Ermarth Institute Past Programs

Knowledge Shared

  • The War in Ukraine: Past is Present - Christian Raffensperger

The Russian invasion in Ukraine of February 2022 surprised so many people throughout the West, but for the Ukrainians and some Russians and other eastern Europeans it was presaged by history in both word and deed. Christian Raffensperger will talk about the past of the region and how it impacts the present war, including analyzing the claims made by Vladimir Putin, and talking about where the conflict may end. 

  • Why Campaign Coverage is Terrible - Staci Rhine

Campaign coverage is terrible, but probably not in the way that you imagine. In an ideal world, we would learn about the policy differences between the parties and candidates. In reality, too much of the coverage ignores policy and just reports on polls. And in fact, most races beyond a few big ones receive little to no coverage at all. We will discuss how campaigns are covered and why many of us struggle to be good citizens. 

  • Why Always Jane? The Enduring Appeal of Jane Austen - Robin Inboden

If she could see the world today, two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen would probably be bemused (and amused) to see the entertainment empire that has sprung from her novels. For decades, her work has filled the silver screen (Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Clueless, etc.), as well as shelves of books imitating and adapting her Regency romantic plots, with no signs of stopping any time soon. Why does Jane Austen continue to fascinate after two centuries? And what does the ongoing stream of Austen adaptations, sequels, prequels, and other pop culture manifestations suggest about our own society’s values, desires, and anxieties?

  • Environmental Collapse and its Aftermath: Some Lessons from our Ancient Past - Travis Proctor

 In this presentation, Travis Proctor will explore how ancient societies changed in response to environmental disasters. The focus of the presentation will be on the ancient city of Ephesus, located in modern-day Turkey. Ephesus faced many environmental challenges, including a changing climate, flooding, over-silting of its harbor, the spread of disease, and earthquakes. These challenges threatened many of the city’s most valued cultural institutions, including its ancestral religions and political systems. The presentation will explore how Ephesians responded to these challenges both through technological innovations and cultural changes, while examining questions that have relevance for the environmental challenges we face today.

Ermarth Institute: Knowledge Shared Events Archive

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