Languages and Cultures Speakers
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Department of Classics | The Biotechnology Center
William Aylward is Professor of Classics and has been at UW-Madison since 2000. His research interests include ancient Greek and Roman art, architecture and technology; urbanism in the ancient Mediterranean world; Homer and legends of the Trojan War, and the archaeological sites of Troy and Zeugma on the Euphrates in the modern nation of Turkey. He participated in the annual expedition to Troy between 1996 and 2012. Together with German and French research partners, he is currently developing a new UW-Madison archaeological expedition to the ancient city of Miletus (in western Turkey).
Talks by William Aylward:
1. Recent discoveries and enduring mysteries at the archaeological site of Troy.
Video of William Aylward
Aaron Bird Bear
Assistant Dean and Director
Student Diversity Programs- School of Education
Aaron Bird Bear (Mandan, Hidatsa, & Dine' Nations) came to Dejope (Four Lakes) in 2000 to support Indigenous students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2010, Bird Bear began advising students in the School of Education. Beginning in 2012, Bird Bear has assisted with the School's Act 31 efforts in its Teacher Education programs. Act 31 refers to the 1989 Wisconsin state statutes incorporating First Nations Studies into public PK-12 education. Notably for all schools of education in the state, "Beginning July 1, 1991, the state superintendent may not grant to any person a license to teach unless the person has received instruction in the study of minority group relations, including instruction in the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the federally-recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in the state." Aaron is an alumnus of the Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis MS program at UW-Madison.
Talks by Aaron Bird Bear:
Charles L. Cohen
Professor and Director
Department of History | Religious Studies | Lubar Institute
Charles L. Cohen, the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions and Director for the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions, teaches and writes about colonial British North America, American religious history, and the braided histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His scholarship has been recognized by, among other awards, the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians for his work on the psychology of Puritan religious experience, terms on the councils of both the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and the American Society for Church History, and appointment as Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians. His teaching has been honored by two awards from the UW-Madison History Department, the Emil Steiger Award for Excellence by UW-Madison, a Phi Beta Kappa award from UW-Madison, and listing in Who's Who of American Teachers. He created UW-Madison's Advanced Placement Summer Institute; directed the Religious Studies Program from 1997-2005; and is Founding Director the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR), whose mission is to create better understandings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by encouraging ongoing discussion of these traditions and their interrelationships among scholars, members of those traditions, and the general public.
Susan C. Cook
Director | Professor
Mead Witter School of Music
Susan C. Cook is a music historian and dance scholar whose published work and current research engages with American musical repertories of all kinds. She is particularly interested in the social contexts of art, musical and dance practices as well as the regional practices of Wisconsin.
Talks by Susan Cook:
3. Ragtime Culture, 1890-1910
4. Why do we sing stories?
Department of Anthropology
John Hawks has traveled across Africa, Europe and Asia in his research into our origins and evolution. He helped to show that our evolution has rapidly accelerated during the last 10,000 years, and is now investigating the genomes of ancient people including the Neanderthals. His weblog reaches more than 100,000 people worldwide every month, and he is teaching one of the first UW massively open online courses next year. Professor Hawks has been with UW-Madison since 2002.
Talks by John Hawks
1. Exploring the genomes of ancient humans
2. How human evolution accelerated
3. The promise of citizen science
Press release May 9 2017 http://news.wisc.edu/south-african-cave-yields-yet-more-fossils-of-a-newfound-relative/
Department of History, American Indian Studies Program, Department of Afro-American Studies
Stephen Kantrowitz writes and teaches about race, politics, and citizenship in the nineteenth-century United States, and especially the era of the Civil War. He regularly teaches courses on the nineteenth-century U.S., the Civil War era, slavery and slave revolts, and Native American History. Professor Kantrowitz was born in Boston, earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University, and has been teaching at UW-Madison since 1995. He is Vilas Distinguished Professor of History and the recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching. In the 2016-17 academic year he will be the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark.
Talks by Stephen Kantrowitz:
1. How the Ho-Chunk Resisted Removal
2. More Than Freedom: African American Citizenship in the Nineteenth Century United States
3. Who Freed the Slaves? Making Sense of Civil War Slave Emancipation
Video of Stephen Kantrowitz
Department of German
Mark Louden is a linguist who received his training in Germanic linguistics at Cornell University. A fluent speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch, he has published extensively on this language and other German-American varieties, as well as Yiddish. In addition to his position as a Professor of German, he co-directs the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies and is affiliated with the Center for Jewish Studies and the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture.
