All lectures are held in Jonas 110 at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and are free and open to the public.
Dr. Nikki Dragone: “I Was Real Once,” sighed Mr. Holmes: #BelieveinSherlock #FightJohnWatsonsWar
What if, as some Sherlock Holmes fans have mused, we lived in their world – Sherlock’s, Watson’s and Moriarty’s. What if we followed Dr. John Watson’s blog religiously, having read all of the cases Watson posted to the blog. What if we “loved Sherlock and his intrepid blogger in the way the kid love pop music and bad fashion trends and movie stars. And, what if, one day, some sh___y tabloid told the whole world he was a fake and [our]hero appeared to commit suicide” (Emily Asher-Perrin in “What is the #BelieveinSherlock Movement? And How Did it Get so Widespread so Quickly?). The new generation of Sherlock fans were thinking exactly this way. So much so, that within hours of the January 15, 2012 airing of Sherlock’s “The Reichenbach Fall,” where our hero appeared to have committed suicide in disgrace, the “Believe in Sherlock” movement started among a new generation of Sherlock Holmes’s fans. Within two weeks, this movement, which began on the internet, went viral and spread worldwide. “Believe in Sherlock, “ “’Fight John Watson’s War,” “Moriarty was Real” and other meme’s were sported on T-Shirts, bracelets and buttons and posted on subway platforms, university bulletin boards and coffee shops. This was not the first time that Sherlock Holmes fans initiated a movement in protest of his supposed death. In fact, in 1893 when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, tired of Holmes receiving more adoration from the fans than he, as Holmes creator, attempted to kill Holmes off by having him tumble into Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls while fighting with Moriarty in “The Final Problem,” fans united in protest. Twenty-thousand loyal fans pulled their subscriptions from The Strand magazine according to scholars Leslie Klinger and Daniel Stashower. London’s young men donned black arm bands and mourning crepe on their silk hats in solidarity with Holmes (Klinger xxxii). One woman crossed the street and assaulted Doyle for killing Sherlock (Klinger xxxii). Doyle’s own mother reproached him for even contemplating Sherlock’s demise (Stashower 126). Despite that, it took Doyle ten years to resurrect Holmes in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” What is it about Sherlock Holmes -- a fictional anti-hero of Victorian England -- that continues to command what Holmes’ scholar Tom Keogh rather understatedly calls “continued cultural staying power” in the 128 years since Doyle introduced him to the world? That is what this Geek Speak seeks to explore.
Geeks of the Future
Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung The Narcissistic Doctor? Leadership, Ethics, and Dr. Who
This Geek Speak lecture discusses the concept of narcissism through the backdrop of Dr.Who. We will specifically examine how narcissism can be defined in terms of characteristics such as overconfidence and entitlement, and how these characteristics independently affect an individual's leadership and ethical behavior. After examining the Doctor’s behavior we will determine whether his narcissistic tendencies are a benefit or hindrance to himself, his companions, the earth, and even time itself.
Dr. Martin Fashbaugh “Preaching to the Nerves Instead of the Judgment”: The Victorian Sensation Novel
As a real or perceived threat to class divisions, social mores, and rigid gender roles, the English literary establishment saw the Victorian Sensation Novel of the 1860s (by authors such as Ouida, Charles Reade, Ellen Price, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Wilkie Collins) as an ideological threat. This lecture will go over this genre’s characteristics, the historical conditions contributing to its popularity, its influence on so-called “serious” Victorian fiction, and its lasting influence on Western culture. For example, with its romantic triangles, adulterous relationships, melodramatic circumstances, snobbish upper-class characters, and attractive villains, the Sensation Novel produced the archetypes for the present-day television soap opera. My presentation intends to challenge students’ perceptions of Victorian literature and culture as stuffy and highly moralistic while also helping them to appreciate the Sensation Novel’s enormous impact on contemporary pop culture.
Dr. Amy Fuqua: Biblically Speaking: Sin and the Role of Women in the Christian New Testament
A pregnant, young girl, sane but prone to visions, willing to travel by donkey in her 9th month, and to entertain guests both flamboyant and humble: this is the ideal woman as presented in founding Christian texts. Impossibly, she is both innocent and maternal. Some New Testament women succeed as minor versions of her. Lazarus’s sisters, for example, prove their devotion. So does the mother of John the Baptist, Elizabeth. Perhaps the only New Testament woman as interesting as Mary is Mary Magdalene, who, despite having once suffered from demons, and despite her later reputation as a recovering prostitute, achieves the honor of being the first to see Jesus after his resurrection. Christian texts leave little middle ground between virgin and whore. Art and literature in the western tradition make that ground even smaller.
Professor Desy Schoenewies: Draw Something!
