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Humanistic Studies

Category Archive: faculty

Jeffreys Wins Teaching Award

Professor Dereke Jeffreys was selected as this year’s recipient of the Founders Award for Excellence in Teaching.   Colleagues and students alike express admiration that each of his courses requires direct engagement with and substantive analysis of significant issues, encouraging students to wrestle with important issues and ideas on a personal level. The citation noted that students consistently describe his courses using phrases such as “the most important I have taken during my undergraduate career,” or “the most though-provoking experience I have encountered.” Jeffreys, the author of a recent, critically acclaimed book on the ethics of torture, and a previous book on Pope John Paul II and his philosophy of human dignity, joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2000.

The Last Days of Immanuel Kant

The Green Bay Film Society will present the next International Film of the semester on Wednesday, February th at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of the Neville Public Museum.

The Last Days of Immanuel Kant
(France, 1994)

Based on an 1850s essay by Thomas De Quincey, this little-known drama chronicles a short period in life of the great professor/philosopher in his native Konigsberg, leading up to his 1804 demise at age 80. The story looks more at the great thinker’s odd, obsessive lifestyle than it does his philosophies. Kant, truly a “mad professor,” had himself on a rigid daily schedule. At night he slept in a mummy-wrap while during the day he imbibed tremendous amounts of coffee at rigidly prescribed intervals. The whole town was expected to keep a respectful distance when Kant took his daily walks. Melodrama enters the philosopher’s life after his loyal servant for the past thirty years suddenly leaves.

All are welcome to attend.

More information on the Green bay Film Society may be found here.

Great Books Spring 2009

The Department of Humanistic Studies and the Brown County Library invite you to participate in the fall semester’s Great Books Discussion series.  On the second Tuesday of each month, a member of UW-Green Bay’s Humanitistc Studies faculty will lead a discussion on one of the “great books” of western and world culture.  The schedule for the spring semester 2009 is…

February 10
Shakepeare, The Tempest
(presented by Prof. Catherine Henze, English)

March 10
Leo Tolstoy,  A Prisoner in the Caucasus
(presented by Prof. Kevin Kain, History)

April 14
Hanan Al-Shayk, Women of Sand and Myrrh
(presented by Prof. Heidi Sherman, History)

May 12
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
(presented by Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society)

The discussions are free and open to the public.  Faculty, students, and community members are encouraged to attend.  Of course, we encourage you to read the “great book” before attending the discussion, but even if you cannot finish the work, you may find the session enlightening.

The Great Books Discussion series is held on the Lower Level of the Brown County Library (Central Branch – 515 Pine St., Downtown Green Bay).  Discussions begin at 6:30 p.m.

International Film Series

The Green Bay Film Society, a non-profit community group dedicated to bringing international and independent films to N.E. Wisconsin, in conjunction with the Neville Public Museum of Brown County, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and St. Norbert College, sponsors the Green Bay International Film Series. The following films are being screened during the spring semester, 2009:

February 4
The Last Days of Immanuel Kant (France, 1994)

February 18
Mishima (USA, 1985)

March 4
The Genocide In Me (Canada, 2005)

March 18
Heaven (Germany, 2002)

April 1
The Hungry Bull (Wisconsin, 2007)

April 15
Native American Film Evening

May 6
Who’s Camus Anyway? (Japan, 2005)

May 20
The Singing Revolution (USA/Estonia, 2006)

All films are free and open to the public but suggested for mature audiences. Students, faculty, and community members are encouraged to attend.

Films begin at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Neville Public Museum.

More information on the Green Bay Film Society may be found here.

The Scarlet Letter

The fourth Great Books Discussion will be held Monday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. on the lower level of the Brown County Library (Central Branch – 515 Pine St., Downtown Green Bay).

Professor Bryan Vescio will lead a discussion of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

Hawthorne’s best known novel is set in Puritan New England in 1620. Hester Prynne, a  awaiting her husband’s arrival from England, has an affair with the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. She gives birth to a daughter, but refuses to name the father.  Prynne is condemned as an adulterer and forced to wear the letter “A” on her clothing.  The novel’s  themes of adultery, guilt, and shame raise issues of importance in the contemporary world.

The discussions are free and open to the public.  Faculty, students, and community members are encouraged to attend.  Of course, we encourage you to read the “great book” before attending the discussion, but even if you cannot finish the work, you may find the session enlightening.

