Mini College 2010 Archive - Classes

Classes offered during Mini College 2010:

An Evening with the Director: Stories from Seven Presidential Campaigns

  • Bill Lacy, Director of the Dole Institute of Politics

William Lacey will be discussing the experiences he gathered from his participation in seven presidential campaigns including those of Bob Dole, Reagan, Bush 41 and Thompson.

Art on Campus: How, What, Why?

  • Liz Kowalchuk, Associate Dean of The School of the Arts and Associate Professor of Visual Art

Professor Kowalchuk will tackle the following questions: What does art on campus do? Why is it there? How does it contribute to our university identity? Art on campus can enhance our surroundings, serve as a memorial, or reflect milestones in university history. In this presentation, learn about art in universities across the country and take a tour of some art on our campus.

Astroparticle Physics on the Kansas Prairie

  • Dave Besson, Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Historically, particle physics has required man-made 'accelerators' (e.g., at Fermilab in Batavia, IL and CERN in Geneva, Switzerland) to understand the basic components of matter and the basic laws of particle interactions. Over the last thirty years, increasing attention has been given to naturally occurring high-energy particles bombarding Earth, with energies 10 million times higher than those in our terrestrial accelerators, spawing the field of "Astroparticle Physics". Professor Besson will discuss an international experiment planned for Eastern Colorado (and possibly Western Kansas), covering an area approximately twice as large as New Jersey, and how this will re-define the field of charged-particle astrophysics in the decades to come.

Balancing the Federal Budget: Can You Do Better?

  • Michael Lynch, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Dr. Lynch will offer a simulation exercise in which the class will be asked to balance the federal budget. Participants will be given a list of about 40 tax issues and federal programs to evaluate and decide where spending should be cut and where it should be increased.

Beginner's Yoga

  • Sorcha Hyland

Beginner yoga is a 90 minute class that will start with an introduction to the concept of yoga and meditation. The class will then be lead through detail oriented basic yoga postures that will a combination of breath, movement and body alignment. We will focus on poses that will leave you feeling refreshed and balanced. Please bring a mat or a blanket with you.

Black Holes, Extra Dimensions, and all that

  • Michael Murray, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Newton viewed space as an empty and flat stage. Einstein realized that space and time were linked and that they could become warped by the effect of gravity. Quantum mechanics suggests that the space is a sea of quarks, antiquarks and gluons. Recent work in string theory suggests that these two aspects of the vacuum may be united by considering that our world is wrapped around a 5th dimension whose shape is similar to that of space near a black hole. Professor Murray will try to give a flavor of how nuclear physicist use these ideas and what they imply about the nature of space-time.

Booth Family Hall of Athletics Tour: KU Athletics: Keeping Up in a Changing World

  • Candace Dunback, Curator, Booth Family Hall of Athletics
  • Jim Marchiony, Associate Athletic Director, External Relations

Join Associate Athletics Director Jim Marchiony as he details the challenges KU faces in the evolving world of major college athletics. Lecture will take place in Allen Fieldhouse. A guided tour of the Booth Family Hall of Athletics will follow the presentation. The Hall honors KU's historic athletics programs, its coaches and student-athletes, past and present.

Cell Phones and Driving: What is the Risk?

  • Paul Atchley, Director of the Cognitive Program and Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology

Professor Atchley will discuss what we know about the risk involved for using wireless devices while driving, as well as explore disturbing future trends in use of the devices, and explain why we can't multitask.

Chancellor’s Talk

  • Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor of The University of Kansas

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will speak to the group about her first year at the helm of KU. She will also take a few questions.

CLAS Pins Bowling

  • William Tsutsui, Associate Dean of International Studies and Professor of History

Associate Dean Bill Tsutsui will lead participants in a few rounds of bowling at KU's Jaybowl located within the Kansas Union. Dean Tsutsui will be accompanied by other KU faculty bowlers for this fun filled and relaxing bowling experience.

Clay and Fire: A Raku Workshop

  • Marshall Maude, Lecturer in Visual Art

This class will be taught during two sessions. During the first session we will construct a small pot/object from clay. In the second session we will fire the pieces using the Raku firing process. This firing method is a fast dynamic process that will allow you to take your pieces home during the final session. No experience necessary.

