The Lunch Colloquium
Until further notice, Emeritus College Lunch Colloquiums will be held online. Sign up on the calendar on the home page.
Click on the sub-navigation to the left to view past speakers and topics. The 2021 speakers and topics are listed below by month. Because we webcast most colloquiums and archive the results, many are available to view online. Click on the blue titles to view past lectures as they become available.
Monday, January 11
Anthony J. Martin, Professor of Practice, Department of Environmental Sciences
“Tracking the Golden Isles: What Traces Tells Us about the Natural and Human Histories of the Georgia Coast”
The Georgia coast is world-famous for its natural and human histories. Still, the evidence for these histories isn’t always obvious to casual visitors. In this lively presentation based on his new book Tracking the Golden Isles, Tony Martin will teach us how to detect and understand the clues to these histories via ichnology, the study of traces. In his talk, you will learn how trace fossils allowed geologists to find ancient barrier islands, how modern traces tell stories of animals’ everyday lives, and how human traces ranging from Native American shell rings, to the effects of invasive species, to the consequences of climate change, have affected the Georgia coast.
Tuesday, January 19
Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law and Professor of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health
“Pandemics and the Law of Social Distancing”
COVID-19 familiarized many Americans with “social distancing,” a term encompassing a variety of actions intended to mitigate the spread of contagious disease. Elected leaders, especially state governors, varied remarkably in their attitudes toward social distancing for business and school closures, size limits on gatherings, dining at indoor restaurants, travel restrictions and quarantine policy, and the use of face masks. The dizzying patchwork of COVID-19 policies looked more like the response of 50 different nations than that of the resource-rich and technologically advanced single nation the United States is. Some governors opposed mandates in favor of voluntary compliance on the grounds that citizens should be “allowed to exercise their constitutional freedoms,” as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stated. Polly Price will explain the law of social distancing and why it can vary so markedly between states. Who decides what safety measures are necessary? Where is the line between emergency mandates and what sometimes seems to be a politically charged view of constitutional freedoms? When might public health orders violate individual rights? The answers to these questions inform the prospects for legal reform in advance of the next pandemic.
Monday, January 25
Angelika Bammer, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Department of Comparative Literature
“German Family Memory and the Nazi Past: A Reckoning across Generations”
Angelika Bammer’s recent book Born After: Reckoning with the German Past, explores the relationship between history and memory in the wake of a traumatic past. Arguing that, as William Faulkner famously said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” she considers the ways in which history is transmitted through family memories—the stories we tell and the silences we carry. Drawing on her own family history, she traces the legacy of Nazi history across several generations of a German family to explore the affective impact of this legacy. In response to the question, “What do we do with pasts that carry guilt or shame?” she proposes that the shifting ground between remembering, forgetting, and misremembering is the ethical foundation on which we build our lives. Her presentation will interweave a reading of selections from her book with reflections on how and why she wrote it.
Monday, February 1
John Sitter, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English Emeritus, Emory University and Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
“What is Climate Fiction Saying? And Should We Listen?”
Novels about climate and environmental change have emerged in our century as a major part of literary fiction. Both the fact and the prospect of climate change are shaping plots, characters, and innovations in the novels of our time. This emergence of "cli-fi" raises several interesting questions: What motivates climate fiction? How has it changed over the last two decades? How well does it reflect scientific thinking? How do serious novelists, working in a form traditionally well suited to record ordinary life and personal experience, broaden their artistic vision to include planetary time, space, and consciousness? Are dystopias (one strand of cli-fi) inevitably fatalistic or potentially a means of grasping our moment and imagining better futures? What can we learn from climate novels, and eco-fiction broadly, that we might not learn from newspapers and journals and other nonfiction sources?
Monday, February 8
Talea Mayo, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics
“Water, Water Everywhere: Numerical Modeling to Simulate the Impact of Climate Change on Hurricane Storm Surge”
Climate change, which will cause global mean sea level rise and increase coastal flood risk in many places, has significant implications for tropical cyclone climatology. Hurricane intensity, size, and translation speed are all expected to increase in the future, influencing the generation and propagation of storm surge. Talea Mayo, a computational mathematician with expertise in the development and application of hydrodynamic models for coastal hazards, will discuss two approaches to understanding what climate change means for storm surge risk. One approach uses a numerical model to simulate synthetic storm surges for coastal communities along the US North Atlantic coast, seeking to understand the present-day flood risk and how it will change over the next century. In the second approach, other numerical models are used to simulate historical storm surges that impacted the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast of the continental United States from 2000–2013 and then to simulate the same storm surges under projected end-of-century climate conditions. Both approaches suggest there will be notable increases in inundation in the areas involved. Perhaps such simulations of a future of flooding can help us prevent that from becoming a reality?
