Event Archive

7:30pm CDT Thursday, April 8, 2021 Online
Presented by The Commons and the KU Department of English Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lectureship with Paper Plains Literary Festival.

Paper Plains is honored to welcome Hanif Abdurraqib to deliver the Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lecture, presented by the Commons and the University of Kansas Department of English. Abdurraqib will discuss his groundbreaking new book A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. Abdurraqib will be joined in conversation by Dr. Eve L. Ewing.

A stirring meditation on Black performance in America from the New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance is the latest book from Hanif Abdurraqib.

At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was fifty-seven years old, well beyond her most prolific days. But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too,” she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.

Crowdcast registration link.

Poster design by Ash Aranda.

Care & Well-being, Discussion, Graduate Student Event
11:00am-12:00pm CT Thursday, April 8, 2021 Online
Hosted by The Commons, the IPSR Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities, and the Spencer Museum of Art; with support from the Environmental Studies Program, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring

Led by the Graduate Student Collective of the Center for Compassionate & Sustainable Communities, this session focuses on sustainable community building at a time when feeling isolated is easy. Discussion will include ideas for creating community. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) will also be available to help answer questions; offer resources; and share guidance for how to maintain healthy relationships with our surrounding environments.

Link to Zoom Registration.

Care & Well-being, Discussion, Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative
4:00-5:00pm CDT Tuesday, April 6, 2021 Online

This is the eighth monthly meet-up for the Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative.

Link to more information about the Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative.

This Zoom gathering will feature:

  • a presentation on the Kansas Serves Native American Families Project by Project Director Michelle Levy (School of Social Welfare) and Project Manager Maria Fairman (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska/Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation)
  • breakout discussions around core themes

Link to Zoom Registration.

 

Humans in a More Than Human World, Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture, Lecture, Public Event
Restoration and Reciprocity: Healing Relationships with the Natural World
7:00pm CDT Thursday, April 1, 2021 Online
Supported by the Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture Fund.

Writer, professor, scientist, and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is well known for her 2015 book, "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants." She is an SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs that draw on the wisdom of indigenous and scientific knowledge to offer lessons for humanity. Kimmerer’s first book, "Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses," was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing.

Through her work, Kimmerer observes the natural world closely, exploring systems and communities across species, and sharing knowledge that reveals kinship across species.

Kimmerer holds a bachelor's degree in botany from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a master's degree and doctorate in botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. She lives in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

The Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture is hosted by The Commons annually to invite leading thinkers, whose work applies across disciplines, to address the University of Kansas and regional communities. In recent years, the lecture series has featured architectural biologist Jessica Green, comedian Andy Borowitz, writer/activist Margaret Atwood, writer/historian Rebecca Solnit, poet/scholar/artist Eve Ewing, activist/writer Jose Antonio Vargas, and author/illustrator/screenwriter Jonny Sun.

Link to view event livestream.

Poster design by Alex McGettrick.

Discussion, Panel, Public Event
4:00-5:00pm CDT Thursday, March 25, 2021 Online
Hosted by the KU Institute for Policy & Social Research and The Commons.

Researchers at KU explore a range of topics that provide context for understanding current events. This discussion illustrates some of the ways in which student, postdoctoral, and faculty research is creating understanding around the virus and opening doors for interpersonal understanding.

Panelists:

Dr. Vincent Francisco
Applied Behavioral Science / Center for Community Health and Development, Life Span Institute
Dr. Kyle Metta
Center for Community Health and Development, Life Span Institute
Megah Shah
Center for Community Health and Development, Life Span Institute
Radhia Abdirahman
Center for Community Health and Development, Life Span Institute
Dr. Ward Lyles
KU School of Public Affairs & Administration / Center for Compassionate & Sustainable Communities

This event will address responses to questions like:

  • What can we learn from behavioral sciences during this pandemic?
  • What is participatory modeling, and how is it used?
  • How does this work offer ideas for interpersonal understanding and policy-making?
  • How has this work engaged communities, and how does it serve them?
  • Where are there opportunities for compassionate community on campus?

Link to Zoom Webinar Registration


 

Care & Well-being, Discussion
11:00am-12:00pm CT Thursday, March 25, 2021 Online
Hosted by The Commons, the IPSR Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities, and the Spencer Museum of Art; with support from the Environmental Studies Program, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring

Ali Brox, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Environmental Studies Program, teaches classes on “Cli-Fi” (Climate Fiction) and engages students in how to talk about climate change. She also experiences these conversations as a mother, and has been inspired by writers like Amy Westervelt, who feature this difficult conversation in their work. This session addresses the ways in which we respond to what we know about climate change and how we build community along the way.

