Spring 2013 SSF Events

More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics

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Steven E. Landsburg, Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester

Steven Landsburg’s writings are living proof that economics need not be “the dismal science.” Readers of The Armchair Economist and his columns in Slate magazine know that he can make economics not only fun but fascinating, as he searches for the reasons behind the odd facts we face in our daily lives. In More Sex Is Safer Sex, he brings his witty and razor-sharp analysis to the many ways that our individually rational decisions can combine into some truly weird collective results — and he proposes hilarious and serious ways to fix just about everything. From

Sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation

Written in Bone

Douglas Owsley, Division Head for Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Dr. Owsley will be speaking about his interdisciplinary work as a forensic anthropologist, assisting state and federal law enforcement agencies. Cases have included Jeffrey Dahmer’s first victim, recovery and identification of Waco Branch Davidian compound members, the 9-11 Pentagon Plane crash, and exhumation and identification of war dead from the former Yugoslavia. His bioarchaeological and osteological research concerns include: ancient American skeletons like Kennewick Man and the peopling of the New World; demography and health of 17th-century colonists; Civil War military remains including the crew of the H.L. Hunley submarine; iron coffin burials; and analyses of activity patterns, health and diseases of American Indian populations from the Plains and Southwest. From http://anthropology.si.edu/anthro_staff.htm

Petrovich Lecture, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Studies Council of Majors; Interdisciplinary Studies Program; Department of History; Department of Ancient Studies; Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Department of Visual Arts; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Psychology; Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture; Honors College

The Black History of the White House From Washington to Obama

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Clarence Lusane, Professor of Comparative and Regional Studies Program, School of International Service at American University

This presentation employs the White House as a prism to examine the historic and contemporary racial politics of the nation. From the building of the White House with slave labor to the “othering” of President Obama, Dr. Lusane explores the racial dynamics of one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; Language, Literacy and Culture Program; Department of History; Department of Africana Studies; Department of American Studies; Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Mr. Chips Goes to Detroit: Participating in the Auto Industry Rescue   

Edward Montgomery, Dean, Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University

Dr. Montgomery served as a member of President Obama’s Auto Task Force and as Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. He will use his talk to discuss the economics and political considerations involved in the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler and efforts to rebuild the communities reliant upon the auto industry.

Sponsored by the Department of Public Policy; Department of Economics

The Aesthetics of Temporal Sequence: Making Meals and Concerts Optimal Experiences

Paul Rozin, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania 

Meals and concerts are both episodes of one to two hours, in which a sequence of events occurs.  The presentation will address what we know, and what we have to find out, about how the ordering of events effects both our experience and our memory.  Particular attention will be paid to the modern tasting (multiple course) menu, and how some practices from music could inform the arrangement of meals.

Distinguished Lecture in Psychology, sponsored by the Department of Psychology

The Fracking of Rachel Carson: Silent Spring in an Age of Environmental Crisis

Sandra Steingraber, Professor of Education, Stanford University

A cancer survivor, Dr. Sandra Steingraber has written extensively on the intersection of the environment and public health. She will discuss what we have learned, and failed to learn, in the 50 years since Rachel Carson’s  publication of Silent Spring , and will examine the threat to public health that fracking poses.

Korenman Lecture, sponsored by the Gender and Women Studies Program; Department of American Studies; Office of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Dresher Center for the Humanities; Department of Geography and Environmental Systems; Women in Science and Engineering

A Life in History:  Reflections on Studying Politics and Policy in Twentieth-Century America

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John Jeffries, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at UMBC

John Jeffries will discuss, from the perspectives both of his own life and career and of the study of political history since the 1960s, the circumstances and choices that have shaped his work as an historian of mid-twentieth-century U.S. elections and policymaking.

Low Lecture, sponsored by the Department of History

Looking Forward from the 45th Anniversary of the Catonsville Nine Actions

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In May of 1968, nine individuals shook the conscience of the nation as they burned U.S. Selective Service records with home-made napalm on the grounds of the Catonsville, Maryland Knights of Columbus hall. The fire they started erupted into an infamous trial where the nine were defended by William Kuntsler. The news spread throughout the country, influencing other similar dynamic actions in every major U.S. city. Two of the original members of the Nine will be on hand to talk about their experiences – about how they met and their stand against U.S. militarization in Latin America. We will also be joined by scholars and film makers who will help us connect this story with the larger context of Vietnam War era protests. 

Thomas and Margarita Melville (authors of Whose Heaven, Whose Earth?);
Karin Aguilar-San Juan (Macalester College, author of Staying Vietnamese and The State of Asian America);
Joby Taylor (Shriver Center Peaceworker Program, moderator); and special guests.

Sponsored by the Department of American Studies