Monday, February 15
Mahlon DeLong, Professor Emeritus, Neurology
"Brain Circuits and Their Disorders: My Life and Times in Neuroscience"
The fields of neurology and psychiatry have undergone rapid growth over recent decades, fueled by advances in neuroscience. Mahlon DeLong’s initial studies in primates were centered on understanding the role of structures deep in the brain, in the basal ganglia in the control of movement and their suspected role in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. In the course of these studies, DeLong identified separate neural circuits for the control of movement, cognition, and emotion/reinforcement, fundamentally changing the prevailing view that these circuits were funneled together within the basal ganglia. In subsequent studies in animal models, he demonstrated that the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s were correlated with altered neuronal activity in specific nodes of the motor circuit and that they could be reversed by selective interruption of the motor circuit. New treatment approaches to movement disorders, especially in Parkinson’s, followed including lesioning and the less invasive and reversible technique of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of specific areas of the “motor circuit.” In combination with new pharmacologic and other forms of neuromodulation, these studies have transformed neurology from a largely diagnostic practice to an increasingly therapeutic discipline. The older idea of brain centers in neurologic and psychiatric disorders has now been largely replaced by the understanding of both as circuit disorders, dispelling the notion that psychiatric disorders are fundamentally different from neurologic ones and suggesting that both are potentially treatable by future less invasive approaches of neuromodulation.
Monday, February 22
Oded Borowski, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Archaeology and Hebrew
“Sennacherib in Judah: The Archaeology of Destruction”
In 701 BCE, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked the Kingdom of Judah, an event documented in the Bible, in Assyrian literary and artistic sources, and even mentioned by Herodotus. Sennacherib besieged but did not conquer Jerusalem. He conquered Lachish, the second most important city in Judah. He claimed to have destroyed 46 towns and villages, put down the rebellion in all the member countries of the coalition as far as Cyprus, and took away land belonging to Judah and gave it to its neighbors. The widespread destruction left many materials for archaeologists to study and reconstruct what daily life was like in the 8th-century BCE. Oded Borowski’s recent archaeological activity has focused on Tell Halif, one of the sites destroyed by Sennacherib. The fieldwork he and his staff have been doing, supported in part by Emory’s Heilbrun and Bianchi/Bugge grants, is completed and they are busily analyzing the finds and preparing for final publication. Oded’s presentation will briefly touch on the site, its history, the finds, and the work presently being conducted.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Stephen Crist, Professor of Music History and Chair, Department of Music
“Dave Brubeck’s Time Out: An Insider’s View of an Iconic Jazz Album”
In his newest book, Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, Stephen Crist draws on nearly 15 years of archival research to offer the most thorough examination to date of this seminal jazz album. Supplementing his research with interviews with key individuals, including Brubeck's widow, Iola, and daughter Catherine, as well as interviews conducted with Brubeck himself prior to his death in 2012, Crist paints a complete picture of the album's origins, creation, and legacy. Couching careful analysis of each of the album’s seven tracks within historical and cultural contexts, he offers fascinating insights into the composition and development of some of the album’s best-known tunes. From Brubeck’s 1958 State Department–sponsored tour, during which he first encountered the Turkish aksak rhythms that would form the basis of “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” to the backstage jam session that planted the seeds for “Take Five,” Crist sheds an exciting new light on one of the most significant albums in jazz history.
Monday, March 8, 2021
Voracious Viewers Anonymous, Assorted Members of the Emeritus College
“Binge-Fest 2020–2021: Seen Any Good Shows Lately?”
It has now been a year since the COVID crisis began to work its transformations on our lives. We considered marking the anniversary by inviting those among us who’ve spent their versions of quarantine reading more than ever before to share their recommendations for “good reads.” But we’ve decided to schedule a “Binge-Fest” instead of a “Book-Fest”—and ask for volunteers to recommend the shows through which they have (also) sought to escape the realities of these trying times. If you have found some movies marvelous, some series irresistible, please let Gretchen Schulz know if you’d like to describe them to others who might enjoy them, too. First come, first scheduled until there’s no time left. And fair warning, if volunteers are lacking, Gretchen may claim leftover time to rave about the Australian soap she recently binged on herself—80-plus episodes. Just sayin’.
