An archive of our Wednesday Community Luncheon topics and speakers.
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April 5: Dean's Forum. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Today we welcome Cynthia Gano Lindner, our Director of Director of Ministry Studies and Clinical Faculty for Preaching and Pastoral Care, in discussion of her recent work, Varieties of Gifts: Multiplicity and the Well-Lived Pastoral Life (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). Responding will be faculty colleagues Willemien Otten, Professor of Theology and the History of Christianity, and Christian Wedemeyer, Associate Professor of the History of Religions.
April 12: Tarek Alexander Hassan, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics, speaking on "Migrants, Ancestors, and Foreign Investments." Hassan studies international finance, economic history, and macroeconomics. Watch this Chicago Booth Review video, "The economic case for accepting refugees," for a preview.
April 19: Stephen Rings, speaking on "Dylan and the Nobel." Associate Professor of Music, Rings research focuses on transformational theory, phenomenology, popular music, and voice. And Bob Dylan.
April 26: Anna Lise Seastrand, Collegiate Assistant Professor and Harper Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, speaking on “Knowing Pleasures: the art of kingship in an 18th c. South Indian Palace." Prof. Seastrand’s work broadly addresses the relationships between visual, oral, and written texts in South Asian art, with particular focus on physical and notional landscapes, pilgrimage, and performance.
May 3: William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics and Kristine Culp, Associate Professor of Theology and Dean of the Disciples Divinity House, on "Innovating Humanites." The Humanities have a natural concern for history and the interpretation of the human past, but the Humanities also help create a future that is livable. This idea is embedded in the notion of enhancing life. For the past two years, as Scholars in The Enhancing Life Project, Schweiker and Culp, along with 33 other scholars from around the world, have been researching and teaching on the notion of enhancing life: in their disciplines, in the academy, and in the larger world. Schweiker’s research focuses on the forms of freedom and the ways they interact to enhance human life between the space of the actual world and some sought-after ideal or counter-world. His research draws on religious resources and also engages the current conversation about transhumanism. Culp’s research explores glory as a theological resource for the enhancement of vulnerable life. Without negating the importance of resilience in the face of global endangerment and enhancement, glory points beyond resilience to the full capacity and integrity of vulnerable life.
May 10: Representatives from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Speaker's Bureau. You will have the opportunity to hear directly from people in our community affected by homelessness. Stefano Medansky is a dedicated leader who is proud to share his story and give hope to others. At the age of 5, he dealt with bipolar depression and abuse by his step father resulting in substance abuse. He was 18 when he ended up on the streets. With support from his family and the state mental health program, he was able to start his recover and has been sober for 8 years. Stefano has been fighting for a responsible budget and is currently working to engage communities within Lake County as apart of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. He also advocates for mental health because the state program helped him become sober, productive, and stable. Stefano is now married and living with his wife and children in Zion, IL. Gloria Davis grew up on Chicago’s South Side of Chicago in the Robert Taylor public housing projects. While growing up, Gloria witnessed violence and hardship in her neighborhood. She became involved with drugs, a struggle she lived with for many years. In 2013, Gloria became homeless and entered treatment at the Haymarket Center. Since then, Gloria has advocated with CCH for an increase in the state minimum wage and with the Reentry Project. Gloria has talked to dozens of legislators about measures that would end barriers to housing and work for ex-offenders. Gloria wants to be “a voice for those who feel they have no voice.”
May 17: John Novembre, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, speaking on "Understanding human genetic diversity." Prof. Novembre's main research goal is to tackle statistical and analytical problems that will enable discoveries about evolutionary processes and the nature of disease variation.
May 24: Annual BBQ in the courtyard. We'll be joined by the Divinity School's own folk music band – name still forthcoming – made up currently of Divinity students Miriam Attia, Jesse Berger, Clay Lemar, Zach Ralston, Won Hee Ryu, and Joel Swanson. YOU are welcome to bring an instrument, or your voice, and if the spirit moves you, join in!
Yvonne Maffei, chef, cookbook author, and founder of My Halal Kitchen.
FUEGO AT SWIFT HALL! Diego Suarez Rojas, a Divinity School MA student and creator of the program "Salsa and Dialogue" at the International House, will speak on the psychology and philosophy behind dance and then lead us all into a group salsa lesson! We will have the best of orchestra salsa music from Cuba and Puerto Rico that can be found on Diego's Spotify list, chips and salsa on our tables, and we are going to spice up the chilly, ruthless winter!
Diego Suarez Rojas was born and raised at San Cristobal de Las Casas. He is a fiction writer, musician, and researcher, and he also has explored theater. He studies the relations of ethics, arts, and sciences in moral character and cognition. He is currently developing an educational comparative investigation in Mexico and the USA to find ways to balance equity and excellence in schools.
Dr. Aasim Padela, Director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine and a faculty member with the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, speaking. Dr. Padela is Associate Professor of Medicine in the sections of Emergency Medicine and General Internal Medicine.
Dean's Forum. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Today we welcome Sarah Hammerschlag, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature, Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism, and the Director of our MA Program, in discussion of her recent work, Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida and the Literary Afterlife of Religion (Columbia University Press, 2016). Responding will be faculty colleagues Simeon Chavel, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Kevin Hector, Associate Professor of Theology and of the Philosophy of Religions.
Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, speaking. Prof. Jonsson is Associate Professor of British History, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science and Director of the Nicholson Center for British Studies.
Jamil Khoury (AMRS'92) and Malik Gillani, the Founding Artistic and Executive Directors, respectively, of Silk Road Rising, are our guests for today's lunch. Silk Road Rising creates live theatre and online videos that tell stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses and works to advance the creation of, and expand access to, the works of Asian American and Middle Eastern American artists and to deepen understanding of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures within the broader community. Providing resources and learning opportunities that allow individuals to explore, express and embrace a more global perspective, Silk Road Rising provides mentorship and professional opportunities to diverse artists, and partners with grass roots, community-based organizations.
Tobias Spears, Director of the The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Life, speaking. Spears oversees all programs and services for students concerning matters of sexual orientation and gender identity. He is also a PhD student at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, studying black queer representation in film and media.
Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church, speaking.
Dean Richard A. Rosengarten kicks off our 2016-2017 Lunch season.
Sumit Ray and representatives from the Office of Sustainability, speaking. The Office of Sustainability works with campus and community partners to enhance a culture of sustainability using a data-driven, yet relationship-based approach that strives to connect students, faculty and staff into a cohesive University-wide network. Their philosophy: to achieve balance between environmental, social and economic sustainability in all decisions.
October 12: No Lunch today (Yom Kippur).
Stephanie Arnold, speaking. Ms. Arnold, a television producer, suffered a rare but often fatal condition called an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) during the birth of her second child. She died on the operating table. Her multi-award-winning, best-selling book on her experience, 37 Seconds, tells her story. She serves on the board of directors for the AFE Foundation, speaks on patient advocacy and served as the face for the legislative campaign When Seconds Count (ASA) and also for the mother’s day LifeSource program, helping to educate about blood donation. In addition she raises money for research and education into the leading cause of maternal death in the world. She will speak with us about her experiences before – during – and after death.
Maudlyne Ihejirika, and Angelina Ihejirika, speaking. The Ihejirikas are the authors of Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War, detailing Angelina's escape–with her six children– in 1969 from the Nigerian Biafran war. Her daughter, Maudlyn, is an award-winning Sun-Times journalist. Escape from Nigeria is Angelina's story, based on recorded oral history, historical records, and interviews with the surviving Chicagoans who believed they could make a difference in the lives of an African family they had never met. Read more here.
Today's guests come to us from Court Theatre. Established in 1955, Court Theatre is the professional theatre on campus; guided by a mission to create innovative productions of classic plays that are thought provoking, character-driven, and thematically enduring. Through main stage productions, audience enrichment programs, and collaborations with the University of Chicago, Court Theatre re-examines, re-envisions, and renews classic texts that pose enduring and provocative questions that define the human experience. Learn more about Court's history and current productions.
Ruth Coffman, Executive Director, Health Lab, speaking. Coffman comes to Urban Labs from the Cook County Sheriff's Office, where she started and led the Office's first Research Department. As Research Director she built analytical and data capacity within the Sheriff's Office, provided strategic direction, and led evaluations of programs and internal operations. Previously, Coffman worked in a research capacity in a variety of organizations, including the Center for Global Development, and also interned in the Social Office at the White House. She holds two MAs, one in Public Policy from UChicago Harris and another from the Divinity School.
Jane L. Risen, speaking on “Believing what we know isn’t so: Acquiescence to superstitious beliefs and other powerful intuitions." Risen is Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and William Ladany Faculty Scholar at Chicago Booth. She conducts research in the areas of judgment and decision making, intuitive belief formation, magical thinking, stereotyping and prejudice, and managing emotion.
Spring Quarter 2016
Our speaker today is Joan Bentley Hoffman, who came to UChicago as a grad student in the Music Department. With a Masters in Music History and now ABD, Joan’s work was in historical Ethnomusicology, centering on women’s music space in Chicago. Still at Chicago as a Fundraiser, she has jumped back into her research and is here today to talk about Rose Fay Thomas and the Fay family’s impact on the city of Chicago at the turn of century – from founding the Chicago Symphony, to convening the country’s music clubs at the 1893 Columbian Exhibition, to founding the Anti-Cruelty Society.
Shaun Casey, United States Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs, speaking about the Office of Religion and Global Affairs, some of the work that office does, and how the State Department conceptualizes the nexus of religion and foreign policy.
Dr. Casey has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq as well the role of religion in American presidential politics. His book, The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960, was published by Oxford University Press in January 2009. He is working on two writing projects. He is co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Political Theology with Michael Kessler of Georgetown University and he is writing a book on ethics and international politics tentatively titled "Niebuhr’s Children."
Annette Prince, Director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (CBCM), speaking. CBCM is an all volunteer bird conservation project that operates under the auspices of the Chicago Audubon Society. Their mission is to protect migratory birds through rescue, education, and outreach. Come hear more about their amazing work and how acting locally – for the birds – has global consequences.
Ada Palmer on "The Renaissance Roots of Enlightenment Radical Religion seen through Humanist Biographies of Classical Philosophers." Ada Palmer is Assistant Professor of History and the College; Associate Faculty of Classics; and a member of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. Her research interests include Renaissance and long-term European intellectual history, especially the recovery of classical philosophy, religion, and science in the Renaissance and how it mixed with dominant medieval ideas to produce the intellectual atmosphere that led to the Enlightenment and the modern world.
Representatives from The Vein – a UChicago student-produced podcast – will join us to talk about current issues in podcasting.
Our Quarterly Dean's Forum, which invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Today's forum features Heidegger’s Confessions: The Remains of Saint Augustine in Being and Time and Beyond (University of Chicago Press, 2015) by Ryan Coyne, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology. Daniel A. Arnold, Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Jean-Luc Marion, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology will be offering responses.
Toni Anderson, Founding Executive Director of the Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab, speaking. The Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab is a Chicago-based non-profit organization dedicated to sustainability and environmental service learning, youth-driven social philanthropy and connecting youth to nature and indigenous cultures.
David Travis (AB'71), Author, Curator, and former Chair of the Department of Photography of the The Art Institute of Chicago, on a topic TBA.
A specialist in the modernist period, he has organized a number of significant shows and contributed scholarly essays to their catalogs, including Starting With Atget: Photographs from the Julien Levy Collection (1977), Photography Rediscovered: American Photographs 1900-1930 (1979), André Kertész: Of Paris and New York (1985), On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography (1989), Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel (2001), Taken By Design: Photography from the Institute of Design 1937-1971 (2002),Yousuf Karsh: Regarding Heroes (2008), and most recently Karsh: Beyond the Camera (2012).
He has organized and presented more than 125 exhibitions of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago and has also been active as a guest curator for other major museums. His exhibitions have been shown at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Osaka, the Museo degli Innocenti (Florence), and for the Patrimoine photographique of the French Ministry of Culture, which inducted him as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1987. In December of 2002, he was named a “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune Arts critics. A book of his lectures and essays was issued in 2003 by David R. Godine Publisher under the title: At the Edge of the Light: Thoughts on Photographers and Photography, on Talent and Genius.
Rev. Randall Blakey, "Creating the Beloved Community." Randall K. Blakey is the Executive pastor at LaSalle Street Church, serving as chief of staff and sharing the ministerial responsibilities of preaching, teaching and pastoral care. He is a board member of the Near North Unity Program (NNUP) and the Near North Ministers Alliance (NNMA) and a graduate of Tennessee State University, McCormick Theological Seminary, The Divinity School of Harvard University and Northwestern University. Pastor Blakey has an extensive background in broadcast television and presently freelances as Director of Photography for ABC-7 shows 190 North, Heart & Soul and N’-Beat. His passion for ministry includes social justice, racial reconciliation, pulpit diversity and pneumatology.
Aaron Tugendhaft, Collegiate Assistant Professor in Humanities, on "Jihadists at Play." Aaron Tugendhaft studies the interplay of religion, politics, and the arts, particularly in the ancient Middle East. He received his PhD from the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University in 2012 and also holds degrees in Art History and Social Thought from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Society of Fellows, Aaron was a postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School for Ancient Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, where he also taught in the Institute for Assyriology and Hittitology. Before that he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He is the editor, with Josh Ellenbogen, of the volume Idol Anxiety (Stanford 2011) and the author of articles on topics ranging from Bronze Age deities to modernist aesthetics. In 2013, he received the Jonas Greenfield Prize for Younger Semitists from the American Oriental Society.
Join us to hear from Sunny Yudkoff and Anne Knafl on "Yiddish in Chicago: A History of Publishing." Sunny Yudkoff, Senior Lecturer in Yiddish, and Anne Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy, will provide a glimpse into the multilingual history of Chicago and the breadth of Yiddish cultural activity that once helped energize Chicago's intellectual life.
Our speakers for today visit us from I Grow Chicago: Robin Carroll, Founder and President, and Stephany Price, Executive Director. I Grow Chicago’s mission is to provide a safe, inter-generational haven to children and at-risk community members. Through sustainable farming and educational programs in nutrition, movement yoga and the arts, they foster creativity, wellness and empowerment for individuals in the community as a whole.
"Religion and Classical Ballet 101." Caroline Anglim is a master's student focused on religious ethics and the role of religious discourse in public debates about medicine. She is interested in issues of vulnerability, collective responsibility, embodiment, and dignity. Her presentation about the intersections of religion and classical ballet will draw on her years of experience as a ballerina and dance teacher. Today's lunch continues our crossover with the student-led 101 series. "101s" are a no-pressure, no-prior-knowledge-required opportunity for students to learn from fellow students. always food, drink, laughter, and really basic questions.
Today's guests are Thad Smith, founder, and head beekeeper Naaman Gambill, aka West Side Bee Boyz, Chicago's Urban Beekeepers. Founded in 2014, Westside Bee Boyz is committed to keeping, educating, and promoting urban beekeeping and honeybees as well as other pollinators. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Westside, it is their goal to serve the city’s bees and beekeepers as stewards to both.
