Past Lunch Colloquiums

A list of our past Lunch Colloquium topics by year. Click on the blue titles to view an available video.

Monday, September 19
Donald Stein, Asa Griggs Candler Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
The Don Stein Story: “When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It” 

“As a kid from the Bronx, I was a big fan of the NY Yankees, and one of my heroes was Yogi Berra. I have appropriated one of his (in)famous sayings for the title of my talk because it represents how I made most of the choices that guided my career from my undergraduate days, through graduate school and postdoc training, and to and through my many years working at Emory. ‘Taking the fork in the road’ has led me on an exciting journey in which I have challenged established paradigms in neuroscience.” Focusing on how the inaccurately labeled “female” hormone progesterone can play an important role in the treatment of traumatic brain injury, glioblastoma, and other diseases of the CNS, Donald Stein shares some of the outcomes of his research (ad)ventures—including a brief update on the preliminary results of the study his 2022 Heilbrun grant is helping him currently pursue.

Monday, October 3
Marla Frederick, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture, Candler School of Theology
“The Courage to Build: Black Religion and the Development of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)”

Religion scholars have long framed Black religion as a paradigm that sits along a continuum between protest and accommodation. While the paradigm has been challenged as too binary and not giving space for nuance, overlap, and change over time, the fundamental idea that Black religion embodies at least in part some element of protest remains. For example, in his canonical book Black Religion and Black Radicalism, Gayraud Wilmore frames Black radicalism almost exclusively in terms of faith-inspired slave revolts and the movements for civil rights and Black power. Education, strikingly, as protest, as radical, as counter to the established order, rarely shows up.  In this presentation, Marla Frederick will reframe our understanding of the building of Black educational institutions by Black religious organizations (and White religious structures) as radical, countercultural, and central to the pursuit of justice sought by Black religious leaders. Furthermore, she will contend that the ongoing struggle for their full and equitable funding is part and parcel of the ongoing work of justice we face today. 

Monday, October 17, 10:00–11:30, Governors’ Hall, Miller-Ward Alumni House 
Timothy Albrecht, Professor Emeritus of Music
“Exploring the Magic of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier

This past June, when Candler faculty members raised a glass to toast Timothy Albrecht’s retirement, the guest of honor couldn’t attend.

He was on sabbatical in Vienna, finishing his latest book, Exploring the Magic of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and preparing to lecture and perform at the Italian Bach Society Conference in Turin, Italy. He is home again now, and in the lovely venue of Governors’ Hall in the Miller-Ward Alumni House, he will lecture and perform for us, his Emory friends and colleagues. He will share his passion for this extraordinary collection of preludes and fugues, illustrating Bach’s pedagogical genius by playing some “Well-Tempered” selections and demonstrating and discussing the magic that has made them so much admired down through the ages since they were first composed.

Monday, October 31  
Alan Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science Emeritus
“The Outlook for the 2022 Midterm Election”

In this Lunch Colloquium we will hear from a widely cited expert on national politics whose “Time for Change” model has predicted election outcomes with a remarkable degree of accuracy since the 1980s, Emory’s own Alan Abramowitz. But this year, even Abramowitz isn’t sure he and his model can predict what’s likely to occur. As he says, and indeed as everyone knows, “Midterm elections normally result in big losses for the party of the president, especially when the president is unpopular.” And Joe Biden is unpopular. However, as Abramowitz also says, “2022 is not a normal midterm election year.”  In his presentation, he “will examine some of the ways in which the unusual circumstances of the 2022 election may result in an unusual outcome.”

Monday, November 14
Helen Jin Kim, Assistant Professor of American Religious History, Candler School of Theology and Affiliate Faculty, Graduate Division of Religion and East Asian Studies Program
“The Transpacific Turn in American Religions: Religious ‘Nones,’ Evangelicalism, and the ‘Prosperity Gospel’”

The field of American religious history has sought to narrate the past in a global context. Yet, scholars in the field have tended to underutilize a Pacific lens, casting the history of religion in America primarily through an Atlantic lens. Thus, we have often missed the opportunity to highlight a key region in our global story, and by extension, a key group of people in our racial narratives, those of Asian descent. By the same token, transpacific and Asian American historians have tended to underutilize religion as a central category of analysis in their narratives. How does employing a transpacific and Asian American lens change the understanding of American religions? In addressing this question, Helen Jin Kim, already much acknowledged for expertise in this area, will examine such phenomena as the rise of the religious “nones,” the history of evangelicalism, and the development of the so-called “prosperity gospel.”

Monday, November 28
Camille Vaughan, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Medicine and Director, Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center for Health in Aging
“Innovation AGEnts at Emory: Uncovering the Secrets to Health in Aging”

By 2050, Atlanta will boast more than a million citizens over the age of 75, citizens for whom Emory will continue to lead the way in research and health care innovation. As a geriatrician leader at Emory, Camille Vaughan was selected to lead the Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center for Health in Aging in 2021. The center is a hub for collaborative work to discover, design, and test programs that promote the health and well-being of older adults. Vaughan will discuss the first cohort of pilot projects funded through the center, projects that span disciplines from anthropology to ophthalmology, and describe opportunities for colloquium attendees to engage in the center’s future efforts.

Monday, December 12
Alix Olson, Assistant Professor, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Oxford College and Co-Director, Emory Studies in Sexuality Program
“Reconsidering Resilience: Response to Crisis or Responsible for Crisis?”

Calls to bolster the resilience of vulnerable individuals and communities have become ubiquitous across social, political, and economic life. In this talk, Alix Olson calls attention to the stakes of uncritically deploying resilience, particularly for those interested in a more just and emancipatory future. Moving through a variety of case studies, from self-help books to plans to "Occupy Mars," she shows how discourses of resilience are at work in shaping a specific understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Ultimately, this talk will pose the question “Is resilience-building a ‘common-sense’ response to a world of escalating crisis or a central strategy for sustaining and extending deeply threatening ways of life?”

Tuesday, January 17 
Sarah Febres-Cordero, Laney Graduate School; Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing; Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia State University
“Staying Alive in Little Five:  Confronting Stigma and Promoting Harm Reduction in a Graphic Novel Intervention”

The opioid epidemic continues to impact communities across the US. Despite the availability of naloxone and other harm reduction strategies, overdose deaths continue to rise. The stigma surrounding opioid use, naloxone distribution, and fentanyl testing persists, despite evidence that these tools work. Sarah Febres-Cordero, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Nursing, discusses how the community of service industry workers—bartenders, servers, baristas, clerks, etc.—are on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic. These workers are uniquely positioned to intervene in opioid-related overdose and educate on naloxone distribution and administration and could provide benefit by testing personal drug supplies with fentanyl test strips. However, there is a dearth of research on opioid-related overdose that engages and tailors evidence-based interventions to fit their needs. By creating culturally appropriate interventions for service industry workers, there is potential to train a vast workforce as first responders to opioid-involved overdoses.

Monday, January 30
Vicki Powers, Professor of Mathematics, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
“How to Choose a Winner”

Did you ever wonder why elections often produce results nobody seems to like? Is democracy—in the sense of reflecting the will of the people—impossible? Surprisingly, mathematics can help answer questions like these about voting, elections, and representative government. In this talk, we will explore the mathematics of voting and look at some of the paradoxes and bad outcomes that can and do happen in real life. We will explore the following question: If we are choosing a winner from a set of candidates, how can we use the preferences of the individual voter to decide on the best choice for the winner?

Wednesday, February 15 
Annamaria Maples, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory School of Medicine
“Implications of Dobbs on Reproductive Health Education”

The recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade triggered laws across at least 13 states that will end access to abortion for 1 in 3 women. Annamarie Maples will examine how state laws that ban abortions will change postgraduate medical education in women’s reproductive health.

Tuesday, February 28
Randall Burkett, retired curator of African American collections, Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and Clint Fluker, curator of African American collections at Rose Library
“Creating a World-Class African American Archive at Emory”

For 21 years, Randall K. Burkett served as a driving force in acquiring one of the most extensive archives of African American history and culture among major research universities. These include rare books, manuscripts, serials, photographs, and print ephemera for the Rose Library. Burkett focused on building relationships with authors, artists, thought leaders, and their families who were looking to place their papers in a library that would steward them and provide access to academic researchers and the public.

Tuesday, March 14
Paul Root Wolpe, Director, Emory Center for Ethics, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, and Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, Laney Graduate School
“Artificial Intelligence and How It Shapes Our Lives”

How does the growth of artificial intelligence affect our lives, our families and communities, our work, our futures? What are the ethical implications of new technologies based on artificial intelligence, and how are we responding to them? Paul Root Wolpe will present new insights to help understand and navigate the ethics of artificial intelligence. He also will help us recognize the challenges—some of them unforeseen—faced by those engaged in designing and managing artificial intelligence systems, including universities. He will explore with participants how artificial intelligence is helpfully complementing or in some cases competing with skilled professionals working in certain fields, not only in the sciences but also in the arts and humanities. 

Monday, March 27
Peter Roberts, Professor of Organization and Management, Goizueta Business School, and Erin Ingleheart, Director of the Start:ME Accelerator, Goizueta Business School
“Microbusinesses Creating Social Vitality in Atlanta’s Underserved Communities”

Peter Roberts and Erin Ingleheart will discuss the pronounced microbusiness gaps seen in marginalized neighborhoods across the US and Goizueta Business School's role in advancing microbusinesses through its Start MicroEnterprise Accelerator Program (Start:ME) program. Founded in 2013, Start:ME strengthens underserved communities in metro Atlanta by empowering entrepreneurs within them to start and grow resilient microbusinesses. The program operates three-month, place-based programs providing business training, mentorship, and grant investment capital. To date, the program has served 351 microbusinesses around Atlanta, 62% of them led by individuals from low to moderate–income households, 71% led by women, and 81% led by people of color. To support Start:ME’s success, Goizueta Business School partners with trusted nonprofit community partners, coalitions of business associations, civic officials, housing providers, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, and schools.

Monday, May 15
Rosemary Magee, Director Emerita, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
“Quantum Entanglement and Other Strange Stories”

In Rosemary Magee’s short story collection, Family Impromptu, she explores the tangle of emotions that accompany close relationships as they shape-shift over time and place. She often draws upon terms from science and other disciplines. But rather than describing objective phenomena, these metaphors provide an avenue into the nature of relationships and the condition of intimacy, the raw material of fiction. Magee has been writing short fiction for about 20 years. The collection came together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, May 30
Lauren Klein, Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Associate Professor of English and Quantitative Theory and Methods
“The Line Chart and the Slave Ship: Rethinking the Origins of Data Visualization”

Lauren Klein will describe how data visualization tools such as pie charts, timelines, and other graphic representations of information can often reflect deep and unsettling bias. What we see in “simple” data visualizations can easily be laden “with implicit assumptions—and, at times, explicit arguments about how knowledge is produced and who is authorized to produce it.” Klein will provide a fascinating update on Data by Design, a major new work in the field, in which she is drawing on historical examples, for example, from the British colonial era to illuminate the influence of data visualizations. Some of the examples in the book will reveal the deep cultural and social bias of the times, sometimes at the expense of human dignity. Klein will explain how her project seeks to “create counter visualizations that can imbue more humanity into the data and show the broader scope of who can and did create knowledge”—lessons for our own time. 

Monday, June 12 
Michelle Lampl, Professor and Director of Emory Center for the Study of Human Health; Codirector of the Emory-Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute
“The Emerging Science Behind Our Children’s Growth Spurts”

For more than a century, accepted wisdom was that children grew like the charts on pediatricians’ walls: slowly and consistently, a little bit day by day. These graphs became an iconic model for the biology of how healthy children should grow. However, this is no longer considered a correct representation of growth biology or the experience of children, who grow erratically and in tandem with other health and biological episodes. Science has lagged behind generations of wise observers. The grandmotherly adage that “children wake up taller after a fever” was not recognized for what it truly represented. We will take a look at data providing insight into this emerging science.

Thursday, June 29 
Eugene Emory, Professor, Department of Psychology
“Emory's Memory: Reflections of an Unlikely Alliance”

This talk will discuss Eugene Emory's journey from an abandoned Black boy in foster care without any knowledge of his ancestry to a professor who discovered his familial links to John T. Emory, the Methodist bishop for whom Emory University is named. 

Monday, July 10
Voracious Readers Not-So-Anonymous: Emeritus College Volunteers
“BookFest 2023: Recommendations for Reading”

Read any good books lately? Of course you have. And might you be willing to recommend one (or more) of those good books to those of us wondering what to read next? We are looking for volunteers to describe books they have enjoyed and they think others might enjoy too. If you’ve got one to discuss, we’ll be happy to allot you five minutes of our BookFest time. If you’ve got two or three, we can schedule you for ten minutes. And of course, you can choose a book or books of any kind at all. If you would like to volunteer, please email Ron Gould at If you can name the book or books you’ll be recommending, please do so. But if you’d like to volunteer without specifying titles, that's fine too. All we really need to know is if you’re requesting five or ten minutes of time and we’ll schedule accordingly. First come, first scheduled until we run out of time.

Tuesday, July 25
Annie Shanley, Assistant Registrar and Provenance Researcher, Michael C. Carlos Museum
“From Mummies to Swimming Pools: Ethics and Museum Collections in the 21st Century”

Museums are finally taking responsibility for the ethical (and sometimes unethical) choices they made in the past. How does the Carlos Museum reconcile historical collecting practices with 21st-century ethical standards, and what does this changing museum culture mean for new acquisitions?  Provenance researcher Annie Shanley will explain how the Carlos and Emory are navigating the shifting ethical culture of American museums.

Thursday, September 9
Patrick Allitt, Cahoon Family Professor of American History, Emory College
“How Should We Think about Environmental Crises?”

The idea of the end of the world has been central to American history since the Puritans. After the atomic bombs of 1945, it became possible to imagine the world would be destroyed not by an angry God but by human folly. Fears over nuclear weapons and then over environmental issues such as pollution, overpopulation, and resource exhaustion led to a succession of alarms in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and finally to expressions of dread that global warming will be apocalyptic. In this colloquium, the first of the fall 2021 series with which we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Emeritus College, Patrick Allitt will review the history of environmental alarms to show their continuity with the jeremiad tradition and older forms of American catastrophism. And he’ll discuss whether he still holds with the uncatastrophic views he expressed in his 2014 book, A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism.

Monday, September 20
Alan Abramowitz, Allen W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, Emory College
“In Search of the Elusive Swing Voter”

With the rise of partisan polarization and straight-ticket voting, swing voters seem to be vanishing from the American electorate. While there definitely are fewer voters who are “up for grabs” in US elections, there is still a group of voters who are open to supporting Republican or Democratic candidates, and this group can play a crucial role in deciding the outcomes of close elections like the 2020 presidential election. Alan Abramowitz will present evidence about the characteristics of these swing voters and the factors that influence their candidate choices. 

Monday, October 4
Denise Raynor, MD, MPH, Professor Emerita, School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor, Emory College Department of Psychology 
“Unmaking the Masked Man: The Real Lone Ranger”

We all remember: A white hat, a white horse. And, of course, a white man. But as Denise Raynor will explain today, referencing the research she’s done for a book she’s preparing for young adult readers, the real Lone Ranger was the first Black US deputy marshal west of the Mississippi. The remarkable Bass Reeves rose from slavery to become one of the most effective lawmen in history, arresting more than 3,000 in the course of his long career, including one of his own sons who had murdered his wife). He had courage and physical prowess to spare, but he also was cunning and inventive, using his skin color along with his wits to outsmart lawbreakers and bring them to justice—and he managed to look good while doing so. A stickler about his appearance, Reeves also used his style to win friends and strike terror in the hearts of foes. He was indeed a legend in his own time—and it’s past time we came to celebrate him as a model for a legend in our own.

Tuesday, October 19
Susan Soper, OLLI at Emory Instructor 
“The Memoir Kit: Your Good Life”

The memoir genre in book publishing has certainly exploded in the past several years. As Mary Karr, author of The Art of Memoir, told an interviewer: “It’s trashy ghetto-ass primitive. Anyone who’s lived can write one.” True, but many of us don’t know how or where to start—or how to keep going. The Memoir Kit class Susan Soper teaches for OLLI is an accessible approach to capturing life’s stories: the ups, downs, risks, relationships, losses, hurdles, and heartbreaks we have all survived. Motivated by more than 250 prompts, her students have shared whimsical, funny episodes and charming tales as well as dark moments about death, addiction, abuse, and abandonment. Twelve chapters of these prompts are being compiled into a book, The Memoir Kit: Your Good Life, One Story at a Time.

Monday, November 1
Melissa Carter, Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory School of Law
“‘Upstream’ Legal Advocacy to Promote Family Integrity”

Two decades of research documenting the effects of adverse childhood experiences, and mounting evidence that removing children from their families and placing them in foster care can cause acute and enduring trauma, have helped to broaden thinking about the relationship between the legal duty to protect children and the moral responsibility to promote their well-being. Recently enacted federal policies have imposed mandates and unlocked resources to prevent the unnecessary separation of families, reduce socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic disparities in the child welfare system, and afford a greater measure of justice for children and parents. As child welfare system stakeholders coalesce around a prevention agenda, the role and responsibility of the justice system in achieving outcomes of safety, permanency, and well-being for children must be redefined.  One promising opportunity for system improvement has captured the full attention of judges, lawyers, and agency administrators throughout the country—the use of lawyers as an “upstream” intervention to address the social determinants of health that create vulnerabilities within families. Melissa Carter will explain this emerging model of preventive legal advocacy and share research, data, and program models demonstrating how lawyers can prevent the need for children to enter foster care by addressing the poverty-related needs of families.

Monday, November 15
Michael Kutner, Rollins Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health
“Biostatistical Collaboration for the Betterment of Society” 

We are not the only ones who recognize the extraordinary quality and impact of Mike Kutner's work in his chosen field of statistical techniques and procedures, especially in the biological sciences and medicine. And it’s not only at Emory that he has distinguished himself in teaching, publishing, and research, especially the collaborative research he so enjoys. He has been receiving “lifetime achievement” awards from a wide range of professional organizations for decades now. And this year he was awarded the 2021 Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions to the Betterment of Society by the American Statistical Association (ASA). In this lecture, Kutner looks back at the work that prompted the ASA to honor him—and look ahead to the work he still plans to do, training the next generation of biostatisticians, so that they too may enjoy and excel in this collaborative field.

