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Faculty Seminars


Open Seating - Tickets are not required.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vanderbilt faculty discuss topics from their respective  "University Courses" offered during the 2016-17 academic year. There will be an open Q&A session for the last 15 minutes of each session. 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

103 Wilson Hall

SharfsteinandLandersDaniel Sharfstein and Jane Landers 

Historic Black Nashville

In this University Course, Jane Landers and Daniel Sharfstein explore the under-developed history of black Nashville from settlement to the early twentieth century. Through instructor and guest lectures, digital humanities instruction, site visits, and independent research in local archives, students in this multicultural university course will recover and document the lives of the city’s enslaved and free people of color as well as the community institutions and social and artistic movements that defined the black experience in Nashville.
Over the course of the Fall 2016 semester, students researched and visited a number of sites across the area, including the Hermitage, Hotel Afrique, Fort Negley, Fisk University and the Metro Archives at the Nashville Public Library. 
(offered to both undergraduate and graduate students)


Daniel SharfsteinProfessor of Law and History. Sharfstein’s scholarship focuses on the legal history of race in the United States.

Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History. Landers is an historian of Colonial Latin America and the Atlantic World specializing in the history of Africans and their descendants in those worlds.

126 Wilson Hall

DJDouglas Schmidt and Jules White 

Tackling Big Questions with Mobile Cloud Computing

"Tackling Big Questions with Mobile Cloud Computing" involved a cross-college, multidisciplinary environment where undergraduate and graduate students teamed with computer science students to address big questions. In doing so, the course provided students with hands-on experiences and a deepened understanding of the key mobile cloud computing techniques, tools, and principles needed to tackle these greater issues.

(offered to both undergraduate and graduate students)

Douglas Schmidt ,  Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering.    Schmidt's research focuses on m obile cloud computing, distributed real-time and embedded middleware, cyber-physical systems, software patterns and frameworks, and digital learning.

Jules White,   Assistant Professor of Computer Science.  White's research focuses on big data science and engineering, as well as cyber physical systems.

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

103 Wilson Hall

RandREd Rubin and Graham Reside

Justice, Mercy and Mass Incarceration  

This faculty seminar will explore mass incarceration through law and religion together. It will also touch on the legal structures and justifications that create mass incarceration and the moral and theological arguments that are provoked, just as students did throughout the course. This interdisciplinary study enabled students to become better advocates for change through policy, law, outreach and activism.

Graham Reside, Assistant Professor and Executive Director for the Cal Turner Program in Moral Leadership for the Professions.  Reside works in the area of sociology of religion, social ethics and the sociology of morality. He also serves as the director of global education at the Divinity School.

Ed Rubin,   University Professor of Law and Political Science Ed Rubin specializes in administrative law, constitutional law and legal theory. He is the author of numerous books, articles and book chapters. Professor Rubin joined Vanderbilt Law School as Dean and the first John Wade–Kent Syverud Professor of Law in July 2005, serving a four-year term that ended in June 2009. 

(This course is exclusively open to graduate/professional students)

126 Wilson Hall

GMGilbert Gonzales and Tara McKay

The Nation’s Health: From Policy to Practice


This course will prepare Vanderbilt students to be effective participants in debates over health policy by immersing them in the health policy environment and critically addressing taken-for-granted ideas about health. This multicultural university course is organized around big questions in the study of health disparities and domestic health policy with a particular focus on how health policy affects the lives of diverse Americans living in the Southern United States, sometimes in unexpected or unintended ways. Importantly, these big questions not only reflect major concerns in the academic literature but also the lives and concerns of Vanderbilt’s racially and economically diverse student body. Through its explicit interdisciplinary design, the course will bring together studies of the policy process at multiple levels of government with social science on health disparities, policy advocacy, and health social movements. Students will also learn how to engage state legislators and popular audiences through the creation of policy briefs and op-eds. 


(offered to both undergraduate and graduate students)

Gilbert Gonzales , Assistant Professor of Health Policy.  Gonzales’ research examines how state-level social policies and health reforms affect health and access to medical care in vulnerable families and children. His dissertation examined the impact of same-sex marriage laws on health insurance coverage among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples and their children

Tara Mckay  , Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society. McKay's research and teaching interests include medical sociology, gender and sexualities, global health and health policy. Her research examines the social, political and economic contexts that shape health and health policy with a focus on vulnerable populations in the US and Africa.


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Future Commencement Dates

 2018  -  May 9, 10, 11
 2019  -  May 8, 9, 10
 2020 -  May 6, 7, 8

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