Awesome Lectures this Weekend

The War on Terrorism: Are We Winning?

Weseminar 8: In the summer of 2006, almost five years after the 9/11 attacks, 84 percent of the experts polled by the journal Foreign Policy said that the United States is not winning the war on terror. Does the U.S. have a grand strategy for defeating terrorism? How should we measure policy success? Are our goals too ambitious? Have we chosen the wrong methods? An informed and reasoned public debate on these questions is essential.


Presenter: Martha Crenshaw, professor of government and the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor of Global Issues and Democratic Thought, a 1995 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and editor of the books Terrorism, Legitimacy, and Power and Terrorism in Context

? SAT., 9:30 A.M.

The Heart of the Campus

WESeminar 10: In September 2007, Wesleyan will open the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center and the beautifully renovated Fayerweather meeting and rehearsal spaces. Planning for these important buildings has spanned the past decade and has involved students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Join us for a preview of this state-of-the-art campus center, which will serve the community in many important ways; learn about the services and programs that will bring the Usdan Center to life and are certain to make it the heart of campus.


Presenters: Rick Culliton, dean of campus programs and university center director; Alan Rubacha, consultant, construction services

? SAT., 10 A.M.

Mary Roach: Queen of the Dead or Just a Curious Gal?

WESeminar 19: Join the author of The New York Times best-sellers Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, for an informal talk about her journey from ordinary journalist to America’s premier chronicler of the strange and disgusting.


Presenter: Mary Roach ’81 has been mixing science and humor for 15 years: in her Salon.com column and in her magazine pieces for Discover, Health, The New York Times, Outside, and Wired. She is the winner of the 2006 National Press Club humor writing award and her book Spook was a 2005 New York Times Notable Book.

? SAT., 3 P.M.


Disaster! One Year After: Global Storm Warning

WESeminar 21: In less than two years, we have witnessed at least three catastrophic events: the Asian tsunami, the earthquake in Pakistan, and Hurricane Katrina. Organized on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the exhibition Disaster! One Year After addresses weather-related natural disasters-their causes and their aftermath. Included in the exhibition is a broad range of contemporary works that include installations, sculpture, video, and documentary material that explore this phenomenon through conceptual, poetic, and interdisciplinary approaches. Artists include Donna Dennis, Doug Hall, Mary Lucier, Adam Cvijanovic, Jeremy Blake, and documentary photographers, filmmakers, and videographers. Join curator Nina Felshin, who conceived and organized Disaster! One Year After, and Professor Suzanne O’Connell who will briefly discuss the possible effect of human factors in extreme weather events; and Katie Halper ’03, who will present a short political satire about Hurricane Katrina.


Presenters: Nina Felshin, curator of exhibitions, Zilkha Gallery and adjunct lecturer in art history; Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences; Katherine Halper ’03, co-founder of Laughing Liberally

? SAT., 3 P.M.

Why Jews Laugh at Themselves: The Case of Larry David

WESeminar 25: In an era when Seinfeld has become one of the most popular shows on television, Jewish humor has seen a rebirth. Larry David (cocreator of Seinfeld), Jon Stewart, Adam Sandler, and Sarah Silverman are just four of the “new” Jewish comics who have taken Jewish humor into mainstream popular culture with a new spin. Of course, Jewish humor has been the backbone of American popular comedy for a long time-even on television. The Goldbergs show (with Gertrude Berg) in the early days of television with its roots deep in Yiddish theater, Joey Bishop, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks-the list is a long one. This seminar will explore what is old and what is new about Jewish comedians and Jewish themes in mainstream popular culture today-through the lens of the HBO hit Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring (and written and produced by) Larry David.


Introduction: Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion and director of the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program
Presenter: Bernard Timberg P’08, media studies scholar and author of Television Talk: A History of the TV Talk Show (University of Texas Press, 2003), and winner of the American Library Association’s Choice Award in 2004

? SAT., 4 P.M.

Fitness for the Brain: Keeping a Healthier Mind Through Solving Crosswords

WESeminar 28: Much research has been done to show that solving puzzles keeps the mind healthy, adaptive, and alert. Segments on NBC’s Today and ABC’s 20/20 specifically advocated doing crossword puzzles. So, for those intent on solving the New York Times Sunday crossword, join us for a “chalk talk” on strategies and tips for solving Times puzzles. Then tackle a new Sunday Times puzzle edited by Will Shortz. This will be a challenging, clever, and healthy workout, sure to generate a high-five high!


Presenter: Ed Stein ’60 is a veteran puzzle solver and occasional crossword puzzle constructor for The New York Times, Newsday, et al. He has taught adult education courses in puzzle-solving in Westchester (N.Y.) and Fairfield (Conn.) Counties, classes at senior centers and nursing homes, and received his three seconds of “fame” in the movie documentary Wordplay.

? SUN., 10 A.M.

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