Toumany Kouyaté and Bountalo: An Evening of Traditional Music from Senegal
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 7:30pm - Doc Rando Recital Hall (BMC)
Mr. Toumany Kouyaté, Master Kora Player, and his Band Bountalo
This evening the Forum presents authentic traditional music from Senegal, featuring kora virtuoso Toumany Kouyaté and his band Bountalo. Toumany Kouyaté comes from a long line of artists and musicians, and his instrument of choice, the kora, is the classic harp-lute used by musicians in West Africa. The music itself derives from the griot tradition, where cultural history is kept alive through music and dance passed down the generations. In addition to Mr. Kouyaté, Bountalo features two percussionists and a keyboard player. Please join us for a lively concert!
Roads Less Traveled: Chinese Students and Transnational Migration
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Vanessa Fong, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University
Why do students from the People’s Republic of China continue to pursue foreign language training and higher education in developed countries, despite the high personal and financial cost of studying abroad? What are their experiences while away from home, and how do these experiences compare to their expectations prior to leaving? This lecture addresses these questions with data from surveys conducted in 1999 among more than 2,000 secondary school students, from follow-up surveys almost a decade afterwards, and from reliable participant observation. Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, UNLV.
Violence, Transience, Peace
Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Malena Mörling, Department of English, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Malena Mörling is the prize-winning author of “Ocean Avenue,” published to wide acclaim by New Issues Press, and “Astoria,” from the Pitt Poetry Series of the University of Pittsburgh Press. Born in Sweden, she writes in both English and Swedish, and her translations of the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer have earned high critical praise. One of the most striking and resonant emerging voices in contemporary poetry, Malena Mörling tonight reads from new work written around the issues of violence, transience, and peace. Co-sponsored by the Black Mountain Institute and MFA in Creative Writing International Program, UNLV.
Pox Populi: The Epidemic That Changed American Law, A Constitution Day Lecture
Monday, September 20, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Michael Willrich, Department of History, Brandeis University
Should the government compel people to be vaccinated against deadly diseases even though the vaccines themselves carry health risks? As epidemic smallpox raged across the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, ordinary Americans put this question before their legislatures, their courts, and the public at large. They turned the “vaccination question” into the foremost civil liberties debate of the day. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the issue in the 1905 case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Our speaker this evening will discuss the history of that landmark decision, and consider its implications for the politics of health care in our own time. Co-sponsored by Office of Executive Vice President and Provost and the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV.
Children, Teenagers, and Grandmothers in Evolutionary Perspective
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Barry Bogin, Center for Global Health and Human Development, Loughborough University
The distinct stages of life we call childhood, adolescence, and grandmotherhood are unique to humans. They allow people to reproduce quickly and to keep alive more of their offspring than any other species of mammal. Human evolution operated first to shorten the infancy stage of life by weaning infants early compared to primates. This created the human childhood stage of life. Evolution then prolonged the growth period by adding an adolescent stage. Finally, a vigorous period of life beyond menopause became part of human biology. Each of these new life stages improves human reproduction but each also comes with risks, especially in our modern world. Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Anthropology Society, and Lambda Alpha, UNLV.
The Amargosa Opera House: A Celebration of Art in the Desert
Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Dr. Timothy Jones, Department of Music, UNLV and Rich Regnell, Manager, Amargosa Opera House
In 1965 after a career as a professional ballet dancer and artist and illustrator, as a model for Vogue magazine and solo performer, Marta Becket discovered an abandoned theater in the small town of Death Valley Junction. Two years later she made it over as the world-famous Amargosa Opera House. Since then it has become her artistic home, she says, bringing her the most rewarding work of her life. Our speakers tonight will regale us with the history of the opera house from its beginnings in 1923 as Corkhill Hall, owned by the Pacific Borax Company, until the present day as the highly personal venue where Marta Becket continues to perform.
Benjamin Franklin and the Birth of Medical Electricity
Monday, October 11, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Stanley Finger, Department of Psychology, Washington University
Better known as an author, experimenter, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin was deeply involved with medicine throughout his long life. One of the questions that interested him was whether electricity might have medical utility. He tried using electrical shocks to restore movement after strokes, and deafness following smallpox, and also to cure the symptoms of hysteria and depression. Our speaker this evening is an expert on the science of neurology and the author of “Doctor Franklin's Medicine” (University of Pennsylvania Press). His discussion of medical electricity in the eighteenth century makes for a fascinating story, one not found in Franklin’s biographies.
