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Faculty Lecture Series

Each academic year, individual faculty members have the opportunity to share their professional work and interests with colleagues and the community through the Faculty Lecture Series. This event is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Shakespeare’s Bad Bromance

Presented by Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies and Associate Professor of English

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
7:00 p.m. in Riley 201

A pleasant conceited history of the rebirth of romantic comedy in the 1590s and the tension between male bonds and heterosexual marriage, concerning Much Ado About Nothing, together with Keanu Reeves, Katharine Hepburn, Silicon Valley, PTSD, illustrated sex organs, and Nut & Honey Crunch.

Did you miss it? Watch Daniel's lecture on Linfield Live (audio begins at 9:21).

What, if anything, is a Tyrannosaurus rex?

Presented by Leonard Finkelman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
7:00 p.m. in Riley 201

Paleontologists maintain separate nomenclatures for fossils preserving evidence of an organism’s activities (i.e., trace fossils) and fossils preserving remains of organisms themselves (i.e., body fossils). This practice is justified by epistemic limitations in attributing trace fossils to particular organisms. Arguments for trace fossil nomenclature therefore resemble philosophical justifications for the so-called “causal theory” of reference. I argue that consistent application of this reasoning should also imply that body fossil names do not apply to organisms, meaning that actual dinosaurs (for example) have not yet been named.

Did you miss it? Watch Leonard's lecture on Linfield Live.

Red News, Blue News: Political Learning and Media Choice

Presented by Dimitri Kelly, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
7:00 p.m. in Riley 201

How do people learn about candidates? In a fragmented media market, the availability of news with a partisan slant changes how the public learns new information and what information it learns. In the face of a nearly limitless array of media choices, how do individuals decide what to pay attention to and what are the consequences? Evidence points to a preference for information that reinforces existing beliefs, a process of political selective exposure. At the same time however, research demonstrates a strong and consistent expressed desire for unbiased and objective news. This presents an interesting puzzle, that people may sincerely prefer objective news in the abstract, yet choose to consume biased news in practice. I present a cognitive solution to this riddle, and explore some of the potential consequences for elections and democracy.

A Whale of a Story: Sex, Lies, and Testimony in the Nineteenth-Century Pacific World

Presented by Lissa Wadewitz, Associate Professor of History

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
7:00 p.m. in Riley 201

In the winter of 1860, the Kingdom of Hawai’i’s court of maritime law heard a scandalous case (Enos v. Sowle). Two islander cabin boys, Manuel Enos and Manuel Vierra, charged Captain Nathaniel Sowle of the American whaleship, the Montreal, with repeated counts of sodomy. Nearly all of the ship’s crewmembers testified to the extent and nature of the abuse in explicit detail and the court found Captain Sowle guilty. But was he? Or was it, as Sowle repeatedly contended, an elaborate conspiracy by his crew? Or was this case about something else entirely? What should historians do when archival evidence equally supports completely different versions of past events? And how do we decipher the worst imaginable handwriting from sources that may or may not reveal “what really happened”?

Symbiosis in the Sea: Studying Relationships between Marine Sponges and Marine Microbes

Presented by Jeremy Weisz, Associate Professor of Biology

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
7:00 p.m. in Riley 201

Sponges don’t just clean your kitchen sink. These animals are phenomenal filtering machines, removing vast amounts of biomass from the seawater they pump. Though the pumping is done entirely by the animal, the microbial communities that live inside the sponges are thought to play a big role in the removal of biomass, as well as provide other symbiotic benefits to the sponge. I will share our recent work on the Florida sponge, Cliona varians, and its unique symbiosis with both bacteria and algae. Our research not only helps us understand this sponge, but also gives us a better understanding of how animals undergo symbiosis with microorganisms.

Did you miss it? Watch Jeremy's lecture on Linfield Live.

Gesture, Imagery, Noise: Transforming Imagination to Music

Presented by Andrea Reinkemeyer, Assistant Professor of Music Composition & Theory

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
7:00 p.m. in Ice Auditorium

A deep analysis of Reinkemeyer's work with insights into the compositional process. Discussion and live demonstration of recent pieces including, Wild Silk for Baritone Saxophone, Percussion and Piano (2009) and The Thaw for Soprano, Tenor, Mixed Choir and Wind Ensemble (2016).

Scenographic Illusions II: Designing for the Theatre

Presented by Ty Marshall, Professor of Theatre Arts

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
7:00 p.m. in Marshall Theatre, Ford Hall

In his 1941 book, The Dramatic Imagination, eminent theatre designer Robert Edmond Jones noted that “a setting is not just a beautiful thing, a collection of beautiful things. It is a presence, a mood, a warm wind fanning the drama to flame. It echoes, it enhances, it animates. It is an expectancy, a foreboding, a tension. It says nothing, but it gives everything.” In this lecture, Ty Marshall will explore the process he employs to create scenographic illusions that provide an environment in which a play comes to life. He will focus on designs created for Linfield plays produced in Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall.

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