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2009-2010 Humanities Forum

FALL 2009

Featuring:  A Series of Five Lectures   and Panels Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of C.P. Snow’s “Two Cultures”  Lecture

Sponsored by UMBC’s  Dresher Center for  the Humanities, the Human Context of Science and Technology Program, and the Social Sciences Forum

Fifty years   ago, on May 7, 1959, the scientist-novelist C.P. Snow (1905-1972) delivered his   famous Rede Lecture at Cambridge University. Published as The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution Snow   identified a deep and dangerous divide between the   sciences and the humanities. As a research chemist and physicist who   became deeply involved in the mobilization of scientific personnel first during   the Second World War and then throughout the 1950s Cold War, C.P. Snow could   speak with some authority about science and its applications.  As a novelist   with more than a dozen titles and the author of numerous essays and reviews,   Snow was equally at home in the humanities. This series of lectures is intended   to stimulate further discussion about the relationships between the sciences and   the humanities.


September 30,   4 p.m. AOK Library 7th   Floor

C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures”: A Fifty Year Perspective, G. Rickey Welch, Professor & Joseph   N. Tatarewicz, Associate Professor and Director, Human Context of Science & Technology Program, UMBC

In 1959 the scientist-novelist C.P.   Snow (1905-1972) delivered his famous Rede Lecture at Cambridge, published as   The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. His identification of a deep and   dangerous divide between the sciences and the humanities has persisted, evoked   more recently in the “culture wars” and “science wars.” UMBC Professors Welch   and Tatarewicz look at Snow, his historical context, and his enduring   influence.


October 5,   4   p.m.  AOK Library Gallery

Politics, Expertise and the Two   Cultures, Harry Collins, Distinguished Research Professor,   Centre for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise and Science, School of Social   Sciences, Cardiff, UK

Science   has been described, like war, as a continuation of politics by other means.    Even if science may not always compel by the force of theory or experiment, it   still remains a compelling choice.  Collins argues we need an `elective   modernism’ that resurrects the two cultures in a positive way.


October 28,  4   p.m.  AOK Library Gallery

Snow, Two Cultures and the Science   Wars, Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology, University of   Warwick, UK

The   contest for authority to speak about science and technology, called “the science   wars,” has often been framed in terms of C.P. Snow’s earlier analysis.  Fuller   argues that few recent commentators are familiar with the historical trajectory   that transports us from those concerns to the present ones. He will focus on the   curious alignments that have transpired over the course of the Science   Wars.


November 2,  4   p.m.  AOK Library 7th Floor

Global Climate Change: Science, Polity, and   Authority, Naomi Oreskes, Provost, Sixth College, University of   California, San Diego

C.P. Snow   worried that science and technology could not cross the divide of the humanities   to render their true value.  The new Sixth College, under the leadership of    Provost Oreskes, “draws its creative inspiration from the interdisciplinary   examination of culture, art and technology.” She will report on her new research   on the interwoven science, technology, and policy elements of global climate   change.


November 9,   4   p.m. AOK Library 7th Floor

The Two Cultures Today:  An Interdisciplinary   Panel Discussion on the Connections between the Sciences and the Humanities, Susan   Dwyer, Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland, College   ParkChristoph   Irmscher, Department of English, Indiana UniversityManil   Suri, Department of Mathematics, UMBC,Tim   Topoleski, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UMBC


UMBC   Departmental lectures that are part of the Fall 2009 Humanities   Forum

October 14, 4 p.m.  AOK Library   Gallery

Webb Lecture and the Phi Beta Kappa   Lecture, Lincoln and   Darwin, Sandra Herbert, Professor Emerita, Department of   History, UMBC, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were each born on   February 12, 1809.  The enormity of their importance in their respective areas   of interest – politics for Lincoln, science for Darwin – became apparent when   each man was about fifty years old.   They never met.   Yet Lincoln was aware of   and sympathetic to evolutionary views, and Darwin was keenly supportive of   abolition.   This lecture will consider their lives and accomplishments in   juxtaposition.

Sponsored by the UMBC’s Department of History, Phi   Beta Kappa Chapter and the Dresher Center for the Humanities


October 14,  4 p.m. AOK Library Gallery

Ancient Studies Week   LectureHeroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient   Greece, Jenifer Neils, Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art   History & Classics, Case Western Reserve University

Sponsored by UMBC’s Department of   Ancient Studies, the Department of Visual Arts, and the Office of Summer, Winter   and Special Programs with support from the Dresher Center for the   Humanities


November 10, 7:00 p.m. University Center Ballroom

Bookreading and Booksigning: Three Cups of   Tea, David Relin, Best-selling Author, Journalist and   Editor

Prize-winning journalist and editor David Oliver   Relin profiled Greg Mortenson for over two years to write Three Cups of Tea, the   book selected for the 2009-2010 UMBC New Student Book Discussion. David Relin   will discuss the book’s remarkable story of a man who to this day continues to   dedicate himself to educating children in some of the poorest communities in   Afghanistan and Pakistan.  For over two decades David Relin has reported on   social issues and their effects on children.