Quarterly Deans Forum with Kevin Hector, Associate Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions. Professor Hector's recent book, The Theological Project of Modernism: Faith and the Conditions of Mineness (Oxford University Press, 2015), explores the idea of 'mineness,' in the sense of being able to identify with one's life or experience it as self-expressive, by tracing the development of this idea in modern theology. Professors Michael Fishbane and Angie Heo will offer responses.
Autumn Quarter 2015
Richard A. Rosengarten, Dean and Associate Professor of Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture, kicks off our year. VIDEO
Hank Owings, 2nd-year Divinity School student and a Baha'i, brings back our popular 101/Lunch crossover series with "Baha'i 101." "101s" are a no-pressure, no-prior-knowledge-required opportunity for students to learn from fellow students –students present a short, informal introduction to the history and main themes of a particular author or movement they’ve studied and analyzed (e.g. Islamic Law, Yogācāra, Stoicism). There’s always food, drink, laughter, and really basic questions. VIDEO
John W. Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History and Dean of the College, on: "John Boyer's The University of Chicago: A History: The Making of the Book, and the Making of the University."
Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is celebrating 125 Years of Inquiry and Impact. The anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on our history, our community past and present, and the founding principles that continue to guide our direction. We also commemorate the conjunction of the establishment of the Divinity School with that of the Baptist Theological Union twenty-five years earlier. Join us for lunch and to hear about the first University of Chicago – and of the seminary that grew from it and was the basis of the Divinity School.
During his tenure as Dean of the College, Boyer has strengthened the College curriculum and the College's admissions program, and he established the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, which brings young postdoctoral scholars to Chicago to experience Core teaching and learn from the mentorship of tenured and tenure-track faculty of the College. Boyer was also deeply involved in the establishment of the University of Chicago Center in Paris. He has worked to create many new programs for College students involving foreign study, internships, and foreign language instruction; to broaden student research opportunities; to enhance the relationship of the College to the Professional Schools; to expand on-campus facilities for residential life; to strengthen programmatic and financial resources for student life; and to provide strong career advising programs for College students.
A specialist in the history of the Habsburg Empire and of Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Boyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1975 and joined the faculty in the same year. Boyer has written three books, including Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement, 1848-1897 (for which he was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize); and Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918 (for which he was awarded the Ludwig Jedlicka Prize), both of which were published by the University of Chicago Press. The University of Chicago Press has just released Boyer’s The University of Chicago: A History, which knits together his years of research and offers new perspectives on the women and men who created and sustained the institution.
Our guest for today is Vu Tran, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts in the Department of English and the Committee on Creative Writing. Prof. Tran, who joined the UChicago faculty in 2010, has published his short fiction widely, and is the author of the noir novel Dragonfish,from which he will be reading today. Tran is a fiction writer whose work thus far is preoccupied with the legacy of the Vietnam War for the Vietnamese who remained in the homeland, the Vietnamese who immigrated to America, and the Americans whose lives have intersected with both; Dragonfish concerns an American police officer’s search in Las Vegas for his ex-wife, a Vietnamese refugee. VIDEO
"The War on Drugs – A New Paradigm: Health Not Punishment." Rev. Alexander E. Sharp (MDiv'96), speaking on the work of Clergy for a New Drug Policy. CNDP, of which Rev. Sharp is the founder and executive director, mobilizes clergy nationally to end the War on Drugs and calls for a health not punishment response to drug policy. Rev. Sharp has been working on progressive criminal justice issues for 20 years. He served as the founding executive director of Protestants for the Common Good from 1996 through June 2012 and then as acting executive director of the Community Renewal Society. VIDEO
Dr. James Woodruff, Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean of Students at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, speaking on the future of the Southside trauma center endeavor and the challenges of sustainable health care on the Southside of Chicago.
Dr. Woodruff has practiced on the South Side for 23 years as a general medicine physician who cares for patents on both the hospital wards and in the clinic. He has served as the Associate Dean of Students at Pritzker since 2011. Previously Dr. Woodruff served as Director for the U of C’s Internal Medicine Residency Program for eight years and Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Medicine for six years. Dr. Woodruff serves as an advocate and advisor for medical students and student organizations and works to develop and sustain a culture of professionalism, mutual respect, and community engagement. He oversees medical school programming including the school's five community free clinics and a number of education initiatives for South Side youth. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Provident Foundation, a foundation that aspires to forward the legacy of the historic Provident Hospital, America's first African American run private hospital. This legacy is forwarded through scholarship support and pipeline programming for South Side youth interested in health care professions.
Dean's Forum with Jeffrey Stackert, Associate Professor of Bible. Prof. Stackert's recent book, A Prophet Like Moses: Prophecy, Law, and Israelite Religion (Oxford University Press, 2014), analyzes the relationship between law and prophecy in the pentateuchal sources and the role of the Documentary Hypothesis for understanding Israelite religion. Professors Willemien Otten and William Schweiker will offer responses.
"Friendsgiving." Join us for some delicious vegetarian food, some board games (feel free to bring a game!), and some friendly conversation as we spend a community hour or two together. Linger for a few extra minutes!
Spring Quarter 2015
April 8 Julia Parzen, speaking on Sustainability: A Framework for Solving Complex Urban Problems. Julia Parzen is a social entrepreneur who cofounded Working Assets, one of the first socially responsible mutual funds; the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, a renowned network of 130 North American local government sustainability leaders; and Partners for Places a grant fund that has helped local government and foundation partners to attract $4 million for sustainability projects. Julia’s career in public service and sustainability has spanned public, private, publishing and non-profit sectors, including a strong mix of strategy development and implementation. Most recently, she co-authored The Guide to Greening Cities (Island Press, 2013). VIDEO
April 15 Gender JUST: Queer Politics Outside the Mainstream. Gender JUST is a multi-racial, multi-generational collective with a diversity of marginalized gender and sexual identities, skills, cultures, abilities, citizenship status, educational backgrounds and income levels. We seek to (1) transform queer communities by abolishing race, class, gender, age, religion and ability hierarchies in service of a multi-dimensional and powerful movement and to (2) promote innovative, community-based solutions to safety, wellness, and resource disparities that are accountable to those most vulnerable to institutional violence and harm.
April 22 Earth Day lunch with Jim Schaal, Sustainability Coordinator at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and coordinator of the St Paul & the Redeemer Food Garden. Since 2012, the garden has provided more than 2500 pounds of fresh organic vegetables for homeless and hungry neighbors.
April 29 Jas Elsner on "Empires of Faith." Jas Elsner is Visiting Professor of Art and Religion and Associate Faculty in the Department of Art History. His main research interest is in the art of the Roman empire, broadly conceived to include late antiquity and the early middle ages and including Byzantium as well as the pre-Christian Classical world. Since 2013 he has been Principal Investigator on the Empires of Faith Project, a joint project of the British Museum and the University of Oxford, which explores the visual cultures of the world religions in the Mediterranean and Asia between 200 and 800 AD.
May 6 Richard A. Rosengarten, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature and Director of MA Studies; on "What is the state of the field?" Professor Rosengarten's lunch talk will focus on the state of the field of Religious Studies in regards to the American Academy of Arts and Science's 2013 report on the state of the Humanities and in comparison with the 1998 AAR survey. VIDEO
May 13 Matthew Barber, speaking on "An Endangered Religion and a Destroyed People: The Yazidi Undoing and the Attempt to Respond." Matthew Barber is a PhD student in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, with interests in modern Syria and Iraq, and Islamic thought. He lived in Syria at the advent of the Syrian uprising and is co-editor of the academic blog Syria Comment. Last summer, Matthew was conducting research in northern Iraq when the self-declared Islamic State ethnically cleansed the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar and began a project of mass enslavement of Yazidi women. In the following months, he became highly involved in advocacy work on behalf of the Yazidis, one of most endangered religious minorities in the world. Matthew can be followed on Twitter at @Matthew__Barber VIDEO
Olatunji Oboi Reed, speaking on the transformative power of bicycling. Oboi Reed is the co-founder and president of the Slow Roll Chicago bicycle movement – "building an equitable, diverse bicycle culture in Chicago, transforming communities as we ride" -- and is involved with groups such as Red Bike & Green and South Side Critical Mass, organized rides focused on getting more people of color biking. An organizer and advocate in many venues for communities of color and low- to moderate-income communities throughout Chicago to have access to the health, economic, and social benefits of cycling. VIDEO
Winter Quarter 2015
Islamic Law "101" with Divinity PhD student Timothy Guttman. Now in its third year, UChicago 101s offers the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics at a basic level, no prior knowledge needed or expected! Timothy Gutmann, PhD student in Islamic Studies, will present the basics of Islamic Law.
Demond Drummer, speaking. Drummer, an MA student at the Divinity School, was the recent recipient of a Community Programs Accelerator grant for his CoderSpace project. Drummer is also a founding member of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) and a long-time member of Chicago's open government movement. He was previously an Organizing Fellow with the New Organizing Institute and a field organizer for Barack Obama's primary campaign in South Carolina. In 2013 he spearheaded the crowdfunding and launch of Englewood Codes, which teaches local teens to code; CoderSpace grew out of that project. In addition, he facilitates digital leadership trainings with block club members, parent leaders and business owners in Chicago's Englewood community.
Our guest for today is the Student Counseling Service (SCS) liaison to the Divinity School community, on "How Being Smart Makes You Dumb: Mindset, Happiness and Our Students." Michael Pietrus, Psy.D is a licensed clinical psychologist at the University of Chicago Student Counseling Service with a primary focus in psychotherapy, assessment, and consultation. His work is based in an existential/phenomenological model and is informed by interpersonal, constructivist and systems theory. He also coordinates the ADHD assessment protocol at SCS with additional interests in motivation, innovation, and the intersection of technology and psychology as well as social justice and multicultural issues. See more at http://counseling.uchicago.edu/
Chad Broughton on "Boom, Bust, Exodus." Dr. Broughton is a senior lecturer in Public Policy Studies in the College. He is the author of Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities, a ground-level look at the rapid transition to a globalized economy, from the perspective of those whose lives it has most deeply affected. The book is based on several years of fieldwork in the U.S. and Mexico and is told through interwoven stories of people, places, and policies.
Dean's Forum on the new edition (University of Chicago Press, 2014) of The Journey To The West by Anthony C. Yu, Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, with responses from Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of History of Religions, and Brook A. Ziporyn, Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought.
Fall Quarter 2014
Margaret M. Mitchell, Dean of the Divinity School and the Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, speaking on "Teaching Religion and the First Amendment: The Case of the Hobby Lobby Bible Curriculum."
Join MDiv student Elijah Kindred and members of the Bright Star Church community and the Anshe Emet synagogue community to discuss their project to build interfaith understanding AND a playground in Bronzeville – from the ground up – in one day. Build day is October 12th so get ready to see some amazing pictures! Read more about this project. VIDEO
Lucy K. Pick, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer in the History of Christianity, on Pilgrimage, pilgrimage, and writing historical fiction. Lucy Pick is a historian of medieval religious thought and practice. Her current research and teaching interests include the relationships between gender and religion, connections between historical writing and theology, the development of monastic thought and practice, reading and writing as spiritual exercises, and the ways in which religion shapes lives through ritual. Her book Conflict and Coexistence: Archbishop Rodrigo and the Muslims and Jews of Thirteenth-Century Spain, discusses Jewish, Christian, and Muslim relations in thirteenth-century Toledo. Dr. Pick is currently working on a monograph studying the intersection of gender, politics, and religion in the Middle Ages by examining the careers of royal women in early medieval Spain.
"Ecumenism 101" with Aaron Hollander. Division among Christians is as old as Christianity, but from the early Church to the present day there have been sustained attempts to find understanding and reconciliation.
Now in its third year, UChicago 101s offers the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics at a basic level, no prior knowledge needed or expected!
Aaron Hollander is a PhD Candidate in Theology at the Divinity School, writing a dissertation on holiness as an ecumenical problem. Before coming to Chicago, he studied religion and environmental studies at Swarthmore College, and completed a master's degree in ecumenics at Trinity College, Dublin (and just think, after today you’ll know what on earth "ecumenics" is!). At Chicago, he has been a coordinator of sundry Theology and Craft of Teaching workshops, a bassoonist in the UChicago Symphony, and an enthusiastic devourer of Wednesday Lunches.
Jan Deckenbach, Pantry Coordinator for the Hyde Park Kenwood Hunger Programs, will be our guest today.
If you are able, please bring a personal hygiene products (for instance soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste) to donate. The Hunger Programs are increasingly taking the opportunity to distribute such products.
End-of-the-quarter fun: Improv Comedy with Piebenga Plumbing.
Mark and Scott Piebenga, sons of Grand Rapids MI, have been performing improvisation and comedy for the bulk of the last two decades. Scott’s credits include Crawlspace Eviction (Kalamazoo), We Can Make You Laugh (national tour), Bovine Metropolis (Denver), and currently performs at iO Chicago and the Playground. Mark’s credits include Monkapult (Kalamazoo), the Playground, Annoyance, iO and Second City (Chicago). Mark currently performs at the Annoyance Theater. They have shamelessly re-appropriated the name of their grandfather, uncle, and father’s actual plumbing outfit without concern for the shocking disparity in work ethic and usefulness.
Dawn Xiana Moon and Michi Trota, speaking about women, art, gatekeeping, and geek culture.
Moon is a lifelong geek who has worked professionally in almost every area of the arts. She the producer and director of Raks Geek, geek bellydance and fire company, which achieved viral internet fame with a video of a Wookiee bellydancing to a Klingon band playing an original song in Shyriiwook. Raks Geek has been written up by CNN, MSN, Timeout Chicago (Critics' Pick), The Daily Mail (UK), and more. As a singer-songwriter, Dawn has performed in 10 states and has released two solo albums; her latest CD, Spaces Between, fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with jazz and alt folk pop. She has served as a section editor for RELEVANT Magazine, performs as a soloist with Read My Hips tribal bellydance, and, as a web designer/developer, works with clients like Anheuser-Busch, Chicago Booth, and Georgia Tech.
Trota is an organizer for both the Chicago Full Moon Jams and the Chicago Nerd Social Club; she also performs as a fire-spinner with Raks Geek. Discussions about geek culture, feminism and intersectionality are guaranteed to get her talking for hours - she's organized panels at C2E2, Chicago Comic Con, and the University of Chicago on topics relating to sexism in geek culture. VIDEO
Dietrich & Andrea Mattson-McGaffey, co-founders and co-coordinators of Edible Alchemy, speaking. EA is Chicago’s local-source, sustainable & organic foods co-op, catering, dinner, and workshop center based at their community loft & rooftop garden in Pilsen. They are passionate about teaching the value of human connections to food, self-sustainability, local foods, and the transformative power of communities gathering to share stories and a meal. More at ediblealchemyfoods.com VIDEO
For God's Sake, Who is Alterman?
This question will be approached by Dan Laor, who will share his experience as the biographer of Nathan Alterman, long recognized as the national poet of modern Israel.
Dan Laor is Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at the Divinity School. He teaches Modern Hebrew Literature and is the incumbent of the Jacob and Shoshana Schreiber Chair for Contemporary Jewish Culture, Tel Aviv University. Former Chairman of the Department of Hebrew Literature and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Laor is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, among them the prize-winning biography of S.Y. Agnon, Israel's Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature for the year 1966.
