

Please join us this Friday, April 7th at 3 pm. in Collins 318 for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided and please note the change in location.

Presenter: Michaela Kleinert, Associate Professor of Physics
Title:  “Danger! Do not look into the laser beam with your remaining eye!” – Or – What is going on in Kleinert’s research lab?

Since its invention in 1960, the laser has become an integral part of our society. While most everyday lasers are cw (continuous wave) lasers of low power – for example barcode scanners at the grocery checkout –, powerful pulsed lasers that produce extremely short bursts of light (between only a billionth and a millionth of a billionth of a second long!) find more specialized applications both in research and industry. From the creation of super-hydrophobic surfaces that are completely water-repellent to the formation of micrometer sized structures that guide light or allow computers to work properly, from identifying explosives at long range to determining the chemical composition of ancient coins or even rocks on Mars – if you can imagine it, there is a laser to do the job!


A generous donation of two 10-ps pulsed laser systems (ESI, Beaverton) has allowed me to enter this fascinating field of research, and in this talk I will discuss projects that are currently being investigated in my research lab. I will introduce the physics of laser/material interaction that leads to the formation of microstructures on metallic surfaces. I will also talk about the plasma plume, the ejected material that forms above the surface and that can be a blessing and a curse: A dense plume leads to strong recombination lines as the electrons recombine with their respective ions. This is advantageous when investigating laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) since it amplifies the characteristic chemical fingerprints that allow us to identify unknown samples. On the other hand, a large plasma plume also acts as a shield and prevents the laser light from hitting the surface (plasma shielding). This of course is not desired when the goal is to pattern the surface in a controlled way (micromachining).

Students are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Rescheduled Faculty Colloquium

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to Professor Maegan Parker Brooks, we have been able to reschedule Professor Richards talk, originally scheduled for March 10th.

Please join us on Wednesday, March 22nd from 11:30-12:30 in Montag Den for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester. (Please note change in time and location) Treats will be provided.

Cindy Koenig Richards
, Associate Professor of Civic Communication and Media
 

Title: Learning by Creating in the Public Sphere

This faculty colloquium presentation will connect my scholarly work on agency to our efforts at Willamette “to transform knowledge into action and lead lives of achievement, contribution, and meaning.” My book project, Voters in the Making: Women’s Participatory Culture in the Pacific Northwest, 1865-1912, illuminates a set of practices through which disenfranchised women developed agency in the public sphere. Reflecting on this set of practices–and their relationship to liberal arts education–motivated me to make project based learning integral to my courses. I’ll share my practical approach to designing student projects that are publicly engaged, academically oriented, production centered, and peer supported. And, some students from CCM 361 The Public Sphere will join us to discuss their perspectives on two projects we carried out in fall 2016. First, students in this course led Willamette DebateWatch, a series of events that brought together more than 800 community members to view and discuss the 2016 US Presidential debates. Second, students in this course produced a self-published book of data visualizations, entitled Networked Publics in the 2016 US Presidential Campaign.

Students are welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium, Sammy Basu

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, March 17th at 3 pm. in Ford 122for our sixth Colloquium of this semester. (Please note change in location)

Sammy Basu
, Professor of Politics
 

Title: Humoring Democracy:  or Why I Read the Nazis for Laughs

Modernity is hard on us, whence reactions to it abound. However, humor can make it bearable and even pleasurable. In my research I illustrate the argument that modern liberal democracy needs its citizens to have an appropriate sense of humor using the historical record of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Third Reich culminating with World War II and the Holocaust. I highlight Weimar-era pro-democratic defenders and their cognitive and communicative turns to liberal and leveling humor, and contrast them against Hitler, Goebbels, Rosenberg etc., and their Nazi honor-bound and hierarchic sense of humor. In effect, on this view, the democratic Republic failed because of an irony deficiency and conversely the authoritarian Reich flourished because it contrived to provide German gentiles with the ‘last laugh’. In closing, I will apply this analysis to the contemporary US political situation.

Students are welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Cindy Koenig Richards

Dear Colleagues,

Update: This week’s Faculty Colloquium on Learning by Creating in the Public Sphere by Cindy Richards has been cancelled.

 

 

Please join us this Friday, March 10th at 3 pm. in Ford 102 for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. (Please note change in location) Treats will be provided.

