Mini College 2012 Archive - Classes
Classes offered during Mini College 2012:
10 African American Novels and Wikipedia
- Howard Rambsy II, Associate Professor, Literature
Over the last few years, Wikipedia has become a prevalent site for information on a wide variety of historical events and figures, including African American literary works and authors. Nearly half of the books represented in our "100 African American Novels" project are documented on Wikipedia. Some novels, including Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Richard Wright's Native Son, and Toni Morrison's Beloved, have extensively developed Wikipedia pages. This particular session highlights the different ways that the world's most famous online encyclopedia presents information about ten of our most known African American novels.
2 Major Cities in the history of African American Novels
- John Edgar Tidwell, Professor of English
The Great Migration's movements of two million African Americans from southern states to the Midwestern, Western, and Northeastern regions of the country during the early twentieth century are reflected in African American novels, particularly among black male protagonists. James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912), Langston Hughes Not Without Laughter (1930), Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952), and James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) all feature men making migrations to the Northern cities, specifically New York City or Chicago. Utilizing our database of 100 novels reveals useful ways of considering the prevalence of migration in African American literature. This session will highlight 6 major findings concerning migration and geographic setting based on the HBW's 100 Novels Project.
2012: What (if anything) is Written in the Stars?
- Barbara Anthony-Twarog, Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Humans have observed the heavens for millennia. However, the questions we ask and the interpretations we impose on our observations are affected by culture, technology and geography. We'll begin by trying to "see" what our ancestors saw when they observed the heavens. Then we will take a critical look at claims of predicted astrophysical and geophysical events for 2012. Finally, we'll discuss a CERTAIN event for June 5, 2012 -- a rare transit of Venus.
A Conversation with the Deans: An inside look into the College and the School of Business
- Danny Anderson, Dean, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
- Neeli Bendapudi, Dean, School of Business
African Theatre in World Literature
- Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, Professor, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
This presentation explores the state, relevance and focus of African theatre in world literature. It discusses selected works of contemporary African playwrights and their responses to trends in globalization while maintaining meaningful balance between their national and or regional African-specific identities. Close attention will be given to plays and playwrights addressing issues about the environment, exile and migration, human rights, feminism civic conflicts, and other socio-global issues. Among authors to be highlighted are Tess Onwueme, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Ama Ata Aidoo, Athol Fugard, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Wole Soyinka and Sindiwe Magona.
Alumni Artists in the Spencer Museum of Art
- Susan Earle, Curator, Spencer Museum of Art
Join curator Susan Earle for a look at wonderful works of art by KU alumni artists in the Spencer Museum of Art on campus. We will consider the important roles that KU alumni artists have played in the art world and explore an array of actual works of art in the galleries and behind the scenes.
Alumni Association Mixer
You are invited to come to Adam's Alumni Center for drinks and light appetizers. Mingle with friends and learn about upcoming alumni events!
- Jessica Beeson, CLAS
- Danny Anderson, Dean, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
Americans in Paris
- Stephen Evans, Lecturer, English
Ernest Hemingway naturally comes to mind when one thinks of "Americans in Paris." But as Adam Gopnik's recent anthology amply demonstrates, Americans have been drawn to the lights of Paris since the earliest days of the Republic—and they came as statesmen, soldiers, students, tourists, and for any number of other reasons. Indeed, because of the various "freedoms" she afforded Americans, in addition to her world eminence in terms of intellectual, educational, political, and cultural opportunities, Paris—at least until relatively recently—has played a central role in the ever-developing American experience. During our brief sojourn in Paris we will encounter the city through the writings of authors as diverse as Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, Jack Kerouac—and Hemingway, of course. This popular Freshman Honors English course is enhanced with the film Paris: The Luminous Years, the expertise of guest speakers, and field trips to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library and Spencer Museum of Art. During the Mini College session the instructor will endeavor to convey the rich possibilities of the course, one that can be taught at all levels.
Art in the Global Context
- Celka Straughn, Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs, Spencer Museum of Art
What does it mean to examine art in a global context? How might the Spencer Museum of Art (SMA) explore works in its collection through a global framework? What issues and implications might such a framework stimulate? Such questions will inform a discussion on selected works in the SMA collection from across cultures and periods as well as on the Spencer's current reinstallation initiative "Project Redefine."
Capote in Kansas: The Making of Region
- Dave Tell, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Prompted by the 1959 murder of a family in Holcomb, Kansas, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood told the story of how, why, and to what effect two men murdered four people they had never known. In this course, we will explore how Kansans responded to Capote. We will ask why citizens in Garden City, Dodge City, Emporia, Wichita, Hutchinson, Topeka, Lansing, and, of course, Lawrence, argued with each other over the meaning of Truman Capote.