Monday, March 15, 2021
Dianne Stewart, Associate Professor of Religion and African American Studies
“Forbidden Black Love: America’s Hidden Civil Rights Issue”
It is no secret that marriage is not what it used to be in America. Over the last century, marriage rates declined, and divorce rates increased by record numbers for all Americans, regardless of racial/ethnic background. Trends are already indicating similar patterns for the beginning of the 21st century. The data pertaining to rates of marriage among Black women across every demographic, however, register a distinctive social reality. Over 70 percent of Black women are unmarried in America, and most are not single by choice. When the search for love is a struggle, or a relationship ends, the “failure” can feel entirely personal. But as Dianne Stewart will reveal, Black women seeking satisfying long-term relationships with Black men are working against the headwinds of 400 years of history, racist policies, and deep-seated prejudice. Sharing insights from her 2020 book, Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage, Stewart will draw on research in American history, social science, and theology to track how the sociopolitical arrangements of white supremacy have systematically broken the heart of Black America from the era of racial slavery to the period of the prison-industrial complex. Beyond exposing this tragedy of “forbidden Black love” as America’s unrecognized civil rights issue, Stewart will discuss steps that activists, institutions, public servants, and ordinary Americans must take to create the conditions for healthy Black love and family life to flourish in our nation.
Monday, March 22, 2021
Raymond Hill, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Goizueta Business School
“Considerations for a Post-COVID Economy”
Forecasting the future path of the economy is always an uncertain business, but even more so now, when the path of medical recovery from the COVID virus is uncertain. In this colloquium, Ray Hill will discuss how we might think about the path to the post-COVID-19 economy. How quickly is the economy likely to snap back? Should we expect that the experience of the last year will result in permanent changes for some sectors of the economy? What does the tremendous increase in federal government borrowing mean for future interest rates? Should we expect higher inflation as a result of the Federal Reserve’s injections of liquidity and the government’s huge fiscal deficit? Do economists have reliable answers to any of these questions? And will Hill have any reliable answers to ours? Do come and find out.
Monday, March 29, 2021
Bradd Shore, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology Emeritus
“The Body Poetic: Julius Caesar and Legacy of ‘The King’s Two Bodies’”
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, long a staple of American high-school English classes, has found new and disturbing relevance in contemporary American politics. Despite its familiarity to audiences, the play is far from easy to interpret. Generations of critics have failed to agree on the hero of Julius Caesar. Neither Caesar nor Brutus seems to qualify. Despite all the gorgeous speeches in the play, Shakespeare's view of Caesar's assassination remains murky. The old and politically sensitive “tyrannicide debate” made it hard for an Elizabethan playwright to condone Caesar’s assassination, while Caesar’s ambitions and personal weakness made (and still make) him an unlikely hero. But Shakespeare does have a point we can understand if we recognize the conflicted “body politic” of Rome itself as the play’s tragic hero. The opposed representations of Rome in the play mirror changing ideas on the nature of society alive in Shakespeare’s day (and far from dead in our own). Julius Caesar comes into view in a surprising new way when we see it as Shakespeare’s staging of grand social theory framed as a political tragedy.
Monday, April 5, 2021
Kristin Mann, Professor Emerita, Department of History, Heilbrun Distinguished Emeritus Fellow, 2019–2020
“Transatlantic Lives: Slavery and Freedom in West Africa and Brazil”
Kristin Mann’s most recent book pioneers a new approach to the recovery of transatlantic slave biographies on the cutting edge of studies of slavery, the slave trade, and the African diaspora. The stories of the individual enslaved people reconstructed in the text bring to life and make real and concrete the history of an ignoble commerce that can too often be presented only in aggregated, impersonal terms. By restoring subjectivity to a number of enslaved women and men, the book casts powerful new light on how the many thousands of Yoruba speakers forcibly transported from Africa to Brazil and Cuba during the 19th century forged relationships of different kinds among themselves and with others that helped them endure slavery, find paths to manumission, and, in some cases, return to their African homelands. The work presents an important new interpretation of the origins and early transformation of the Yoruba diaspora that still powerfully connects West Africa, Brazil, and other parts of the Atlantic world.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Julie Schwietert Collazo, 97Ox, 99C, Co-Founder and Director, Immigrant Families Together (IFT), and Rosayra (“Rosy”)
Pablo Cruz, Guatemalan Immigrant and Activist for Others Like Her
“Shifting the Locus of Power in Immigration Narratives”