Get your pencils sharpened, because this Geek Speak will get you geeked out on drawing! We will explore what it means to draw through a brief history of drawing and how the practice of mark-making has evolved to incorporate the latest technologies. We will discuss why artists still practice traditional drawing techniques and explore some contemporary drawing methods! We will understand how drawing expands our critical and analytical thinking skills. A resurgence in drawing and keeping sketchbooks is sweeping the nation with programs like The Sketchbook Project! We'll look at how to keep a sketchbook and to get involved with a community of fellow sketchers! Basic drawing supplies will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Everyone -EVEN YOU- can draw!
Dr. Tom Arnold: Not Just a Cheesy Monster Movie: the Multiple Meanings of Godzilla
For many kids (Dr. Arnold included!), Godzilla movies were a Saturday afternoon staple: settling in on the couch, to watch Godzilla destroy Tokyo and/or do battle with evil space monsters like the three-headed Monster Zero (his personal favorite). It resembled pro wrestling, and with heroes and villains. Depending on the movie, Godzilla played either role, sometimes both. The first Godzilla movie, Gojira, was taken very seriously in Japan upon its release. It was only when the movie reached America that it became the cheesy monster movie beloved by millions.
This Geek Speak will explore the origins of the movie, its meaning in Japanese culture, and its transformation into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. The main sources will be William Tsutsui’s book Godzilla On My Mind, the movies themselves, and a variety of pop culture spinoffs, such as toys, games, and the word “Godzilla” itself, whose latter half has become a pop culture mainstay.
Dr. Dan May: On Hip Hop and Religion
This Geek Speak will explore the connections between religion and hip hop: how has hip hop been influenced by religion? Has religion been influenced by hip hop? What are the common characteristics shared by the two?
Dr. Nate Deichert: Can religion and science get along? Sure, but should they?
This Geek Speak will explore the relationship between religion and science. In this talk, Dr. Deichert will discuss some of the tensions that have arisen over the years between the two areas as well as describe the impact of fundamentalism on this relationship. He will also explore religious belief in the scientific community and what factors influence scientists' beliefs (or lack thereof). Finally, the lecture will conclude with a discussion of the implications of this relationship, and specifically its influence on people's health.
Dr. Dan Swenson: A Tour of Voting Systems: How do we choose a winner?
With the 2016 elections coming up, we take a look at some different voting systems which are used around the world, including Plurality voting (used in South Dakota and other places), Instant Runoff Voting (used in Minneapolis and other places), and Borda Count (used in Heisman Trophy voting, among others). Different voting systems can yield different winners, and also can affect voter behavior: perhaps by giving an incentive for you to vote against your favorite candidates. Are some of these systems better than what we're using now? You be the judge!
If you know how to count, you know more than enough math for this session.
Dr. Trenton Ellis: The Social Life of Meat
Both within the classroom and in research, Dr. Trenton Ellis highlights the social life of food. Meat has meanings beyond the nutritional ramifications of meat consumption in three important ways. First, abstaining from meat involves changes in social relations. The process of adopting a meat-free diet involves changes in the relations people have with animals and impacts the relations they will have with fellow meat-eaters. Second, meat is a symbol in that it has meaning beyond its physical and nutritional characteristics. Within the United States, meat is strongly connected to the social construction of masculinity. Look no further than these Slim Jim commercials for what might happen if you are not being masculine enough. And finally, though we are often not conscious of it, when we consume meat we are participating in a complex social interaction with a number of actors. When we eat meat, we are enrolling in a relationship with breeders, ranchers, food marketing companies, and even entire ecosystems. Whether you love or loathe eating meat, Dr. Ellis’ presentation on the “Social Life of Meat” will satisfy your intellectual appetite.
28 The University Honors Program Capstone Defense
Geeks of the Past
• "Public Speaking: Raising Hell," Dr. Adam Gaffey
• "#BlurredLines: American Raunch Culture," an open discussion with Drs. Courtney Huse Wika, Trenton Ellis, Rickie Legleitner, and Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
• "Stuffies, Sex and the Contemporary Counter-Reformation, Professor Ann Porter
• "So Much More Than 'Just a Game:' A Complete Summer Program Curriculum for School-Aged Children Aligned to Education Standards," University Scholar Megan Hohn.
• "Perspectives on Hunger," Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. John Alsup.
• "Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World’s Rights," Dr. Nikki Dragone.
• "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach," Dr. Laura Colmenero Chilberg.
• "The Origins of Language," Dr. Andrey Reznikov.
• "Outgrowing Optimism," Dr. Tim Steckline.
• "Robin Hood Redux: How through Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), CEOs Rob From the Poor and Pay the Rich," Dr. Byron Hollowed.
• "Now That It's Too Late?: Climate Change and the Anthropocene," hosted by Instructor Matthew Bauman.
• "Ethnobotany and Indigenous Lakota Plants," hosted by Professors Jace DeCory, Justin Ramsey, Tara Ramsey, and John Dixon.
• "I'll Take You to the Dark Side: Our Fascination with Death and Disasters," hosted by Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto.
