Faculty Lecture Series

Faculty Lecture

The Hartwick Faculty Lecture Series was established to highlight and share the scholarly work of our faculty with their peers, students, and community members.

The series consists of lectures given during the academic year. Faculty presenters discuss research conducted with students and colleagues across the globe.

2019 Fall Semester Dates:

September 18, 12:20-1:30 p.m.; Eaton Lounge
Dr. Ryan Ceresola
Trust me: The use of conspiratorial language in modern politics

Historically, politicians have worked to maintain status-quo governing, to avoid encouraging citizens to think government actors are not working in society’s best interest. However, current political operators often invoke conspiratorial language, seemingly in an attempt to foster distrust in their own citizenry. While President Trump might be the exemplar of this, the questions are raised: do other politicians invoke similar language in their countries? How does that affect citizens? To answer this, I use quantitative text analysis to analyze campaign statements and tweets, searching for conspiratorial language in key political operators. To understand how citizens interpret the import of these statements, I examine how many retweets each conspiracy-oriented tweet has compared to non-conspiracy-oriented tweets. Finally, I follow this process for the international use of such language. Policy implications and suggestions for future research will also be discussed.

October 23, 12:20-1:30 p.m.; Eaton Lounge
Bob Gann, Ph.D.
Fermi’s Paradox

Fermi’s Paradox is the contradiction between the apparent high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of contact with them. In 1950, Nobel Prize winning physicist Enrico Fermi, following an informal lunchtime discussion on possible UFO sightings, exclaimed, “Where is everybody?” Fermi, a gifted theoretical physicist who made significant contributions to statistical mechanics, postulated the existence of the neutrino, and built the first nuclear reactor, reasoned that the Milky Way contained hundreds of billions of stars, many like the sun and billions of years older.

If we assume, as the Copernican principle suggests, that the Earth is not special, many intelligent life-forms should have developed advanced technology for communication or even interstellar travel. If this is so why, after decades of searching, haven’t we seen any trace of aliens? Where is everybody?

November 15,12:20-1:30 p.m.; Eaton Lounge
Professor Richard Barlow

The Venice Biennale has been described as the “Olympics of the Art World.” With a sprawling curated exhibition featuring artists from around the world, and 87 individual National pavilions, the Biennale represents the best of Global Contemporary Art. The curatorial vision and works presented can lead the discourse in museums and galleries in the years following the event. In the summer of 2019 Associate Professor Richard Barlow visited the Biennale on a Hartwick Faculty Research Grant, and will share some of what he saw and experienced.


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