Spring 2019 Schedule

Jan 25     Julie Kingery (Psychology), Jamie Bodenlos (Psychology),                Laurence Erussard (English), Donna Davenport (Dance), &                Michelle Iklé (Dance)

Mindfulness in the College Classroom: Benefits and Practical Strategies

Abstract: What is mindfulness, and how can engaging in mindfulness practices be beneficial for our students? During this talk, members of the newly formed HWS mindfulness cohort will discuss what we learned at the “Contemplative Practices in Higher Education” workshop in the fall. We will engage the audience in various mindfulness practices that we have implemented in our own courses at HWS. We will welcome questions and feedback from the audience, and invite others to join us in this initiative aimed at increasing awareness about mindfulness on campus and helping to expand mindfulness-based offerings for students, faculty, and staff.

Feb 1       Renee Monson (Anthropology and Sociology)

How do you know? Probing inquiry, reporting investigations, and producing knowledge in the age of Trump

Abstract: In this talk, I argue that the examination of truth claims has been replaced with the posting of truth statements in our everyday discourse, that our students are losing some of the skills they need to engage in a collective effort to produce knowledge (however contingent and partial that knowledge may be), and that this is becoming a significant barrier to our work as educators. As evidence, I draw on findings from some of my SoTL research on the learning outcomes associated with group projects in my Research Methods course.

Feb 8       John Halfman (Geoscience & Environmental Studies)

Increasing our Understanding of Blue-Green Algae and their Toxins in the Finger Lakes

Abstract: Harmful algal blooms have increasingly impacted many lakes across the globe including all of the Finger Lakes in recent years. Their occurrence in the oligotrophic (nutrient poor) Finger Lakes is surprising as they were more common associated with eutrophic (nutrient-rich) lakes. Their toxins negatively impact water quality and thus threaten the tourist economy and recreational value of the Finger Lakers Region. They have also been detected in municipal water systems that draw water from Skaneateles, Owasco and Canandaigua Lakes. I will present data collected over the past few years with help with various colleagues that has shed some light on the occurrence of these bloom

Feb 15     Leah Shafer (Media and Society)

Springtime for Hatred: Downfall Memes and "Alt-Right" Internet Cultures

Abstract: Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004) purports to provide audiences with an “historical” account of Hitler’s last 10 days. Critics of the film have suggested that Bruno Ganz’s virtuosic performance of the Führer humanized a man who was, in fact, a monster. One of the defenses of the film, made by the filmmakers (and their apologists) was that it was strictly historically authentic. This presentation unpacks notions of “historical authenticity” and reframes the critical responses around the film by juxtaposing them with a reading of popular Downfall parodies that circulated on YouTube starting in 2007. The parodies’ DIY linkage of the casual erasure of history to Ganz’s hyperbolic performance of Hitler’s breakdown exemplifies the kind of ironic detachment that is symptomatic of so-called “alt-Right” Internet cultures. This trivialization and memeticization of ahistorical representations of Hitler mark the Downfall parodies as symptoms of the distressing rise of white supremacy and anti-semitism in popular culture and in culture generally.

Feb 22     Lina Žigelytė (Media and Society)

Alexa, What Happened at Stonewall? Processing Queer Lives

Abstract: Algorithms and data organization are transforming our interaction with information. In spite of technological strides across the globe, institutions that collect and archive queer history - where such initiatives exist - are already lagging behind. For example, in the global market of over 2 million mobile phone applications, only one of them is dedicated to LGBTQ+ history and it was launched independently by a young white lesbian community organizer from the Northeastern U.S.

My talk speculates on the future of mediated stories about queer lives in the era of increasingly seamless interaction between humans and machines. I argue that a shift from the representation of queer people to the processing of data about them is already shaping how and what the public is learning about LGBTQ+ experiences, both present and past. In my talk I will focus on recent student-led projects from Western New York and digital initiatives from outside of Western urban centers to argue that a shift from representation to data processing offers creative possibilities for the future of learning about historically underrepresented lives.

Mar 1       Susan Cushman (Biology)

Round Goby Rampage: Seneca Lake’s new "Monster"?

Abstract: Tales have been told of the Seneca Lake “Sea Monster” or “serpent”… and in the end, fish have been suspected in many of those cases. It turns out, a new “monster” is invading and lurking in our familiar waters. The Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus, an invasive fish species now in the Finger Lakes has been known to forage primarily on dreissenid mussels and Lake Trout eggs, but their impact on other lake invertebrates is not well known. This presentation will provide background on the ecology, spread, and current distribution of the Round Goby in the Finger Lakes. Data will be shared from monitoring on Seneca Lake, and feeding studies conducted to assess diet preferences and likely impact on native and invasive prey as well as native fishes.

Mar 8       Brien Ashdown (Psychology)

Do you think our students are entitled? They think the same about you!

Abstract: Much has been made about the entitlement issues of today’s college students. But it is often unclear what we’re really talking about when we’re discussing student entitlement. How are we defining it? What might increase or decrease students’ entitlement? (Hint: one of the biggest predictors of students’ entitlement is how entitled they perceive their professors to be!) Is student entitlement always a bad thing? I’ll attempt to answer these questions and maybe a few more in my talk, using data collected from college students at a handful of institutions across the country.

Mar 15     Craig Talmage (Entrepreneurial Studies), Robin Lewis                (Environmental Studies & Sustainable Community Development),                and Katie Flowers (Center for Community Engagement and                Service Learning)

Community Innovation and Small Liberal Arts Colleges: Perspectives from HWS and Geneva

Abstract: In this presentation, we will discuss the role of liberal arts colleges in promoting community innovation and development. Drawing on recent colleges-community collaborations in Geneva and across twenty other liberal arts institutions, we will highlight the myriad ways in which such collaborations build capital and capacity while also facilitating the development of future leaders and change agents.

Mar 22      Spring Break - No Talk

Mar 29      Shannon Straub (Biology)

From Tools to Trees: Evolutionary Relationships Among North American Milkweeds

Abstract: North American milkweeds are a diverse group of ca. 130 species that are the result of a recent, rapid evolutionary radiation and can be found in a variety of habitats from swamps to deserts and prairies to forests. These plants have served as models for understanding plant reproduction and anti-herbivore defense, and have been of particular interest due to the interactions between milkweeds and monarch butterflies. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have allowed the use of large data sets of DNA sequences to resolve evolutionary relationships among species. Knowledge of these relationships provides a framework for further understanding of the evolution of plant traits. I will discuss new tools developed in my lab at HWS for exploring the evolutionary relationships of milkweeds, our recent findings related to milkweed defensive trait evolution, and how our students make valuable contributions to our understanding of the diversification of these charismatic plants.

Apr 5        Steven Lee (Philosophy)


Abstract: Populism is the political phenomenon that has been roiling much of the world and the world’s elites in recent years. In this talk, I will discuss the nature of populism and what the cause(s) of it might be. Is there hope that the fever might break?

Apr 12      Janette Gayle (History)

Colored Invaders: Black Garment Workers and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in Early Twentieth-Century New York City

Abstract: The talk charts the efforts of the ILGWU to recruit female black garment workers to the union during the 1920s and early 1930s and the women's responses to the union.

Apr 19      Jack Harris (Anthropology and Sociology) and Chris Annear                (Anthropology and Sociology)

Cooking up the Culinary Nation or Savoring its Regions? Teaching Food Studies in Vietnam

Abstract: This talk is based on our 2018 article, which explores whether or not there is an identifiably Vietnamese national cuisine, one in which the ingredients, recipes, and/or dishes socially, culturally, and politically unite Vietnamese people. It contends that Vietnam, with its long history of foreign invaders, its own appropriation of the middle and southern regions, and its varied regional geographies, provides a critical example for Food Studies of the need to interrogate the idea of a national cuisine and to differentiate it from regional and local cuisines. We examine how cookbook authors and cooking schools have more generally sought to represent Vietnamese dishes as national, but that there is a strong argument against the claim of a Vietnamese national cuisine. We advocate a Food Studies methodology that creates an effective pedagogy that explores whether or not national populations are unified as single gastro-states or atomized by a plurality of regional cuisines. Through experiential assignments and student work we illustrate how Food Studies presents the pedagogical opportunity for students to study and learn at the intersection of national politics and the everyday lives of people, providing a framework for understanding connections of labor, gender, class, and, essentially, taste, among many other values. In the case of Vietnamese food, the critical details of ingredients, preparation, and consumption both reveal and conceal truths about the Vietnamese people.

Apr 26      Bob Cowles (Music)

The Cantori Commissioning Project: Calle sin nombre by Alex Freeman

Abstract: TBA

May 3       David Galloway (Russian Area Studies & OAFA)

Reinventions of the First Two Decades at HWS: A Reading from poyms for people

Abstract: A colleague we've lost. A parent's worst nightmare. A Russian in an Azeri restaurant. The things we forget that have meaning. Crime and lack of punishment. The chill of a rift lake. Man observing woman. An ancient town looks at modernity. A constellation at evening. Russian street food. The great game. My best acting gig. An Irish mystery. Why I fear the cliff. What breakfast cereal has done to us. These are all cues—not titles, but impressions—of the fifteen poems I will read to you. (Note for tender ears: one of these poems contains an unavoidable expletive.)

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.