Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Office of the Provost

News

  • The 2016 Presidential Race: An early look at the favorites and the long shots

    Presented by Jay Goodman, Prof. of Pol. Science and Brian Jencunas ’14 as they look closely at potential presidential candidates. Wed., April 1, 12:30 in PDR. All are welcome to attend.

    Professor Goodman and Brian Jencunas, '14 will look closely at potential Presidential candidates including, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson at the next Faculty Lunch Talk.  All are welcome to attend.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015
    12:30-1:30 PM
    President’s Dining Room

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

     

     

  • Playing Bach's Goldberg Variations on the Modern Piano

    Presented by Ann Sears, Prof. of Music on Wed., March 25 in PDR. Read more…

    Ann Sears discusses the challenges and rewards of performing Bach's Goldberg Variations on the modern piano. One of Bach's most demanding keyboard pieces, this Baroque piece was originally written for a double manual harpsichord. Its architectural complexity and technical demands continue to attract performers and audiences today.

    Please join us for the next Faculty Lunch Talk presented by Ann Sears, Professor of Music.
    All are welcome and encouraged to attend:

    Wednesday, March 25th
    12:30-1:30 PM
    President’s Dining Room

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

  • Minimally Counterintuitive Imagery from the Bible to Harry Potter

    Presented by Tom Dolack, Visiting Asstistant Prof. of Russian on Tues., March 17th at 12:30 in PDR. Read more…

    A key idea in cognitive approaches to religion has been “minimally counterintuitive images” (MCI): that is, beliefs that violate our innate mental categories, such as animals that speak, or minds with no bodies. This counterintuitiveness makes these beliefs more memorable and gives them a cultural advantage. Over the past year my students and I have tried to find ways of quantifying MCI in religious and non-religious texts as a means of testing the predictions of the theory. I will overview the tools we've been using, our preliminary results and what we may be able to do with the methodology in the future.

    Presented by Tom Dolack, Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian. All are welcome to attend.

    Tuesday, March 17th
    12:30-1:30 PM
    President’s Dining Room

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

     

     

     

  • Using Math, it's easier to fix infinitely many holes than just one hole

    Presented by Bill Goldbloom Bloch, Prof. of Mathematics, Wed., March 4th in PDR, 12:30 pm.

    Ice dams are currently causing many houses to leak, and the Beatles wrote about fixing a hole where the rain gets in. Conversely, mending a particular kind of mathematical hole is harder—if cheaper—than patching a real hole. The surprising thing in the research under discussion turns out to be that it is easier to fix infinitely many holes than just one.

    Presented by Bill Goldbloom Bloch, Professor of Mathematics

    Wednesday, March 4th
    12:30-1:30 PM
    President’s Dining Room

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

  • New Horizons at Pluto: What will we find this summer?

    Presented by Geoff Collins, Prof. of Geology. Come and find out what we expect to find, what we might find, and what would be really amazing to find… Wed., Feb. 25th, 12:30 pm in PDR.

    Only a few months now separates us from humanity's first close-up view of the Kuiper Belt, a vast region of icy dwarf planets beyond Neptune. Pluto is the most famous denizen of the Kuiper Belt, having been recently demoted from its status as the ninth planet. The New Horizons spacecraft is currently hurtling toward Pluto, and even though it is the fastest spacecraft ever launched, planetary scientists have had to wait patiently for nine years to get there. During that waiting time, we have made new discoveries about Pluto, and recent research done at Wheaton has pointed to a possible warm and habitable past beneath its frozen exterior. This summer, we will learn whose ideas about Pluto are right, and whose are wrong, as close-up images and other data stream back to Earth. If past experience is a guide, we will certainly discover something we never expected.

    Come and find out what we expect to find, what we might find, and what would be really amazing to find. Presented by Geoff Collins, Professor of Geology on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 from 12:30 - 1:30 pm in PDR.

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

     

  • A Time Machine for Texts is Invented at Wheaton: rolling window analysis and the pre-history of manuscripts

    Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 12:30 pm in PDR. Read more…

    A new method of computer-assisted analysis, invented here at Wheaton, allows us to reconstruct the transmission histories of medieval manuscripts, recovering information that was thought to be forever lost. What we call "Rolling Window Analysis" uses subtle variations in the distribution of allographs (different letters used to represent the same sound) to identify sections of manuscripts that have sources or transmission histories different from those of the main body of the text. Correlating the rolling window analysis with study of the content and style of the texts allows us to see how they were created, copied and modified. The remarkable coincidence of a new archeological find confirming one of our most dramatic discoveries shows the value and potential of the techniques, which were developed collaboratively by students and faculty in the Lexomics Research Group. All are welcome to attend.

