Tag Archive for symposium

Americas Forum to Focus on Artist, Poet Aimé Césaire April 5-6

"The Centenary of Aimé Césaire 1913-2008: Poet, Pragmatist, a Voice for the Voiceless" is the theme of the 2013 Americas Forum April 5-6.

“The Centenary of Aimé Césaire 1913-2008: Poet, Pragmatist, a Voice for the Voiceless” is the theme of the 2013 Americas Forum April 5-6.

For its 2013 Americas Forum, Wesleyan’s Center for the Americas is commemorating the centenary of Aimé Césaire, éminence grise of the Francophone Caribbean. Taking place on April 5-6 at Russell House, the annual symposium brings scholars and artists from “north” and “south” into dialogue about Césaire, who was not only a regional figure but also a global presence as an intellectual, poet, artist and politician.

Celebrating his influential life, spanning from the movements of Surrealism and Negritude to his ideas on decolonization and spiritual and cultural pan-Africanism, the Americas Forum is also an intellectual consideration of Césaire’s contributions to our understanding of the Americas, Marxism, imperialism, independence, race and the role of art.

This year’s event, which is free and open to the public, is organized by Indira Karamcheti, director of the Center for the Americas and associate professor of American studies; Typhaine Leservot, associate professor of romance languages and literatures and the College of Letters; and Suzanna Tamminen, director of the Wesleyan University Press. Scholars will represent the fields of Caribbean studies, French literature and poetics, Césaire studies, American studies, and African diaspora studies, with musicians, poets, and performers presenting both their own and Césaire’s work.

All talks take place in the Russell House.

After a welcome at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 5, Clayton Eshleman, professor emeritus of poetry and literature at Eastern Michigan University; A. James Arnold, professor emeritus of French at the University of Virginia;

Gasoline, Nuclear Power Topics of “Where on Earth” Symposium

"The Energy Puzzle In More Than 140 Characters" and "The Future of Nuclear Power" are the topics of the Where on Earth are We Going Symposium Nov. 5.

On Nov. 5, two energy experts will speak during the annual “Where On Earth Are We Going?” symposium. The event is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

At 9 a.m., Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., will speak on “The Energy Revolution Will not be Tweetable: the Energy Puzzle in More than 140 Characters.” Margonelli is the publisher of The Energy Trap and blogs frequently at The Atlantic web site. Her book Oil On the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank follows the oil supply chain from the gas station to oil fields around the world.

Gas at $3.50 a gallon is expensive, but its environmental, economic, political and moral price is much higher, she says. Margonelli will offer a provocative tour of the true cost of gasoline – as bad for the citizens of the Middle East as it is for Americans -and then explain how we can change by looking at energy as a system and finding opportunities for mini revolutions in technology, policy and behavior.

At 10:30 a.m., Paul Gunter, a lead spokesperson in nuclear reactor hazards and security concerns, will speak on “The Future of Nuclear Power Following the Fukushima Disaster.”  Gunter acts as the regulatory watchdog over the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry.

Scholars, Experts Speak at Great Apes Symposium

Lori Gruen makes introductory remarks at the “Protecting Great Apes: How Science and Ethics Contribute to Conservation" symposium April 22. Gruen, chair and associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, organized the event. She also is teaching a course this semester titled “Primate Encounters” and has published a book on ethics and animals.

Wesleyan To Host Symposium on Great Apes, Ethics, Conservation

Lori Gruen is organizing the upcoming symposium titled “Protecting Great Apes: How Science and Ethics Contribute to Conservation.” (Photo by John Van Vlack)

A diverse group of primate researchers will convene at Wesleyan on April 22 for a day-long symposium about the relationship between humans and the other great apes – chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas. The schedule is online here.

“Protecting Great Apes: How Science and Ethics Contribute to Conservation” will feature presentations by anthropologists, psychologists, primatologists and conservationists who study or advocate for non-human great apes in the wild and in captivity. Discussions will follow each talk, with an emphasis on chimpanzee behavior and the ethical treatment of non-human great apes.

