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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)

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Publications and thoughtful commentary showcase the incredible work that comes out of our small liberal arts classrooms, studios and labs.

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Faculty Lecture Series


The Faculty Lecture Series showcases the work being pioneered by Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences faculty at the University of Denver. Each month, faculty members share their current research or present recently published works. These stimulating lectures are free. We will provide light refreshments.

Lectures are held the first Thursday of the month
Reception starts at 4:00 p.m.; lecture begins at 4:30 p.m.
Free. Light refreshments provided.

Register below (scroll to the bottom for full lecture descriptions)

University of Denver
Special Events Room, Anderson Academic Commons
2150 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
Need assistance? Call 303-871-2425

example: 19XX psychology
Enter the number of people attending each event, including yourself.

All the Things You Could Do with Media Studies if Frantz Fanon Was Your Father!

Presented by Armond Towns, assistant professor of communication studies
Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 4:30 p.m.

Frantz Fanon is often considered a theorist of subjectivity and/or a revolutionary who articulated a project of "new humanism." However, while his work has been less examined in media and communication studies, his discussion of "white masks" equally has implications for black media studies. This lecture will contend that Fanon's discussion of white masks are largely Western media technologies, which work to represent a modern image of what constitutes the "human" in Western society — an image that assumes whiteness and racial violence as inseparable.

What Does It Take to Stop the Intergenerational Transmission of Toxic Stress?

Presented by Sarah Watamura, associate professor of psychology
Thursday, November 2, 2017, at 4:30 p.m.

Chronic or severe childhood stress can have lifelong effects on productivity, physical and mental health, and can even result in a 20-year lifespan reduction. Recent evidence suggests that beyond this dramatic cost to individuals, the children of parents with significant adversity histories also experience consequences. This lecture will provide an overview of the concept of toxic stress, new evidence for effects on children when parents have significant adversity histories, and promising approaches to support communities, families and individuals in changing outcomes for children.

Internationalism and Economics in a Pre-columbian Society: the Glory and Success of Chichen Itza

Presented by Annabeth Headrick, associate professor of art history
Thursday, January 4, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the Pioneer Alumni Legends (PALS)

Positioned in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Chichen Itza arose after the collapse of many great Maya cites. The keys to its success seem to have been its ability to embrace a multicultural perspective and foster international trade on a level never before seen in Mesoamerica. The result was a burgeoning middle elite who shared in the wealth and luxury of this economic powerhouse. In this talk, we will see the art made with exotic turquoise coming from New Mexico and gold from Central or South America. Further, we will see the portraits of the newly wealthy who paraded around in all their finery.

Sound Learning: Considerations of Perception, Socialization and Faith Formation

Presented by M. Roger Holland, II, teaching assistant professor—music and religion, director of The Spirituals Project
Thursday, February 1, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.

Thought and meaning derived from sound can have far reaching implications when one considers how music and music choice can impact social and learning environmental conditions, as well as faith formation for members of religious institutions. This lecture will examine how the language of sound can communicate in subtle and not so subtle ways, and have a lasting, formative impact on the listener. Special attention will be given to this phenomenon as experienced in the worship life of Black Catholics in the United States.

Disrupting Machismo: Affect in Latino Men's Pentecostal Conversion Narratives

Presented by Luís León, professor of religious studies
Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 4:30 pm.

Religious demographers have long told us statistically that Latinas and Latinos are converting from Catholicism to Pentecostalism in significant numbers, both in the United States and in Latin America. This talk examines this phenomenon by analyzing the conversion narratives of Latino Pentecostal men. The prevailing theory suggests that conversion can be explained by "rational choice consumerism," whereby converts get a religious "product" that is more meaningful to their everyday lives with Pentecostalism, but don't need to change religious "brands" (Christianity), just the specific product. The talk further explains the rare emotional, affective ties that men form with other men when converting to and practicing Pentecostalism.

This is Our School: How Racial and Class Inequalities Shape Movement Coalitions over Urban School Reform

Presented by Hava Gordon, associate professor of sociology and criminology
Thursday, April 5, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.
Co-sponsored by Alumni of ACTION

Urban school reform has become a flashpoint for struggles over educational equity, gentrification, and racial and economic segregation. In this lecture, we will explore how grassroots movements help to shape the mechanics of school choice in particular cities, determine which charter schools will be opened and which will be replicated, push districts to re-invest in particular neighborhood schools, and bring racial justice initiatives into seemingly color-blind education policies. This lecture will also examine how movement victories are ultimately limited by profound racial divides between these various grassroots movements; even between movements that similarly claim to work towards educational and social justice.

Digging Amache: The Archaeology of Japanese American Internment in Colorado

Presented by Bonnie Clark, associate professor of anthropology
Thursday, May 3, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.

The forced removal and subsequent incarceration of over 120,000 people of American of Japanese descent during World War II is a pivotal yet often misunderstood incident in world history. The locations of this confinement are significant resources for both research about and re-engagement with this critical, yet shadowed experience. This talk will examine the archaeological investigations at the site of the Amache, Colorado's War Relocation Authority confinement facility, and offer insights into the camp's cultural landscape and the strategies of a confined people to reknit community and reclaim humanity.