Fall 2019 Schedule

Aug 30     Susan Pliner (Center for Teaching and Learning), Lou Guard                (General Counsel), and Christen Davis (Center for Teaching and                Learning)

Students with disabilities in your classes: An overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 laws

Abstract: We will provide an overview of the ADA as it applies to students at the Colleges with time for discussion and questions.

Sep 6       Craig Talmage (Entrepreneurial Studies)

Creating Age-Friendly Institutions for Older Adult Lifelong Learning: Insights from the U.S. and Abroad

Abstract: Across the world, older adult populations burgeon challenging social institutions, such as colleges and universities, to adapt to meet the diverse needs of older adults. Older adults are not homogenous and should not be treated as such. Recognizing the need to be more inclusive of societies’ more senior members, a number of higher education institutions in the United States, Ireland, and the United Kingdom have coalesced to form the Age Friendly University (AFU) movement, aptly named to parallel Ireland’s declaration as the world’s first age-friendly country. The AFU has established ten principles, which have started to be evaluated and explored worldwide. Specifically in the U.S., the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) network at its 120+ institutions housed within U.S. colleges and universities are seeking ways to become even more age friendly in their lifelong learning programs for older adults; thus, some OLLIs are challenging their home institutions to become more age friendly to address growing older adult needs. This presentation briefly shares the stories of the AFU and the OLLI network and highlights lessons learned regarding creating age-friendly environment for lifelong learning based on research conducted mostly on OLLIs and their members. These evidence-based insights span important topics such as demographic trends, learning topic choices, barriers to learning, technology utilization, and the perceived value of lifelong learning to older adults. Both practical and research implications will be shared based on the findings of multiple studies and publications conducted by AFU and OLLI research teams.

Sep 13     Melanie Hamilton (English)

Late Humans of Western New York, a reading from a novel-in-progress

Abstract: In an indeterminate, yet all-too-near future, everything we fear about the political present has come to be, As Caroline, wife of a small-town mayor, daughter of a former political dynasty and self-sedated frustrated intellectual puts it: "We are the majority in this country and we have been for a long time, but we can’t take power. You think it’s an accident? It’s, what? Apathy? They give us crumbs, to maintain the illusion, and meanwhile, they’re gerrymandering and disenfranchising, and revoking citizenship and closing polling stations and throwing out votes, and mounting smear campaigns and hacking the machines. At some point, we’re colluding, playing their game of charades, going along. At some point, we have to acknowledge we are no longer in a democracy. They played a long game, and we lost."

The novel follows Caroline, and her husband Mayor Shawn Magudo, as they try in their separate roles to navigate with integrity a world in which integrity itself is an anachronism.

Sep 20     Faculty Athletic Fellows

Spectator or Participant? Which Role Are You Playing? Why It Matters

Abstract: Have you ever wondered what role faculty play in the education of our student athletes on campus or where you can get more information? The goal of this faculty lunch talk is to share with the audience the charge of the Committee on Athletics, but also to foster a conversation about how faculty play a critical role in the well-being of our student athletes. Open lines of communication between students, faculty, and the athletic staff can lead to clear expectations and rich experiences between all involved. We will introduce committee members, share some statistics about student athletes, explain what a student athlete contract is, and discuss our highly successful Faculty Athletic Fellow (FAF) program.

Sep 27     Jon Forde (Mathematics and Computer Science)

Mathematical Modeling in Medicine

Abstract: Mathematical modeling is the art and science of describing real-world phenomena in mathematical form. When a model incorporates enough detail of current biological understanding, it can be used in conjunction with other sciences to help interpret experimental results and guide future experiments or policies. For example, math models have been used to calculate viral reproduction rates (which cannot be measured directly) and to predict the likely outcome of public health interventions in outbreaks of disease.

In this talk, I will review some of the historical success stories of mathematical modeling in medicine and public health, and follow up with some of my own recent work creating and analyzing models of hepatitis B infection.

Oct 4        Alex Black (English)

"A New Enterprise in Our History": William Still, The Underground Railroad, and the Work of Reconstruction

Abstract: William Still was the acting chair of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, which was organized in 1852 to assist fugitives from slavery in the U.S. South make their way to freedom. Still was also author and publisher of The Underground Railroad, an 1872 book based on the records he had kept through the Civil War: interviews with the fugitives, letters to and from the committee, as well as his own notes. This talk explores Still's resolution to publish the book by himself and by subscription, a system in which a publisher’s agents sold books directly to readers. The dominant institutions of American literature-publishers, libraries, and bookstores-weren't serving black readers. By selling his book by subscription, Still shared profits with agents that were otherwise excluded from the trade because of their race. The book itself, written "to show what efforts were made and what success was gained for Freedom under difficulties," would encourage its readers in the difficult work of Reconstruction. Still's enterprise depended for its success on other black institutions: the church, the newspaper, and the Underground Railroad itself.

Oct 11      Darrin Magee (Environmental Studies)

Greening Mongolia's Energy System: Opportunities and Challenges

Abstract: Mongolia is a vast country with a tiny population, and traditionally has been heavily dependent on coal for both electricity production and heating. Use of raw coal in the ger (yurt) district around the capital Ulaanbaatar, however, has led to dangerously low air quality during the long winters and increased calls among many for a cleaner energy system. Fortunately, the country also has vast solar, wind, and Prius (yes, Prius) resources. This talk draws on a three-week Energy Transition course I taught in Mongolia in summer 2019 and explores some of the possible pathways toward a lower-carbon future in the land of Chingis Khan.

Oct 18      Presidential Inauguration - No FFL

Oct 25      Stan Mathews (Art and Architecture)

Boilerplate, History's Mechanical Marvel

Abstract: In his talk, he will share his discovery of a little-known chapter in the history of technology – Boilerplate, History’s Mechanical Marvel: "Boilerplate was a mechanical man developed by Archibald Campion during the 1880s and unveiled at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition," … . "Boilerplate is one of history's great ironies, a technological milestone that remains largely unknown. Even in an age that gave birth to the automobile and aeroplane, a functioning mechanical man should have been accorded more significance."

Nov 1       Whitney Mauer (Environmental Studies)

Indigenizing Resilience: Historical Trauma, Recovery, and the Restoration of the Elwha River

Abstract: Ecological restoration is gaining urgency and is increasingly viewed as a mechanism for strengthening the resilience of socio-ecological systems. This study seeks to understand Indigenous experiences of ecosystem restoration through the lens of socio-ecological resilience. Resilience has increasingly gained traction within social science as a framework for community response to environmental, social, and political disturbances, but the contours of community resilience are not well understood or defined, particularly in Indigenous contexts. Interviews with community members at the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT) reveal a relationship between historical trauma and ecological restoration that resilience literature and practice has yet to address. The Klallam are experiencing restoration as both a remedy for and arbiter of trauma. Without addressing trauma, resilience-based approaches to ecosystem restoration may support Indigenous survivance, but are unlikely to support Indigenous resilience.

Nov 8       Kathryn Cowles (English)

Poetry Book Tour 101: Putting Together a Poetry Reading

Abstract: Putting together a reading for a poetry book tour can be a daunting task. Unlike fiction and nonfiction readings, which generally consist of just one or two extended pieces of writing, good poetry readings usually require writers to cobble together dozens of smaller poems into some semblance of larger shape or trajectory, kind of like a mini-book. And poems can be tricky to read out loud to begin with, particularly if they involve visual elements or unusual lineation or if their language is especially dense and difficult to digest on a first reading. My second book of poems, Maps and Transcripts of the Ordinary World, will be published in March of 2020, and I’ve already scheduled a number of reading dates on my tour in support of it. In addition to more traditional-looking and accessible poems, it contains some let’s-call-them-odd poems and some multi-media poem-photographs. So for this talk, I’m going to read some poems, yes, but also walk through some of the difficulties individual poems are causing me when it comes to reading them out loud, the considerations I keep in mind when I craft readings for specific audiences, and possible strategies for my book-release reading, which will probably take place here on campus next semester. I’ll definitely be interested in input and ideas, since good readings lead to good book sales, which in turn might convince my terrific press, Milkweed Editions, to pick up my third book, which is nearing completion. And maybe I’ll even prick your curiosity enough that you’ll attend the actual release reading in the spring!

Nov 15     Paul Passavant (Political Science)

#BlackLivesMatter, Security, and the Post-Legitimation, Post-Democratic State

Abstract: Protest policing has become more aggressive and violent in the United States since the late 1990s. This shift is due to institutional responses to three crises of the late 1960s and 1970s: a "crime" crisis, an urban fiscal crisis, and a crisis of democracy. The policing of #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) protests manifests the forward edge of contemporary protest policing as it has developed in response to these three crises. This presentation will focus on recent Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) productions pertaining to how the New York Police Department (NYPD) has policed BLM protests. As the FOIL productions show, the NYPD goes beyond the normal parameters of a law enforcement agency in its response to BLM. Because it does not respond to violations of the law, but engages in proactive "undercover" surveillance (whether through the use of undercover officers or informants) of lawful activities conducted by BLM activists (protests), its response to BLM exceeds that of a normal law enforcement agency insofar as it treats BLM protesters as a political enemy. Exceeding criminalization, but stopping short of war, the NYPD response to BLM expresses an institutional hybridity I call a practice of "security." By relying on extra-legal policing targeting political expression, the NYPD exemplifies post-legitimation and post-democratic state practices.

Nov 22     Lisa Yoshikawa (History)

From Colonial Science to the Genome age: The Politics of Asian Giant Salamander Conservation in the Anthropocene

Abstract: Chinese Giant Salamanders (CGS) are critically endangered: their population is declining, with extirpation suspected in known habitats, such as in Guizhou’s Mayanghe reserve. They are also hybridizing due to anthropogenic translocation: until last year, CGS were known to be one species. In May 2018, researchers confirmed that the CGS were cryptic: morphologically similar but genetically distinct multiple species. This September, a team identified three different clades: formerly Andrias davidianus are now A. davidianus and A. sligoi, with a yet-unnamed third species. Whether any wild “pure” breed of the named two still exists is unknown.

The dominant narrative today blames the PRC government and people as the culprits: lax enforcement of conservation laws and misguided conservation efforts, overhunting for food and medicine, and continuing habitat destruction. While these immediate factors are significant, blaming the Chinese solely for the crisis replicates the imperialistic and nationalistic paradigms that created the problem in the first place.

For one, CGS did not exist as species taxa until quite recently, because colonial science privileged the other Andrias species, japonicus, as the only taxa. Imperialist competitions determined that the specimens in Japan were to be the dominant research materials, and that the creatures in China were the same species as those on the archipelago. This past continues to impact current research in the dearth of CGS specimens in the worlds’ museum that would help to identify the estimated five to eight CGS clades. Second, Japanese nationalisms continue to obstruct Chinese research efforts. The consequences of imperial Japan’s colonial aggressions and atrocities are better known. Today, A. japonicus are also facing hybridization problems, with the CGS that were imported after the bilateral normalization. Japan’s nationalistic research funding and conservation structures remain roadblocks to Sino-Japanese collaboration, and allows for extermination of any CGS found in Japan.

Nov 29     Thanksgiving Break - No talk

Dec 6       Lidia Yuknavitch (Trias Writer in Residence)

The Novel in Progress: From Chaos to More Chaos to Order

Abstract: While I have been here at HWS, in addition to being delighted by the squad of Trias students, I have been working on a novel. Supposedly. Doggedly. With some mixture of glee, terror, and absolute chaos. And yet, pages have indeed emerged. I will read an excerpt or two from Thrust, my novel in progress, and speak briefly to the creative process in terms of ideation as well as practice.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.