Skip to Main Content

Spring 2016 Humanities Forum

Tuesday, February 16
4:00 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Sounding Botany Bay: an exhibition on how humans have changed a unique Australian environment
Tim Nohe, intermedia artist, Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA), UMBC

In this talk about his multimedia exhibition Timothy Nohe will introduce American audiences to the deeply woven human narrative of Botany Bay, Australia. The artist reveals truths about this complex place through mural prints, video, sound, interviews, archival documents, and material culture. In many ways this story mirrors our American experience related to human stewardship, the colonization and the decimation of indigenous peoples, industrialization, national narratives, globalization, and climate change.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery; the Visual Arts Department; and the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts.

Wednesday, February 24th
5:30 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
9th Annual Korenman Lecture
Why Have Intersex Rights Been So Hard to Secure in America?
Alice Dreger, historian of science and medicine

For 25 years, people born with intersex (body types that aren’t standard male or standard female) and their allies have been fighting for basic patient rights, including the right to full access to medical histories and the right to decide for themselves about optional genital surgeries. This talk explores why much more progress has been made abroad than in America. Particular attention will be paid to tensions existing between the pursuit of justice and the pursuit of truth, as well as the academic freedom issues surrounding research and activism.

Sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies Department; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Office of the Provost; the Office of the Vice President for Research; Women Involved in Learning and Leadership; and the Psychology Department.

Tuesday, March 1st
4:00 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Poetry Reading: It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful
Lia Purpura, Writer-in-Residence, English, UMBC

The sonorous and cerebral poems in Lia Purpura’s fourth collection, It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful, are wonderfully condensed dispatches from a virtuosic mind that pulse between a childlike awe at the things of this world and the hard-earned struggle in naming them. Known for taut lines that forge powerful revelations from life’s most inconsequential moments, Purpura has won national acclaim as both a poet and essayist.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the English Department.

Thursday, March 24th
4:00 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Evelyn Barker Memorial Lecture
Implicit Biases, Moral Agency, and Moral Responsibility
Angela Smith, Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, Washington and Lee University

Dr. Smith argues that we can be held responsible for implicit biases that underlie our thoughts and behavior, despite the fact that we often lack conscious awareness and control of them. Such biases involve exercises of our evaluative agency that we can be asked to justify, and this makes us subject to moral assessment for them.

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Psychology Department.

Tuesday, March 29th
4:00 p.m., University Center, Rm 312
MEMS Colloquium Lecture
Shakespeare Anniversary 2016
‘Some wine, ho!’ Shakespeare, Women, and the Story of English Wine
Frances Dolan, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Davis

What did Shakespeare’s contemporaries drink and what did they think about it? This talk explores the untold story of English wine and, in particular, the contributions of Shakespeare and women to that story. Frances Dolan will help us to understand the English dream of growing grapes and making wines, with examples that range from Shakespeare’s London to colonial Virginia, from the sixteenth century to popular depictions of that period today.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; Medieval and Early Modern Studies; the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Minor; the English Department; the Gender and Women’s Studies Department; and the History Department.

Thursday, April 7th
5:30 p.m., Dance Cube, PAHB 337
Daphne Harrison Lecture and Performance
Heroes and Villains: Art, Imagination and the Road to Improved Race Relations in Baltimore
Breai Mason-Campbell, Baltimore dancer, teacher, and community activist

Bigotry and systemic injustice are characterized by emotional detachment and resistance to accountability. They are positioned at the polar ends of the spectrum we use to explain the disproportionate sufferings of Americans who are black. Thus, we remain confounded by a civic order that is unjust. By considering its power to broaden imaginations, reveal truths, and inspire empathy, this talk and dance performance will explore the ways in which Arts Education is poised to lead the way towards repairing relationships and lives in what will be the deciding years of the health of Baltimore.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Africana Studies Department, and the Dance Department.

Wednesday, April 13th
7:00 p.m., PAHB 132
Can A Comic Book Superhero and Rape Survivor Change Attitudes Toward Sexual Violence?
Ram Devineni, filmmaker, publisher, and founder of Rattapallax publishing and film production company

In “Priya’s Shakti,” the technologically innovative and wildly popular “first Indian comic book of its kind” (The New York Times), a mortal woman falls victim to a brutal sexual assault then joins forces with the Goddess Parvati to fight against sexual violence. Ram Devineni, the comic book’s co-creator, discusses the creation of the comic book, how it went viral, and how to use the comic book format to address pressing social issues.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Visual Arts Department, the Asian Studies Program, and the Gender and Women’s Studies Department.

Tuesday, May 3
4:00 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Lipitz Lecture
Socioeconomic Status and Brain Health: Biological, Psychosocial, and Behavioral Pathways
Shari Waldstein, Professor of Psychology, UMBC

Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with poor clinical brain health outcomes, including stroke and dementia. However, SES influences on brain health status are noted long before such devastating outcomes. This talk will provide an exploration of the complex biological, psychosocial, and behavioral pathways whereby SES affects the brain and cognitive function. Also considered will be the intersection of SES and self-identified race in disparities in brain health.

Sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; and the Social Sciences Forum.