The Academic Minute from 08.22 – 08.26
Monday, August 22nd
Dimitris Xygalatas – University of Connecticut
The Transformative Effects of Collective Gatherings
Dimitris Xygalatas is Associate Professor in the departments of Anthropology and Psychological Sciences and director of the Experimental Anthropology lab at the University of Connecticut. Most of his work focuses on the social and psychological functions of ritual, which he studies by combining ethnographic and experimental methods. He has spent several years conducting ethnographic field work in Southern Europe and Mauritius. His work has been published in over 100 books and articles across various disciplines. He has served as President of the International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion (IACESR). His most recent book is Ritual: How seemingly senseless acts make life worth living.
Tuesday, August 23rd
Olivia Holmes – Binghamton University
Is an Embryo A Person? The Medieval Tripartite Process of Ensoulment
Olivia Holmes is Professor of Medieval Studies and English, and Director of the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, at Binghamton University, as well as editor-in-chief of the journal Mediaevalia. She has previously published two monographs: Assembling the Lyric Self: Authorship from Troubadour Song to Italian Poetry Book (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and Dante’s Two Beloveds: Ethics and Erotics in the “Divine Comedy” (Yale University Press, 2008). Her new book Boccaccio and Exemplary Literature: Ethics and Mischief in the “Decameron,” is forthcoming later this year from Cambridge University Press.
Wednesday, August 24th
Elise Springer – Wesleyan University
The Paradox of Blaming Evil
Elise Springer studies moral communication and the evolution of moral ideas. Special topics of interest include the dynamics of critical interaction, the use of metaphor in moral thought and language, and the emergence of moral concepts for addressing ecological and social justice problems.
Thursday, August 25th
Daniel Macfarlane – Western Michigan University
Half a Century After the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Lakes are in Trouble
Dr. Daniel Macfarlane is an Associate Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University where he teaches courses in environmental and water studies. He is the author or co-editor of four books on the history and politics of Canada-US border waters, and is completing a book on the transnational environmental history of Lake Ontario and another on the history of US-Canada environmental and energy relations.
Friday, August 26th
Jacqueline Rifkin – Cornell University
They’re Everywhere! Symbolically Threatening Groups Seems More Pervasive Than Non-Threatening Groups
Jacqueline Rifkin is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Cornell University. Jacqueline earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration in the area of marketing at Duke University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Jacqueline is interested in consumer psychology and consumer well-being. Her research has been published in Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Psychological Science, and Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, and has been featured in popular press outlets including Wall Street Journal, CNN Health, The Boston Globe, NPR, Der Spiegel, and Swedish Public Radio.