Communication Disorders in Adults: Aging, Strokes, and Hearing Loss

  • SPLH Faculty

Participants are invited to the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to learn about the field of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the impacts of communication disorders acquired after stroke/brain injury, and the normal aging effects on hearing and communication. Participants will have to opportunity to interact with speech-language pathologists and audiologists, view hearing aids and instrumentation used in hearing assessments, and tour one of the largest labs in the region dedicated to the latest computer technology and software for individuals with communication disorders.

Dangerous Genes: The Molecular Basis of Cancer

  • Robert Weaver, Associate Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Professor of Molecular Biosciences

Cancer is a genetic disease. That is, mutations in a few key genes can turn a normal cell into a life-threatening cancer cell that has lost control of its own reproduction. Scientists have identified two classes of genes that are especially important in the cancer process: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We will look at several examples of each of these gene classes and discuss how they get mutated, how they contribute to cancer, and how knowledge of their roles can help us control the disease.

Darwin and Evolution

  • Christopher Haufler, Chair and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

In 1858, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace developed hypotheses that sought to explain how biodiversity originates. By presenting the pattern of "descent with modification" and the process of "natural selection," Darwin and Wallace launched the science of evolutionary biology. After thousands of experiments, the theory of evolution forms the foundation of modern biological science. Dr. Haufler will discuss the origin of evolutionary thought and its importance to contemporary science.

Dean's Update

  • Greg Simpson, Interim Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Cognitive Psychology

Interim Dean Greg Simpson will present an update about the latest news in the College. He will discuss research achievements, ongoing community engagement and his vision for the College.

Ecological research at the prairie/forest ecotone, including an introduction to KU's Field Station

  • Helen Alexander, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Professor Alexander will provide an overview of research and educational opportunities at KU's Field Station combined with a discussion of her research in plant ecology. Dr. Alexander's research focuses on populations of plants, and includes work on both rare prairie plants and the common Kansas sunflower.

Everything you wanted to know about GDP but were afraid to ask

  • Joshua Rosenbloom, Associate Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Economics

The news is filled with reports about GDP, inflation, unemployment and other economic statistics. Professor Rosenbloom will explore how these and other key economic indicators are constructed, what they measure, what their behavior reveals about the state of the economy, and what their limitations are.

Evolution of Human Diseases

  • Jim Mielke, Acting Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Anthropology

What diseases affected our ancient ancestors? When and where did syphilis arise? This lecture will examine diseases that affected humans as their subsistence patterns changed from one of hunting and foraging to living in cities. Topics include the black plague, smallpox epidemics in Finland, and the emerging diseases affecting humans today.

From Roots to Return: Tourism, Pilgrimages, and Slave Forts in West Africa

  • Kim Warren, Assistant Professor of History

Since the publication of Alex Haley's Roots in 1976, the advent of DNA testing in the 1990s, and President Obama's recent trip to Cape Coast Slave Castle in Ghana, Americans have been more and more interested in genealogy and family trees, as well as West Africa's importance as a tourist destination for families with links to the continent. Professor Kim Warren will present a history of Americans' relationship to West Africa and the Atlantic slave trade. Through a series of photographs from Senegal, Ghana, and the Gambia, Warren will show participants how West Africans use the physical remnants of slave forts and castles (originally built as early as the 15th century) in order to attract travelers, preserve the history of slavery, and help tourists from throughout the world fill in the missing branches on their family trees.

Futures Past and Present

  • Philip Baringer, Associate Chairman and Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Professor Baringer will discuss visions of the future presented by futurologists and science fiction writers and how those visions have changed over the past hundred years. The course will address the question, what do our visions of the future say about the present-day?

Generational Differences: Are they real and are they bad news at work?

  • Tracy Russo, Associate Professor of Communication Studies

This is the first time in American history that four generations have worked together. The worlds in which Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y grew up were very different, and their attitudes about work and work relationships are sometimes very different as well. This presentation describes the generations and considers their differences and similarities. It also proposes how people at work might deal with the differences they experience.