Laor's recent book is Nathan Alterman, A Biography (Hebrew), published on November 2013. It has been on Israel's best-seller list for nonfiction for over three months. VIDEO
Kristen Schilt and Chase Joynt, speaking.In 2013-2014, Schilt, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and multi-media artist Chase Joynt are conducting a year-long collaborative project. Sponsored by a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice & Scholarship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, their project explores the construction of public narratives about transgender identities. The collaborators will create a series of multi-media installations that deploy and disrupt positions of scholarly, artistic and experiential authority.
Tyler Alterman, Cofounder and Operations Director of The Think Tank at UChicago, speaking about the work and vision of The Think Tank -- a mobile neuroscience lab and education station, powered by the Experience and Cognition Lab at The University of Chicago to accelerate diverse participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Find out more at http://thinktank.uchicago.edu/.
Winter Quarter, 2014
David Woodhouse, FAIA, of David Woodhouse Architects, speaking. Mr. Woodhouse founded his firm in 1987; recognized as the American Institute of Architect (AIA) Chicago's Firm of the Year in 2007, it also recently won a national competition to design the Daniel Burnham Memorial in Chicago. His projects have earned numerous design awards from the AIA and the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois and have been published frequently in design periodicals.
Mr. Woodhouse and DWA were recognized -- in the "Divine Detail" category -- by AIA Chicago for their work on the Bond Chapel renovation. At this lunch we will have the opportunity to view the award and to thank not only the architects but many of the project members as well. We will also hear from Mr. Woodhouse on a topic TBA. Please join us!
A Dean's Forum on Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions by Christian K. Wedemeyer, Associate Professor of the History of Religions. Jeffrey Stackert, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Brook A. Ziporyn, Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought, responding.
Sliman Bensmaia, Assistant Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy: "Restoring touch with a prosthetic hand through a brain interface." Professor Besmaia studies the neural basis of the sense of touch, research that could lead to a direct interface with the brain that could someday allow those who have lost limbs to, not only manipulate objects, but also to be able to touch and feel again. VIDEO.
Christopher E. Woods, Associate Professor of Sumerology and Editor of the Journal of Near Eastern Studies at The Oriental Institute. Prof. Woods will discuss research on clay balls or envelopes from Mesopotamia that were used for record-keeping about 200 years before writing was invented -- possibly the world's first data storage system. VIDEO
Turning the Page: Graphic Novels as Art Objects: After touring their books throughout the Midwest last year, the Sun Bros are prepared to release their next full-length graphic novel, Monkey Fist. Join Wesley Sun (writer and MDiv'08, and Director of Field Education and Community Engagement at the Divinity School) and Brad Sun (writer and illustrator) as they discuss the ways in which their books communicate as art objects.
Not often a standard feature in traditional text-based books, learn how the storytelling techniques in their comics are as much tactile and physical as they are visual. How do the textures, dimensions, and overall feel of the book help tell a story? To what extent are comic authors involved in the printing process and how does this influence the narrative? These and other questions will be considered in an interactive, multimedia conversation with plenty of examples and books to get your hands on. VIDEO
Gayle Woloschak, speaking on "The Future of Creation: Linking Ecology and Evolution." Professor Woloschak is the associate director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. A molecular biologist and professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and an active leader in the Orthodox Church, Dr. Woloschak is deeply devoted to the religion-science dialogue and to the partnership of theologians and scientists in addressing critical issues in society. She is the author of hundreds of scientific articles and three books on the Orthodox faith, including Challenge Questions on Orthodoxy and Beauty and Unity in Creation. VIDEO
Sunny Yudkoff on "Yiddish Literature at the Sanatorium." Yudkoff, Lecturer in Yiddish Language, will discuss a cohort of tubercular writers who wrote and recuperated together under the auspices of the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society of Denver, Colorado, from the 1910s to 1930s. She will discuss how the variables of philanthropy, illness and literary expression came to mediate the lively literary scene of the sanatorium and the careers of its patient-writers.
Sunny Yudkoff teaches Yiddish language and culture to students at all levels. Previously, she has taught Yiddish and Hebrew at Harvard University, where she is currently completing her dissertation entitled, “‘Let it Be Consumption!’: Modern Jewish Writing and the Literary Capital of Tuberculosis.” This dissertation, situated at the methodological intersection of Comparative Literature and the History of Medicine, recuperates tuberculosis as a mediator of Jewish literary history.
Quarterly Musical Offering: Harmony Hope and Healing
Margaret M. Mitchell, Dean of the Divinity School and the Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, will deliver her annual welcoming luncheon address, entitled "L'Affaire Aslan: The Zealot, the Media, and the Academic Study of Religion".
Jennifer Knapp, Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music artist (who publicly came out in 2010) will speak of the challenges she has faced in claiming her unique identity.
Truck Farm Chicago: It's a simple concept with a big impact. Truck Farm is a mini-farm planted in the back of a biodiesel-fueled pickup truck, used to connect kids to food and health. With Tim Magner, rookie farmer and cocreater/codirector of Truck Farm, and Chef Elihjia Jackson, chef and food educator. VIDEO.
“Would You Buy This Book? Academic Publishing and the Research Library” with Anne Knafl. Knafl, the Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy at The University of Chicago Library, received her MA in Religious Studies (2002) and PhD in Bible (2011) from the Divinity School. She is completing her first book, Forms of God, Forming God: A Typology of Divine Anthropomorphism in the Pentateuch. VIDEO.
Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer, Ph.D. Candidate in Egyptology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department, bird expert, and Oriental Institute curator, on "Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt." VIDEO.
Stephan Palmié, Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College and Department Chair, speaking. Professor Palmié conducts ethnographic and historical research on Afro-Caribbean cultures, with an emphasis on Afro-Cuban religious formations and their relations to the history and cultures of a wider Atlantic world. His other interests include practices of historical representation and knowledge production, systems of slavery and unfree labor, constructions of race and ethnicity, conceptions of embodiment and moral personhood, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of food and cuisine. VIDEO.
Joshua Frieman, Director of the Dark Energy Survey and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, speaking on "The Dark Energy Survey and the Mystery of the Accelerating Universe." The discovery that the universe is accelerating, not slowing down from the mass it contains, is the surprise that sets the initial research program of 21st Century cosmology. The Dark Energy Survey is a next generation sky survey aimed directly at understanding this mystery. Their quarry is the dark energy, the reasons the universe is accelerating. VIDEO.
Quarterly Musical Offering with Mollie Stone: "Songs of Struggle: The powerful use of Black South African choral music to create social and political change." Mollie Stone is a conductor at Chicago Children's Choir. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in choral conducting at Northwestern University. While serving as the Graduate Associate for the Amherst College music department in 2001, she received a grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to create a DVD on black South African choral music. She has since received another grant to study how South Africans are using choral music in the struggle against HIV. AUDIO.
Irregularly Annual Bibfeldt Lecture, with Pastor Tom Willadsen. “It Could Be Wurst: Franz Bibfeldt: The Lost Years of Gastronomic Theology.”
Willadsen is Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and a 1990 Div graduate. He wrote his master's thesis on laughter in the Bible and has been an ordained Presbyterian minister since 1991. He is the author of OMG! LOL! Faith and Laughter, published by Gemma Open Door.
Jasmine Kwong (AB 2006) will present The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project: A serious attempt to capture the Co-op Bookstore's unique history, character, and distinction. In collaboration with Megan E Doherty (PhD 2010), Jasmine has worked to document and commemorate the bookstore during its 50th year in business. Through photography, oral and written testimonies, and artifacts, the project tries to explore and express what the Co-op is. The project is online (www.semcoop-project.org) and will be on exhibit at the Regenstein Library Special Collections April 22 – June 20. Jasmine is a photographer who manages a social psychology lab at Chicago Booth, where she is also a student.
Dean's Forum with Professor Daniel A. Arnold on his recent book, Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind (Columbia University Press, 2012). Arnold is Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Religions; he is a scholar of Indian Buddhist philosophy, which he engages in a constructive and comparative way. Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology of Religion, and Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Law School, the Department of Philosophy, and the College and one of our associated faculty members, will offer responses.
Christian Williams, speaking on "Moral Injury." Williams is in the last year of the dual degree (MDiv/MA) program in divinity and social work at the University of Chicago. He also is a chaplain candidate in the US Army National Guard, a Certified Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) instructor, and Certified Meditation Instructor. Since joining the chaplain corps, Mr. Williams’s interactions with servicemembers and veterans instigated a deep concern for the multiple predicaments that confront the military community, including combat-related “disorders” (PTSD, TBI, combat stress, etc.). Moral Injury is a classification that integrates the psychological, biological, and spiritual consequences of perpetration of violence in a warzone.
Dean's Forum with Professor Richard Strier on his recent book, The Unrepentant Renaissance from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton (University of Chicago Press, 2011), the winner of the Warren-Brooks Award from the Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies. W. Clark Gilpin, Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity and Theology, and Michael J. Murrin, Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religion and Literature; also in the Departments of Comparative Literature and of English Language and Literature, responding.
Jamil Khoury, Founding Artistic Director of Silk Road Rising, speaking. Silk Road Rising (formerly known as Silk Road Theatre Project) creates live theatre and online videos that tell stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses.Promoting playwrights of Silk Road backgrounds is a passion that dovetails well with Khoury’s experiences living in the Middle East and his eleven years as a cross-cultural trainer and international relocations consultant. Khoury’s plays focus on Middle Eastern themes and questions of Diaspora. He is particularly interested in the intersections of culture, national identity, sexuality, and class. He received his AM from the Divinity School in 1992.
Julian Hendrix on "Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age: on the opportunities and challenges of the digital humanities." Julian Hendrix is assistant professor of Classics and History at Carthage College. His current research focuses on the origins of monastic commemoration and the early history of liturgical books.
Annual end-of-the-year barbeque. Weather allowing, we will meet and eat in the courtyard adjacent to Swift Hall.
Wendy Doniger, speaking: "I have Sind/sinned." Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor in the History of Religions. She will discuss a notorious pun about Sir Charles Napier's massacre of Indian subjects of the British Raj in 1843 which raises questions of British guilt and of the need to reconsider the Orientalist guilt of contemporary scholars of South Asia.
Dean's Forum with Professor Bruce Lincoln on his recent book, Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars: Critical Explorations in the History of Religions (Chicago, 2012). Lincoln is Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School; also in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Committee on Medieval Studies; his work emphasizes critical approaches to the study of religion. He is particularly interested in issues of discourse, practice, power, conflict, and the violent reconstruction of social borders. Respondents will be Professors Willemien Otten, Professor of Theology and History of Christianity, and Jonathan Z. Smith, the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities and an associated faculty member of the Divinity School.
Analisa Leppanen-Guerra, speaking. Leppanen-Guerra teaches in the History of Art & Architecture Department at DePaul University (Chicago). She specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and visual culture. An alum of the Divinity School (Religion and Literature and History of Religions) with a PhD in Visual Studies/Art history from the University of California, Irvine. She has recently published two books on Joseph Cornell, a twentieth century American artist who was affiliated with the Surrealists: Children's Stories and 'Child-Time' in the Works of Joseph Cornell and the Transatlantic Avant-Garde (Ashgate Press, 2011, winner of the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant) and Joseph Cornell's Manual of Marvels (Thames & Hudson, 2012). For the Wednesday lunch, Leppanen-Guerra will be discussing Cornell's references to astral phenomena and the metaphysical in his unique book-object Untitled (Journal d'Agriculture Pratique) (c. 1930s-40s).
Anne Ford, MA 1999, speaking. Part travel writer, part profiler, Anne Ford is all Chicagoan. For more than a decade, this former Rand McNally editor has covered all facets of the City by the Lake for national and regional magazines, newspapers, and web sites. Her book Peaceful Places Chicago introduces readers to 119 of the most serene spots in town, while her interview series — Chicagoans -- for the Chicago Reader highlights some of the city's quirkiest and most fascinating voices. When not writing about (or running around) Chicago, she works on religion and health stories, as well as articles about other destinations around the world.
Members of the Yuval Ron Ensemble, speaking. The Yuval Ron Ensemble endeavors to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the people of the Middle East into a unique mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration. The ensemble includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim artists who have been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of various faiths and ethnic groups worldwide.
Daniel Libenson on "The Religious Innovator's Dilemma." Daniel Libenson is President of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future and Director of the new jU: Jewish U program at UChicago. He previously served for six years as Executive Director of the University of Chicago Hillel and for three years as Director of New Initiatives at Harvard Hillel. Dan is a recipient of the prestigious AVI CHAI Fellowship and the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence award, Hillel International's highest professional honor. In 2010, he was named a Jewish Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Jewish News. Dan attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and served as an articles editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Kelly Hayes, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, on "Intergalactic Space-Time Travelers: Anticipating the Third Millennium in Brazil." The author of Holy Harlots: Femininity, Sexuality and Black Magic in Brazil, Professor Hayes received her PhD from the Divinity School in 2004. Her interests include Afro-Brazilian and Afro-diasporan religions, possession religions, and ritual studies. She topic involves a new research project on a religious community in Brazil called Valley of the Dawn.
Quarterly Musical Offering. Thomas Weisflog, University Organist, will present a selection of organ pieces. We will meet in Swift Common Room as usual to eat; the program itself will take place in Bond Chapel, where the Reneker Memorial Organ (a baroque-style organ) was installed in February. A wonderful chance to hear the new organ in its beautiful new space!
Margaret M. Mitchell, Dean and Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, will kick off our 2012-2013 Wednesday Luncheon series with "Complicated Religious Pasts and Presents: The Place of ‘Religion’ in the Academic Study of Religion."
Randal Jelks, Associate Professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies, The University of Kansas, will discuss his book Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography (University of North Carolina Press, April 16 2012). Mays, AM 1925, PhD 1935, famously remembered as Martin Luther King Jr's mentor, was a minister, educator, scholar, social activist and the president of Morehouse College from 1940 to 1967. Prof. Jelks will also be giving a public lecture at 4:30 pm: "The Modernist Historicist of the Black Church: Benjamin Elijah Mays and the University of Chicago Divinity School." A reception will follow.
Malynne Sternstein, speaking on "Sweet and Tender Hooligan." Malynne Sternstein is an Associate Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Chicago. Author of The Will to Chance, a book on the Czech historical avant-gardes, from Poetism to Surrealism, and Czechs of Chicagoland, a photographic history, and articles on such topics as iconic language, gender and citizenship in the arts, and the prevailing dialectical concerns of surrealism, she is interested in the main in questions concerning the intersection between art and literature, film and politics.
Wesley Sun (MDiv 2008) and Brad Sun, of Sun Bros Studio, speaking. The Sun Bros formed Sun Bros Studios last December; their first graphic novel will be in print at the end of the year. The Bros will be discussing how comics "work" and specifically, how they work in their upcoming book, Chinatown, which revolves around a small, Chinese immigrant community struggling with change. The book , which contains elements of magical realism and horror, is written from the brothers' own cultural experience and has a healthy dose of theology as well.
