Faculty Colloquium: Star Numbers

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, January 29th at a special time, 4:10-5:10 in the Hatfield Room for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided. josh-laison

Josh Laison, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Title: Star Numbers: From 17th-Century Oranges to Delivery Robots and Beyond

Abstract:

We will discuss a new variation of a 400-year-old problem from Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton about how densely geometric shapes can be packed together. Along the way we’ll encounter Amazon delivery robots, geometric networks, an iphone game, computers that prove theorems, 24-dimensional spheres, Tetris, cannonballs, and some exciting new theorems. No previous math or Tetris experience required. This research was done in collaboration with Andrew Bishop WU’14, Ben Gardiner WU’13, and David Livingston WU’15.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Politics and Religion: Constantine in Rome, 312-326

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, December 4th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our tenth and final Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.
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Robert Chenault, Associate Professor of History and Classics

Title: Politics and Religion: Constantine in Rome, 312-326

Abstract:

The nature of Constantine’s personal conversion to Christianity has been endlessly discussed, doubted, and defended, and probably always will. Instead of inquiring into the unknowable, scholars would do better to focus on the ways in which Constantine presented his religious affiliations publicly and how they were represented by others. In this talk, I apply this method to a single, especially significant case: Constantine’s relationship with the city of Rome and its various constituencies. By exploiting both the textual evidence and the symbolic meanings of certain buildings and monuments linked to Constantine’s three visits to Rome between 312 and 326, it is possible to arrive at fresh insights into Constantine’s skillful balancing of political messages and religious expressions, the ways in which Constantine and the Senate were able to find common ground, and the flavor of public discourse at Rome in the early fourth century.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Water Conflict in the Klamath Basin

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us Friday, November 20th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our ninth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.Don Negri

Don Negri, Professor of Economics

Title: Water Conflict in the Klamath Basin

Abstract:

The Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon has been the site of conflict over water resources for more than a decade. The Basin is a microcosm of the conflict over water scarcity that plagues the western US. The conflict is as much about clashing cultures as it is about insufficient water. The Basin is home to four Native American Tribes, four wildlife refuges and a federal irrigation project that provides water to approximately 210,000 acres of farmland. In the 1990’s the Endangered Species Act listed two fish species in the basin that made agricultural water supplies susceptible to cutbacks especially in drought years. Also during the 90’s the Confederated Klamath Tribes began to assert their historical water rights magnifying the threat to agricultural production in the region. Then in 2001, the conflict erupted into violence as the federal government mandated the water supply head gates be closed to protect endangered fish. Since that time the battle over water allocation in the basin has be waged in Congress and the courts with no end in sight.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Willamette University and Debate in the People’s Republic of China

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Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, November 13th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our eighth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.  Treats will be provided.

Robert Trapp, Professor of Civic Communication and Media, Director of Debate Union

Title:  Willamette University and Debate in the People’s Republic of China
Abstract: For the better part of two decades I have worked to teach debate in the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and even more closed societies like the People’s Republic of China. All of the programs with which I worked were funded by George Soros and the Open Society Foundation (OSF). Then in 2007, after a decade of working in Central and Eastern Europe, I had the opportunity to direct the instruction of students, teachers, and judges at the FLTRP (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press) Cup in Beijing, which had the reputation of being the most prestigious English-speaking debate competition in China. I continued to direct the instruction for the FLTRP cup for four more years. Then I applied for a series of small grants from OSF to host instructional workshops for students, teachers, and judges.  In 2012, I applied successfully for an OSF grant of $3,000,000 to create a “sustainable debate program” across many geographic areas in China. The 3-year grant was fully approved.

Debating in China prior to our program was expressly for the purpose of using debate to teach oral English. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the program that we are in the process of completing; its goals and structure as well as the depth and breadth of the program that by all appearances has changed the face of debate in the People’s Republic of China in positive ways.

As always, please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: “A Hindu is white although he is black”

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, November 6th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Alexander Rocklin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Alexander Rocklin
Title: “A Hindu is white although he is black”: Hindu Alterity and the Performativity of Religion and Race between the US and the Caribbean

Abstract:

This talk uses the controversies surrounding the racially and religiously enigmatic Ismet Ali, a yogi working in Chicago and New York in the 1920s, as a way to get at the complexities of the interrelatedness of the performativity of religion and race. In examining several moments in which Ali’s “authenticity” as Indian is brought into doubt, it opens up larger questions regarding the global flows of colonial knowledge, racial tropes, and groups of people between India, the US, and the Caribbean. The practices of the yogi persona and its sartorial stylings, particularly the donning of a turban and beard, meant to signify “East Indianness” in the US, were one mode through which “Hindoo” stereotypes were repurposed as models for self-formation by both South Asian and African Americans in the early twentieth century. In passing as “Hindoo,” peoples of color could circumvent the US’s black/white racial binary and the violence of Jim Crow. This act of racial passing, though, was an act of religious passing as well. This talk explores the ways in which, in the early twentieth century US, East Indian “authenticity” only became legible via identificatory practices that engaged with and took on Orientalized stereotypes. However, the ways in which identities had to and could be performed changed with context, as individuals moved across national and colonial lines.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium, Environmental Health

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Please join us this Friday, October 30th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Joyce Millen, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Barbara Stebbins-Boaz, Associate Professor of Biology
Title: Environmental Health Research Collaborative Takes Flight on a LARC

Abstract: Environmental health is concerned with the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil upon which we grow crops, the food we consume, and the products we use on our bodies, in our homes, and at work. It is both a discipline and a social movement that aims to promote human health and wellbeing. Effective environmental health research—and activism—requires knowledge of myriad intersections between nonhuman and human organisms, and natural and built environments. In this colloquium, we will introduce our ongoing exploration of environmental health work, in the lab, on the road, and in the classroom. We will present highlights from our LARC summer research collaborative which took us up and down the Willamette Valley, visiting relevant agencies and laboratories and closely investigating local environmental health concerns, including pesticide use in parks and agricultural fields, diesel fuel use, BPAs in food and water containers, toxins in daycare settings, the osteosarcoma outbreak in West Salem, and neurotoxins used in dry cleaning. We will also share ways in which we have integrated environmental health themes in our courses and how we envision expanding Willamette’s contribution to this work.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: My Case is Altered

 

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, October 2nd at 3:00 in a special place, Room 202 in the M. Lee Pelton Theatre Building for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.  Treats will be provided.
Bobby Brewer-Wallin, Associate Professor of Theatre and
Struan Leslie, Director of My Case Is Altered. Mellon Learning by Creating Visiting Artist.(Follow this link to see a video about this upcoming production)
 
Title:  My Case is Altered: Tales of a Roaring Girl

Abstract:
My Case is Altered: Tales of a Roaring Girl explores and transforms current perceptions of race, class, gender, and identity by challenging the audience to consider their pre-conceived notions about an actor performing outside and beyond her normative roles. Solo performer, Lisa Gaye Dixon—a black woman born and raised in middle America—investigates her connections to the world of theatre and the world at large via disparate texts, personalities, and topics ancient & modern. This personal journey of transformation and self-recognition ranges from Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, & Julius Caesar to American Football, Classical Theatre, & Hip Hop music. This colloquium presentation focuses on the process of developing a new solo performance work, working with collaborators across four time zones and two continents, and the ways visual image research is used to make direct connections to the text and to the body.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Brewer-Leslie


Faculty Colloquium: Doing Disability Studies

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, September 25th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Allison Hobgood, Associate Professor of English

Title: Doing Disability Studies: Equity and Justice Through the Arts and Humanities
Hobgood
Abstract:

“Doing Disability Studies: Equity and Justice Through the Arts and Humanities” invites listeners to consider the role of disability studies in higher education and as an academic pursuit that supports social justice. Specifically, Allison P. Hobgood will explore the power of disability studies in the Humanities, discuss its history and current iterations, and offer some examples of how disability studies helps make our world a more just, inclusive, and equitable place.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Pushcarts and Shtetls Come West: The Creation of Historical Memory in Portland

Please join us this Friday, September 11th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Ellen Eisenberg, Dwight & Margaret Lear Professor of American History

Title: Pushcarts and Shtetls Come West: The Creation of Historical Memory in Portland

Abstract:
Eisenberg
“This presentation explores how the razing of a South Portland neighborhood under an Urban Renewal plan in the 1960s led to the birth of a new Oregon Jewish history. In an effort to tell the story of the immigrant experience in the soon-to-be paved over neighborhood, a group of Jewish women stepped forward to collect oral histories, write an original musical, and prepare a series of exhibits. In the process, they created Old South Portland, the product of communal memory and more general American Jewish tropes. Emerging at a time when the Lower East Side had become the iconic version of the East European immigrant story and while Fiddler on the Roof was playing on Broadway and on the silver screen, Old South Portland drew on both, importing elements of these stories and transposing them onto the local landscape.”

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: “Katriniana”: Literary and Artistic Responses to Hurricane Katrina

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, September 4th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Doreen Simonsen, Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian

Title: “Katriniana”: Literary and Artistic Responses to Hurricane Katrina

Abstract:

Katriniana is a phrase coined by Susan Larson, former Book Editor for the Times-Picayune Newspaper of New Orleans, to describe the inundation of books written about Hurricane Katrina and its impact. In the ten years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and precipitated the failure of the federal levees in New Orleans leaving 80% of the city underwater, writers, artists, photographers, musicians, filmmakers and many more have been using their skills to respond to the devastation. Benefit works, sympathetic responses, communal rebuilding efforts, celebrations of the rich cultures of New Orleans, and a little bit of carpetbagging characterize the various types of literary and artistic responses to the storm and its aftermath. Katrina Cross-Stitch

In conjunction with this talk, a collection of these works will be on display on the second floor of the the Mark O. Hatfield Library until September 23, 2015. An online guide to the books on display is available at this site: http://libguides.willamette.edu/katriniana

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinator