podcast

The Making of an Icon: Black Harlem and the Jewish Lower East Side with Catherine Rottenberg

This past April, the University of Kentucky's Jewish Studies Program was lucky enough to host a lecture with renowned scholar and author Catherine Rottenberg. The talk, titled "The Making of an Icon: Black Harlem and the Jewish Lower East Side," concluded a series of special events hosted over the past year by the Jewish Studies Program. Rottenberg is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics and the Gender Studies Program of Ben Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel. She is also the author of Performing Americanness: Race, Class, and Gender in Modern African-American and Jewish-American Literature.

 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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Literary Encounters with Vampires: Michael Carter

Since long before the most recent glitzy boom, vampires have been haunting our imaginations and our literature. In a new course being offered this fall, English 130: Literary Encounters - Vampiresthe English department's Michael Carter will introduce students to the storied mythology of vampires whose written history dates back to over a century before Bram Stoker's iconic Dracula.
 
In this podcast, Carter discusses the origins of what we call vampires today; what students can expect in the class through its examination of literature, film, and television; and some of the reasons why Vampires have achieved such eternal cultural relevance including unlikely connections to economics. 

 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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The Art of Argument and Bullshit: Jenny Rice

This fall, University of Kentucky WRD Professor Jenny Rice will be leading the course UKC 381: Argumentation - “Deliberation, Persuasion, and Bullshit in the Public Sphere." While the title of the course may seem provocative, the topic is serious. In the class, students can expect to examine the tactics and strategies used to argue key issues in the public sphere and what the legacy of those arguments have left us with today.

In this podcast, Professor Rice discusses the role of argumentation in our lives daily as well as what philosopher Harry Frankfurt infamously labeled “bullshit" and its impact on conversations both local and national. 

 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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Fresh Opportunities in Jewish Studies: Janice Fernheimer

 

For nearly two decades, the Jewish Studies program has drawn students and faculty from all over UK to teach and learn about Jewish culture, language, history, and beyond. In this podcast, I spoke with up-and-coming Jewish Studies Director, Jan Fernheimer, about what’s in store for Fall 2013, including a visiting scholar from Israel, a film series, and opportunities to connect with communities within and beyond the Commonwealth. 

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The Origins of Religious Disbelief: Will Gervais

According to recent research, approximately one in five Americans don’t identify with a religion. Will Gervais, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, studies the origins of atheism, and is a recent addition to UK's faculty. In January 2013, he co-authored an article, "The Origins of Religious Disbelief," in the journal, Trends in cognitive sciences. Co-written with Ara Norenzayan from the University of British Columbia, the article defines four different types of atheism and their origins. 

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Opening New Doors: Debdas Mukerjee

University of Kentucky alumni Debdas Mukerjee graduated in 1962 with his Ph.D. in genetics. After UK, Mukerjee contributed his expertise to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center before his career finally carried him to the Environmental Protection Agency where he was a Senior Environmental Health Scientist for the United States. 

All of this was not Mukerjee's plan but he found that both the University of Kentucky and the state itself opened the doors of America to him in way he would never have imagined. In this podcast, Mukerjee reminisces on his "innumerable" memories at UK and gives some advice to current students so that they too can get the most from their academic experience. 
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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The Meaning of Life: Will Gervais

During the 2013 fall semester, University of Kentucky students will have the opportunity to delve into questions that explore some of society's most deeply held beliefs. The ambitiously titled class, "A&S 300: The Meaning of Life - Psychology, Evolution, Religion, and Morality," will be led by Psychology Professor Will Gervais who has focused his research around this very topic.

In the class, students can expect to investigate the psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of religious and moral beliefs through studies of cognitive and evolutionary science. Gervais hopes to use this lens to encourage students to not ask questions around whether or not a higher power exists, but instead question why people believe what they do and the implications of that on society.
 
In this podcast, Gervais touches on these issues and how now more than ever, it's important that we use the tools of science to examine the roles of religion and morality.
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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The Foundations of Peace: Clayton Thyne

This fall, Political Science Professor Clayton Thyne will be teaching A&S 100: Introduction to Peace Studies. The class will serve as a portal into the wide range of theories exploring the nature and causes of conflict, the possibilities for conflict resolution, and the foundations of peace.

Paired with this course is a new interdisciplinary certificate in Peace Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences. As a part of the new certificate, students interested in expanding their understanding of issues of peace and justice at both local and global levels will be able to take a series of courses specific to the certificate as well as courses in their own fields of study that intersect with discussions of peace.
 
In this podcast, Professor Thyne discusses his class, the field of Peace Studies itself, and the advantages that the new certificate program affords University of Kentucky students. 
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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Choose Your Own Adventure: Camille Westmont, Jacob Welch, and Jordan Neumann

University of Kentucky students Camille Westmont, Jacob Welch, and Jordan Neumann each have their own story but shared between them is the common thread of Anthropology. Within the major there are four subfields of study: archaeological, biological and cultural anthropology, taught in the Anthropology Department; and linguistics, taught in the Linguistics Program

This diversity gives the Department of Anthropology's students room to explore their varied interests and choose their own academic adventures. 
 
Such was the case with Camille Westmont and Jacob Welch, who found their calling in the sub-discipline of archeology and the Yucatan peninsula. Meanwhile, for Jordan Neumann, it was cultural anthropology and all things Tibet that he found himself drawn towards. 
 
Equally present in each of these students' stories is the Department of Anthropology's faculty and staff who are always ready and willing to help students find their way.
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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Creation and Conservation: Alex Brooks

Local book conservator and letterpress printer Alex Brooks graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2003 with a degree in English. He graduated from a Master’s program in Book Conservation in England at West Dean College in 2012. In this interview, Brooks talks about his experiences at UK and in England, and how he is putting his knowledge to use around Kentucky. 

This podcast was produced by Cheyenne Hohman

Photo courtesy of Tom Eblen and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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