Stanley Tigerman, speaking. Mr. Tigerman is an American architect, theorist, and designer. He received his architectural degrees from Yale University and has designed numerous buildings and installations around the world. He has been a visiting chaired professor at numerous universities, including Yale and Harvard, and served on advisory committees of the the Yale and Princeton Schools of Architecture, the Chicago Art Institute's Department of Architecture, and was Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago for eight years. The author of five books, he has two literary works in progress. His work has been published internationally more than 3, 450 times, and exhibited 300 times. His work at Tigerman McCurry, with co-principal Margaret McCurry, "defines an architecture that sometimes reflects an obligation to contextual responsibilities, and sometimes strikes out individually to show a better way."
J. Mark Hansen, Charles L. Hutchinson Professor in Political Science, will give a post-election analysis. J. Mark Hansen is one of the nation's leading scholars of American politics. Hansen, whose research has focused on interest groups, citizen activism and public opinion, is the author of two books, Mobilization, Participation and Democracy in America (Longman, 1993) with Steven Rosenstone, and Gaining Access: Congress and the Farm Lobby, 1919-1981 (University Of Chicago Press, 1991). In 1999, he received the Heinz Eulau Award from the American Political Science Association for Best Article Published in the American Political Science Review. He also received the Outstanding Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Robert Nevel, speaking. Robert Nevel is an architect and urban farmer, chair of the KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation's Social Justice Committee and an officer of the historic Hyde Park congregation. In 2009 Robert founded the award winning, nationally recognized Food Justice and Sustainability Program at KAMII. The program is focused on transforming unproductive urban lawns into food producing micro-farms, growing and donating significant amounts of produce, teaching urban agriculture and sustainability skills and advocating for healthy, local food systems and responsible energy, land and water use.
Join us this Wednesday for a relaxed luncheon with no formal program but with the joy of song. Guests are encouraged to bring a Christmas carol or other holiday song to share with the group. We will also have some song leaders to lead us in some familiar carols
A Dean's Forum luncheon with Profs. Catherine A. Brekus and W. Clark Gilpin on their recent book, American Christianities: A History of Dominance and Diversity (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), with responses by Profs. Omar McRoberts and Richard Rosengarten. Read more about the book here: http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-8673.html.
Dean's Forum with Francoise Meltzer, Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, on her recent book Seeing Double: Baudelaire's Modernity. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss a recent work, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Invited responses will be delivered by Michael Sells, the John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature and Ryan Coyne, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology.
Michael Coates, speaking: "The Incompleat Angler: Fishing for Creatures from the Black Lagoon." Coates is Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and Chair of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University at Chicago. His research focuses on early vertebrate diversity and evolution, the reconstruction of evolutionary pattern and process, and uses of fossils and systematic methods in evolutionary developmental biology.
Peggy Mason, Professor in Neorobiology and Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, a graduate student in psychology, on "Rats Helping Rats: Lessons for Humans." Mason and Bartal, along with Jean Decety, the Irving B. Harris Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, recently published a new study observing the first evidence of empathy-driven helping behavior in rodents The observation, published in Science, places the origin of pro-social helping behavior earlier in the evolutionary tree than previously thought. Prof. Mason's laboratory examines the physiological context within which the medullary raphe influences multiple homeostatic functions including eating, micturition, sleep/wake, and thermoregulation. Ms. Bartal comes to the UC from Tel Aviv University, where she earned an MS in biopsychology. She investigares the neural and cognitive mechanisms underpinning prosocial behavior, empathic concern and personal distress with an animal model.
Read more about the study here:
Stephen Durchslag, speaking, on "Jewish Experience and the Haggadah." Mr. Durchslag, MA student in the Divinity School and a partner in the law offices of Winston & Strawn LLP and chair of the firm's intellectual property practice group in Chicago, recently worked with the Special Collection Research Center at the Regenstein Library on an exhibition titled "Archetype and Adaptation: Passover Haggadot from the Stephen P. Durchslag Collection." This exhibition, drawn entirely from Durchslag's private collection, examines the persistence and influence of archetypal early haggadot as well as the elasticity of modern haggadot, responding to political and social developments of the 20th and 21st centuries such as the Holocaust, secular kibbutzim, the nuclear family, disability rights, and feminism. The exhibition will run from April 5th to May 11th, 2012.
Mohammed Javed, MD, and David Paul Smith, Ph.D., speaking on " Islamic Esoteric Science: a Translation of a 19th Century Sufi Manual on Spiritual Development" -- an interpretation informed by modern medicine and psychology.
Jane Crossley, speaking. Assistant Professor in the Graduate Education Programs Department, Chicago State University, Dr. Crossley will present on "Character Education: Are teachers prepared to teach character education?"
Director of Arts Program Development in the Office of the Provost and Faculty Artist in Residence Theaster Gates and his ensemble, The Black Monks of Mississippi, will be our guests for our quarterly Musical Offering.
"The Black Monks of Mississippi temporarily submit themselves to ideals of musical restraint and semi-strict adherence to the blues form, which Theaster Gates believes to be the most important root in the American musical tradition. The Black Monks strive to be holy, restrained, orderly, and disciplined, but they fall short. What they achieve instead is a very human response to displaced spiritual ecstasy, particularly in the flavor of the Black Church."
Annual BBQ. Weather permitting we will eat in the courtyard of Swift Hall.
Richard Strier, Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English and the Divinity School, speaking on "Does bad theology make for bad poetry?".
Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, on "The Censorship of Books about Religion in India Today." Prof. Doniger will talk about the rise of fundamentalism in India and its effect upon attitudes to religious diversity within Hinduism. She will focus on the censorship of books by American scholars and in particular upon the reception of her own most recent book, The Hindus: An Alternative History.
Mary Anne Case, Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law; topic TBA. A graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Law School, Mary Anne Case studied at the University of Munich, litigated for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York, and was the Class of 1966 Research Professor of Law at the University of Virginia before joining the Chicago faculty. She was a Visiting Professor of Law at the Law School in autumn of 1998 and at NYU during the 1996–97 academic year and the spring of 1999. In the spring of 2004, she was Bosch Public Policy Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. For the 2006–07 academic year she was the Crane Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Among the subjects she teaches are feminist jurisprudence, constitutional law, European legal systems, marriage, and regulation of sexuality. While her diverse research interests include German contract law and the First Amendment, her scholarship to date has concentrated on the regulation of sex, gender, and sexuality, and on the early history of feminism.
Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, speaking. The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago's food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community.
Dean's Forum featuring "Theology without Metaphysics: God, Language, and the Spirit of Recognition" (Cambridge University Press, 2011) by Kevin Hector, Assistant Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religion. Dan Arnold, Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Religions in the Divinity School, and Willemien Otten, Professor of the Theology and History of Christianity, responding.
Dr. Stephanie Levi, speaking on "Sex and Attraction." Dr. Levi is the founder of Night Labs, a free presentation series which take everyday topics, like sex, and explain the science behind them. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Chicago in 2009, where she studied the structure and function of the Golgi, and is currently the Coordinator for the Student Center for Science Engagement at Northeastern Illinois University, an initiative aimed at providing students with the support and opportunities they need to pursue and complete a science degree and move into lifetime careers in the sciences. Read more at "Science is Sexy": http://science-is-sexy.com/.
Daisy Delogu on "What is Allegory Anyway?" Delogu is Associate Professor of Frenchy in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Her research grapples with the ways in which individuals construct their sense of identity in relation to a social order that is itself in flux, subject to conflict and renegotiation of roles. Her current book project, provisionally entitled Power, Gender, and Lineage in Late Medieval France: Œdouce France and the University of Paris, Œfille du roy, looks at the diverse literary responses to the political troubles that plagued the reign of Charles VI (1380-1422).
Margaret M. Mitchell, Dean and Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature: "Workshop or assembly line? Models of learning in the academic study of religion."
Shatha Almutawa, editor of the Divinity School's publication "Sighting" and Ph.D. candidate in History of Judaism, speaking on Democracy in Dubai and the 2011 United Arab Emirates Elections. Ms. Almutawa is a citizen of the UAE, and will be returning to vote this month. The UAE will hold its second ever elections on September 24, 2011. Only around 130,000 Emirati citizens (out of about 800,000) were selected to vote, and another list of citizens was announced for those allowed to run. Voters in each of the seven emirates will select 20 of the 40 members of the Federal National Council, but the twenty voted in will not have legislative power. Is this the first step towards democracy in the UAE? The western media does not seem to think so, but the process has spurred many frank discussions between voters and non-voters about a society that makes up only 20 percent of its country's population.
Tara Zahra, speaking. Zahra is Associate Professor of East European History. She interested in transnational and comparative approaches to the history of Modern Europe. The focus of her research and teaching is Eastern and Central Europe, but she also looks westward to Germany and France, in an effort to integrate Eastern Europe in broader histories of Europe and the World. She is particularly interested in the history of nationalism (and indifference to nationalism); gender, childhood and the family; humanitarianism; and migration in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her recent book is The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe's Families after World War II (Harvard, 2011), which tells the story of Europe's displaced and refugee children in Eastern and Western Europe from 1918-1951. Focusing on national and international activism around children after World War II, the book explores how the reconstruction of families was linked to the development of new ideals of family, human rights, and democracy in post-fascist Europe. She is currently working on a new history of emigration from Eastern Europe to Western Europe and the United States between 1880-1968, with a particular interest in linking the movement of millions of people from East to West to emerging notions of freedom and social mobility, and to new forms of social protection and international activism.
Tom Willadsen, on "Interfaith Laughter." Willadsen is Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh, WI and a 1990 MDiv graduate. He wrote his master's thesis on laughter in the Bible and has been an ordained Presbyterian minister since 1991. Read about Pastor Willadsen's Interfaith Laughter Night here: http://www.oshkoshpresbyterians.org/happenings/columns/2011-04-15-interfaith-laughter-night.
David A. Ansell, M.D., M.Ph., speaking on his recent book County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital. Dr. Ansell is a Internal Medicine physician and health activist who has written extensively about health disparities. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Rush University Medical Center. He was appointed to the eleven-member board of directors of the Cook County Health System in 2008 where he is chairperson of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee. He continues his service to the medically underserved in his volunteer activities at the Community Health Clinic, a free clinic in Chicago, and with his medical relief work annually in the Dominican Republic. He was part of a Chicago-based effort that provided medical relief after the Haiti earthquake and made two trips to Haiti in 2010. COUNTY is a memoir about the years he spent working at Cook County hospital. The book documents the harsh working conditions for doctors and nurses and the suffering the patients experienced there—most of whom were low-income minorities and immigrants.
Read more about Dr. Ansell and County at http://www.countythebook.com/.
A Dean's Forum featuring Professor Kristine Culp's new book, Vulnerability and Glory: A Theological Account (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). Culp is Associate Professor of Theology and Dean of the Disciples Divinity House. Responding will be Divinity School colleagues Susan Schreiner, Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology, and Richard A. Rosengarten, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature. Dean Culp studies protest and transformation as religious sensibilities and projects, partly as enacted in political and cultural movements, and particularly as thematized in contemporary feminist and African-American theologies and, historically, in Protestant theologies. She is also interested in theological writing, and, specifically, how reflexivity and critical distance are incorporated into multiple genres of theological writing. She has written on protest and resistance as theological themes, the use of fiction in theological thinking, a theology of Christian community, feminist and womanist theologies, and “experience” in contemporary theology.
D. R. Hildebrand, speaking. Hildebrand is an author and model in New York, and recently published Walking Marina, a novel about the unspoken world of male modeling. He began his careers simultaneously after studying at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Walking Marina is Hildebrand's debut novel. The book, beyond an expose of the male modeling industry, is a commentary on beauty, happiness, patriarchy, and success, and on our perceptions of all of them. Read more at http://www.drhildebrand.com.
Musical Offering: Our guest for this quarter's Musical Offering Lunch is Zamin.
Zamin's sound comes from blending a lineup of classical instruments with a modern take on Hindustani vocals. Featuring two percussionists, classical guitar, strings, and Indian instruments such as taanpura and harmonium, Zamin sets new ground by creating an energetic feel from a lineup that is completely acoustic. "Zamin" itself means "earth" in Hindi, and the songs are sung in various Indian languages. The band is built on the concept of creating a harmony from the clash between the traditional and the modern, resulting in a live and lyrical sound that can appeal to wide audiences. The members include Zeshan Bagewadi, Josh Fink, Genevieve Guimond, Charlotte Malin, Eric Seligman, Dylan Frank, and Dave Eisenreich.
Please read more about Zamin, and hear some sound clips, at http://walkingbow.com/ensembles/zamin/.
Dean's Forum with Susan Schreiner. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss one of his or her recent works, with formal response from several Divinity School colleagues. Schreiner is Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology. Her latest work, which focuses on Luther, the Protestant Reformers, as well as religious radicalism, Thomas More, Montaigne, and Shakespeare, is entitled, Are You Alone Wise? Debates about Certainty in the Early Modern Era (Oxford University Press, 2010). Respondents will be Curtis Evans, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity, and David Tracy, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions.
Rev. Susan B.W. Johnson on "Urban Dolorosa: A Sorrowing City Stands." Rev. Johnson celebrated her 20th year at Hyde Park Union Church in 2005. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she currently serves as president of the Board of Trustees (Baptist Theological Union). An ordained American Baptist minister, Susan serves on a number of boards including Centers for New Horizons and the South East Chicago Commission. She is the author, with Herbert Anderson, of Regarding Children and was featured in the award-winning NPR broadcast "A Pastor's Journal."
Ryan Coyne, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology, on "The Status of the Dream in Modern Thought."
Dina Yehia, Divinity School student, with a personal view of the the revolution in Egypt. Dina is an M.A. student focusing on Islamic Studies. She dropped the Quarter here and went back home to Egypt in January as the revolution began to unfold; she returned in late March. She will share some of her stories and photographs from the ground. You can see her Twitter feed here (http://twitter.com/dinayehia) and her Wordpress blog here (http://dinayms.wordpress.com/).
Jim Forest, speaking on Dorothy Day. Forest is the author of numerous books and a contributor to many publications. He also serves as International Secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and edits its journal and web site, In Communion. Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic; she was one of the founders of the Catholic Workers movement and is currently being considered for canonization. Forest is the author of All is Grace: a Biography of Dorothy Day.
Linda M.G. Zerilli, Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the College, speaking on the work of the University's Center for Gender Studies, and her goals and plans as director thereof.
Ruth Abbey, John Cardinal O'Hara, C.S.C. Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, speaking on a topic TBA. Prof. Abbey researches and teaches in the areas of contemporary political theory, history of political thought and feminist political thought. She is the author of Nietzsche's Middle Period (Oxford University Press) and of Philosophy Now: Charles Taylor (Acumen Press and Princeton University Press), which was selected as one of the 2002 Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice Magazine. She has also written a number of journal articles, ranging from topics such as contemporary liberalism, to conceptions of marriage, to animal ethics. She is currently working on a book entitled The Return of Feminist Liberalism, which examines the renewed interest among some feminist thinkers in the possibilities of liberalism.
