Academic Speaker Series: Spring 2014

The Landmark College Academic Speaker Series enhances and promotes the College’s intellectual environment and facilitates discussion of important issues for the community.

Dan Miller

When Religion is Politics: “Political Religion” and the Changing Structure of the Social

February 10, 2014
7:00 p.m. - Brooks O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

Recent decades have witnessed the emergence “political religion,” that is, social groups of global significance who define their political identities in explicitly religious terms. Examples of this phenomenon are numerous, and include global Islamism, Hindu nationalism, and the American Religious Right. This talk explores the significance of these movements for Western social and political thought and suggests how we need to reconsider our understanding of the social in light of them.

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Sanjukta Ghosh

Of Burqas and Bikinis: Afghani Women and the War on Terror

March 3, 2014
7:00 p.m. Brooks O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

This slide presentation focuses on how media constructions of Afghani women were used to mobilize war against an already beleaguered nation. Using images from mainstream as well as alternative media such as the feminist press, Castleton State College Professor Sanjukta Ghosh argues that the rhetoric of the media and their neat cultural icons were reminiscent of that used by Victorian feminists. In making this analogy, the presentation brings into focus how Muslim women’s images have been used throughout history to further social and political ends.

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Virginia Prescott

Listening Beneath the Noise

March 31, 2014
7:00 p.m. - Next Stage Arts, Putney Vermont

The human brain is wired to respond to voices and stories of others. Evolutionary biologists attribute the success of our species in part to ritualized storytelling, which reinforced unity and safety among early humans. Although contemporary humans are inundated with chatter in social and broadcast media, spoken conversation has diminished. Virginia Prescott will use examples from a career in broadcasting to talk about how active listening can change personal and communal dynamics and be used as a tool to move beyond conflict. Throughout her talk, she will encourage attendees to talk about their own experiences living in a culture that places a higher value on being heard than hearing, a culture enamored of new technologies that too often lead to superficial and undemanding interpersonal relationships.

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Thomas Moore

Your Mission in Life: Care of Body, Soul, Spirit and World

April 14, 2014
7:00 p.m. - Fine Arts Building, Greenhoe Theater

Twenty years ago Thomas Moore published "Care of the Soul", a fresh view, rooted in ancient philosophies, on what life is all about. In his first visit to Landmark he will talk about the distinction he makes between being spiritual and being soulful. He encourages us to cultivate both. He wants us to live our lives from the depths of the heart, pursuing our own destinies with our gifts and limitations.

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Geoff Burgess
Communications Department Faculty
Administration Building, Rm 215C