Monday, November 29
Gonzalo Vazquez Prokopec, Winship Distinguished Professor in Environmental Sciences, Emory College
“Bridging Science and Public Health Policy to Control Urban Mosquito-Borne Diseases”

Considered the world’s deadliest animal, mosquitoes inhabit virtually every corner of our planet. Their need for vertebrate blood has made them perfect vehicles for pathogens such as malaria, yellow fever, Zika, dengue, and West Nile virus (to name a few). Unfortunately, vaccines are not an option for most of those pathogens, so mosquito control (the use of chemical, environmental, or behavioral tools to prevent human-mosquito contact) is the primary means to prevent human infection and disease. Gonzalo Vazquez Prokopec’s talk will present results from more than a decade of work at Emory researching mosquito biology and disease epidemiology and discuss major improvements in public health policy emerging from such work in the US and internationally. He also will outline new directions in mosquito control with potential beneficial implications from the Emory campus to the whole of the globe.

Monday, December 13
Allan Levey, Director, Brain Health Personalized Medicine Institute, Emory University
“Racing for an Effective Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease: One Person at a Time”

Allan Levey will provide a brief introduction to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias including the current state of knowledge, treatments, and accelerating progress in research. Levey serves as chair of the Department of Neurology and was recently appointed director of the newly constituted Brain Health Personalized Medicine Institute. He also serves as Goizueta Foundation Endowed Chair for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Betty Gage Holland Professor and Chair of Neurology as well as director of the Goizueta Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. There is no one better able to share highlights of Emory’s remarkable record of ongoing research in neurodegenerative disease and information about the initiatives in this area the Emory Brain Health Center is pursuing under his leadership.

Monday, January 10
Sherryl Goodman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology
“Depression in Women during Pregnancy and the Postpartum”

Sherryl Goodman will discuss decades of research, grounded in developmental psychopathology that have encompassed the study of mechanisms by which mothers with depression transmit psychopathology to their children, preventing or treating depression in women, and how children might benefit from prevention or treatment of their mothers’ depression.

Monday, January 24
Robert M. McCauley, William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor of Philosophy and founding Director of Emory's Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture
“The Cognitive Basis of Similarities in the Forms of Religious Representations and Mental Abnormalities”

Byproduct theorists in the cognitive science of religions hold that the forms of many religious representations turn on cueing the operations of maturationally natural dispositions of mind. Alterations or impairments in the operations of many of those same maturationally natural cognitive systems stand behind symptoms of many mental abnormalities that closely resemble religious forms—from such things as hearing voices (in schizophrenia) to feelings of urgency about carrying out ritualized behaviors (in obsessive-compulsive disorder). Robert McCauley, an expert in this fascinating field, will discuss this and related questions.

Monday, February 7, 12:15–1:45 p.m. 
Annabelle Singer, McCamish Foundation Early Career Professor, Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech and Emory University
“Decoding Memory in Health and Alzheimer’s Disease: From Deficits in Neural Codes to Neural Stimulation that Boosts Immune Function” 

We don’t often hear of promising developments in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but Annabelle Singer will describe how she and her fellow researchers have discovered new neural stimulation approaches that do offer great promise in treating the disease. After examining how neural codes fail in the transgenic mice that are the primary animal model of Alzheimer's, they have learned how to stimulate specific frequencies of activity lacking in the mice, discovering that a non-invasive “flicker treatment” (using light and sound) mobilizes the immune system and reduces pathogenic proteins. It’s already clear that this work could lead to new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and may also be broadly applicable in the treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases.

Monday, February 21
Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School, and Marla Vickers, Associate Vice President of Advancement, Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement
“2036: The Future Starts with You”

Emeritus College member and mainstay Jag Sheth and Marla Vickers will share information about Emory’s new and comprehensive fundraising campaign, “2O36.” They look forward to revealing why the 2O36 campaign is Emory’s boldest campaign to date—aspirational and visionary. And they will highlight a variety of ways members of Emeritus College may want to get involved.

Monday, March 7, 12:45–2:15 p.m. 
Nancy J. Newman, LeoDelle Jolley Chair of Ophthalmology, and Valérie Biousse, Reunette Harris Chair of Ophthalmology 
“The Eye as a Window to the Brain: From Candlelight to Artificial Intelligence” 
For more than 150 years, physicians knew the appearance of the ocular fundus, the back of the eye, is a window into the neurologic and systemic health of human beings, just as poets and writers also knew the eye is the window to the soul. Through innovative technology and most recently via artificial intelligence tools, Newman and Biousse have championed and reintroduced the examination of the ocular fundus into mainstream medical practice. 

Monday, March 21
Voracious Readers Not-So-Anonymous: Emeritus College Volunteers
“BookFest 2022: Recommendations for Reading”

Read any good books lately? Of course you have. And might you be willing to recommend one (or more) of those good books to those of us wondering what to read next? We are looking for volunteers to describe books they have enjoyed that they think others might enjoy too. If you’ve got one to discuss, we’ll be happy to allot you five minutes of our BookFest time. If you’ve got two or three, we can schedule you for ten minutes. And of course, you can choose a book or books of any kind at all. If you would like to volunteer, please do so in an email to Gretchen Schulz. If you can name the book or books you’ll be recommending, please do so. But if you’d like to volunteer without specifying titles, that’ll be fine. All we really need to know is if you’re requesting five or ten minutes of time and we’ll schedule accordingly. First come, first scheduled, until we run out of time.

Monday, April 4
Barbara Rothbaum, Professor and Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory School of Medicine, Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program, and Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program
“Innovative Treatments for PTSD: From Assessment to Virtual Reality to the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program”

Since we live in a dangerous world, it’s no wonder we hear so much about people affected by trauma (and may be among such people ourselves). It’s not only soldiers returning from distant wars who have horror stories to tell. So do survivors of attacks here at home or accidents like car crashes or natural disasters that raze our communities to the ground. The strength and resilience of the human spirit are awe-inspiring, enabling most to come through such experiences well enough. But others suffer the severe, disabling, and often chronic condition called “posttraumatic stress disorder” or PTSD. Few know more about PTSD than Emory’s own Barbara Rothbaum. She will discuss the signs and symptoms of PTSD and review current treatments, focusing on cognitive behavioral treatments including the virtual reality exposure therapy she invented and has applied so successfully to the combat veterans she works with.

Tuesday, April 19
Sheila Cavanagh, Professor of English and Director of the World Shakespeare Project and the Emory Women Writers Resource Project, and Joonna Trapp, Director of the Emory Writing Program and Writing Across Emory
“The Monster in the Library: Unearthing a Course from the Decidedly Undead Bram Stoker Archives” 

Emory recently acquired the Bram Stoker archives, long in private hands. These materials reflect the preoccupations of the Irish-born Stoker as he researched and penned Dracula (1897) during his lengthy employment at London's famous Lyceum Theatre. And they also reveal the wide influence the novel has had on literary, cinematic, and popular culture since his day. Sheila Cavanagh and Joonna Trapp describe the course they teach utilizing these exciting materials and will share how the collection has helped them and their students journey through the theater environment where Stoker worked, through the wider literary world of London.

Monday, May 23
Voracious Viewers Anonymous, Assorted Members of the Emeritus College
“BingeFest 2022: Seen Any Good Shows Lately?”

For this participatory colloquium, we’ve decided to schedule a “BingeFest” instead of a “BookFest”—and ask for volunteers to recommend the shows through which they have sought to escape the realities of these trying times. If you have found some movies marvelous, some series irresistible, please let Gretchen Schultz know if you’d like to describe them to others who might enjoy them too. Email Gretchen, identifying the material you’d present, requesting five or (at most) ten minutes of time to do so. First come, first scheduled, until there’s no time left. And fair warning. If volunteers are lacking, Gretchen may claim leftover time to rave about the six seasons of Vikings she recently binged on herself—100-plus episodes. Just sayin’. 

Thursday, June 9
Bradd Shore, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology Emeritus
“Just Nothing: How King Lear Means”

Last year saw the publication of Bradd Shore’s latest book, Shakespeare and Social Theory: The Play of Great Ideas. For this colloquium, he’ll be sharing his insights about King Lear, focusing on Shakespeare’s craftsmanship, examining the relationship between the play’s language and its harrowing effect on its audience (and even its readers). Of course, King Lear brings together themes that are themselves harrowing: the tragedy of growing old, an aged father’s vanity and folly, a king’s confounding of affairs of state and those of the heart, filial ingratitude and greed, and more. These themes suggest what King Lear means. But howKing Lear means is something different. Using insights from contemporary metaphor theory, Shore will discuss Shakespeare’s use of buried and intersecting metaphors that rhetorically perform Lear’s “undoing” on its characters as well as its audience, as King Lear enacts for us and within us the unraveling of the world.

Monday, June 20
Kylie Smith, Associate Professor, Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities, School of Nursing
“Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South”

Psychiatric hospitals in the United States have always functioned as spaces of both custody and care. In the mid-20th century, legislation was passed in an attempt to improve conditions and treatment practices for patients, but these developments were delayed in the South due to an insistence on racial segregation. In this talk, Kylie Smith draws on extensive archival sources from her book in progress to show the ways Southern psychiatric hospitals in the mid-20th century had become home to many thousands of Black patients with mental and physical disabilities, where treatment and care were custodial at best, violent and abusive at worst. Yet these hospitals were also the scene of important civil rights activism in the 1960s that revealed the ways in which psychiatry functioned as a tool of white supremacy. This activism led to the end of segregation, but could not fix the racism that underpins the provision of mental health and disability care today.

This project is funded by the G13 Grant from the National Library of Medicine and will be published by UNC Press in 2023.

Thursday, July 7
Ighovwerha Ofotokun, MD, MSc, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
“Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 . . . or Long COVID”

Clinician-scientist Ighovwerha “Igho” Ofotokun has long been involved in Emory’s work with emerging infectious diseases and their consequences, or sequelae. He has now been chosen as a principal investigator of the Atlanta hub of the nationwide NIH–funded initiative, Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER). Aimed at studying the long-term post-acute-sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), the initiative seeks to understand the phenomenon that has come to be known as long COVID in order to treat it better and perhaps prevent its occurrence. Ofotokun will discuss what is currently known about the problem, including the burden of the lingering disease, its common clinical manifestations, its potential pathobiology, and the research effort he is helping to lead here at Emory and at other Atlanta-area institutions.

Monday, July 18
Terri Montague, McDonald Distinguished Senior Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Law, Emory Center for the Study of Law and Religion
“Demystifying and Meeting the Affordable Housing Challenge” 

As the US economy continues to recover from the global pandemic, the housing affordability crisis worsens, leaving public agencies, private developers, and community advocates scrambling to meet the growing demand and unmet housing needs. Meanwhile, millions of cost-burdened households live with the daily threat of eviction or foreclosure and face persistent inequality in housing opportunities. This presentation discusses the leading factors and conditions that contribute to the worsening housing affordability challenges facing American families and communities, highlighting the significance and nature of the affordable housing challenge, key housing system dynamics, evolving market dynamics, and emerging strategies that can help to overcome current barriers and limitations of conventional approaches, and explore what current calls for “racial equity” may mean for future affordable housing policy and practices. 

Common Good Atlanta: Breaking Down the Walls of Mass Incarceration

57 min.) Directed by Hal Jacobs, the film looks at the evolution of Common Good Atlanta and its impact on both students and instructors. This upbeat, uplifting exploration conveys the excitement and creativity of the program while also serving as a call to action to community and policy leaders.

Hal Jacobs has arranged a virtual screening for Emeritus College members that will be live from July 26 to August 3.

Find Out How See the Film

Monday, August 1
Hal Jacobs, Independent Documentary Filmmaker, and Sarah Higinbotham, Assistant Professor of English at Oxford College and co-founder of Common Good Atlanta
“Screening and Discussion of Common Good Atlanta: Breaking Down the Walls of Mass Incarceration

While a PhD student in 2008 at Georgia State University, Sarah Higinbotham wanted to teach a literature class in a Georgia prison. She soon discovered no college programs existed in Georgia prisons at the time. So, she started one. Today, an all-volunteer group of more than 70 faculty from six universities has reached some 700 incarcerated students in four prisons, including a downtown course for prison-impacted people. At the heart of the program’s mission is the belief that broad, democratic access to higher education for people affected by incarceration strengthens the common good of our communities.

This colloquium will take the form of a “Zoom talkback” with Jacobs, Higinbotham, and both alumni and instructors from the Common Good Atlanta program.

September 14 
Eric Goldstein, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Judith London Evans Director, Tam Institute for Jewish Studies
“Where Do Jews Fit in America's World of Difference?”

In modern times, Jews have often been hard to categorize according to prevailing definitions of “difference.” Before the 18th century, Jews were socially, religiously, legally, and culturally distinct from their Christian and Muslim neighbors in Europe and Asia. And when modern concepts of citizenship arose, the nature of Jewish difference came into question. If Jews were French, German, or American, were they now only a religious community, or was there still some ethnic, racial, or national component defining them as a group? The fact that Jews remained ”outsiders” in some countries while “insiders” in others, created additional confusion as to whether they were a disadvantaged minority or part of a privileged majority. Because power and privilege were shaped by the color line in the United States—the focus of this presentation—questions about Jewish status often focused on whether Jews were unambiguously white. Although American Jews were welcomed into the white majority after World War II, the contradictory nature of their group identity has continued to inspire debate, not only about their place in the American world of difference but also about the very meaning of “difference” in American life.

September 21
Carol Worthman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology Emerita 
“Is There a Mental Health Equivalent of Clean Water?”

The last 150 years have brought tremendous gains in public health and biomedicine, which have improved well-being and survival around the globe, yet mental health has lagged behind. While public health advances in sanitation and clean water have improved countless lives, the mental health equivalent of clean water has remained elusive. The present pandemic has revealed fault lines in this and other cultural logics, where existing conditions have failed the COVID stress test not just on health but also on the economy, education, politics, and the environment. Stark differences in morbidity and mortality between and within populations clearly highlight the physical and mental toll of flagrant inequity, systemic discrimination, and marginalization. This raises a call to seize the opportunity for long-needed change. Worthman will unpack the rationale and options for making “no health without mental health” an orienting framework for processes to transform policy, practice, and values—indeed, health science itself.  

September 30 
Jeff RosenweigProfessor of International Business and Finance, Director, John E. Robson Program for Business, Public Policy, and Government, Goizueta Business School
“The Global and US Economic Outlook at a Time of Massive Uncertainty”

Forecasting the path of the economy and financial markets is always difficult, but the level of uncertainty now may be unprecedented. Along with the usual strictly economic and financial variables that lead to volatility, the future is clouded by a global pandemic and geopolitical factors. Goizueta’s Professor Jeff Rosensweig may not be able to predict the clearing of these clouds, but he can and will tell us much more about the most threatening of them. The US and global economies, and financial markets worldwide, have been rocked by pandemic-induced volatility. Added to that is the uncertainty stemming from the upcoming US election, one that presents an especially stark contrast. More important for the long run, a surprising and worrisome new feature is the rise of populism and authoritarianism in key economies. The threat to the liberal western democratic order and the Pax Americana that has added stability since WW II is profound. Finally, the clock is ticking and the question remains if the global community will act swiftly and strongly to forestall cataclysmic climate change.

October 5 
Nancy Collop, MD, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Neurology, Director, Emory Sleep Center
“Getting Our ZZZZZZs: Understanding Sleep and Common Sleep Disorders”

At Emory, Nancy Collop, past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and continuing editor-in-chief of the academy’s landmark Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, serves as director of the Emory Sleep Center where she is developing an interdisciplinary program in sleep medicine that involves enhancing not only the clinical care of patients with sleep disorders but research and educational endeavors needed to move the specialty of sleep medicine forward. Few are as qualified as she to discuss what happens when humans sleep, including the mechanisms that determine how and when we sleep and the different levels of sleep. And Nancy will also address such common complaints as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy. If any of us are having trouble sleeping in these challenging times and are suffering the consequences, she may be able to help us rediscover how a good night’s sleep can clear our minds, raise our spirits, and improve our health.

October 12
Robyn Fivish, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts and Marshall Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology
“A Conversation about Family Storytelling”

Stories are fundamentally the way that humans understand their world and themselves. In today’s colloquium, Professors Fivush and Duke will discuss the research they’ve done over the past two decades that has documented the critical importance of family storytelling across the generations as a way for individuals, especially young adults, to form a sense of identity and bolster their psychological well-being. Several longitudinal research projects conducted in Emory’s Family Narratives Lab and Emory’s Center on Myth and Ritual in American Life have helped to demonstrate that especially when challenging events occur (events like a pandemic, perhaps), families that are able to tell stories of perseverance and resilience provide their members with a sense of individual meaning and purpose that can help them meet the challenge—and survive—and even thrive. Duke and Fivush have published many papers on these topics, both together and individually, including Fivush’s 2019 book, Family Narratives and the Development of an Autobiographical Self (Routledge).

October 19
Gretchen Schulz, Professor of English Emerita, Oxford College
“Déjà vu All Over Again: Let’s Read Another Story Together”

When our Lunch Colloquiums switched to Zoom last April, one of our first sessions let us experiment with the “remote learning” so many of our colleagues are engaged in now, when Gretchen Schulz offered us a “class” devoted to discussion of James Joyce’s short story “Araby.” So good a time was had by all that we soon scheduled other “classes” requiring some “homework” to prepare those attending for the lively exchanges that ensued. Vernon Robbins led us through analysis of “The Infancy Gospel of James” and Holly York led us through analysis of some poetry by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Now, Schulz returns to ask all would-be-students to read another short story by another giant of the genre. This time one who’s with us still. Joyce Carol Oates may have published 58 novels and hundreds of short stories (and plays and poetry and essays), but as she has said, she is still best known for one of the first short stories she ever published, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Let’s do our homework by reading the copy of the story we’ll make available—and then gather to consider why this might be so.

October 26
Kathy Kinlaw, Associate Director, Emory Center for Ethics and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
“Pandemic Ethics and Difficult Choices in the Time of COVID-19”

Though there has been extensive planning in pandemic ethics through the years and around the world, no one was well prepared to deal with the ethical issues raised by COVID-19. US health care systems moved dangerously close to implementing tragic choices about who would receive scarce medical resources as transmission of the novel coronavirus continued and serious consequences (including ICU care, ventilation, and death) were realized. Kathy Kinlaw will discuss the challenge of making ethical decisions in the midst of this threatening situation. She will explore whether those in certain groups should be given priority when resources for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 are scarce. Health care workers are often viewed as reasonable recipients of limited supplies. But should “essential service workers,” too often forced by financial need to continue work that places them at high risk, also be given priority? And what’s to be done when people from any group do sicken and fill emergency rooms to overflowing? What if triage of some sort seems necessary? What criteria might come into play then? At least long-standing disparity and inequity in our society have become increasingly visible in these circumstances—and that may be reason for hope.