Annual BBQ and Musical Offering: JUSTIN and the SALTY DOGS
The Salty Dogs are Div School students Martin Arno, Matthijs den Dulk, Tim Kim, and Justin Howell. They will offer up some of their folk-roots-blues music for our enjoyment. See http://www.reverbnation.com/justinandthesaltydogs for more information.
Reservations can specify from one of the following options:
Beef (conventionally raised)
Pork (locally, humanely raised; small farm)
Sarah Van Deusen Phillips, speaking on the digital divide and its consequences for non-Western human rights work. Dr. Phillips completed her Ph.D. in Psychology and Human Development at the University of Chicago in March of 2008, where her dissertation work focused on questions of language acquisition and language ideologies as they related to contemporary oral education of the deaf in Spain. Since graduating, she has been working as a contract ethnographer in the areas of environmental justice and human rights. From 2008-2009, she worked as a field ethnographer for the Field Museum and the City of Chicago's Department of Environment on a project evaluating how the City's Chicago Climate Action Plan can be made more culturally relevant for the variety of communities that make up Chicago's famous diversity. Her field site for this project was the Mexican immigrant community of South Chicago. From 2009 to the present, Sarah has worked as the Project Coordinator in Human Rights at the Center for Research Libraries-Global Resources Network (CRL-GRN). In this capacity, she manages CRL-GRN's Human Rights Electronic Evidence Study--a project that focuses on the growing role of digital documentation practices in human rights activism. For this work, she has conducted rapid ethnography in Chiapas, Mexico and Kigali, Rwanda, as well as managed field workers conducting research in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia. This work brings up important questions about the digital divide and its consequences for non-Western human rights work when Western funding and archiving institutions push for technologies and practices that are not well suited to the realities that activists face in the developing world.
Katherine R. Tsiang, speaking on "The Divine and the Demonic in the Buddhist Pantheon at Xiangtangshan." Discover the range of fearsome deities -- demons, monsters, and hybridized spirits -- depicted in the sculptures of Xiangtangshan. Tsiang is the curator of the Echoes of the Past exhibit and associate director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago. Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan is on view at the Smart Museum of Art until January 16, 2011. Please visit the exhibit if at all possible before it closes! Learn more here:http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/echoes-of-the-past/.
Reid Locklin, speaking on "Cultivating Frustration in Teaching and Scholarship." Locklin is a 2010-2011 Marty Center senior fellow, working on a project tentatively titled "Advaita Mission, Christian Mission." He is currently Associate Professor and Programme Coordinator of Christianity and Culture at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto.
Robin Shoaps, speaking. Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of the Social Sciences in the College, Shoaps has been engaged in research sites in Guatemala and North America, broadly interrogating the linguistic and cultural construction of moral discourses and personhood. She has worked extensively with North American Pentecostalism and Sakapultek Maya folk-Catholic ritual and is currently working on a project comparing language use and associated constructions of subjectivity among Sakapultek and North American Pentecostals. In addition, her most recent fieldwork concerns the contemporary prophetic movement among North American evangelicals, with a particular emphasis on mass-mediated training materials and the virtual publics they entail.
Dean's Forum with Jean-Luc Marion and Willemien Otten. Profs. Marion (Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology) and Otten (Professor of the Theology and History of Christianity) will be discussing the forthcoming (January 2011) issue of the Journal of Religion, on Augustine.
Nicholas Patricca, "Sarah Emma Edmonds and the art of writing an historically based research play." Patricca, a Divinity School alum, is an internationally published and produced playwright, poet, and essayist. He teaches playwriting at Loyola University and is a founding member of the Chicago Alliance for Playwrights, and active member of the Dramatists Guild, and a member of International PEN's Writer in Prison Committee. He has served a critical role in Chicago theater since the 1970s, when he wrote groundbreaking plays inclusive of gay characters. He will be speaking on the art of playwriting and also on his latest project, a work on Sarah Emma Edmonds, a Canadian woman who disguised herself as a man in order to participate in the US Civil War.
Musical Offering: Ensemble Alioni: Folk Music from the Republic of Georgia. Please join us for the last luncheon of the quarter, featuring singers from Alioni. The audience will be invited to to learn a song as well. Learn more about this ensemble, based at DePaul University, online at http://www.alioni.org/.
Margaret M. Mitchell, Dean and Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, will open our 2010-2011 Wednesday Luncheon series by giving a talk titled "Playing with Fire: The Task of the Divinity School," an articulation of her view of the purpose of the Divinity School within the University and the world, and the values that govern its execution of that task. Mitchell began her tenure as Dean on July 1, 2010. Her research and teaching span a range of topics in New Testament and early Christian writings up through the end of the fourth century. Dean Mitchell's current projects include a volume of translations of occasional sermons by John Chrysostom on Pauline passages (for the Writings From the Greco-Roman World series) and a commentary on 2 Corinthians. She has received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation award to complete the former.
Lenore Grenoble, Carl Darling Buck Professor of Slavic Linguistics, speaking. Grenoble is interested in Slavic, Tungusic and languages of the North, discourse and conversation analysis, deixis, contact linguistics and language endangerment, attrition, and revitalization. She currently serves on the Advisory panel of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Documentation Project, housed at London University School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Her fieldwork focuses on languages of Siberia and she is currently engaged in research on the interrelations between language, culture and environment in the North.
Fred Donner speaking on "Islam's Ecumenical Origins." Donner is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Oriental Institute, and the College and Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Fred Donner's early interest in the role of pastoral nomadic groups in Near Eastern societies led to his dissertation on the role of Arabian pastoral nomadic groups in the early Islamic conquest movement in Iraq in the seventh century C.E. His first book, The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton University Press, 1981), examined this question in more detail, particularly the relationship between pastoral nomads and the state, as well as the more general processes of state formation and state expansion. Close work with the sources for this early period of Islamic history, and the profound questions about the reliability of these sources raised by revisionist scholarship that has appeared since 1977, led Donner to a long-term examination of those sources, culminating in his Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Darwin Press, 1998). More recently, Donner's interests have shifted to the intellectual or ideological factors that were at play in the early expansion of Islam, particularly the significance of militant piety, possibly rooted in an apocalyptic outlook. He is currently at work on a general study of Islamic origins that will attempt to sketch the outlines of this epochal historical process. He is the editor of Al-Usur al-Wusta, the Bulletin of Middle East Medievalists. His teaching focuses on early Islamic history, Islamic social history, and aspects of Islamic law.
Margarita Anderson, CEO and Founder, The Empowerment Experiment, speaking. The Empowerment Experiment was Ms. Anderson's year-long commitment to supporting black-owned businesses.
Kimberly Rios Morrison, Assistant Professor of Psychology, speaking. Morrison's research examines the interplay between self and identity, social influence processes, and intergroup relations, such as how different features of the self-concept (e.g., the need to belong) and group membership (e.g., majority/minority status, social power) can affect opinion expression and perception. She is particularly interested in what motivates people to express minority or dissenting opinions to others.
Sara Ray Stoelinga, PhD, speaking. Professor Stoelinga is the Director of Planning and Program Development at The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI). The UEI is dedicated to building knowledge to produce reliably excellent schooling for children growing up in urban America. UEI conducts rigorous research, trains outstanding teachers and leaders for urban schools, creates scalable tools and practices to improve student social and academic outcomes, designs and operates charter schools, and supports new schools across Chicago.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ednan Aslan, speaking, on Islamic Education in Chicago. Prof. Aslan works on Islamic religious pedagogy. He is with the Faculty of Philosophy and Educational Sciences, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Vienna. This quarter he is a research affiliate of the Martin Marty Center.
QUARTERLY MUSICAL OFFERING: "Why Not Sea Monsters?"
Justin Roberts speaking and performing. Justin Roberts is truly one of the "all-stars" of the indie family music scene. He logs thousands of miles on the road each year, leading some to call him the hardest working man in children's show business. With numerous national awards and recognition and a devoted fan base, Justin and The Not Ready for Naptime Players dish out unexpectedly intelligent and whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents. Justin is also an M.A. graduate of the Divinity School!
Annual Bibfeldt lunch. Michael Meeuwis, Ph.D. student in the English Department, will deliver the toast, and Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, will deliver the main address. The lecture commemorates the life and scholarship of eminent theologian and proteanist extraordinaire Franz Bibfeldt, mentor to Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity in the Divinity School.
Dean's Forum with Francoise Meltzer and Jas' Elsner. Meltzer is Professor of the Philosophy of Religions; also the Mabel Greene Myers Professor of the Humanities in French and in Comparative Literature, and the College; Jas' Elsner is Humfry Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Art at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Visiting Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. Profs. Elsner and Meltzer will be discussing the Spring 2009 issue of Critical Inquiry, which they coedited. The volume is titled Faith without Borders: The Curious Category of the Saint.
Galit Hasan-Rokem, speaking. Visiting Professor of Israel Studies during Spring Quarter of 2010, Hasan-Rokem is the Max and Margarethe Grunwald Professor of Folklore at the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has also been an active participant of Women in Black, a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence. Prof. Hasan-Rokem was among the founders of the Women's Peace Net in Israel in the later 1980s, a member of the founding executive committee of Bat Shalom, the Israeli partner in the Palestinian Israeli women's cooperation called The Jerusalem Link, and has been an active Editorial Board Member of the Palestine Israel Journal since its establishment in the early 1990s. While at the Divinity School she will be teaching a course on Ethnography and Literary Genre in Rabbinic Literature.
Peter J. Smith, M.D., on "Intellectual Disability and Medical Decisions." Smith is Assistant Professor of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and of Community Health Sciences, The Institute of Molecular Pediatric Sciences at The University of Chicago. His educational background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology and his clinical interests include mental retardation, autism, behavioral difficulties, and learning difficulties.
Soo Ji Min, Executive Director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.
Howard Nusbaum, Chair of the Department of Psychology, on "Defining Wisdom," a project of the University of Chicago. The goal of the Defining Wisdom Project is to stimulate new distinctive scientific and scholarly contributions to wisdom research and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding in service of laying the foundation for a field of Wisdom Science. See http://wisdomresearch.org/ for more info.
Dean's Forum with Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions, on her recent work The Hindus. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss a recent work, with formal response from colleagues. Respondants TBA.
End-of-year BBQ and music.
Ilsa Flanagan, Director of Sustainability for the University of Chicago, speaking. Before joining the U of C in 2008, Flanagan was most recently Senior Vice President and Director of Sustainable Development at LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Moravian College and a J.D. from American University. She came to Chicago after a comprehensive nationwide search that engaged University students and staff in the interviews with candidates.
A report from and conversation about the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions. Rev. Elizabeth Davenport, Dean of Rockefeller Chapel, University Visiting Scholar Anne Benvenuti, Divinity studentShannon Copp, and Kevin Boyd, the Divinity School's Director of Field Education will join us for the discussion. Rev. Davenport and Dr. Benvenuti presented a paper at the Parliament; Ms. Copp played a significant administrative role, coordinating a 26-session track on addressing social and political conflict from religious standpoints.
Dr. Kenneth Alexander, speaking, on "Giving HPV vaccine to our daughters: Cervical cancer prevention or license for sexual promiscuity?" Associate Professor and Chief, Infectious Diseases, Dr. Alexander’s NIH-funded laboratory studies the pathogenesis, immunology and treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Using cell culture and biochemical methods, Dr. Alexander’s laboratory is working to characterize the interactions between viral and host-cell proteins that underlie the coordinated control of papillomavirus transcription and DNA replication. The Alexander laboratory has also begun work to determine how papillomavirus proteins modulate the innate immune responses of HPV-infected cells. In a third area of research, Dr. Alexander and his collaborators are working to develop chemically-modified short interfering RNAs as HPV antiviral agents. Dr. Alexander is also involved in efforts to promote HPV immunization among young women in under-resourced communities.
Aziz Huq, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking on "the ethical and legal dilemmas of counterterrorism under Obama." The coauthor of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror, Huq's research and teaching interests include constitutional law, national security and counterterrorism, federal jurisdiction, legislation, human rights, and comparative constitutional law.
Dean's Forum with Michael Fishbane. Fishbane is Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies. His latest work, Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology, published in fall 2008 by the University of Chicago Press, will be the subject of this Forum. Respondents will be Willemien Otten, Professor of the Theology and History of Christianity, and Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity.
Stephen H. Dinwiddie, M.D., speaking, on a topic TBA. Dinwiddie is Professor at the University of Chicago Medical Center and the Director of the Law and Psychiatry (Forensics) Program. Forensic psychiatry is a subspecialty within psychiatry that has been defined as the application of psychiatric knowledge and expertise to legal questions, for legal (rather than clinical) purposes.
Adam Hosein, speaking. Adam Hosein received his PhD in philosophy from MIT in 2009. Mr. Hosein works mainly in ethics and political philosophy, with a special interest in issues of global justice. He also has interests in feminist philosophy and its implications for moral and political theory. His dissertation, The Significance of Fairness, explores the relation between moral constraints that fall on private individuals and those that apply to political institutions and their agents. Following his 2009-10 appointment at the Law School, he will join the Philosophy Department faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder, as an Assistant Professor.
Racheli Galay, cello, and Ilya Levinson, piano, will present "The Voice of the Jewish Cello." This program will feature works for cello and piano by one of the founders of Israeli art music, Joachim Stutschewsky (1891-1982). Stutschewsky, a founding member of the Viennese String Quartet, at a time when music in Vienna was at its richest and setting the course for modern music of the 20th Century. Stutchewsky was a pioneer in contemporary Jewish art music and left a rich compositional legacy that remains a vital part of Israeli and Jewish musical heritage.
Racheli Galay has been cello soloist with prestigious orchestras throughout the world and has recorded concerti, chamber, and solo music. She currently teaches at VanderCook College of Music, ChiArts (The Chicago High School for the Arts), and serves as Director of the Chicago Improvisation Institute. Mr. Levinson, Ph.D. (Composition, University of Chicago), is a composer-in-residence with American Music Festivals, and music director, arranger and pianist for the New Budapest Orpheum Society, artists-in-residence at the University of Chicago, which specializes in performing music of Jewish Cabaret. He is also Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago.
Steven Kloehn, the University's AVP for News and Public Affairs, on religion and the media. With over two decades of journalistic experience as a newspaper columnist, commentator on national and local news programs, reporter, editor and multimedia innovator, Kloehn has an abiding interest in the ways religion is covered in the news media. From 1996 to 2000, Kloehn was the Tribune's religion writer, covering the papacy of John Paul II, religion in American politics, the growth of Islam and other matters of faith.
Jacqueline Edelberg, speaking. Edelberg is the author of How to Walk to School (Rowan and Littlefield, 2009), the story of motivated neighborhood parents galvanizing and then organizing an entire community to take a leap of faith, transforming a challenged urban school into one of Chicago's best, virtually overnight. Susan Kurland, Nettelhorst's entrepreneurial new principal, and Jacqueline Edelberg, the neighborhood mom, prove that the fate of public education is not beyond our control. Edelberg is a community organizer, writer, nationally recognized fine artist, and co-founder of the Nettelhorst Parents' Coop, a group of energetic parents who sparked Chicago's neighborhood school renaissance. She has been featured on Oprah & Friends, NPR, CNN, 60 Minutes, Education Weekly, and now the Divinity School.