Literature, the Humanities, and the University

Humanistic Studies Faculty Forum:

“Literature, the Humanities, and the University:
Three Democratic Institutions”

Bryan Vescio
Professor of Humanistic Studies and English

Friday, 21 November 2008
2:30-3:330
1965 Room

Professor Vescio will present his “pragmatist” theory of literature and attempt to change the way we conceive of literature in such a way as to make it serve a modern, democratic society rather than older forms of social organization.  What is “literature”?  What makes literature distinctive within the humanities?  Where is literature situated in humanistic studies and the university?  For answers to these questions, be sure to attend the next Faculty Forum!

On Civil Disobedience

The second Great Books Discussion will be held Tuesday, October 14, at 6:30 p.m. on the lower level of the Brown Count Library (Central Branch – 515 Pine St., Downtown Green Bay).

Professor David Voelker will lead a discussion of Henry David Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government”.

Professor Voelker’s brief intorduction to the essay and study questions are available at Ex Post Facto: Thoreau and Disobedience.

The text of Thoreau’s essay may be found at “Resistance to Civil Government”.

Linothorax Project

Professor Greg Aldrete and UWGB Alumnus Scott Bartell (History, 2008) bring history to life with a project that recreates ancient Alexandrian armor!

See the UWGB Inside story, “Personal Protection, the Ancient Greek Way”, for the full story.

All the Animals Came Dancing

“All The Animals Came Dancing”

by Denise Sweet

Somewhere between nowhere and shadow
You held still and quiet; a quick slip and
You would totter over the edge of
The world, taking with you ancient
songs of love, of devotion, of longevity,
songs that celebrated the simple elegance
of living in balance.

So many whimpered in your absence:
The throatsingers tried in vain to
call you back, other winged creatures
felt lost and cut off from the harmonious
cranesong that once trumpeted
across the marshlands

It was in our ignorance we fell silent,
Helpless anxious to be of use;
we began to think of bogs and swamps
As eerie, ugly and useless.
We drained those windigo wetlands, paved
Them over with asphalt or planted crops
that floundered or refused to take root

Believe us, aashigsug,we tried to fill
and give function to the emptied camps
of the Whooping Crane. Or were we
fumbling to fill that empty nest
in our hearts shaped by your absence?

 * * *

We are told by the Old Ones
That it is inborn in all beings alive
to return to the place of its beginning,
to rise and sweep with what strength
is left and begin that wondrous trek
towards home, no matter the distance
no matter how difficult the passage.

And so it is aashigsug.  Shy, secretive
And cryptic in coloration, one day
In the bright mist you appeared.
As in your own emergence account,
You stood before us, waiting for us
To send out a simple prayer, to properly
greet you by simply standing still
You stood before us
elegant, erect and majestic in form.
You stood before us, a hooded shaman
From the farthest sky, a stellar space
Out of range of the naked eye.

Through the bulrushes and overgrowth
Of slender reeds, your mate steps forward
and with a slight but mutual bow and brief
address, you wander together, winding through
the wet meadows, springing unto a sandbar
and then suddenly a flawless lift into flight
punctuating the sky with prehistoric
angles some have never seen.

It has been 400 seasons since you have
presented a clutch of chicks, treasures
of the horicon.  Some indispensible
guiding spirit came into the hearts
of humankind and coaxed you out
of the shadows.  This joyous birth
is a ripple away from the impossible.
While you nudge your brood into
Thicker, safer confines, we sang songs
Once again worshipping the ground
you walk on–
and all the animals came dancing.

For more of Professor Sweet’s poetry, be sure to attend Poetry Night: Animal Poems! at 6:30 on Thursday, September 25 at the Neville Public Museum (210 Museum Place, Green Bay).

Poetry Night

Animal Poems!

read by

Denise Sweet
Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Professor Denise Sweet invites you to join her for an evening of Animal Poems on Thursday, September 25 at the Neville Public Museum (210 Museum Place, Green Bay).  Bring your favorite animal poem to recite and listen to Dee recite familiar and unfamiliar animal poems, too!

Reading Sign Up – 6:00 p.m.

Open Reading – 6:30 p.m.

Featured Reader to Follow

For more information contact Matt Welter, Curator of Education (448-7851).