November 2
Laurence Sperling, Katz Professor in Preventive Cardiology, Professor of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health, Founder of the Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center
“Heart-Healthy Dietary Patterns: A Recipe for Life”

There may be no one anywhere who knows more about the connections between diet and heart health than Emory cardiologist Laurence Sperling, or who’s more determined to educate both his fellow doctors and the rest of us on this subject. It’s no wonder he was elected to serve the former as president of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology. And it’s no wonder that US News & World Report recruited him to serve on its panel of dietary experts who analyze and rank popular diets each year. Both scholarly publications and those aimed at the general public have established that dietary habits can contribute to cardiovascular disease—and that diet modification can be the foundation of cardiovascular disease prevention. However, there remains considerable confusion related to diets and their impact on health and risk for chronic conditions. In his presentation today, Sperling hopes to clear up such confusion, providing an overview of various dietary approaches, addressing the pros and cons of many popular or “fad” diets, and highlighting a scientific, evidence-based approach to the issues involved in making choices that will promote heart health. A “recipe for life,” indeed.

Tuesday, November 10
Yawei Liu, Director, China Program, The Carter Center, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Emory University, and Associate Director of the China Research Center
“What Is the Next Chapter in US-China Relations?”

Exactly 41 years ago, Georgia native and US President Jimmy Carter made the historic decision to normalize diplomatic relations with China after a 30-year estrangement that began in 1949. This engagement policy is now facing a frontal assault from members of both the Republican and Democratic parties in the United States. Many believe the world's two largest economies already have entered a new Cold War. In this talk, Yawei Liu will offer a quick review of the history of engagement, examine how this engagement is now seen by many Americans as a fantasy, list the Chinese domestic factors triggering this massive American disillusion, and offer some ideas on what the next chapter in US-China relations is likely to be.

Tuesday, November 17
David Eltis, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History Emeritus
“ and Slavery in the Atlantic World: IBM Punch Cards to Virtual Reality”

In the letter nominating David Eltis for an EUEC Faculty Award of Distinction earlier this year, he was described as “the driving force behind a great international investigation.” Today, Eltis will share the story of that investigation into the slave trade in the Atlantic world, from its origins in archival jottings in 1971 through the compilation of the records of more than 27,000 slave voyages on a CD-ROM in 1999, to the expanded and refined version of the material on an open-access website in 2008. Still further support from fellow researchers and funding agencies around the world has allowed Eltis and his co-editors to turn their attention to the passengers on the slave ships, yielding the African Origins database in 2011 and, more recently, information on all the “People of the Atlantic Slave Trade” (PAST). A remarkable story but as Eltis will explain, the study of slavery in the Americas, Africa, and Europe has shifted even more dramatically in its substance than has the technology involved. He’ll also answer some key questions that follow from both evolutions: What do we know now that we did not know before Slave Voyages went live? Looking to the future, what are the site’s limitations, and what are we planning to do about them?

November 23
Jim Nagy, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, Emory
“Mathematics and Imaging”

Image processing is a very important field of research. At Emory, a particular focus is on applications in medical imaging. Any medical imaging device (computed tomography, MRI, ultrasound) requires significant computational work to solve complicated mathematical equations to obtain the final image used by doctors. In addition, mathematical and computational techniques are used to manipulate images. For example, to monitor cancer growth over time, doctors often need to align images of the same object that have different orientations. In this presentation, Jim Nagy will describe some important research activities in medical imaging, particularly the work being done by faculty and students in Emory’s mathematics department. But this is not a mathematics talk. The only prerequisite is the ability to add, multiply, and divide two numbers—or maybe the ability to repeat person, woman, man, camera, TV.

November 30
Deboleena Roy, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty, Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
“Biophilosophies of Becoming”

“Should feminists clone?“ “What do neurons think about?” “How can we learn from bacterial writing?” These and other provocative questions have long preoccupied neuroscientist, molecular biologist, and intrepid feminist theorist Deboleena Roy, who takes seriously the capabilities of lab “objects”—bacteria and other human, nonhuman, organic, and inorganic actants—in order to understand processes of becoming that have typically been ignored or not addressed. In her talk, Roy investigates science as feminism at the lab bench, engaging in interdisciplinary conversations among molecular biology, Deleuzian philosophies, posthumanism, and postcolonial and decolonial studies that can create new social orders through horizontal social movements. Roy brings insights from feminist theory together with lessons learned from bacteria, subcloning, and synthetic biology, arguing that renewed interest in matter and materiality must be accompanied by a feminist rethinking of scientific research methods and techniques. 

December 7
Zach Binney, Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor of Quantitative Theory and Methods, Oxford College
“COVID-19 and Sports: Epidemiological and Ethical Issues”

Zach Binney earned his PhD in epidemiology at Emory with a dissertation on NFL injuries and given that his research currently sits at the intersection of sports and public health, it is not surprising he has been much in demand as a knowledgeable commentator on the way the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted sports of all kinds at all levels. He is well qualified to speak about the story we’ve seen unfold for months now, as players (and teams) have scrambled to determine when and how it might be safe to return to play—or to continue to play, once returned. The logistical questions have been many. But so have the ethical questions. How much responsibility should colleges and universities bear for keeping their athletes safe? How much professional organizations? And how about responsibility for the safety of those who work with the athletes and those who might attend an athletic event? Binney will offer an overview of the practical and moral problems the pandemic has brought to the fore in the world of sports and invite us to consider the implications for broader American society of some of the solutions that have been proposed and enacted.

December 14
George Brown, Retired President and CEO of Friendship Force International and Organizer and Guide, GBT Travel
"The Armchair Traveler"

Monday, January 11
Anthony J. Martin, Professor of Practice, Department of Environmental Sciences
“Tracking the Golden Isles: What Traces Tells Us about the Natural and Human Histories of the Georgia Coast”

The Georgia coast is world-famous for its natural and human histories. Still, the evidence for these histories isn’t always obvious to casual visitors. In this lively presentation based on his new book Tracking the Golden Isles, Tony Martin will teach us how to detect and understand the clues to these histories via ichnology, the study of traces. In his talk, you will learn how trace fossils allowed geologists to find ancient barrier islands, how modern traces tell stories of animals’ everyday lives, and how human traces ranging from Native American shell rings, to the effects of invasive species, to the consequences of climate change, have affected the Georgia coast.

Tuesday, January 19
Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law and Professor of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health
“Pandemics and the Law of Social Distancing”

COVID-19 familiarized many Americans with “social distancing,” a term encompassing a variety of actions intended to mitigate the spread of contagious disease. Elected leaders, especially state governors, varied remarkably in their attitudes toward social distancing for business and school closures, size limits on gatherings, dining at indoor restaurants, travel restrictions and quarantine policy, and the use of face masks. The dizzying patchwork of COVID-19 policies looked more like the response of 50 different nations than that of the resource-rich and technologically advanced single nation the United States is. Some governors opposed mandates in favor of voluntary compliance on the grounds that citizens should be “allowed to exercise their constitutional freedoms,” as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stated. Polly Price will explain the law of social distancing and why it can vary so markedly between states. Who decides what safety measures are necessary? Where is the line between emergency mandates and what sometimes seems to be a politically charged view of constitutional freedoms? When might public health orders violate individual rights? The answers to these questions inform the prospects for legal reform in advance of the next pandemic.

Monday, January 25
Angelika Bammer, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Department of Comparative Literature
“German Family Memory and the Nazi Past: A Reckoning across Generations”

Angelika Bammer’s recent book Born After: Reckoning with the German Past, explores the relationship between history and memory in the wake of a traumatic past. Arguing that, as William Faulkner famously said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” she considers the ways in which history is transmitted through family memories—the stories we tell and the silences we carry. Drawing on her own family history, she traces the legacy of Nazi history across several generations of a German family to explore the affective impact of this legacy. In response to the question, “What do we do with pasts that carry guilt or shame?” she proposes that the shifting ground between remembering, forgetting, and misremembering is the ethical foundation on which we build our lives. Her presentation will interweave a reading of selections from her book with reflections on how and why she wrote it. 

Monday, February 1
John Sitter, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English Emeritus, Emory University and Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
“What is Climate Fiction Saying? And Should We Listen?”

Novels about climate and environmental change have emerged in our century as a major part of literary fiction. Both the fact and the prospect of climate change are shaping plots, characters, and innovations in the novels of our time. This emergence of "cli-fi" raises several interesting questions: What motivates climate fiction? How has it changed over the last two decades? How well does it reflect scientific thinking? How do serious novelists, working in a form traditionally well suited to record ordinary life and personal experience, broaden their artistic vision to include planetary time, space, and consciousness? Are dystopias (one strand of cli-fi) inevitably fatalistic or potentially a means of grasping our moment and imagining better futures? What can we learn from climate novels, and eco-fiction broadly, that we might not learn from newspapers and journals and other nonfiction sources?

Monday, February 8
Talea Mayo, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics
“Water, Water Everywhere: Numerical Modeling to Simulate the Impact of Climate Change on Hurricane Storm Surge”

Climate change, which will cause global mean sea level rise and increase coastal flood risk in many places, has significant implications for tropical cyclone climatology. Hurricane intensity, size, and translation speed are all expected to increase in the future, influencing the generation and propagation of storm surge. Talea Mayo, a computational mathematician with expertise in the development and application of hydrodynamic models for coastal hazards, will discuss two approaches to understanding what climate change means for storm surge risk.  One approach uses a numerical model to simulate synthetic storm surges for coastal communities along the US North Atlantic coast, seeking to understand the present-day flood risk and how it will change over the next century. In the second approach, other numerical models are used to simulate historical storm surges that impacted the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast of the continental United States from 2000–2013 and then to simulate the same storm surges under projected end-of-century climate conditions. Both approaches suggest there will be notable increases in inundation in the areas involved. Perhaps such simulations of a future of flooding can help us prevent that from becoming a reality? 

Monday, February 15
Mahlon DeLong, Professor Emeritus, Neurology
"Brain Circuits and Their Disorders: My Life and Times in Neuroscience"

The fields of neurology and psychiatry have undergone rapid growth over recent decades, fueled by advances in neuroscience. Mahlon DeLong’s initial studies in primates were centered on understanding the role of structures deep in the brain, in the basal ganglia in the control of movement and their suspected role in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. In the course of these studies, DeLong identified separate neural circuits for the control of movement, cognition, and emotion/reinforcement, fundamentally changing the prevailing view that these circuits were funneled together within the basal ganglia. In subsequent studies in animal models, he demonstrated that the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s were correlated with altered neuronal activity in specific nodes of the motor circuit and that they could be reversed by selective interruption of the motor circuit. New treatment approaches to movement disorders, especially in Parkinson’s, followed including lesioning and the less invasive and reversible technique of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of specific areas of the “motor circuit.” In combination with new pharmacologic and other forms of neuromodulation, these studies have transformed neurology from a largely diagnostic practice to an increasingly therapeutic discipline. The older idea of brain centers in neurologic and psychiatric disorders has now been largely replaced by the understanding of both as circuit disorders, dispelling the notion that psychiatric disorders are fundamentally different from neurologic ones and suggesting that both are potentially treatable by future less invasive approaches of neuromodulation.

Monday, February 22
Oded Borowski, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Archaeology and Hebrew
“Sennacherib in Judah: The Archaeology of Destruction”

In 701 BCE, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked the Kingdom of Judah, an event documented in the Bible, in Assyrian literary and artistic sources, and even mentioned by Herodotus. Sennacherib besieged but did not conquer Jerusalem. He conquered Lachish, the second most important city in Judah. He claimed to have destroyed 46 towns and villages, put down the rebellion in all the member countries of the coalition as far as Cyprus, and took away land belonging to Judah and gave it to its neighbors. The widespread destruction left many materials for archaeologists to study and reconstruct what daily life was like in the 8th-century BCE. Oded Borowski’s recent archaeological activity has focused on Tell Halif, one of the sites destroyed by Sennacherib. The fieldwork he and his staff have been doing, supported in part by Emory’s Heilbrun and Bianchi/Bugge grants, is completed and they are busily analyzing the finds and preparing for final publication. Oded’s presentation will briefly touch on the site, its history, the finds, and the work presently being conducted.

Tuesday, March 2
Stephen Crist, Professor of Music History and Chair, Department of Music
Dave Brubeck’s Time Out: An Insider’s View of an Iconic Jazz Album”

 In his newest book, Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, Stephen Crist draws on nearly 15 years of archival research to offer the most thorough examination to date of this seminal jazz album. Supplementing his research with interviews with key individuals, including Brubeck's widow, Iola, and daughter Catherine, as well as interviews conducted with Brubeck himself prior to his death in 2012, Crist paints a complete picture of the album's origins, creation, and legacy. Couching careful analysis of each of the album’s seven tracks within historical and cultural contexts, he offers fascinating insights into the composition and development of some of the album’s best-known tunes. From Brubeck’s 1958 State Department–sponsored tour, during which he first encountered the Turkish aksak rhythms that would form the basis of “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” to the backstage jam session that planted the seeds for “Take Five,” Crist sheds an exciting new light on one of the most significant albums in jazz history.

Monday, March 8
Voracious Viewers Anonymous, Assorted Members of the Emeritus College
“Binge-Fest 2020–2021: Seen Any Good Shows Lately?” 

It has now been a year since the COVID crisis began to work its transformations on our lives. We considered marking the anniversary by inviting those among us who’ve spent their versions of quarantine reading more than ever before to share their recommendations for “good reads.” But we’ve decided to schedule a “Binge-Fest” instead of a “Book-Fest”—and ask for volunteers to recommend the shows through which they have (also) sought to escape the realities of these trying times. If you have found some movies marvelous, some series irresistible, please let Gretchen Schulz know if you’d like to describe them to others who might enjoy them, too. First come, first scheduled until there’s no time left. And fair warning, if volunteers are lacking, Gretchen may claim leftover time to rave about the Australian soap she recently binged on herself—80-plus episodes. Just sayin’. 

Monday, March 15
Dianne Stewart, Associate Professor of Religion and African American Studies
“Forbidden Black Love: America’s Hidden Civil Rights Issue” 

It is no secret that marriage is not what it used to be in America. Over the last century, marriage rates declined, and divorce rates increased by record numbers for all Americans, regardless of racial/ethnic background. Trends are already indicating similar patterns for the beginning of the 21st century. The data pertaining to rates of marriage among Black women across every demographic, however, register a distinctive social reality. Over 70 percent of Black women are unmarried in America, and most are not single by choice. When the search for love is a struggle, or a relationship ends, the “failure” can feel entirely personal. But as Dianne Stewart will reveal, Black women seeking satisfying long-term relationships with Black men are working against the headwinds of 400 years of history, racist policies, and deep-seated prejudice. Sharing insights from her 2020 book, Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage, Stewart will draw on research in American history, social science, and theology to track how the sociopolitical arrangements of white supremacy have systematically broken the heart of Black America from the era of racial slavery to the period of the prison-industrial complex. Beyond exposing this tragedy of “forbidden Black love” as America’s unrecognized civil rights issue, Stewart will discuss steps that activists, institutions, public servants, and ordinary Americans must take to create the conditions for healthy Black love and family life to flourish in our nation.

Monday, March 22
Raymond Hill, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Goizueta Business School
“Considerations for a Post-COVID Economy”

Forecasting the future path of the economy is always an uncertain business, but even more so now, when the path of medical recovery from the COVID virus is uncertain. In this colloquium, Ray Hill will discuss how we might think about the path to the post-COVID-19 economy. How quickly is the economy likely to snap back? Should we expect that the experience of the last year will result in permanent changes for some sectors of the economy? What does the tremendous increase in federal government borrowing mean for future interest rates? Should we expect higher inflation as a result of the Federal Reserve’s injections of liquidity and the government’s huge fiscal deficit? Do economists have reliable answers to any of these questions? And will Hill have any reliable answers to ours? Do come and find out. 

Monday, March 29
Bradd Shore, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology Emeritus
“The Body Poetic: Julius Caesar and Legacy of ‘The King’s Two Bodies’”

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, long a staple of American high-school English classes, has found new and disturbing relevance in contemporary American politics. Despite its familiarity to audiences, the play is far from easy to interpret. Generations of critics have failed to agree on the hero of Julius Caesar. Neither Caesar nor Brutus seems to qualify. Despite all the gorgeous speeches in the play, Shakespeare's view of Caesar's assassination remains murky. The old and politically sensitive “tyrannicide debate” made it hard for an Elizabethan playwright to condone Caesar’s assassination, while Caesar’s ambitions and personal weakness made (and still make) him an unlikely hero. But Shakespeare does have a point we can understand if we recognize the conflicted “body politic” of Rome itself as the play’s tragic hero. The opposed representations of Rome in the play mirror changing ideas on the nature of society alive in Shakespeare’s day (and far from dead in our own). Julius Caesar comes into view in a surprising new way when we see it as Shakespeare’s staging of grand social theory framed as a political tragedy.

Monday, April 5
Kristin Mann, Professor Emerita, Department of History, Heilbrun Distinguished Emeritus Fellow, 2019–2020
“Transatlantic Lives: Slavery and Freedom in West Africa and Brazil”

Kristin Mann’s most recent book pioneers a new approach to the recovery of transatlantic slave biographies on the cutting edge of studies of slavery, the slave trade, and the African diaspora. The stories of the individual enslaved people reconstructed in the text bring to life and make real and concrete the history of an ignoble commerce that can too often be presented only in aggregated, impersonal terms. By restoring subjectivity to a number of enslaved women and men, the book casts powerful new light on how the many thousands of Yoruba speakers forcibly transported from Africa to Brazil and Cuba during the 19th century forged relationships of different kinds among themselves and with others that helped them endure slavery, find paths to manumission, and, in some cases, return to their African homelands. The work presents an important new interpretation of the origins and early transformation of the Yoruba diaspora that still powerfully connects West Africa, Brazil, and other parts of the Atlantic world.

