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ICS Lecture Series
ICS Lecture Series
"Funny" A Reading
JERRY WEMPLE, Professor, English
Wednesday, March 29 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public.
My essay, "Funny," published recently in the journal Full Grown People, in part tries to address the idea of ethnic ambiguity, and how different ethnic groups tend to claim me – except for the one to which I am most biologically related. According to my DNA analysis, I am 56 percent European, 42 percent African, 1 percent native American, and 1 percent Middle Eastern. That covers a lot of geography. Still, I feel rooted in Pennsylvania: part of my family has lived in neighboring Montour County since at least the mid-1800s. The essay references pop culture (Porter Wagoner), history (colonial Maryland's anti-miscegenation laws), ethnography (Cape Verdeans in Massachusetts), and crime (a mass murder) in an attempt to sort out my own complex family tree.
Resuscitating the Dead Letter: Psychoanalysis, Transference Love,
and Teaching as Collage
STEPHEN W. WHITWORTH, PH.D., Associate Professor, English
Wednesday, April 5 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public.
In “Resuscitating the Dead Letter: Psychoanalysis, Transference Love, and Teaching as Collage,” I use Lacan’s distinction between “professor” and “teacher” to propose a new, psychoanalytic approach to pedagogy. Lacan suggests “the professor” is invested in pedagogy only insofar as it affirms his status as “subject presumed to know,” as narcissistic master, in other words. The professor preserves his mastery by making a display of his control over a set of traditions, conventions, fixed ideas etc., presented to students most frequently in the form of inert, non-interactive lectures. The teacher, by contrast, presents her material to students as though it has been cut into the pieces of a disassembled collage, one of whose pieces is missing. She then invites her students to creatively reassemble the pieces of this collage, during which they unconsciously associate the “missing piece” of material/information with the objet petit a—the primordially lost object—at the center of every subject’s psyche, the “missing piece” of subjectivity that makes us desire and strive in life. The teacher’s invitation to reassemble her course material creatively is in fact an analytic calculation: a calculation leading students to use the classroom (just as analytic space is used) to produce new forms of knowledge, knowledge based on students’ “filling in” the blank space present in all discourses, the place in the collage of pedagogy where the student—in being guided by desire to re-create what is most lacking and significant to him or herself—makes the course material his/her own by imprinting its “missing part” with a unique subjective signature.
The "Three Giant Triplets" of Martin Luther King, Jr.
BRION WHITE, PH.D., Instructor, Communication Studies
Wednesday, April 12 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public.
In this presentation, I will focus on “the giant triplets” as King articulated them from his Beyond Vietnam speech and what those giant triplets look like today. I will outline the presentation by first giving some background on King in general and this speech in particular. At the time, the speech did not endear King to many of his supporters and placed King squarely against the pursuits of the U.S. government. Then, I will examine each of the triplets in terms of what each term meant then and what each term means today. While several hurdles of racism have been cleared, other hurdles remain that reinforce not just interpersonal racism but also systemic and structural racism. In the U.S., the criminal justice system in general and police officers relationship with young black men in particular continue to keep us from a completely just society. Second, extreme materialism seems to have grown since the time King gave this speech.
Listening and the Practice of College Writing
TIMOTHY OLEKSIAK, PH.D., Assistant Professor, Department of English
Wednesday, October 12 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public.
In rhetoric and composition studies, a hallmark of a critical writer is the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. This ability, however, is often done through a rhetoric of mastery that assumes our positions must win or that something must be lost for our positions to advance. Such a rhetoric is frequently embedded within logics of racism, sexism, classicism, ableism, and heteronormativity. Creating critical writers that act justly in the world and help make all lives more livable requires we move beyond rhetorics of mastery.
The Species Problem
CONRAD B. QUINTYN, PH.D., Associate Professor, Anthropology
Wednesday, October 26 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public.