Communication Disorders in Adults - Lab tour
- SPLH Faculty, Speech-Language-Hearing
Participants are invited to the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to learn about the field of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the impacts of communication disorders acquired after stroke/brain injury, and the normal aging effects on hearing and communication. Participants will have to opportunity to interact with speech-language pathologists and audiologists, view hearing aids and instrumentation used in hearing assessments, and tour one of the largest labs in the region dedicated to the latest computer technology and software for individuals with communication disorders.
Cryptograph: An Exhibition in Honor of Alan Turing
- Steve Goddard, Senior Curator, Spencer Museum of Art
Cryptograph is organized in conjunction with the many celebrations taking place around the world in honor of the centenary of Alan Turing (1912-1954), the brilliant British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist. Turing's world-changing innovations include the Turing Machine, a conceptual machine that builds on the notion of the algorithm and lays the foundation of modern computing. As a cryptanalyst during World War II, Turing's breakthroughs in logic allowed him to decipher the German encrypting device known as the Enigma Machine which was used extensively in communication between German U-boats. Turing was also deeply involved in the idea of "Machine Intelligence," and he developed a test for artificial intelligence that is still in use today. Late in his career Turing became fascinated with the field of mathematical biology, a field that explores the mathematical underpinnings of morphogenesis, the origins and evolution of biological form. The exhibition draws from the Spencer's permanent collections seeking works that resonate with the kinds of questions that drove Turing's research: finding meaning in patterns, and finding connections between mathematics and computing, intelligence and natural form. The exhibition was conceived in consultation and collaboration with KU's Information and Telecommunication Technology Center and the Biodiversity Institute.
Designing New Biomolecules
- John Karanicolas, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences
In the past 10 years, it has become possible to leverage our increasing understanding of the structural properties that govern protein function for computationally designing proteins with new functions, including some never before seen in nature. This session will cover first the underlying biochemical theory, and then how computers contribute to the design process. It will highlight specific examples of successful designs along the way, and conclude by discussing what the future holds for this field.
EEB Field Station
- Helen Alexander, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- W. Dean Kettel, Associate Director, University of Kansas Field Station
- Val Smith, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Alexander/Kettle: Kansas landscapes have changed dramatically over the last 200 years, as prairies have largely disappeared and been replaced by agricultural and urban landscapes. Our session will both provide a broad biological and historical background to eastern Kansas landscapes, and introduce participants to the tallgrass prairie. This session will consist of a bus tour with stops to discuss historical and current vegetation, a "hands-on" session examining prairie flowers at the University of Kansas Field Station, and a hike in the Rockefeller Prairie at the Field Station. Participants should be comfortable walking on a concrete path for ¾ to 1 mile.
Smith: PowerPoint presentation on algal biofuels in the Armitage Center, which would provide a visual overview of algae and renewable energy "landscapes of the future" for the participants. This presentation would be followed by a walking trip to the nearby algal production facilities, as well as to the new KU Center for Aquatic Biomass Research, which resides in the berm building.
EEB Field Station (Automatically selected with Back To Nature track)
On Monday only, those who have chosen the Back To Nature weekly track will be leaving for the Field Station right after lunch.
- Paul Mirecki, Professor, Religious Studies
The University of Kansas has in its rare book collection an ancient Egyptian papyrus scroll dating from about 950 BCE. The scroll was found in a tomb in central Egypt and acquired by KU in 2000. Similar to the famous Egyptian Book of the Dead, the scroll's images are accompanied by hieroglyphic texts that describe the dangers and traps the soul encounters as it proceeds toward the rising sun during the 12 hours of the first night after burial. The scroll was made circa 950 BCE by priestly scribes who worked in the funerary services of the large and famous Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt. The scroll provides interesting parallels to religious beliefs among Jews and Christians later described in the Bible.
Evening Event: Graduation Party
Come celebrate completing Mini College 2012 with your peers! Dinner and drinks will be served. Dress is casual.
Exciting Changes at KU: Looking Toward the Future
- Tim Caboni, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs
Fascinating Womanhood, 1920s and Today
- Jennifer Heller, Lecturer, Humanities & Western Civilization
View, read, and study a set of rare pamphlets produced for "single girls" in the 1920s. The Fascinating Womanhood series educated girls (especially the so-called "feminists") on the traditional arts of winning the single-most important prize in life: a husband. Topics include beauty and hygiene tips, coyness, playing "hard to get," and landing the proposal. Seem like a relic from the past? The pamphlets were republished in 1963 and became instant bestsellers--in bookstores right alongside Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique.