Monday, April 12
Julie Schwietert Collazo, 97Ox, 99C, Co-Founder and Director, Immigrant Families Together (IFT), and Rosayra (“Rosy”)
Pablo Cruz, Guatemalan Immigrant and Activist for Others Like Her
“Shifting the Locus of Power in Immigration Narratives”

Historically, US-published narratives about immigration and immigrants—both nonfiction and fiction—are not written from the perspectives of people who have lived migration experiences, but rather by (usually white) journalists whose commitment to the ideal of objectivity and often limited grasp of relevant history obscure crucial aspects of such experiences. While there are notable exceptions (namely Reyna Grande’s memoirs and the memoirs of undocumented and formerly undocumented writers like José Antonio Vargas and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio), the publishing industry continues to privilege white writers’ narratives of experiences they have not lived. In this Lunch Colloquium, an asylum seeker from an indigenous background and a white, US-born (and Emory-educated) writer, co-authors of The Book of Rosy (named one of the best nonfiction books of 2020) will discuss the experiences that yielded that book (including Rosy’s long separation from two of her children) and what they’ve learned from their mutual endeavor about the need to shift the locus of power in immigration narratives for more just and inclusive storytelling. 

Monday, April 19
Delia Fabbroni-Giannotti Nisbet, Associate Professor of Modern Languages Emerita, Oxford College of Emory University
“The Plague in Literature”

The combination of our current experience of pandemic and a lifetime of studying and teaching the literature of many ages in many languages has inspired Delia Nisbet to offer us a program on major Western texts depicting plague of one sort of another from Greek and Roman times to the present, arguing that many authors dealing with the subject have handled the disease as metaphorical, representative of the moral corruption that can threaten whole populations. Nisbet will take us first to Classical Antiquity, moving from Homer’s Iliad to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex to Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, and then Lucretius’ De rerum natura. She will speak next about plague texts from the Middle Ages, especially Boccaccio’s Decameron, and its story-telling by young people sheltering from the Black Death decimating Florence at the time. Discussion of the great 19th century Italian novel by Alessandro Manzoni, I Promessi Sposi (or The Betrothed), will allow her to discuss the devastating return of the bubonic plague to Italy in the 1600’s, the time period in which the novel is set. And she’ll conclude with comments on Camus’ novel La Peste (or The Plague), which, though set in Algeria in 1947, reads much like a description of what we are living through right here and now.

Tuesday, May 4
Samuel Sober, Associate Professor of Biology, Co-Director, Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control
"The Songbird and the Mouse: The Neuroscience of Skilled Behavior”

Humans and animals excel at learning complex behavioral skills. During learning, the brain collects information from the senses to detect errors in behavior and uses this information to rewire itself to improve future performance—a process of “sensorimotor learning” that underlies crucial behaviors such as speaking, walking, and tool use. However, our understanding of how the brain accomplishes such feats of dexterity remains rudimentary due to a lack of tools to measure brain activity and scientific frameworks to understand the complexity of the resulting data. Samuel Sober will discuss the work he and his fellow researchers are doing (in a consortium of eight groups from three countries) that combines neurobiology, mathematics, and technology development to understand how the brain controls skilled behaviors as diverse as birdsong and mammalian locomotion—manifest, indeed, all across the tree of life.

Monday, May 10
Lauren Klein, Associate Professor, Departments of English and Quantitative Theory and Methods
“An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States”

There is no eating in the archive. This is not only a practical admonition to any would-be researcher but also a methodological challenge in that there is no eating—or, at least, no food—preserved among the printed records of the early United States. Synthesizing a range of textual artifacts with accounts, both real and imagined, of foods harvested, dishes prepared, and meals consumed, this talk based on Lauren Klein’s recent book, An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), will reveal how eating emerged as an aesthetic activity over the course of the 18th century and how it subsequently transformed into a means of expressing both allegiance and resistance to the dominant Enlightenment worldview. Accounts of the enslaved men and women who cooked the meals of the nation’s founders help show how thinking about eating can help to tell new stories about the range of people who worked to establish a cultural foundation for the United States.

Monday, May 17
Mindy Goldstein, Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, Director of Law and Advocacy for the Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory
“Climate Change – It’s Real. So, What Can the Law Do About It?”

The impacts of a changing climate are being felt across our country and around the world. Temperatures and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events like floods, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes are becoming commonplace. And we are at a tipping point. Every country must drastically and quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert potentially catastrophic warming. How will the United States achieve this monumental task? Mindy Goldstein will explain the various approaches to addressing climate change that have been suggested by the president, congress, and federal agencies. Which approaches are politically viable? Which will be the most effective? And which will be the easiest to implement within our existing legal framework?

Tuesday, May 25
Nadine J. Kaslow, Professor, Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chief Psychologist and Director of the Grady Nia Project, Director, Atlanta Trauma Alliance, Director of Postdoctoral Residency Training in Health Service Psychology, School of Medicine
“The Nia Project: Culturally Responsive Care for Suicidal African American Women”

The Nia Project began in the early 90s shortly after Nadine Kaslow came to Emory (and Grady) and garnered grants to support studies of suicide among African American women. Discovering they had participated in the studies, some of these women came knocking on her door, wanting to know, “‘Why do you just ask us these questions? When are you going to give us help?” They wanted a group to talk about suicide and another group to talk about domestic violence—and soon, the two longest-running programs of the Nia Project were born. The Nia Project is named after the Kwanzaa principle meaning purpose. In the many years since, Kaslow and her team, as committed to social justice as she and as determined to integrate research and clinical work, have expanded project programming to even better help the women they serve find meaning enough in their lives to survive and indeed to thrive.  Kaslow will share stories of their struggles and of their amazing resilience as well as her dreams for further expansion of the Nia Project.

Tuesday, June 1, 11:30–1:00 p.m.
A Super Special Lunch Colloquium

Historical decisions have been made and the “winds of change” are swirling around the EUEC as this week we say “Well done!” to our outgoing director, Gray Crouse, and welcome Ann Rogers as our new director. We know the transition will be exciting for each of them. We look forward to working with Ann to make Emeritus College the even better version of itself we believe it can be, and we look forward to seeing Gray, relaxed into full retirement, at as many of our activities as he and Marge can fit into the busy schedule of (actual) travels they hope to undertake soon. To honor the occasion of the last of the Lunch Colloquiums Gray will be hosting, we have invited the speaker whom we have enjoyed most often in the years of Gray’s tenure to address us yet again. Please join us if you can.

Marilynne McKay, Professor Emerita of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine
“Historical Decisions: Monuments Gone with the Winds of Change” 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that in 2020 more than 165 Confederate symbols were removed from public spaces, more than in the previous four years combined. All but one of those were removed after the murder of George Floyd in May of that year. In a previous colloquium (last summer’s “Monumental Decisions: The Origins and Messages of Confederate Memorials”), Marilynne explored the Big Lie of the Lost Cause—that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War—and the reasons why Black Lives Matter protesters were toppling and defacing statues that represented white supremacy.

Of course, governmental forces (at every level) have been supporting the removals happening in such large numbers now. But that hasn’t meant that the process has been trouble-free. How does a community decide to remove a monument? Are there laws against that? Will there be lawyers and judges? What permissions must be obtained? How much will it cost? What is to be done with the darn thing afterward? (A flag is one thing to house somewhere, but it’s not that easy to find a home for an 11-foot equestrian statue.) With Marilynne’s help, we'll look at some of the shenanigans involved in the most recent raids on town squares and courthouse lawns and hear what tactics have been most successful in achieving a peaceful resolution to the complex issues and strong feelings that arise when symbols so laden with significance are the subject of debate—and action.

Monday, June 7
Tom Clark, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Political Science
“Are Police Racially Biased in the Decision to Shoot?”

Tom Clark is best known as a scholar on the subject of judicial decision making, with two acclaimed books on the subject, the most recent, in 2019, focused on the Supreme Court. But much of his current research focuses on policing and law enforcement in American cities. In this talk, he’ll report on the results of the study of racial bias in policing undertaken by the Politics of Policing Lab (PoPL) Clark co-directs here at Emory.  He’ll explain how that study has yielded a theoretical model that has real predictive value, given that it’s based on facts derived from rigorous collection and analysis of data. PoPL’s theoretical model predicts that racially biased policing produces more use of potentially lethal force by firearms against Black civilians than against white civilians and lower fatality rates for Black civilians than White civilians. We empirically evaluate this second prediction with original officer-involved shooting data from nine local police jurisdictions from 2005 to 2017, finding that Black fatality rates are significantly lower than white fatality rates, conditional upon civilians being shot by the police. Using outcome test methodology, PoPL estimates that at least 30 percent of Black civilians shot by the police would not have been shot had they been White. Hear more from Clark about the study that is providing a nuanced answer to the question so central in political discourse today: “Are police racially biased in the decision to shoot?”

Monday, June 14, 12:00–1:30 p.m.—DIFFERENT TIME
Corinne Kratz, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and African Studies
“The Porcupine of Time: Managing Multiple Temporalities in Exhibitions”

Given her years of experience working with top museums around the world and studying museology itself, few if any are better qualified than Corinne Kratz, professor of anthropology emerita, to comment on the decidedly prickly subject of time management in museum exhibitions. No wonder she was invited to contribute a chapter on the subject to the new book, Museum Temporalities: Time, History, and the Future of the Ethnographic Museum. And no wonder she titled that chapter, as she has our talk today, “The Porcupine of Time.” As she says, exhibits “bristle” with different modes of time—not only the historical moment addressed by an exhibit itself but also the period(s) when various objects were made and collected, their biographies, the multiple interpretations the objects may have received in the years since they were first studied and displayed. And not to mention constantly changing views of what museum displays are all about, as well as changes in the architectural styles of museums and their spaces for display. Of course, exhibit narratives and design foreground only some of these temporalities, making choices that shape viewers’ experiences in particular ways. And that is a prickly subject too. Kratz will help us understand the issues in this area by discussing several recent exhibitions in which they have been much in play.

Monday, June 21
Eri Saikawa, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rollins School of Public Health
“It All Started with Yak Dung: The Quest for Environmental Justice in Atlanta and Beyond”

Eri Saikawa, the latest subject of a new series of Emory videos called “I Am an Emory Researcher,” began her research work in emissions linked to air pollution, long ago and far away, in Tibet, where the problem was smoke from yak dung fires. (At least she thought that was the problem.) Much of her recent work has focused on emission issues closer to home, like those tied to agriculture in rural Georgia.  But it is research even closer to home, in the Westside community of Atlanta itself, that has brought her (and her students and their neighborhood collaborators) to the attention of environmentalists everywhere. It was in looking into urban agriculture in this Atlanta area that Saikawa and her co-researchers made the horrific discovery of toxic levels of lead in the soil of the gardens there—and in the backyards and public playgrounds as well. The evidence their collaborative venture has gathered forced the EPA to take responsibility for cleaning up the many hundreds of properties polluted by smelters who moved on and left their waste behind.  It’s no wonder other researchers-cum-community-activists are reaching out to Saikawa from elsewhere in the country, hoping she and the colleagues who have just founded the Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory here at Emory will be able to assist in identifying and addressing pollution problems—and perhaps especially those that often affect poorer communities (like Westside) disproportionately, another much-needed means to an end of social justice for all. 

Tuesday, June 29
Shauna Bowes, PhD Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Graduate Practicum Student, The Nia Project
“Looking Under the Tinfoil Hat: The Psychological Correlates of Conspiratorial Ideation”

What are the psychological factors that contribute to conspiratorial ideation? This question is at the heart of many studies in psychological science today, understandably so, given the spate of recent events indicating conspiracy belief is arguably more important now than ever. In the research program she undertook as a PhD candidate in clinical psychology here at Emory (also graduating from Emory College with highest honors in neuroscience and behavioral biology), Shauna Bowes examined the psychological correlates of conspiracy belief in order to better understand why conspiracy theories are universally appealing. She will discuss the arc of the research program, in which she worked closely with Scott Lilienfeld until his death last fall, describing two studies focused on the psychology of conspiratorial ideation. And she will explore the implications of her results and offer insights for future research as well.

Tuesday, July 6
Susan Allen, Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Eric Hunter, Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
“A 35-Year History of HIV Research in Africa: Epidemiology, Transmission, Co-Factors and Vaccine Development”

Susan Allen and Eric Hunter have been “teamed up” not only since they wed, long ago now, but also since they began their work on HIV and other infectious diseases in Africa, long ago as well. She is an epidemiologist and founding director of the Rwanda Zambia Health Research Group (RZHRG) based at Emory, and he is a virologist and immunologist at Emory Vaccine Center. Together they have spent more than 30 years conducting research in the field and in their Emory labs and helping to implement the results of their research at some of the most challenging clinical sites imaginable, saving many thousands of lives in the process. The two are in Africa, being menaced by a volcano, even as we post this description of the talk they will offer us when they return. But a volcano may not faze the couple, who had to flee the 1994 Rwandan genocide. We look forward to hearing Susan and Eric share the exciting story of their intertwined personal and professional lives. As Susan put it in her most recent email, “Science, politics, history, the bigger picture of developments in HIV and other health issues in Africa, and hilarious [as well as harrowing] anecdotes in store.” 

Monday, July 12
Andrew Furman, Professor and Assistant Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine
“The Liberal Arts Revisited: The Uses of the Humanities in Medical and Health Education”

After exploring the complementary functions of the sciences and the humanities in medical education, particularly with an eye toward their respective “ways of knowing,” Furman will highlight core aspects of a humanities-based epistemology and how these not only enrich and enliven medical training but are foundational to medical decision-making and praxis. In the historical tradition of Grand Rounds, the talk will look closely at several works of art to demonstrate these fundamental concepts and how health professionals and students can employ them.  

Monday, July 19 
Ciannat Howett, Associate Vice President for Sustainability, Resilience, and Economic Inclusion
“Emory’s Engagement at the Intersection of Climate Change, Health, and Equity”

The time is now to address the conjoined issues of climate change, health disparities, and racial equity—issues playing out right here in Atlanta. To deal with the challenges these issues pose, Emory is building on 15 years of leadership in sustainability to launch the Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory (RSC), a “think and do tank” composed of faculty, community leaders, and corporate partners working together on actionable projects that can be developed and tested here and then scaled up for application regionally, nationally, and internationally. These projects include an RSC Clinic for children suffering from the mental, physical, and behavioral effects of climate change and Soil Testing and Community-Engaged Remediation in West Atlanta, a program environmental scientist Eri Saikawa described in an earlier colloquium this year. Today, Howett also will describe the RSC initiative called the Working Farms Fund, a recent recipient of a USDA grant to support small- to midsized farms in the Atlanta area. It’s through projects such as these that the RSC is helping Emory demonstrate its commitment to social good and positive transformation of the world while also living out its commitment to deeper engagement with Atlanta.  

Monday, July 26
Bin Xu, Associate Professor of Sociology, 2020 Recipient of the Chronos Fellowship
“Chairman Mao’s Children: Generation and the Politics of Memory in China”

Bin Xu will present on the subject of his forthcoming book, Chairman Mao’s Children: Generation and the Politics of Memory in China (Cambridge University Press, 2021). In the 1960s and 1970s, around 17 million Chinese youth were mobilized or forced by the state to migrate to rural villages and China’s frontiers. Xu tells the story of how this “sent-down” generation of educated youth has come to terms with their difficult past. Exploring representations of memory, including personal life stories, literature, museum exhibits, and acts of commemoration, he argues these representations are defined by a struggle to reconcile a sense of worthiness with the political upheavals of the Mao years. These memories, however, are used by the state to construct an official narrative that weaves this generation’s experiences into an upbeat story of the “China dream.” This marginalizes those still suffering and obscures voices of self-reflection on their moral-political responsibility for their actions. In the book, as in his talk about the book today, Xu provides careful analysis of this generation of “Chairman Mao's children,” caught between the political and the personal, past and present, nostalgia and regret, and pride and trauma.

Tuesday, September 10
Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair, African American Studies; 2018–2019 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in Constitutional Studies
“Jim Crow 2.0: Voter Suppression in the 21st Century”

Emory historian Carol Anderson, whose previous book, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, will speak about her most recent book, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy, which was long listed for the National Book Award.  Focusing on the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the book follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination as more and more states adopted laws and practices that suppress votes. And via vivid characters, the book also explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans. The paperback edition of the book, due out this month, contains a foreword by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and an afterword in which Anderson examines the repercussions of the 2018 midterm elections. If you don’t own the book already, you may want to invest in this new edition now—just sayin’.

Monday, September 23
Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing, Emory University
“The Unintended Consequences of the Internet Age”

The major technologies of the last two hundred years (railways, automobiles, and telecommunications) were all transformative in ways both good and bad. Like a potent drug, each has had great benefits but also problematic side effects. Similarly, the digital technology of our internet age, beneficial in so many ways, also has its dark side. Sheth will discuss its side effects, including the rise of digital addiction (perhaps because so many find the virtual world more appealing than the real one), the emergence of a roommate lifestyle, the shift to a sharing economy (a preference over private ownership of property), and the challenge to existing jurisdictions organized around countries, markets, and currencies. As Sheth will explain, the largest nation today isn’t China or India. It’s what he calls “the Facebook nation”—a virtual place with more than two billion inhabitants and their own (also virtual) currency. He will help us consider whether we want to “live” there or not—if we have any choice in the matter at all. 

Tuesday, October 8
Maryn McKenna, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Human Health; TED speaker and author of Big Chicken (2017) and Superbug (2010)
"Agriculture, Antibiotics and the Future of Meat"

The development of antibiotics in the 1940s changed medicine forever—first by saving lives that had been lost to infectious diseases and then by introducing the menace of antibiotic resistance, which undermined generations of the miracle drugs. But it's little known that agriculture adopted antibiotics as soon as they debuted, adding small doses to the diets of livestock, not to cure diseases but to protect against them and cause animals to put on weight more quickly. Those uses laid the foundation for modern intensive meat production, but they also fostered the emergence of additional resistant bacteria that moved through the food chain and the environment to further threaten human health. Reversing that historic mistake took decades of research and policy maneuvering, but what really turned the tide was neither better science nor tougher regulations. It was the power of consumer coalitions forcing the meat industry to change.

Monday, October 21
Ren Davis, Retired Administrator and Consultant, Emory Healthcare. Author of Caring for Atlanta: A History of Emory Crawford Long Hospital (2003)
“When Emory Doctors Went to War: Honoring the Centennial of the Emory Medical Unit's Service in the First World War”

Following the United States’ entry into the Great War in April 1917, the US Army Surgeon General and the American Red Cross called on the country’s medical schools and major hospitals to organize units to provide care to soldiers deploying for combat in France.  Emory University School of Medicine Dean William Elkin asked medical faculty member and military veteran Edward Campbell Davis, the presenter’s grandfather, to recruit physicians and nurses and organize the Emory Medical Unit. After training at Camp Gordon, the Emory Unit arrived in France in July 1918 and established Base Hospital 43 in the city of Blois.  The hospital would care for more than 9,000 patients, earning praise from AEF commander General John J. Pershing before returning home in March 1919.  This presentation also will highlight selected medical and surgical advances that arose from that war and provide a brief overview of the second Emory Unit that served in North Africa and France during World War II.

