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The Origin of a Poison

As part of German Week at Bowdoin, Harvard history professor Alison Frank Johnson explained how cocaine's slide into infamy was a global process that illustrates the complicated relationship between the German and Austrian Empires.

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Back at Home, Students Reflect on Alternative Spring Breaks

The 72 students who participated in the McKeen Center’s Alternative Spring Break program gathered for a special dinner at Daggett Lounge recently to reflect on their week of service.

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David Stork Lecture: Computer Vision in the Study of Art: New Rigorous Approaches to the Study of Paintings and Drawings

David Stork Lecture: Computer Vision in the Study of Art: New Rigorous Approaches to the Study of Paintings and Drawings

April 21, 2014 4:15 PM  – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

What can computers reveal about images that even the best-trained connoisseurs, art historians and artist cannot? How much more powerful and revealing will these methods become? In short, how is the "hard humanities" field of computer image and analysis of art changing our understanding of paintings and drawings?


David Stork's lecture will include computer vision, pattern recognition and image analysis of works by Jackson Pollock, Vincent van Gogh, Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, Lorenzo Lotto, and several others. You may never see paintings the same way again.

Sponsored by Bowdoin's Digital and Computational Studies Initiative.

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Spanish Fascism and the Spectacle of Garcia Lorca's Missing Corpse (Carmen Moreno Nuño)

Spanish Fascism and the Spectacle of Garcia Lorca's Missing Corpse (Carmen Moreno Nuño)

April 21, 2014 7:30 PM  – 10:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Professor Carmen Moreno Nuño, University of Kentucky, focuses on the memory of the Spanish Civil War, which has become a central topic in Spain in the twenty-first century, generating a very heated public debate. Taking as a point of departure a new concept of memory that conceives of it as a contested site, she develops an analysis of the press (440 articles) released around the failed opening of poet Federico García Lorca's grave in 2009-10. García Lorca's death, which epitomizes the horror of Fascism, is one of the most intriguing mysteries of the twentieth century. The failed opening of his alleged grave illustrates how memory has become a site of contestation, as the meaning of the missing corpse and its emblematic status is displaced by a new discourse that turns the opening of the grave into a spectacle, constraining and encapsulating the elusive myriad of meanings that surround Lorca's dead body into a simplified (and politically non-threatening) discursive construction.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages.

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Film: Vanishing Point (2012)

Film: Vanishing Point (2012)

April 24, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

7 PM - April 24, 2014
Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall

Navarana is an Inughuit elder from the northern district of Greenland.  In the 1860s, her ancestor led a legendary Inuit migration to Greenland.  More than 150 years later,  Navarana connects with distant cousins and explores these two isolated groups.

Free.

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Must Mediterranean Men be Masculine? Reflections on a Stereotype

Must Mediterranean Men be Masculine? Reflections on a Stereotype

April 24, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Michael Herzfeld is Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1991. The author of ten books -- including A Place in History (1991), Cultural Intimacy (1997), The Body Impolitic (2004), and Evicted from Eternity (2009) -- and numerous articles and reviews, he has also produced two ethnographic films (Monti Moments[2007] and Roman Restaurant Rhythms [2011]). His honors include the J.I. Staley Prize and the Rivers Memorial Medal (both in 1994) and honorary doctorates from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2005), the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki (2011), and the University of Crete (2013). He has served as editor of American Ethnologist (1995-98) and is currently editor-at-large (responsible for "Polyglot Perspectives") at Anthropological Quarterly. He is also a member of the editorial boards of several journals, including International Journal of Heritage Studies, Anthropology Today, and South East Asia Research. His research in Greece, Italy, and Thailand has addressed the social and political impact of historic conservation and gentrification, the dynamics of nationalism and bureaucracy, and the ethnography of knowledge among artisans and intellectuals. He is currently working on a book and a film about the politics of heritage and spatiality in Bangkok.  

Sponsored by the Mellon Initiative in Mediterranean Studies.

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Queering Chinese 'Comrades': Film Screening & Discussion

Queering Chinese 'Comrades': Film Screening & Discussion

April 28, 2014 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Monday, April 28
7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Cui Zien is China's first independent queer filmmaker and an outspoken queer activist. Queering Chinese 'Comrades' presents a comprehensive historical account of queer culture in China for the last 30 years. The documentary uses exclusive interviews and original film footage to examine how shifting attitudes in law, media, and education have transformed queer culture from an unspeakable taboo to an accepted social identity.

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, Asian Studies Program, Film Studies, and Gay & Lesbian Studies.

Free and open to the public.

