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2017 Fall Lecture Series

by Community Engagement | Aug 25, 2017
usf fall lecture series graphic

Join us for an exciting new lecture series this Fall, featuring speakers from the University of Saint Francis. Our Aboite branch is hosting four unique lectures that focus on diverse, engaging topics.

September 6 - 7:00 pm

"Heroes, Heroin, and Horror: How the War on Drugs Was Interpreted through 1970s Horror"

Presented by: Dr. Ashleigh Hardin, Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing
President Richard Nixon declared War on Drugs in 1971. This declaration coincided not only with the American public’s increasing dissatisfaction with the war in Vietnam, but also with a “golden age” of the horror genre. In this presentation, Dr. Hardin will explain how changes in approaches to treating addiction made new narratives of addiction and recovery available to drug warriors and horror novelists alike.

October 4 - 7:00 pm

"The Reports of Its Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: Poetry in Contemporary America"

Presented by: Dr. Michael Levan, Assistant Professor of English

Almost like clockwork each April, journalists and bloggers will “celebrate” National Poetry Month by proclaiming poetry is dead. And while some reports suggest that readership for it is down, the democratization of poetry has led to an essential shift in contemporary American culture. More voices are being heard; more social and political concerns are being tackled. Focusing on the debut collections of several minority poets, this talk will argue that poetry is not only thriving but perhaps is the most necessary art being produced today.

November 1 - 7:00 pm

"The Framers’ View of the Presidency"

Presented by: Dr. Thomas Schneider, Associate Professor and Program Director of Political Science

The 2016 election brought new attention to an old question: What kind of office did the framers of the U.S. Constitution intend the presidency to be? This is a question that transcends partisan differences; it has to do with the nature of the office rather than the person who occupies it. I will consider the evidence that the Constitution itself supplies, then examine historical debates that have influenced later views of the presidency

December 6 - 7:00 pm

"The Role of Visual Images in the Emancipation Movement"

Presented by: Dr. Elizabeth Kuebler-Wolf, Associate Professor of Art History

From the very beginnings of the anti-slavery movement, visual images played an important role in disseminating ideas about slavery and freedom.  Ranging in media from jewelry to newspapers to photography, images of enslaved persons served as a powerful way to grab an audience’s attention. Moreover, these images had an affective appeal, in some cases not only showing graphic images of slaves being tortured and whipped, but also providing visual proof of the scars from those very abuses.

As the subject of emancipation became more and more central to political debate after 1831, artists strove not only to depict cruelties of slave owners but also to emphasize the common humanity of the enslaved that should elicit sympathy in the heart of any viewer.  By the end of the Civil war and after, visual imagery of emancipation became celebratory of Northern righteousness.  This lecture will examine a variety of materials and media which played a role in the national discourse over emancipation, from its beginnings to its conclusion.

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