Monday, November 4
Robert Schapiro, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
“From Justice Kennedy to Justice Kavanaugh: The United States Supreme Court in a Time of Transition”

For most of his 30 years on the United States Supreme Court, and especially after the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, Justice Anthony Kennedy stood at the center of a divided court. Though he generally sided with his more conservative colleagues on a range of important issues from the death penalty to abortion, to affirmative action, Kennedy moderated the conservative trajectory of the court. His replacement by Justice Brett Kavanaugh opens a new chapter in the court’s history. The 2018–2019 court term gave some indication of its new direction, with Kavanaugh offering some surprising and unsurprising votes. The Supreme Court term beginning in October 2019 promises to be more revealing and more controversial, as the justices grapple with topics including immigration, LGBT rights, and gun control—and they may well return once again to the issue of abortion and the Affordable Care Act. In today’s colloquium, Robert Schapiro will review some of the key decisions from last year, preview some of the significant cases of the coming term, and discuss the larger themes of the court’s evolving jurisprudence.

Monday, November 18
Frans de Waal, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology Emeritus; Director Emeritus, Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Utrecht
Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions

The title of Frans de Waal’s most recent book pays homage to Mama, the alpha female of a famous chimpanzee colony in the Netherlands who died at the age of 59. Her last hug with Professor Jan van Hooff went viral on the internet. De Waal will discuss their encounter and then review evidence for animal emotions, starting with the incredible variety of primate facial expressions. Charles Darwin concluded long ago that if apes use expressions similar to ours under similar circumstances, the underlying emotions are probably similar too. And it has indeed become increasingly clear that all of “our” emotions can be found in other species. The whole idea that there is just a handful of basic or primary emotions shared across species (fear, anger, joy) and that all other emotions (jealousy, guilt, love, hope) are uniquely human doesn’t make sense. Although we may have emotions that go deeper or are more varied than in other species, none belongs to us alone. De Waal will discuss empathy and disgust as examples of emotions as evident in animals as in ourselves.

Tuesday, December 10
RUBY LAL, Professor of South Asian Studies, Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies
Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

As feminist historian Ruby Lal was growing up in northern India, her mother told her stories of many exemplary women from the earliest days of the Mughal Empire, women she wrote of in her first big scholarly book, Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World. In her second such book, she wrote of Indian women of the 19th century. But in her third, winner of the 2019 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Biography (and also named a finalist in history for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Lal returned to the earlier time to focus on the especially remarkable story of Nur Jahan, the young widow who became the 20th and favorite wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1611. Nur proved an astute politician as well as a loving spouse, governing alongside her husband and in his stead as his health failed and his attentions wandered from matters of state—the only woman ever recognized as Empress in her male-dominated world. How wonderful that Lal’s story-telling skills—skills we will enjoy today—are doing Nur justice after all these years.

Monday, January 6
Harvey Klehr, Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus of Politics and History
"The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr"

It has been said that “Harvey Klehr is unquestionably the most important living historian of American Communism and Soviet espionage in the United States,” evidenced by the fact that three of the books he has authored, co-authored, or edited have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He’ll share the story he so memorably tells in his most recent book—the story of David Karr, who lived a number of lives: newsman, government bureaucrat, public relations flack, CEO, Hollywood and Broadway producer, hotel magnate, international banker, and Soviet and Israeli source. His remarkable life also included four wives, five children, hidden financial assets, and enemies around the world.  Even after his death in Paris in 1979, rumors swirled about his involvement in assassinations and arms dealing, and the French press exploded with claims he had been murdered. This new book, according to Klehr, is the end of a 30-year search for the truth about this slippery character.

Tuesday, January 21
Ren Davis, Retired Administrator and Consultant, Emory Healthcare; Author of Caring for Atlanta: A History of Emory Crawford Long Hospital (2003)
"When Emory Doctors Went to War: Honoring the Centennial of the Emory Medical Unit's Service in the First World War"

Following the United States’ entry into the Great War in April 1917, the US Army Surgeon General and the American Red Cross called on the country's medical schools and major hospitals to organize units to provide care to the soldiers deploying for combat in France. Emory School of Medicine Dean William Elkin, MD, asked faculty member and military veteran Edward Campbell Davis, MD, the presenter’s grandfather, to recruit physicians and nurses and to organize the Emory Medical Unit. After training at Camp Gordon, the Emory Unit arrived in France in July 1918 and established Base Hospital 43 in the city of Blois. The hospital would care for more than 9,000 patients, earning praise from AEF commander Gen. John J. Pershing before returning home in March 1919. This presentation also will highlight selected medical and surgical advances that arose from the war and provide a brief overview of the second Emory Unit that served in North Africa and France during World War II.

Monday, February 3
John Banja, Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Medical Ethicist, Center for Ethics, Emory University
“Artificial Intelligence and the Western Workforce: Will AI Take Our Jobs?”

The history of technological development and its use has clearly shown that new technologies have created more jobs than they have replaced. Innovative technologies frequently result in greater demand and thus greater productivity, which has been good for job markets. However, artificial intelligence products, especially ones characterized by “deep learning” computational functions, are generating great concern among futurists who worry that once these technologies become adopted, they will increasingly assume human job functions without improving job prospects for human workers. There is fear they will simply take over. And indeed, people in numerous job sectors including banking, delivery services, assembly line work, and the food industry are expected to be replaced by AI-run devices over the next five to twenty years. Come hear John Banja discuss the ways artificial intelligence is likely to alter the workforce in the not-so-distant future (and beyond) and the ways in which we might prepare for its doing so.

Tuesday, February 18
Paul Courtright, Professor Emeritus of Religion
“The Goddess and the Dreadful Practice: An Ancient Hindu Cautionary Tale” 

Currently in the final year of the work on Indian history and religion that his recent Heilbrun grant has helped to support, Paul will offer an illustrated talk on a “Cautionary Tale” he examined in the course of his research. It features a number of Hindu gods as well as the king and daughter referenced in the title of the tale. Hating the god whom his daughter opts to marry, the king refuses to let them participate in a fire sacrifice, the ritual meant to sustain the world. We won’t spoil the suspense about what ensues here (Paul will let us know during our gathering, of course). We’ll only say, as he does, that the tale might be compared with Greek or Shakespearean tragedies and, though deeply Indian, resonates as they do with universal themes of power, loyalty, violence, love, and “the ultimate order of things.”

Monday, March 2
Pearl Dowe, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies, Oxford College and Emory College
“The Chaos the DNC Created”

Headed into the 2020 election, the Democratic Party is reckoning with the varied ideas that characterize liberal politics and complicate the question of “electability.” The expansive Democratic candidate field suggests that the party is not (yet) clear about its current identity or what Democratic voters want. This talk, by one of Emory’s newest professors, an expert in American politics in general and African American political leadership in particular, will provide a discussion of how the Democratic party has reached this moment and what steps it should take to ensure it is seen as a viable party option for the many millions of voters it will need to attract if it is to succeed in removing Trump (and Trumpers) from power and reclaiming the White House (and then some).

Monday, March 16
Kipton Jensen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Leadership Studies Program in the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership, Morehouse College
“Howard Thurman: ‘Tutor to the World’”

Howard Thurman (1899–1981) is one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement in America. Having met with Gandhi in 1936, he quickly and adeptly applied the philosophy of nonviolence to the problem of racism in America, eventually and memorably mentoring Martin Luther King Jr. in his application of that philosophy. However, as Kipton Jensen demonstrates in his most recent work, Howard Thurman: Philosophy, Civil Rights, and the Search for Common Ground (2019), the reach of this extraordinary man’s thinking extended to an entire generation of activists, making him the man his wife has described as a “tutor to the world.” An activist as well as a philosopher, Thurman preached the power of the love that can get us past hatred, through reconciliation, and into a peaceful and productive life shared on “common ground.” And, speaking of preaching, Kipton will also discuss Thurman’s Sermons on the Parables, subject of another book that he recently co-edited with Emory (and Oxford) professor of religion, David Gowler.

Monday, March 30
Voracious Readers Anonymous, Members of the Emeritus College
“BookFest 2020: Recommendations for Summer Reading”

Assorted members of EUEC gave short presentations on their favorite books for reading now that there is likely more time to read. Enjoy!

Monday, April 6
Gretchen Schulz, Professor of English Emerita, Oxford College
Bringing ‘Remote Learning’ Closer to Home

Most emeriti have little or no experience with the “remote learning” so many of our colleagues are struggling with just now. But hey, it’s never too late to learn about it. This virtual lunch colloquium will give us a chance to do just that—and learn a little bit about James Joyce, too. Gretchen is going to “teach a class” on one of the very best short stories of all time—“Araby” from Joyce’s 1914 collection Dubliners. And, having done your “homework” by reading the (very short) story ahead of time, as we will enable you to do, you will be able to participate in the class, “raising your hand” to ask and answer questions. By the end of the experience, we should all have a fuller sense of how online teaching works and, not so incidentally, a fuller sense of what the heck it is English professors do in their classes, virtual and otherwise.

Monday, April 13
Bobbi Patterson, Professor of Pedagogy, Department of Religion
“Building Resilience through Contemplative Practice”

Bobbi Patterson’s book, Building Resilience Through Contemplative Practice: A Field Manual for Helping Professionals and Volunteers, recasts burnout as a crucial phase of service and life itself. Using real-world case studies, including aspects of our current situation, she will offer present relevant exercises for cultivating resilience through tough times. Yes, as she’ll argue, to choose change in the midst of difficulty, even collapse, we need guiding values as well as concrete tools and skills. But drawing on contemplative principles and practices, in secular as well as Christian and Buddhist forms, can enable us to find the resources we need to move forward. The very burnout that may force us to ease our grasp on long-held assumptions may free us to reach out for new means to new ends and a more productive future. As you’ll see, it’s no wonder that reviewers have celebrated this book as “a hopeful and compassionate refuge [for those feeling challenged] at the crossroad where service and contemplative practice meet.”

Monday, April 20 
Kipton Jensen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Leadership Studies Program in the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership, Morehouse College
“Howard Thurman: Tutor to the World”
 (Rescheduled from Monday, March 16)

Howard Thurman (1899–1981) is one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement in America. Having met Gandhi in 1936, he quickly appropriated and adeptly applied the philosophy of nonviolence to the problem of racism in America, eventually and memorably mentoring Martin Luther King in his application of that philosophy. However, as Kipton Jensen demonstrates in his most recent work, Howard Thurman: Philosophy, Civil Rights, and the Search for Common Ground (2019), the reach of this extraordinary man's thinking extended to an entire generation of activists, making him the man his wife has described as a "tutor to the world." An activist as well as a philosopher, he preached the power of love to get us past hatred, through reconciliation, and into a peaceful and productive life shared on "common ground." And, speaking of preaching, Kipton will also discuss Thurman's Sermons on the Parables, subject of another book he recently co-edited with Oxford College Professor of Religion David Gowler. 

Monday, April 27
Henry Kahn, MD, FACP
“Can US Health Care Be Made Affordable?”

Our medical costs per capita far exceed those of any comparable nation, but our health outcomes do not. What are the consequences for the uninsured, the underinsured, and for the caring professions and societal survival? Our medical care financing is unique among developed countries. For-profit corporations dominate the environment of private coverage and play increasing roles in our public coverage. Corporate influence throws obstacles in the way of policy changes that could otherwise respond to rational evidence and the public interest. The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic may present opportunities for major reform.

Monday, May 4
Denise Raynor, MD, MPH, Professor Emerita, School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, Emory College
“Ah, You’re a Doctor?: Exploring the Experiences of African Americans in Medicine”

Building on her own experiences in medical school, residency, and academic medicine, perinatologist Denise Raynor, who retired from her position as director of the OB/GYN residency program at Grady’s Perinatal Center in 2009, is currently developing a book on racial bias in medical education and its impact on disparities in health outcomes. As she has said, there’s been very little change in that area since she began medical school at Vanderbilt in 1980. No less impactful for being more implicit than explicit, such bias continues to be an invisible hand that touches all interactions in health care—between colleagues, staff, and patients. Perhaps in bringing the subject out of the shadows and into the light, through talks like this one and talks she’s been offering her OLLI students as well, Denise will help further the change that’s been so slow in coming, however badly needed for so long.

Monday, May 11
Gary Hauk, PhD, University Historian
“‘The Feast of Reason and the Flow of Soul’—A History of Emory Commencement”

Since COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of Emory’s 2020 Commencement, come join a virtual commencement on the day that would have witnessed Emory’s 175th graduation exercises. Gary Hauk, who retired as the Emory University historian in January, tells how the university has celebrated the achievements of its students and faculty through the generations. Where did the bagpipes come in? When did regalia become part of the scene? Who was the most celebrated Commencement speaker? And what about those honorary degrees? (Three cheers for Anthony Fauci 03H, granted an honorary doctor of science degree) A 19th-century newspaper article called one Emory College Commencement “the feast of reason and the flow of soul,” borrowing a line from Alexander Pope. The phrase seems apt even now to describe the celebratory end of the academic year. Come prepared to share your own commencement memories as we observe the day that would have been.

Monday, May 18
Brenda Bynum, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Department of Theater Studies
“An Introduction to the Epistolary Friendship of Flannery O'Connor with Betty Hester”

In 1955, Flannery O'Connor received a letter from a woman who had just read her book A Good Man is Hard to Find, and she replied by writing back, "I want to know who this is who understands my stories." What followed was a remarkable correspondence between the two that lasted and thrived until O'Connor's death nine years later. Though most of the letters that Hester sent to O'Connor have not been found, O'Connor's to Hester were saved by the recipient, donated to Emory University in 1987, and opened to the public 20 years later. They are candid, perceptive, and honest and reveal the development of a deep and satisfying friendship for both of them. They are also a pleasure to read, as O'Connor brought all of her literary brilliance to bear in writing them. Bynum has developed a program on these letters that she will share.

Monday, June 1          
Vernon K. Robbins, Professor of Religion Emeritus, Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities
“The Birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary in the Infancy Gospel of James (Protevangelium Jacobi)”

The Protevangelium Jacobi (Infancy Gospel of James), written ca. 180 CE, presents Mary, the mother of Jesus, growing up in the holy environment of the Jerusalem temple where she is fed by angels. When her monthly flow is about to begin, the priests take her out of the temple so she will not pollute it. After the priests assign Mary to the care of a widower named Joseph, who already has children, difficulties arise when Mary becomes pregnant while Joseph is away for six months on a carpentry job. The immaculate holiness of Mary, however, leads to the birth of Jesus in a thoroughly surprising manner in a cave alongside the road to Bethlehem. For centuries, Christians knew this version of the birth of Jesus, also referenced in the Muslim holy book of the Qur’an. Then with the 16th-century Reformation, Christians began to privilege the birth stories in the gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament. Join us for a discussion of this now so-little-known second-century CE version of the story with a scholar who describes it as “breathtaking.” 

Monday, June 8              
Holly York, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Department of French and Italian
“Reading Collaboratively: Poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman”

In her April 6 colloquium, Gretchen Schulz invited us to participate in what faculty and students might experience as their normal face-to-face courses migrated online to end the semester. She successfully guided the group through a close reading of James Joyce’s short story “Araby,” even though she herself was new to the remote learning format. The rich variety of experience contributed by our emeriti brought the work alive, even for those who might not otherwise have been enthusiasts of Joyce (or indeed of literature itself). So let’s try poetry! With its highly figurative language, poetry lends itself particularly well to collaborative reading where participants co-create meaning. Holly York, who has had much experience in online work with literature in MOOCs she’s enrolled in during her retirement, will guide us through a discussion of Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) and Walt Whitman (1819–1892), both radical poets for their time who are seen by some as polar opposite precursors of contemporary American poetry. She’ll ask us to do some “homework” ahead of time by reading several of the typically terse poems by Dickinson and a single section of Song of Myself by the longer-winded Whitman and then invite us into conversation with one another to see what we can make of this seminal material. We hope for as much revelatory fun as we enjoyed in examining “Araby.” 

Monday, June 15     
Daniel LaChance, Associate Professor, Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in Law and the Humanities, Department of History
“Mrs. Miller’s Constitution: Civil Liberties and the Radical Right in Cold War America"

In the early years of the Cold War, grassroots activists on the far-right end of the political spectrum waged a campaign against government bureaucracies they believed were quietly ushering in an age of despotism. They grew especially alarmed at the growing power the government was giving to psychiatrists to oversee the psychological well-being of Americans. Under the pretense of treating mental illness, they feared, liberals would soon banish conservatives to mental institutions. As Emory historian Daniel LaChance will explain, two events in the 1950s brought these anxieties to a fever pitch: the involuntary confinement of Vermont anti-communist activist Lucille Miller to a federal psychiatric hospital and federal legislation to fund the construction of a mental hospital in the Alaska territory. In their campaigns to free Miller and stop the construction of what they believed would be an Alaskan gulag, these activists turned to the law, arguing that the Constitution safeguarded a vision of liberty as the absence of unwanted government intrusions into an individual’s life. In subsequent decades, as we know too well, others also would grow wary of government paternalism and embrace a more libertarian and procedural understanding of rights, countering the alternative vision of rights as a tool for pursuing collective, egalitarian ends that so many of us prefer. 

Monday, June 22               
Ronald J. Gould, Goodrich C. White Professor of Mathematics Emeritus
“The Oddball’s Oddball: The Unusual Life of a Mathematical Genius”

In this talk, our own unusually gifted mathematician, Ron Gould, will describe the life and work of Paul Erdös, one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century and its most prolific. He’ll explain how Erdös’ enormous influence on many branches of mathematics and many other mathematicians changed the very way mathematics research is conducted, transforming this famously solo endeavor into a wonderfully collaborative one. But, as Gould also will explain, Erdös was at least as strange as he was brilliant—so much so that Time magazine dubbed him “The Oddball’s Oddball.” (Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” had nothing on him!) Join us to learn about Erdös’ professional successes and personal eccentricities from one who knew him well enough to appreciate both.

Monday, June 29         
Pamela Scully, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and of African Studies and Vice Provost, Undergraduate Affairs
“Settler Societies after Colonialism: South Africa and the USA”

Pamela Scully, who has most recently co-authored the book Writing Transnational History, will discuss the concept of Settler Society as it has been applied historically and in the contemporary era. Using her expertise in South African and transnational history as well as her experiences in growing up under apartheid, Scully will discuss similarities and differences between South Africa and the USA—with brief forays into the situations in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—as a way of theorizing our contemporary US moment.

