Skip to main site navigation
Skip to main content
Switch to text-only view
Switch to default view

Deans' Seminar

Complete list of past seminars (excel file)

Deans' Seminar Series 2013-14

Sessions will be held in the UCET Classroom (NS245) at noon (before or after the Academic Senate meeting) unless otherwise noted.

Drinks will be available; please feel free to bring your lunch.

2013-14 Series

October 25, 2013 Samantha Joyce, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication
Race and Representation in Contemporary Brazilian Television

November 22, 2013 Thomas Clark, Associate Professor of Biology
Don’t Eat Me – Chemical Manipulation of Appetite and Behavior by Plants and consequences for human societies

January 24, 2014 Hong Zhuang, Assistant Professor of Economics
The Effect of Foreign Direct Investment on Human Capital Development in East Asia

February 28, 2014 Jeff Luppes, Assistant Professor of German
Expulsion of the Expellees? Shifting Narratives about Flight and Expulsion after Ostpolitik

March 28, 2014 Anne Magnan-Park, Assistant Professor of English
Hosting Our Differences: Literary Translation from IU South Bend to Aotearoa/New Zealand

April 25, 2014 Matthew Shockey, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Imagining Being, or, How is Knowledge of the Unity and Totality of All That Is Possible?

ABSTRACTS

October 25, 2013 Samantha Joyce, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication
Race and Representation in Contemporary Brazilian Television

Brazilian racial diversity has not been reflected on telenovelas. While the genre has been the most popular in Latin American for 30 years, Brazilian Blacks have been virtually invisible. Currently, writers and politicians have been making a conscious effort to introduce diversity and to incorporate storylines addressing race matters in what was once believed to be a “racially democratic country”. This presentation traces the similarities and differences between representations of race in the US and Brazil and examines what happens when the highest rated show in Brazilian television directly examines matters of race in that country. The presentation is based on my recently published book Brazilian Telenovelas and The Myth of Racial Democracy (Lexington).

November 22, 2013 Thomas Clark, Associate Professor of Biology
Don’t Eat Me – Chemical Manipulation of Appetite and Behavior by Plants and consequences for human societies

My talk will focus on the regulation of appetite and behavior by chemical signals acting on the brain. My talk will focus on the signaling pathways in the brain, and plant chemical defenses that mimic these signals. Plants have evolved a variety of methods to avoid being eaten, including physical defenses, toxins, and chemical manipulation of animal behavior.  The neural pathways influencing these activities communicate via specific signaling molecules, and these signaling molecules and their roles in regulation of behavior, are widely shared across animal groups. In simpler animals, behavior frequently consists of a series of alternate behavioral states, such as feeding vs. locomotion or reproduction, while more complex behaviors of more complex animals are built upon these basic behavioral states.  The neural mechanisms involved in regulation of appetite and behavior will be discussed, emphasizing the role of serotonin, and the effects of pharmacological manipulation of feeding behavior using a serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitor in mosquito larvae will be described.  I will then introducing a number of plant chemical defenses that act by manipulation of appetite and feeding behavior through similar pathways, focusing especially on nontoxic defenses such as psychedelics and cannabinoids. These plant defenses play important roles in religious practices and shamanistic medicine of many indigenous societies, and appear to hold great promise in medicine and mental health, as well as research to understand the function of the mind. A variety of plants, their active chemicals, the pharmacology of these chemicals, their traditional ethnobotanical uses, and their therapeutic potentials will be discussed. Finally, the political, legal, and public health ramifications of the recent explosion in availability of synthetic analogues from underground labs will be addressed.

January 24, 2014 Hong Zhuang, Assistant Professor of Economics
The Effect of Foreign Direct Investment on Human Capital Development in East Asia

East Asia has experienced fast economic growth along with large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) and accumulated human capital since the 1960s. Economic literature suggests a link between FDI and human capital development via technology transfer. This study employs a panel of sample data from fifteen East Asian countries from 1985 to 2010 to examine the effect of inward FDI on human capital accumulation. The results show that an increase in foreign presence is associated with an increase in secondary schooling, yet has a negative impact on tertiary schooling. FDI from OECD countries presents positive effects on both secondary and tertiary schooling in East Asian countries. The findings are robust to different measures of educational attainment and different specifications.


February 28, 2014 Jeff Luppes, Assistant Professor of German
Expulsion of the Expellees? Shifting Narratives about Flight and Expulsion after Ostpolitik

With the ratification of the Warsaw Treaty in 1972, the West German government formally recognized Poland’s western border and effectively squelched the last hopes of a return to Germany’s lost eastern provinces for the millions of Germans who had been forced to leave their homeland as a result of WWII. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik (West Germany’s policy of rapprochement with the countries of Eastern Europe)—along with generational changes and the protracted emergence of Holocaust-centered historical narratives—ushered in a period of political isolation and insignificance for expellee lobby organizations and led to drastic changes in the societal resonance of their rhetoric. So substantial was this fall from grace that Manfred Kittel refers to it as the “expulsion of the expellees”. Nevertheless, though certainly lacking the same prestige and political clout they enjoyed in the 1950s and 1960s, when they directly influenced the Federal Republic’s foreign policy and erected hundreds of local monuments throughout the country, the expellee organizations continued their public commemoration of flight and expulsion during this period of marginalization and beyond.

Using the hundreds of expellee monuments erected from the 1970s to the present day, my project sheds light on the modifications in commemorative strategies employed by the expellee organizations for memorializing the forfeiture of their homelands after the long-awaited return home was made impossible. In fact, I contend that with the outright territorial claims seen on the monuments during the pre-Ostpolitik era no longer acceptable, the initiators of the more recent monuments in many cases shifted narratives away from the concrete politics of territorial reacquisition to more symbolic politics of asserting expellees’ collective innocence and victimization, which may make these more recent monuments the most surprising and contentious of all.

March 22, 2013 Grace Muna, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Enhanced Electrochemical Detection of Steroid Hormones in Water

The presence of steroid hormones in the aquatic environment is becoming an emerging issue due to the potential adverse effects these compounds pose to aquatic life. They are naturally produced by human and animals, and can find their way into surface water. The problem with these compounds is that they’re endocrine disruptors, and can affect aquatic organisms such as fish. The concentrations of these compounds in water are very low due to dilution, however, even at very low concentrations they have been shown to cause severe feminization of fish. The detection of these compounds in surface water is a challenge due to their low concentration, requiring a sensitive analytical method to be employed for their analysis in aquatic systems. This talk will focus on the current status of analytical method development for determining steroid hormones in surface water, and the potential of detecting these compounds in St. Joseph River, where severe feminization of fish has been observed.

March 28, 2014 Anne Magnan-Park, Assistant Professor of English
Hosting Our Differences: Literary Translation from IU South Bend to Aotearoa/New Zealand

In the field of Translation Studies, guest and host languages – the original language and the language of translation – are seen as a binary pair whose dynamic interplay engenders new meanings and modes of representations. In this presentation, I will address how translation theory informs my teaching and research around the concept of the “host.” In my teaching, literary translation is an exercise in hosting and negotiating difference.  By teaching students about translation and then empowering them to create their own literary translations, I enable them to become more astute, critical interpreters of literary texts as well as creators of literature and potential agents in the dissemination of foreign works. In my research as a postcolonial scholar and literary translator of indigenous Pacific literature into French, I revisit the Māori concept of mamaakitanga [hospitality] to address the rise of the literature of tangata whenua, the indigenous population of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

April 25, 2014 Matthew Shockey, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Imagining Being, or, How is Knowledge of the Unity and Totality of All That Is Possible?

All that is is one. Deep, right? But does it make sense to say this? Can we meaningfully talk about the unity and totality of what is? Unity and totality are among what philosophers since Aristotle have called the categories, the most basic concepts we use when we make sense of anything at all. Some (“empiricists”) say a claim like “all that is is one” reflects an illegitimate application of the categories, since all our concepts, categories included, derive from and apply only to that which we experience through sense-perception, and we simply can’t perceive all that is. Others (“rationalists”) say we can legitimately make such categorical claims, for we have a capacity for non-sensory perception through which we can intuit being directly in its unity and totality. A third group (“transcendental idealists”), with which I wish to side, agrees with the empiricists that we don’t perceive directly the totality of what is, but also agrees with the rationalists that categorical claims about what is are meaningful. This third option rests on a challenge to the shared assumption of both rationalists and empiricists that categories are acquired through some sort of perception. Instead, say the transcendental idealists, categories arise through the creative activity of imagination: we give them to ourselves as the basis for making sense of things, and they have equally legitimate – though different – applications to ordinary things of the world and to the world as a whole. In this talk I’ll sketch this view and show how it allows us to see that knowledge of the unity and totality of all that is is actually a form of self-knowledge. And that is deep!