“We’re in this complicated and increasingly intense relationship with the other great apes,” says Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy and the symposium’s principal organizer. “If chimps and other great apes were living in their worlds undisturbed by our activities, we wouldn’t have to raise questions about our relationship to them.”

Gruen is currently teaching a course called “Primate Encounters,” in which students examine

Scholars Explore Intersections Between Activism and Academic Work

Margot Weiss, assistant professor of American studies, assistant professor of anthropology, and Naomi Greyser at the University of Iowa organized a symposium on Academia and Activism Feb. 11 in Russell House.

The event brought together nine interdisciplinary scholars for two open roundtable discussions on the possibilities and difficulties of bridging academic and activist work. Panelists on the two roundtables reflected on a series of questions: “What are the intersections and gaps between activist and academic work?  How is activist labor intellectual and when is intellectual labor activist? How might we historicize dichotomies of theory and practice, ‘ivory tower’ and ‘real world?’ “



The Academia and Activism Symposium brought together interdisciplinary scholars for two open roundtable discussions on the possibilities and difficulties of bridging academic and activist work. The panelists, pictured from left, are Dylan Rodriguez, professor and chair of ethnic studies from the University of California-Riverside; Jeff Maskovsky, associate professor of urban studies at Queens College, CUNY; Purnima Bose, associate professor of English and director of Cultural Studies at Indiana University; Janet Jakobsen, professor and director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women and Margot Weiss, assistant professor of American studies, assistant professor of anthropology at Wesleyan.

The Academia and Activism Symposium brought together interdisciplinary scholars for two open roundtable discussions on the possibilities and difficulties of bridging academic and activist work. The panelists, pictured from left, are Dylan Rodriguez, professor and chair of ethnic studies from the University of California-Riverside; Jeff Maskovsky, associate professor of urban studies at Queens College, CUNY; Purnima Bose, associate professor of English and director of Cultural Studies at Indiana University; Janet Jakobsen, professor and director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women and Margot Weiss, assistant professor of American studies, assistant professor of anthropology at Wesleyan.



NS&B Alumni Speak to Students, Faculty About Post-Wesleyan Life

Dan Austin '08 speaks to students and faculty on "Research opportunities before graduate/medical school: The national Institutes of Health IRTA Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship," during the second Neuroscience and Behavior Symposium Feb. 20 in Exley Science Center. Austin was one of five NS&B alumni who returned to campus to speak at the symposium. While a student, Austin received university honors, the CBIA/CURE Bioscience Fellowship; and the Hawk Prize in Chemistry.

Dan Austin '08 speaks to students and faculty on "Research opportunities before graduate/medical school: The National Institutes of Health IRTA Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship," during the second Neuroscience and Behavior Symposium Feb. 20 in Exley Science Center. Austin was one of five NS&B alumni who returned to campus to speak at the symposium. While a student, Austin received university honors, the CBIA/CURE Bioscience Fellowship; and the Hawk Prize in Chemistry. He currently is a pre-doctorial fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Faculty, Guests Discuss “Stem Cells into the Clinic”

Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, speaks during a symposium titled "Stem Cells into the Clinic: Biological, Ethical and Regulatory Concerns," Jan. 28 in the Goldsmith Family Cinema. The event was sponsored by the Dachs Chair, the Faust Lectures in Ethics, and the Ethics in Society Project.

Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, speaks during a symposium titled "Stem Cells into the Clinic: Biological, Ethical and Regulatory Concerns," Jan. 28 in the Goldsmith Family Cinema. The event was sponsored by the Dachs Chair, the Faust Lectures in Ethics, and the Ethics in Society Project.

Keynote speaker Bonnie Steinbock, professor of bioethics at the Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and professor of philosophy at the University of Albany spoke on “The Ethics of Stem Cell Policy." Her research focuses on the ethics of reproduction and genetics.

Keynote speaker Bonnie Steinbock, professor of bioethics at the Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and professor of philosophy at the University of Albany spoke on “The Ethics of Stem Cell Policy." Her research focuses on the ethics of reproduction and genetics.