Wednesday, July 8
Hal Jacobs, independent documentary filmmaker (with a little help from his friends)
“Screening and Discussion of Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence”

Hal Jacobs, whom many of us will remember from his years writing and developing written/video resources at Emory, now works with his son, Henry, making films. In 2019, they completed their first full-length project, a 50-minute documentary about Georgia author and activist Lillian Smith, who spoke out on the subject of racism well before the Civil Rights Movement took off in the late 1950s and who offered programs intended to address that racism too.

The current pandemic has made it impossible for Jacobs to pursue the schedule of actual screenings and actual discussions of the work such as he had hoped to pursue, but we have happily introduced the substitutes he is making available into our schedule: a virtual screening (that our members may access from Sunday, July 5, through Saturday, July 11) and a virtual discussion (in a Zoom session on Wednesday, July 8, from 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.). Brenda Bynum, who helped to narrate the documentary, will join Jacobs on the Director’s Panel, as may others involved in its making and/or involved, as Brenda herself has been, with the study and celebration of Lillian Smith.

Monday, July 13
Sarah Higinbotham, Assistant Professor of English, Oxford College of Emory University
“‘Speak the Speech’: Performing Hamlet”

Sarah Higinbotham, Shakespearean scholar/teacher from the Oxford campus, will direct volunteers among us in a Zoom “production” of the first two scenes in Hamlet—that isa dramatic reading of the textSarah will consult with would-be performers about the casting in time for all to review their lines in preparation for the occasion. (And by the way, that will be gender-blind casting, so women needn’t be restricted to enacting anyone but Gertrude.) If performers also want to prepare by bedecking themselves with bits of costume or bringing props (a sword? a crown? a skull?), all the better.

After our reading, Sarah will lead a reflective discussion in which we think about how speaking the lines out loud (and hearing them so spoken) connects us to Shakespeare’s language and thought. “Speak the speech, I pray you.” Prince Hamlet directs his actor friends, “trippingly on the tongue.” We look forward to the experience of hearing our actor friends do the same. 

Sarah recommends that all of us, actors and audience alike, use the free Folger digital version of the text. With so many variations of the text available, it will be helpful if we’re all looking at the same one. Here is the Folger full-text download link. 

Monday, July 20 
“Food Justice: A Sociological Perspective”
Deric Shannon, Associate Professor of Sociology, Oxford College of Emory University

The “right to food” is proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and yet more than 50 years after its proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN estimates “that over 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food, including 8 percent of the population in North America and Europe.” These numbers vary considerably in group percentages as they intersect with a range of relations of inequality. The normative issues involved when we invoke justice, particularly social versions of those invocations, are central to questions surrounding food—and not just access to it. This talk will focus on sociologically informed approaches to food justice and how food intersects with larger relations of inequality in myriad ways.

Monday, July 27
“Notre-Dame of Paris: One Year Later”
Elizabeth Paston, Professor of Art History

Elizabeth Pastan specializes in medieval art and architecture, where she has paid particular attention to the stunning stained glass work in the great Gothic cathedrals of the period. In fact, her most recent book, co-edited with Brigitte Kurman-Schwarz, is titled Investigations in Medieval Stained Glass: Medium, Methods, Expressions. She is currently president of the American Corpus Vitrearum, the body of scholars who study medieval stained glass. She was even more horrified than the rest of us by the fire that threatened the utter destruction of Notre-Dame a year ago—and even more relieved that so much of it, including its superb rose windows, somehow survived. She’ll share some of her expertise on the history and current state of this storied structure and the plans to restore it to its former glory by 2024, when Paris is scheduled to host the Olympic Games. She promises intervals for discussion after each section of her presentation—and lots of wonderful images to look at.

Monday, August 17
Stacy Bell, Professor of Pedagogy in English, Oxford College
“Teaching in the Oddhouse: What the Prison Classroom Has Taught Me about Compassionate Pedagogy”

Former student Stacy Bell returned to Oxford College in 1994 as a specialist in English for speakers of other languages, her primary role teaching First-Year Writing and advising other faculty on teaching non-native English speakers. Since 2010, she has been teaching a special topics course in memoir, a collaborative classroom that included Oxford College students and students incarcerated in Arrendale State Prison for women in Alto, Georgia. Stacy will first provide some general information about higher education in prison programs like the Chillon Project at Allendale, an initiative of Life University, where Stacy serves as adjunct faculty. Then she will discuss how her experience in the prison classroom has shaped both her scholarship and her teaching, inspiring her research into antiracist pedagogies and transforming her approaches to students on the free-world campus of Oxford. She will conclude by providing resources for those who might also want to support prison education—perhaps even doing some teaching in that context themselves.  

Monday, August 24
Bill Wuest, Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator and Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
“When Bugs Outsmart Drugs: The Effects of America’s Antibiotic Obsession”

Bacteria are everywhere. By sheer numbers, their cells outnumber human cells 2 to 1. The good news is that most bacteria are helpful; for instance, they allow us to digest delicious foods. But hype about a few disease-causing bacteria has fueled mass “germaphobia,” leading us to overuse antibacterial disinfectants to the point that some are failing. Is bacterial resistance a slippery slope? Just how effective is Lysol? What is the future of our relationship with bacteria? At this Emeritus College Lunch Colloquium, Emory University chemistry professor Bill Wuest will discuss potential chemical and biological solutions, many inspired by Mother Nature, for both combating and better understanding Earth’s most numerous living organisms. He will also let us know whether we should drink Clorox . . . or not.

August 31
Marilynne McKay, Professor Emerita of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine
“Monumental Decisions: The Origins and Messages of Confederate Memorials”
Part 1: Lecture
Part 2: Q&A/Discussion

The Civil War lasted only four years long ago (1861–1865), but it casts a long shadow. In 2019 the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 780 Confederate monuments and statues at county courthouses, town squares, state capitols, and other public venues (not including cemeteries or battlefields). The majority (604) were dedicated before 1950, but 28 went up between 1950 and 1970. (Georgia’s Stone Mountain memorial was dedicated in 1973.) Thirty-four Confederate statues were dedicated after 2000. In the past two years, however, almost 200 monuments have been removed, relocated, or toppled. President Donald Trump says it’s “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart,” but many disagree, given just what aspects of our “history and culture” have been thus memorialized. A movement to get rid of public works honoring “traitors and racists” is beginning to address what we might begin to build instead. Join us to discuss some old and new Southern monuments in terms of their origins and likely dispositions.

Tuesday, September 4
“Why Montaigne Matters: Recovering the Lost Virtue of Civility
Ann Hartle, Professor of Philosophy Emerita

Over the past few decades, we have heard repeated calls for greater civility in our public discourse. At the same time, the demand for greater civility is often exposed as a mask for an attempt to silence one’s opponents and shut down free speech, confusing us over what civility is and is not. Understanding requires we see civility in its origins and emergence as a new moral character at the beginning of the modern era. This character was first displayed and given expression in the Essays of Michel de Montaigne. And no one is better suited to share what Montaigne had to say than Ann Hartle, who has already published several books on this major thinker and is working on another one.

Monday, September 17
“Genes, Climate, and Consumption Culture: Connecting the Dots”
Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School

Drawing from decades of research, Jagdish Sheth’s new book, Genes, Climate, and Consumption Culture: Connecting the Dots, demonstrates how climate dictates culture and consumption. Sheth shows how human genes are climatic adaptations over thousands of years of evolution, resulting in the dramatic differences between people’s food, clothing, and shelter choices. Most important, he’ll explain how many of the fundamental differences between cultures with respect to time, space, friendship, and technology are responses to their particular climates, ranging from the arctic, to the temperate, to the tropical.

Monday, October 1
“The Ecology of Infection: Zoonotic Transmission at the Human-Livestock-Wildlife Interface“
Thomas Gillespie, Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Environmental Health

Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Environmental Health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, Thomas Gillespie has published widely on how and why anthropogenic disturbance of tropical forests alters disease dynamics in resident wildlife and places people and animals in these ecosystems at increased risk of pathogen exchange. Through his research and conservation activities in Africa and Latin America, Gillespie strives to promote human and wildlife health, while simultaneously ensuring the sustainability of the ecosystems in which they live. He was named a Distinguished STAR Fellow of the US Environmental Protection Agency and was recently elected a fellow of the Linnaean Society for his contributions at the nexus of biodiversity conservation and global health.

Monday, October 22
“Crowd-sourcing ‘Return to The Wasteland’: Margate and Coventry in 2018”
Sheila Cavanagh, Professor of English and Director, World Shakespeare Project

In recent years, discussions surrounding concepts of public scholarship have been gaining prominence in academic circles and beyond. Such examinations recently interacted with Eliot scholarship at the Turner Gallery in Margate. In 2018 Professor Mike Tooby oversaw a “crowd-sourced” exhibition related to Eliot’s composition of The Wasteland in this English coastal town in 1922. The exhibition closed in May, but a new version will be mounted in Coventry in September. In this talk, Sheila Cavanagh will address the process and its outcome within the context of theories associated with public scholarship, considering the advantages and pitfalls of encouraging non-specialists in this kind of endeavor most commonly restricted to experts.

Monday, November 5
“Just for the Thrill of It: An Inside Look at Sensation Seeking”
Ken Carter, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology, Oxford College

Thrill seekers, people with high-sensation-seeking personalities, crave exotic and intense experiences, even when physical or social risks are involved. They jump from bridges, run from bulls, or skydive. But sensation seeking is a trait we all have, even if we’ve never done (or been tempted to do) such wild and crazy things. It includes other versions of the search for complex and new experiences, some involving mental and sensual explorations that even old folks can enjoy. Ken Carter discusses the psychological factors that shape why thrill seekers of many kinds do the things they do. His book on the topic, Buzz! Understanding Thrill Seekers and the High Sensation Seeking Personality, will be published in the summer of 2019 by Cambridge University Press.

Monday, November 19
“Biology and Buddhism: What I've Learned about Life during a Decade Teaching Science to the Dalai Lama’s Monks and Nuns”
Arri Eisen, Professor of Pedagogy, Nat C. Robertson Distinguished Teaching Chair in Science and Society

When the 14th Dalai Lama invited Emory to shape and lead the first significant change in six centuries to his monastics’ academic curriculum, little did anyone imagine what all involved were in for. But we’ll hear from a person well-equipped to tell us. Arri Eisen, who has been teaching in biology, interdisciplinary studies, and the Center for Ethics at Emory for 28 years, has been involved in the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative for more than a decade. He is the author, with Yungdrung Konchok, of The Enlightened Gene: Biology, Buddhism, and the Convergence That Explains the World (ForeEdge, 2018). 

Monday, December 3
“Samothrace and Beyond: Excavating the Secrets of the Ancient World”
Bonna Wescoat, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History

Bonna Wescoat, who has been pursuing her work in archaeology on Samothrace since she was a student in 1977, was named director of excavations there in 2012. She and her interdisciplinary team of scholars and students have done much to uncover the history and legacy of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. The value of these collaborative efforts was recognized when she was honored as the recipient of the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2017 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. This year, she was recognized again by receiving a $246,000 Getty Foundation grant to facilitate further scholar-student research (with participants from many institutions and countries) from northern Greece into the regions of Thrace and the Black Sea. Who better to help us explore the seminal site she has explored for so many years already—and give us a glimpse of the Getty-funded work to come, both there and “Beyond the Northern Aegean?”

Tuesday, January 15
Selden Deemer, Librarian Emeritus
“Changing Courses” or  “A 72-Year-Old Undergraduate Speaks”

Two years ago, when EUEC member Selden Deemer and his wife moved to Dahlonega, Georgia, where they now live “amid cows, chickens, turkeys, forest rats (deer),” Selden began to consider studying a language other than English as a way to keep his mind fit. He was delighted to discover that the University of North Georgia has a rich foreign language program, and he decided to revisit the Arabic he had studied in college and grad school—and used during years when he worked as a librarian in Saudi Arabia. Last fall, he followed up that audit with actual enrollment in an Introduction to Islam course (in which he earned an A he’s very proud of). And he’s now hoping to do as well in two spring semester courses, Introduction to Islam II and Arabic Epigraphy and Calligraphy. When Selden shared the pleasures (and challenges) of his experience as a decidedly postgrad undergraduate with John Bugge last September, John suggested he share the same with us—in a Lunch Colloquium. And we see a program on this subject as the perfect way to kick off a new year of offerings in which the Emeritus College itself enables our members to enjoy “school forever” even as Selden is doing
in Dahlonega—and honor the wishes of John, who passed away suddenly in November. Marilynne McKay and Holly York share their retirement stories too.

Monday, January 28
Stephen Nowicki, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology Emeritus
“Choice or Chance: Locus of Control”

Anything but “retired” after 50 much lauded years of teaching psychology at Emory—and comparably distinguished years of clinical practice and research in the field—Steve Nowicki is ready to report on the results of a three-year grant from the Templeton Foundation, a grant enabled by a prior Heilbrun grant from our own Emory College of Arts and Sciences that has allowed him to pursue his long-time interest in the impact of “locus of control” with extensive work in England. What is “locus of control,” you ask? “Our locus of control reflects how much we expect what happens to us is due to our own choices or to chance," Nowicki explains. “I have studied the implications of locus of control on the personal lives of children and adults for decades and concluded it is a key to personal, social, and academic successes.”  Nowicki used the Templeton grant to study all children born in 1991 in Bristol, England, and their parents over the past 27 years. What he found has profound implications for the way we live our lives and how our children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren are raised.

Tuesday, February 12
Carl C. Hug Jr., MD, PhD, Professor of Anesthesiology Emeritus, School of Medicine
“The Opioid Crisis in 2019”

Monday, February 25
Ronald Gould, Goodrich C. White Professor of Mathematics Emeritus
“How I Gained an International Reputation as a Gambler”

After Ronald Gould developed and taught a freshman seminar titled “Mathematics in Games, Sports, and Gambling” here at Emory, strange events and unusual requests followed, as he became known around the world for his “gambling prowess." In reality, Gould was just teaching these freshman students a series of problems to show that mathematics—even simple mathematics—can be useful and fun. In this session, he’ll teach you as well, and in the process hopes to demystify how mathematics is done at all levels including the far-from-simple. In this lively session, you’ll get a glimpse of the beauty all mathematicians see in their subject and work—and maybe pick up a point or two about gambling.

Tuesday, March 12
Liza Davis, Director Emerita, University Honors Program, Kennesaw State University
“The Poetry of Natasha Trethewey”

Twice selected as Poet Laureate of the United States, Natasha Trethewey won a Pulitzer Prize for her collection Native Guard in 2007. She later published Thrall, a collection in which she examines the history of men, women, and children marginalized by the rigid hierarchy of pure Spanish and mixed-race classifications in 18th-century colonial Mexico. Various taxonomies of color were captured in what are known as Casta, or "caste," paintings commissioned by wealthy colonial families. Trethewey finds layered meanings in these paintings, enthralling her readers. This presentation will pair selected poems from Thrall with slides of the art they explore.

Monday, March 25
Helen O’Shea, RN, PhD, Professor of Nursing Emerita, and Donald O'Shea, Professor of Physics Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology
“How Does Your Garden Grow?”

One block from the Emory gate there is a forested garden that Helen and Don O’Shea created over the past 15 years. It has been on the Druid Hills Homes and Gardens Tour and the Atlanta Botanical Garden Tour for Connoisseurs. This presentation describes the design, development, and maintenance of the garden by these two retired professors, one of whom became a master gardener after retirement. Topics will include the choice of plants and their plantings, successes and failures over time, and practices the O'Sheas have developed over the years that should prove useful to anyone who maintains a garden or wants to start one. They promise plenty of pictures of flowers too.

Monday, April 22
Cassandra Quave, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Human Health and Curator of the Emory Herbarium
“Exploring Nature’s Bounty: Drug Discovery from Plants Used in Traditional Medicine”

Pursuant to her training as a medical ethnobotanist, Quave's research focuses on the documentation and biochemical analysis of botanical remedies and foods in applications for anti-infective and anticancer therapeutics. Her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, industry contracts, and philanthropy. To date, she has authored more than 60 publications, edited two books, and holds three patents. She is the co-founder and CEO/CSO of PhytoTEK LLC, a drug discovery company dedicated to developing solutions from botanicals for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections and recalcitrant wounds. Quave has been the subject of feature profiles in the New York Times MagazineBBC Focus, and Brigitte magazine, and on the National Geographic Channel. Her work has been featured on NPR, in National Geographic Magazine, and in several major news outlets including the Washington PostThe Telegraph, CBS News, and NBC News.

Tuesday, May 14 
Cynthia Willett, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy
“The Comic in the Midst of Tragedy’s Grief with Tig Notaro, Hannah Gadsby, and Others”

The function of the comic in the midst of tragedy isn’t clear. Is it simply comic relief that wounded nations, communities, or individuals seek? Is it simply Nietzschean moments of joyful forgetting and perhaps a measure of transcendence from grief? Mark Twain emphasized the latter when he wrote, “The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow.” It’s a view sometimes phrased as “comedy is tragedy plus time.” It’s assumed we need emotional distance in order to mock or transcend the tragic. But there might be another way that humor can help us deal with suffering, a way Cynthia Willett sees as apparent in our increasingly inclusive comic scene, where humorists address audiences struggling to make sense of a volatile world. She will share insights she and her sister Julie have developed in a book due out in the fall, Uproarious: How Feminist and Other Subversive Comics Speak Truth.

Tuesday, May 28
Marilynne McKay, Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) Emerita
“Taking Your Skin Outdoors: Sun, Bugs, and Poison Ivy”

Your skin is a living, protective barrier between you and the environment, but summertime brings special challenges. When it’s warm outside, we tend to wear less clothing and stay outside longer, exposing our skin to a spectrum of UV rays, insects, and allergenic plants. Marilynne McKay will share what your dermatologist would like you to know about new sunscreen recommendations, insect repellents, and poison ivy precautions so you'll have a great time outdoors this summer—minus the blistering and peeling, nasty bites, and itchy rashes that could make your skin wish you’d paid closer attention to this lecture.