Sponsored   by UMBC’s  Dresher Center for the Humanities, Honors College, Office of   Undergraduate Education, Office of Student Affairs and the Shriver   Center.


November 11,    7:00 p.m. University Center Ballroom

The   31st Annual W.E.B. DuBois Annual Lecture Immigration and African   Diaspora Women,  Nkiru Nzegwu, Chair of the Department   of Africana Studies and Professor of Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture,   Binghamton University, New York Professor

Nzegwu is an artist and the author of   close to a dozen scholarly books, edited books and exhibition catalogues on   topics ranging from Gender and African Art History, African Diasporan Art,   Feminist Concepts in African Philosophy and Culture, and  Issues of African   Identity. She is also the founder of Africaresource. com, a content-based   educational website and the managing editor of five academic, peer-reviewed   online journals devoted to aspects of  the study of global Africa.

Sponsored   by UMBC’s Department of Africana Studies and the Dresher Center for the   Humanities.



February 11, 4 p.m. Library Gallery

Francophone Voices of the ‘New’ Morocco in   Film and Print: (Re) presenting a Society in Transition, Valerie K. Orlando, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Literatures and Cultures;   University of Maryland

Dr. Orlando will explore through literature, journalism and film the changes   that are taking place in Moroccan society under King Mohamed VI. The works she   presents bear witness to the transitions from traditionalism to modernity that   Moroccans are currently experiencing in areas such as human rights, women’s   roles, and sexuality and gender.

Sponsors:  Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and intercultural   Communication (MLLI) with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities


February 17, 4 p.m. Library Gallery

Street Scenes and Blues   Lives: Bessie Smith’s Chattanooga, Daphne Harrison   Lecture, Michelle Scott, UMBC,   History Department

Dr. Scott will discuss the “behind the music” process in studying the   childhood community and environment of blues legend Bessie Smith.  Through   photos, music clips, playbills, city directories, and oral histories Scott will   flesh out the life of Smith as a street performer and explore recreational   spaces as social protest for African Americans in the segregated early 29th   century United States.

Sponsors:   Dresher Center for the Humanities and Friends of the   Library


March 3, 4 p.m. 7th floor Library

Missives on Music in the   Seventeenth Century: A View of Education and Values, Skip (Joseph) Morin,   UMBC, Music Department

Music historians generally rely on scores and musical treatises rather than   correspondence to trace the history of music.  Professor Skip Morin’s analysis   of the Lettre de Mr Le Gallois a Mademoiselle Regnault de Solier touchant la   Musique (Paris: Michallet, 1680) provides both a broad and insightful view   of music in Paris during the second half of the seventeenth century and glimpses   into the cultural and social values of Parisian culture at the time.

Sponsor:  Dresher Center for the Humanities


March 8, 4:00 p.m. 7th Floor Library

The Women’s History Month   Lecture

Virgin Territory: On Writing a History of   Virginity, Hanne Blank, writer

Followed by a Conversation with Emek Ergun, PhD Candidate, Language Literacy   and Culture Program, UMBC on translating Blank’s work

Sponsors:  Gender and Women’s Studies Program with support from the Dresher   Center for the Humanities and the Department of History


April 7, 4 p.m. Library   Gallery

Reading and Booksigning: Travels around the   Globe and the Mind in A Trance After Breakfast, Alan Cheuse, Department   of English, George Mason University

The “voice of books” on NPR for over two decades, critic and author Alan   Cheuse reads from his latest work, a collection of essays that roams New   Zealand, tramps around Bali, probes the Mexican border, and returns to childhood   memories along the Jersey shore.  Cheuse will share his reflections on travel,   and on his life as a writer, book critic, and teacher.

Sponsors:  Department of English with support from the Dresher Center for the   Humanities


April 21, 7:00 p.m. Library   7th Floor

Reading and Booksigning: The House at   Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood, Helene Cooper, New York Times White   House correspondent

           and former diplomatic correspondent


Journalist, Helene Cooper fled her home country of Liberia as   a young woman when civil war erupted in 1980. She will both read excerpts from   her memoir and discuss the experience of growing up in Liberia. She will also   share her insights about the Obama administration from her lens as the New   York Times White House correspondent.

Sponsors:  Dresher Center for the Humanities with support from the Department   of English


May 12, 4 p.m. 7th floor Library

If That Language May Be Dying, Why Are You   Studying It? Thomas T. Field, 2009-10   Lipitz Fellow and Professor of MLLI,

Current interest in endangered languages provides an opportunity to reflect   on the ways in which linguistics tackles the study of language. These are more   varied than outsiders tend to assume and leave linguists uncertain about how   they fit into C.P. Snow’s “two cultures” schema of science and the humanities.   Professor Field will provide examples from his work on the development and   current status of Gascon.

Sponsors:  College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences with support from   the Dresher Center for the Humanities