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2007-2008

The Revenge of the Trickster: Unpredictability in Modern Science

31 January 2007
Mark Fulton

Tricksters spread messiness and unpredictability, and they thrive on obscurity and confusion. In this presentation, Science is a natural enemy of the trickster. Dr. Fulton discussed how four scientific developments since the mid 19th century have forced us to realize that some things may be unpredictable in principle; the trickster may be built into how the universe works.

Lubbock or Leave It: Culture & History on the Llano Estacado

22 February 2007
Stephen Bogener

Located in northwest Texas and eastern New Mexico, the Llano Estacado or Staked Plain is a land of paradox. Ensconced in Spanish mystery and lore with the 1540 entrada of Francisco Coronado, this wide expanse of hardscrabble canyon, grass and cotton offers a unique history. It is a cultural milieu to be sure, but the contradictions are hidden in plain sight. The contradictions of this place define it historically, geographically and culturally.

Laughing Towards Understanding: The Use of Irony in Film as Social Criticism

21 March 2007
Virgil Bakken

The use of ironic humor in film is one of the most effective tools for understanding the values and norms of our culture. Cinema serves as the primary mode of communal storytelling in American popular culture. This presentation addressed 3 critical functions of film irony: 1) as a tool for translating real life experience into film narrative; 2) as a vehicle for understanding cultural values; 3) as a communal space that promotes mutual understanding.

A Tribute to Cinderella: Modern Fruit Agriculture and the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940

11 April 2007
Christopher Atkinson

Midwestern fruit agriculture production levels vary for a variety of reasons, although one less obvious cause for fluctuations is due to winter storms. The Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 and early episode of arctic air significantly impacted the long-term production levels & distribution of fruit agriculture region-wide. Studying the impacts of this event helps explain some of the decadal changes to the distribution and quantities of fruit grown in the Midwest.

Conservation of Endangered Waterfowl in Hawaii

21 September 2007
Elizabeth Rave

Three species of endemic waterfowl are found on the Hawaiian Islands: Laysan Ducks, Koloa and Nene. Population numbers of these species have declined due to loss of habitat, introduced predators and introduced competitors. This lecture discussed the conservation efforts that are currently underway to increase population numbers of these endangered waterfowl.

What's in a Word? "PMS" as Constructed Through College Student Essays

2 October 2007
Lora Bertelsen

The acronym for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) has become so widely recognized that it is used as a word independent from the original meaning. Results from a study of college students showed that "PMS" was conceptualized as any physical or mood symptom, bad luck, emotional reaction and unpopular behavior by a female, at any time. In this presentation, Dr. Bertelsen talked about this study and how researchers and clinicians are urged to confront these conceptualizations and work to create effective social, medical and individual interventions.

Culture, Gender & Identity: The Future Challenges

23 October 2007
Dada Maglajlic & Mark Christensen

This lecture was the final in a series of seven lectures. In this series, these two faculty members, with different cultural backgrounds and identities, embarked on a journey of learning/discovery pertaining to culture and intercultural encounters. This final lecture looked at the future: what does the future hold for us from a local to the global level?

The Bemidji Area Economy: What to Expect and How to Harness It

8 November 2007
Anthony Schaffhauser

The north central counties of Minnesota, including the Bemidji area, experienced significant growth over the past ten years. Retirees are resettling in the lakes area, creating demand for services and construction. Experienced workers also are moving in to fill the resulting jobs, in turn adding to the demand. This influx of people maintained job growth through the 2001 recession and recent "jobless recovery." But the growth in business establishments is faster than the growth in jobs, indicating an increasing role for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the area economy. This lecture looked at what we can do to harness the opportunities and what role our natural resources and environment play in our economic well being.

A Geographic Approach to Examining Commercial & Recreational Fishing Impacts in US Regulated Ocean Waters

29 January 2008
Jeff Ueland

Understanding the impact of commercial & recreational fishing on the marine environments is critical. The collapse of species specific fishing industries such as cod and its inability to recover has shed light on the importance of monitoring these resources. This lecture presented a framework for comparing commercial and recreational catch in the U.S. at a refined scale. The results of studies were examined through the lens of fishing regulation to better understand the dynamics of human activity on the fish stocks of the United States.