Cindy Koenig Richards
, Associate Professor of Civic Communication and Media

Title: Learning by Creating in the Public Sphere

This faculty colloquium presentation will connect my scholarly work on agency to our efforts at Willamette “to transform knowledge into action and lead lives of achievement, contribution, and meaning.” My book project, Voters in the Making: Women’s Participatory Culture in the Pacific Northwest, 1865-1912, illuminates a set of practices through which disenfranchised women developed agency in the public sphere. Reflecting on this set of practices–and their relationship to liberal arts education–motivated me to make project based learning integral to my courses. I’ll share my practical approach to designing student projects that are publicly engaged, academically oriented, production centered, and peer supported. And, some students from CCM 361 The Public Sphere will join us to discuss their perspectives on two projects we carried out in fall 2016. First, students in this course led Willamette DebateWatch, a series of events that brought together more than 800 community members to view and discuss the 2016 US Presidential debates. Second, students in this course produced a self-published book of data visualizations, entitled Networked Publics in the 2016 US Presidential Campaign.

Students are welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

(Text source by Doreen Simonsen)


Faculty Colloquium: Radical or Conventional Relationships

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, March 3rd at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Huike Wen, Associate Professor of Chinese and Women and Gender Studies

Title: Radical or Conventional–Portrayal in Chinese Media of the Relationship between an Older Woman and a Younger Man

Huike Wen

The opinion that a husband should be a few years older than his wife is commonly accepted, although it is not rigid in reality and there are stories that tell otherwise in different cultures. The belief is supported by biological, sociological, economics, and psychological studies and by individuals’ reflections on experiences.

Contrary to the belief, in China, recently the romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man has been a popular topic in the Chinese media landscape. Despite the increase in the number of such marriages and media attention on the older woman–younger man relationship, very little serious and in-depth academic work has focused on this relationship. As a myth, this type of relationship is basically represented as something new, modern, and radical, engaged in by many celebrities as well as creating media celebrities out of some ordinary people. The media portrayals seem to add another alternative in the discourse of heterosexual relationships, especially conventional heterosexual marriage. Focusing on recent popular Chinese television dramas, I examine how the media portrayals signal and celebrate a new form of relationship and marriage, yet still strongly reinforce the male-dominant status in romantic relationships.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, February 24th at 3 pm. in the EATON 425 for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. (Please note the change in location) Treats will be provided.

Inga Johnson, Professor of Mathematics

Title: An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory

As part of my last sabbatical, my collaborator, Allison Henrich, and I completed our book An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory (published by Dover, January 2017). Our text is unique not because of the mathematics that it contains, but rather due to the pedagogy it employs. We have designed the book to be used in an inquiry-based setting where students independently figure out, derive, and create many of the major results of knot theory while using our book as a guide. The book contains definitions, exercises, and statements of theorems, but the proofs and arguments that underlie the theory are left for readers to develop as they progress through the text. This active-learning pedagogy places the students ideas and arguments as the centerpiece of the course. As a result, class meetings include little to no lecture but are instead filled with student presentations followed by a process of questions and vetting by their peers.

In my talk I will discuss the following questions: what is the difference between math research and writing a mathematical book? How does an inquiry-based course compare to a “traditional” mathematics course? What goes into planning and managing an inquiry-based course, and how does one create inquiry-based activities? What is knot theory, and why is it a good topic for inquiry-based pedagogy? I will also discuss current research on student outcomes when inquiry-based methods are used and how those outcomes compare to non-inquiry-based courses.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Prosody and Time in Musical Settings of Emily Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, February 10th at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Marva Duerksen, Associate Professor of Music, Women’s & Gender Studies

Title: Prosody and Time in Musical Settings of Emily Dickinson

Musical settings of Emily Dickinson’s poems—some 3,000 by one collector’s reckoning—comprise a core component of the American art-song repertory and a sustained and wide-ranging constituent of her reception. That said, a mutually insightful conversation between musical and literary scholarly communities lies largely untapped, most especially in that facet of Dickinson’s poems that she herself highlights conspicuously and that constitutes a shared concern in both poetry and music: prosody, and its companion, time.