Historically, US-published narratives about immigration and immigrants—both nonfiction and fiction—are not written from the perspectives of people who have lived migration experiences, but rather by (usually white) journalists whose commitment to the ideal of objectivity and often limited grasp of relevant history obscure crucial aspects of such experiences. While there are notable exceptions (namely Reyna Grande’s memoirs and the memoirs of undocumented and formerly undocumented writers like José Antonio Vargas and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio), the publishing industry continues to privilege white writers’ narratives of experiences they have not lived. In this Lunch Colloquium, an asylum seeker from an indigenous background and a white, US-born (and Emory-educated) writer, co-authors of The Book of Rosy (named one of the best nonfiction books of 2020) will discuss the experiences that yielded that book (including Rosy’s long separation from two of her children) and what they’ve learned from their mutual endeavor about the need to shift the locus of power in immigration narratives for more just and inclusive storytelling.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Delia Fabbroni-Giannotti Nisbet, Associate Professor of Modern Languages Emerita, Oxford College of Emory University
“The Plague in Literature”
The combination of our current experience of pandemic and a lifetime of studying and teaching the literature of many ages in many languages has inspired Delia Nisbet to offer us a program on major Western texts depicting plague of one sort of another from Greek and Roman times to the present, arguing that many authors dealing with the subject have handled the disease as metaphorical, representative of the moral corruption that can threaten whole populations. Nisbet will take us first to Classical Antiquity, moving from Homer’s Iliad to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex to Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, and then Lucretius’ De rerum natura. She will speak next about plague texts from the Middle Ages, especially Boccaccio’s Decameron, and its story-telling by young people sheltering from the Black Death decimating Florence at the time. Discussion of the great 19th century Italian novel by Alessandro Manzoni, I Promessi Sposi (or The Betrothed), will allow her to discuss the devastating return of the bubonic plague to Italy in the 1600’s, the time period in which the novel is set. And she’ll conclude with comments on Camus’ novel La Peste (or The Plague), which, though set in Algeria in 1947, reads much like a description of what we are living through right here and now.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Samuel Sober, Associate Professor of Biology, Co-Director, Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control
"The Songbird and the Mouse: The Neuroscience of Skilled Behavior”
Humans and animals excel at learning complex behavioral skills. During learning, the brain collects information from the senses to detect errors in behavior and uses this information to rewire itself to improve future performance—a process of “sensorimotor learning” that underlies crucial behaviors such as speaking, walking, and tool use. However, our understanding of how the brain accomplishes such feats of dexterity remains rudimentary due to a lack of tools to measure brain activity and scientific frameworks to understand the complexity of the resulting data. Samuel Sober will discuss the work he and his fellow researchers are doing (in a consortium of eight groups from three countries) that combines neurobiology, mathematics, and technology development to understand how the brain controls skilled behaviors as diverse as birdsong and mammalian locomotion—manifest, indeed, all across the tree of life.
Monday, May 10
Lauren Klein, Associate Professor, Departments of English and Quantitative Theory and Methods
“An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States”
There is no eating in the archive. This is not only a practical admonition to any would-be researcher but also a methodological challenge in that there is no eating—or, at least, no food—preserved among the printed records of the early United States. Synthesizing a range of textual artifacts with accounts, both real and imagined, of foods harvested, dishes prepared, and meals consumed, this talk based on Lauren Klein’s recent book, An Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), will reveal how eating emerged as an aesthetic activity over the course of the 18th century and how it subsequently transformed into a means of expressing both allegiance and resistance to the dominant Enlightenment worldview. Accounts of the enslaved men and women who cooked the meals of the nation’s founders help show how thinking about eating can help to tell new stories about the range of people who worked to establish a cultural foundation for the United States.
Monday, May 17
Mindy Goldstein, Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, Director of Law and Advocacy for the Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory
“Climate Change – It’s Real. So, What Can the Law Do About It?”
The impacts of a changing climate are being felt across our country and around the world. Temperatures and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events like floods, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes are becoming commonplace. And we are at a tipping point. Every country must drastically and quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert potentially catastrophic warming. How will the United States achieve this monumental task?
Mindy Goldstein will explain the various approaches to addressing climate change that have been suggested by the president, congress, and federal agencies. Which approaches are politically viable? Which will be the most effective? And which will be the easiest to implement within our existing legal framework?
