Division of Social Sciences

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Archive for February, 2012

Research Travel Grants Available Through LALS

Posted by mzoltan on 16th February 2012

Graduate and undergraduate students at Brandeis can apply for Jane’s Travel Grants for research in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latin American diaspora in the United States:

Brandeis graduate students and undergraduates in all departments are eligible to apply, although students in the LALS major/minor receive highest priority. Proposals connected with a senior project, departmental honors thesis, independent research, internship, master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation are eligible. Small grants are also available for groups of students traveling to Latin America during inter-semester or spring breaks in connection with a class or structured study project. Recipients will be required to make a presentation on the research to the Brandeis community upon return.

Learn more: Jane’s Travel Grants

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Thursday, 2/16, Noon, “Arousal-Biased Competition in Perception and Memory”

Posted by mzoltan on 15th February 2012

Colloquium Talk

Mara Mather
University of Southern California

“Arousal-Biased Competition in Perception and Memory”

Thursday, February 16, 2012
12:00 PM
Location:  Levine-Ross, Hassenfeld

Sponsored by
Martin Weiner Lecture Series
NIGMS Brain, Body & Behavior Training Grant
NIA Cognitive Aging in Social Context Training Grant

Abstract:  Our everyday surroundings besiege us with information.  The battle is for a share of our limited attention and memory, with the brain selecting the winners and discarding the losers.  Previous research shows that both bottom-up and top-down factors bias competition in favor of high priority stimuli.  In this talk, I will outline a theory of arousal-biased competition that posits that arousal during an event increases biases favoring high priority stimuli both in perception and in long-term memory of the event.  Arousal-biased competition theory provides specific predictions about when arousal will enhance and when it will impair memory for events, accounting for some puzzling contradictions in the emotional memory literature.


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Thursday, 3/1, 3:30 p.m. “The Bog and the Beast: Museums, the Nation, and the World.”

Posted by mzoltan on 14th February 2012

As part of the colloquium series, the Department of Sociology is very excited to host Peggy Levitt, Professor at Wellesley College, and Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. She is a highly acclaimed author, and has written books such as “God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape,” ”The Transnational Studies Reader,” and “The Changing Face of Home.”

On Thursday, March 1st, Professor Levitt will be speaking about her new book, “The Bog and the Beast: Museums, the Nation, and the World.” In a short summary of “The Bog and the Beast: Museums, the Nation, and the World,” Professor Levitt writes: “This book is about how museums walk the line between the global and the national and about whether they will ultimately fuel nationalist fires or help create a brave new global world.” The event will take place from 3:30 – 5:00 in the Intercultural Center- Second Floor Multipurpose Room (NOT HP accessible) at Brandeis University. We hope to see you there!

To learn more about Professor Levitt and her work, visit: http://www.peggylevitt.org/

Hosted by the Department of Sociology and the Martin Weiner Distinguished Lecturers Fund

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Thursday, 3/1, 5 p.m. “Responsive Teaching: Hard to Do and Hard to Learn.”

Posted by mzoltan on 14th February 2012

On Thursday, March 1, join us for a talk at 5 p.m. by Prof. Magdalene Lampert on “Responsive Teaching: Hard to Do and Hard to Learn.”  Prof. Lampert is Chair of the School of Education, University of Michigan. She is a renowned scholar of teaching practice and a math educator at the elementary, secondary and university levels.  Her talk, which will be relevant to teachers of all subjects and all grade levels, will be illustrated by classroom videos.  The program will be in the Mandel Humanities Center Atrium and will be followed by light refreshments.  Details at www.brandeis.edu/programs/education/news/lampert.html#lampert

Sponsored by the Education Program and Master of Arts in Teaching program.

“Responsive Teaching: Hard to Do and Hard to Learn.”

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Thursday, 3/1, 3:30 p.m., “‘The man can do nothing I conceive to obtain a Support’: Disability, Class, Masculinity, and Citizenship among Pensioners of the Revolutionary War”

Posted by mzoltan on 14th February 2012

On Thursday, March 1, 2012 @ 3:30 p.m. in Olin Sang 207, BENJAMIN IRVIN, an alum of the Brandeis American History Graduate Program, will  lecture on “‘The man can do nothing I conceive to obtain a Support’: Disability, Class, Masculinity, and Citizenship among Pensioners of the Revolutionary War”.

All are invited to attend this History Department event.

Disability, Class, Masculinity, and Citizenship among Pensioners of the Revolutionary War

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Thursday, 3/1, 4 p.m. “Latin@s and the Politics of Museum Display.”

