2017 Schedule

Monday, January 9, 2017

Temple Emanuel
51 Grape Street, Denver, CO 80220

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Schedule of Events

9:25 am
9:30-10:30 am
Landscape as Haven in Selected Works by American Women Writers

Leah Blatt Glasser
Profession of English and Dean of Studies, Mt. Holyoke College

This lecture will focus on the ways in which women wrote about nature and landscape, primarily in the 19th century. These authors faced representations of women by men in paintings and literature in which women were equated with nature and cyclical time, regeneration, and childbirth. Defying these traditional forms of narrative, 19th century women writers often found in nature-writing a means to transcend these limited definitions with a new voice. They created a genre in which the boundaries of gender could be transcended through a redefinition of identity in the context of landscape.  Dr. Glasser will also contrast this topic with research she has conducted on the use of Gothic in works by 19th and early 20th century women writers. 

Leah Blatt Glasser has been teaching American literature and creative writing at Mount Holyoke College since 1980. Dr. Glasser is a member of the English department at Mount Holyoke, and has served as Dean of First-Year Studies, Associate Dean of Studies and Dean for the Senior Class. She is currently the Dean of Studies, overseeing the Office of Academic Deans. Dr. Glasser received her B.A. and M.A. at State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Ph.D. at Brown University. Dr. Glasser’s scholarly focus is on nineteenth through early twentieth-century American writers, and she has published essays in numerous journals including Legacy, American Literary Realism, and Massachusetts Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her literary biography, In a Closet Hidden: The Life and Work of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1996), explores the importance of place in a 19th-century woman writer’s struggle for autonomy. Her new project is entitled ”A Landscape of One’s Own: Nature-Writing and Women’s Autobiography (1880’s-1920’s) .” The new book will offer a fresh perspective on the relationship so many women formed with the landscape, and its influence on how they told their life stories. 

10:45 – 11:45 AM
 Reconstructing Life and Death with Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology

April Beisaw
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Vassar College

Crime scenes are archaeological sites – ­they contain the remains of past human activity that can be deciphered from disturbed environments, objects left behind, and/or bodies of those who perished there. This lecture will discuss basic techniques in anthropology used to identify skeletal remains with the investigative skills of archaeology in interpreting crime scene photographs. Images from selected crime scenes will be used to illustrate forensic challenges and support the discussions of forensic techniques in solving those puzzles. Dr. Beisaw will contrast her “real-life work” with often less-accurate facts and techniques presented on television and in movies. 

April Beisaw received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Binghamton University in 2007 and began teaching archaeology and forensic anthropology at Vassar in the fall of 2012 (after several years teaching at Heidelberg University in Ohio). She is an expert in the analysis of human and animal bones from archaeology sites in North America, which means that she gets called to determine if a bone is that of a missing person or an animal.

She recently published “A Manual for the Identification of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites” with Texas A&M University Press. Dr. Beisaw has developed partnerships with the Town of Poughkeepsie Police and the Dutchess County Medical Examiner to provide Vassar students with opportunities to interact with the realities of forensic work, which is quite different from the media portrayals.

11:45 am-12:30 pm
Box Luncheon Served
12:30 – 1:30 PM
Devouring Many Disappointments Between Breakfast and Dinnertime: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and the Limitations of Political Analysis

Ronald P. Seyb
Associate Professor of Political Science, Skidmore Coleege

The 2016 presidential election reminded many political scientists and commentators of the wisdom of George Eliot’s admonishment that ”Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.” Few political commentators predicted either Donald Trump’s “hostile takeover” of the Republican Party or Bernie Sanders’ success in generating a populist wave of disaffection that almost enveloped Hillary Clinton. Yet neither Trump’s nor Sanders’ candidacy was unprecedented. As the historian Richard Hofstadter noted in 1964, “American politics has often been an arena for angry minds,” and these angry minds have come together to nominate insurgent candidates for the presidency throughout this country’s history. Why then were most political analysts so wrong about both the emergence and the rapid strengthening of the Trump and the Sanders movements? This talk will seek to answer this question by examining past populist insurgencies to discern why traditional approaches to political analysis so often fail to predict these insurgencies’ timing and trajectory. 

Ronald P. Seyb is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. He received his B.A. in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine and his Ph.D. in 1988 from Yale University. He teaches courses on the American presidency, the United States Congress, political psychology, and the media and politics. His research interests include presidential management of the executive branch, political oratory, and media history. He has published articles in Journalism History, American Journalism, Media History Monographs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Policy History, and California Politics and Policy. 

For over forty years, College for a Day has brought professors from top liberal arts colleges to the greater Denver Community for stimulating lectures, each followed by an informative, question and answer discussion. Profits help support the participating schools.

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