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Programs and Events

MEETING

Network Science Reading Group

12:00-1:00pm Monday, April 20 | The Commons

This interdisciplinary reading group began after meeting at Red Hot Research in 2011. They have been exploring the computational tools used by James Sterbenz to study the network formed by the national electrical grid to determine whether these tools could be used in other areas and focus on problems in different domains that have a common underlying cause. Current collaborators: John Symons, Philosophy; James Sterbenz, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science; and Michael Vitevitch, Psychology (Contact Michael Vitevitch to join the discussion: mvitevit@ku.edu).

ARTIST TALK & INSTALLATION

The Weight of An Object

Damia Smith
7:00pm Tuesday, April 21 | The Commons

Smith will speak about her recent work, The Weight of an Object, a project funded by Rocket Grants, a partnership of the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art. This project aims to enhance public understanding of how consumer goods are produced by starting a dialogue in the community about where objects originate. To achieve this, Smith is drawing attention to the processes that occur to generate a product and how they affect the people who make them and those who live in the areas that produce them. She connects the objects people wear and use every day without a thought to the conditions of people in faraway countries who work to create them.

Each event will highlight one object and trace its history of being made. The first event will feature an iPhone 5S; the second a pair of Tom’s shoes; and the final one a KU t-shirt. The participants will be encouraged to use or wear the object on display and in turn pull the weight of its origins with it, in the form of the storefront display to which it is attached. A video showing members of the community discussing the objects and how they were made will be projected from the structure. More information and images are available on the website http://www.theweightofanobject.com.

Events associated with The Weight of an Object will take place at 900 Massachusetts St. (Lawrence) and feature a mobile structure displaying the object, on the following dates:
1:00-5:00pm Saturday, April 11
1:00-5:00pm Saturday, April 25
1:00-5:00pm Saturday, May 9

BOLD ASPIRATIONS LECTURE

Fixing the Past or Inventing the Future?

Yong Zhao, University of Oregon
3:30pm Wednesday, April 22 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost

Education debates have been bewitched by assumptions drawn from the past. These assumptions direct our attention and resources to arguing about immensely important issues from the past that matter little for the future. In this presentation, Yong Zhao argues for the need of shifting the efforts of education reforms from fixing the past obsolete paradigm to inventing a paradigm that helps our children succeed in a world that has been drastically altered by technology and globalization. Dr. Yong Zhao is an internationally known scholar, author, and speaker. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has designed schools that cultivate global competence, developed computer games for language learning, and founded research and development institutions to explore innovative education models. He has published over 100 articles and 20 books, including Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization, World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the World’s Best (and Worst) Education System in the World.

INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE

Interactive Andean Concert: Celebrating Andean Traditions and Earth Day

7:00-8:30pm Wednesday, April 22 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Latin American Graduate Organization

This event features an interactive concert--part lecture, part live performance, with opportunities for audience participation--with native Andean instruments. The performance will feature traditional and modern music as well as a discussion about the region, its cultural and environmental influences, and their relationship to its music.

DIALOGUE

A Conversation with Bill Rhoden: The Practice of Writing about Race and Sports in the Post-Civil Rights Era

9:00-10:30am Friday, April 24 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Langston Hughes Center, the School of Business, and KU Athletics.

Bill Rhoden is a sports columnist for the New York Times, where he has worked since 1981. Previously, he was a copy editor in the Sunday Week in Review section. Before joining The Times, Mr. Rhoden spent more than three years with The Baltimore Sun as a columnist. Before that, he was associate editor of Ebony magazine from 1974 to 1978.

He attended Morgan State University in Baltimore and while there acted as assistant sports information director.

Photo credit: Bryan Bedder Getty/EPIX2013

LUNCHEON

Experiential Learning Luncheon

12:00-2:00pm Friday, April 24 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Experiential Learning Collaborative

Experiential learning encourages students to take an active role in their education by undertaking research, creative projects, service learning, international study, internships, and other activities, in and out of the classroom. Meet new colleagues from different departments and academic units, and receive updates about experiential learning opportunities.

RSVP required by April 17: http://experience.ku.edu/luncheon

SHORT FILMS SCREENING

Kansas Water Short Films Screening & Discussion

4:00-5:30pm Friday, April 24 | The Commons
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation-funded Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmer's Land Use Decisions Project; the Kansas Natural Resource Council, and the Kansas Humanities Council

The Ogallala aquifer, backbone of agriculture in western Kansas, is 30% gone. Nearly all the major perennial streams in the western third of our state are now classified as historic. The state’s reservoirs are silting in and increasingly subject to toxic blue-green algae blooms. The time is ripe for a statewide conversation about our relationship to water – how we’ve used it building and sustaining Kansas, how most of us take it for granted now, and our struggle to account for future generations. The Kansas Natural Resource Council, with help from the Kansas Humanities Council and the National Science Foundation-funded Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmers' Land Use Decisions research team, has produced a documentary film series titled "The Waters of Kansas", featuring water resources and people from across Kansas who casually and intimately interact with groundwater or surface water, reservoirs or rivers. Each film touches on the history of developing and using a water source, the current competing interests for water, and how communities are or are not grappling with the future. Two, twenty minute films are featured at this event: "The Waters of Kansas - Cheyenne Bottoms", and "The Waters of Kansas - Farming over the Ogallala".

MEETING

Prairie Acre Restoration Project Kick-Off

5:00pm Tuesday, April 28 | The Commons
Organized by the KU Center for Sustainability

LECTURE

Making Queer and Feminist Movements Inclusive

Julia Serano, Trans Activist and Author
7:00pm Wednesday, April 29 | The Commons
Sponsored by Spectrum KU

Serano will speak about an intersectional view of activism as it relates to identity. This presentation will consider the ways in which social, sexual, gendered, and racial identities interact with each other with regard to perception. Serano aims to empower individuals so that this work is inclusive of all people, regardless of physical, mental, or emotional identities.

MEETING

Network Science Reading Group

12:00-1:00pm Monday, May 4 | The Commons

This interdisciplinary reading group began after meeting at Red Hot Research in 2011. They have been exploring the computational tools used by James Sterbenz to study the network formed by the national electrical grid to determine whether these tools could be used in other areas and focus on problems in different domains that have a common underlying cause. Current collaborators: John Symons, Philosophy; James Sterbenz, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science; and Michael Vitevitch, Psychology (Contact Michael Vitevitch to join the discussion: mvitevit@ku.edu).

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS

with Photographer, Bill Jacobson

3:00pm Wednesday, May 6 | The Commons
Sponsored by The Commons and the Spencer Museum of Art

Bill Jacobson has made photographs for over forty years. Though his approach to making images has varied considerably throughout his career, the work is united by an underlying concern with memory, perception, and the dialogue between absence and presence.

Jacobson’s current body of work, Place (Series), is the result of inserting rectangles of various sizes and surfaces in both studio-based and natural settings. Ideally, the work questions the notion of what constitutes an image, as well as what is ‘real’ and what is ‘abstract’. These constructed photographs suggest that the creation of place, and the act of placing, come from personal choice and desire.

His work is in numerous museum collections, including The Guggenheim Museum; Whitney Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Nelson-Atkins Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; and many others.

Jacobson was awarded a 2012 grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He has also received grants from the Aaron Siskind Foundation (1995), and the New York Foundation for the Arts (1994). Since 2007 he has taught in the Bard/ICP MFA program based in New York City. Place (Series), written with Maureen N. McLane, is his fourth monograph.

An overview of Jacobson’s photographs can be found at billjacobsonstudio.com.

HUMAN MIGRATION SERIES

Human migrations in the Aleutians

Dixie West, Anthropology, Kansas State University
12:00pm Friday, May 8 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, and The Commons

The Human Migration Series provides a forum for presentations on the nature and consequences of ancient and contemporary patterns of human mobility. The series is designed to enable researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to engage in critical dialogues about biocultural, socioeconomic, political, historical, and environmental issues that affect migration. Initiated by the Department of Anthropology's concentration in Migration, the series encourages the development of partnerships between KU researchers and others who work with issues of human migration.

POSTER SESSION

C21 Consortium

3:30-5:30pm Friday, May 8 | The Commons
Organized by CTE, CODL, the Center for STEM Education Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hosted by The Commons

KU’s C21 (i.e., 21st Century) Consortium is a learning community of individuals from across campus who share a goal of improving and accelerating course redesign at KU. It will connect instructors involved in course redesign with each other and with multiple resources that will facilitate their work. The hub of the consortium is the new CLAS Teaching Postdoc program for the natural sciences and mathematics and social and behavioral sciences. Thus, C21 includes the teaching postdocs and the department faculty with whom they are collaborating, faculty leaders in hybrid course redesign, instructors implementing redesigned courses, and specialists from CTE, CODL, and the Center for STEM Education. The Consortium will also include graduate assistants to support consortium members’ work on their courses, plus a pool of undergraduate peer mentors. Contact Judy Eddy (jeddy@ku.edu) at the Center for Teaching Excellence, with questions.

BOOK RELEASE

Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia

7:00pm Tuesday, May 12 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art and The Commons

A volume of scholarly essays published this spring by the Spencer Museum and Yale University Press is the first inclusive study of color in East Asia. Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia, a project of the Spencer’s Arts Research Collaboration initiative, comprises groundbreaking scholarship and a stunning array of images. Editor Mary M. Dusenbury, Spencer Museum research curator, will give a brief talk about the development of this interdisciplinary project and sign copies of the book.

Dusenbury was awarded a Seed Grant from The Commons in 2010 to initiate research for this project.

PROGRAM

CLAS Mini College

June 1-4 | The Commons
Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mini College is a week-long program developed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It has been providing lifelong learners the opportunity to rediscover the student experience since summer 2009. As the largest academic unit at the University of Kansas, the College is uniquely positioned to offer a broad program that satisfies a wide variety of interests. Courses span the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies, and the arts. Mini College is open to all adults, not just KU alumni. More information can be found on the Mini-College website: minicollege.ku.edu.