Giving Some Respect to Neandertals

  • David Frayer, Professor of Biological Anthropology

Since their discovery in 1859, Neandertals have been treated as an unwanted cousin by most human paleontologists and the media. What could be worse than being called a "knuckle dragging Neandertal"? But, there is much research to show that Neandertals were not so different from modern Europeans, based on new discoveries in anatomy, behavior and ancient DNA. Reviewing these new discoveries from Croatia and other sites around Europe, this presentation gives a new interpretation of the Neandertals, making them more like the Europeans who followed them.

Graduation Party

Join us on the 5th floor terrace of the new Oread Hotel for drinks, dinner and celebration!

Hip-hop Theatre and Performance

  • Nicole Hodges Persley, Assistant Professor of Theatre

This course will explore Hip-hop music's impact on popular performance practices covering theatre, dance and spoken word performance. The course provides a survey of the basic elements of Hip-hop culture (MCing, DJing, Breaking and Graffiti) through video clips of various performances. Students will learn how Hip-hop music and culture, which originates in predominantly African-American and Latino communities in the Bronx in the early 1970s, has impacted artistic production across racial, ethnic, gender and class lines.

How Economists Analyze Data: An Application to Demand for Cigarettes from 1950-2007

  • Ted Juhl, Associate Professor of Economics and Masters Advisor

Economists do not have the luxury of a laboratory to create controlled experiments where they can adjust components of the economy. In order to analyze data, economists must use a variety of statistical techniques to separate the effects of various economic events. This talk will present a suite of statistical techniques used by economists to analyze economic data. In particular, I illustrate how economists estimate the demand for cigarettes based on data from all 50 states observed over 1950 to 2007. Some of the variables that influence how many cigarettes are purchased in each state include past purchases (addiction), prices, taxes, cigarette taxes in other states, and income. The main point of the talk is to provide an intuitive description of state-of-the-art techniques used for this type of analysis.

Ideas in Stone on Mount Oread: from Wescoe Beach to Spooner Hall (a walking tour)

  • Ted Johnson, Professor Emeritus of French, Humanities and Western Civilizations

A stroll across the campus and an analysis of the iconography on the Romanesque Revival portal of Stauffer-Flint, the College Gothic façade of Watson Library, Saint George on Twente Hall, the Ionic portico of Lippincott Hall, gneiss portals on Fraser Hall, and the Romanesque Revival Spooner Hall with specific references to the interrelations of the traditional Seven Liberal Arts: Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, Geometry, Arithmetic, Music, and Astronomy. Meet on steps of Wescoe Hall across from Strong Hall on Monday, May 24, at 10:30.

"I go to fight mit Sigel": Germans in the American Civil War

  • Bill Keel, Professor and Chair of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Professor Keel will review the participation of German immigrants in the Union Army with emphasis on Kansas and Missouri, in particular the role of Germans in saving Missouri for the Union cause in 1861. It will discuss the little known fact that nearly a third of the Union forces were from Germany or of German descent and that the Confederates believed they were fighting an army of foreigners.

Ideas in Stone on Mount Oread: the Romanesque Revival Façade of the Natural History Museum (a walking tour)

  • Ted Johnson, Professor Emeritus of French, Humanities and Western Civilizations

Professor Johnson will provide an analysis and lead a discussion on the iconographic program on the façade of the Natural History Museum as it relates to its model, the 12th century Romanesque façade of the former cathedral Saint Trophime in Arles, France, the first university library Spooner Hall, and the traditional interrelations of the Seven Liberal Arts: Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, Geometry, Arithmetic, Music, and Astronomy. Meet on the steps of the Natural History Museum (Dyche Hall) on Tuesday, May 25, at 10:30 a.m.

Is the U.S. Guilty of Torture? Examining the Treatment of Detainees and POWs

  • Sharon O'Brien, Associate Professor of Political Science

The international community has condemned the U.S. for its treatment and torture of Guantanamo detainees and POWs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. O'Brien will examine the international legal principles regarding the classification and treatment of POWs and definitions of torture.

