Contemporary Issues

Contemporary Issues

Do Women Know Everything?
A perfect fit for women’s history month (March), this talk looks at women’s representation (or lack thereof) in the media, in fields including politics and sports. The talk grows out of Weekes’ research for her book Women Know Everything!: 3241 Quips, Quotes, and Brilliant Remarks, a collection of quotations by women from around the world—from India’s Mother Theresa to Britain’s Victoria Beckham, Kenya’s Wangari Maathai to the U.S.’s Ellen DeGeneres. She will discuss the genesis and necessity of her book given the lack of positive, non-stereotypical media representations of women. She will also provide additional background information on some of the inspiring, groundbreaking women featured.
Dr. Karen Weekes

Lobotomy to LSD: Research Exploitation of Especially Vulnerable Children During the 20th Century in the United States Dr. Newman recently co-authored a book called "Against Their Will" about the exploitation of children in medical and psychological experiments throughout the 1900s. She also frequently gives conference presentations about the rights of children as research participants. After discussing the forces at play in the last century that may have led researchers astray, and presenting the ethical principles that should guide researchers, she will give a brief summary of the book "Against Their Will" and highlight some of the key research studies that were exposed in the book in areas such as radiation, vaccination, diet, psychological treatment, etc. Dr. Newman will also speak of research misconduct in which researchers fabricated or fudged data (e.g., the Wakefield study regarding a link between autism and vaccines) with serious ripple effects.
Dr. Judith Newman


Mindfulness & Beyond: Buddhism & Health in Global and Historical Perspective
The past few decades have seen the emergence of the “Mindfulness Revolution” in mainstream American popular culture. Hospitals, prisons, daycare centers, college campuses ... mindfulness meditation is seemingly everywhere these days. In fact, since the inception of Buddhism nearly 2500 years ago, Buddhists have understood various facets of their tradition to be sources of health and healing. But how established are the links between meditation and physical health? Dr. Salguero will give an overview of the history, contemporary practice, and scientifically - demonstrated effects of meditation practice. He will situate the contemporary focus on the health benefits of meditation within the global history of Buddhism and medicine, and will outline the many rich and complex Buddhist approaches to healing that have been (and still are) used globally, and will suggest directions for further historical and clinical research beyond meditation. 
Dr. C. Pierce Salguero


Political Activism, African American Women, and Religion
In historical and narrative works, the sociopolitical activism of African American women has often been linked to religiosity as a resource providing both inspiration and organizational skills. Very little empirical evidence exists, however, to corroborate these finds. Utilizing recent survey data collected from African American women residing in the Philadelphia area, this program examines the ways in which various dimensions of religiosity intersect with their communal and political activities. Presentations can be modified to cover such issues as (1) the “spillover effect” theory (i.e. the popular assumption that Black women acquire certain church-based skills that are subsequently transferred to the political arena; (2) differences and similarities in traditional Black vs. White denominations relative to Black women’s political activism of the Black church and its influence of African American women’s political behavior.
Dr. Valeria G. Harvell


What is STEAM? It's what you get when you stir ART back into the STEM disciplines...and if you want to know what that's like, look no further than Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, William J.J. Gordon, and Paul Graham. it's not a new idea to mash-up art and technology, but an idea once abandoned by curriculum designers is now being revived. explore the current state of STEAM and how this contemporary movement can be engaged.
William Cromar


Understanding Women's Sexuality Through the Years
Phases in life such as marriage, motherhood, and menopause affect the way women show their sexuality and their sexual encounters, desire, and desirability.  As women progress through the years and experience (or fail to experience) these emotional and physical transformations, the way they feel about their sexuality changes as well. The purpose of this research is to show how different life transitions function as turning points or influences in women’s sexuality. This research is based on in-depth, face-to-face, individual interviews with 95 women diverse in age, marital status, parental status, race, and social class.
Dr. Beth Montemurro


Using Lessons from the Past to Understand a Post-9/11 World
Rebuilding lives and restructuring our senses of meaning have been major concerns for many Americans since the September 11 attacks on our country. In an attempt to understand the ways in which survivors of previous horrific experiences have restructured their shattered lives and sensibilities, the Transcending Trauma Project at the Council for Relationships has been conducting interviews with more than three hundred Holocaust survivors, their spouses, children, and grandchildren to try to understand the methods by which individuals cope, adapt, and recreate their lives after experiencing traumatic events. The lessons learned can be both useful and inspiring as we face the on-going turbulence in contemporary society.
Dr. Hannah Kliger


Wrestling with Contemporary Issues
Join a philosophy professor in examining the difficult dilemmas presented by contemporary society and its rapid advancements in medical and scientific technology. Consider the impact controversial issues—such as cloning, privacy rights, euthanasia, neuroethics, and reproductive options—might have on your own life and relationships and on the future of society in general.
Dr. Gary Calore