• "The Man on the Motorcycle: The Revolutionary Thought of Che Guevara," hosted by Dr. Tim Martinez.
• "Always Contested:The Confederate Flag in the Public Imagination," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
• "All that is Good is Nastier than Ever: Punk vs. Disco: The Defunkification of the Nation," hosted by professors Kelly Kirk and Chris Hahn.
• "Just Do It: Sports Participation & Onset of Sexual Behaviors in Adolescents," hosted by Kristin N. Prescott (Defense).
• "Cracking the 'Hermeneutically' Sealed Box of Structuralism: A Poststructuralist Reading of Nicos Poulantzas," hosted by Cody A. Drolc (Defense).
• "Mathematical Instruction: Sometimes Change is Good," hosted by Myranda K. Mattke (Defense).
• "In the Name of the People: Castro's Revolution in Theory, Practice, and Results," hosted by Kim R. Kaufmann (Defense).
• "Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb: A Complex History and Analysis," hosted by Lucas C. Fralick (Defense).
• "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game." John Ginther.
• "The Truth is in Here: Why 12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run the Country (and Other “Crazy Conspiracies) Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis.
• "Love Me I'm Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Alternative Rock," Dr. Dan May.
• "Breaking Bad and Inexhaustible Extreme Met(h)aphor," Dr. David Crimean.
• "You Want to Send a Message, Use a Telegram. Theatre, Politics, and the Art of Confrontation," Dr. Pam Wegner.
• "The Videogame Monologues: An Examination of Gender in a Male Dominated World," Instructor Will Cockerel.
• "All That Is Good Is STILL Nasty: The Continuing Funkification of the Nation Part I: Funk and Urban Culture in the 1970s," Dr. Chris Hahn and Professor Kirk.
• "Butchers, Buffoons, and 'Basterds': Nazis in Popular Culture," Dr. Tom Arnold.
• "The Sound (and a Bit of Sense) of Poetry from Ancient Times to the Present," Dr. Nicholas Wallerstein.
• "Hands Up Don't Shoot: Boiling Points of Tension in Ferguson, Missouri," hosted by Professor Desy Schoenewies.
• "The Rhetoric of Equality: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Arguments on Civil Rights," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
• "Disruptive Depictions of Disability in South Park," hosted by Dr. Rickie Ann Legleitner.
• "Welcome to the Zombie-Ridden Landscape of the Real: The Walking Dead and the 21st Century Passion for the Real," hosted by PhD Candidate Tyrone White.
• "The Fall Defense: Revealing Tournament Theory's Motivational Techniques within Hollywood Movies; On Finding Hope" hosted by Julie Gueswel and Jordan Louks.
• "The Geek Chic" hosted by Dr. Robb Campbell.
• "Lincoln and Gettysburg From Rhetorical Artistry to National Totem," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
• "For pairs of lips to kiss maybe / Involves no trigonometry : Mathematics and Poetry," hosted by Dr. Dan May.
• "Practical Magic: The Myths and Rituals of Halloween," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.
• "The Dark Mouse: The Evils of Disney," hosted by Dr. Tim Steckline.
• "Why Democracy Needs Good Novels: The Future of Fiction," hosted by Dr. Amy Fuqua.
• "WE ARE #RAVENSNATION: Violence in the NFL," an open panel discussion. Hosted by Drs. Marker, Anagnopoulos, Gaffey, and Wallerstein.
• "All That is Good is Nasty: The Funkification of the Nation," Hosted by Dr. Chris Hahn.
• "Happy? The Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment:" Hosted by Dr. Jami Stone.
• "The Super History of America's Superheroes," hosted by Professor Kelly Kirk.
• The Defense: "The Surveillance Industrial Complex: America's Privacy Crisis;" "Distinguishing the Meditative Benefits of Drawing Within and Without Borders on Acute Stress," hosted by Nicole Faas and Kaitlin Schneider, respectively.
• "This is Gonna Suck: The Vampire in History and Literature," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.
• "A Look at Beauty: Bias, Brokenness, and the Pursuit of Truth," hosted by Professor Gina Gibson.
• "Children Beware! Stephen King and Evil in Its Many Forms," hosted by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg.
• "My Bloody Valentine: The Psychology of Serial Killers," hosted by Dr. Emilia Flint.
• "Just a Shadow You're Seeing That He's Chasing: Bob Dylan, Mystic," hosted by Dr. David Cremean.
• "What Does the Fox Say: The Animal in Art and Society," hosted by Dr. Ann Porter.
• "We Wish you a Merry and Terrifying Christmas: Myths, Histories, and Legends of the Holiday"
• "56 Houses Left: Urban Decay and Abandonment," hosted by Professor Desy Schoenewies.
• "Killing the President: JFK and the Conspiracies," hosted by Dr. Sasha Pursley.
• "The Good Death: Death and Dying in the Civil War," hosted by Professor Kelly Kirk.
• "Your Guide to the Apocalypse: The History of Zombies," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.