Cultural

Civil War Memorials in Washington, DC

Posted: March 4, 2021 at 5:04 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 6:55 pm

This talk will consider the design and origins of key Civil War memorials in the Washington, DC, metro area, as well as contemporary debates over their meaning and removal.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Meredith Lair (Not available until September, 2021)

The Threat to American Democracy and Civil Society: Understanding Influence Operations, Violent Extremism, and the Fractures Spawned by Political Partisanship

Posted: January 15, 2021 at 2:58 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:53 pm

On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was attacked by a violent mob in an attempt to disrupt an electoral-vote count by a joint session of congress.  The Capitol almost fell under the weight of this insurrection.  Americans – stunned and frozen in front of their televisions and mobile devices – witnessed a failed […]

A/V requirements: Internet Access, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen, White Board and Markers

John Villanueva

The Great Facade: How surveillance capitalism almost toppled the world’s greatest democracy and the European Union

Posted: November 30, 2020 at 8:40 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:54 pm

A simplified explanation of how it happened, why it’s likely to happen again, and what we can do about it.

A/V requirements: Internet Access, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen, White Board, and Markers

John Villanueva

Criminal Justice Reform: Understanding the root of the problem and the cost of the cure

Posted: November 30, 2020 at 8:35 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:54 pm

How did we get here? How did the police–sworn to protect and serve their communities–come to be seen as an occupying force by disadvantaged communities throughout America? Why have they lost the faith and confidence of the communities they serve? What needs to be done to turn the tide and restore the profession of policing […]

A/V requirements: Internet Access, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen, White Board, and Markers

John Villanueva

How Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really Improve Our Lives?

Posted: April 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:42 pm

We read about advances from artificial intelligence (AI) almost every day. Yet, the current pandemic seems to have brought into focus where our computational advancements are failing us. This talk will first provide an overview of AI accomplishment. Then, in the context of the current pandemic, it will focus on specific AI technologies that have […]

A/V requirements: None

Amarda Shehu

Speaking truth to power-the thunderous messages of the Hebrew prophets-what do they mean today?

Posted: October 31, 2019 at 6:14 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:33 pm

In all of literature there are few parallels to the soaring rhetoric and poetry of the Hebrew prophets. They speak to us clearly today after almost three millennia: Amos in 800 BC crying seeking help for the poor and the disenfranchised (“let justice flow like a river”); Hosea comparing his country to a prostitute; Isaiah […]

A/V requirements: LCD Projector, Screen, Laptop

Steve Ruth

Anthropology, Methods and Fieldwork

Posted: July 26, 2019 at 7:35 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:38 pm

How anthropologists do fieldwork and the methods they employ, including in zones of conflict.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD, Screen

Linda Seligmann

Computing in Science and Society

Posted: July 23, 2019 at 6:12 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 6:59 pm

Computing is now so ubiquitous that we tend to forget the profound consequences it is having in science and society. The talk explores the advent and evolution of computing in science and society, and attempts to predict future developments.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD, Screen

Rainald Lohner

Is That Really in the Bible?

Posted: June 3, 2019 at 6:45 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:34 pm

Nearly everybody has a favorite event or story from the Bible. Ruth has collected dozens of them for the class, each with a very different spin than may be customary. The lecture will address love stories in Genesis, and great curses in Deuteronomy, the stories of Deborah and Hannah—two great heroines—will be covered. Several stories […]

A/V requirements: LCD Projector, Screen, Laptop

Steve Ruth

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

Posted: April 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm, Last Updated: August 29, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Dr. El-Shazli can speak on the current state of affairs in MENA countries and their governments; international relations between MENA countries and the West; Arab literature and culture as a way to understand their politics; Islam and Politics; Labor Migration issues in MENA; and the Arab Uprisings – reasons and impact.

A/V requirements: Internet access, LCD Projector

Heba F. El-Shazli

Biblical Villains and Villainesses

Posted: April 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:34 pm

Biblical villains and villainesses:  This talk reviews some of the notable bad characters in the Old and New Testaments, including Cain, Jezebel, Athalea, Nebuchadnezzar, King Herod, and many others.

A/V requirements: None

Steve Ruth

Things That Keep Me Up at Night: Technology’s Severest Challenges

Posted: April 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:35 pm

If you are pretty much comfortable with today’s information technology world, this course is probably not for you. The instructor, who teaches technology policy at Mason, has collected several dozen of what he thinks are the scarier, more worrisome, and potentially game-changing topics in information technology that may be in our near-term and longterm future. […]

A/V requirements: None

Steve Ruth