Islam is "A Thinking Chick's Religion": How Muslim Women can Save Islam

  • Beverly Mack, Professor of African and African-American Studies

Muslim women don't do windows: their rights to education and equality were explained in the seventh century Qur'anic revelations. Although patriarchy has diminished women's opportunities in many cultures, Muslim women, nevertheless, have been scholars and activists since the inception of Islam. As Islam becomes the fastest growing religion of the twenty-first century, Muslim women are increasingly evident in education, social welfare, and community development, and are consciously engaged in bringing Islam back to the ideals on which it was founded. Find out why an American Muslimah says "Islam is a thinking chick's religion!"

Jogging Tour of Campus

  • Ann Cudd, Associate Dean for the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy

Associate Dean Ann Cudd will lead a three mile jog through the main campus and the surrounding community. Participants should be able to complete a 9- to 12-minute mile.

Keeping to the old ways: Amish, Hutterites, and Brethren in America

  • Timothy Miller, Professor of Religious Studies

In the midst of a country full of modern technology and with a fast-paced culture, a few groups deliberately live in very old-fashioned ways, rejecting some (if not all) technology and providing mutual support to each other. The Amish are probably the best-known of the old order groups, but there are others as well, including the Brethren, who are present right here in Douglas County. This talk will be illustrated with slides.

Keynote: Flamenco for Everyone

  • Michelle Heffner-Hayes, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Dance

"Flamenco for Everyone" will feature demonstrations of flamenco techniques by University of Kansas dance professor Michelle Heffner Hayes and guitarists Beau Bledsoe and Frank Hoffman. Flamenco, known for its soulful musicality and dramatic silhouettes, negotiates complex rhythmic and melodic structures by singers, guitarists and dancers. The presentation will explain the guidelines of flamenco and demonstrate how performers' creativity results in captivating performances. The audience will learn the distinctive rhythmic patterns of different song forms by "playing palmas" (rhythmic hand clapping). The performers will also demonstrate how the guitar and dance create a dialogue in live performance.

Keynote: From the Golden Valley to Silicon Valley: A New Era of Cancer Treatment

  • Randy Scott, Executive Chairman of Genomic Health

Keynote: Inside Space

  • Steve Hawley, Professor of Physics and Astronomy• Eileen Hawley, Lecturer of Journalism and consultant with Griffin Communications Group

Learn about what goes on "behind the scenes" at NASA from two veterans of the Space Shuttle program. The presentation will include stories about life on-board the spacecraft as well as in Mission Control. This will be a unique opportunity to hear about NASA's triumphs and tragedies from people who lived through them.

Life and Death Issues in Bioethics

  • Don Marquis, Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Marquis will discuss the various perspectives on controversies concerning how death should be defined, the legalization of euthanasia, the refusal of medical care, care for handicapped newborns, and abortion. No solutions will be defended.

Looking for the Knowledge Frontier

  • Leonard Krishtalka, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Director of the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum

Ever since humans evolved on Earth, their survival has demanded the discovery and management of knowledge. Dr. Krishtalka will discuss how surviving the 21st Century will demand arduous expeditions to new knowledge frontiers-nothing short of managing a small planet. Science alone will not succeed. Crossing the frontiers will require the intimate teaming of art, science, humanities, engineering and every other human enterprise.

Media and Communication in the Spencer Museum of Art

  • Celka Straughn, Director of Academic Programs for the Spencer Museum of Art

What kinds of messages do objects in the art museum communicate? How do the media - paint, wood, clay, video - shape the message? This course session will examine several works in the Spencer Museum of Art's wide ranging collection in terms of the objects' different meanings and the media with which they are made. We will also consider questions of audience, place and the different social-historical contexts which impact the objects and the ways in which they communicate meaning.

Memoir Writing

  • Jerry Masinton, Professor Emeritus of English

Professor Masinton will discuss how good memoir writing is not fancy or "literary." It's the simple act of recalling significant moments or scenes in your life not only for yourself but also for your family and other interested readers. The course will cover the easy rules to keep in mind when planning and writing a memoir. Bring pencil and pad and share your ideas with the group.