Forceful Submission Fantasies in Women: A Sign of Pathology or Power?
- Patricia Hawley, Associate Professor, Psychology
This class will address forceful submission fantasies in men and women. Although many approaches implicitly or explicitly cast women's force fantasies in a pathological light, this work seeks to explore the associations of such fantasy to female power. By adopting an evolutionary meta-theoretical perspective (and a resource control theory perspective), we hypothesized that dominant women would prefer forceful submission fantasies as a means to connect them to dominant men. In addition, we suggest that dominant women ascribe a meaning to the object of the fantasy different from that assigned by subordinate women (i.e., "warrior lover" vs. "white knight"). Three studies were conducted with nearly 900 college students (men and women) from KU. Our hypotheses were largely supported. Forceful submission fantasies appear to reflect desire for sexual power rather than masochism. Implications for evolutionary approaches to human mate preferences will be discussed.
From Blue Willow to Chinet
- Liz Kowalchuk, Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Visual Art Education
This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the 17th century export trade in Chinese porcelain, the Blue Willow pattern developed by Thomas Minton in 1790, and contemporary plate design. At the same time, participants will paint their own blue and white plates using folk fables as a starting point.
Genetic Technology and the Quest for Perfection
- Ben Eggleston, Associate Professor, Philosophy
More than ever before, medical science is being applied at the level of individual genes. But emerging genetic technologies raise many new ethical questions: How should expecting parents use information about the genes of their unborn children? Is it ethical to test people for untreatable conditions such as Huntington's disease? Would it be ethical for people to alter their genes to be healthier and live longer? How about to do better in school, in sports, or at work? Can we pursue such improvements while acknowledging the inevitable imperfection of human nature? In this session, concrete examples and ethical principles will be used to help participants discuss these and related questions.
Get $220 for every dollar you invest!
- Susan Scholz, Associate Professor, Accounting; Associate Professor and Harper Faculty Fellow, Accounting and Information Systems
This session will discuss corporate lobbying and tax relief around the American Jobs Creation Act when multinational companies earned a stunning 22,000% return on their lobbying efforts for a tax holiday. Of course, lobbying is only one way that companies angle for better outcomes from regulators and markets. The session will also investigate trends in financial reporting fraud after the Enron bankruptcy and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Get the Picture: Viewing and Understanding Art
- Amanda Martin-Hamon, Coordinator, Spencer Museum of Art Docent Program & Public Outreach
- Kristina Walker, Coordinator, Spencer Museum of Art
Uncover the mysteries of art. Investigate the depths of artistic expression and interpretation. Slow down from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take time to LOOK. Explore a variety of interpretive approaches to looking at and understanding art with Museum Educators Amanda Martin-Hamon and Kristina Walker. No prior knowledge of art necessary.
History of the Jayhawk
- Becky Schulte, Associate Librarian, KU Libraries
For more than a century the Jayhawk has served as a symbol of the University of Kansas. The history of the Jayhawk is a long and colorful one beginning as early as the Kansas Territorial period, 1854-1861. This presentation given before KU alumni groups around the country brings together images and audio and video files found in the University Archives located in Spencer Research Library on the KU campus. A search through Jayhawker yearbooks, the University Daily Kansan newspaper, photo collections and clippings files has yielded more than a hundred images of Jayhawks providing a picture of the evolution of the mythical bird.
Important Haitian Art in the Spencer Museum
- Megan Young, Morris Family Scholar, Spencer Museum of Art
An in depth look at an amazing selection of important paintings from the Mary Lou Vansant Collection of Haitian Art, recently gifted to the Spencer Museum of Art. We will look in depth at several works by first generation Haitian artists, many of whose primary bodies of work were completely destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.
Innovation: A lightning bolt or programmed discipline?
- Sanjay Mishra, Associate Professor, Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Ideas are the lifeblood of society. In business, we distinguish between good ideas and not so good ones. Understanding innovation helps us develop a framework for making these assessments. We will look at several examples of innovation and study their sources. You should walk out of the session with at least three new ideas that may be worth pursuing.
Investing Behaviors to Avoid
- Kelly Welch, School of Business Teaching Fellow, Finance
Investors can be prone to making repeated mistakes, rather than following the paradigms of rational economics. Finance research has now documented several tendencies of investors to misbehave and, in the process, damage their own investment performance. We will analyze the sources of such mistakes, discuss ways to identify such behaviors in our own practices, evaluate whether individual and institutional investors can systematically take advantage, and remind investors the best approaches to long-term investing.