Improved Formability By Control of Strain Distribution in Sheet Stamping Using Electromagnetic Impulse Energy

14 February 2008
Vincent Vohnout

Sheet metal stamping failures consist of either tearing or wrinkling. good parts are produced when the strain energy is effectively distributed during the forming process such that tears and wrinkles are avoided. A recently developed method for more directly controlling the distribution of forming energy in a stamping operation is based on an extension of electromagnetic impulse forming. This presentation focused on the basic design approach of the multiple pulse technique along with some initial forming results.

Rural Women & Obesity: How Built Environments Influence Physical Activity

26 February 2008
Jeanine Gangeness

Rural women tend to be physically inactive and are at a higher risk for obesity. A case study has been done in two rural communities with populations of less than 1,000. The purpose of the study was to describe and explain 1) the perceptions of rural women regarding rural built environments conducive to physical activity, and 2) what influences availability, accessibility and maintenance of these built environments for physical activity of rural women. This presentation looked at the findings of the case study and what can be done through local, state and federal policies to assess the needs of rural communities.

The Jeanette Smith Case: Defending Battered Women on Trial

2 April 2008
Janet Prater

In 1979, Jeanette Smith was charged with open murder in the stabbing death of her estranged husband. The case was groundbreaking at the time because most women who killed abusive partners employed the insanity plea in their defense. Attorney Janet Prater and civil rights lawyer, Dean Robb, acted as co-counsel in the defense of the Smith case. In this presentation, Professor Prater talked about the classic case that began her specialization in the area of domestic violence. There was also discussion about how changes in response to domestic violence continue to make a difference in the lives of victims/survivors or domestic violence.

Where Do Poems Come From?

15 April 2008
Susan Hauser & Maureen Gibbon

Professors Hauser and Gibbon each read 1-2 poems and discussed the poems' origins and the process of writing them. Poems reproduced in a booklet were distributed as a handout to the audience.

Ethics and Climate Change: Are We Going to Hell in a Handbasket?

9 September 2008
Scott Borchers

Are we morally obligated to mitigate change? Most people think that we have an ethical obligation to mitigate climate change. This lecture examined the Kyoto Protocol and pointed out its shortcomings. Inter-generational equity (the notion that we are obligated not to leave future generations worse off) and its main flaws were also discussed.

Understanding the World of 3D Stereoscopic Imaging

1 October 2008
Barbara Hanus

The next evolution of communication imaging is 3D Stereoscopic and the evolution is happening now! With the convergence of inexpensive digital imaging equipment and the advances of digital computer hardware, stereoscopic imaging is close to becoming the next standard in visual communication. In addition to a broad range of 3D movies, games, visualizations and animation, the rapid growth of 3D display products has revolutionized how 3D content is viewed. This demonstration gave a look into the future and how the technology works.

Brand Placement in Television Programs

14 October 2008
David Smith

Brand placement occurs in many of the television programs and movies seen in the U.S. today. This lecture focused on brand placement in television programs as it relates to the wealthiest and largest segment today, the Baby Boomers. Based on a study that includes a random sample of Baby Boomers, Dr. Smith talked about the ethically charged brand placement, gender relationships, television consumption and age as each relates to the acceptability of brand placement.

Documenting Ourselves: How Direct Cinema Made Celebrities of Us All

18 November 2008
Virgil Bakken

During the 60's and 70's, new technology allowed film cameras to follow sports figures, politicians and rock stars on stage and off. We witnessed candid or "real" portrayals of non-actors. They called it Cinema Verite - "Film Truth." Since then, technology has exponentially raced forward until we can now literally document ourselves and publish our lives on YouTube. Consequently, we are left with many questions about objectivity, representation of self, and the true role of documentary film today.

Cultural Representations of Work/Family Balance

3 December 2008
Colleen Greer & Deb Peterson

How do the print media represent individuals' attempts to balance work and family? Do they take a business organization point of view or do they take a family perspective? This presentation looked at the results of a content analysis of articles published from 1990-2005 in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal that discussed these aspects of 'balance.'