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Matthew W. Wilson Lecture: Quantified Self-City-Nation: Digital Systems for Attentional Control

Matthew W. Wilson Lecture: Quantified Self-City-Nation: Digital Systems for Attentional Control

April 28, 2014 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Matthew Wilson's presentation draws parallels between the rising consumer-electronic sector associated with personal activity monitors and the rapid visioning of smart urbanism. He interrogates developments in interoperability and propriety, competition and habit, fashion and surveillance. He addresses the social-cultural and political implications for this refiguring of spatial thought and action as well as the capacities reinforced and developed through the implementation of these technologies and techniques.

Matthew Wilson is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University and Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky, where he co-directs the New Mapping Collaboratory. Matt holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Washington. His website is http://matthew-w-wilson.com.

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"What Does Neuroscience Teach us About Free Will?" with Daniel Dennett

"What Does Neuroscience Teach us About Free Will?" with Daniel Dennett

April 29, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 016

A number of distinguished neuroscientists have recently been declaring that their science shows that free will is an illusion. It turns out that what they mean by this is something quite trivial, having almost nothing to do with whether or not we can be morally responsible choosers of our actions--but some of them think otherwise. Exposing the confusions in their thinking is a good job for philosophers.

Please join us for this free lecture
Tuesday, April 29th
4:00 pm
Druckenmiller Hall 016


Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy with support from the Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience.

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The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects

The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects

April 30, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:15 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, at the Smithsonian Institution will discuss objects in the Smithsonian's collections, such as the Star-Spangled Banner, Lincoln's hat, Bell's telephone, Armstrong's trumpet, Warhol's Marilyn Monroe, and even the National Zoo's pandas to weave an engaging history of our nation.

RSVPs are kindly requested, but not required. Contact Christine Piontek: cpiontek@bowdoin.edu.


Illustration: Dr. Richard Kurin

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How to maintain a variable brain

How to maintain a variable brain

May 1, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

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Spindel Lecture: 'Culture and Barbarism: Nazi Art Plundering and the Restitution Field Moving Forward'

Spindel Lecture: 'Culture and Barbarism: Nazi Art Plundering and the Restitution Field Moving Forward'

May 1, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Jonathan Petropoulos is an international authority on Nazi art theft. He is the John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College and is author of several books, including The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany and the forthcoming Artists Under Hitler: The Power of Seduction and the Fate of Modernism in Nazi Germany.

Petropoulos served as research director for art and cultural property on the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, where he helped draft the report "Restitution and Plunder: The U.S. and Holocaust Victims' Assets" (2001).

He has helped organize art exhibitions, such as Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991, and has served as a consultant for a number of Holocaust victims and heirs trying to recover lost artworks. He has appeared in more than a dozen documentary films, including the award-winning The Rape of Europa (2007).

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Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

May 2, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Dana Renga, Assistant Professor of Italian at The Ohio State University, will discuss the ways in which the conventions of melodrama shape the mafia movie, focusing in particular on the Italian box-office hit Romanzo criminale (Michele Placido, 2005). Melodramatic narratives, argues Prof. Renga, create sympathy for the mafia film's brooding anti-hero - a sympathy that is increased when these characters are played by the likes of Italian film idols Kim Rossi Stuart and Riccardo Scamarcio. In "Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama" Prof. Renga examines how such films cause their viewers to forgive the transgressions of their criminal protagonists, and even mourn their deaths.

Prof. Renga works on modern and contemporary Italian cinema and culture, including representations of the Mafia, gender, the holocaust, fascism and terrorism. She has published articles and book chapters on Italian cinema, popular culture, poetry, and literature. She is the author of Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium (University of Toronto Press, 2013), the editor of Mafia Movies: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2011) and co-edits The Italianist: Film Issue. She is currently at work on a book entitled Italian Women's Cinema and the Wounded Filmic Body (1915-2015).

This lecture is sponsored by the Bowdoin College Department of Romance Languages, Film Studies Program, Department of English, and Gender and Women's Studies Program, with additional funding from the Lectures and Concerts Committee and Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.

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In Memoriam: Seamus Heaney

In Memoriam: Seamus Heaney

May 4, 2014 4:00 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

"Art is Our Chief Means of Breaking Bread With the Dead" - W. H. Auden

Celebrating the life and work of Seamus Heaney with Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum, English Department Writer-in-Residence Anthony Walton, and author Jane Brox.

Sponsored by the English Department and Fishouse

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Common Hour with Museum Pieces

Common Hour with Museum Pieces

May 9, 2014 12:30 PM  – 1:30 PM
Museum of Art, Steps

Museum Pieces, a Bowdoin tradition for more than twenty years, will conclude the 2013-2014 Common Hour series. The annual event celebrates the arrival of spring through dance and music provided by the Department of Theater and Dance, class projects, and independent student work.

For more information and to view the full Spring 2014 Common Hour schedule, please visit: Events and Summer Programs: Common Hour

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