Tuesday, June 11
Bradd Shore, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology Emeritus
“And the Flesh Was Made Word: Romeo and Juliet in the Kingdom of Cratylus

Attendees will enjoy a fresh look at Romeo and Juliet through an anthropologist’s eyes. Tracing the play’s links to Plato’s Cratylus, the talk considers Juliet’s famous question, “What’s in a name,” as the heart of Shakespeare’s dazzling reflection on the relations between love and language.  This unexpected perspective on the world’s most famous love story is adapted from Shore’s forthcoming book, Shakespeare and the Play of Great Ideas

Monday, June 24
Justin A. Joyce, Research Associate to Emory Provost Dwight McBride and Managing Editor of the James Baldwin Review
“Gunslinging Justice: The American Culture of Gun Violence in Westerns and the Law”

In a new book that shares its title with today’s presentation, Justin Joyce explores the cultural history of the interplay between the Western genre and American gun rights and legal paradigms. Commonly read as an indictment of the American legal system, the Western genre often imagines the procedural focus of American law as an obstacle to justice. On its face, the genre embraces justice by gun violence rather than by trial. However, Joyce argues that this opposition is progressively undone by the genre’s formulaic shootouts, which carry much of the spirit—if not the letter—of American legal regimes around gun violence. He will focus his presentation on the classic 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to demonstrate that rather than being “anti-law,” the Western genre has long imagined new justifications for gun violence that American law seems ever eager to adopt.

Tuesday, July 9
Pablo Palomino, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Mellon Faculty Fellow, Oxford College of Emory University
“The Making of Latin American as a Cultural Region: Identity and Otherness from a Musical Perspective”

Latin America is less an objective reality than the history of the multiple projects that attempted to create a region out of the intrinsic heterogeneity of the New World. Underlying these projects, a surprisingly wide set of musical practices was crucial to creating an enduring idea of Latin American culture and identity. In particular, the aesthetic category “Latin American music” consolidated the cultural identity of this region by connecting highbrow and lowbrow traditions, folk and erudite, popular and commercial music across disparate cultural streams—national, Iberian, European, Pan-American, African, and indigenous. Based on his upcoming book, The Invention of Latin American Music (Oxford University Press), Palomino’s talk will invite us to reflect on our geocultural assumptions from a musical perspective.

Monday, July 22
Voracious Readers AnonymousAssorted Members of EUEC
“Bookfest 2019: Recommendations for Rest of Summer Reading”

Now that we’re well along in the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer, we thought we’d seek speakers from among our membership to suggest titles and authors they have enjoyed and think others might enjoy too, whether relaxing at the beach or in the mountains, in far-flung sites around the world, or in Adirondack chairs on our porches and patios. We’ll be recruiting people willing to offer brief presentations on favorite books (or perhaps book series) via the July 15 newsletter and online invitations before and after that. In the meantime, please consider what you might recommend by way of some light (or not so light) reading for the long hot days (and short hot nights) that still remain before the leaves (and the weather) turn.

Tuesday, September 19 (rescheduled from September 12 due to weather closing)
Benjamin Reiss, Professor of English and Co-Director, Disability Studies Initiative
“Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World”

Benjamin Reiss, who specializes in 19th-century American literature, disability studies, and health humanities, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015 to support work on Wild Nights, the book he discusses in this lecture. As he’ll explain, sleep is a biological necessity for all living creatures, yet among humans, it is practiced in an astonishing variety of ways. Contemporary Western society has developed a rigid set of rules for sleeping: seven to eight hours in one straight shot, sealed off in private bedrooms, with two consenting adults sharing a bed at most, children apart from parents (and each other), everyone on a rigid schedule that is more or less invariant across the seasons. For most of human history, practically no one slept in this way, yet today failure to sleep according to the rules is a sign of either a medical disorder or social failure. Reiss’s talk will uncover some of the historical causes and economic, psychological, racial, and environmental consequences of our peculiar manner of sleeping.

Monday, September 25
Dabney P. Evans, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health
“‘Regardless, you are not the first woman’: An Illustrative Case Study of Missed Opportunities to Protect Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”

Dabney Evans is a mixed-methods researcher of issues affecting vulnerable populations at the intersection of public health and human rights. She’ll share some insight into her current research into sexual and reproductive health and rights, focusing on the particularly sensitive topics of rape, unintended pregnancy, and abortion. Evans shares the story of Eve, a 19-year-old woman who was raped, became pregnant, and almost died of complications from an unsafe abortion. Her case presents unique challenges related to the fulfillment of sexual and reproductive rights due to legal restrictions on abortion and impunity for perpetrators of violence against women. This in-depth personal history reveals missed opportunities for public health intervention and important lessons for the realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights in countries with restrictive legal policies and conservative cultural norms around sexuality. 

Tuesday, October 10
Sam Dixon, Executive and Artistic Director, Spivey Hall
“The Courage to Think Small: Emilie Spivey’s Creation of Spivey Hall”

In the words of legendary conductor Robert Shaw, “Spivey Hall is to music what light is to painting.” The dream of organist, entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist Emilie Parmalee Spivey, this elegant recital hall opened in 1991, built with private funds totaling $4.5 million. With just 392 seats, Spivey has superb acoustics that enable artists and audiences to feel a strong and deeply satisfying connection to the performance of fine music. How this gem came to be situated at Clayton State University, how its programming enriches lives in far-reaching ways, and how the beautiful “body” of Spivey Hall has also come to possess a beautiful “soul,” are among the topics to be explored in this talk by its executive and artistic director, Sam Dixon.

Monday, October 23
Pellom McDaniels III, Curator of African American Collections, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
“A Question of Manhood: African Americans and WWI”

Fresh from receiving the Center for Research Libraries 2017 Source Award for Research for curating an Emory exhibition inspired by Natasha Trethewey’s book, Native Guard, Pellom McDaniels turned his attention to an exhibition inspired by the memoir of an African American soldier who served as a valet in WWI, which he has edited for Oxford University Press. In this presentation, McDaniels offers an overview of the materials and major theses of the exhibition, which will be on view at Rose Library from early in the fall. In this “war to end all wars,” there were some African American leaders who saw participation as not in the best interest of American blacks, who were constantly fighting for their lives in the country of their birth. Other African American leaders felt it imperative to continue to serve as citizen-soldiers so that blacks would not lose ground to nor simultaneously risk accusations of disloyalty to the nation in its time of need. In the end, African American men gravitated towards the image of the black soldier as a beacon of hope and dignity for the community as well as a symbol of American manhood realized.

November 6
Gene Bianchi, Don Saliers, Holly York: Professors Emeriti of Religion, Theology, and French
“An EUEC Poetry Slam: Members Share Their Own Poetry (Plus)”

In this very special Lunch Colloquium, Gene Bianchi (founding director of the Emeritus College and continuing contributor to its success) will share poetry from his most recent collection, The Hum of It All, and other works. As Dana Greene put it in the blurb she wrote for the book (revealing her own poetic capacities), “In [these] poems of nature, illness, aging, and every kind of unfixable brokenness, one hears a cosmic hum, whittling down belief to heart wood. It is the hum, the sound of all sounds, the ur-sound, taught by cat and owl, birch and wind which is the inspiration for these wonderful poems.” As in the past, Gene has insisted we invite other emeriti poets to present along with him—and we’re delighted that Don Saliers and Holly York have agreed to do so. We also invite attendees who might want to share a poem they have written themselves (or one by another author) to “stand and deliver” in the final 20 minutes of this program—using poetry to celebrate poetry, which is, according to Marianne Moore, “the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” 

November 20
Tawni Tidwell, TMD, Rangjung Tibetan Medicine, Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology
“Bridging Ancient Tibetan Medicine and Modern Western Science: Journeys in Becoming an Amchi Physician”

Tibetan medicine has historically existed as a comprehensive health care system throughout Tibetan regions across Asia and the Trans-Himalaya and as a treatment modality of choice, particularly for chronic illness, with origins predating the 7th century CE. As the first Westerner to be certified in Tibetan medicine among Tibetan peers, by Tibetan teachers, and in the Tibetan language, Tidwell, who is now completing her work for the Ph.D. in Emory's Department of Anthropology, will describe her experiences training as an amchi, a traditional Tibetan medical physician. She studied for her first three years at the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Medical Institute, Men-Tsee-Khang, in northern India and her final years in eastern Tibet at the largest institution of Tibetan medicine in the world, where she focused her internship on gastrointestinal disorders and cancers. She will also discuss her work in bridging Tibetan and Western knowledge systems of the body.

December 4 (Extended session includes holiday party)
Susan Socolow, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor Emerita of Latin American History
“Life, Luck, Language, and How I Became a Historian”

In 2015, in response to widespread demand, Cambridge University Press released a second (and thoroughly updated) edition of Susan Socolow’s much-acclaimed text, Women of Colonial Latin America. We had thought we might persuade her to address that subject matter in her presentation to us, but instead, she has decided to address the subject that made it possible for her to do the work represented in that text and indeed in all of the scholarly work she has done. That subject? It is habilidades lingüísticas, compétences linguistiquesSprachkenntnisse, or abilità linguistiche. Linguistic competence. As her experience has shown her, it can open professional (and social) doors well worth walking through—all over the world.

It can even help globalize holiday celebrations like the one we’ll enjoy after Susan’s presentation concludes. In the meantime, by way of prologue to the party, we hereby wish you all Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Fröhliche Weihnachten! or Buon Natale!, or (here’s an all-American phrase) Whatever.

Monday, January 22 

Jessica Thompson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Kendra Ann Sirak, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
“The Vanished People of Northern Malawi: Ancient DNA and Hunter-Gatherer Lifeways in Prehistoric Africa”

Archaeological evidence, linguistic data, and DNA from living people clearly show that between 4000 and 2000 years ago there was a massive migration of early farmers and herders across sub-Saharan Africa. Indigenous hunting and gathering lifeways came to an end everywhere this migration reached, but many mysteries remain. What was life like for hunter-gatherers then? Did they mix with the incoming farmers or vanish completely? New archaeological work and advances in the study of ancient DNA in northern Malawi (east-central Africa) begin to answer some of these questions. And Emory’s own Jessica Thompson and Kendra Ann Sirak have been at the center of that work and study (with the help of some of our undergraduates, as well). They’ll report on their experiences and their findings to us today.

Monday, February 5
Sidney Perkowitz, Candler Professor of Physics Emeritus
Eddy von Mueller, Former Senior Lecturer, Department of Film and Media Studies
Frankenstein: How A Monster Became an Icon”

In the new book that shares the title of their presentation today, Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy von Mueller have brought together scholars, scientists, artists, and directors (including Mel Brooks) to celebrate the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s marvelous creation and its indelible impact on art and culture. And given that the two hundred years since the novel’s publication have brought scientists closer to actually now doing what Shelley’s scientist supposedly did then, consideration of the ethical issues involved in the creation of life such as the novel prompts has never been more timely. It’s no wonder Emory itself has declared this “the year of Frankenstein.” And this colloquium is our way to honor that designation.

Monday, February 19
Dwight A. McBride, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of African American Studies, and Distinguished Affiliated Professor of English
“Phillis Wheatley: Poetics and Politics”

Dwight McBride, a leading scholar in race and literary studies, currently is working on a volume about Phillis Wheatley, the 18th-century poet who was the first African-American to publish a book. He will share insights from that work with us.

Monday, March 5
“Hearing the Trees: Works from an Exhibition”
Katherine Mitchell, Artist, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Visual Arts Department

Katherine Mitchell will speak about works from her recent exhibition at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University, an exhibition funded in part by one of the Bianchi grants awarded by Emeritus College. The original inspiration for these two-dimensional mixed media drawings and paintings was a beloved white oak on her property that had become diseased. The works serve as talismans for the tree, for Katherine herself, and for all of the endangered environment.

As always, these works show Mitchell's interest in architectural form, and the layering of systems and patterns as well as her interest in the natural world. In this case, the layers include texts taken from her journals, from poetry, and from various prose readings, including quotations from Henry David Thoreau, Gregory Bateson, and others.

In the fall, the exhibition will be on view again at the Circle Gallery at the University of Georgia. We of the EUEC hope to arrange a field trip for those who’d like to see it. 

Monday, March 19
Erika V. Hall, Assistant Professor of Organization and Management, Goizueta Business School
“Black and Blue: Exploring Racial Bias and Law Enforcement in the Killings of Unarmed Black Male Civilians”

“Intersectionality” is the word that best characterizes Erika Hall’s research, focusing as it does on the influence of race, gender, and class-based implicit biases on interactions within the workplace and society as a whole. However, her presentation for the colloquium will center on one kind of bias in particular, namely racial bias, and how the attitudes associated with skin color affect interactions between the police and members of the public whom they’re charged to “protect and serve.” She will share the results of others’ studies of this complex subject (and her own)—results she earlier shared with (other) scholarly colleagues in an article published in American Psychologist.

Tuesday, April 10
Payson Kennedy, Founder and Retired President of the Nantahala Outdoor Center
“Finding Flow: Stories from the Nantahala Outdoor Center”

In 1972, Emory alumnus Payson Kennedy was working at Georgia Tech and with his wife, Aurelia, was raising four young children in suburban Atlanta. A year later, he had given up this conventional life and was living with his family in a new community located on the Nantahala River in the mountains of western North Carolina, working as a raft guide and helping to found the Nantahala Outdoor Center that has since become one of the largest and most successful outdoor recreation businesses in the world.

Payson will talk about his decision to make this change in his search for more frequent experiences of “the flow state,” while also sharing stories from many other recent and former NOC employees, all of which he has compiled in a book due out this very April, NOC Stories: Forty-five Years of Changing Lives at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Our own Stewart Roberts will introduce his lifelong friend.

Monday, May 7
Thomas Thangaraj, D. W. and Ruth Brooks Professor Emeritus of World Christianity, Candler School of Theology
“Contemporary Challenges to Christianity in India”

Thomas Thangaraj plans to address four questions with regard to Christianity in India, the country of his birth and upbringing (as a Christian), where he has returned to reside much of each year since his retirement from Emory in 2008. Is Christianity in India purely a product of Western colonial enterprise?  Is Indian Christianity predominantly governed by "membership drive" or "religious conversion efforts" as Hindu nationalists in India would like to portray? How do we understand the various incidents of Hindu-Christian conflicts in various parts of India? As an Indian Christian theologian, how does he envision possibilities for the future?

Monday, May 21
Monica Modi Khant, Executive Director, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN)
“Pursuing Law in the Public Interest:  Fighting the Good Fight”

Recently honored by Emory School of Law for the pro bono work she and the other attorneys she supervises do on behalf of members of the immigrant community in Georgia, Monica Modi Khant will speak about the grim realities that make such work necessary including the violence immigrants so often suffer, sometimes through the horrors of human trafficking (the subject of a course she teaches at Georgia State University).

Monday, June 4
Susan Margulies, Wallace H. Coulter Chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics
“Pediatric Concussion Biomechanics: What We Need To Know”

No one knows better than Susan Margulies how challenging research in the area of pediatric concussion biomechanics is. She’s been involved in it for decades now.  Work with human subjects, even adults, is affected by issues with patient awareness of and willingness to report symptoms. And though animal models can and do provide a controlled laboratory setting for relevant investigation, most animal models involve more severe brain injuries than concussion, limiting their applicability to the human situations we care most about. Of late, work with animals is proving more applicable, however. And emerging research in objective, involuntary neurofunctional metrics and biomarkers is bridging the gap between human and animal research and providing important insights into the biomechanics of concussion, offering a rational foundation for both prevention and treatment.

Monday, June 18
Al Padwa, William P. Timme Professor of Chemistry Emeritus
“Keeping Up with the Latest on Big Pharma, Drug Costs, and the Salutary Story of Cialis”

Few know more about the shenanigans that determine the cost of the medicines we take—and the science behind those shenanigans—than our own Al Padwa. It’s no wonder he was called as an “expert witness” when Vanderbilt University and Lilly Pharmaceuticals got to arguing about the rights underlying the use of Cialis for erectile dysfunction. Al can share the nitty-pretty-gritty on that and place it in the context of larger issues that arise when one is considering generic versus brand-name drugs.

Tuesday, July 10
Larry Taulbee, Associate Professor of Political Science Emeritus
Kein Geld, Kein Schweizer: No Money, No Swiss”

Larry Taulbee, winner of a Heilbrun Fellowship for research on the topic of mercenary forces, tells that the topic has many different aspects. But as a teaser for his talk, he asks one to consider the following: The French Foreign Legion has long been considered a mercenary force. Although commanded by officers from the regular French Army, it consists of noncitizen enlistees. The Legion formed the French contribution to allied forces during the 1991 Gulf War. The question is, during the same war, what truly distinguished the French “mercenaries” from the American all-volunteer Army, which also included a considerable number of noncitizens. He would have us note also that the Economist wryly characterized the Gulf War as a  “nice little earner for the United States.” That’s a teaser, for sure.

Monday, July 23
Patti Owen-Smith, Professor of Psychology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Oxford College
“Developing Faculties: The Power of Contemplative Pedagogy”

Long since confirmed by an Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching (and other such awards as well), Patti Owen-Smith is a top-notch teacher. More to the point, she is also a top-notch scholar of teaching and a national leader in the field called the scholarship of teaching and learning, or SoTL. It was SoTL work that led to Owen-Smith being named a Carnegie Scholar in 2001, and ever since much of her research has focused on affective development in college students as it intersects with learning. In the last decade, Owen-Smith has become an active participant in the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, devoting much of her scholarly work and research to the integration of contemplative pedagogies into the college classroom. She’ll share insights with us from her most recent book, The Contemplative Mind in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, speaking specifically to the introduction of contemplative practices in the secular university and the challenges inherent in what many would consider a radical pedagogical approach.

September 12, 2016
“White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide”
Carol Anderson, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor and Chair, African American Studies

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” Emory historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was instead “white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,” she wrote, “everyone had ignored the kindling.” In this, the opening Emeritus College Lunch Colloquium of the 2016–2017 school year, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of advancing democracy, promoting fiscal responsibility, or protecting against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of  “white rage” that is the subject of the much-acclaimed book that emerged from the op-ed inspired by Ferguson.

September 26, 2016
“The Science of Mountaineering: A Quest for the Seven Summits”
Stefan Lutz, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry
Born in Switzerland, Stefan Lutz grew up hiking in the mountains. In 2012, when he summited Aconcagua, at 22,960 feet the highest point in South America, his lifelong avocation became a full-fledged quest to climb the remaining six of the so-called Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the continents. Five successful summits later, he’s going to share the wonderful variety of scientific insights he has derived from these adventures, a merging of hobby and scholarship that has often found its way into the classroom and research laboratory and that we’ll now be able to enjoy in our venue too.

October 17, 2016
“The Strange Life and Death of the Good White Southerners”
Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor and Chair, Department of History

Joe Crespino is a historian of the 20th-century United States, with expertise in the political history of post–World War II America. His published work has examined the intersections of region, race, and religion in American politics in the second half of the 20th century. The argument that animates both his book on Strom Thurmond and his book on Mississippi and the conservative counterrevolution is the notion that the struggles in the American South over race and modernization in the 20th century should not be viewed in isolation but rather as part of a broader series of transformations in national political life. In this Lunch Colloquium, he’s going to give us an overview of his current book project, which is a political and cultural history of white Southern liberalism from the Great Depression through the end of the 20th century.