The species problem is one of the most complex and enduring issues plaguing evolutionary biology and human paleontology, because there is no agreed-upon methodology for identifying extant species and, even more difficult, paleo (fossil) species. The frameworks that researchers use to identify species are built around their respective species concepts, of which there are numerous versions. There is no standardized list of traits or characteristics that are used to identify taxa. Therefore, how do we determine that two organisms with the same genus are of different species?community exist in the absence of discrete physical boundaries?
Language, Ethnicity, and Pierogi/Pyrohy in the PA
Anthracite Coal Region
ANGELO COSTANZO, PH.D., Assistant Professor, Department of English
Wednesday, November 9 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public.
The Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Region (PAACR) was the destination of thousands of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result of this immigration, a variety of languages, including Slovak, Ukrainian, Polish, and Lithuanian, thrived and co-existed in mining towns in eastern Pennsylvania. However, along with the coal industry in general, immigrant languages have experienced a steep decline. Despite the fact that there are few speakers of these languages left in the area, ethnic identity, to a great extent, has managed to survive. This presentation examines the relationship between language and ethnic identity in the PAACR, with specific attention given to the more rural Central Anthracite Belt.
Christian Voices in the Pluralist Wild: Religious Participation in the Liberal Public Square
ERIC C. MILLER, PH.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies Wednesday, February 10 at 5:00pm SSC 004 Free and open to the public. In the last decade or so, Christian Right activists and candidates have positioned themselves as defenders of religious freedom, an American ideal besieged by rampant secularism. A declension narrative from within a tradition of declension narratives, this story is more strategic than accurate. Instead, the plight of Christian Right activism in the 21st century may be better understood as a struggle against expanding pluralism.
Dr. David Fazzino, Anthropology Wednesday, March 2 at **7:00PM** SSC 004 Free and open to the public Link to the screencast of the presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K__RktpMKQ8&list=PLMW_jeVs9jXRfPolXeaqv6... Dr. Fazzino studies the importance of property and place for identity of the self and continuity of communities. His presentation considers these issues in relation to three cases of government property-taking: the exclusion zone surrounding Pripyat, Ukraine in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster; Centralia, Pennsylvania during the state response to the local mine fire; and towns along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania and New Jersey during the controversy over the proposed Tocks Island Dam project. Among the questions Dr. Fazzino will consider are: What does it mean to own something? What do rights to property mean in terms of identity? And can community exist in the absence of discrete physical boundaries?
Sue O'Donnell, Associate Professor, Graphic Design Wednesday, April 6 at 5:00 PM SSC 004 Free and open to the public In her presentation, Professor Sue O’Donnell will provide insight into her creative research and show reproductions of her recently completed series of artworks. The presentation will include documentation of her working process, as well as examples of work from other contemporary artists who have influenced her. O’Donnell uses memories and personal experiences to create map-like drawings, diagrams, books, and installations.
Southeast Asia and the Piano
DR. CHARISSE BALDORIA TUESDAY, OCT 6, 2015 at 7:30 P.M. GROSS AUDITORIUM, CARVER HALL This lecture-recital examines issues of exoticism, colonialism, and nationalism through an exploration of the gamelan (Southeast Asian gong-chime ensemble) and its manifestations in both western and Southeast Asian piano music, presenting examples through live performance and multimedia.
Professor Dave Kube Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm SSC 004 Reception will follow. Abstract: As a queer artist, I create visual research that is a reflection on the experience of searching for a community and an investigation into the inherent reality formed through belonging to a minority group. Within multiple bodies of work, I have explored identity, relationships, HIV/ AIDS, and queer theory.
Dr. Deborah Walberg Wednesday, November 4 at 5:00pm SSC 004 This presentation will discuss the factors that distinguish Venetian Renaissance painting from its Tuscan and Roman counterparts. By examining the structure of Venetian society, its economic development, its relationship with both the Oriental East and the Transalpine North, and its participation in the theoretical paragone pitting draftsmanship against the use of color, I will demonstrate how the artists of the Venetian Renaissance paved the way for the great painters of the Baroque, Romantic and Impressionist Periods.
