Conversations
with David Wood

Centennial Professor
of Philosophy,
Vanderbilt University

more detailed information

 

 

Thinking Out
of the Lunchbox

Fall 2007

DECEMBER 5, 2007

A Star Is Born (But How Was It Made?)
Keivan Stassun
Assistant Professor of Astronomy

What is the relationship between stellar birth and death? How might the violence of our Sun's birth have shaped the environment in which life on Earth evolved? How nurturing, really, is Mother Nature when it comes to newborn stars?

Watch streaming video of November 7, 2007 Outside of the Lunch Box discussion (Real Player or Windows Media)

 

NOVEMBER 7, 2007

The Story of 'Cruel and Unusual'
Colin Dayan
Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities; Professor of English

How much can be taken from prisoners without destroying what Justice Thurgood Marshall once called their "human quality"? What are the limits of deprivation? Is there a relationship between the criminal as "slave of the state" and the slave as "thing"? Indealing with the legal contours of injury, the following questions must be asked: When does "abuse" become "torture"? Does pain include psychological suffering? And, finally, how have recent Supreme Court decisions redefined the status of prisoners for the twenty-first century?

Watch streaming video of November 7, 2007 Outside of the Lunch Box discussion (Real Player or Windows Media)

 

OCTOBER 3, 2007

Intellectuals in Public Life
Robert Barsky
Professor of French and Comparative Literature; Professor of English; Director of French Canadian and Québec Studies

Should we care what “intellectuals” have to say on issues of US policy? In other words, are (say) professors of political science any more qualified to comment upon invading Iraq than other individuals, including “ordinary people”? Do professors or “experts” play some role other than providing unbiased advice to the public about issues of concern to citizens? Do you yourselves pay special attention to “experts” or professors interviewed on topical issues, such as (say) ‘illegal aliens’, the record of the president, or the advisability of some bombing expedition or another

Watch streaming video of October 3, 2007 Outside of the Lunch Box discussion (Real Player or Windows Media)

 

SEPTEMBER 5, 2007

From Imus to Industry: How Mass Media, Public Culture, and Payola Profit from Women
Tracy Sharpley-Whiting,
Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies; Professor of French; Director, African American and Diaspora Studies Program; Director, William T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies.

A discussion of women in popular culture, race, sex, and representation.

Watch streaming video of Tracy Sharpley-Whiting’s Sept. 5, 2007 Outside of the Lunch Box discussion (Real Player or Windows Media)