Dr. David Cohen, speaking. Associate Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology Chief, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Dr. Cohen is an expert in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. His primary focus is on fertility preservation for cancer patients--including fertility preservation for children and adolescents with cancer. In addition to his clinical and research work, Cohen is a faculty member in the MacLean Center for Medical Ethics, and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction. He will be speaking on "The Ethics of Egg Freezing."
Jens Ludwig, speaking on youth gun violence in Chicago. The McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy, Ludwig is also Director of the University's Crime Lab (crimelab.uchicago.edu), which seeks to improve our understanding of how to reduce crime and violence by helping government agencies and non-profit organizations rigorously evaluate new pilot programs. Ludwig is also Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and co-director of the NBER's Working Group on the Economics of Crime.
Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, speaking on "a lifecourse approach to sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice." Dr. Gilliam is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago, Director of the Fellowship in Family Planning, Chief of the Division of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Gilliam is particularly interested in studying vulnerable populations at risk of unintended pregnancies due to health care disparities including low income populations, women of diverse racial/ethnic groups, and adolescents.
Dr. Karen Cassiday, speaking, on "Scrupolosity." Dr. Cassiday is the owner and Clinical Director of the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center, a founding fellow in the Acaedemy of Cognity Therapy, and clinical assistant professor at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences and an instructor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Rush Medical School. She is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for OCD Chicago, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who suffer with OCD. A resource for individuals, families, mental health professionals, educators, clergy and the media, OCD Chicago is the only Chicago-area organization dedicated solely to OCD. Scrupulosity is a common and treatable form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder involving persistant, disturbing thoughts about religious devotion or observances, morality, or sin.
Tobin Sosnick, speaking. Prof. Sosnick is the Director of the University's Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, an interdisciplinary research center that works at the interface between the Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences divisions. Sosnick is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Biophysical Dynamics, and a senior fellow in the Computation Institute at Chicago. His research focuses on synergistic studies of protein and RNA folding and design. The work involves experiment and computation and is based on the premise that rigorous and innovative studies of basic molecular processes have broad implications in many areas of biological research. He will be speaking to us on what motivates the work of the IBD.
Musical Offering: Stero Sinai is Alan Jay Sufrin and Miriam Brosseau. Lending renewed relevance to ancient Jewish texts by taking original Hebrew, Yiddish, and Aramaic verses and mixing them with synthesized pop arrangements they call "Biblegum Pop," Stereo Sinai is the Good Book like you've never heard it before.
The group won the 2008 Tibera Battle of the Bands, and represented Chicago at the 2008 International Jewish Music Festival Competition in Amsterdam. As an integral part of the emerging new American Jewish cultural scene, Stereo Sinai has so far contributed to projects like G-dcast and Pioneers for a Cure, and has been featured in publications such as PresenTense Magazine and Shemspeed.com. They are artists-in-residence at The Newberger Hillel Center at the University of Chicago.
Visit Stereo Sinai online at http://stereosinai.blogspot.com/.
Annual Franz Bibfeldt Lunch. Michael Mols, 2rd year M.A. student, will deliver the main address, and Richard A. Rosengarten, Dean of the Divinity School, will deliver the toast. The lecture commemorates the life and scholarship of eminent theologian and proteanist extraordinaire Franz Bibfeldt, mentor to Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity in the Divinity School.
Analisa Leppanen-Guerra, speaking. An alum of the Divinity School (Religion & Literature, and History of Religions) with a Ph.D. in Visual Studies/ Art History from the University of California, Irvine, Leppanen-Guerra is an Assistant Professor in the new History of Art & Architecture Dept. at DePaul. She is working on two books on the modern American artist Joseph Cornell. Cornell was a Christian Scientist, and religious beliefs were at the very core of his artwork. We will have the opportunity to look at some of the Cornell's artwork, with specific attention to his beliefs.
Tim Heppner, speaking. Tim and his brother, Charles, are building "the greenest house in Chicago" -- in the South Side. As part of Earth Month, Tim will talk about his vision and his processes -- some very high-tech, some very low-tech. See more here: http://greenbean.typepad.com/greenbean/2008/01/heppner-residen.html.
A special lunch held in conjunction with the Culturing Theologies, Theologizing Cultures: Exploring the Worlds of Religion conference.
Talks to start promptly at 12:10.
Chaired by Kevin Boyd, Director of Field Education and Church Relations, University of Chicago Divinity School
Alain Epp Weaver "Returning to Kafr Bir'im: Palestinian Theological Cartography and the Arboreal Imagination"
Kristin Bloomer "Embodied Local Theologies: Maataa, Mary, and Other Subversive Spirits in South India"
Garry Sparks "Theologia Indorum: K'iche' Maya, Theological Ethnology, and the Americas' First Theology"
See more about the conference at http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/conferences/sharpe/2009/. You do not need to register for the rest of the conference in order to come to the lunch, but RSVPs for lunch are required.
Second annual Divinity School Poetry Month Lunch: Peter O'Leary, speaking, and poetry open mic. Peter O'Leary (Ph.D., Religion and Literature, 1999) will speak on "the convergence of the study of religion and the vocation of writing poetry." Guests are then invited to read a poem (that they have brought with them). O'Leary teaches poetry at the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the author of, most recently, Depth Theology. Read more at his website, http://www.luxhominem.com/.
Michael S. Hogue, Assistant Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School, speaking on "Post-Environmentalism, Oikos, and You." He received his Ph.D. from the Divinity School; in 2008 Hogue received the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. The award recognizes postdoctoral scholars on the basis of their dissertations related to God and spirituality.
Melvin Butler, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music, on "Music and Pentacostalism in Haiti." Butler is an ethnomusicologist with special interests in music and religious practice in Haitian, Jamaican, and African American communities. His current research explores performance, Pentecostal faith, and cultural identity in Haiti. He is also a saxophonist, and has worked with celebrated Haitian konpa group Tabou Combo and with numerous jazz artists.
Forum with Curtis J. Evans, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss a recent work, with formal response from colleagues. Evans is a historian of American religion; his first book, The Burden of Black Religion (Oxford University Press, 2008), argued that black religion was crucial in debates about the role of blacks in American culture, especially prior to realistic prospects of integration. Kathryn Tanner, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor of Theology, responding.
Musical Offering. Join us for an outdoor lunch (weather permitting) and the music of The Prairie Dogs, who join us from Urbana-Champaign to offer a little bluegrass, a little traditional folk, a little old-time music. For this lunch only, there will be meat, vegetarian, or vegan options. Rain location: Common Room.
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Davenport, Dean of the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, speaking. Rev. Davenport joined the University of Chicago campus on July 1, 2008. Davenport will discuss her plans to provide vision and lead students and the University community in their quest for religious and spiritual meaning.
Carole Ober, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, will discuss her work with the Hutterites of South Dakota. Her research adds to over a half-century of research that has amassed medical and genetic data on the Hutterites, a small religious community whose very isolation is helping scientists make discoveries that could affect the health of millions.
Dean's Forum with Martin Riesebrodt, Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Theology in the Divinity School; also in the Department of Sociology. William Schweiker, Director of the Martin Marty Center and Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics in the Divinity School; also in the College, responding. Riesebrodt and Schweiker will discuss Riesebrodt's book Cultus und Heilsversprechen. Eine Theorie der Religionen, which offers a universal theory of religion based on the promises religions make in their liturgies across times, cultures, and places.
Peter Freund, Professor Emeritus in Physics at the University of Chicago, on his book A Passion for Discovery, which discusses the impact of historic events -- notably the advent of fascism and communism -- on scientists' behavior. The book recounts stories about many key 20th-century physicists and mathematicians, including Albert Einstein, Robert Oppeneheimer and a variety of University of Chicago alumni and faculty members. Read more about the book at http://news.uchicago.edu/news.php?asset_id=1392.
Mario Small, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, speaking on "The Support Networks of Mothers of Young Children: Why Childcare Centers Matter." Professor Small's research interests include urban poverty, inequality, culture, networks, case study methods, and higher education. He is currently working on several projects dealing with urban conditions, organizations, and networks.
Allen Sanderson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics and a Senior Research Scientist at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), will speak on "10 Questions You've Always Wanted To Ask An Economist But Were Too Polite To Ask" and take audience questions about economics. A graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Chicago, he served as Associate Provost at the University of Chicago from 1984-91. He currently teaches a popular two-quarter sequence in introductory economics, a course on the economics of sports, and organized a new, highly-acclaimed, team-taught multidisciplinary course entitled "Sport, Society and Science."
Robert Daum, Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Molecular Medicine and the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, speaking. Dr. Daum has been honored by Chicago magazine, Castle Connolly, and other organizations as one of the best pediatric infectious disease specialists in Chicago and the country. He has lent his expertise to dozens of studies of new treatments to fight or prevent infections. He also directs the Pediatric Immunization Program, an outreach initiative to promote early vaccination in Chicago's public housing projects. A member of the Immunization Advisory Committee for the Illinois Department of Public Health, he is also assistant chair of the Illinois Chapter Committee on Infectious Diseases. He has also been working on a project to address the molecular biology of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) -- aka the "superbug."
Leslie John Griffiths, Baron Griffiths of Burry Port, speaking. A Methodist minister and life peer in the House of Lords, where he sits with the Labour Party, Griffiths became a local preacher in the Methodist Church of Great Britain in 1963. He completed a Master of Arts in Theology at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 1969. He spent most of the 1970s serving the Methodist Church of Haiti, where he was ordained, before returning to Britain to serve in ministries in Essex and Golders Green. In 1987 Griffiths completed a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He served as President of the Methodist Conference from 1994 to 1995. Since 1996 he has been Superintendent Minister at Wesley's Chapel, London. He was created Baron Griffiths of Burry Port, of Pembrey and Burry Port in the County of Dyfed in 2004.
Musical Offering: The University of Chicago's Shape-Note Singing Association, dedicated to this traditional American form of song, will join us for Music of the Sacred Harp. The Sacred Harp tradition is a participatory one, not a passive one. Those who gather for a singing sing for themselves and for each other, and not for an audience-so everyone in attendance will be invited to participate! Please join us no matter your perceived level of musicality.
Pastor Phil Blackwell of the Chicago Temple, First United Methodist Church (www.chicagotemple.org). Pastor Blackwell is an alumnus of the Divinity School and Senior Pastor at the oldest church in Chicago. Chicago Temple is located in the heart of the Loop and serves a diverse urban congregation, with the Silk Road Theatre in the basement and a commitment to a transforming tradition. Pastor Blackwell will be discussing churches as public spaces and how to make them matter in today's cities. Pastor Blackwell will be joined by Jamil Khouri, a Divinity School graduate and the co-founder of the Silk Road Theatre.
Paula Fasseas, speaking. Ms. Fasseas is the founder and chair of PAWS Chicago, the city's largest humane organization. A graduate of the GSB, Ms. Fasseas also founded and runs the Metropolitan Banking Group. PAWS Chicago works, through innovative programming, to end pet overpopulation and euthanasia. Since its founding in 1997, the euthanasia rate in Chicago has been reduced by half. PAWS is currently building a grassroots humane education program, concentrating on Chicago's inner city populations. Ms. Fasseas was named one of the 2007 Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine.
Natalie Moore, speaking. Ms. Moore covers the South Side of Chicago for Chicago Public Radio. Prior to joining the Chicago Public Radio staff in May 2007, she was a city hall reporter for the Detroit News. She has also been an education reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a reporter for the Associated Press in Jerusalem. Her work has been published in Essence, Black Enterprise, the Chicago Reporter, Bitch, In These Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. She is coauthor of the book Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation (Cleis Press, 2006). Ms. Moore has an M.S.J. in Newspaper Management from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University. She is an adjunct instructor at Columbia College Chicago and is program chair for the Association for Women Journalists.
Dr. Dennis A. Norlin, Executive Director, American Theological Library Association, speaking. Established in 1946, the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) is a professional association of more than 1,000 individual, institutional, and affiliate members providing programs, products, and services in support of theological and religious studies libraries and librarians. ATLA's ecumenical membership represents many religious traditions and denominations.
October is National Theological Libraries month!
Dean's Forum with Christian Wedemeyer, Assistant Professor of the History of Religions. The Dean's Forum invites a faculty member to discuss a recent work, with formal response from colleagues. Wedemeyer's work addresses topics of history, literature, and ritual in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism; he focus of his research has been the esoteric Buddhist traditions of the Mah_yoga Tantras.. He will be discussing his text-critical study of one of the principal Indian works on esoteric praxis: _Aryadeva's Lamp that Integrates the Practices (Cary_mel_pakaprad_pa): The Gradual Path of Vajray_na Buddhism according to the Esoteric Community Noble Tradition(critically-edited Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, annotated English translation, and study; AIBS/Columbia University Press 2007) Yigal Bronner, Assistant Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, responding.
John Mark Hansen, Dean of Social Sciences and the Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in the department of Political Science and the College, will be our guest to discuss the election results. One of the nation's leading scholars of American politics, Hansen, whose research has focused on interest groups, citizen activism and public opinion, is the author of two books, Mobilization, Participation and Democracy in America (1993) with Steven Rosenstone and Gaining Access: Congress and the Farm Lobby, 1919-1981 (1991).
Michael Gladders, Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, on "The Evidence for Dark Matter: Why We Think Most of the Mass in the Universe is Invisible." Michael Gladders' research interests include understanding how the formation of galaxy clusters is affected by dark energy, a mysterious force that works against gravity. As a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Observatories, Gladders designed the Gladders Image-Slicing Multi-Slit Option (GISMO). The instrument connects the Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in the Andes Mountains of South America, to a large spectrograph. GISMO permits astronomers to study the evolution of galaxy clusters. When astronomers view the sky with large telescopes like the Magellans, they see many closely packed stars and galaxies. When the spectrograph tries to record images from two adjacent objects, they interfere with each other. GISMO solves that problem. Read about Prof. Gladders recent trip to the Las Campanas Observatory in the Andes Mountain:http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/080403/astronomy.shtml.
Dr. Larry Hurtado, Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology; Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; and Head of the School of Divinity at Edinburgh, speaking. Of his own research, he writes that it "has always been driven by questions: how the New Testament came to us, how the Gospels were transmitted in the early centuries, what this or that passage means, how the early Christians adapted traditions from their religious background and how they innovated, how their worship began and how it was shaped, how they accommodated Christ along with God in their devotional life, how Christian belief and practice was shaped by opposition and historical developments of the first two centuries . . . "
Musical Offering: Pianist Amy Flowerree will serenade us with pleasing piano selections while we eat; after lunch, she will be available to play carols and holiday music for those who wish to sing.
Born into a musical family, Amy Flowerree gave her first performance on mandolin at the age of eight. After experimenting with different instruments, she decided that piano was the one for her. Amy continued her musical studies at Erskine College, in Due West, SC, where she formally studied both piano and organ. She has served as the musical director and accompanist for numerous groups, and most recently as the pianist at Shore Harvest Church in Easton, MD. Amy recently moved to Hyde Park where her husband, Zac, is in his first year at the Law School.
