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Jump-start your weekend with coffee and stimulating conversation about big ideas with CLA faculty!

Join fellow College of Liberal Arts alumni for a sampler program of some of the most intriguing and relevant ideas currently being explored in our college. “A Brighter U” will feature six faculty-guided, interactive, sessions and concludes with a panel discussion. Experience, once again, the thrill of learning at CLA and the stimulation of engaging with faculty and each other.

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Venue: Coffman Memorial Union (300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis)
Includes: Continental breakfast; 2 topic sessions; and lunch. This is a casual event - we encourage you to dress comfortably.
RSVP: This event is now at capacity.

Parking will be available at a discounted $6 rate in the East River Parking Garage behind Coffman Memorial Union.

Event Details

Coffman Memorial Union Theatre and adjacent gallery
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. - Registration & continental breakfast
8:30 - 8:45 a.m - Welcome by CLA Alumni Society and CLA Dean James A. Parente, Jr.

Topic Sessions
Hour 1: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. (Select one from three options)
  • Option 1: Learning Anthropology Through Science Fiction
    Anthropology professor Gilbert Tostevin pairs anthropology texts and science fiction stories to illustrate how our future is more dependent on how humanity works than merely what the next technological invention has to offer us.
  • Option 2: Social Justice and the Environment
    Sociologist David Pellow will discuss the intersections between social inequality and environmental conflict. His work examines transnational environmental justice movements and global policy frameworks concerning sustainability.
  • Option 3: Traumatic Brain Injury
    TBI is the signature injury from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and record numbers of young athletes are being diagnosed with concussions. Speech-language-hearing sciences professor Mary Kennedy's research focuses on how even minimal damage to the brain can cause problems with memory and executive skills which make it difficult to return to school, work, and family.

Hour 2: 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. (Select one from three options)
  • Option 1: Art as a Catalyst for Environmental Change
    Christine Baeumler (Art) is a community and environmental artist whose work addresses current ecological challenges. In this talk, she'll place her work within the context of other artists who have combined art and the environment in their practices.
  • Option 2: Women in the Middle Ages: Restricted but Resourceful
    Join professor of history Ruth Mazo Karras to look at women in the diverse cultures of Europe between 500 and 1500 CE - see what roles they played in the family, workplace, and religious devotion and how these compare to today.
  • Option 3: Great Depressions and the Global Economy
    Economist Timothy Kehoe will discuss the financial crisis in the Euro Zone and its impact on the world economy. His research examines great depressions of the twentieth century and develops tools to better analyze how these depressions compare and relate to the economy today.

Lunch Panel - China: Three Big Questions
With professors Ann Waltner, Daniel Kelliher, and Joseph Allen, moderated by Christopher Isett.
Campus Club West Wing
11:30 a.m. - 1:00

Post Event Social
Campus Club Bar
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


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