Wesleying Summer Lecture Series: Part IV

  • Shakespeare, Einstein and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education – Professor David L. Kirp describes the conflict between the ways in which American universities are increasingly pressured to function as businesses within a competitive market and how their educational goals are compromised. (I just read his book on this topic. It’s excellent–especially the final bit about the treatment of adjuncts and non-tenured professors.)
  • Big Bucks, Big Pharma Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry’s marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.”
  • The Beginners Guide To L. Ron Hubbard – “Hardeep Singh Kohli ‘s parents instilled in him the Sikh perspective that there are many roads to God so, despite widespread criticisms of the Church of Scientology, he happily attempted to investigate its beliefs. Hardeep has 10 days to find God through Scientology. Hilarity ensues.”
  • danah boyd on MyFriends and MySpace – On June 19, danah boyd participated in the Berkman Luncheon Series to discuss her work and research in the area of social networks. Prior to her presentation she explained, “Publics offer youth a space to engage in cultural identity development. By engaging in public life, youth learn to interpret the cultural signals that surround them and incorporate these cultural elements into their life. For a diverse array of reasons, contemporary youth have limited access to the types of publics with which most adults grew up. As a substitute for these inaccessible publics, networked publics like MySpace and Facebook are emerging to provide contemporary American youth with a necessary site for peer engagement.”
  • Catholic Senators and Presidential Candidates: Their Faith and Public Policy – NBC newsman Tim Russert moderated a discussion on April 23 in Conte Forum with presidential candidates Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) entitled “Catholic Senators and Presidential Candidates: Their Faith and Public Policy.” The panelists aired views on a variety of hot button issues, including the war in Iraq, stem cell research, the death penalty, abortion, and gay rights, in what Wayne Woodlief of the Boston Herald called “a model of what a good presidential forum can be.”
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