Spring Quarter 2008
Paul Copp, Assistant Professor in Chinese Religion, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, on "Incantations, Amulets, and Efficacy in Medieval Chinese Buddhism." Prof. Copp works on the cultural and intellectual history of medieval Chinese religions and is completing a book manuscript on Tang Buddhist spell craft, its attendant imaginings of linguistic and material forms of efficacy, and the ways its practices drew on longstanding Chinese traditions, both Daoist and otherwise (as well as working on numerous other projects).
Dr. Rick Kittles, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, will discuss "genetics, race, and ancestry." Dr. Kittles' research focus is to formally evaluate genetic mechanisms involved in complex diseases. His work entails understanding how genetic variation is structured across human populations and how that variation contributes to inter-individual variation in disease susceptibility and other phenotypes such as drug response and skin color. Currently his work explores sequence variation within candidate genes in well-characterized populations for prostate and breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and human pigmentation. His interests also include biological and socio-cultural issues related to "Race" and health disparities and the utility of admixture mapping for genes for common traits and disease in African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
Dean's Forum with Jean-Luc Marion, Professor of the Philosophy of Religion and Theology in the Divinity School; also in the Department of Philosophy and the Committee on Social Thought. Respondents TBA. Prof. Marion will discuss his book The Erotic Phenomenon.
Poetry open mic. In honor of National Poetry Month, lunch guests may bring a poem to read at our first annual Divinity School Poetry Month Lunch.
Daniel Sack, administrator of the Divinity School's Border Crossing Project and a historian of American religion, on "Food and Religion, Memory and Community." As part of his work for the Material History of American Religion Project, Sack wrote Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture (Palgrave, 2000), an investigation into the food practices of white mainline Protestants--ranging from conflicts over communion wine to potlucks to soup kitchens. This history reveals how food builds community and shapes memory. Sack will share some of the stories he discovered and invite us to share our stories of religion and food.
Eboo Patel, founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core (http://www.ifyc.org), a non-profit organization based in Chicago that ''builds mutual respect and pluralism among young people from different religious traditions by empowering them to work together to serve others,'' speaking. Dr. Patel has recently written Acts of Faith, chronicling his struggle to forge his identity as a Muslim, an Indian, and an American. He received his doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University. Dr. Patel will discuss his book and his theory of the ''Faith Line: Religious Totalitarians vs. Religious Pluralists in the 21st century.''
Garrett Kiely, Director of the University of Chicago Press, on a topic TBA. The U of C Press is the nation's largest academic press, and the publisher of numerous award-winning books and journals aimed at a scholarly and general interest audience including The Chicago Manual of Style. Kiely, an academic publishing veteran, began his duties as director of the Press last September.
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor, SALC, History, and the College, on "The Power of 'Superstition' in Everyday Life in India."
Musical Offering. Join us for an outdoor lunch (weather permitting) and the music of The Prairie Dogs, who join us from Urbana-Champaign to offer a little bluegrass, a little traditional folk, a little old-time music. For this lunch only, there will be meat, vegetarian, or vegan options. Rain location: Common Room.
Winter Quarter 2008
Richard A. Rosengarten, Dean and Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Divinity School.
Cristina Benitez, speaking on the subject of her book Latinization...How Latino Culture is Transforming the U.S.Cristina Benitez is the president of Lazos Latinos -- Latino Branding, Advertising & Latinization -- a Chicago-based brand and marketing consulting company focusing on the nuances of Hispanic culture.
Ivan Brunetti, of the department of Creative Writing, on "Editing an Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories." Brunetti teaches on editorial illustration and comics at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Chicago. In 2005, he curated The Cartoonist's Eye, an exhibit of 75 artists' work, for the A+D Gallery of Columbia; the exhibit was a preview for An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories (Yale University Press, 2006), which he edited. A second volume of this Anthology is scheduled for Fall 2008. He draws for The Chicago Reader and other alternative weekly newspapers, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, Mother Jones, Fast Company, and others. Fantagraphics Books has published four issues of his comic book series, Schizo.
Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, speaking. Previously Bishop of Nevada, Jefferts Schori is the twenty-sixth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, chief pastor to the Episcopal Church's 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses, ecumenical officer, and primate, joining leaders of the other 38 Anglican Provinces in consultation for global good and reconciliation. Read more about Bishop Jefferts Schori here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/presiding-bishop.htm.
Richard A. Shweder on "'Celebrate Diversity!': But Do We Really Mean It?" Prof. Shweder is a cultural anthropologist and the William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. degree in social anthropology in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University in 1972, taught a year at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and has been at the University of Chicago ever since. He is author ofThinking Through Cultures: Expeditions in Cultural Psychology and Why Do Men Barbecue? Recipes for Cultural Psychology(both published by Harvard University Press); and editor or co-editor of many books in the areas cultural psychology, psychological anthropology and comparative human development.
Stephen Pruett-Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, will speak on the famous—or infamous—monk parakeet, the green tropical birds living in Hyde Park, in a talk entitled ''Monk Parakeets in North America: Biology, Wildlife Management, and Public
Opinion.'' Pruett-Jones has been generating a map of all active monk parakeet nests, stretching from northwest Indiana into southern Wisconsin, using sightings by local inhabitants. Read more about his project here: http://magazine.uchicago.edu/9810/html/invest2.htm.
Kenan Heise and former alderman Leon Despres will discuss Heise's new book Chicago Afternoons with Leon.
Former Fifth Ward (Hyde Park) alderman Leon M. Despres went up against the authoritarian Daley machine for two decades. Elected to the Chicago City Council in 1955 — the same year as Richard J. "Da Mare" Daley — he was one of the few independents on the council and the most liberal alderman in the city. Despres ushered in 20 years of reform efforts: he worked to ban discrimination, end patronage, and ferret out corruption and is recognized today as a local legend who dared to spite the "Boss of all Bosses."
Kenan Heise is a former Tribune reporter who previously collaborated on 2005's "Challenging the Daley Machine: A Chicago Alderman's Memoir" with Mr. Despres. Mr. Despres graduated from the University of Chicago College in 1927 and the Law School in 1929 -- and turned 100 this February.
Read more about Leon Despres here: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases
MUSICAL OFFERING: The New Budapest Orpheum Society, performing. Headed by artistic director and emcee Philip Bohlman, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago Department of Music, the New Budapest Orpheum Society is a revival of the longest-running Jewish cabaret in Vienna. Called "a superb Chicago ensemble" by The Chicago Tribune, the New Budapest Orpheum Society performs music rescued from the Austrian Censor's Office. Musicians include Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano; Stewart Figa, baritone; Iordanka Kissiova, violin; Ilya Levinson, piano; Stewart Miller, bass; and Hank Tausend, percussion.
Autumn Quarter 2007
A conversation with Kimberly Goff-Crews, Dean of Students in the University. Ms. Goff-Crews joined the U of C in July 2007 as Vice-President and Dean of Students. She provides leadership and strategic direction for services and programs supporting graduate and undergraduate students’ academic success and personal development, supervises overall student life, providing University policy direction, and managing multiple campus departments. She will also manage and plan budgeting in areas of student life and develop new services to address student interests and needs. See more here: http://orgchart.uchicago.edu/bios/goff-crews.shtml.
Catherine Braendel, co-founder of Good Read Games, Inc., Speaker and Gaming MC: "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: A Game of First Lines." Do you know all the answers in Trivial Pursuit? Are you Scrabbled out? Be among the first to play a newly published board game. Many hours spent reading for pleasure have equipped you to compete with other readers to identify the author or title of a book with only the book's first line as a clue. It's that simple and that challenging. Catherine Braendel will give you the inside scoop on how she and her husband developed the Dark and Stormy Night game, and cheer you on while you play.
Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity in the Divinity School, speaking about his book "The Mystery of the Child." Martin Marty has taught in the Divinity School, the Department of History, and the Committee on the History of Culture since 1963. He specializes in late eighteenth and twentieth-century American religion and occasionally holds seminars on subjects related to this specialty. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Professor Marty has put considerable effort into the Master of Divinity program at the Divinity School and into teaching for public ministry."Marty" is one of the most prominent modern interpreters of religion and culture.
Mark N. Swanson, Harold S. Vogelaar Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, speaking on "Bad Theology and Attempted Reform: The Upsetting Career of Mark ibn al-Qunbar (Egypt, late 12th c. CE)." Marqus (Mark) ibn al-Qunbar was a priest and charismatic teacher and preacher in the Coptic Orthodox Church of the late 12th century CE. Over the course of his career he attracted a devoted following, alienated the patriarchs of two different churches, made odd theological arguments, traded fierce polemics - and set off a discussion about the practice of Confession in the Coptic Orthodox Church that went on for decades and would involve some of the Church's greatest theologians. Professor Swanson is working on a book entitled The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt (for the American University in Cairo Press); this talk reflects some of that work-in-progress.
Victoria Martin, a visual artist whose work transcends time and religions, depicting mystical and magical subjects from ancient texts, will be showing and discussing some of her artwork. Martin, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, has had recent exclusive exhibitions including "World Spirituality and Mysticism" at the Chicago Cultural Center, "Incantations to the Viscera" at the Chicago's Museum of Surgical Science and "Of Mystery and Magic" at the University of Chicago's renowned Rockefeller Chapel. She was featured on the popular public television series "Ben Around Town" and was a cover story for the independent Chicago Reader. At her day job, she writes business-oriented horoscopes for Bloomberg News.
Report from Rockefeller Chapel's 2007 Delegation to Iran - This August and September, a dozen University of Chicago representatives travelled to Iran to meet with religious leaders, community members, students, and teachers. In this Lunch, a panel of participants will share their experiences—and their photographs.
Dean's Forum with James T. Robinson, Assistant Professor of the History of Judaism in the Divinity School. Prof. Robinson's recent book, Samuel Ibn Tibbon's Commentary on Ecclesiastes: The Book of the Soul of Man, will be the subject of the Forum. Lucy Pick, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer in the History of Christianity, responding.
Dr. Rick Kittles cancelled for this day and has rescheduled for April 9.
Will Okun, on a topic TBA. A teacher at of 11th and 12th graders in the Austin
community of Chicago, Mr. Okun accompanied the New York Times's Pulitzer Prize
winning columnist Nicholas D. Kristof on a reporting trip to Africa last summer and
is currently a guest blogger on the New York Times website.
Tead Mr. Okun's NYTimes blogs, including his entries from his trip to Africa, here:
Mr. Okun also operates http://wjzo.com, a Web site that features his portraits of
high school students and documentary photographs of the West Side communities
of Chicago. The site offers a unique perspective on inner-city youth culture and
averages 30,000 views a week from all over the world.
Spring Quarter 2007
Michael McColly, author of The After-Death Room: Journey Into Spiritual Activism, will discuss his memoir (and his years at the Divinity School). A national speaker and writer on spiritual activism and AIDS, his book examines the AIDS epidemic from a global, spiritual, and physical perspective—as well as the territory where those perspectives meet. Mr. McColly is an HIV+ journalist and a yoga teacher who received his M.A. from the Divinity School in 1985.
Annual Franz Bibfeldt Lunch. David P Lyons, PhD Student in History of Christianity, will speak on "Franz Bibfeldt, the Academy, and Me: Toward a Postmodern Hermeneutic of Both the Subaltern and the Other" and Kyle Rader, M. Div. student, will offer the customary toast. The lecture commemorates the life and scholarship of eminent theologian and proteanist extraordinaire Franz Bibfeldt, mentor to Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity in the Divinity School.
April 11, 2007
J. Ronald Engel, Senior Research Fellow at the Martin Marty Center and Professor Emeritus at Meadville-Lombard, will speak on "Making the Earth Covenant." Prof. Engel will draw from his current research to try to understand the meaning of contemporary calls for a "New Earth Covenant," and some of the ways previous Faculty and graduates of the Divinity School may have helped lay the groundwork for this revolutionary step in religious history. This Earth Month event is cosponsored by the Religion and Environment Initiative.
Julie Vieira is the author (blogger) of A Nun's Life: A Blog about Being a Catholic Nun in Today's World, recently profiled in a Time Magazine article about young nuns today. She is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), a Roman Catholic religious community based in Monroe, Michigan committed to building a culture of peace and right relationships. She works at Loyola Press, a nonprofit publisher serving the Catholic community in faith formation, education, and spiritual growth. Read her blog at www.nuns2day.wordpress.com.
Ronne Hartfield, in honor of National Poetry Month, will speak on "The Words to Say It: Poetry, Perplexity, and the Blues." Ronne Hartfield is a Divinity School alumna (M.A., 1982) and serves on the Advisory Board for the Martin Marty Center. An international museum consultant and expert in arts and multicultural education, she is recently the author of Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family(University of Chicago Press, 2005). Read more about Ronne Hartfield here:http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=181&category=artMakers.
May 2, 2007
Linda C. McClain, Rivkin Radler Distinguished Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law, will discuss some ideas from her recent book The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibilitity(Harvard University Press, 2006). Her book offers a liberal and feminist theory of the relationships between family life and politics Prof. McClain received her M.A. from the Divinity School in 1981. Read more here:http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/MCCPLA.html.
Dean's Forum featuring Lucy Pick, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer in the History of Christianity in the Divinity School. Professor Pick will be discussing her book, Conflict and Coexistence: Archbishop Rodrigo and the Muslims and Jews of Medieval Spain (U of Michigan Press, 2004). James T. Robinson, Assistant Professor of the History of Judaism, and Richard A. Rosengarten Dean and Associate Professor of Religion and Literature, responding.
May 16, 2007
Emilie M. Townes, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School, will speak on her new book, Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil.
Musical Offering, Join us for an outdoor lunch (weather permitting) and the music of The Prairie Dogs. A little bluegrass, a little traditional folk, a little alt country. For this lunch only, there will be meat, vegetarian, or vegan options. Rain location: Common Room.
Winter Quarter 2007
A conversation about the University with Robert Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago. President Zimmer began his position as the 13th president of the school in March, 2006. An accomplished scholar, Zimmer is a specialist in geometry, particularly ergodic theory, Lie groups, and differential geometry. Previously Provost of Brown University, Zimmer was also the Max Mason Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics here at U of C.
Dan Margoliash, Professor in Anatomy & Organismal Biology, on birdsong. Please see this Chronicle article for more information on Professor Margoliash's recent groundbreaking work on starlings and language:http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/060427/birds.shtml.
McGuire Gibson, Professor of Mesopotamian Archaeology at the Oriental Institute will speak on the looting of antiquities in Iraq. One of the world's leading authorities on ancient Mesopotamia, Prof. Gibson has done fieldwork in Iraq and elsewhere in the region and has published extensively. He was as part of a National Geographic delegation visiting Iraq to inspect archaeological sites in 2003. He also has provided expert advice to UNESCO and other cultural and scholarly organizations working to preserve the archaeological heritage of Iraq. In 1992, he and colleague A ugusta McMahon published Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums, the first academic publication to call attention to the problem of looting after the first Gulf War. He also is the author and co-author of numerous articles and books on ancient Mesopotamia.
