Hilldale Lecture in the Arts & Humanities, 2019-2020
Professor William Chester Jordan
Dayton-Stockton Professor of History
“The First Crusade and Jewish Martyrdom”
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140
Reception prior to the lecture at the University Club 4:45-5:45 p.m
The lecture sketches out the background to the call for the First Crusade, narrates a few of the major events as context for the main story of the lecture, and then concentrates on what has been and can be learned from the Hebrew and Latin sources for the Jews’ responses. It concludes by raising the question of the appropriateness of the language of trauma to categorize the European phase of the crusade and its impact on the continent’s Jews.
Hilldale Lecture in the Biological Sciences in 2019-2020
Professor Patrick Cramer
Department of Molecular Biology, Director
Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Hilldale Lecture in the Physical Sciences, 2019-2020
Professor Marcia Bjornerud
Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geology
“Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World”
Thursday, October 10, 2019
AB 20 Weeks Hall, 1215 West Dayton St.
In the early nineteenth century, the young science of geology literally fueled the industrial revolution by elucidating the origins and occurrences of coal. For many decades, geologic investigations were largely driven by the hunt for petroleum, metal ores and other commodities essential to an increasingly voracious industrial economy. With such a record, geology would seem an unlikely source for enlightened thinking about environmental and social policy issues. But as a more mature science, geology has produced an underappreciated commodity: the long view of Earth and life through time. Geology addresses not only pragmatic questions – where to find groundwater, how to protect people from natural hazards – but also deep, even philosophical ones: Where do we come from? Why is the Earth the way it is? What factors favor stable, resilient ecosystems and societies? Both kinds of inquiry are important to humans, and both require a keen sense of temporal proportion – the relative and absolute durations of the great chapters in the planet’s past, the characteristic rates and timescales of natural phenomena. But as a society, we are largely time-illiterate – shockingly ignorant about how our activities intersect with the Earth’s long established habits. Developing the practice of ‘Timefulness’ —the geological capacity to see our place in time in proper perspective — may be a way to spring ourselves out of the polarized mindsets in which we have trapped ourselves. The narratives of natural history are a heritage we all share as Earthlings, and expanded awareness of that legacy may liberate us from our self-destructive tendencies.
Hilldale Lecture in the Social Sciences, 2019-2020
Professor Laura Hamilton
Chair of Sociology
University of California, Merced
Administering Austerity in the New University
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
8417 Sewell Social Science, 1180 Observatory Drive
Hamilton uses case studies of “new universities” to examine how austerity is produced and administered in higher education and to explore its racial consequences. She argues that the choices of new university administrators are not just a logical response to material conditions; they reflect a pervasive culture of austerity. Hamilton focuses on four key austerity practices—get big, cut costs, be market smart, and think (inter)nationally. These practices tend to undercut the experiences of historically marginalized students and may even be counterproductive to organizational survival and prestige production. Consequently, leaders may inadvertently reinforce the state austerity to which they must respond.