“Charles Darwin is the man who just does not go away,” David Quammen, the Wallace Stegner Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University, said last Friday. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by natural selection remains as essentially correct and as controversial as when it was first published one hundred and fifty years.
Carleton’s students, faculty, and staff were welcomed into the Chapel to hear Tyrone Hayes’ talk, “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men” on Atrazine, a pesticide used on cornfields, like those in Minnesota, and its negative effects on development in species from amphibians to humans.
“Even as we look at the ascent of Barack Obama,” Neal said, “there really is a slippery slope of viewing him as this icon.” The amount of time Obama has spent on television and in front of American eyes, according to Neal, “almost functions as a form of surveillance,” when people begin to think the only way to be a good black man is to mirror the masculinity of Obama.
“Revolution is in the Air” was the title of David McMillen’s convocation address, advertised across campus on striking posters featuring a black silhouette of the Statue of Liberty against a bold red-striped background. As students drifted into the Chapel last Friday to the sounds of the Beatles’ “Revolution,” they could be excused for wondering if this wasn’t a rather dramatic way to dress up a talk on a prosaic topic: that dry decennial exercise in statistics known as the U.S. Census.
Douglas Blackmon, now the bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal in Atlanta and author of the book “Slavery By Another Name,” brought his history of racial musings to Carleton for Friday’s convocation entitled, “A Persistent Past: Reckoning With our Troubled Racial History in the Age of Obama.”
Melissa Harris-Lacewell is an Associate Professor of Politics and African-American Studies at Princeton University and the author of the award-winning book, "Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought." In sync with the ongoing celebrations of Martin Luther King day, Harris-Lacewell’s address for the convocation was “Why do we care about King in the age of Obama?”. According to Harris-Lacewell, Obama is going to be shaping the concept of America in the coming years.
Friday’s Convocation was led by Gary Telgenhoff, a member of the rock band Skinner Rats, Deputy Medical Examiner at the Clark County Coroner's Office in Las Vegas, and a forensic pathologist and consultant for the hit television drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." With disarming charm and black humor, he introduced himself as saying that “I see dead people.” Telgenhoff’s GRAPHIC presentation was entitled, "Speak for You: Telling the Tales the Dead Can't Tell."
During his convocation speech last Friday Enrique Morones highlighted the dire situation Mexican immigrants face in attempting to cross the border between their home country and the United States.
“There is genocide not just outside, but also inside the walls of Carleton,” said Juni Muskrat ‘10 as she introduced Charlene Teters, an activist, artist, teacher, writer and founding board member of the Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, who explores the plight of her people’s ethnicity as portrayed in pop culture.
Scott Olson’s experience puts the average college student to shame. By the age of twenty, he had invented what Time Magazine proclaimed was “one of the 100 coolest products of the 20th century,” also known as the rollerblade. He first invented it in 1979. It was the result of the combination of two of his passions: hockey and tinkering with sports equipment. However, the idea for the rollerblade began during his childhood.
One might have a hard time finding two disciplines as different as poetry and medicine, yet Latino Heritage Month speaker, Rafael Campo, has dedicated his life to bringing poetry and medicine, and by extension, the humanities and healing together into one soulful practice.
Hopefully, this trip to Minnesota will not go as badly for Ambassador Joseph Melrose. The first time he came to Minnesota in 1995, he was serving as Ambassador to Pakistan. The way he tells it, the State Department found him and told him that an international crisis had arisen and to “get your butt back to Pakistan now.” Thus ended a very short trip to the state of 10,000 lakes.