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Cutting Edge Lecture Series Looks at Murder, Global Warming, Digitized Art and Architecture, World Poverty

Release Date: February 6, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Top University at Buffalo professors will make presentations aimed at increasing public awareness of rapidly advancing fields in the 2007 Cutting Edge Lecture Series, five Saturday-morning seminars sponsored by UB's College of Arts and Sciences.

The presentations will take place in the Center for the Arts on UB's North (Amherst) Campus. Registration and light refreshments will begin at 10 a.m. and lectures begin at 10:30 a.m.

The free lectures, while designed for high school students, will be open to -- and will be of interest to -- the general public. A free shuttle service from the UB South (Main Street) Campus Metro Station will be available for each of the lectures.

A drawing for a 256 jump drive will be held at each event and students who attend three of the five lectures will receive souvenir gifts and an "Honorary Scholar" certificate.

Co-sponsors of the series are the UB Humanities Institute; WNED's "Think Bright" project; WBFO 88.7 FM, UB's National Public Radio affiliate; and the UB Center for the Arts.

On Feb. 24, David Schmid, Ph.D., associate professor of English, will discuss "Homicide and American Popular Culture." Schmid is author of "Natural Born Celebrities (2005)," a book that has earned national recognition for its examination of public and media fascination with serial killers. He has published articles on a variety of subjects, including "Dracula," crime fiction, African-American literature anthologies, and currently is working on a book-length project titled "Mean Streets: Space in Detective Fiction."

On March 3, "The Arctic Meltdown: The Past, Present and Future of Arctic Warming" will be the topic of Jason P. Briner, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology. Briner has published 18 journal articles and more than 70 abstracts on various aspects of ice-sheet dynamics, glacial erosion, glacial history and global warming in a longer-term context His past and ongoing research sponsored by the National Science Foundation in the Clyde Region of northeastern Baffin Island focuses on lacustrine and glacial records.

On March 17, UB alumnus Alan B. Newman, M.A. '70, chief of the Division of Imaging and Visual Services, National Gallery of Art, will present a talk titled, "From Pyro to Pixals: How Digital Imaging has Revolutionized Interpretation, Scholarly Research, Preservation and Access to Art in Museums." At the National Gallery and before that as executive director of the Imaging Department of The Art Institute of Chicago, Newman plans, directs and evaluates digital imaging and multimedia applications and publications and heads a division of photographers, archivists, photographic rights coordinators, darkroom, computer graphics and audio-visual technicians; develops technology initiatives and interactive multimedia installations, leads national seminars and publishes on such topics as digital imaging for museums.

On March 24, Marieme S. Lo, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Women's Studies, will present a talk titled "The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals: Utopian Agenda or Realistic Commitment to Halve Poverty by 2015?" Lo pursues interdisciplinary research on the effects of social learning and diasporic social networks on women's livelihood, diversification, poverty alleviation and social change. She also examines the social embeddedness of female entrepreneurship, a subtext in the growth of the informal economy, and the articulations between global economic shift, globalization, environmental change, and the dislocation and reordering of local economies in Africa.

On March 31, the fields of architecture and media study will be represented in a presentation titled "Media, Architecture and Computing in a Wireless World." Mark W. Shepard, assistant professor in the Department of Architecture and the Department of Media Study will be the speaker. His cross-disciplinary research and practice draw on architecture, film, and new media in addressing new social spaces and signifying structures of emergent digital cultures. His work has been exhibited in many major arts venues and has been published in several journals. Shepard has received a Peabody Award in the field of new media, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in the Humanities, two Independent Projects grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and a Finishing Funds Award from the Experimental Television Center.

For additional information go to http://www.cas.buffalo.edu/outreach/cuttingedge/ or call Michelle Bewley at 645-2711.

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