Born in 1838, Edwin Turner Osbaldeston encountered many walls in his life. Born into near poverty in working class Great Britain, he was able to scale the walls of his social standing as a charming, resourceful rogue. Ship's surgeon, deserter from the Royal Artillery, world traveler, "professor", con artist and impostor, he crossed many international borders. When authors caught up with Osbaldeston, he managed numerous escapes from prison and captivity. The one wall he was not able to scale was his affliction with Narcissistic Personality Disorder that was at the root of his many troubles and the alienation from family and associates.
Mayor Ken J. Siver
City of Southfield
Thursday, April 19
In the Western tradition, the epic genre establishes and reproduces national identity by connecting a glorious, mythic past with an audience's present. In Rising, Falling, Hovering, the poet C.D. Wright revises the epic tradition by tracing a national character from the sixteenth century destruction of Tenochtitlan to the twenty-first century invasion of Baghdad. In telling the story of American history from the perspective of its borders and war zones, Wright recasts the ordinary citizen as the epic hero connected to global dynamics through everyday actions. While poetry cannot dismantle walls, it can at least help us understand our history (and future) beyond these boundaries established by the state.
PhD Candidate, English Language and Literature
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Walls always surround us; they help shape our path through life, literally and metaphorically. Artists have always improvised upon and re-purposed walls in unexpected, creative, and innnovative ways. Such purposes range from aesthetic enhancement or altering the visual environment, to social messaging and communication.
In this talk, Steve Coy will address recent developments in the artistically-repurposed wall, drawing on his own creative work and contemporary street art.
Steven M. Coy MFA
Since their construction in 271 AD, the walls of Rome have become as eternal as the Imperial City they had to defend. A careful analysis of these wall--their features, motives, and meanings as a fortification system--can thus reveal the ancient history of Rome. In this talk, Francesca D'Andrea will discuss how these walls shaped the appearance and influenced the identity of Rome during the delicate transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. While this story begins wtih a city without walls, it ends with a wall as a symbol of a city.
Francesca D'Andrea, Ph.D. Candidate
Scuola Normale Superiore
"Design thinking" is a term used in the engineering sciences, architecture, and business fields to refer to the process of generating tangible solutions to complex problems. Recently, design thinking has been applied to the field of Writing Studies, for practitioners have found its focus on process, multimodality, and materiality of text useful in expanding the definition of what we do when we write and how we teach writing in the university. This talk explores a hands-on approach to using design as a way to teach structure in college essay writing. Deploying design thnking in the writing classroom allows us to cross the walls of academic disciplines while enhancing the curricular objectives we share.
Vivian Kao, Ph.D.
Dr. John Matsui is co-founder and Director of the Biology Scholars Program (BSP) at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Assistant Dean of Biology, in the College of Letters and Science. He serves on national advisory boards to broaden participation in STEM for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and is the Associate Editor for the 'Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in STEM' journal. In 2015, for his 25 years of work to diversify STEM, President Obama presented him with the NSF Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in the Oval Office.
Since 1992, 3500 Berkeley undergraduates have participated in BSP - 80% first-to-college/low-income, 70% women, and 60% from ethnic groups (African American, Hispanic, and Native American) underrepresented in science. Dr. Matsui's focus has been to recruit 'under-valued' STEM talent into BSP, students who enter Berkeley with lower SAT scores and high school GPAs and are less well-prepared to succeed in STEM majors. In spite of their significant 'academic deficit,' BSP members graduate in equal percentages with biology degrees and with equivalent exit GPAs as biology majors-at-large; demonstrating that in the right environment, students from under-resourced backgrounds can attain parity in academic performance with peers from more resource-rich backgrounds. He will share lessons learned from his work regarding how Berkeley can better support the success of all STEM majors.
After thousands of yearsm the Mycenaean world still excludes a palpable, compelling presence - in the massive stones of Cyclopean fortification walls, in the curving embrace of a tholos tomb, even in the low stubble of a palace's foundation. In two of her experimental art films, Andrea Eis engages with the intense physicality and metaphorical power of these remains. The mute walls become catalysts for the imagination, inspiring meditations on the strength and vitality of two mythic women, Penelope and Clytemnestra, and allowing speculative visions to emerge from the stones.