Men Were Cheap, Cattle Cost Money

  • Don Stull, Graduate Coordinator and Professor of Socio-Cultural Anthropology

The Kansas beef industry got its start after the Civil War. For the next two decades, millions of Texas cattle were driven up the Chisholm and Western Trails to railhead towns in Kansas, then shipped east by rail to be slaughtered in packinghouse towns like Chicago. By the turn of the 20th century, the open range and the golden age of cowboy had ended, but Kansas remained a center for cattle ranching. In 1952, Earl Brookover Sr. opened the first commercial feedyard in southwest Kansas, and in 1980, IBP opened the world's largest beef plant a few miles down the road in Holcomb. By the close of the 20th century, Kansas was a national leader in cattle feeding and beefpacking. Based on more than two decades of research, the presentation will use colorful photographs and artifacts from cattle ranching and beefpacking to provide the audience with a historical overview of the Kansas beef industry and its impact on the state's economy. The presentation will conclude with a look at emerging trends, such as grass-fed beef.

Money Makes the World Go 'Round: Geographies of Global Finance

  • Barney Warf, Associate Chair and Professor of Geography

Dramatic changes in the world economy in the late 20th century created a series of new geographies. Chief among the most globalized industries is finance and banking. Dr. Warf will examine how the contemporary wave of globalization has reshaped the nature and location of international flows of money, including three broad areas: 1) electronic funds transfer systems, 2) the rise of offshore financial systems, and 3) the growth of world cities such as New York, London, and Tokyo.


  • Lynn Davidman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies

The death of a mother, no matter how old you are, is generally experiences by people as a devastating loss. My own mother died when I was 13 and her death created a significant demarcation in my life: there was before, and then after. My 60 interviewees, about whom I wrote in my book MOTHERLOSS, nearly all described their experiences in fairly identical terms. I also learned that silence about death is a common feature if the mother dies when the children are young or even adolescents. In this talk I will discuss what I found in these 60 interviews and will initiate a discussion on a variety of forms of motherloss, such as alcoholism, mental illness and other factors that contribute to feeling the loss of a mother.

Nationalisms in Conflict? The historical and contemporary relationships between China and Taiwan

  • Megan Greene, Associate Professor of History

The relationship between China and Taiwan has been a tense one since just after the end of World War II, and that tension has grown in recent decades in spite of growing economic, social and cultural linkages between the two places. The reason for this tension is the emergence of a strong Taiwan nationalist movement in Taiwan, countered by an equally strong Chinese nationalist movement in China. This presentation will explore the history of the relationship between the two places and the potentially explosive role that nationalism plays and in it.

Natural History Museum Tour

  • Tristan Smith, Visitor Services Coordinator for the Natural History Museum

The KU Natural History Museum will offer a highlights tour of its four floors of exhibits, including the live bee tree, the Panorama of North American Animals and the new Charles Darwin exhibit case. Also included in the tour will be information about the museum's home, Dyche Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Osher Lifelong Learning Update

Politics and Prejudice in the Age of Obama

  • Chris Crandall, Professor of Social Psychology

Professor Crandall will present some of the difficult issues of race and politics by talking about the place political psychology and prejudice meet.

Public Architecture in Kansas: Courthouses, Carnegie Libraries, and Campus Buildings

  • Liz Kowalchuk, Associate Dean of The School of the Arts and Associate Professor of Visual Art

Our public buildings represent a vital aspect of community and campus history, culture and identity. This presentation will reveal some Kansas treasures, divulge several great stories, and culminate in an architectural scavenger hunt on Jayhawk Blvd.

Quantrill's Raid Bus Tour

  • Paul Stuewe, Kansas Historian

The Quantrill Raid Bus Tour, led by historian Paul Stuewe, will focus on the events of August 21, 1863 when Lawrence was attacked by William Clarke Quantrill and a band of about 400 armed men. The tour will trace is path of destruction through town stopping at specific sites along the way to describe not only personal accounts of what happened that day but exploring why such a devastating attack occurred in the first place.