Tuesday, May 25
Nadine J. Kaslow, Professor, Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chief Psychologist and Director of the Grady Nia Project, Director, Atlanta Trauma Alliance, Director of Postdoctoral Residency Training in Health Service Psychology, School of Medicine
“The Nia Project: Culturally Responsive Care for Suicidal African American Women”
The Nia Project began in the early 90s shortly after Nadine Kaslow came to Emory (and Grady) and garnered grants to support studies of suicide among African American women. Discovering they had participated in the studies, some of these women came knocking on her door, wanting to know, “‘Why do you just ask us these questions? When are you going to give us help?” They wanted a group to talk about suicide and another group to talk about domestic violence—and soon, the two longest-running programs of the Nia Project were born. The Nia Project is named after the Kwanzaa principle meaning purpose. In the many years since, Kaslow and her team, as committed to social justice as she and as determined to integrate research and clinical work, have expanded project programming to even better help the women they serve find meaning enough in their lives to survive and indeed to thrive. Kaslow will share stories of their struggles and of their amazing resilience as well as her dreams for further expansion of the Nia Project.
Tuesday, June 1, 11:30–1:00 p.m.
A Super Special Lunch Colloquium
Historical decisions have been made and the “winds of change” are swirling around the EUEC as this week we say “Well done!” to our outgoing director, Gray Crouse, and welcome Ann Rogers as our new director. We know the transition will be exciting for each of them. We look forward to working with Ann to make Emeritus College the even better version of itself we believe it can be, and we look forward to seeing Gray, relaxed into full retirement, at as many of our activities as he and Marge can fit into the busy schedule of (actual) travels they hope to undertake soon. To honor the occasion of the last of the Lunch Colloquiums Gray will be hosting, we have invited the speaker whom we have enjoyed most often in the years of Gray’s tenure to address us yet again. Please join us if you can.
Marilynne McKay, Professor Emerita of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine
“Historical Decisions: Monuments Gone with the Winds of Change”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that in 2020 more than 165 Confederate symbols were removed from public spaces, more than in the previous four years combined. All but one of those were removed after the murder of George Floyd in May of that year. In a previous colloquium (last summer’s “Monumental Decisions: The Origins and Messages of Confederate Memorials”), Marilynne explored the Big Lie of the Lost Cause—that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War—and the reasons why Black Lives Matter protesters were toppling and defacing statues that represented white supremacy.
Of course, governmental forces (at every level) have been supporting the removals happening in such large numbers now. But that hasn’t meant that the process has been trouble-free. How does a community decide to remove a monument? Are there laws against that? Will there be lawyers and judges? What permissions must be obtained? How much will it cost? What is to be done with the darn thing afterward? (A flag is one thing to house somewhere, but it’s not that easy to find a home for an 11-foot equestrian statue.) With Marilynne’s help, we'll look at some of the shenanigans involved in the most recent raids on town squares and courthouse lawns and hear what tactics have been most successful in achieving a peaceful resolution to the complex issues and strong feelings that arise when symbols so laden with significance are the subject of debate—and action.
Monday, June 7
Tom Clark, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Political Science
“Are Police Racially Biased in the Decision to Shoot?”
Tom Clark is best known as a scholar on the subject of judicial decision making, with two acclaimed books on the subject, the most recent, in 2019, focused on the Supreme Court. But much of his current research focuses on policing and law enforcement in American cities. In this talk, he’ll report on the results of the study of racial bias in policing undertaken by the Politics of Policing Lab (PoPL) Clark co-directs here at Emory. He’ll explain how that study has yielded a theoretical model that has real predictive value, given that it’s based on facts derived from rigorous collection and analysis of data. PoPL’s theoretical model predicts that racially biased policing produces more use of potentially lethal force by firearms against Black civilians than against white civilians and lower fatality rates for Black civilians than White civilians. We empirically evaluate this second prediction with original officer-involved shooting data from nine local police jurisdictions from 2005 to 2017, finding that Black fatality rates are significantly lower than white fatality rates, conditional upon civilians being shot by the police. Using outcome test methodology, PoPL estimates that at least 30 percent of Black civilians shot by the police would not have been shot had they been White. Hear more from Clark about the study that is providing a nuanced answer to the question so central in political discourse today: “Are police racially biased in the decision to shoot?”
