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Faculty Seminars


Open Seating - Tickets are not required.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Vanderbilt faculty discuss topics from their respective  "University Courses" offered during the 2017-18 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

SharfsteinandLandersMarzia Milazzo  

Race, Place and Power

This course will examine the crucial entanglement between race and place from an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. Paying attention to three different national contexts - the United States, Brazil, and South Africa - the course will investigate the politics of spatial segregation and consider the global dimensions of racialized injustice and decolonial resistance. It will ask how and why what appear to be vastly different racial regimes and socio-political contexts produce strikingly similar dominant ideologies and socio-economic outcomes. Students also will interrogate the spatial and racial politics of Nashville.


Mazia MilazzoAssistant Professor for the Department of English in Arts and Science. Her research is broadly concerned with the relationship between the poetics and the politics of both racist and antiracist discourses.


126 Wilson Hall

DJDave Owens and Rogers Hall 

Design Thinking, Design Doing

In this University Course Dave Owens and Rogers Hall introduce the theories and practices of design. the "design thinking" elements of the course offer a critical understanding of methods for researching interactions between humans and the social and built environment, while the "design doing" elements provide instruction on how to develop purposeful interventions that result in more meaningful and effective interactions. Design will be practiced using a human-centered process with an emphasis on participation in team-based design projects in the areas of education, business, and health. The course will be one of the components in DIVE (Design as an Immersive Vanderbilt Experience), which will serve as Vanderbilt's new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), part of the university's reaccreditation process.


Dave Owens, Professor for the Practice of Management and Innovation, Faculty Director, VU Accelerator-Summer Business Institute. Dave is a well-established authority on innovation and new product development who has lent his expertise to Fortune 500 companies and students alike.

Rogers Hall, Professor and Chair, Department of Teaching and Learning. His research concerns learning and teaching in STEM conceptual practices,comparative studies of embodied action in these practices, and the organization and development of representational practices more generally.

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

103 Wilson Hall

RandRBruce Carter and John Janusek

The History and Science of Brewing  

"The History and Science of Brewing" is designed to provide students with a historical, cultural and religious perspective on the use and abuse of alcohol, as well as an understanding of the neuroscience of reward and addiction and the biochemical process involved in brewing and consuming beer. Students will learn about the practices of other religions, particularly how fermented products play into their spiritual rituals and customs, as well as the environmental impacts of brewing both globally and historically. 


Bruce Carter, Professor of Biochemistry, Associate Director of Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Investigator, Kennedy Center for Research and Humanities. His research specialty is molecular mechanisms of neurotrophin signaling.

John Janusek, Associate Professor for the Department of Anthropology in Arts and Science. He is an archaeologist interested in the development of complex societies and cities in the South American Andes. His theoretical interests include: political ecology, urbanism, space and landscape, ritual practice, human agency/identity, household archeology.

126 Wilson Hall

Weghorst/Melchor-BarzKeith Weghorst and Gregory Melchor-Barz

Rhythm of Change: African Music and African Politics

This Faculty Seminar will examine the role of music as a marker and and agent of political change in Africa. The course will focus on the role of music in African politics across four substantive themes: political and electoral completion in democracies and dictatorships; political conflict, violence and conflict transformation; identity building and nationalism; and Western/global cultural and political influence.


Keith Weghorst, Assistant Professor for the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Science. His research focuses on the relationship between political parties, candidacy, and legislatures in electoral authoritarian regimes. His current book project builds on his dissertation work and studies the decision of legislative candidates to run on opposition tickets in Africa's electoral authoritarian regimes, given the opposition has little chance to win.

Gregory Melchor-Barz, Professor of Musicology (Ethnomusicology); Associate Professor of Religion; Chair of the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology.  His publications include Singing for Life: Music and HIV/AIDS in Uganda (Routledge), Music in East Africa (Oxford), and Performing Religion (Rodopi), Shadows in the Field New Perspective for Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology (co-edited, Oxford), in addition to journal and encyclopedia articles and reviews. Lectures and scholarly papers presented throughout the United States, Africa, Great Britain, and Canada. Numerous grants and awards including a Fulbright Research Fellowship.