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History Seminar Spring 2012 Schedule

June 6, 2012

Tulipmania

Presented by Teri Balkenende, History Instructor

In the Dutch Republic in 1636, a single tulip bulb sold for the whopping price of 600 guilder-equivalent to $7,725 in contemporary American currency. Over the next three weeks, the price of that same bulb would triple. What on earth would make anyone pay that kind of money for a single flower? And what happened to him when the price of tulip bulbs collapsed the following spring?

May 30, 2012

The History and Treatment of Mental Illness

Presented by Ruth Frickle, Psychology Instructor

How do we define mental illness? Has it always been part of the human condition? Treatment for mental illness has changed over time, but in some ways it remains the same. Why?

May 23, 2012

Beyond Fin de siècle: The Shakeup of Early 20th-Century Art & Music in the US

Presented by Chiemi Ma, History Instructor

Expansion, immigration, and urbanization during the late 19th and early 20th century created pressing issues that influenced American artists and musicians. When the American public and artists were introduced to the avant garde of European art, this set in motion a new trajectory for American art and culture. Were the sophisticated Europeans responsible for "culturing up" the Americans?

May 16, 2012

Geologic Forces that Changed History

Presented by Eric Baer, Geology Instructor

We like to think of history as a flow that we can somehow control. However, sometimes a singular, apparently random disaster strikes that makes us realize that historian Will Durant was right: "Civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice." Come to History Seminar as we explore some of the great geologic disasters that altered the course of history: the eruption that paved the way for the rise of ancient Greece, the earthquake that struck Tokyo in 1923 and led to World War II, and an earthquake in Portugal in 1755 that not only caused the destruction of one of the great colonial powers but also altered the course of philosophical thought.

May 2, 2012

The Great Moon Hoax

Presented by Lonnie Somer, Anthropology Instructor

Video not available.

A surreal landscape, strange-looking men, alien life forms? In 1835, the New York Sun newspaper carried a series of articles purporting that there was new scientific evidence for the existence of these things on the surface of the moon. As word spread, it became a national and then an international sensation. How could such a fictional news story come to deceive so many people? And yes, parallels might very well be drawn to today's media.

April 25, 2012

History of Indonesia

Presented by Chris Foertsch, English as a Second Language Instructor

Although the modern Republic of Indonesia gained independence only relatively recently (just after WWII), the hundreds of ethnic groups spread across some 17,000 equatorial islands have a complicated and rich history that goes back centuries. Before European powers sought to control the wealth found on the legendary "Spice Islands," the Indonesian archipelago had already been at the crossroads of international trade for millennia. Buddhist, Hindu, and then Muslim kingdoms rose and fell before the Dutch eventually brought this diverse country under its colonial umbrella, to be succeeded by charismatic leaders, decades of dictatorship, and a maturing multi-party democracy. The world's largest archipelago, the world's largest Muslim majority nation, and the world's 4th most populous country, Indonesia is an intriguing and important country that deserves to be better understood in America.

April 18, 2012

Jim Crow and the Great Migration

Presented by Davidson Dodd Political Science Instructor

From the time of World War I until about 1970, large numbers of African Americans participated in the Great Migration, leaving the South for new lives in the North, Midwest, and West. For many, the decision was motivated as much by a desire to escape the Jim Crow South as it was by hope for economic advancement. Join Davidson Dodd as he explores the historical meaning of Jim Crow, drawing specifically on such books as The Strange Career of Jim Crow, The Warmth of Other Suns, and The New Jim Crow; the artwork of Jacob Lawrence; and poems by Langston Hughes and Richard Wright.

April 11, 2012

The Baka of Cameroon

Presented by Emmanuel Chiabi Anthropology, History, and Political Science Instructor

Once cohabiting the tropical forest of Cameroon (as well as parts of Gabon, Congo, and the Central African Republic) with large and small animals, the Baka (also known as Pygmies) have lost most of their "home" to Cameroonian Bantu and foreign loggers. Who are the Baka? How did they survive in the rainforest, and how are they adjusting to the changing world around them?

April 4, 2012

World War II in Cartoons

Presented by Tim McMannon, History Instructor

 


 

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