BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo faculty members will
share their expertise on a variety of topics during the
UBThisSummer Lecture Series, "The World in Which We Live: Multiple
Disciplines, Multiple Perspectives," to be presented on Wednesday
afternoons this summer on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.
The lectures will take place at 4 p.m., beginning June 6 and
running through Aug. 15 -- with the exception of July 4 -- in 215
Natural Sciences Complex, North Campus. They will be free and open
to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Although
attendance is free, those interested in attending any of the
lectures are asked to register at http://ubthissummer.buffalo.edu/lectures.html.
The UBThisSummer Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of
the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education.
"Why Is Murder So Entertaining?" will be the topic of the first
lecture in the series on June 6 by David F. Schmid, associate
professor of English. Schmid will provide a history of Americans'
intense interest in homicide, concentrating in particular on how
the 20th-century explosion of media -- from television and film to
DVDs and the Internet -- has saturated society with more
representations of murder than ever before.
The remaining lectures in the series and speakers include:
* June 13: "Understanding Trauma and PTSD: A Look Inside the
Psychological World," Gayle Beck, professor of psychology. Beck
will review what is known about psychosocial responses to traumatic
events. Specifically, she will discuss information about expected
emotional responses to extreme events -- recognizing that these
events can be as diverse as sexual assault, car crashes, school
shootings, hurricanes and terrorist attacks -- with particular
attention to normal recovery trajectories. A discussion of
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will include a description of
this psychiatric problem, as well as current evidence-based
treatments in an attempt to de-mystify this emotional disorder.
* June 20: "Trashy Tabloids and Vegas Casinos: The Ancient World
in Modern Pop Culture," Donald T. McGuire Jr., adjunct assistant
professor of classics. In this lecture, McGuire will look at modern
popular culture and explore some of the ways in which we have
recreated the ancient world in general, and more specifically, the
world of ancient Rome, in contemporary culture. He will discuss why
Rome and the ancient Mediterranean elicit such a strong fascination
in our imaginations.
* June 27: "The Concentration of Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites
in Western New York," Nils Olsen, professor and dean, UB Law
School. Focusing on the Model City area within the towns of
Lewiston and Porter in northern Niagara County, Olsen will examine
the current use of the land for waste disposal, focusing on the
legal and political dynamics that have resulted in the
concentration of hazardous-waste facilities in the area.
* July 11: "Ich bin ein Berliner: Why Europeans Once Loved an
American President and What Has Changed Since Then," Andreas Daum,
professor of history. With the end of the Cold War—and
especially since the war in Iraq—Europeans have been
redefining their relationship with the United States. In this
lecture, Daum will revisit the myths surrounding President John F.
Kennedy's 1963 trip to Berlin—where he received the most
enthusiastic welcome of his career—in order to trace some of
the fundamental reasons for the transformation in American-European
relations over the course of the past century.
* July 18: "The Story is True: The Art and Meaning of Telling
Stories," Bruce Jackson, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB
departments of English and American Studies. This lecture, Jackson
says, will be about "making and experiencing stories as something
people do, as one of our basic social acts." He will discuss "how
stories work, how we use them, how they change and how they change
* July 25: "Canada's Unsettled Political Landscape: Implications
for the Canadian-American Relationship," D. Munroe Eagles,
professor of political science and geography, and associate dean in
UB's College of Arts and Sciences. After more than a decade of
majority governments led by the Liberal Party, two successive
minority governments in Canada "have heralded the onset of unstable
political times that show no signs of abating." In this talk,
Eagles will identify the origins of these developments in Canadian
politics, discuss the precarious nature of Canada's current
minority government -- if it even remains in power at the time of
the lecture -- and examine some of the implications for
* Aug. 1: "Human Rights, Human Wrongs and How to Correct Them,"
Claude E. Welch, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in the UB
Department of Political Science. Despite increasing global
scrutiny, human rights abuses continue and are presented regularly
on our television screens. As citizens, Welch says, we may feel
helpless, "both from lack of knowledge about what has occurred and
(more important) from limited awareness about what can be done."
Yet, he says, individuals have made differences in the past, and
will continue to do so in the future. In this lecture, Welch will
answer these questions: "Who are these persons? What
accomplishments have been made? What, in short, are the positive
foundations on which a better future for all can be built?"
* Aug. 8: "The End of the Universe and the Future of Life,"
William H. Kinney, assistant professor of physics. Kinney will
revisit the famous argument first made by Freeman Dyson in 1979
that life in an expanding universe has a limitless future. In light
of recent developments in cosmology, "the reality for the future of
evolution is more complex than Dyson envisioned," Kinney says.
* Aug. 15: "Geographic Medicine: Why We Get Sick the Way We Do,"
Richard V. Lee, professor of medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics
and adjunct professor of anthropology and social and preventive
medicine. Lee explains that human illnesses are shaped by physical
geography, climate, how human beings use the land and the flora and
fauna that reside on the land, and how human activity impacts the
ecology and the environment. Understanding the origins and
distribution of human ailments requires on-site investigation of
the complex interactions of biology, culture, history and
geography, he says, noting that "the doctor has to go to the sick,
not the sick come to the doctor."
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
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University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their
academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate
and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University
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