Race and Education: Lessons From the Past

  • Shirley Hill, Professor of Sociology
  • John Rury, Professor of Education Leadership and Policy Studies and Faculty Affiliate of History

Professor Hill and Professor Rury will discuss social factors related to the surge in high school completion among African Americans beginning in the 1940's. They will be sharing interviews and archival info.

Religion and Basketball: Naismith's Game

  • Mike Zogry, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Courtesy Assistant Professor, Global Indigenous Nations Studies Program.

Dr. Zogry's lecture will explain how religious beliefs influenced James Naismith's creation of basketball and the commemoration of his legacy. He will also review selected examples of people who combine their interest in basketball with expression of their religious beliefs.

Religion and Politics: The American Experience

  • Thomas Heilke, Professor of Political Science and Director for Special Projects and International Programs

Religious belief and practice have been an integral, widespread, and many-splendored part of the American experience from the very beginning up to the present day. This presentation will offer a brief introduction to the many ways and modes in which religion has intersected with political life in America from the founding of the American colonies to the present.

Science and Religion: Conflict, Independence, or Dialogue?

  • James Woelfel, Director and Professor of the Humanities and Western Civilization Program

Professor Woelfel will present the three dominant models of the relationship between science and religion, and relate them to current controversies over issues such as evolution. The conflict model is the view that the claims of science and of religion are simply incompatible and necessarily in conflict. The independence model sees religion and science as asking completely different questions about the world and describing it in completely different "languages," each with its own integrity, so that rightly understood they cannot conflict. Advocates of the dialogue model are mostly theologians who are also scientists who believe that the differing claims of science and of religion are neither inherently in conflict nor totally independent of each other, but can fruitfully engage with each other over issues such as the scope and limits of science, analogies between theological and scientific method, and the compatibility of theological and scientific claims about, for example, evolution.

Science Feud

You don't need to be an Albert Einstein to enjoy this fun “Family Feud” style trivia contest about the top discoveries and contributors to science. Based on the results of a state-wide survey of scientists, teams will guess which answers were ranked as most important. After each round, KU scientists will review the survey results and discuss what choices they would have made to enhance the general public’s understanding about science.

Sexual Selection and Courtship in Insects

  • Jennifer Gleason, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Insect males and females have a vast repertoire of signals during courtship. During the summers in Kansas, we can hear some of these signals in the chorus of katydids, crickets and cicadas that serenades us throughout the day and night. What are less obvious are other courtship signals being broadcast, not only through acoustic displays, but also via chemosensory and visual displays. These displays are greatly shaped by complementary and antagonistic interactions between males and females through the evolutionary process of sexual selection. I will discuss these amazing displays with emphasis on my research on the evolution and genetics of courtship in fruit flies and waxmoths.

Some Stupid Seismic Experiments I Have Done

  • Don Steeples, Senior Vice Provost for Scholarly Support and McGee Distinguished Professor of Geology

Dr. Steeples will discuss how shallow seismic methods have matured noticeably since the time 25 years ago when the world's scientific literature contained few refereed papers on shallow reflection. Progress attained by Dr. Steeples' research group has occurred through some eccentric experiments with unexpected and occasional serendipitous outcomes. By 1999, they had demonstrated seismic reflection images from depths of less than a meter, easily within reach of a marginally competent grave digger. Detecting such shallow reflectors is expensive; however, his research is currently experimenting with methods of making near-surface three-dimensional seismic imaging more cost-effective.

Stuff Accumulates: Managing and Downsizing Possessions

  • Dave Ekerdt, Director of the Gerontology Center and Professor of Sociology

Dr. Ekerdt will discuss how households accumulate possessions over time and why it is so difficult to part with them. Why keep (so many) things? And then, having gone to the trouble to keep things, how can one release them? Keeping or releasing, there is always work to do as possessions scaffold our identities. This talk would be based on an NIH-funded study of possession management and downsizing in later life that is being conducted at KU and also in Detroit.

Symbolic DNA of Terrorism

  • Robert Rowland, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Communication Studies

Think you know everything about terrorism? In this provocative discussion, Dr. Rowland will examine the underlying messages of terrorist groups and the reasons they give for their actions. What role does religion play? How do they identify and separate themselves in the face of globalization?