Life and Death under Nazi Occupation: Jews and Holocaust in Smolensk, Russia
Dr. Michael Hickey, Dept of History Monday, Feb 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Centennial 239 In July 1941, the German Army captured the western Russian city of Smolensk, in a region that was home to more than 30,000 Jews. Nearly half of the local Jewish population managed to evacuate before the German forces arrived, but the other half found themselves caught under the German occupation regime. By the time Smolensk was liberated from the Germans in 1943, only a handful of its Jews remained alive. In this lecture, Professor Hickey will discuss the experience of Smolensk’s population, and especially its Jews, during the Nazi occupation, based upon his own extensive archival research.
Global Partnership for Development Effectiveness
Dr. Diana Zoelle Monday, March 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Centennial 239 The recent economic crisis (2007-’08) and the concomitant assertion of rights to be heard by leaders of developing countries have forced a significant change in international development policies and programs. The Global Partnership for Development Effectiveness is a state-centered framework for cooperative development. The framework recognizes participation by both private business and civil society in conjunction with government as essential to the success of future development activities. This approach to development, also known as the Post-2015 plan, requires micro- rather than macroeconomic assessment, including a structure to enable participating countries to gather data at the transaction level of interaction to help ensure transparency at all levels. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), an idea that was conceived in the mid-’90s under the Clinton administration, is now well-positioned to reinforce and assess the operation of the Global Partnership. A key change is the role of emerging states as lenders with flexible, state-sensitive standards. The Global Partnership for Development Effectiveness constitutes a paradigm shift in development. Under this new paradigm, recipient state governments will work in conjunction with civil society and the private sector toward equitable development.
WAR Games: How the Sports Media Assesses and Addresses Value in the Age of Sabermetrics
Presented by Jason Genovese and Matthew Perakovich Tuesday, October 14 at 5:00pm in Hartline G40 Today, Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises commonly employ advanced statistical analysis, also known as sabermetrics, for the purpose of better measuring players’ in-game performance. Michael Lewis’ bestselling book Moneyball (2004) and the Academy Award nominated film adaptation starring Brad Pitt in 2011 publicized the Oakland A’s innovative adoption of this empirical approach around the turn of the century, however, debate over the value of its use by those in the sports media did not reach fever pitch until the 2012 American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) race. By way of an ideological analysis of sports media coverage of the heated AL MVP race, this study explores sportswriter attitudes toward advanced statistical analysis through a comparison of the arguments invoked by both print and online sports media in a total of 41 articles. The authors found that the hegemony of the sporting narrative continues to dominate American print sportswriting. However, while traditional print media still hold the power in making these prestigious awards decisions, online sports media seem poised to start influencing the discussion to a greater degree than ever before.
"And the Apostle Said ‘It is but Allah Who makes the prices low and high’" Conceptualizations of a Market Order in Nineteenth-Century Islamic Law in the Ottoman Empire.
Presented by Dr. Safa Saracoglu Tuesday, October 28 at 5:00pm in Hartline G42 While much has been written about the relationship between law and economic change in the western world, there is little written on the similar transformation that took place from the eighteenth century into the nineteenth in the Ottoman Empire. Studies on the history of economic thought in the Ottoman Empire draw a sharp distinction between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, associating the latter with reforms towards economic liberalization and attempts at drastic transformation that ultimately failed. Most scholars argue that Ottoman economic thought was inherently incapable of understanding forces of economic change. My current research aims to explore the intellectual and institutional possibilities of continuity across these two centuries in the relationship between law and the economic sphere in the Ottoman Empire. What was the intellectual framework that made debates on law and economic institutions possible in the Ottoman Empire? How did such debates relate to sovereignty and the duties of the government? And finally, through which institutions can we trace the evolution of the “triangle formed by government, population and political economy.”