Posted by mzoltan on 14th February 2012

“Latin@s and the Politics of Museum Display.”

Thursday March 1, 4pm – Rappaport Treasure Hall

Davila is the author of numerous publications, including the books Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race. (NYU Press, 2008), Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City (University of California Press, 2004) and Latinos Inc.: Marketing and the Making of a People (University of California Press, 2001). Co-sponsored by the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, American Studies Program, the Office of the Dean, Hispanic Studies, and Fine Arts .


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The Great Illusion of Gettysburg

Posted by mzoltan on 13th February 2012

Yoni Appelbaum’s latest article for The Atlantic, “The Great Illusion of Gettysburg,” examines the role of Paul Philippoteaux’s cyclorama of the battlefield at Gettysburg in shaping the American public’s sense of the Civil War:

Cyloramas — paintings wrapped around the interior of a rotunda, their foregrounds filled with props to create an impression of depth — were a familiar sight in Europe throughout the 19th century. Philippoteaux, a French artist, had already painted a number of European battles when he was hired by a consortium of Chicago investors to apply his magic to Gettysburg. He spent months researching the clash and interviewing survivors, and even commissioned photographs of the landscape, before embarking upon the greatest challenge of his career. A team of artists labored for months in Brussels. The finished painting, unveiled in Chicago in 1883, weighed six tons and cost the investors $200,000. The same team produced three other versions, with only minor alterations, for display in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Four hundred feet long. Fifty feet high. It was art on an astonishing scale. All four versions were housed in massive, purpose-built rotundas. In Boston, for example, visitors walked through a grand crenelated archway, paid for their tickets, and proceeded along a dark winding passage toward the viewing platform. They ascended a winding staircase to another time and place. “The impression upon the beholder as he steps upon this platform,” one reviewer wrote, “is one of mingled astonishment and awe.”

Appelbaum is a doctoral candidate in American History at Brandeis and a lecturer in history at Babson College.

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Brandeis Professor Buys Franklin County Farm

Posted by mzoltan on 12th February 2012

Wondering what Brian Donahue is doing on his sabbatical? Check out this NECN article on Professor Donahue and how he combines environmental history with hands-on farming:

“It’s a balancing act,” said the curly-haired, bearded hands-on academic, who’s just driven nearly two hours from his home in suburban Boston to oversee the construction of the post-and-beam house being built with native hemlock, cherry and white oak from the property along the Fall River. “I combine my teaching, my research and the farming I do as much as I can. It sort of lends something extra to each of them.”

Donahue, who teaches courses on environmental history, sustainable farming and forestry and early American culture, was involved in developing Harvard Forest’s 2005 “Wildlands and Woodlands” document, which called for protecting half of the forests in Massachusetts by 2050 primarily through sustainable management practices and also collaborated on a similar 2010 vision for protecting 70 percent of the New England’s forests by 2060.

But Donahue, who dropped out of Brandeis as an undergraduate in the 1970s so he could work full-time on a farm in neighboring Weston, but then returned there in the 1980s to get his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate there, is also knee-deep in drafting a “New England Good Food Vision 2060.”

In it, he maintains that even conserving 50 percent of southern New England in sustainably harvested “working” forest would still allow for farmland around the six-state region to be expanded threefold from 2 million acres to about 6 million acres. That would translate to about 15 percent of the region to active farming by 2060, about the same as it was in 1945.

Donahue is an Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis.

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“Spiritual Border Crossings: Postpartum Seclusion and Religious Otherness in Ethiopia”, 2/16, noon

Posted by mzoltan on 12th February 2012

Thursday, Feb 16, 12 Noon, International Lounge
Anita Hannig on “Spiritual Border Crossings: Postpartum Seclusion and Religious Otherness in Ethiopia”

Part of the Medical Anthropology Series sponsored by the Department of Anthropology

Spiritual Border Crossings

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“Mother: Caring for 7 Billion” — Valentine’s Day, Tuesday 2/14, 6:30 p.m.

Posted by mzoltan on 12th February 2012

Feb 14, 6:30 pm
Wasserman Cinematheque

“Mother: Caring for 7 Billion” Film Screening

With respondents: Robert Walker, President of the Population Institute, and Purnima Mane, former United Nations Population Fund Deputy Executive Director, current President Pathfinder International. Sponsored by International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, School of Science, Center for German and European Studies, Environmental Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies & Sustainable International Development.

Mother: Caring for 7 Billion


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