Is technology an addiction and nature the cure?
- Paul Atchley, Associate Professor, Psychology
In this presentation, Dr. Atchley will discuss our relationship to technology and how it is changing how we think. The talk will cover trends in technology adoption and how it impacts safety, well-being, aesthetic experience and the human brain. He will discuss some of his work on technology addiction and preview some his most recent work looking at how a return to natural, technology-free, environments might improve cognitive function.
Joy of Drawing
- Carol Ann Carter, Professor, Visual Art
If you've always wanted to draw, join us for a relaxed, hands-on and engaging introductory still life drawing session. The instructor will introduce basic tools, subject matter and strategies students employ to develop images and compositions. Exercises include examples and demonstrations. Come and explore your hidden creative instincts! *Two-part class. You will be automatically enrolled in both sessions if you choose this option.
- Jerry Masinton, Professor Emeritus, English
Professor Masinton will discuss how good memoir writing is not fancy or "literary." It's the simple act of recalling significant moments or scenes in your life not only for yourself but also for your family and other interested readers. The course will cover the easy rules to keep in mind when planning and writing a memoir. Bring pencil and pad and share your ideas with the group.
- Chip Taylor
Monarch migration is considered to be one of the world's greatest natural phenomenons. Each fall, the monarch migrates from the United States and Canada to overwintering sites in Mexico to wait out a safe return in the spring. Unfortunately, milkweeds and nectar sources are gradually declining due to the rapid use of herbicides in croplands, pastures and roadsides. Monarchs need milkweed plants as hosts for their larvae and nectar from flowers to thrive. Without either, they cannot produce offspring at rates sufficient for continued survival of the species or make the long journey to the overwintering areas in Mexico. That's where Monarch Watch steps in. March Watch is an organization dedicated to educating, conserving, and researching the monarch butterflies.
Money Makes the World Go 'Round: Geographies of Global Finance
- Barney Warf, Professor, Geography
Dramatic changes in the world economy in the late 20th century created a series of new geographies. Chief among the most globalized industries is finance and banking. Dr. Warf will examine how the contemporary wave of globalization has reshaped the nature and location of international flows of money, including three broad areas: 1) electronic funds transfer systems, 2) the rise of offshore financial systems, and 3) the growth of world cities such as New York, London, and Tokyo.
Mothers, Fathers and Children: The Evolutionary Origins of Conflict
- Jennifer Gleason, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Parental care varies considerably among animals. Why do some parents lavish extensive care on their children whereas others drop the eggs and run? When parental care exists, why is care provided solely by the mother in some species whereas in other species both parents participate? Are there species where the father is the sole caretaker? How do parents and offspring decide when the young are ready to live on their own? We will explore these questions and investigate the conflict between parents and children as well as between mothers and fathers through evolutionary theory. In addition, the implications for parental behavior in our own species will be discussed.
Music from the Movies with the Chuck Berg Cine-Jazz Quartet
- Chuck Berg, Professor, Film and Media Studies
Jazz and film share intertwined histories. In its program of popular songs from the movies, the Chuck Berg Cine-Jazz Quartet will explore the musical as well as social, cultural and economic factors coalescing around tunes such as "Over the Rainbow" and "Take the 'A' Train" that have ascended to iconic status. (Chuck, a professor of Film and Media Studies and tenor saxophonist will be joined by an all-star jazz rhythm section from Kansas City.)
Natural History Museum
- Leonard Krishtalka, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Director of Biodiversity Institute
- Andrew Campbell, Division of Herpetology Collections Manager
The biological world is a dynamic and changing place and scientists have only discovered a fraction of the diversity of organisms. The Herpetology collections in the KU Biodiversity Institute are at the forefront of the efforts to observe, record, document, and describe the diversity of living amphibians and reptiles. This session will include a presentation of the latest research in the Division of Herpetology and an opportunity to see the specimens used in this research. Participants will also tour the collections facility and see many of the 330,000+ amphibian and reptile specimens, including extinct and endangered species in our collections. The session concludes with a discussion of the collection?s impact and our efforts to preserve the specimens for future generations.
Out to the Ballgame: Reading Baseball in American Literature and Culture
- James Carothers, Professor, English
At one extreme, baseball is a game for children, and at the other extreme, a highly competitive economic enterprise. In between it provides a sustaining mythology for Americans with its heroes, underdogs, history, and humor. More has been written about baseball than about any other subject of comparable significance in Amereican history, considering journalism, sports history, biography, autobiography, statistics, fiction, poetry, drama, and folklore. Most of this writing is not only forgettable, but already forgotten. Yet some texts endure and prevail, engaging, entertaining, and enlightening new readers in each generation. This class will look at examples from some of these texts, and consider the kinds of research and writing about baseball going on now.
Pizza and a Movie: The Only Good Indian
- Kevin Willmott, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies
- Matthew Jacobson, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies
Planes, Hyperplanes and Beyond: Understanding Higher-Dimensional Spaces
- Jeremy Martin, Associate Professor, Mathematics
Suppose that you have a cake and are allowed to make ten straight-line slices. What is the greatest number of pieces you can produce? What if the slices have to be symmetric - or if the cake is four-dimensional? How can we possibly see what it looks like to slice space into pieces using lines, planes, or hyperplanes? Many of these questions have beautiful answers that can be revealed using unexpected, yet essentially simple mathematical techniques. Better yet, the seemingly abstract study of hyperplane arrangements has many surprising practical applications, ranging from optimization problems, to the theory of networks, to how a group of cars can find parking spots.
Playing with Curved Electrons for Future Electronics
- Hui Zhao, Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
The electronic technology is in the nanotechnology era with device sizes as small as 30 billionth of a meter. Future development replies on new approaches. One of the extensive studied candidates is spin-based electrons, also called spintronics, where the angular momentum, or spin, is used to carrier the information. This course will introduce the current status of this new technology, and describe some latest research results by KU researchers on generation and detection of spin currents, the key elements of this technology.
Quest for Perfection: Introduction to Ballet
- Jerel Hilding, Associate Professor, Dance
This course will provide you with an introduction to the basic technical demands of ballet while offering insights into its history, what to look for when watching ballet, and the life of a ballet dancer. You will explore the basic shapes and movements commonly recognized as 'ballet' and learn about the evolution of ballet from the court of Louis XIV to present day. Participants should wear comfortable clothes which allow you to move freely.
Raising Tibet and the Himalayas: Perspectives from a Field Geologist
- Mike Taylor, Associate Professor, Geology
This talk will present my personal views on the dynamic cause for the tectonic development of the Himalayas and Tibet, which form the largest mountain belt on Earth, and their effects on seismic hazards for the surrounding populations of Tibet, China, Nepal, and India.
Reagan: The Great Communicator
- Robert Rowland, Professor, Communication Studies
Ronald Reagan, "the great communicator," is remembered as one of the most effective presidential speakers. Reagan was so effective because he was a principled pragmatist who did not stray from his fundamental values, but was quite pragmatic in adapting to changing circumstances. It was the combination of principle and pragmatism, along with a sense of rhetorical authenticity produced in large part by his personal involvement in the speech writing process that made Reagan so effective.
Ritual Pomp and Popular Piety
- Sally Cornelison, Associate Professor, History of Art
This Mini College lecture is derived from my forthcoming book Art and the Relic Cult of St. Antoninus in Renaissance Florence (Ashgate Publishing, 2012). Its focus is the stunning chapel Medici court artist Giambologna and his associates created between 1579 and 1589 to house the relics of the sainted Florentine archbishop, Antoninus Pierozzi (1389-1459). The chapel is decorated with marble statues of saints important to Florence and the Dominican Order to which St. Antoninus belonged, as well as with colorful frescoes and beautifully crafted bronze reliefs that depict scenes from the saint's life. Further frescoes in the chapel's vestibule capture and commemorate the events of 8 and 9 May 1589, when St. Antoninus' relics were carried in procession through the streets of Florence accompanied by members of the ruling Medici family and subsequently laid to rest in their new chapel.
Roots and Branches of the 2012 Phenomenon
- John Hoopes, Associate Professor, Anthropology
The "2012 phenomenon" is characterized by beliefs that the end of the 13th bak'tun of the Long Count calendar on December 21, 2012 will be accompanied by cataclysmic "earth changes" and/or a significant metaphysical "transformation of consciousness." Western eschatology evolved over time into contemporary mythology that weaves together scholarly misinterpretations, Romantic assertions, metaphysical truths, and counterculture activism that blossomed in the contexts of social and spiritual movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Embellished by both academic and non-academic scholars, they resulted in contemporary mythology that reveals more about non-indigenous culture than the ancient Maya.
Sports as Religion: Fact or Fiction?
- Michael J. Zogry, Associate Professor, Religious Studies
Are there any sports or athletic games in the world that are considered religious? Have there ever been any? Can sports such as basketball, football, or soccer be religions for players or spectators? This lecture will provide an introduction to these questions by surveying several examples from different cultures and time periods, as well as selected scholarly interpretations.
Stand and Deliver: A Short Course in Stand-Up Comedy
- John Gronbeck-Tedesco, Professor, Theatre
The purpose of the course is to explore the nature of comedy by means of actually writing and performing the genre. Students will learn some of the "principles" of comic writing and performance based on the work of effective comedians from the last 25 years. Participants will invent and perform their own jokes and those of others in the class as a way of practicing the principles presented offered by the instructor. "Reversal," "Matrix Switching," "Cadence," "Personal Confession" and other techniques will become part of the students' repertory of approaches to comedy.
Stories of Groundwater Pollution and the Lessons They Teach for Kansas
- J. F. Devlin, Associate Professor, Geology
Since the mid 1980's there has been much learned about how contaminants behave in the ground, and this has led to some innovative and practical solutions for groundwater contamination. However, along the way some mistakes were made as well as successes. A series of case studies examining specific cases of groundwater pollution, our responses to them – successful and otherwise – and the lessons we were taught are presented to illustrate the basic principles of aquifer investigations and cleanup. Case studies may include cases of gasoline contamination, solvent spills (e.g., TCE), agricultural nitrate pollution, and water quality problems stemming from "fracking" bedrock for natural gas. Much of our experience has come from investigations conducted outside of Kansas. Perhaps surprisingly, the lessons we have learned from these remote locations have great relevance to groundwater pollution cases that exist right here in our state. This lecture will make those links, informing students about the issues we face, the challenges they pose, and the tools we are developing to deal with them.
Terrorism and Counterterrorism: America's new 'Cold War'
- Don Haider-Markel, Professor, Political Science
On the heels of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 many wonder where we are in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and when it will end. I present a broad overview of terrorism and counterterrorism before and after 9/11 and discuss how each has evolved. I argue the characteristics of new terrorism and the nature of counterterrorism policy framing by elites has ensured that the GWOT is now an enduring conflict much like the Cold War and will likely continue for decades.
The Amateur Curator: Politics as Symbol/Symbol as Politics
- Burdett Loomis, Professor, Political Science
Working with the Spencer Museum's curatorial staff, Dr. Loomis has put together a show that will go on exhibition in July 2012. This mini-course will explore the concept for this show (displayed during the presidential campaign), the selection of the art works, and the development of the ancillary material. Attendees will get a preview of the show, as well as an exploration of how the art works relate to politics in a host of ways and are encouraged to express their own opinions about the works and their thoughts on the relationship between art and politics.
The Business Case for Being a Strange Company
- James Guthrie, William and Judy Docking Professor, Business
A recipe for long-term organizational success is to have a very different (i.e., "strange") workforce: A group of über-talented employees who are relentless, almost obsessive, in their commitment, engagement, entrepreneurial drive and customer-focus; a group of employees who consistently work both "smart and hard" to produce high quality goods and services in an extremely efficient manner. But how do you do this? It's not easy. In fact, it's so challenging and rare that when it occurs it seems almost magical. But it's not magic - it's management! Through a discussion of research evidence and company examples, this session will reveal some of the management wizardry taking place behind the curtain.
The Educated Audience
- Mark Reaney, Professor, Theatre
This class will review methods of critical analysis for attending theatre and film events. Methods will be discussed for making an audience member more critically aware of the many aspects of production and how to evaluate them. What makes good directing? Good design? Acting?
The End of The World As We Know It
- Dave Besson, Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Dr. Besson will review all the possible ways the Earth will be destroyed. A recurring theme in Woody Allen's films is the ontological crisis experienced by adolescents when they make their first intellectual confrontation with mortality. In this class, we will ponder the multitudinous phenomena (asteroid impacts, drug-resistant microbes, nearby gamma-ray bursts, etc) that can contribute to the neuroses of Allen's protagonists.
The Fight Against Rogue Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease
- Chris Gamblin, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the accumulation of proteins that have "misfolded". To function properly, proteins must maintain their proper structure. In some disease states, proteins can lose their structure and adopt alternative conformations that have unintended and deadly new functions. Therapies targeting the prevention or clearance of these proteins could therefore be extremely beneficial. This session will discuss Alzheimer's disease and current efforts to develop laboratory models of the disease for future drug development.
The Incredible Shrinking Laboratory
- Tom Linz
Over the past twenty years, the world has witnessed a dramatic reduction in the size of most popular household electronics, including cell phones, computers and calculators. Analytical chemical instrumentation is now following this trend. Lab procedures that once required an instrument the size of a household refrigerator can now be accomplished using lab-on-a-chip devices the size of a credit card or hand-held computer. The small (micrometer to nanometer) dimensions of the device components offer several advantages. The instrument now becomes small enough that it is possible to determine the contents of a single cell or a drop of blood. Instruments that were once quite large are now portable in a manner analogous to the iPod or smart phone. This portability makes possible on-site analysis in remote locations in rural environments and third world countries. By coupling the device to an in vivo sampling system, it can be used for continuous near real-time monitoring of important biological compounds such as drugs and neurotransmitters in the blood, brain or other tissues. In this talk, an overview of lab-on-a-chip methodologies will be presented along with a report of recent progress toward the development of in vivo monitoring systems, clinical analyzers and single cell analysis at the University of Kansas.
The Never-Ending Story of the Schnitzelbank in German-American Popular Culture
- William Keel, Professor, Germanic Languages and Literatures
From Groucho Marx to Stephen Spielberg, generations of Americans have been entertained by variations on a German folksong known as the Schnitzelbank. Many Americans and even Germans believe the song was invented at a restaurant in Milwaukee. Variations of the song abound: in Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, in jingles for post-Prohibition breweries, in Hollywood movies, in Rock 'n Roll songs and in a more-or-less standard version featured in the Midwest—you can buy a "Schnitzelbank-Sweat-Shirt" in the Amana Colonies in Iowa, for instance. There is even a restaurant called "The Schnitzelbank" in Jasper, Indiana. English versions of the song have also popped up. This talk will explore these variations in American popular culture and the European origins of the song, including the Mardi Gras tradition in Basel, Switzerland, of singing Schnitzelbank songs (Basel touts some 80 Schnitzelbank-clubs that participate) and the dreaded top secret society known as the Schnitzelbank in Ellwangen in southwestern Germany. We will attempt to sing the call and response song at the end of the lecture! BTW: Schnitzelbank is translated as "shaving horse" in English and was an implement used to make shake shingles and barrel staves.
The Psychology of Creativity
- Evangelia Chrysikou, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Frequently in daily life we are faced with a problem but lack the typical or ideal means by which to achieve its solution. Nevertheless, we are rapidly and resourcefully able to identify objects around us that would satisfy the goal at hand. This is all the more remarkable given the fact that we might never have faced the same problem in the past or used these objects in that particular way before. This ability to think creatively depending on the context is integral to our achieving goals and underlies our proficiency as toolmakers and innovators. In this lecture, I will present recent findings from the field of cognitive neuroscience that attempt to shed light on the cognitive and brain mechanisms underlying human creativity and innovative tool use and I will discuss the implications of these findings for promoting creativity in various domains
The Temple of Zeus at Olympia: A Thousand Years of Change
- John Younger, Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Classics
The Temple of Zeus at Olympia (its cult statue was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World) was dedicated about 456 BCE and stood for a thousand years until, robbed of its statue, it was deconsecrated by early Christians and then buried by flooding under river silt (about 575 CE). In its long history earthquakes inflicted severe damage and repairs were often shoddy. We tend to think of Greek temples as standing mute and immutable, but the Zeus Temple at Olympia provides abundant testimony to a long and eventful life.
Tips of the Slung...I mean, Slips of the Tongue and What They Really Mean
- Michael Vitevitch, Associate Professor, Psychology
We've all had the experience of our tongue "slipping," resulting in us saying something incorrectly. In this session we'll consider what Freud thought of such speech errors, then focus on what such errors tell modern-day language researchers about how we manage to get the words out correctly when we speak.
Tour the Great Buddhist Temples of Korea
- Marsha Haufler, Associate Dean, Professor of Art History
The tour will begin in the ancient capital city of Gyeongju, South Korea, with an 8th-century UNESCO World Heritage site and Korea's most famous Buddha. Then we will move to the mountains to visit the "Three Jewel Temples," with their traditional buildings and active monastic communities. Our last stop will be the monastery on Mysterious Fragrance Mountain (Mt. Myohyang) in North Korea. These temples still play major roles international Buddhism, as well as in the cultures of the two Koreas.
Use it or Lose it
- Susan Kemper, Distinguished Professor, Psychology
Is the trick to slowing down aging as simple as playing a game of cards or having dinner with friends? The possibility that these and other "mental gymnastics" may slow down aging and dementia will be discussed as well as the myths and the reality of new interventions to slow down cognitive aging and reduce the risk of developing dementia. Is there a Viagra for the mind?
Using Flies to Help Explore and Treat Human Disease
- Stuart Macdonald, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences
Neurodegenerative diseases and various cancers are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Screening programs, along with various "biomarkers" of disease progression, help to identify affected individuals early, but treatments for such diseases are generally unavailable. To treat disease effectively it is important to understand the causes and progression of the disease. In combination with human genetics studies, laboratory experiments with model organisms play an invaluable role in uncovering the genetic basis of human traits. This seminar will focus on studies in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, that have helped shape our understanding of the mechanisms underlying human disease.
Waiting for the End
- Tim Miller, Professor, Religious Studies
The expectation of the imminent and cataclysmic end of the world is thousands of years old, and although so far no predictions of doom have turned out to be accurate, believers in one millennial vision or another number many millions in the United States and even more abroad. This session will examine some of the waves of millennial enthusiasm, especially among American Protestants, focusing on the last two hundred years.
What We can Learn from 100 African American Novels
- Kenton Rambsy, Project Digital Initiative Coordinator, English
In "100 Novels: Mapping Trends Past, Present, and Future" presenters will discuss how the HBW's 100 Novels Project has presented an opportunity to compile author and publication information on 100 novels from the program's collections. This information, ranging from publisher information to thematic features of select publications will be used to link well-known novels with lesser known novels to reveal trends in African American literature since the publication of Clotel: or, the President's Daughter in 1853. This project serves as a model for providing a glimpse into the future development of a comprehensive database of author, publication, and novel information for over 1,000 novels in the HBW's collections.
What's the latest from the Large Hadron Collider?
- Phil Baringer, Professor, Physics and Astronomy
- Mike Murray, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy
The big particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider has been smashing particles together for a couple of years now. What have scientists learned from these collisions? A particle physicist and a nuclear physicist will describe how findings from the accelerator are transforming their fields of research. Prof.s Baringer and Murray will try to convey the fun of doing research and the challenges of working in a truly global organization.
Where did Vampires Come From?
- Maria Carlson, Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures
Vampires are everywhere. We have novels, stories, films, Broadway shows, TV sagas; we have academic books about vampires in literature, on stage, in cinema, in cults; we even have vampire religion, vampire clothing, faux fangs, and vampire cookbooks (see Amazon: there are at least a dozen!). But haven't you wondered why on earth we have vampires at all? Where did they come from? How did this strange mythological character evolve and what is it doing in our modern world? Our session goes back in time to find the roots of the vampire in pagan beliefs and folklore. We will follow the vampire into the Middle Ages, when it disappeared from Western European culture altogether, only to return with a vengeance during the Age of Enlightenment and become entrenched in popular culture. Whatever you thought, the history of the vampire is not what you thought. We'll save plenty of time for questions.
Who Will Win the 2012 Election?
- Michael Lynch, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Dr. Lynch will talk about polling in general and about how journalist and political scientists try to predict the outcome of elections.
Why Education and Awards Matter for African American Novelists
- Maryemma Graham, Professor of English
Educational attainment among African American authors and their receipt of major literary awards are two of the more fascinating factors related the HBW's 100 Novels Project. Early on, major African American novelists had little formal education, but in more recent decades, a larger number of novelists have attended college and graduate school. The increasing numbers of black novelists to receive major literary awards or recognition for their works apparently leads to more extensive attention given to the select works. This session presents our findings from the HBW's 100 Novels Project concerning educational attainment of authors and major literary awards.
Yoga for Everyone
- Sorcha Hyland, Yoga Instructor
This 75-minute class will start with an introduction to the concept of yoga and meditation. Participants will then be led through detail-oriented basic yoga postures that will combine breath, movement and body alignment. We will focus on poses that will leave you feeling refreshed and balanced. Please bring a mat or a blanket with you.
You Too Can Be a Theoretical Physicist
- John Ralston, Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Physics is not a knowing thing, it is a doing thing. Rumors that Physics is hard are greatly exaggerated. You grow up and live in the Real World of quantum mechanics. Your basic food groups are waves of electrons, quarks, gluons, neutrinos, the Higgs (or not), supersymmetry (or not), and strings (not at all). The daily flow of experiments, rumors, communication, ideas, magic, math and discovery is not in books, nor shown on TV. Research in theoretical physics is much more fun! Should you choose to accept the mission, research in physics is personal, vitalizing, and probably addictive: you might change the Universe, or at least change history.