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Assembly Series

Programs for Spring 2014

Mark D. Jordan
"Divine Beauty and Its Ghosts: Nietzsche, Weil and Foucault"
12:00 p.m., Feb. 4, Umrath Hall Lounge
Mark D. Jordan, PhD, the Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University, will kick off a three-part lecture series for WUSTL 's Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities. All three talks begin at noon in Umrath Hall Lounge. Jordan has titled the series "Divine Beauty and Its Ghosts: Nietzsche, Weil, and Foucault." The Assembly Series event on Tuesday will focus on Nietzsche, with the Wednesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 6 programs covering Simone Weil and Michel Foucault, respectively. More information

Sean B. Carroll
"Brave Genius: A Scientist's Journey from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize"
4:30 p.m., Feb. 6, Graham Chapel
Sean Carroll is an evolutionary biologist, popular author, educator, and WUSTL alumnus who discovered the beauty of the humanities while studying biology as a student here. His embrace of both worlds informs his most recent book, Brave Genius, which chronicles the adventures of Jacques Monod, a co-founder of the field of molecular biology, from the dark years of the German occupation of Paris to the heights of the Nobel Prize; his friendship with the great writer Albert Camus; and his emergence as a public figure and leading voice of science. A booksigning will follow. More information
Sponsored by Arts & Sciences and the Institute for School Partnership

Sheryl WuDunn
"Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide"
7:00 p.m., Feb. 11, Graham Chapel
Sheryl WuDunn studies and writes about the economic, political and social forces affecting women throughout the globe. She is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. But Half the Sky is more than a book; it also is a powerful social justice and economic movement that is positively affecting millions of womens' lives. A booksigning will follow. More information
Sponsored by the WUSTL student group Half the Sky and the Gephardt Institute for Public Service

Jon Huntsman Jr.
"Opportunities and Challenges Facing America Today"
6:00 p.m., Feb. 25, Graham Chapel
In anticipation of strong student interest, seating for this lecture will be limited for the general public. Seats will be available on a first-come basis. Doors open at 5 p.m.
As a candidate during the 2012 presidential primary campaign, Huntsman was known as "the Reasonable Republican" and it's easy to see why: although the former two-time Governor of Utah and former Ambassador to China under President Obama no longer holds public office, he continues to be a voice for civil discourse and sound business and government policies. More information
Sponsored by the Washington University Political Review student organization in partnership with the Gephardt Institute for Public Service and the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy

Eric Kandel
The ERIC KANDEL events scheduled for this Monday, MARCH 3, have been cancelled due to threatening weather conditions. We hope to reschedule but have no information at this time.
Richard Davidson
"Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind"
5:30 p.m., March 5, Graham Chapel
In 1992 neuroscientist Richard Davidson was challenged by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, to apply the rigors of brain science to study positive qualities of mind. The Dalai Lama picked the right person. In the ensuing decades Davidson has discovered ways to help people live happier, healthier lives through mental skills training such as meditation and yoga.
Witherspoon Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by Religious Studies Program, and Department of Psychology, both in Arts & Sciences


Chai Feldblum
"The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act"
12:00 p.m., March 18, Anheuser-Busch Hall Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom
As one of five members of the bipartisan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Chai Feldblum is responsible for upholding the federal laws against workplace discrimination. It's a fitting job for someone dedicated to advocating for the rights of minorities and who was instrumental in the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. To mark the half centennial anniversary of the Civil Rights Act as well as celebrate International Women's Day, Feldblum will share her views about the meaning of this milestone in American history.
Sponsored by the School of Law, Women's Law Caucus, The Woman's Club of Washington University and the Gephardt Institute of Public Service

Adam Steltzner
"How Curiosity Changed My Life"
6:00 p.m., March 26, Graham Chapel
NASA called it "seven minutes of terror." In August 2012 the world watched to see if the Mars rover, Curiosity, a one-ton robot hurtling towards the red planet at 13,200 miles per hour, would gently land on the surface or explode on contact. The planned landing allowed for zero margin of error. No problem – the perfect landing was made all the more dazzling for the fact that its lead engineer and public "face" of the effort, Adam Steltzner, aka Elvis, flunked high school geometry and used to play in a rock band. Steltzner's talk will explore both types of curiosity – the rover and the human attribute, and opine on where space exploration should head next.
Sponsored by Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

John Camp
"Greece Between Antiquity and Modernity: Views of Two Early 19th Century Travelers"
4:00 p.m., March 27, Steinberg Hall Auditorium
John Camp will serve as this year's John and Penelope Biggs Lecturer in the Classics. A world-renowned archaeologist, Camp is director of the Agora excavations in Athens, the longest continuing excavation in Greece.

Joe Pantoliano - CANCELLED
The Assembly Series program featuring Joe Pantoliano on March 31 has been cancelled due to a sudden change in his filming schedule. There are no plans to reschedule the event.
Helen Fisher
"Lust, Romance, Attachment: The Drive to Love and Whom We Choose"
5 p.m., April 4, Louderman Hall #458
We die for love; we kill for love: Twas ever thus.
But why? That's the question biological anthropologist Helen Fisher has been asking for decades. From her research, she has identified three brain systems driving the universal human desires of lust, romantic love and long-term attachment. Among her best-selling books is the most recent, "Why Him? Why Her?" Her TED talks are among the most popular; "Why We Love, Why We Cheat" has been viewed by more than 5 million people.
Sponsored by Student Union, the undergraduate governing body that provides funding for student group programming, and presented by the Student Health Advisory Committee, a student organization that promotes health and wellness.

Bob Harris
"The International Bank of Bob"
5:30 p.m, April 10, Simon Hall May Auditorium
While in Dubai to write about its luxury resorts, Bob Harris accidentally stumbled upon the ugly story behind the beautiful hotels: these structures for the rich were being built on the backs of poverty stricken workers. Determined to help these individuals, Harris began issuing loans via the microloan financing site, Kiva.com. Not content to sit back and enjoy changing lives from afar, Harris decided to travel the world, meet these men and women and record their life-changing dramas. The result is "The International Bank of Bob" a witty and poignant account of his encounters with the people he was helping, one $25 loan at a time.
Sponsored by Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Holden Thorp
"From Salesman to Hamletmachine: The Need for the Humanities"
5:00 p.m., April 17, Simon Hall May Auditorium
Holden Thorp, WUSTL provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, will consider the current state of the humanities in American higher education and examine the arguments and strategies being used to garner support for teaching and research in the humanities in the current fiscal and political context.
Phi Beta Kappa Lecture.

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