Monday, June 14, 12:00–1:30 p.m.—DIFFERENT TIME
Corinne Kratz, Professor Emerita of Anthropology and African Studies
“The Porcupine of Time: Managing Multiple Temporalities in Exhibitions”
Given her years of experience working with top museums around the world and studying museology itself, few if any are better qualified than Corinne Kratz, professor of anthropology emerita, to comment on the decidedly prickly subject of time management in museum exhibitions. No wonder she was invited to contribute a chapter on the subject to the new book, Museum Temporalities: Time, History, and the Future of the Ethnographic Museum. And no wonder she titled that chapter, as she has our talk today, “The Porcupine of Time.” As she says, exhibits “bristle” with different modes of time—not only the historical moment addressed by an exhibit itself but also the period(s) when various objects were made and collected, their biographies, the multiple interpretations the objects may have received in the years since they were first studied and displayed. And not to mention constantly changing views of what museum displays are all about, as well as changes in the architectural styles of museums and their spaces for display. Of course, exhibit narratives and design foreground only some of these temporalities, making choices that shape viewers’ experiences in particular ways. And that is a prickly subject too. Kratz will help us understand the issues in this area by discussing several recent exhibitions in which they have been much in play.
Monday, June 21
Eri Saikawa, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rollins School of Public Health
“It All Started with Yak Dung: The Quest for Environmental Justice in Atlanta and Beyond”
Eri Saikawa, the latest subject of a new series of Emory videos called “I Am an Emory Researcher,” began her research work in emissions linked to air pollution, long ago and far away, in Tibet, where the problem was smoke from yak dung fires. (At least she thought that was the problem.) Much of her recent work has focused on emission issues closer to home, like those tied to agriculture in rural Georgia. But it is research even closer to home, in the Westside community of Atlanta itself, that has brought her (and her students and their neighborhood collaborators) to the attention of environmentalists everywhere. It was in looking into urban agriculture in this Atlanta area that Saikawa and her co-researchers made the horrific discovery of toxic levels of lead in the soil of the gardens there—and in the backyards and public playgrounds as well. The evidence their collaborative venture has gathered forced the EPA to take responsibility for cleaning up the many hundreds of properties polluted by smelters who moved on and left their waste behind. It’s no wonder other researchers-cum-community-activists are reaching out to Saikawa from elsewhere in the country, hoping she and the colleagues who have just founded the Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory here at Emory will be able to assist in identifying and addressing pollution problems—and perhaps especially those that often affect poorer communities (like Westside) disproportionately, another much-needed means to an end of social justice for all.
Tuesday, June 29
Shauna Bowes, PhD Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Graduate Practicum Student, The Nia Project
“Looking Under the Tinfoil Hat: The Psychological Correlates of Conspiratorial Ideation”
What are the psychological factors that contribute to conspiratorial ideation? This question is at the heart of many studies in psychological science today, understandably so, given the spate of recent events indicating conspiracy belief is arguably more important now than ever. In the research program she undertook as a PhD candidate in clinical psychology here at Emory (also graduating from Emory College with highest honors in neuroscience and behavioral biology), Shauna Bowes examined the psychological correlates of conspiracy belief in order to better understand why conspiracy theories are universally appealing. She will discuss the arc of the research program, in which she worked closely with Scott Lilienfeld until his death last fall, describing two studies focused on the psychology of conspiratorial ideation. And she will explore the implications of her results and offer insights for future research as well.
Tuesday, July 6
Susan Allen, Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Eric Hunter, Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
“A 35-Year History of HIV Research in Africa: Epidemiology, Transmission, Co-Factors and Vaccine Development”
Susan Allen and Eric Hunter have been “teamed up” not only since they wed, long ago now, but also since they began their work on HIV and other infectious diseases in Africa, long ago as well. She is an epidemiologist and founding director of the Rwanda Zambia Health Research Group (RZHRG) based at Emory, and he is a virologist and immunologist at Emory Vaccine Center. Together they have spent more than 30 years conducting research in the field and in their Emory labs and helping to implement the results of their research at some of the most challenging clinical sites imaginable, saving many thousands of lives in the process. The two are in Africa, being menaced by a volcano, even as we post this description of the talk they will offer us when they return. But a volcano may not faze the couple, who had to flee the 1994 Rwandan genocide. We look forward to hearing Susan and Eric share the exciting story of their intertwined personal and professional lives. As Susan put it in her most recent email, “Science, politics, history, the bigger picture of developments in HIV and other health issues in Africa, and hilarious [as well as harrowing] anecdotes in store.”
Monday, July 12
Andrew Furman, Professor and Assistant Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine
“The Liberal Arts Revisited: The Uses of the Humanities in Medical and Health Education”
After exploring the complementary functions of the sciences and the humanities in medical education, particularly with an eye toward their respective “ways of knowing,” Furman will highlight core aspects of a humanities-based epistemology and how these not only enrich and enliven medical training but are foundational to medical decision-making and praxis. In the historical tradition of Grand Rounds, the talk will look closely at several works of art to demonstrate these fundamental concepts and how health professionals and students can employ them.