Link to Zoom Registration.

Panel, Public Event
4:00-5:00pm CDT Thursday, March 18, 2021 Online
Supported by the Institute for Policy and Social Research and The Commons.

Researchers at KU explore a range of topics that provide context for understanding current events. At this discussion, behavioral scientist collaborators in the Faculty Advising on COVID Team (FACT) will share trends in local activity, including individual and group decisions around mask compliance; testing frequency; and the factors that affect these decisions.

Panelists:
Ward Lyles, School of Public Affairs and Administration / Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities
Derek Reed, Applied Behavioral Science
Tim Pleskac, Psychology
Donna Ginther, KU Institute for Policy & Social Research / Economics

  • What did we know before last March about trends in human behavior amid natural disasters?
  • What did we learn in the course of the last year with COVID-19, locally and globally?
  • How policy-making can be responsive, in an effort to prevent future problems?
  • What are the implications for the fall semester, based on data?

Link to Register for Zoom Webinar.

Care & Well-being, Discussion
11:00am-12:00pm CT Thursday, March 11, 2021 Online
Hosted by The Commons, the IPSR Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities, and the Spencer Museum of Art; with support from the Environmental Studies Program, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring

It has been a year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus a pandemic. Associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration Ward Lyles studies and teaches about disasters, policy, and people, and he has observed how local responses to COVID have repeated many of the system failures seen in disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Maria.

Discussion will include questions like: How has (and hasn’t) COVID fundamentally altered our lives? How we can build community in this new ‘normal’? What types of compassionate leadership are we observing at the grassroots level to meet current need? What types of compassionate leadership remain absent, and where might we look for that leadership--or create it ourselves?

Link to Zoom Registration.

Red Hot Research, Student Event
4:00-5:00pm CST Friday, March 5, 2021 Online
Hosted in partnership with the Integrated Arts Research Initiative at the Spencer Museum of Art and the KU Blockchain Institute

Red Hot Research brings together researchers from all disciplines. The format of these sessions is inspired by Pecha Kucha, which features short, slide-based talks that introduce audiences to a topic. This session features five student researchers speaking for six minutes each about their interest in Blockchain Research. Through this session, we hope to build a conversation across disciplines that explores blockchain technology and its potential, while building a network across interested researchers at KU.

In 2022-2023, the Spencer Museum of Art's Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) will devote its inquiry to the exploration of blockchain and its uses in contemporary art production.

Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers (and each other) during breaks. We hope that through these sessions, graduate students will have an opportunity for cross-disciplinary discourse that will in turn give new perspectives on their work and provide a forum for future work in their chosen research fields.

In conjunction with this event, the Spencer Museum of Art has curated a temporary exhibition of artwork in the Brosseau Center for Learning, in conversation with ideas of blockchain. The works originate from across the globe and range from 2334 BCE to 2012. This exhibition will be on view February 20-March 15. Link to schedule a museum visit.

Presenters:

Edmond Cheung, Business Analytics / KU Blockchain Institute, Technology, Research, Student Organization, Introduction to Blockchain, Education, Student Involvement
Rhett Phillips, Mechanical Engineering / KU Blockchain Institute/SELF Fellow, Blockchain in Decentralized Energy
Syed Abumusab, Philosophy, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Financial industry, Fiat currencies
Fernando Machado-Stredel, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology / KU Biodiversity Institute, Biodiversity Informatics, Museums, Scientific Collections, Taxonomy
Kati Ballentine, Business Marketing & French / KU Blockchain Institute, Use Cases with Blockchain, Supply Chain Uses, Voting, Marketing

Emcee:

Clint Hurshman, Philosophy of Science / IARI 2020-2021 Graduate Research Fellow

Link to register on Zoom.

Discussion, Faculty Event, Graduate Student Event, Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative, Undergraduate Student Event
4:00-5:00pm CST Thursday, March 4, 2021 The Commons

This is the seventh monthly meet-up for the Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative.

Link to more information about the Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative.

This Zoom gathering will feature:

  • a presentation by Casey Mesick Braun, PhD and Joey Orr, PhD on exhibitions and opportunities at the Spencer Museum of Art
  • breakout discussions around core themes

Breakout Discussion for:

  • LGBTQIA+ Populations & Health
  • Health Communication and Community Partnerships
  • Climate & Health
  • Humanities and Arts Health Curriculum

Link to Zoom Registration.

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