Robert Daum, Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Molecular Medicine and the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, will discuss "Pediatric Immunizations and Public Heath: Current I ssues." Dr. Daum has been honored by Chicago magazine, Castle Connolly, and other organizations as one of the best pediatric infectious disease specialists in Chicago and the country. He has lent his expertise to dozens of studies of new treatments to fight or prevent infections. He also directs the Pediatric Immunization Program, an outreach initiative to promote early vaccination in Chicago's public housing projects. A member of the Immunization Advisory Committee for the Illinois Department of Public Health, he is also assistant chair of the Illinois Chapter Committee on Infectious Diseases.
February 7, 2007
Peter Dembowski, Distinguished Serice Professor Emeritus in Romance Languages & Literature, on his recent book Christians in the Warsaw Ghetto: An Epitaph for the Unremembered. Dembowski was born in Warsaw and spent more of the war years there, participating in the Polish uprising and becoming a prisoner of war. Several of his close family members were "Jewish Christians"—converts to Christianity.
February 14, 2007
Rev. Monica A. Coleman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, will speak on "Braiding Salvation: Theological responses to sexual violence."
Tomomi Yamaguchi, Center for East Asian Studies, the Department of Anthropology and the Deparment of East Asian Languages and Civilizations will speak on "Conservative religious groups and feminism: the current backlash in Japan." Tomomi Yamaguchi is a cultural anthropologist with additional backgrounds in Women's Studies and Communications. She is interested in feminism and other social movements in Japan and has launched a research project on the ideologies of gender and sexuality held by Japanese right-wing orgnizations and conservative elements of Japanese society.
February 28, 2007
A special lunch-and-chat (no speaker) for the Divinity School Community.
Musical Offering: The University of Chicago's Shape-Note Singing Association, dedicated to this traditional American form of song, will join us for Music of the Sacred Harp. The Sacred Harp tradition is a participatory one, not a passive one. Those who gather for a singing sing for themselves and for each other, and not for an audience—so everyone in attendance will be invited to participate! Please join us no matter your perceived level of musicality. Find out more here: http://fasola.org/.
Autumn Quarter 2006
September 27, 2006
William C. Burger, Curator Emeritus, Department of Botany, The Field Museum, on "How Flowers Changed the World."
October 4, 2006
Cass Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor and Fried Teaching Scholar in the D'Angelo Law School, and in the Department of Political Science, and the College, on "Traditions."
October 11, 2006
Nicholas Epley, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, will speak on ''Mind Reading.''
October 18, 2006
Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences and The College, will speak on the intersection of physical and ethical perspectives on global warming.
October 25, 2006
Gina M. Samuels, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Social Service Administration, will be discussing transracial adoption and identity.
November 1, 2006
Alison Boden, Wendy Doniger, Divinity M.A. student Simone Sandy and other members of the Divinity School community who participated in a trip to Tibet in September will speak about their experience. The trip, sponsored by Rockefeller Chapel, included 20 faculty, staff, and students of the University. The objective of the trip was to learn about the religion and culture of contemporary Tibet, and to observe first-hand the state of religious, political, and other categories of human rights.
November 8, 2006
Dean's Forum featuring William Schweiker, Professor of Theological Ethics in the Divinity School and the College. Professor Schweiker will be discussing his book, Theological Ethics And Global Dynamics: In The Time Of Many Worlds, which has been nominated for a Grawemeyer Award. Michael Fishbane, Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies in the Divinity School, and Kathryn Tanner, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor of Theology in the Divinity School will respond.
November 15, 2006
Michael Dawson, John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College, will speak on "Katrina: Publics, counterpublics, and civil society."
Musical Offering Wednesday Lunch with Ana Porter. Ana is an accomplished musician and a ministry student at the Divinity School. Find out more about her music at http://www.anaporter.com.
Spring Quarter 2006
James Robinson, Assistant Professor of the History of Judaism in the Divinity School, will deliver the annualFranz Bibfeldt Lecture. Professor Robinson's lecture is entitled "The Argument from Barking Dogs: Remarks on Bibfeldt and the Theology of Subaltern Species." The lecture commemorates the life and scholarship of eminent theologian and proteanist extraordinaire Franz Bibfeldt, mentor to Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity in the Divinity School.
Dean's Forum featuring Malika Zeghal, Associate Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion in the Divinity School. Professor Zeghal will be discussing her 2005 book, Les islamistes marocains.Michael Sells, John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature in the Divinity School, will respond.
Glenn Most, Professor of Social Thought and of Classics, will discuss some of the ideas from his recent (2005) book Doubting Thomas. A leading Classics scholar, Most is also Professor of Greek Philology at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Italy). Doubting Thomas examines how Thomas's story, in its many guises, touches upon central questions of religion, philosophy, hermeneutics, and life.
Kathleen Roberts Skerrett, a scholar of religious studies, law, and gender theory at Grinnell College, will speak on "Sex, Law, and Other Reasonable Endeavors." Professor Roberts will be considering the development of new natural law theory as a rational basis for public policies that regulate sex and marriage norms.
Theodore Hiebert, Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary, will speak on "The Bible's Influence on Western Values and Nature." Professor Hiebert has taught at McCormick since 1995. Before joining McCormick's faculty, he taught at Harvard Divinity School, Louisiana State University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Boston College, St. John's Seminary, Tabor College, and Numan Teachers College in Numan, Nigeria. Among the courses he regularly teaches at McCormick are Genesis, Isaiah, Job and Its Modern Interpreters, and Biblical Perspectives on Nature. The event is cosponsored by theReligion and Environment Initiative.
Panel discussion on pastoral care featuring Therese Becker, Kevin Boyd, and the Rev. Randall Haycock.Becker is Chaplain Educator in the UC Hospitals' Department of Spiritual Care. Kevin Boyd, M. Div., is a graduate of the Divinity School's Master's in Divinity program currently working in the Department of Religion, Health, and Human Values at Rush University Medical Center. Rev. Haycock, M. Div., is an Episcopal priest with 25 years experience in parish ministry currently serving at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Belvidere, Illinois. Fr. Haycock is also a chaplain in the Army Reserve and holds certificates of advanced training in critical incident stress management, conflict resolution and mediation.
Shane Isaac, M.Div. student, will give a talk entitled "'...he was like our spiritual sentry...': WWII Chaplains and a Ministry of Presence." Isaac is a third-year M.Div. student in the Divinity School and a candidate for ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is studying military chaplaincy while obtaining a chaplain candidate's commission in the U.S. Navy.
Dean's Forum featuring Dan Arnold, Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religion in the Divinity School will discuss his book Buddhists, Brahmins, and Belief: Epistemology in South Asian Philosophy of Religion.Margaret M. Mitchell, Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, and James T. Robinson, Assistant Professor of the History of Judaism, will respond.
Dean's Forum featuring Dwight Hopkins, Professor of Theology in the Divinity School. Professor Hopkins will be discussing his book, Being Human. Dean Richard Rosengarten and Dean of Students Teresa Hord Owens will respond.
Musical offering Wednesday Lunch with the Prairie Dogs, an old-timey bluegrass trio from Champaign-Urbana.
Winter Quarter 2006
Wallace Goode Jr., new director of the University Community Service Center, will discuss community service, tranformation, and cross-cultural dexterity. Also serving as Associate Dean of Students in the University, Goode comes to the University after seven years with the City of Chicago and a long career in higher education, community and rural development, international programming, and non-profit work.
Achy Obejas, a sought-after speaker on topics including Cuba and Jewish Latin America, will speak on "Identity and Dislocation." Obejas is the author of three books, including the award-winning novel Days of Awe. For more than a decade, she was a staff writer at the Chicago Tribune, where she shared in a team Pulitzer. Also a poet and translator, she is currently the Springer Lecturer in Fiction at the University of Chicago, teaching Jewish Latin American Fiction.
Geoffrey Stone, Harry Kalven, Jr. Distinguished Service Professor of Law, will discuss civil liberties in wartime. Stone has been a member of the law faculty since 1973; from 1987 to 1993, he served as dean of the Law School, and from 1993 to 2002 he served as Provost of the University of Chicago. His most recent book,Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (2004) received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for 2005, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for 2004 as the Best Book in History, and was a finalist for the American Bar Association's 2005 Silver Gavel Award. It was also hailed as among the most notable books of 2004 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune,Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Dava Sobel, bestselling science writer, will speak on "Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, and Intelligent Design: The Schism between Science and Religion." Sobel is renowned for her ability to present arcane subjects in riveting and readable prose. Her latest book is The Planets (2005), a history of the individual members of our "solar family" as they have been explained by science, mythology, visual art, and popular culture throughout the ages. Her previous books are the 1995 surprise bestseller, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, and Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love(1999). The latter was a number one New York Times nonfiction bestseller, and winner of the Los Angeles TimesBook Award. In 2001 Sobel received both the National Science Board's Public Service Award and the Bradford Washburn Award from the Museum of Science in Boston. She is an award-winning former science reporter for the New York Times, and a contributor to numerous magazines including the New Yorker, Discover, and Audubon.
Salikoko S. Mufwene, Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Linguistics and the College and Professor on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, will discuss "Globalization and Language Endangerment: Myths and Facts." Prof. Mufwene is interested in the characteristics and development of languages including Gullah, African-American Vernacular English, English, "Atlantic creoles", and some African languages, as well as in other general questions of language evolution, such as language birth and death. He is also an associate member of the Department of Comparative Human Development and an affiliate faculty member in the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. He is author of The Ecology of Language Evolution (2001) and Créoles, écologie sociale, évolution linguistique (2005) and series editor for the Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.
Mae Ngai, Associate Professor in U.S. History and the College, will discuss the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Ngai's research and teaching focus on twentieth century U.S. history, with emphasis on immigration and ethnicity (Asian American and comparative), politics and law, and labor. Her first book, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America is a study of the origins of illegal immigration to the U.S. She is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and Human Rights Program, both interdisciplinary venues for socially engaged scholarship and teaching.
James Kallenbach, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Chicago, will discuss "Mysticism and the New Choral Music." Kallembach conducts the University Chorus, Motet Choir, and Rockefeller Chapel Choir. Prior to his appointment, he was Assistant Director of Choirs at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and served as Assistant Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and Director of the Kokomo Symphony Chorus. His works have been premiered at international competitions and published by Corda Music in the United Kingdom. He will conduct the Rockefeller Chapel Choir and University Chorus concert, "As the Incense: Mysticism in New Choral Music," on Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 8 PM in Rockefeller Chapel.
Olufunmilayo Olopade, M.D., will discuss her current work. Dr. Olopade was recently awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant award for her work in translating findings on the molecular genetics of breast cancer in African and African-American women into innovative clinical practices in the United States and abroad. Professor in Medicine and Human Genetics and Director of the Cancer Risk Clinic (which she started in 1992) at the University Hospitals, Olopade's interests as a clinician include finding and testing improved methods for prediction, prevention and early detection of cancer for moderate- and high-risk populations.
Chris Sheppard will discuss "'Empire,' or the Idea of Rome in America." Dr. Sheppard received his PhD from the Divinity School in 2002 in the Area of Religion and Literature. A Lecturer in the Basic Program at the University of Chicago, he is co-editor of Mystics: Presence and Aporia. (The University of Chicago Press).
Music of the Sacred Harp. Representatives of the University of Chicago Shape-Note Singing Association will speak about and demonstrate Sacred Harp music—the largest surviving branch of traditional American Shape Note singing. Shape Note is a living tradition which can be directly traced as a distinct musical thread back beyond the American Revolution, through to rural England, back to Reformation psalmody and beyond to Renaissance polyphony. Everyone in attendance will be invited to participate.
Autumn Quarter 2005
Ted Cohen, Professor in Philosophy in the College, the Committee on Art and Design, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, will be speaking about "imagining oneself to be another" as well as opening up the discussion to jokes. Cohen received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1962, the Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1967. Cohen works mainly on language, aesthetics, and taste. Among his recent publications are the book Jokes, and the essays, "Identifying with Metaphor," "Metaphor, Feeling, and Narrative," and "Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics." He has been the moderator of the annual Latke-Hamentash debate for almost 30 years.
Rory Childers, professor in the cardiology section of the Department of Medicine and director of the Heart Station, will discuss the nature of Irish Humor. Childers is the grandson of Robert Erskine Childers (1870-1922), Irish patriot and writer (author of The Riddle of the Sands), who was executed in 1922 during the Irish Civil War, and the son of Erskine Hamilton Childers (1905-1974), fourth President of the Republic of Ireland.
Richard Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Director, Law and Economics Program, will discuss "Separation and Accommodation: Can Anyone Make Sense of the Religion Clauses in the First Amendment?" He is also the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank on the campus of Stanford University dedicated to research in domestic policy and international affairs. His next book, How the Progressives Rewrote the Constitution, will be published this fall by the Cato Institute; his other books include Skepticism and Freedom: A Modern Case for Classical Liberalism and Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good. Epstein teaches a range of courses from civil procedure to Roman Law.
John T. Cacioppo, one of the nation's leading experts on social relations and aging, will be speaking on social connectedness and health. The Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, Dr. Cacioppo is the Director of the U of C Social Psychology Program and Co-Director of the Institute for Mind and Biology. Among other projects, he is currently involved in the nation's first comprehensive study to examine the relationship between religious attitudes and health.
Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air for over 16 years, will discuss "What Catholic Martyr Stories Taught Me About Getting to Heaven - and Getting Even." The author of the recently-published Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading, Dr. Corrigan is one of the nation's best-known readers. She is a professor of English at Georgetown University and writes a popular mystery column for the Washington Post.
Elizabeth Marquardt will discuss her recent book, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce(Crown, September 2005). Marquardt graduated from the Divinity School's M.Div. program in 1999 and is currently an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values in New York City. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. She has appeared on national television programs including NBC's Today Show and ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and interviewed on National Public Radio's All Things Considered Weekend Edition.
Edward O. Laumann, George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and the College, will speak on "Sexual Well-being Among Older People." Prof. Laumann will address some results from the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behavior, a 29-country survey from all the world regions of men and women aged 40 and 80 on their sexual well-being and its linkage to quality of life outcomes—and its variation by world regions. Since joining the University in 1973, Professor Laumann has acted as the editor of the American Journal of Sociology, chair of the department of sociology, dean of the division of social sciences, provost of the University of Chicago, and is currently the director of the Ogburn Stouffer Center for Population and Social Organization. Professor Laumann directed the National Health and Social Life Survey, one of the largest surveys of sexual attitudes and behaviors in the U.S. since the publication of the Kinsey Reports in the 1950's, and is currently the principal investigator of a study examining the relationship between sexual behaviors and social institutions in Chicago, as well as a co-principal investigator of the National Survey of Chinese Sexual Practices.
Emil Coccaro, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, will discuss "Biology and Treatment of Impulsive Aggression." Dr. Coccaro is also the Director of the Clinical Neuroscience & Psychopharmacology Research Unit as well as a Professor of Psychiatry. His research focuses on aggression, with a particular interest in the biology of impulsive aggression.
The Mosaic Trio, representing musicians from the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble, performs traditional instrumental music from the Arabic, Sephardic, Egyptian, Levantine, Turkish, and Armenian repertoire. Trio members will speak briefly about their music and instruments, and also be available for Q & A.