Skip navigation

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)

news and events

News & Events


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

News & Events

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 from 2016-2017:

Talking About Torture: U.S. Politics and the Debate about 'Enhanced Interrogation'

Presented by Jared Del Rosso, assistant professor of sociology
Thursday, October 6, 2016, at 4:00 p.m.

Nearly all U.S. politicians agree that the country should not torture. And yet, "enhanced interrogation" techniques such as waterboarding remain hotly contested in U.S. politics. At this lecture, we'll explore how historical views of torture shape the contemporary debate about enhanced interrogation. We'll also scrutinize the arguments for and against enhanced techniques in order to understand ongoing controversies about these practices.

From God to Mammon: The 'Deep Theology' of Contemporary Neo-Liberalism

Presented by Carl Raschke, professor of religious studies
Thursday, November 3, 2016, at 4:00 p.m.

From the writings of Max Weber to Mark Lilla's The Stillborn God and Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, a variety of theorists have sought to analyze and identify the theological underpinnings of modern political thought. But only now are we beginning to recognize that the ideological framework for global capitalism, commonly referred to as neoliberalism, also has a profound but unacknowledged religious genealogy. At this lecture, we'll review some of the recent thought and literature that point us in this direction, and explain how it is increasingly shaping a new paradigm of research that assimilates political economy to a new kind of "political theology."

No Acting, Please: The Paradox of Contemporary Acting Technique

Presented by Anne Penner, assistant professor of theatre
Thursday, January 5, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the Pioneer Alumni Legends (PALS)

Many people believe that performing a role in a play or film entails becoming an entirely different person. Another assumption is that determining the correct emotions for a character leads to strong acting. At this lecture, these assumptions will be debunked, and you will be introduced to the (sometimes paradoxical) ideas behind contemporary acting technique. Learn how the strongest actors utilize tools to bring themselves into their roles as much as possible. Expect to participate in some introductory acting exercises during the lecture.

Symbolic Interpretations: Intersections of Science, Politics & Religion

Presented by Laleh Mehran, professor of emergent digital practices
Thursday, February 2, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

Laleh Mehran constructs elaborate artworks focused on intersections between politics, religion, and science. As a child of Iranian scientists, she has a complex relationship to these issues, especially given today's political climate in which certain views can have extreme consequences. Learn how these considerations influence her artwork to be as veiled as it is explicit, as personal as it is political and as critical as it is tolerant. 

What Might Adam Smith Think About the Globalization Debate?

Presented by Peter Ho, associate professor of economics
Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

The trade-related aspect of globalization remains controversial as stakeholders in different countries incessantly debate on the distribution of gains and the implications for growth from trade liberalization. Thanks to what Paul Krugman has dubbed the Economist's Creed, the economics profession is overwhelmingly pro-globalization. This talk takes us back to what Adam Smith had written about foreign trade, which on the one hand helps trace the origin of the Creed, but on the other hand shows elements that serve as reminders why the globalization skeptics have good reason to voice caution. 

Why Plato Thinks You Are Already Committed to the Existence of His Forms (and Why He Might be Right)

Presented by Naomi Reshotko, professor of philosophy
Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

Plato describes his Forms using accessible geographical metaphors and transcendent literary images. These were celebrated by later monotheists in order to further their own agendas. All too often, Plato's agenda was lost in this process. Today, many interpreters of Plato's metaphysics create a caricature of Plato's Forms by taking these explanatory devices literally and obscuring Plato's best metaphysical contributions. At this lecture, we will examine Plato's arguments for the existence of Forms and why he thinks they offer the most coherent justification for our belief that the world of perception can be explored inductively.

Implicit Cognition and the Science of Tacit Culture

Presented by Max Weisbuch, associate professor of psychology
Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

Over the last several decades, technological advances have enabled psychologists to explore "implicit cognitions," beliefs which people are largely unaware of possessing, yet drive much of their behavior. Implicit cognitions are thought to be the cause of many culture-level phenomena, ranging from race-based income disparities to Western patterns of unhealthy eating. But how do implicit cognitions become widespread in the first place? We will examine scientific findings that illustrate how the things that we all encounter, but rarely notice, give rise to culturally-widespread implicit cognitions.