Talks by Mark Louden:
3. The German Language in America
4. What Is Pennsylvania Dutch
5. What Is Yiddish?
Mark Louden published a book called Pennsylvania Dutch, The Story of an American Language. For more information, click this link! http://padutch.net/book/
Department of History
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen is the Merle Curti Associate Professor of History at UW-Madison. She received her BA in History from the University of Rochester in 1992 and her PhD in History from Brandeis University in 2003. Her research examines U.S. intellectual and cultural history, with a focus on the transatlantic flow of ideas and cultural movements. She is the author of American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas (Chicago, 2012), and a number of essays on themes in American thought for The Wilson Quarterly, Daedalus, and the Guardian blog. She is currently working on a book on the search for wisdom and wonder in 20th-century American life. She was recently awarded the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship.
Talks by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen:
1. Nietzsche's Influence on 20th-Century American Life
2. The Quest for Wisdom in the 20th-Century United States
3. The Making of "Spirituality" in Modern America
4. Anti-Intellectualism in American History
5. Philosophical Lives: Or, How Americans Have Loved Wisdom from Emerson to Oprah
6. U.S. Thought and Culture and the Transatlantic Traffic of Ideas
Department of German | Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures
Joe Salmons is the Lester W.J. "Smoky" Seifert Professor of Germanic Linguistics at UW-Madison. He is most recently author of A History of German: What the Past Reveals About Today's Language (Oxford, 2012) and editor of Diachronica: International Journal for Historical Linguistics.
Talks by Joe Salmons:
1. Wisconsin English
2. The Languages of Wisconsin
3. Language and Immigration
4. Various Others
Departments of History, Legal Studies, Sociology | Law School
Karl Shoemaker received a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001, and holds a JD from Cumberland School of Law. He is the author of Sanctuary and Crime in Medieval Europe, 400-1500, and numerous scholarly articles. He has been a member of UW-Madison's faculty since 2002. He is currently researching the Devil's medieval legal career.
Talks by Karl Shoemaker:
2. Trial by Ordeal in the Middle Ages
3. The Origins of Trial by Jury in England
4. Sanctuary for Crime in European History
Department of Theatre & Drama | Jewish Studies
Robert Skloot retired in 2008 after 40 years of teaching, directing and administrating at UW-Madison. His career has included serving as Fulbright Professor in Israel, Austria, Chile and The Netherlands. He is the author and editor of many books and essays about the theatre of the Holocaust and genocide, including The Darkness We Carry: The Drama of the Holocaust (1988) and the two-volume anthology The Theatre of the Holocaust (1981; 1999) and The Threatre of Genocide: Four Plays About Mass Murder in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Armenia (2008). In 2011, Skloot was chosen for inclusion in Fifty Key Thinkers on the Holocause and Genocide, ed. Bartrop and Jacobs (2011). Skloot's play, "If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide" (2006), has been read around the U.S. and internationally (Sarajevo, The Hague) and in its Spanish version (Aunque Todo el Cuerpo Muera) in Cuba and Peru. The Hebrew translation was read last March in Israel. Polish, and German translations have been recently completed.
Talks by Robert Skloot:
Department of Communication Arts
Catalina Toma has been an assistant professor at UW-Madison since 2010 after obtaining her PhD from Cornell University. Her research examines how people understand and relate to one another when interacting via communication technologies (online dating, social network sites, blogs, etc.). Dr. Toma focuses on the psychological impact of communication technologies on relational processes such as: impression management and impression formation, deception and trust, Interpersonal attraction and relationship development, self-worth, self-esteem and emotional well-being. She has also interested in how language is produced and interpreted in computer-mediated contexts. Recent projects have investigated self-presentation and deception in online dating profiles and the psychological benefits and costs of social network sites.
Talks by Catalina Toma
1. Deception in Online Dating Sites
2. Emotional Well-Being Effects of Social Network Sites
3. Popular Beliefs vs. Actual Deception Practices in Online Environments
Lee Palmer Wandel
Department of History | Department of Religious Studies | Center for Visual Culture
Lee Palmer Wandel is a professor in History, Religious Studies and the Center for Visual Culture. Professor Wandel focuses her studies on the ways Christianity has shaped our understanding of persons, time, things, and space, perusing that question in European history. Professor Wandel was a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012, one of the highest honors for a professor at UW-Madison. She has been with UW-Madison since 1998, previously teaching at Yale and Stanford.
Talks by Lee Palmer Wandel:
2. Reformation Stories
3. Christianity and Our Understandings of Space and Time
CAPs Professor & Department Chair
Department of Communication Arts
Professor Xenos' research and teaching interests are centered on the effects of new media on political engagement and public deliberation. His primary focus is on the extent to which the internet and social media may help individuals learn about political issues, form opinions, and participate in politics. He is also interested in the ways that political candidates, journalists, and other political actors adapt to changes in information and communication technologies, and how these adaptations affect broader dynamics of political communication and public deliberation.
Talks by Michael Xenos:
1. Social media and political engagement: The unique contribution of Facebook to our contemporary communication environment
2. Digital Media, Education and Political Engagement