Academic Speaker Series 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.

Daniel Miller is a religion and philosophy professor at Landmark College. Prior to his arrival in Vermont, Dr. Miller taught at Mount Allison University, Oneonta State College, and Syracuse University. He is currently working to complete his first book, The Secular in Question: Religion Democracy, Politics.

This talk is co-sponsored by Windham World Affairs Council

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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.

Sanjukta Ghosh teaches media and women’s studies at Castleton State College. Since completion of her Ph.D. in 1991, she has written and lectured widely on media constructions of race, gender, and sexuality. Her main areas of interest are media propaganda, gender and race-stereotyping, and political cinema.

This presentation is co-sponsored by Windham World Affairs Council and the Vermont Humanities Council.

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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.

Virginia Prescott is host of Word of Mouth, NHPR’s daily conversation about emerging trends, new ideas and under-reported stories from viral and pop culture. Her deep roots in public radio began at WWOZ in New Orleans. She later launched the Edward R. Morrow Award-Winning interactive media team at WNYC in New York City, and became editor, producer and director for NPR’s On Point and Here & Now while at WBUR in Boston. Throughout her radio career, she’s helped build independent radio stations throughout the developing world and trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. Her commitment to the power of sound and storytelling led her to create audio installations in Houston; in Watertown, Massachusetts; and at MIT. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University and was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley.

This talk is co-sponsored by Next Stage Arts.

Next Stage Arts Project (NSAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Putney’s cultural and economic village center through the programming, development and operation of Next Stage. Since its founding in early 2011, NSAP has hosted dozens of events including classical, folk, and popular music concerts, a community film series, and a spoken word series. Speakers appearing have included Taylor Mali, Pulitzer Prize winning author Tim Weiner, Dr. Carol Gilligan, Archer Mayor, and Bill Littlefield.

Landmark College students and staff can attend for free with student ID. For all others, there is a $10 suggested donation to support Next Stage's educational programs.

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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.

Thomas Moore is the author of the classic bestseller "Care of the Soul", a number one New York Times bestseller, and nineteen other books.. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and, for over thirty years, a psychotherapist practicing archetypal therapy with a spiritual dimension. His books appear in over twenty-five languages and he lectures in many parts of the world. For fifteen years he has taught psychiatrists and has worked closely with medical schools, hospices, and hospitals.  He also speaks often at C. G. Jung societies. He has a Ph.D. in Religion from Syracuse University, an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Einstein Humanitarian Award from Yeshiva University.  Three of his books have won the Books for a Better Life award. He writes regularly for Spirituality & Health Magazine, and The Huffington Post. His most recent books are "A Religion of One’s Own", "Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels" and "The Guru of Golf and other Stories about the Game of Life". He considers himself a new brand of theologian, drawing from many traditions as well as “secular” literature and arts. He is widely known for his efforts to promote and deepen spirituality and make a more soulful society.

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Geoff Burgess
Communications Department Faculty
Administration Building, Rm 215C