Stephen Latham, deputy director of Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science and Society, professor of biology, joined Gruen and Steinbock in a panel discussion of "Stem Cell Research in the Obama Era."

Stephen Latham, deputy director of Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science and Society, professor of biology, joined Gruen and Steinbock in a panel discussion of "Stem Cell Research in the Obama Era."

Dr. Irving Weissman, professor of pathology and developmental biology at the Stanford School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, spoke on “Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells. Weissman’s research focuses on hematopoietic stem cell biology. Other speakers at the symposium included Gordon Carmichael, professor of genetics and developmental biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and Valerie Horsley, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University. Carmichael, who spoke on “Double Stranded and Noncoding RNAs in Human Embryonic Stem Cells” studies molecular signals which control the expression and function of mRNA molecules. Horsley, who spoke on “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Control of Skin Stem Cells," studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control stem cell activity and function within epithelia, the tissues that line internal organs and outer surfaces. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Dr. Irving Weissman, professor of pathology and developmental biology at the Stanford School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, spoke on “Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells. Weissman’s research focuses on hematopoietic stem cell biology. Other speakers at the symposium included Gordon Carmichael, professor of genetics and developmental biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and Valerie Horsley, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University. Carmichael, who spoke on “Double Stranded and Noncoding RNAs in Human Embryonic Stem Cells” studies molecular signals which control the expression and function of mRNA molecules. Horsley, who spoke on “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Control of Skin Stem Cells," studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control stem cell activity and function within epithelia, the tissues that line internal organs and outer surfaces. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Critical Theory Addressed at Humanities Symposium

The Center for the Humanities and the Theory Initiative Sponsored a symposium titled "Adorno and America" Dec. 4 in Russell House. Many of the major works of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory were written in the United States during the World War II. Critical theory’s dislocation from its European origins is significant not only historically but also philosophically: the exiled intellectuals were convinced that an effective theory of culture and society could be realized only in America, where capitalism had reached its most advanced state. The symposium reflected on how the American experience of the Frankfurt School’s most prominent representative, Theodor Adorno, informed the evolution of critical theory.

The Center for the Humanities and the Theory Initiative, a faculty group that is currently seeking to add a "Certificate in Theory" to Wesleyan’s curriculum, hosted a symposium titled "Adorno and America" on Dec. 4 in Russell House. The speakers discussed how the American experience of the Frankfurt School’s most prominent representative, Theodor Adorno, informed the evolution of critical theory. Adorno, a prolific philosopher, sociologist, critical essayist, and musicologist, lived in New York and Los Angeles during the late 1930s and the 1940s. It was during his time in America that he wrote many of his major works of lasting importance, such as Minima Moralia, Dialectic of Enlightenment, and The Philosophy of New Music. Adorno shared with his fellow exiles—among them Bertolt Brecht, Hanns Eisler, Max Horkheimer, and Thomas Mann—the conviction that an effective theory of culture and society could be realized only in America, where capitalism had reached its most advanced state.

Ulrich Plass, assistant professor of German studies, introduced the symposium's topics and guest speakers. These included Joshua Rayman of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD); Matt Waggoner of Albertus Magnus College; Ryan Drake of Fairfield University; and David Jenemann of the University of Vermont.

Ulrich Plass, assistant professor of German studies, introduced the symposium's topics and guest speakers. These included Joshua Rayman of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD); Matt Waggoner of Albertus Magnus College; Ryan Drake of Fairfield University; and David Jenemann of the University of Vermont. Extended versions of the papers presented will be published in issue 149 of the journal Telos, guest-edited by Plass and Rayman.

At left, Ethan Kleinberg, associate professor of history, associate professor of letters, chair of the College of Letters, and Arne Hoecker, visiting assistant professor of German studies, listen to Plass's introduction.

At left, Ethan Kleinberg, associate professor of history, associate professor of letters, chair of the College of Letters, and Arne Hoecker, visiting assistant professor of German studies, listen to Plass's introduction.

Joshua Rayman spoke on "Adorno’s American Reception," during the symposium. Rayman is a professor for SCAD's eLearning Program.