Teaching Creative Writing at Douglas County Jail

  • Brian Daldorph, Assistant Professor of English

Professor Daldorph will lecture on his years of experience with teaching a Creative Writing Class at Douglas County Jail. Students in this course will be involved with various writing assignment.

The Art and Science of Studying a Netherlandish Altarpiece of ca. 1515

  • Steve Goddard, Senior Curatorial, Prints & Drawings for the Spencer Museum of Art

What can we learn from an early 16th-century Flemish altarpiece? We will look at scientific data, style analysis, workshop practice, artistic source material and other kinds of information to try to answer this question. We will be looking at a specific work in the collection of the Spencer Museum of Art, a triptych of the Deposition by an artist known as the Master of Frankfurt. We will also make an educated guess about the identity of this painter.

The History of Black Writing

  • Maryemma Graham, Department of English

The Project on the History of Black Writing is committed to the advancement of African American literary art through reading, teaching and research and through a wide range of public programs. A behind-the-scenes look at HBW shows our archive (in the process of being digitized), the way we translate our work into professional development programs (like our 2010 NEH summer institute "The Wright Connection") and the collaborative programming with the public in mind (like the performance of "Lineage"). This tells us a lot about the relationship between the academic world and the world beyond, how knowledge is consumed by everyday people, and how important it is to create a bridge between different communities and audiences. A board member will partner with Dr. Graham to demonstrate the aspects of HBW's work, especially its online scholarly portal.

The Philosopher, the Minister, and the Priest: How China Succeeded in Making Friends during the French Enlightenment

  • Diane Fourny, Associate Professor of Humanities and Western Civilizations, and French and Italian

Professor Fourny will examine the tremendous impact new knowledge about China made upon the minds and works of Enlightenment thinkers, state ministers, and the clergy in eighteenth-century France. She will begin with a brief overview of early modern European encounters with China to Lord George Macartney's disastrous embassy to the court of the Quianlong emperor in 1793. She will move to an examination of the work of the French Jesuit Mission to Beijing and its impact on Enlightenment projects of research and reform in the areas of historiography, philosophy, linguistics, science, agriculture, the arts, and statecraft. Finally, she will trace this Franco-Chinese encounter through the lives and works of three major French figures: Voltaire, Henri Bertin, and Father Joseph Amiot. Her lecture will include several illustrations and images of these individuals, portraits of Chinese emperors and celebrated Chinese thinkers, examples of European "chinoiserie" decorative arts, and more.

The Promise of Personalized Medicine: How Genetic Testing can Improve Healthcare

  • Stuart Macdonald, Assistant Professor of Molecular Biosciences

Professor Macdonald will discuss the idea of personalized medicine, and how the healthcare community will benefit from genetic information when assessing an individual's risk for disease. He will discuss the kinds of experiments scientists are carrying out to identify those DNA variants that increase/decrease disease risk and influence the response to therapeutic drugs. Finally, he will describe progress toward translating this work to the clinic.

Thought Experiments in Ethics

  • Ben Eggleston, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy

This lecture would concern the use, in moral philosophy, of hypothetical examples and imaginary scenarios in order to explore the implications of various ethical principles. Examples of these sorts of scenarios would include diverting a train from one track to another to save lives even though another life will be lost, and taking one person's organs to save five healthy people. In my presentation I would try to engage the participants in thinking about such cases and also explain what the point is dreaming up such fanciful scenarios in the first place.

To Be or Not to Be Indian: The Dynamics of Ch'orti' Maya Identity in Central America

  • Brent Metz, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

For centuries the ethnic category "Indian" in Latin America was synonymous with beast of burden. While for centuries embracing one's indigenous identity meant a basic right to minimal and precarious rights to land and legal protections, government and commercial exploitation of Indians has driven many to abandon their language, dress, and communities and melt into national mestizo (mixed cultural and 'racial') populations. This trend has been halted in recent decades as international bodies like the UN, International Labor Organization, and even the World Bank have come out against colonialism and racism since WWII. Groups like the Ch'orti'Maya, with whom the presenter has done collaborative research since 1990, are now faced with perpetual decisions as to whether to accentuate their indigenous heritage or repress it. All the while, the memory of that heritage is constantly evolving.

Understanding the Behavior of Individuals in the Context of Populations and Ecosystems

  • Ford Ballantyne, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Issues of scale are paramount when studying ecological systems. Dr. Ballantyne will focus on describing how quantitative approaches can link observations made at small scales, to patterns and processes made at others. Examples he will use to illustrate such approaches, will be the relationship between reproductive behavior of individual trees and the variability in seed output for entire forests. He will also discuss the link between nutrient demand of primary producers (plants and phytoplankton) and whole ecosystem nutrient dynamics.

US in the Post-Soviet Space: Security Interests, Democratization, American Foreign Policy

  • Mariya Y. Omelicheva, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Professor Omelicheva lecture will explore the directions and contradictions of the Bush administration's foreign policy toward the former republics of the Soviet Union, and will consider priorities and challenges for the Obama cabinet in the region. This course demystifies the current US interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia and evaluates specific foreign policy options for the US in the region. A particular emphasis in this presentation will be given to the American relations with Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia.

Use it or Lose it

  • Susan Kemper, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist of the Gerontology Center

Can you slow down aging? Dr. Kemper will examine myths and reality of new interventions to slow down our cognitive aging and reduce our risk of developing dementia. Join Dr. Kemper in a discussion that will keep your mind stimulated!

Using Art for Creative Research at the Spencer Museum of Art

  • Susan Earle, Curator of European and American Art for the Spencer Museum of Art

How does a university art museum teach art history in its galleries? How does the Spencer Museum work with students and faculty? How do we involve both local and international artists in creative research? Join Dr. Susan Earle, curator of European and American art, for an in-depth look at current research and teaching at the Spencer Museum of Art. We will look closely at art of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries in the Museum's galleries as we consider these topics. We will also discuss the current re-installation of our collection. This class meets in the galleries of the Spencer Museum in front of actual works of art. Course enrollment limited to 50 students.

Virgin Territory: Latin America Through Hollywood's Eyes

  • Tamara Falicov, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies

Professor Falicov will lead this lecture and discussion focusing on Hollywood representations of Latin America through the 1910s-20s, through its shift in depiction during the Good Neighbor Policy during the 1930s through WWII. Images of various countries will be contrasted to how Latin American filmmakers have depicted their own societies. Clips of documentaries and features will be shown, as well as discussion.

We Were Never Designed for This: The Psychological Toxicity of Modern Life (And What You Can Do About It)

  • Stephen Ilardi, Associate Professor of Psychology

Professor Ilardi will focus on the profound mismatch between our predominantly Stone Age brains and the modern post-industrial world. Specifically, it highlights the fact that humans were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, sleep deprived, fast-food-laden, frenzied pace of modern life - a mismatch that has resulted in a burgeoning epidemic of mental illness and suicidality across the entire developed world. It concludes with a review of research-supported strategies for protecting against the psychologically toxic impact of 21st-century American life.

Where Is Yesterday film screening

You won't find a more nostalgic bit of history than the 40th anniversary screening of "Where Is Yesterday," the 1969 KU senior film by Nicholas Eliopoulos. This half-hour film features more than 1,000 KU faces and one of them could be yours. You'll also recognize other, famous faces -- including former Chancellor Clark Wescoe, former football coach Pepper Rodgers, singer Andy Williams and TV news legend Walter Cronkite.

Why are there no spelling bees in Korea, and what does it tell us about learning to read?

  • Greg Simpson, Interim Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Cognitive Psychology

Dr. Simpson will discuss his research comparing word recognition (reading) processes in different writing systems. The Korean alphabet is a 15th-century invention that is remarkable for the consistency with which it maps letters to their pronunciations, which is very different from English. This presentation will discuss the comparison of reading processes in these languages, how we discover how people use sound information in reading, and the implications for teaching reading (e.g., phonics).

Contact Us

Strong Hall, Room 200


Many thanks to Dr. Frederick and Clara Horne who will contribute $1,000 if we receive 125 gifts during #OneDayOneKU

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