Archaeology and the Death and Burial of Jesus

Dr. Jodi Magness
Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In this slide-illustrated lecture, we survey Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, and consider the archaeological and literary evidence for the burials of Jesus and his brother James. The lecture includes a discussion of the claims surrounding the so-called “James ossuary” and the “Talpiyot tomb” (recently said to be the tomb of Jesus and his family).

Thursday, November 8th 7:30 PM
Rogers Music Center

The Lane C. McGaughy Lecture in Ancient Studies
Sponsored by Willamette University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA).

What is QR? Quantitative Reasoning: “As If Your Life Depended on It”

Faculty Colloquium: James Friedrich, Professor of Psychology

Title: What is QR? Quantitative Reasoning: “As If Your Life Depended on It”


Mathematics and science requirements have long been standard components of the undergraduate curriculum, and specific applications of mathematical tools and scientific reasoning permeate work in many disciplines. Recent discussions of liberal education goals have begun to reframe some of the justification for these courses in terms of the importance of “quantitative reasoning” (QR) and “quantitative literacy,” and yet the significance of the broader meaning behind these new labels is not widely understood. If QR is not simply “math” or “science,” then what is it? In this faculty colloquium, I hope to take up the conceptual issues underlying the recent changes in terminology and discuss their implications for general education (including Willamette’s current revision efforts). In doing so, I will be drawing examples and illustrations from health care and medical decision making as a way of illustrating why your life might, indeed, depend on QR.

Details: Friday, November 2 at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room

Crisis of Global Capitalism

Please join us on Tuesday, October 30, at 7:00 pm in the Hatfield Room of the Library, Willamette University will be hosting a talk by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin entitled “The Crisis of Global Capitalism: A Left Perspective.” Both authors are well known political economists, historians, and activists. Panitch is the editor of the Socialist Register and the author of The End of Parliamentary Socialism among many other works. Gindin was a research director for the New Democratic Party in Manitoba and was a regional research director of the Canadian Auto Workers’ Union. Both men are now professors at York University and have recently co-authored The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire. Their talk promises to be an eye-opening analysis of the ongoing crisis and of the prospects for progressive politics.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Environmental Science, History, Politics and Sociology.

Please urge your students to go and we hope to see you there!

For further information please call Bill Smaldone (503-375-5440).

Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Greek and Roman Artworks Travel to Oregon!

Professor Ann Nicgorski, Chair & Professor of Art History and Archaeology, will lecture on The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, Thursday, October 25th at 7:30 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at the Law School.

This fall, the Portland Art Museum is hosting a blockbuster exhibition of Greek and Roman art entitled The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece (October 6, 2012 to January 6, 2013). There are over 100 exquisite objects in this exhibit, which are all on loan from the renowned British Museum in London.

This lecture provides an overview of the exhibition with a focus on its key themes and selected, noteworthy objects, such as the iconic Discobolus, or discus-thrower, from the 5th century BCE, which will be making its first trip to the United States.  In addition to several other large-scale works of stone sculpture, the exhibit also features smaller figurines in a variety of media, as well as numerous vases with figural decoration. Key themes include the human body and face; character, portrait and realism; gods and goddesses in human form; athletes and Herakles-superman; birth, marriage, sex, and death; and composite human-animal creatures of mythological legend, such as the famous Theban sphinx.

Edward Burger: Teaching to Fail

November 1, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

This NITLE seminar will explore ways to foster creativity and risk-taking in the classroom. Note that this event will not be recorded, so registering and attending in real-time is your only option!

Summary: Although we know that creativity requires the ability to take risks and learn from failures, our students typically are risk-averse and seek to avoid failure at all costs. How then can we foster risk-taking and creativity in our students? In this seminar, Edward B. Burger, Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, will explore the ultimate goals of education, how are we engineering our curriculum and classes to deliver on the promise of those lofty goals, lead a discussion to answer both questions, and celebrate the notion of “failing to succeed.”

Information about the speaker: Edward Burger is the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, an educational and business consultant, and most recently served as vice provost for strategic educational initiatives at Baylor University. He is the author of over 60 research articles, books, and video series (starring in over 3,000 on-line videos). Dr. Burger has won numerous awards, including the 2000 Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2001 MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo National Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics, 2003 Residence Life Teaching Award from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mathematical Association of America’s Chauvenet Prize (2004), Lester R. Ford Prize (2006), and Williams College’s Nelson Bushnell Prize for Scholarship and Teaching (2007). He also received the 2010 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching: the largest and most prestigious prize in higher education teaching across all disciplines in the English-speaking world. He was named 2001-2003 Polya Lecturer by the MAA, and in 2007, 2008, and 2011, he received awards for his video work.

View the Full Program

Register online by Tuesday, October 30, 2012.

If you prefer a more social setting, you can also join a small group of viewers in Smullin 6. If you choose to join us there, you do not need to register.

Related Content

New Voices Showcase

Fiction writer Natalie Serber and poet Stephanie Lenox will read selections of their works as part of the Hallie Ford Literary Series on Oct. 17.

The “New Voices Showcase” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of the Hatfield Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Serber’s debut story collection, “Shout Her Lovely Name,” was published last June and has since garnered rave reviews in national publications. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Serber’s collection is “funny and wrenching …. ‘Shout Her Lovely Name’ will reach inside readers and squeeze.”

Lenox teaches poetry at Willamette University and edits the online literary journal, “Blood Orange Review.” She is the author of “The Heart That Lies Outside the Body,” an award-winning poetry chapbook published in 2007. Her debut collection of poems, “Congress of Strange People,” is being published this month.

Lenox says many of her new poems are written in persona, using voices of people other than herself.

“I try on masks to see which ones fit,” she says. “I’ve chosen to write about record-holders in The Guinness Book and other odd characters because I find something relatable in these voices; they’re simultaneously me and not me.”

By hearing readings from two authors, Lenox hopes people will make connections between the different modes of writing.

Lecture: Byzantine Empire Decline

Please join us in the Hatfield room, Tuesday, October 16th at 7:30 p.m. for a lecture on:  The 11th Century Decline of the Byzantine Empire Seen Through Contemporary Eyes.

Onassis Scholar

Dr. Dimitris TsougarakisIonian University – Greece
Professor of Byzantine History
Department of History

A number of modern scholars maintain that the decline of the 11th century was not brought about by practices adopted by emperors who came to the throne after the death of Basil II, but was the result of a process that had started much earlier, and at any rate it was something that Byzantium could not avoid.  In this lecture Dr. Tsougarakis will examine the testimony of almost all of the contemporary historians who narrate the historical events frequently as eyewitnesses; he will consider the validity of their testimony and take a critical view of their opinions; and he will come to the conclusion that the older view, the one which considered that the 11th century decline was caused by the neglect and hostile attitude towards the army by the central government in Constantinople, is the most convincing as the main – but not the sole – cause.  Some comparisons with modern situations will not be avoided.

Sponsored by the Onassis Foundation, co-sponsored by Willamette University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology.

Faculty Colloquium: Always more to NO

Please join us on Friday, October 12 at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium being presented by Gary Tallman, Professor of Biology.

TITLE: Always more to NO: Heat blocks nitric oxide accumulation required for plant growth hormone function

ABSTRACT:  Nicotiana glauca (Graham), tree tobacco, is an equatorial perennial plant with a high tolerance to heat stress.  One particular type of cell in this plant, the guard cell (GC), is useful for studying the effects of heat stress on fate-determining hormonal signaling.  At  lower temperatures (< 32ºC) two plant hormones, auxin (1-naphthalene acetic acid; NAA) and cytokinin (6-benzylaminopurine; BAP), cause GC to expand 20-30 fold, regenerate cell walls, dedifferentiate, re-enter the cell cycle, and divide.  At higher temperatures (> 34ºC) GC expand only 5-6 fold; they do not regenerate walls, dedifferentiate, re-enter the cell cycle, or divide.  Heat (38ºC) suppresses activation of an auxin-responsive gene “switch” (promoter) in GC suggesting that inhibition of cell expansion and cell cycle re-entry at high

temperatures is due to suppressed auxin signaling.  A molecular gas, nitric oxide (NO) has been implicated in auxin signaling in other plant systems.  During my sabbatical my lab showed that heat stress
inhibits NO accumulation by GC and that L-NG-monomethyl arginine  (L-NMMA), an inhibitor of NO production in animals and plants, mimics the effects of heat by limiting cell expansion and preventing cell wall regeneration; inhibiting cell cycle re-entry, dedifferentiation, and cell division; and suppressing activation of the  auxin-responsive promoter.  We also showed that heat and L-NMMA reduce the mitotic indices of primary root meristems and inhibit lateral root elongation similarly.  These data link reduced NO levels to suppressed auxin signaling in heat-stressed cells and seedlings of thermotolerant plants and suggest that even plants that have evolved to withstand sustained high temperatures may still be negatively impacted by heat  stress.