Joshua Rayman spoke on "Adorno’s American Reception," during the symposium. Rayman is a professor for SCAD's eLearning Program.

Joshua Rayman, Ryan Drake and Sara Brill from Fairfield University, enjoy the symposium. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Joshua Rayman, Ryan Drake and Sara Brill from Fairfield University, enjoy the symposium. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Carter ’88 Speaks on ‘Green the Ghetto’ at Dwight Greene Symposium

Majora Carter '88 delivered the keynote address at the Dwight L. Greene Symposium Nov. 7.

Majora Carter '88 delivered the keynote address at the Dwight L. Greene Symposium Nov. 7.

Majora Carter ’88 delivered the keynote address titled “Green the Ghetto and How Much It Won’t Cost Us” during the 17th Annual Dwight L. Greene Symposium Nov. 7 in Memorial Chapel.

Carter is the founder of Sustainable South Bronx and River Heroes, host of Eco-Heroes on Sundance Channel and The Promised Land on National Public Radio.

Carter founded and led Sustainable South Bronx from 2001 to 2008, and is currently president of her own economic development consulting group.

The well-received presentation was preceded by Wesleyan President Michael Roth’s announcement of the College of the Environment.

The symposium, held in honor of Dwight L. Greene ’70, began in 1993 as a memorial to his life and work as a professor of law, mentor and friend to many.

The symposium was sponsored by the Wesleyan Black Alumni Council, the Alumni of Color  Network and the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

Freshwater Resources Topic of Where On Earth Are We Going Symposium

Patrick Osborne

Patrick Osborne, executive director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, will speak on climate change during the Where on Earth Are We Going symposium Nov. 7.

During the last 50 years, humans have degraded rivers and lakes through excessive water abstraction, pollution and by over-harvesting aquatic organisms. River flow has been impeded by dams, and floodplains have been converted for agriculture and urban areas.

The human population has doubled to nearly 7 billion and, per capita water availability has declined on all continents. During the past 50 years, global climate change has further impacted water resources.

On Nov. 7, three climate experts will speak on “Global Environmental Change And Freshwater Resources: Hope For The Best Or Change To Prepare For The Worst?” during the annual Where On Earth Are We Going? Symposium. The event is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

At 9 a.m., Patrick L. Osborne, executive director of the Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will look at ways climate change and global warming have altered river and lake function and the water resources on which humans rely. He has 30 years experience in tropical ecology research, education and environmental consultancy and was the head of the biology department at the University of Papua New Guinea and deputy director of the Water Research Center at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

At 10:15 a.m., Frank H. McCormick, program manager of Air, Water and Aquatic Environments at the Rocky Mountain Research Station,

Kottos Honorary Distinguished Guest at Physics Symposium

Tsampikos Kottos

Tsampikos Kottos

Tsampikos Kottos, assistant professor of physics, was invited to the 7th Christmas Symposium of Physicists Dec. 11-13. The event will be held at the University of Maribor’s Center for Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in Maribor, Slovenia.

Kottos will be one of the main speakers and an honorary distinguished guest. The scientific meeting involves several distinguished guests from abroad, covering all research disciplines in physics.

Saturn’s Rings, Siberian Eclipse Topics at KECK Symposium

Hannah Sugarman '09 speaks on "Finding Intermediate Mass Black Holes in the Local Universe" during the 18th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium Nov. 8.

Hannah Sugarman ’09 speaks on “Finding Intermediate Mass Black Holes in the Local Universe” during the 18th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium Nov. 8.

Astronomers interested in black holes generally study small, low-mass types within our own galaxy, or super-massive black holes found in the center of other large galaxies. But during the 18th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium Nov. 7-8 at Wesleyan. astronomy major Hannah Sugarman ’09 explained the importance of finding intermediate mass black holes in the local universe.

“Small black holes are about 30 times the mass of the sun, and the big, super-massive black holes have a mass of about a million times the mass of the sun. Intermediate mass black holes are in between these mass limits,” Sugarman says. “They are important because if super-massive black holes are made by slightly smaller ones combining, we want to be able to observe the smaller ones to see how this works.”