18 episodes

Core Connections Lectures support the University of New England's core curriculum. A new theme is chosen each year. Past themes include; "Empire, or the Illusion Thereof?", "The Problem of Happiness", "Law & Orders: Law in Nature, Culture, and Society", and "Faith, Reason, and Reality"

Core Connections - Video University of New England

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Core Connections Lectures support the University of New England's core curriculum. A new theme is chosen each year. Past themes include; "Empire, or the Illusion Thereof?", "The Problem of Happiness", "Law & Orders: Law in Nature, Culture, and Society", and "Faith, Reason, and Reality"

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    Walden Warming: The Impact of Climate Change on the Plants and Animals of Thoreau's Concord

    Walden Warming: The Impact of Climate Change on the Plants and Animals of Thoreau's Concord

    Thoreau was a climate change scientist! For the past 10 years, Professor Richard Primack (Boston University) and his colleagues have been using Thoreau's records and other data sources to document the dramatically earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier ice out at Walden Pond, and the more variable response of migratory birds. And most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate. While primarily a scientific study, Primack's talk is supported by beautiful photos and numerous quotes from Thoreau.

    • 1 hr 8 min
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    Is the Next Super-Eruption Brewing in the Andes?

    Is the Next Super-Eruption Brewing in the Andes?

    Brad S. Singer, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison talks about how explosive silica-rich super-volcanic eruptions pose a major, recurring threat to Earth's surface environment. In the last several hundred years about a dozen moderate (more than 5 cubic kilometers of ash), yet highly destructive, volcanic eruptions have occurred. In contrast, a rhyolitic super-eruption can immediately deposit several hundred cubic kilometers of volcanic ash over vast areas, posing a societal hazard at the scale of an entire continent. Volcanic gases and particles injected into the stratosphere by these explosive events would lead to significant deterioration of the global climate and major disruptions to air traffic.

    Sooner or later, the Earth will experience another super-eruption, thus there is a need to gather comprehensive information and create models that realistically account for the dynamics that lead to these destructive events. To meet this challenge requires that we understand: (1) the slow geologic processes and conditions within large bodies of magma that lead to such events, and (2) the precursory dynamics on both long (years to millennia), and short (months to weeks) human time scales. A key question is: where on Earth can we anticipate that such an event is currently brewing?

    • 1 hr 19 min
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    Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Images and Visual Protest Legacy of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American

    Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Images and Visual Protest Legacy of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American

    Zoe Trodd, Professor and Chair of American Literature in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham, draws on new research into previously uncollected photographs of Douglass to show that he was the most photographed American of the 19th century. She argues that in sitting for more photographs than any of his peers, Douglass was using photographs in multiple ways: to assert black humanity in place of the slave "thing"; to show how authentic representations could break down racial barriers; to create a black public persona within the abolitionist culture of dissent.

    Trodd also outlines the visual legacy of these 160+ photographs, including protest paintings and drawings with the anti-lynching and desegregation movement, statues and sculptures from 1899 to 2010, cartoons in the 20th-century black press, and murals and street art in the North, South and West, especially murals celebrating a broader history of African American dissent. She will consider which 19th-century photographs had the most impact in this 20th-century visual legacy, address the politics of adapting the youthful, stern Douglass of earlier photographs versus the elderly, sage Douglass of later photographs, and ask whether Douglass photographs had an even greater legacy in visual culture than his famous writings had in literary texts.

    • 1 hr 21 min
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    Rhythm, Noise, and the City: Music and Social Change

    Rhythm, Noise, and the City: Music and Social Change

    Ryan Moore is an associate professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University and the author of Sells Like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis.
    What is the role of music in social change-not only as protest music for social movements, but as a barometer of widespread changes in economics, politics, and culture? Rhythm and noise are crucial components of music and sound, but they also serve as sociological forces that embody community, social change, and resistance. This lecture will examine rhythm and noise as musical and sociological forces within a historical context, specifically by focusing on the intersections between popular music and urbanization in American history.

    Three historical periods are considered: 1) the evolution of jazz, rhythm & blues, and rock ‘n’ roll in the context of the Great Migration and urban growth, roughly between 1918 and 1960; 2) the growth of free jazz, soul, and psychedelic rock during the urban crises of the 1960s; 3) the rise of punk, hip hop, and indie rock in cities which have been transformed by dual processes of deindustrialization and gentrification since the 1970s.

    • 1 hr 5 min
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    Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines: The Polarization of American Politics

    Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines: The Polarization of American Politics

    Shanto Iyengar, Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication, Senior Fellow, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University talks about current debates over the extent of polarization among the American public focus on the extent to which policy preferences have moved. While “maximalists” claim that partisans’ views on policies have become more extreme over time, “minimalists” respond that the majority of Americans remain centrist, and that what little centrifugal movement has occurred reflects sorting, i.e., the increased association between partisanship and ideology.

    • 1 hr 5 min
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    Occupy Wall Street: Forcing Division

    Occupy Wall Street: Forcing Division

    Jodi Dean, Professor, Political Science, Hobart-William Smith ,explores the most exciting development on the US left in more than a generation, considering it as an evental site and a political form. As an event, Occupy ruptured the political setting of the US left. As a political form it introduced an arrangement of capacities and intensities suggestive of a new political subjectification (one whose viability remains fragile and uncertain).

    • 1 hr 1 min

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