Current Events

Due to social distancing requirements, all Fall 2020 events will be held virtually.  All events will be hosted at

Please click on individual event titles for complete details.

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE - Depression: Medical Science and Medical Humanities

    September 15, 2020, 4:30 PM

    Color Head Shot of Jonathan Sadowsky

    Someone close to you is likely taking an antidepressant. In 2017 the World Health Organization named depressive disorders as the leading cause of illness and disability in the world. And yet, the definition of depression as illness, distinct from normal sadness, is still debated. How did we get here?  This presentation explores the history of this ravaging but perplexing illness. Is it truly so widespread, or simply over-diagnosed? Is it a feature of modernity, or an illness known since antiquity?

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE - The Sounds of Jewry in Early 20th Century American Popular Media

    September 29, 2020, 4:30PM

    Color Head Shot of Daniel Goldmark

    How do the melodies associated with ethnic groups go from familiar tunes to musical stereotypes? In this talk Daniel Goldmark, Professor in the Department of Music, looks at how concerns over assimilation and identity politics often had a musical manifestation, discussing how the music associated with turn of the century American Jewry was cultivated and shaped largely by the evolving mass-media/entertainment industry: vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, theatre, Broadway, and film, both live-action and animated.

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE - Uncanny Fidelity: Recognizing Shakespeare in Twenty-First Century Film and Television

    October 13, 2020 , 4:30 PM

    Color Head Shot of James Newlin

    For many scholars of Shakespeare’s reception and afterlife, the idea of reading a film adaptation as faithful to its source text is an old-fashioned exercise. In his project James Newlin, Lecturer in the Department of English, challenges such assumptions, by showing that an unconventional adaptation can clarify both the historical context of Shakespeare's drama and its relevance for the current political moment.

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE- The Hoax and the Humanities

    October 20, 2020, 4:30 PM

    Color Head Shot of Chris Haufe

    Hoaxed again! How’d that happen? Does it matter? Following the online fallout of the 2018 “grievance studies" hoax, one is struck by the enormous range of estimates of its significance, and of the variegated diagnoses of what the hoax does or does not show. In his talk, Chris Haufe, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, hopes to get the audience to take this hoax and others like it seriously. To do this, he will address three topics. First, he would like to clarify the contours of the phenomenon: what precisely does the hoax achieve?

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE - Cultivating Ecological Consciousness: Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening as Deep Ecology

    October 27, 2020, 4:30 PM

    Color Head Shot of Taylor McClaskie

    While most modern environmental movements of the late 20th century were concerned with the conservation of the natural world for human use, the deep ecology movement, spearheaded by philosopher Arne Naess, argued that the natural world has intrinsic value unto itself, independent of its human-use value. Deep ecology writers argue that nature’s intrinsic value can be fully realized through a cultivation of ecological consciousness, in which humans no longer perceive a boundary between human consciousness and the surrounding environment.

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE - This is your Brain on Humanity

    November 10, 2020, 4:30 PM

    Color Head Shot of Anthony Jack

    Thirty years have passed since H. W. Bush declared the ‘decade of the brain.’ In that time, remarkable advances in brain imaging technology have spurred massive growth in neuroscience research. Now in early adulthood, the field is finally learning to set aside its childish ways - of credulous, phrenological, positivistic, and reductionist thinking – in favor of a more skeptical and sophisticated network view of the brain. In his talk Anthony Jack, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, explores the implications of this maturing science for the academy and pedagogy.

  • VIRTUAL LECTURE - To Be Held and to Be Seen: Love Isn't Practical

    December 1, 2020, 4:30 PM

    Color Head Shot of Jeremy Bendik-Keymer

    In 2003, the Berkeley philosopher Niko Kolodny published an important paper in Philosophical Review called “Love as Valuing a Relationship.”  It introduced the idea, uncommon to Anglophone moral philosophy of the century before him, that love needs to be understood within relationships, not simply as a matter of desire, and that, by extension, there is a moral core to love.  The problem was that Kolodny maintained love as a practical matter consisting of evaluative judgments, and he drew on