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Recordings of these events are not always available, based on copyright constraints and other factors. So as not to miss these great topics, please join us live either via YouTube or in person! Whether or not a program will be recorded will not be announced before the event. If a recording is available, it will be posted to no later than one week after the event takes place.


Lecture Descriptions

Exploring Humane Standards in Animal Agriculture through Documentary Film

Thursday February 9, 7pm
Dr. Audrey Kali, Professor of Communication, Media and Performance, FSU

Dr. Audrey Kali talks about the making of her documentary film, Farm and Red Moon. The film follows Dr. Kali as she visits farms and slaughterhouses and meets with experts to reveal the ambiguous moral underbelly of humane animal slaughter. 

What starts out as a concern for animals becomes a story about people. What she once saw as senseless acts of violence, she understands as a complicated agricultural system, pursued by decent people fully cognizant of the contradictions and complexity of their actions.

A Divided Nation? What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach Us About Our Own Political Divisions

Thursday February 16, 7pm
Dr. David Smailes, Associate Professor of Political Science at FSU

American society has faced many moments of political and social division, and our present politics seems especially divided—so much so that some even use the phrase “a second civil war” to characterize the depth of our disagreements. 

Join us as we examine how one American political thinker, Abraham Lincoln, wrestled with the political divisions of his time, and what we can learn from his experience about resolving these divisions in our time.

Deaf Awareness and Culture: Bridging Connections Between the Hearing and Deaf Communities

Thursday March 9, 7pm
Katie McCarthy, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, Boston Children’s Hospital, and adjunct faculty, FSU and Simmons University

Join us to learn about the unique aspects of Deaf culture, to gain a broader understanding of the different cultural and linguistic abilities within the Deaf community, and to understand how to communicate with Deaf people.

Reimagine Learning for Tech-Involved Children

Thursday March 23, 7pm
Dr. Chu N. Ly, Assistant Professor of Education and Child and Family Studies, FSU

How are children using technology at home and at school? This talk focuses on the ways children use technology and how that can meaningfully impact their learning in and out of school. 

Let’s discuss the ways caregivers and educators can leverage what children bring into the classroom for a more just and equitable learning environment.

Dickens and Van Gogh: A Study in Influence

Thursday March 30, 7pm
Dr. Helen Heineman, President Emerita, FSU

Van Gogh’s favorite English writer was Charles Dickens. To no other author does he refer as often in his letters. During his life, Van Gogh read nearly all of Dickens’s books, most of them several times. 

Toward the end of his life, in 1889, he told his brother: “I have a few volumes of Dickens, including Edwin Drood…Good God. What an artist! There’s no one like him.” Discussing Little Dorrit, he said its preface explained his own artistic problems, for Dickens expresses “what goes on in the mind of a painter while working on a composition.” 

This illustrated lecture shows the many ways in which the writer was an important source of inspiration for Van Gogh.

This lecture takes place on Zoom. Register for the Zoom link at before March 30.

Can the food industry be part of the solution to challenges in food systems?

Thursday April 20, 7pm
Dr. Vinay Mannam, Associate Professor of Food Science, Department of Chemistry and Food Science, FSU

Our food systems have many immediate challenges, including sustainable production, food insecurity, food wastage, and healthy diets. The food industry is often a key part of these systems. 

Finding a reasonable solution to these challenges may hinge on or be hindered by food manufacturers. This lecture examines the role of the food industry in addressing these challenges—whether it makes a case for or against the food industry is to be determined.

Let’s Get Future-Fit: Envisioning Metrowest Beyond the Climate Emergency

Thursday May 4, 7pm
Dr. Sabine von Mering, Director of the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University

What could Framingham and the Metrowest area look like if we decided to finally take the climate emergency as seriously as science tells us we must? If we chose to live within planetary boundaries? 

How do we transform everything—our neighborhoods, our economy, our food and transportation systems, and so on in a way that is just and equitable?