2016 Colloquia

The 2016 speakers and topics are listed below by month. Because we webcast most colloquiums and archive the results, many are available to view online. Click the blue titles to view.


Don McCormick
Vitamin and Trace Mineral Supplements: The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain


Marilynne McKay  
The History of White People

Carl C. Hug Jr.
Pain Management and the Risks of Addiction


Andra Gillespie
Deconstructing the SEC Primary

William Ransom,
 Richard Prior and the Vega String Quartet
‘It’s ALIVE!’: Working with Living Composers

Tiffany Stern
‘Playing Fair’: Fairgrounds and Shakespeare


Christine Moe
The Water and Sanitation Crisis in Healthcare Facilities in Low-Income Countries: Status, Consequences, and Challenges

Jonathan K. Crane
Brutal Justice?: Animals Accusing Humans of Abuse




September 12, 2016
“White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide”
Carol Anderson, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor and Chair, African American Studies

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” Emory historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was instead “white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,” she wrote, “everyone had ignored the kindling.” In this, the opening Emeritus College Lunch Colloquium of the 2016–2017 school year, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of advancing democracy, promoting fiscal responsibility, or protecting against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of  “white rage” that is the subject of the much-acclaimed book that emerged from the op-ed inspired by Ferguson.

September 26, 2016
“The Science of Mountaineering: A Quest for the Seven Summits”
Stefan Lutz, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry
Born in Switzerland, Stefan Lutz grew up hiking in the mountains. In 2012, when he summited Aconcagua, at 22,960 feet the highest point in South America, his lifelong avocation became a full-fledged quest to climb the remaining six of the so-called Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the continents. Five successful summits later, he’s going to share the wonderful variety of scientific insights he has derived from these adventures, a merging of hobby and scholarship that has often found its way into the classroom and research laboratory and that we’ll now be able to enjoy in our venue too.


October 17, 2016
“The Strange Life and Death of the Good White Southerners”
Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor and Chair, Department of History

Joe Crespino is a historian of the 20th-century United States, with expertise in the political history of post–World War II America. His published work has examined the intersections of region, race, and religion in American politics in the second half of the 20th century. The argument that animates both his book on Strom Thurmond and his book on Mississippi and the conservative counterrevolution is the notion that the struggles in the American South over race and modernization in the 20th century should not be viewed in isolation but rather as part of a broader series of transformations in national political life. In this Lunch Colloquium, he’s going to give us an overview of his current book project, which is a political and cultural history of white Southern liberalism from the Great Depression through the end of the 20th century.

October 24, 2016
“Mary Hutchinson Observed: From Bloomsbury to Beckett”
Brenda Bynum, Senior Lecturer Emerita, Department of Theater Studies

“While working on the correspondence of Samuel Beckett, I read letters that he had written to his friend Mary Hutchinson. I wanted to know more about her, but discovered that there were no biographies, autobiographies or memoirs to read,” says Brenda Bynum. “So when I was awarded the Heilbrun Distinguished Emeritus Research Fellowship, I took advantage of the opportunity to search out her story for myself—at the Harry Ransom Library at the University of Texas where her papers are housed, in the published diaries, biographies, letters and memoirs of the remarkable number of 20th-century artists in whom she had seminal (and, in some cases, carnal) interest, and in London, Cambridge, and the south of England where I found the places in which she had spent her exquisitely well-lived life. She seemed to know everyone who was anyone in the arts, but the London Times said in her obituary that ‘Essentially, she was a private person . . . and avoided researchers who wished to pump her about her eminent friends.’ They are all long gone now, so one might feel forgiven for revealing some of the secrets she honored and kept all of her life.”


November 7, 2016
“The Making of the Pre-modern World: Archaeological Research Digs up Old Artifacts and New Ideas”
Aaron Jonas Stutz, Associate Professor of Anthropology, and Liv Nilsson Stutz, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, Emory College
Since 2008, Aaron Stutz and Liv Nilsson Stutz have led survey, excavation, and analysis of the archaeological layers preserved at the Mughr el-Hamamah site in the Jordan Valley, the corridor linking our African evolutionary ancestral home with the rest of the world. Clues from this cave system document how hunter-gatherers repeatedly camped there 40,000 plus years ago. The discoveries give us some new ideas about why humans have such a propensity to transform both their own societies and the environments around them.

November 21, 2016
“Doctors in the Sherlockian Canon”
Marilynne McKay, Professor of Dermatology Emerita

Arthur Conan Doyle, who began his career as a physician and only later turned exclusively to writing, modeled the Great Detective after his teacher and mentor, Dr. Joseph Bell, a famous Edinburgh diagnostician. And of course, the stories are narrated by Dr. John Watson, an invalided army surgeon and general practitioner. With this in mind, earlier this year the Baker Street Irregulars published the new book Nerve and Knowledge: Doctors, Medicine, and the Sherlockian Canon. Its longest chapter, “Dressers to Professors: A Spectrum of Canonical Doctors,” was written by Marilynne McKay, MD, Emory professor emerita of dermatology. With almost fifty G.P.s and specialists to choose from, Marilynne will discuss several of the most interesting, particularly those based on newsworthy Victorian physicians.


December 5, 2016
“‘Putting All of Tom Together’: Adventures and Revelations in Editing T. S. Eliot’s Prose, 1974–2016”
Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C. White Professor of English, Emeritus

Ron Schuchard writes, “My stories of editing T. S. Eliot’s prose are inextricably related to my friendship with Valerie Eliot, his second wife, whom I met in London in December 1974 when I was an assistant professor at Emory. Over the next 38 years, until her death in 2012, I was privileged to meet with her on many occasions and eventually to be invited to help her with ‘putting all of Tom together’: first as editor of his unpublished Clark Lectures at Cambridge University, published as The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (1993), and subsequently as general editor of the eight-volume Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition, now nearing completion. At the time of his death in 1965, Eliot had collected only 99 pieces of his prose in volume form as his personal canon; before he died, he instructed Valerie, his literary executor and junior by 38 years, not to allow any biography or editions of his letters and uncollected prose. . . .What slowly became clear was that 90% of what has been written about Eliot over the past half century has been written without a knowledge of 90% that he wrote. The question I shall attempt to answer in the colloquium is in what ways and to what extent the Complete Prose may change scholarly and public perceptions of his life and work.”