    Presented by Mike Drout, Professor of English
    Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm
    President’s Dining Room

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

  • Seamus Heaney, Francisco Goya, and Unveiling the Myth of History

    The first of the Spring 2015 Faculty Lunch Talks is presented by James Byrne, Visiting Assist.Professor of English. All are welcome. Wed., Feb. 11 at 12:30 pm in PDR. Read more…

    This Wednesday lunchtime, James Byrne will attempt to ‘walk the walk’ of the act his students would claim he ‘talks the talk’. He will attempt to both perform and show the value of critical reading by closely analyzing “Summer 1969” by Seamus Heaney – nothing like the Bryan Adam’s song – to show how Heaney’s deep reflection on Goya’s aesthetic allows him to reimagine and challenge the historical reality of violence in Northern Ireland.

    Presented by James Byrne, Visiting Assistant Professor of English.
    All are welcome to attend.

    Faculty Lunch Talk
    Wednesday, February 11, 2015
    President’s Dining Room
    12:30 p.m.

    Click here for the schedule of all Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks.

  • Spring 2015 Faculty Lunch Talks announced

    The Office of the Provost announces the Spring 2015 schedule of Faculty Luncheon Talks. Read more…

    The Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks schedule of titles and faculty presenters is now complete. Descriptions will be added to the schedule as they are received. Speakers receive a free lunch courtesy of the Provost and a chance to present work in progress. All faculty are encouraged to attend and learn what their colleagues are up to.

    Click here for the current Spring 2015 Faculty Luncheon Talks schedule.
    Click here for previously held faculty lunch talk titles and descriptions. You will also find links to talks from previous semesters archived for easy reference.

     

     

     

  • Guardians of discourse: journalism and literature in Porfirian Mexico (1887-1912)

    Kevin Anzzolin, Visiting Asst. Instr., Hispanic Studies analyzes the role and representation of journalism in literary texts from Porfirian Mexico at the next Faculty Lunch Talk. Thurs., Dec. 4th, 12:30 pm in PDR

    Presented by Kevin Anzzolin, Visiting Assistant Instructor of Hispanic Studies

    Under President Porfirio Diaz (1876-1911) Mexico was quickly transformed by new-found social stability, ongoing political liberalization, and significant economic expansion. And yet, intellectuals in Diaz's Mexico were deeply disquieted by the fact that Mexico seemed to consistently lack one of the other cornerstone features of the modern nation-state: namely, what Jürgen Habermas first conceptualized as a 'public sphere'—an enlightened, objective, and necessarily extra governmental space where participants could bracket their particular socio-economic status in order to actively participate in rational debate.

    Curiously enough, Porfirian intellectuals turned to literature in order to shape a concept of the 'public', establish the social position of particular citizens, and meditate upon the character of Mexico's civil institutions. Most specifically, in this presentation, I analyze the role and representation of journalism in literary texts from Porfirian Mexico. By exploring works by Porfirian writers and with a special consideration for the social and historical milieu in which their works were produced, I demonstrate that a primary goal of the lettered class was to define the character of public life.

    All are welcome and encouraged to attend the final Faculty Lunch Talk of the fall semester, given by Visiting Assistant Instructor Kevin Anzzolin.

    Thursday, December 4, 2014
    12:30-1:30 pm
    President's Dining Room

     

  • Jewish flavor principles as culinary 'Midrash': how texts and tastes shape Jewish cultural identy

    Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, Prof. of Religion presents the next Faculty Lunch Talk. Thurs., Nov. 13th, 12:30 pm, PDR. Read more…

    Jewish flavor principles are cultural expansions and interpretations of the basic physiological building blocks of our perception of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami flavors and accompanying aromas and textures that make desirable or repugnant to us. The principles can be articulated as "cultural" prescriptions, their effect is to make some flavors pleasurable, others disgusting. Jewish scriptural and ritual traditions such as the kosher laws and seasonal food prescriptions "evaluatively condition" certain flavors or combinations of flavors into what I am calling "Jewish flavor principles."

    Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, Professor of Religion presents the next Faculty Lunch Talk. Please join in. All are welcome to attend:

    Thursday, November 13, 2014
    12:30-1:30 pm
    President's Dining Room

     For a complete listing of Fall 2014 Faculty Lunch Talks, click here:   http://wheatoncollege.edu/provost/files/2014/10/Faculty-Lunch-Talk-Schedule-Fall-2014.pdf