Elizabeth Chang, Department of EnglishEveryone loves a good roast, even of a beloved writer. In commeration of Charlotte Brontë’s bicentennial, Elizabeth Chang, Associate Professor of English at MU, considers the legacy of Jane Eyre’s famous author. Will she burn her down like Thornfield Hall? Come find out—and bring your book club!
Nathan Hofer, Department of Religious StudiesThere have been a number of notable Islamic revolutionary movements over the past 1,500 years. Is the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) one of them? In this installment of Speaking of Culture, Professor Nate Hofer of MU’s Department of Religious Studies will help us consider ISIS in the context of some of history’s most successful Islamic revolutions: the original movement from 7th century Arabia; the Wahhabi revolution of the 18th century; and the Iranian revolution of 1979.
Nina Furstenau, Department of Science and Agriculture JournalismWhether you bring your beloved or go stag, don’t miss Nina Furstenau, acclaimed author of “Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland,” discuss how food and love are connected across cultures in this special Valentine’s Day Speaking of Culture.
Lily Gurton-Wachter, Department of EnglishThose experiencing the momentousness of new motherhood—its joys and difficulties—frequently search for ways to help contextualize and consider their sometimes terrifying new role. While literature might seem an obvious source of communion for new mothers, finding works that portray their complex experience deeply is more difficult than we might think. With that in mind, MU English professor Lily Gurton-Wachter revisits some essential literary works (among them Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Eula Biss’s On Immunity, and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts), which have been essential to her since becoming a mother herself.
David Schenker, Department of ClassicsThe cacophony of the 2016 presidential season is upon us, with its punditry, Super PACs, and relentless bluster. Bernie or Hillary? Trump or Carson? The choices counfound us. So how do we choose? Eureka! We turn to the Classics, with the help of Professor David Schenker, who will show us some familiar leadership archtypes in Homer’s epics and find among our candidates their contemporary analogs.
Steve Weinberg, School of JournalismWe love to know about the lives of fascinating figures, but how does a biographer decide what to disclose and what is off limits? Acclaimed author Steve Weinberg, of MU’s School of Journalism, explores the biographer’s role and methodology, based in part on his experience writing about such compelling subjects as muckraker Ida Tarbell, magnate John D. Rockefeller, and Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.
Signe Cohen, Department of Religious StudiesPlease join us as we kick off the 2015-16 Speaking of Culture season with…ancient Buddhist robot tales? Affirmative! Professor Signe Cohen of MU’s department of Religious Studies, teacher of wildly popular courses including “Harry Potter, Magic, and Religion” takes us to futures past in what is sure to be a fascinating talk.