Every fall semester, the Academic Dean's Office presents a series of lunchtime lectures with Pomona College faculty sharing recent research and papers. This year, professors Len Seligman, Kevin Dettmar, Jade Star Lackey, Valorie Thomas and Oona Eisenstadt lectured, and you may watch videos of their lectures below. (Professor Jonathan Hall also lectured, but video is unavailable.)
Len Seligman: Biotechnology and the Law: Pomona Science on Trial
Professor of Biology Seligman talks about how he became an expert witness in a biotechnology patent case that used findings from his lab as prior art.
Kevin Dettmar: Irony on Trial: Oscar Wilde v. The Picture of Dorian Gray
W.M. Keck Professor of English Kevin Dettmar discusses how Oscar Wilde's famous and celebrated ironic wit -- so successful in his writings -- failed him at his 1895 "gross indecency" trials.
Jade Star Lackey: Zoned Crystals and the Pace of Earth Processes
Associate Professor of Geology Jade Star Lackey discusses case studies from the Sierra Nevada that showcase how to use the mineral zircon to reconstruct magma origins and mixing in the nascent Sierran Arc, and how the vigor and evolution of a CO2-producing hydrothermal system of the arc is archived by the semi-precious mineral garnet.
Valorie Thomas: Neon Slaves, Electric Savages or How Does a Wired Thing Understand? Mapping Black Women's Agency via AfroFuturism
Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies Valorie Thomas introduces AfroFuturism and what it reveals about the politics of race, gender and Black subjectivity. In pop culture, Black women's agency is (subversively) reimagined by way of AfroFuturism in Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" video and Janelle Monaé's portrayal of Cindy Mayweather/the Archandroid in her "Metropolis" video suite, and the Monaé/Badu collaboration on the "Q.U.E.E.N" video.
Professor Oona Eisenstadt: The Hunger Games, Utopias and Concentration Camps
Oona Eisenstadt (Fred Kinsky Professor of Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of Religious Studies) discusses some directions taken by theorists responding to the Holocaust and other 20th century instances of mass death, out of which she highlights and develops ideas about the interplay of utopian and dystopian desires. She then turns to an analysis of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series and speculates on why dystopian novels have come to dominate the genre of young adult fiction.