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Science Salon & Humanities Hour

Science Salon & Humanities Hour - Lectures at Lunch for Staff

There is remarkable research and scholarship that surrounds us every day at Northwestern University. Weinberg College staff members host an ongoing series of faculty talks given especially for staff where there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions, discuss, and learn about what the scholars we work with do, and the new knowledge that they create.

Faculty Department or Field Date (noon-1pm unless otherwise noted) Room Title of Talk

Jessica Winegar


October 25, 2017

Trienens Forum Room,

Popular Culture and Protest in the Middle East

This multi-media talk focuses on the important role played by popular culture in motivating political protest in the Middle East. Drawing on her first hand experience during the Egyptian uprising in 2011, Professor Winegar will show how young revolutionaries used music, chants, poetry, and graffiti to articulate their political demands, gain supporters, and ultimately succeed in overthrowing a dictator. The talk will also reflect on the fate of the 2011 uprising through the lens of popular culture to shed light on current political struggles in the Middle East and beyond.

Jennifer Lackey


November 30, 2017

University Hall
Hagstrum Room 201

Captive Minds: The Necessity of Education behind Bars

 For the past two years, Prof. Lackey has been teaching college courses at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum-security men’s prison in a suburb of Chicago. All of her students have been convicted of at least one murder and nearly all of them are serving very lengthy sentences, yet they are among the most engaged and thoughtful students she has taught. Drawing on this experience, along with research on the benefits of prison education, Prof. Lackey will show why education, especially at the postsecondary level, should be provided in all prisons.

Steven Jacobsen

Earth & Planetary Sciences

January 24, 2018

Tech F160

Earth's deep water cycle: are the oceans just the tip of the iceberg?

In his Northwestern laboratory, Steve Jacobsen uses gem-quality diamonds as superhard anvils to squeeze geologic samples to pressures found in the Earth's core. Subjecting rocks to extreme conditions, he and his students have found that certain minerals can contain a significant amount of water, in the same way that water is dissolved into a cake at high temperatures. The amount of H2O deep inside the planet may far exceed the oceans in scale, with implications for plate tectonics, the origin of Earth's water, and the processes that led our planet to become a habitable world.

Martha Biondi

African American Studies/History

Tuesday, March 6th 2018

Harris 108

BursarTakeover@50: Reflections on the role of the University in the Black Freedom Struggle

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 Black student occupation of the bursar's office at Northwestern. The protest ushered in a wave of reforms but not all of the students'  demands were realized. How far have we come since 1968 and what challenges define our own time?

Co-sponsored by
the Weinberg Mentors Group
This lecture will be held from 12:00 - 1:30pm.

Lunch will be provided

Neil Kelleher


April 11, 2018

Tech F160

Beyond the human genome:  mapping all proteins in the human body
Humanity domesticated plants 10,000 years ago - now, we need to "domesticate" human proteins to better understand health and diverse types of human diseases. A first step is generating the definitive parts list of protein molecules that comprise the human body.   Scientifically, the project core involves precision measurement of ~1 billion protein molecules for the disruptively cheap price of $1 each. Neil’s brief talk will be about getting our arms and minds around the Human Proteome - like we did for the Human Genome to great effect over the past few decades.  There is a ~15 minute TEDxNorthwestern talk viewable on Youtube.

Nick Davis

English/Gender & Sexuality Studies

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

University Hall
Hagstrum Room 201

Today We're Gonna Study Like It's 1999

Recently, I have departed from the traditional film-per-decade way of teaching the history of film and opted instead for entire seminars devoted to 12-15 movies that all premiered in the same year, highlighting the overlaps but also the conflicts and paradoxes that characterize any individual moment in history.  Last quarter, I taught fifteen freshmen, all born in 1999, a class about the unusually innovative and diverse set of films produced by Hollywood and by filmmakers around the world on the eve of the millennium.  This teaching experiment has morphed into a research project on some distinctive themes and film-industry changes that emerge in the movies of 1999.  The book also examines the value of structuring syllabi this way and teaching students about the exact moment at which they entered the world—a cultural moment recent enough to remain accessible, but distant enough to startle them (and me) with how much has already changed.

Science Salon & Humanities Hour committee members: Hafiza Adam, Pam Beck, Sarah Ferrer, Crystal Foster, Elizabeth Foster, Nancy Hickey, Greg Jue, Emily Kefferstan, Beth Clifford Smith,  Jennie Woodring.  

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