Imagine that an out of control train is heading down a track, and in a matter of seconds it will kill five innocent, unsuspecting people. You are on a footbridge above the track, and you alone can stop the train, but the only way to stop it is to shove a large individual in front of the train, sending one person to certain death in order to save five others. Would that be right? Obligatory? Permissible? Forbidden? Dilemmas like this provoke strong and contradictory moral judgments. Dr. Shargel will discuss recent findings from psychology and neuroscience on the processes that lead to moral judgments, and argue that the leading theory is confused about the moral role of emotions.
On one thing all are agreed: the Flint Water Crisis would not have happened without a fateful encounter between corrosive water and lead pipes. Everything else, however, is up for debate. Was the Flint River treatable to begin with? Who made the key decisions that led to the crisis? Was Flint the victim of a technical blunder or an insidious political agenda? In this presentation, Dr. Ben Pauli argues that correcting the injustice in Flint depends not just on getting the lead out but on explaining how it got in .
Morra is a fast-paced hand game that dates back to the ancient Egypt and that is still played in some Mediterranean areas, especially in Sardinia, Italy. In Morra, two players simultaneously reveals their hand, extending any number of fingers, and call out a number. Any player who successfully guesses the total number of extended fingers scores a point. The analysis of Morra has important implications for the study of consciousness, expertise, social psychology, implicit memory for numeric series and explicit mathematical strategies. Dr. Delogu is coordinating an international team of researchers and students from Lawrence Tech and the University of Cagliari in a study aiming at advance knowledge about the game and its relations with human cognition.
For many collectors, the collecting experience is a voyage of discovery - in Ludger Brinker's case a learning process by which he re-imagined the art culture as it has existed in the city of Detroit from the 1920s onward. As a consequence, the focus is on an abiding sense of place and time - the land, the waters, the industry, the grit of the city as it has been documented by Detroit-area artists both widely recognized and obscure. In this Idea Factory Presentation, Dr. Brinker will offer a collector's perspective on the history of regionalist art as practiced by Detroit artists.
The LTU Humanities Department invites students, faculty, and staff to join us for a very special session of our Idea Factory seminar series. Please join us for a panel discussion with three eminent experts in the field of American Foreign Policy, who will survey the state of those relations in 2016 and assess the impact of the Presidential election upon their future course.
Born in 1993, Shemeul lived many lives: merchant, Arabic calligrapher, political advisor to a Beber king in Spain, eventually commander of the Moslem king's army. Along the way, he introduced many formal innovations to Hebrew Poetry. Nearly 1,000 years later, Yehudah Amichai (born Ludwig Pfeuffer) moved with his family from Nazi Germany to British Mandate Palestine. Amichai would go on to write remarkable contemporary Hebrew Poetry. In this Idea Factory presentation, Dr. Louis Finkelman will explain some of the surprising connections between these two poets, separated by a millenium.
People have enjoyed this truly American art form for ages, but it often defies definition; listeners are not always certain exactly what they are hearing. Is jazz music a "style?" Is it a performance model? The answer is "Yes!" Come to this talk to find out more.
Tracy Kash - College of Arts and Sciences
Poet Robert Frost argued "if a book of poetry contains 25 poems, the 26th poem ought to be in the book. What, exactly, does he mean by this, and how do poets unify separate poems into a collection? In this talk, Sara Lamers examines the ways in which a poetry collection on both micro-textual and macro-textual levels, using her Something Fierce Beds Down as a case study.
Dr. Sara Lamers - Senior Lecturer in English
Ameme is a bit-sized morsel of information that is easily shared and reproduced. Tectonics describes the manner in which building components are designed so as to satisfy the practical and poetic concerns. Meme-tectonics shifts the focus of architecture from the production of objects to the dissemination of objects of knowledge. The result is a more socially-responsive approach to design, one that Professor Shall has deployed over the last ten years to develop creative work and communities in need around the world.
Scott Gerald Shall, AIA - Interim Associate Dean + Associate Professor
(College of Architecture and Design)
A Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Arthur Marotti , Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus, Wayne State University, Dr. Lisa Meruca , Associate Professor of English, Wayne State University, and Dr. Lillian Crum, MFA , Senior Lecturer, LTU.
This study will examine the effects of stress on labor and delivery outcome. Specifically, we are trying to identify the various sources of stress which range from those which are very well known (e.g., medical complications) to those which are often overlooked (e.g., the presence of unwanted persons in the delivery room, rude medical staff, extended family requesting constant updates, etc.). We are also trying to identify any protective factors which may serve to buffer the effects of stress.
Dr. Kineta Morgan-Paisley - Senior Lecturer in Psychology.
The specialization of the brain's hemispheres offers some clues about the nature of bipolar disorder. Potential experiments on split-brain patients could help unravel the mystery of consciousness.
Dr. Gonzalo Munevar - Professor of Philosophy, Ementus
Imagine a crime novel where the murder has already been committed, the killer already identified, the victim already buried. What would be left to tell? In this presentation, Dr. Paul Jaussen argues that Faulkner's use of narrative devices - that is to say, his style - becomes a crucial way of seeing new events we think we already know.
Dr. Paul Jaussen - Assistant Professor of Literature
Come hear Professor Corinne Stavish tell the remarkable story of the country that saved 98% of its Jewish population during the Holocaust. After her story, Professor Stavish will share insight into the process of researching and writing this story, offering us a chance to reflect on the challenges and responsibilities of historical narrative.
Corrinne Stavish - Director, Technical, and Professional Communication
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is often considered as a major contributor to the epidemic of overweight and obesity in the USA. The study tested the discriminability of sugar from aspartame in 14 commercially available carbonated soft drinks. In a double blind test, 55 students of sweetness, likability, and to recognize if the drink contains sugar or aspartame. Ratings were made exclusively on the base of drink taste, as color and drink names were unknown to the subjects. Main results indicates that people, when tasting carbonated soft drinks, are not accurate at discrimating sugar from non-caloric sweeteners. Interestingly, however, they systemically prefer sugar without recognizing it.
Dr. Franco Delogu - Assistant Professor of Psychology
When a writer decides to write an epic, how does the tradition, the epics of Homer or Virgil, for example, guide and determine the structure, motifs, and themes of her new artistic creation? How do prior literary examples and immediate story intersect and overlap?
In this presentation, Melinda Weinstein will discuss the relationship between genre and creative license through the example of her novel-in-progress, The Nth Degree . The Nth Degree toggles between immediate tale, set in 1997-1998, and the detail is the pastoral tradition, invented by Theocritus and developed by Virgil and Spenser.
Melinda Weinstein - Author
During an intense emotion episode all sorts of things change. After hearing an insulting comment, your blood pressure and heart rate rise, your brows lower and eyes bug out, you become less tolerant of obstacles and more tolerant of risks, and you believe that you deserve an apology. How do all of these symptoms fit together? What part is the emotion? Emotion researchers are surprisingly divided about these basic questions.
Dr. Daniel Shargel - Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Conceptual writing is an emerging experimental approach to composing that integrates text with art, science, and new technologies. It is both a subset of digital humanities and expanded writing, with the latter being a concept that begs the question, "What is writing becoming?" or "What will writing be postscript?" Aspects of conceptual writing include transcription, translation, redaction, appropriation, and constrain. Language, art, and technology are constantly changing and advancing and they will be used, explored, and integrated in ways not yet imagined.
Kenneth Goldsmith - The New Yorker
This presentation explores Iraq's origins as a nation state, the effects of U.S. military interventions in 1991-1998 and 2003-2012, the rise of ISIS and the prospects for a 3rd major U.S. military intervention in the region.
Dr. Jason Barrett - Department Chair - Associate Professor
Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication
This study explores the way race, citizenship, and romance were developed in the cultural imagination in Brazil and the United States, the two largest slave holding nations in the new world. It compares mainstream and marginalized perspectives in Brazilian and U.S. Fiction between 1850 and 1930.
Dr. Abigail Heiniger, Ph.D. - Senior Lecturer of English
Socrates develops a fierce attack in the Republic on poets in general, and tragedians in particular. Tragedians are said to be apologists for tyrants. Among poets, Hesiod, Homer, Euripides, and Simonides are named, but the only explicit mention of Sophocles is favorable; the virtuous old man Cephalus quotes Sophocles in the first pages of the book to the effect that one tyrant he has outlived is his own tyrannical sex drive. Elsewhere, the attack on tyranny is developed through marked but implicit references to "Oedipus Tyrannos." Why Sophocles must be attacked obliquely while horror can be attacked openly has to do with the embarrassingly tyrannical elements in Plato's own philosophical project, especially the poetic suggestion that Socratic philosophy is itself tyrannical and incestuous in its over-reliance on reason.
Dr. Philip Vogt - Associate Professor of History