October 24, 2016
“Mary Hutchinson Observed: From Bloomsbury to Beckett”
Brenda Bynum, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Department of Theater Studies

“While working on the correspondence of Samuel Beckett, I read letters that he had written to his friend Mary Hutchinson. I wanted to know more about her, but discovered that there were no biographies, autobiographies or memoirs to read,” says Brenda Bynum. “So when I was awarded the Heilbrun Distinguished Emeritus Research Fellowship, I took advantage of the opportunity to search out her story for myself—at the Harry Ransom Library at the University of Texas where her papers are housed, in the published diaries, biographies, letters and memoirs of the remarkable number of 20th-century artists in whom she had seminal (and, in some cases, carnal) interest, and in London, Cambridge, and the south of England where I found the places in which she had spent her exquisitely well-lived life. She seemed to know everyone who was anyone in the arts, but the London Times said in her obituary that ‘Essentially, she was a private person . . . and avoided researchers who wished to pump her about her eminent friends.’ They are all long gone now, so one might feel forgiven for revealing some of the secrets she honored and kept all of her life.”

November 7, 2016
“The Making of the Pre-modern World: Archaeological Research Digs up Old Artifacts and New Ideas”
Aaron Jonas Stutz, Associate Professor of Anthropology, and Liv Nilsson Stutz, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, Emory College
Since 2008, Aaron Stutz and Liv Nilsson Stutz have led survey, excavation, and analysis of the archaeological layers preserved at the Mughr el-Hamamah site in the Jordan Valley, the corridor linking our African evolutionary ancestral home with the rest of the world. Clues from this cave system document how hunter-gatherers repeatedly camped there 40,000 plus years ago. The discoveries give us some new ideas about why humans have such a propensity to transform both their own societies and the environments around them.

November 21, 2016
“Doctors in the Sherlockian Canon”
Marilynne McKay, Professor of Dermatology Emerita

Arthur Conan Doyle, who began his career as a physician and only later turned exclusively to writing, modeled the Great Detective after his teacher and mentor, Dr. Joseph Bell, a famous Edinburgh diagnostician. And of course, the stories are narrated by Dr. John Watson, an invalided army surgeon and general practitioner. With this in mind, earlier this year the Baker Street Irregulars published the new book Nerve and Knowledge: Doctors, Medicine, and the Sherlockian Canon. Its longest chapter, “Dressers to Professors: A Spectrum of Canonical Doctors,” was written by Marilynne McKay, MD, Emory professor emerita of dermatology. With almost fifty G.P.s and specialists to choose from, Marilynne will discuss several of the most interesting, particularly those based on newsworthy Victorian physicians.

December 5, 2016
“‘Putting All of Tom Together’: Adventures and Revelations in Editing T. S. Eliot’s Prose, 1974–2016”
Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C. White Professor of English, Emeritus

Ron Schuchard writes, “My stories of editing T. S. Eliot’s prose are inextricably related to my friendship with Valerie Eliot, his second wife, whom I met in London in December 1974 when I was an assistant professor at Emory. Over the next 38 years, until her death in 2012, I was privileged to meet with her on many occasions and eventually to be invited to help her with ‘putting all of Tom together’: first as editor of his unpublished Clark Lectures at Cambridge University, published as The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (1993), and subsequently as general editor of the eight-volume Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition, now nearing completion. At the time of his death in 1965, Eliot had collected only 99 pieces of his prose in volume form as his personal canon; before he died, he instructed Valerie, his literary executor and junior by 38 years, not to allow any biography or editions of his letters and uncollected prose. . . .What slowly became clear was that 90% of what has been written about Eliot over the past half century has been written without a knowledge of 90% that he wrote. The question I shall attempt to answer in the colloquium is in what ways and to what extent the Complete Prose may change scholarly and public perceptions of his life and work.”

January 9 at OLLI, 6 Executive Park [note location change]
“Reconciling History: The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory”
Hank Klibanoff, Professor of Practice, Creative Writing Program/nonfiction

For the first of the Emeritus College Lunch Colloquiums of the Happy New Year, we bring you a presentation by Emory’s own Hank Klibanoff, a veteran journalist whose claims to considerable fame include co-authoring the book that won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 2007, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation. He has also won much acclaim for his leadership in the important work he’ll be discussing, the work of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, where Emory undergraduate students examine Georgia history in the classroom and in the field through the prism of unsolved or unpunished racially motivated murders of the modern civil rights era. Klibanoff will help us also better understand this history and the efforts being made to bring it to the fore of consciousness (and conscience), where it most assuredly belongs. 

January 23
“A Spirit of Charity: Restoring the Bond between America and Its Public Hospitals”
Mike King, Journalist

As a reviewer for the New York Times put it, “Mike King’s decades of experience as an Atlanta-based journalist covering health care in the South” prepared him well to deal with the subject of his new book, the trials and tribulations (and remarkable achievements) of this country’s public hospitals. Though the story of such hospitals (including Atlanta’s own Grady Memorial Hospital) is “a moving, ridiculously complicated target,” King hits that target squarely, rousing “outrage on behalf of [these] continuously threatened [institutions]” that contain “the few square miles in this country where health care is an unquestioned right, not a grudgingly granted privilege.” 

February 6
Clark Poling, Professor of Art Emeritus
"Surrealist Themes"
(Because of copyright restrictions on some of the art, the video for this Lunch Colloquium cannot be made publicly available.)

Clark Poling will share insights on Surrealism, from his many decades of research, presentation, and publication at Emory pre-retirement, where he served as chair of the Art History department, director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Faculty Curator of Works of Art on Paper, and in California, post-retirement. We're pleased he's back in Atlanta, ready to tell us how Surrealism arose in Paris in the 1920s and 30s as a critique of society at the time, promoting the virtues of irrationality and freedom from stylistic, moral and political constraints. Major contributors to the movement included the painters Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Frida Kahlo, and Joan Miró, and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti as well as the sometime participant Pablo Picasso. Poling's talk will focus on themes shared by these artists: war and violence, the psychoanalysis of sex, and the creation of personal mythology.

February 20
Caroline Schaumann, Associate Professor, Department of German Studies
“Icecapades: James David Forbes and Louis Agassiz in the Alps”

In August 1841, the Scottish physicist James Forbes and the Swiss biologist Louis Agassiz together scaled the Jungfrau (4,158 m. /13,642 ft.) in the Alpine mountain’s fourth ascent. They’d met that year while camped out on the ice, both fascinated by glaciers and the new theory of an ice age.  Soon, however, they would find themselves engaged in a bitter dispute and on non-speaking terms. This presentation uses their descriptions of scientific research on snow and ice to tease out some key aspects of the emergence of 19th-century mountaineering narratives in the context of science, aesthetics, and gender, a subject central to Schaumann's current book project on that century’s depictions of explorations in the Alps as well as the Andes and the Sierra Nevada. There’s little doubt that this book, like the earlier Heights of Reflection: Mountains in the German Imagination from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-First Century that she co-edited in 2012, will confirm Schaumann’s status as a leader in the new field of ecocriticism, the study of environmental concerns reflected in literature (and the other arts), which has come to fore as our increasing consciousness of such concerns has done the same.

March 6
Jaap de Roode, Associate Professor, Department of Biology
“Beautiful and Smart? The Use of Medicinal Plants by Monarch Butterflies”

Jaap de Roode and the colleagues and students with whom he works at the de Roode lab here at Emory study the ecology and evolution of parasites and their hosts. Their work with monarch butterflies has revealed how the insects act so as to counter the virulence of the protozoan parasite that threatens them when they use milkweeds as their larval food plants. Milkweeds contain toxins, which monarchs use as a defense against predators. What's more, these toxins also function as herbal medicine, suggesting monarchs may use the plants to treat their diseased offspring. However, it seems, like that of humans, the butterflies’ “medical practice” can have a downside—an evolution of the very virulence it protects against, making it more threatening than before. With a combination of experiments, field work, theoretical models, and molecular biology, Jaap and his fellow lab workers are investigating this phenomenon—important enough in its implications that Popular Science named Jaap one of the 10 most promising US scientists under 40 several years ago.

March 20, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. [note earlier time]
Laura Otis, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of English
“Representing Emotions That Are Hard to Love”

In human emotions, physiology and culture meet. Rather than debating whether biology or culture predominates in shaping human emotions, this presentation will analyze the ways that they combine in metaphors for some unpopular emotions: self-pity, resentment, spite, repressed anger, and personal hate. Emotions are notoriously difficult to describe in words, and the creative metaphors writers and ordinary people have devised to express them reflect both their bodily experiences and the social and political forces nudging them toward some feelings and away from others. In developing her thesis, Otis will reference both literary works and scientific studies. And few can be as well equipped to deal with so interdisciplinary a topic as she, who followed up a BS in molecular physics and biochemistry and an MA in neuroscience with a PhD in comparative literature and who’s been collaborating on this and similarly innovative work with faculty from many other disciplines since she came to Emory. It’s no wonder she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for creativity in 2000. 

April 3
John Bugge, Professor of English Emeritus
“Re-Inventing The Canterbury Tales: Hypertext and ‘The General Prologue’”

Among the four major English poets from before 1700, only Chaucer wrote in an English that is not modern. His work presents challenges that readers of Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton do not normally face. And because simple aesthetic justice demands that The Canterbury Tales be read in their original Middle English, one might posit an even stronger need for “reinventing” Chaucer. But the supposed language impediment turns out to be something of a paper tiger, and readers soon discover that Chaucer is a poet of surprisingly contemporary sensibility, particularly in his use of a compositional mode that bears a striking resemblance to hypertext—a term coined 50 years ago to signify a collection of documents containing cross-references, or “links,” that allow a user to move easily from one document to another. Excerpts from “The General Prologue” provide examples of such Chaucerian hypertext, which invites readers to search a richly complicated and multinodal network of meanings lying beyond the immediate textual site. It turns out Chaucer needs no reinvention, but rather only a recognition that how his texts mean is entirely conducive to the way we read in the age of the internet.

May 1

Gretchen Schulz, Professor of English Emerita, Oxford College of Emory University

“Something wicked this way comes”: The Problem of Evil in Shakespeare’s Plays

There is much talk today about “wicked problems,” problems so complex they require interdisciplinary solutions. But of course, such problems have been around for a long time, with our greatest artists among those attempting to deal with them, not least the problem that may be the “wickedest” of all, the problem of wickedness itself, the problem of evil. Shakespeare’s greatest villains and the plays they inhabit address this problem, raising questions about the nature of human nature and suggesting answers from a variety of perspectives that deserve designation as “interdisciplinary.” Schultz discusses how Shakespeare “anatomizes” the “hard hearts” of his villains in Richard III, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear—positing (and portraying) causes (possible causes) for their behaviors that might well be labeled theological, psychological, sociological, and even biological (if we were to use the labels we use today when discussing the evil characters we find in our own midst—and in our own drama—Frank Underwood and his real-life.

May 15

Angela F. Amar, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
“Violence and Crime: The Health Care Response”

Victims of violence are unfortunately ever-present in health care today, and nurses are often the first to interact with victims, stepping into uncomfortable or difficult situations. To ensure patient and provider safety and to ensure the best possible outcomes, every nurse should be well versed in forensic and theoretical issues of violence. Perhaps no one has done more to ensure that’s the case than Angela Amar, an early pioneer in forensic nursing, who has been instrumental in developing relevant nursing curriculum and establishing standards that have been accepted as applicable nationwide and worldwide. The book on the subject she recently co-authored won two (that’s right, not one but two) Book of the Year Awards from the American Journal of Nursing in 2016. 

June 5
W. Virgil Brown, MD, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus, Emory University School of Medicine; Editor, Journal of Clinical Lipidology
“Heart Attack and Stroke: The Role of Genes and Drugs”

The bad news? Arteriosclerosis continues to rank No. 1 among major causes of death and disability for women and men in developed countries. Approximately 40% of all deaths are caused by this type of vascular disease. Women are now at equal risk of heart attack as men and at greater risk for stroke. The good news? Through therapy based on our understanding of certain genes, it is possible to treat those with arteriosclerotic vascular disease and thereby markedly reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke. There is perhaps no one better suited to share the good news about such possible treatment than Emory’s own W. Virgil Brown. With our unfolding knowledge of genetics, researchers have been able to develop drugs that affect the function of a specific protein, apolipoprotein B (apoB), a primary factor in vascular disease. As a result, doctors can now set these proteins and blood cholesterol to virtually any chosen level through drug therapy—even in those with known vascular disease. Recent studies have shown that these drugs have reduced heart attacks and strokes by more than 50% in such individuals. A good news gospel, indeed.

June 19
Jeffrey Watkins, CEO and Artistic Director, Atlanta Shakespeare Company
“The Keys to the Kingdom: An Everyman’s Guide to Loving Shakespeare”

Jeff Watkins, the man (and some of us might say the genius) most responsible for the fact that Shakespeare is alive and well and available for our viewing pleasure year-round in Atlanta, will begin his presentation-cum-demonstration with a brief contextualization of Shakespeare’s work and its relation to how we define ourselves as human beings through myth and story. He will then present five keys to understanding Shakespeare in performance: (1) Shakespeare’s playhouse, (2) the role of the audience, (3) the Elizabethan worldview, (4) Shakespeare’s verse structure, and (5) Shakespeare’s dirty jokes. He will be using illustrations from performance to emphasize his points—not the least references to the handling of scenes from the production of Richard III scheduled through June at the Shakespeare Tavern, a production members of Emeritus College will be able to attend on a date to be determined. (We’ll be in touch about that. Keep the two Sunday dates of June 18 and 25 open, if you can.)

July 10 (note location change: OLLI, 6 Executive Park)
Craig Hill, Goodrich C. White Professor, Department of Chemistry
“Artificial Photosynthesis: Tackling both Global Energy Needs and Climate Change”

“Globally, our energy requirements are expected to double in the next 30 to 40 years, maybe less. This and the remarkable international consensus (174 signatory countries to the 2016 Paris convention) that fossil fuel use is already changing the global climate in deeply worrisome ways, constitute a research challenge as great as any.” So says Emory’s Goodrich C. White Professor of Chemistry Craig Hill, who has spent years now consulting and collaborating with experts in many disciplines working on ways to solve these problems. The only energy source that can come close to sustainably powering our long-term needs is sunlight. We’re at the point now where we have solar-powered buildings and electric cars, but we are never going to run airplanes, ships and most other forms of transportation on electricity. The solution to these dual crises of energy availability and climate protection, as Hill will explain, is learning to do what plants do, only better—that is, learning to make fuel from sunlight to generate carbon-neutral fuels without pollution. 

July 24
Donna Brogan, Professor of Biostatistics Emerita, Rollins School of Public Health
“Why the 2016 US Presidential Polls Were ‘Wrong’: Implications for Future Polling”

After the election’s surprising outcome, there has been much discussion in the media about why the polls were “wrong.” In this presentation, Donna Brogan, professor of biostatistics emerita, will focus on postmortems among professionals who work in sample survey methodology, the area of her expertise. She will share the results of a report the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) published in May. Perhaps the useful suggestions for better sampling methods and better interpretation of the results of sampling methods that survey methodology professionals have already offered to all, combined with further suggestions likely to appear in the AAPOR report, will lead to better polling the next time around—and fewer people stunned beyond belief on election night.


Melvin Konner
Women After All: Sex, Evolution and the End of Male Supremacy


Daniel Parson
A Real Field Trip: Life, Work and Learning Down on the Oxford Farm


Rosemary M. Magee
Archives: Human Experience Revealed

David Lynn
How Did We Get Here, Where Are We Going, and Are We Alone?


Gene Bianchi, Don Saliers, and Trudy Kretchman
Poetry Mash-up and Holiday Party Combined


Don McCormick
Vitamin and Trace Mineral Supplements: The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain


Marilynne McKay  
The History of White People

Carl C. Hug Jr.
Pain Management and the Risks of Addiction


Andra Gillespie
Deconstructing the SEC Primary

William Ransom,
 Richard Prior and the Vega String Quartet
‘It’s ALIVE!’: Working with Living Composers

Tiffany Stern
‘Playing Fair’: Fairgrounds and Shakespeare


Christine Moe
The Water and Sanitation Crisis in Healthcare Facilities in Low-Income Countries: Status, Consequences, and Challenges

Jonathan K. Crane
Brutal Justice?: Animals Accusing Humans of Abuse


Jagdish Sheth
New Consumption Culture and Changing Family Values: The Rise of the Roommate Family

Mario DiGirolamo
How Photography Has Enriched My Life


Herbert W. Benario
Opposition to the Nazi Regime: Two Incidents

Alan I. Abramowitz
Divided America and the 2016 Elections

SeptemberLois Overbeck and Brenda BynumA Letter Is Not a Tweet: Emory’s Editing of the Letters of Samuel Beckett
OctoberEllen Idler, Ken Hunter, and Ted JohnsonReligion and Public Health: Making an Invisible Determinant Visible
Brooks HolifieldWhy Are Americans So Religious? Or Are They?
NovemberJim SnyderMeat Glue and Other Interesting Ingredients in Our Meals
Alan AbramowitzLooking Back at the 2014 Midterm Election and Ahead to the 2016 Presidential Election
DecemberGreg BernsHow Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
JanuarySelden DeemerAlternative Futures: The Pew Report on Digital Life in 2025
Martha FehsenfeldAccompanying Beckett: Memories of a Great Writer from His Chosen Editor
FebruaryNanette WengerMatters of the Heart: Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?
MarchBridgette Young RossBridging the Gaps: Building Community in the Midst of Differences
Allan LeveyHealthy Brain Aging: Retired Faculty and Their Faculties
AprilWilliam Ransom and the Vega QuartetAround the World with the Vega Quartet 
Fred MengerFaces of Central America
MayGretchen SchulzThe Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare’s Unfunniest Comedy?
Morton WaitzmanWaitzman as Witness to the Horrors of War: D-Day and Beyond
JuneMaria Del Mar SanchezMothering & Babies’ Neurobehavioral Development: Lessons from Animal Models
David A. DavisFrom Corn to the Colonel: The Development of Southern Foodways
JulyStephen NowickiBeyond Words: Nonverbal Skill and Personal and Social Adjustment
Matthew H. BernsteinChristine Smith (Gilliam): Atlanta’s Film Censor, 1944–1962