Monday, July 19
Ciannat Howett, Associate Vice President for Sustainability, Resilience, and Economic Inclusion
“Emory’s Engagement at the Intersection of Climate Change, Health, and Equity”
The time is now to address the conjoined issues of climate change, health disparities, and racial equity—issues playing out right here in Atlanta. To deal with the challenges these issues pose, Emory is building on 15 years of leadership in sustainability to launch the Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory (RSC), a “think and do tank” composed of faculty, community leaders, and corporate partners working together on actionable projects that can be developed and tested here and then scaled up for application regionally, nationally, and internationally. These projects include an RSC Clinic for children suffering from the mental, physical, and behavioral effects of climate change and Soil Testing and Community-Engaged Remediation in West Atlanta, a program environmental scientist Eri Saikawa described in an earlier colloquium this year. Today, Howettalso will describe the RSC initiative called the Working Farms Fund, a recent recipient of a USDA grant to support small- to midsized farms in the Atlanta area. It’s through projects such as these that the RSC is helping Emory demonstrate its commitment to social good and positive transformation of the world while also living out its commitment to deeper engagement with Atlanta.
Monday, July 26
Bin Xu, Associate Professor of Sociology, 2020 Recipient of the Chronos Fellowship
“Chairman Mao’s Children: Generation and the Politics of Memory in China”
Bin Xu will present on the subject of his forthcoming book, Chairman Mao’s Children: Generation and the Politics of Memory in China (Cambridge University Press, 2021). In the 1960s and 1970s, around 17 million Chinese youth were mobilized or forced by the state to migrate to rural villages and China’s frontiers. Xu tells the story of how this “sent-down” generation of educated youth have come to terms with their difficult past. Exploring representations of memory, including personal life stories, literature, museum exhibits, and acts of commemoration, he argues these representations are defined by a struggle to reconcile a sense of worthiness with the political upheavals of the Mao years. These memories, however, are used by the state to construct an official narrative that weaves this generation’s experiences into an upbeat story of the “China dream.” This marginalizes those still suffering and obscures voices of self-reflection on their moral-political responsibility for their actions. In the book, as in his talk about the book today, Xu provides careful analysis of this generation of “Chairman Mao's children,” caught between the political and the personal, past and present, nostalgia and regret, and pride and trauma.
Thursday, September 9
Patrick Allitt, Cahoon Family Professor of American History, Emory College
“How Should We Think about Environmental Crises?”
The idea of the end of the world has been central to American history since the Puritans. After the atomic bombs of 1945, it became possible to imagine the world would be destroyed not by an angry God but by human folly. Fears over nuclear weapons and then over environmental issues such as pollution, overpopulation, and resource exhaustion led to a succession of alarms in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and finally to expressions of dread that global warming will be apocalyptic. In this colloquium, the first of the fall 2021 series with which we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Emeritus College, Patrick Allitt will review the history of environmental alarms to show their continuity with the jeremiad tradition and older forms of American catastrophism. And he’ll discuss whether he still holds with the uncatastrophic views he expressed in his 2014 book, A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism.
Monday, September 20
Alan Abramowitz, Allen W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, Emory College
“In Search of the Elusive Swing Voter”
With the rise of partisan polarization and straight-ticket voting, swing voters seem to be vanishing from the American electorate. While there definitely are fewer voters who are “up for grabs” in US elections, there is still a group of voters who are open to supporting Republican or Democratic candidates, and this group can play a crucial role in deciding the outcomes of close elections like the 2020 presidential election. Alan Abramowitz will present evidence about the characteristics of these swing voters and the factors that influence their candidate choices.
Monday, October 4
Denise Raynor, MD, MPH, Professor Emerita, School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor, Emory College Department of Psychology
“Unmaking the Masked Man: The Real Lone Ranger”
We all remember: A white hat, a white horse. And, of course, a white man. But as Denise Raynor will explain today, referencing the research she’s done for a book she’s preparing for young adult readers, the real Lone Ranger was the first Black US deputy marshal west of the Mississippi. The remarkable Bass Reeves rose from slavery to become one of the most effective lawmen in history, arresting more than 3,000 in the course of his long career, including one of his own sons who had murdered his wife). He had courage and physical prowess to spare, but he also was cunning and inventive, using his skin color along with his wits to outsmart lawbreakers and bring them to justice—and he managed to look good while doing so. A stickler about his appearance, Reeves also used his style to win friends and strike terror in the hearts of foes. He was indeed a legend in his own time—and it’s past time we came to celebrate him as a model for a legend in our own.
Tuesday, October 19
Susan Soper, OLLI at Emory Instructor
“The Memoir Kit: Your Good Life”
The memoir genre in book publishing has certainly exploded in the past several years. As Mary Karr, author of The Art of Memoir, told an interviewer: “It’s trashy ghetto-ass primitive. Anyone who’s lived can write one.” True, but many of us don’t know how or where to start—or how to keep going. The Memoir Kit class Susan Soper teaches for OLLI is an accessible approach to capturing life’s stories: the ups, downs, risks, relationships, losses, hurdles, and heartbreaks we have all survived. Motivated by more than 250 prompts, her students have shared whimsical, funny episodes and charming tales as well as dark moments about death, addiction, abuse, and abandonment. Twelve chapters of these prompts are being compiled into a book, The Memoir Kit: Your Good Life, One Story at a Time.
Monday, November 1
Melissa Carter, Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory School of Law
“‘Upstream’ Legal Advocacy to Promote Family Integrity”
Two decades of research documenting the effects of adverse childhood experiences, and mounting evidence that removing children from their families and placing them in foster care can cause acute and enduring trauma, have helped to broaden thinking about the relationship between the legal duty to protect children and the moral responsibility to promote their well-being. Recently enacted federal policies have imposed mandates and unlocked resources to prevent the unnecessary separation of families, reduce socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic disparities in the child welfare system, and afford a greater measure of justice for children and parents. As child welfare system stakeholders coalesce around a prevention agenda, the role and responsibility of the justice system in achieving outcomes of safety, permanency, and well-being for children must be redefined. One promising opportunity for system improvement has captured the full attention of judges, lawyers, and agency administrators throughout the country—the use of lawyers as an “upstream” intervention to address the social determinants of health that create vulnerabilities within families. Melissa Carter will explain this emerging model of preventive legal advocacy and share research, data, and program models demonstrating how lawyers can prevent the need for children to enter foster care by addressing the poverty-related needs of families.
Monday, November 15
Michael Kutner, Rollins Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health
“Biostatistical Collaboration for the Betterment of Society”
We are not the only ones who recognize the extraordinary quality and impact of Mike Kutner's work in his chosen field of statistical techniques and procedures, especially in the biological sciences and medicine. And it’s not only at Emory that he has distinguished himself in teaching, publishing, and research, especially the collaborative research he so enjoys. He has been receiving “lifetime achievement” awards from a wide range of professional organizations for decades now. And this year he was awarded the 2021 Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions to the Betterment of Society by the American Statistical Association (ASA). In this lecture, Kutner looks back at the work that prompted the ASA to honor him—and look ahead to the work he still plans to do, training the next generation of biostatisticians, so that they too may enjoy and excel in this collaborative field.
Monday, November 29
Gonzalo Vazquez Prokopec, Winship Distinguished Professor in Environmental Sciences, Emory College
“Bridging Science and Public Health Policy to Control Urban Mosquito-Borne Diseases”
Considered the world’s deadliest animal, mosquitoes inhabit virtually every corner of our planet. Their need for vertebrate blood has made them perfect vehicles for pathogens such as malaria, yellow fever, Zika, dengue, and West Nile virus (to name a few). Unfortunately, vaccines are not an option for most of those pathogens, so mosquito control (the use of chemical, environmental, or behavioral tools to prevent human-mosquito contact) is the primary means to prevent human infection and disease. Gonzalo Vazquez Prokopec’s talk will present results from more than a decade of work at Emory researching mosquito biology and disease epidemiology and discuss major improvements in public health policy emerging from such work in the US and internationally. He also will outline new directions in mosquito control with potential beneficial implications from the Emory campus to the whole of the globe.
Monday, December 13
Allan Levey, Director, Brain Health Personalized Medicine Institute, Emory University
“Racing for an Effective Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease: One Person at a Time”
Allan Levey will provide a brief introduction to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias including the current state of knowledge, treatments, and accelerating progress in research. Levey serves as chair of the Department of Neurology and was recently appointed director of the newly constituted Brain Health Personalized Medicine Institute. He also serves as Goizueta Foundation Endowed Chair for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Betty Gage Holland Professor and Chair of Neurology as well as director of the Goizueta Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. There is no one better able to share highlights of Emory’s remarkable record of ongoing research in neurodegenerative disease and information about the initiatives in this area the Emory Brain Health Center is pursuing under his leadership.