Several questions arise: how can literary prosodic method inform analysis of musical settings of her works? And, what insights can composers offer the literary community as they interpret the poet’s rhythmic and metric designs? More specifically, how do composers execute in music signal elements of Dickinson’s prosody—the familiar “dash,” a startling approach to rhyme, disruptions of conventional grammar, and idiosyncratic lineation? Then, how do composers’ renderings of such features through specially tempered rhythmic pacing, multi-layered rhythmic designs, and heterogeneous musical vocabularies in turn impact our comprehension of the disruptions endemic to her work? Finally, how can these analyses inform the categories of time—diachronic and synchronic—vital to Dickinson’s poetic project? Exploring these questions through literary models and musical settings by composers Ernst Bacon, Vincent Persichetti, and Niccoló Castiglioni provides a starting point for the dialogue proposed here.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Richard Francaviglia

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this week, Friday, February 3rd at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Richard Francaviglia
, Professor Emeritus
Title: Imagining the Atacama Desert 

Through the analysis of maps and written narratives I will demonstrate how the Atacama Desert of South America was discovered, and then re-discovered, over nearly five centuries in a series of sequential phases. From about 1530 to 1700, “Atacama” designated a remote but strategic political province whose lack of population rather than desert climate was emphasized. After about 1700, however, the Atacama began to be identified as an arid region as a result of increasingly scientific mapping and exploration. In this transitional phase, the Atacama was part of a broader pattern in which the political mapping of empires was gradually supplemented by thematic physical or scientific mapmaking. In the third stage, which began in the mid-1830s, the Atacama Desert became linked to increasingly strong nationalist impulses and the rapidly growing power of international corporate developments in transportation and mineral extraction. In the fourth and current stage, which began about 1945, the Atacama began to be promoted and marketed as the quintessential desert worth experiencing for its uniqueness — something early explorers would have found incomprehensible. Past, present, and future, the Atacama reveals much about how places are discovered, and then re-discovered, through time.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Alexander Rocklin

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this week, Friday, December 9th at 3 pm. in the Library Instruction Room for final Faculty Colloquium of this semester. (Rescheduled from original date of November 11th.) Treats will be provided.

Alexander Rocklin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Title: Race, Religion, and the Magic of Secularism in Antebellum AmericaAlexander Rocklin

Come meet the Fakir of Ava, the unrivaled magician and necromancer who will perform scientific illustrations showing through practical experiments the impositions of the Pagan Priesthood ancient and modern! Taking as my example the magician the Fakir of Ava, this talk examines the mid-19th century spectacle of stage-magic performances as a mode of popular secularism in the United States. If we understand secularism not simply as an inevitable political project but what John Modern calls a “conceptual environment” that makes the category religion a self-evident way of dividing up the world, this paper examines one mode through which the religious and the not-religious were naturalized for Americans. Taking religion and race as defined together, I will also analyze the ways in which popular secularism created particular racial-religious hierarchies that drew on and connected Americas to broader trends in colonial knowledge production across the globe. Prepare to be Amazed (or at least educated)!

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Sarah Bishop

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Sarah Clovis Bishop, Associate Professor of Russian, will talk at this Friday’s Faculty Colloquium on Performing the Poet: Elena Shvarts’s “The Visible Side of Life.” Dec. 2nd @ 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room. Treats will be provided.

In 2010, director Boris Pavlovich and actress Yana Savitskaya created and staged The Visible Side of Life, a one-woman show based on the prose and poetry of Elena Shvarts (1948-2010), a central figure in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russian literature. Then based in Kirov, Russia at the “Theater on Spasskaya,” Savitskaya and Pavlovich had been exploring Shvarts’s verse for over a year, delving into her autobiographical prose to understand it more fully. Just as they were ready to approach the poet about their work, they learned of her death. They abandoned their poetic etudes and turned instead to a dramatic work in which they imagined the last hours of the poet’s life. Pavlovich has described it as a “quasi-biography”; an image of “our Elena Shvarts whom we failed to meet.”

The performance has since traveled to St. Petersburg, Shvarts’s home, and is now part of the repertory at the Bolshoi Drama Theater (BDT). Most recently, the show received its American premiere at Princeton, Harvard, and right here at Willamette. I will discuss the performance in its various incarnations, highlighting the many boundaries that it tests–between reality and fantasy; the visible and invisible; prose and poetry; performer and audience.

All are invited to attend this talk. We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators