Five Wesleyan professors delivered nine-minute lectures during Wesleyan Thinks Big Dec. 4 in Memorial Chapel. Students nominated their favorite professors earlier this semester. Wesleyan Thinks Big is a new type of lecture series designed to give audiences presentations by popular faculty in a format similar to “TED” talks.
Elvin Lim, associate professor of government, spoke on “The Case Against Marriage.” Lim said, “If you think about it, marriage seems to do the exact opposite of what it sets out to do.”
Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies, spoke on “Fighting Familiarity with Form, or Why We Should Look More Closely.” “The purpose of art is a way of interrupting habit … to submit yourself to a new way of seeing,” he said.
Dar Williams ’89, visiting instructor in public policy, spoke on “Positive Proximity: What I discovered by touring in and about 500 cool American towns from Rockland, Maine to Fairbanks, Alaska.” Williams said, “The word I came up with, that really anchors all of these building blocks, is ‘translation.’ This is the willingness to translate oneself … to their community.”
Gil Skillman, professor of economics, tutor in the College of Social Studies, spoke on “Wesleyan 2050.” “What I want to talk about is Wesleyan as an institution which is by its nature a-rational in an economic sense,” he said.
Greg Voth, associate professor of physics, spoke on “The Paradox of Modern Physics.” Voth said, “While these theories are amazingly successful, we also know that they’re wrong. We are constantly trying to find deviations.”
The event was emceed by Mary-Jane Rubenstein, associate professor of religion, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies.