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Past Events

Event Date Summary
Symposium – Legacies of Nazi Perpetrators: Looking at Hitler and Himmler Today Thu. April 21st, 2016
4:30 pm-6:30 pm


Brad Prager (University of Missouri, Columbia): “Pinpointing the Evil in Nazi Family Photographs.”

Michael Richardson (Ithaca College): “The Führer’s Face: Images of Hitler in Popular Visual Culture.”

The Holocaust and its perpetrators have left a legacy of evil which has permeated our lives and culture like no other. This mini-symposium features two experts in Holocaust and Visual Studies who will explore visual images of perpetrators in art, literature, film and popular culture. Brad Prager, Professor of German and Film Studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia, will look at the use of photographs of Nazi relatives in order to cope with the National Social past within a German family.

Surprising Interactions: Unlocking Content through Personal Experience Wed. April 20th, 2016
6:00 pm-7:00 pm

Books@workThis is event is co-sponsored with Books@Work, which conducts seminars in community and company settings. Students bring to their reading a wide array of personal experiences that shape the way they engage with content–how can we make the most of it? Drawing on their Books@Work seminars, three local professors share how participants use their own life experience to reflect on narrative texts–with compelling results. In a discussion-based format, they will explore how those insights might bring new insights to leveraging experience in the college classroom.

Free and open the public.  Registration recommended. Registration Button

Humanities@Work: Entrepreneurs Mon. April 18th, 2016
6:00 pm-6:45 pm

EntrepreneursImageIn this panel, designed for undergraduate Students, Cleveland area entrepreneurs will discuss how studying the humanities influenced their careers. Panelists include Kathleen Barrie (art history and studio art) and Dennis Barrie (history and art history), principals at Barrie Projects, a museum and cultural planning firm that specializes in developing unusual and often surprising exhibits and visitor destinations; Rebecca Braun (linguistics and Russian), an entrepreneur, venture development consultant, and author, she is president of The Braun Group, producer of executive memoirs and biographies in a variety of formats; Baiju Shah (history), an entrepreneur in the biomedical field, he is currently CEO of BioMotiv,

Food Justice, Food Sovereignty: Transforming our Food System Thu. April 14th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Food ImageIn his lecture, Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, will address the structural inequity and inherent unsustainability of our current food system and the role and challenges for the food movement in systems transformation.

This event is sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center’s Food and Communities Seminar Group, led by Nárcisz Fejes, and is part of the 2016 Food Week.

Free and open to the public.  Registration recommended. Registration Button




About the Speaker:


Eric Holt-Giménez,

Warrior Chorus Sun. April 10th, 2016
3:00 pm-5:00 pm


Warrior Chorus is a major new national humanities program by New York’s Aquila Theatre Company, Warrior Chorustraining 100 veterans in four regional centers to present scholar-led public programming based on classical literature.  The programming performed by veterans focuses on critical social issues including war, conflict, comradeship, home, and family and includes veteran-led readings, discussions and the innovative use of New Media. This event will feature a performance by the New York Warrior Chorus, followed by a discussion moderated by Cleveland native and MacArthur Fellow, Professor Thomas Palaima of the University of Texas.  

The Wades in Wartime – 1830-1945 Sat. April 9th, 2016
2:00 pm-3:00 pm


Wade LetterThe name Wade is familiar to many in northeast Ohio who enjoy Wade Park, the area surrounding Wade Lagoon, or those who attend Wade Oval Wednesdays.  University Circle is a nationally and internationally respected cultural center thanks, in part, to the generosity and influence of the Wade family.  The 9000+ pages of the Jeptha Homer Wade Family Papers, 1771-1957 in the archives of the Cleveland History Center at WRHS consist of correspondence, diaries, travel journals, autobiographical sketches, deeds, drawings, financial records, and scrapbooks that can be mined shed light on a wide range of topics. 

The Baker-Nord Distinguished Faculty Lecture – Thirty Four Miles from Kent State: CWRU and the Vietnam War Fri. April 8th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm


GrabowskiTalkImageWhile not Berkeley or Columbia, Case Western Reserve University became a visible part of American campus unrest in May 1970 when students blocked traffic on Euclid Avenue in the wake of the shootings at nearby Kent State University.  This incident and the student strike that followed serve as the center points of what some remember as a brief campus flirtation with radical protest.   Yet, the story of change and protest at CWRU is much deeper.   In this presentation John Grabowski, CWRU’s Krieger-Mueller Joint Professor in History and Historian and Senior Vice President for Research and Publications at the Western Reserve Historical Society,

Feeding War: Gender, Health, and the Mobilized Kitchen in WWI Germany Thu. April 7th, 2016
6:00 pm-7:00 pm


WWINutritionHeather R. Perry, Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, will share her research on World War 1’s impact on the homefront in Germany. Perry’s work provides an overview on medicine, population health, and public policies in wartime, with more in-depth scrutiny of how women and their families coped with privations that impacted their health and well-being. This event is co-sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Dittrick Medical History Center and is the Center’s 2016 Handerson Lecture.

Free and open to the public.  

Rose Wohlgemuth Weisman Women’s Voices Lecture – Mourning for Lost Art Tue. April 5th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm


DestructionIn times of war, why do armies destroy cultural artefacts? And what does it mean when we, far away onlookers, mourn that destruction even as lives are being lost? In this lecture, Pakeistani novelist Kamila Shamsi looks at the role of culture, the threat it poses to those who are fighting for an ideology, and the ethics of our reaction to that destruction.  It also asks what the word ‘lost’ means in relation to art. 

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Under Cover of War: The Armenian Genocide and Its Continuing Ramifications Mon. April 4th, 2016
6:00 pm-7:00 pm


Armenian Image

World War I provided the cover for the ultranationalist “Young Turk” dictatorship of the Ottoman Empire to take brutal measures to eliminate the native Armenian population. Not only did more than half of the Armenian inhabitants, 1.5 million perish, but the Armenian people was dispossessed of its homeland of several thousand years. Richard Hovannisian, Professor Emeritus at UCLA and Adjunct Professor at USC working with the Shoah Foundation, discusses the reasons for, and the continuing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, including its direct relationship to the Holocaust and other genocides.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion – May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970 Sun. April 3rd, 2016
2:00 pm-4:00 pm


Voices ImagesScreening of the award-winning documentary film May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970. The film is based on the play May 4th Voices, which comes from the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, a project that collects and provides access to personal accounts of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State and their aftermath. A panel discussion will immediately follow the screening. Participants will include the playwright David Hassler, Jonathan Shay, and Shannon French of CWRU.

Free and open to the public.  

Remembering War – Keynote Address: Moral Injury and War Fri. April 1st, 2016
4:30 pm-6:00 pm


VitenamImageWhat is it about the experience of war that can ruin the lives of the men and women whom we send off to fight? The standard definition of post-traumatic stress disorder is too narrow to account for the psychological wounds inflicted in combat. In his keynote address Jonathan Shay discusses how culture, social systems, mind and body are all implicated when moral injury is the consequence of war. Shay is a doctor and clinical psychiatrist, who is best known for his books, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming,

Graduate Student Work-in-Progress – Global Fictions, Religious Violence, and Secularism’s Antinomies of Value Tue. March 29th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

hamid roy rushdieFor several contemporary novelists, secularism and globalization collide in a way that recasts sociopolitical debates as questions of aesthetic value. By configuring religious practices as models for aesthetic perception, transnational writers such as Salman Rushdie, Mohsin Hamid, and Nadine Gordimer transform contemporary anxieties about religious violence by highlighting art’s vulnerability to the violence of markets and states. Ray Horton, a graduate student in the Department of English, examines how many of today’s most prominent global fictions thus encourage readers to ask how the projects of secularism and globalism are intertwined, and they do so by reaffirming the capacity for art to forge new modes of attention.

Faculty-Work-in-Progress – Attempt at a Mythology Tue. March 22nd, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

LucasTalkImageWhat place do our oldest stories have in twenty-first century poetry? How can contemporary lyric make and unmake myths of its own? In this talk on his manuscript in progress, SAGES Fellow and poet Dave Lucas calls upon the wisdom and failures of these texts to reckon with our own moment in human history, in which we seem collectively balanced on the brink of anthropological and ecological disaster of mythic proportions.

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 About the Speaker:

Lucas ImageDave Lucas is a writer,

Graduate Student Work-in-Progress – The Amateur Instrument: Teenagers, the Electric Bass, and Garage Bands 1958-1964 Thu. March 17th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm


The VenturesThis lecture examines how the electric bass transitioned in the late 1950s and early 1960s to its current position as rock’s primary low-end instrument. Through an exploration of the musical, social, and economic culture of American teenagers, Brian Wright, a graduate student in the Department of Music, argues that the normalization of the electric bass resulted from the confluence of three distinct historical trends: the popularity of instrumental rock bands like the Ventures, a grassroots influx of self-taught amateur musicians, and the prosperous economic climate of the late 1950s. Analyzing economic data on teenagers and the musical instrument industry as well as cultural texts such as the Sears catalog,

Faculty-Work-in-Progress –  From Translation and its Aftermath: The Soviet Legacy in a Post–Socialist Cuba Thu. March 3rd, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

In her lecture, Damaris Punales-Alpizar, Assistant Professor of Spanish, proposes an approach to the socialist literature in Spanish that was consumed in Cuba from the sixties to the nineties and, following the theories of translation of Itamar Evan-Zohar, attempts to elucidate the peripheral and central role that such literature had in the formation of a Cuban literary polysystem. 

Pre-lecture Reception begins at 4:15 pm in Clark Hall Room 206.

Free and open to the public.  Registration recommended. Registration Button


About the Speaker:

Punales-AlpizarDamaris Puñales-Alpízar is Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

The Joseph and Violet Magyar Lecture in Hungarian Studies: Hungarian Foreign Policy – Renewed and Adjusted to Today’s Challenges Tue. March 1st, 2016
5:00 pm-6:00 pm



H.E. Dr. Réka Szemerkényi, the Ambassador of Hungary to the United States, will discuss current developments in the foreign policy of her country in light of recent events that have unsettled Europe and the international community.

In the last few years we have witnessed major changes and developments in international politics which have challenged the architecture of international system we have known since the 1990 system changes in Europe.

Graduate Student Work-in-Progress – A Comedy in Five Acts: A Gamified Pedagogical Approach to Shakespeare Thu. February 25th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Gaming ImageMichelle Lyons-McFarland, a PhD candidate in the Department of English, will explore what it means to take plot, trope, and narrative and turn them into game rules, in effect highlighting them for players/students and audiences. What are the consequences of including social games in the classroom? How can you turn a classic work of literature into a game, either for personal amusement or pedagogical purposes?

Pre-lecture reception begins at 4:15 pm in Clark Hall Room 206.

Free and open to the public.  Registration recommended. Registration Button


Humanities@Work:Law Mon. February 22nd, 2016
6:00 pm-7:00 pm

LawImagePanelists discuss how studying the humanities influenced their careers.

Panelists include:

Joel Levin (University of Chicago ’82) majored in history and philosophy. As a lawyer at Levin & Associates Co., LPA, he represents victims against wayward banks, financial institutions, lawyers, accountants, police, sheriffs’ offices and prison officials. He has also founded two software development startups.

Maria Del Monaco (Tufts University ’83) majored in English and economics. Formerly a partner at Ulmer and Berne LLP, she now practices as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. Susan Friedman (Washington University ’91) majored in political science and English.

Faculty-Work-in-Progress – Invisible Women: Gabon’s ‘Empty Canon’ Thu. February 4th, 2016
4:30 pm-5:15 pm

Gabon is unique in that its women writers have historically been predominate in creating its national literature. Despite its many milestones in this area, however, this tiny nation has not received the critical attention that other African neighbors have enjoyed. In her talk, Cheryl Toman, Associate Professor of French, examines the “herstory” of Gabon’s literature which may explain why.

Pre-lecture reception begins at 4:15 pm in Clark Hall Room 206.

Free and open to the public.  Registration recommended. Registration Button


About the Speaker:

TomanCheryl Toman is an Associate Professor of French,

Exceptional Measures: The Human Sciences in STEM Worlds Thu. January 28th, 2016
5:00 pm-6:00 pm


In this lecture, Jerome McGann, John Stewart Bryan Professor at the University of Virginia, discusses the idea that Humanist studies focus primarily on phenomena that is singular, idiosyncratic, and – in a word – personal. As such, they can appear to lack the procedural rigor that we rightly associate with STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. But the rigor of humanist studies is not STEM-deficient, it is just STEM-different. We can see the difference most clearly if we seek a philological rather than a philosophical view of the humanities,

Humanities@Case Fri. January 22nd, 2016
12:30 pm-1:30 pm

HumanitiesPanelists will discuss the resources available specifically to undergraduate humanities students at Case Western Reserve University and answer questions from the audience. Panelists include:

Elizabeth Banks, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, will discuss the opportunities for community service and active learning.

Autumn Beechler Stebing, Assistant Director of Education Abroad in the CWRU Center for International Affairs, will discuss the opportunities and process for studying abroad.

Leigh Bonds, Digital Research Services Librarian for the Humanities at Kelvin Smith Library,

Edge of Disaster–Vaccines and Epidemics Thu. January 21st, 2016
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

smallpox imageThe recent outbreak of Ebola in parts of Africa–and the frightened posts and live-tweets that accompanied two infected health workers as they returned to the US–give us a glimpse not only of an epidemic’s power but of our private terrors. Self-preservation, fear of the unknown, and a desire to protect the boundaries of nations, persons, bodies and cells brings out the best and worst in us. History History provides both sides; the uninfected locked up with the infected in 14th century plague houses, left to starve and suffer in the dark–or doctors like Cleveland’s Horace Ackley, who personally combated and contained an outbreak of Asiatic cholera in Sandusky in 1849.

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