The Scientific Case for Global Warming: Problems and Prospects
Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. John Farley, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UNLV
Let there be no mistake, according to our speaker this evening: if we continue a business-as-usual policy, the resultant global warming will be devastating. Solving the global-warming crisis is the grand challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century. While the atmospheric greenhouse effect occurs naturally, and has warmed the Earth for billions of years, human activities have enhanced the greenhouse effect. The recent uproar about “climategate” amounts to very little. Solutions are available from energy sources beyond fossil fuels, and while they are not cheap or easy, the cost is certainly affordable and the alternative unthinkable.
Judicial Selection in Nevada: The Consequences of Change
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Chris W. Bonneau, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Nevada voters will soon face a critical choice about whether they will change the way judges are selected. While much money has been spent on both sides of this debate, advocating either for or against reform, few commentators have empirically examined the likely consequences of reform for Nevadans as a result of their upcoming November 2, 2010 ballot choice. Our speaker tonight consults historical data on judicial elections from across the states that elect judges in order to assess the pros, the cons and the likely consequences of this reform. Co-Sponsored by the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV.
The Other Sex Work: The Stigma of Sexuality Research in American Culture
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Janice M. Irvine, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The science of sex has a long history of controversy in the United States. At the same time, broad public interest has created an ongoing demand for research into human sexuality. This paradox—the simultaneous importance and stigmatization of a research topic—has proved problematic for researchers. During the last century research has produced valuable and much-needed scientific data in areas central to public health and social policy, and yet researchers have also had a difficult time establishing their scientific legitimacy. Our speaker this evening examines the history of sex research, the production of scientific knowledge, and the lives of sex researchers. Co-Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Department, the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of History, UNLV.
Portraiture and the Fear of Death
Thursday, November 04, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Cynthia Freeland, Department of Philosophy and Honors College Fellow, University of Houston
Human cultures create and value portraiture in part because it preserves the memory of the deceased. Tonight our speaker explains how portraits sustain emotional links to the beloved or respected person, and how even photographs may sometimes be treated as religious icons in order to provide continued contact with the dead. She argues against focusing on the causal aspects of photography to explain the phenomenon, in favor of looking at broader cultural practices of commemoration. Co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, UNLV.
Africa's Failed States and the Next Generation of Terrorists
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Tiffiany O. Howard, Department of Political Science, UNLV
Until recently, international terrorism plagued North Africa and the Horn but not sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, that has begun to change. Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the DRC are now lending support to organizations such as al-Qaeda. Our speaker this evening brings international expertise to bear on her discussion of how the conditions of state failure have fostered support for internationally sponsored terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Rivers Last Longer”: A Fiction Reading
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 7:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Richard Burgin, Editor, “Boulevard” Magazine, Departments of Communication and English, Saint Louis University
Communication and English, Saint Louis University Our speaker this evening is an acclaimed writer, and the editor of “Boulevard,” for twenty-five years now one of the premier literary magazines published in America. He is also the author of twelve books, including “The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs” (Ontario Review Press), listed as one of the best books of 2006 in the “TLS.” Tonight Richard Burgin will read from his new novel, “Rivers Last Longer,” and also answer questions about literary editing and publishing. Co-sponsored by the Department of English, UNLV.
Predicting Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions: What Can and Can’t We Do?
Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 8:30pm - Barrick Museum Auditorium
Prof. Stephen D. Malone, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
Predicting disastrous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is a major goal of earth science research. An apparent paradox is that volcanic eruptions can often be predicted using earthquake data, but there is currently no scientifically valid method of predicting the size, date, and time of earthquakes, despite claims to the contrary in the popular press. Tonight seismologist Steve Malone discusses the current state of the art in making useful volcanic and earthquake predictions, explaining how the discovery of episodic tremor and slip could lead to improved earthquake forecasts. Co-sponsored by Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS); Seismological Society of America (SSA); and the Applied Geophysics Center, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Geoscience, UNLV.
The Challenge of Creating a National Museum
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 7:30pm - Student Union Theater (SU)
Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Our distinguished speaker tonight explores the struggle to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture by focusing on a variety of challenges. They include building on the Mall, establishing conceptual frameworks, meeting public expectations, and finding a way to cross the contextual terrain of race. Dr. Bunch will explore the strategies used to successfully navigate these challenges, will update the audience as to the current status of and future plans for the museum, and will show how the new museum will help a venerable institution to become a vital twenty-first century enterprise. Co-sponsored by the Department of History and CSUN, UNLV.