Carleton Connects Lecture Program

Carleton Connects logoAlumni, do you miss the intellectual life of Carleton, delving into new ideas with your classmates and favorite professors? Rediscover it through Carleton Connects, a monthly series of online presentations featuring both familiar and rising new faculty (and other special guests). 

Each Carleton Connects program is one hour, with 30-40 minutes of presentation by faculty followed by a period of questions and answers.  Because these events are by phone and/or online, you can participate wherever you happen to be! On the first call with Prof. Roy Grow, alumni from seven foreign countries dialed in to participate.

Past Speakers

  • Carleton Connects: Professor Jeff Trevino
    Created 4 March 2015; Published 4 March 2015
    Carleton Connects; Professor Jeff Treviño

    Please fast forward to 3:00--due to technical difficulties there is no sound at the beginning of this program.  Thanks!

    Everyone wants to understand and share music, but some people find words lacking when they attempt to come to terms with the musical experiences they love most.  Interested in becoming more skilled in your musical vocabulary?  Join Carleton Connects and Professor of Music Jeff Treviño as he presents "How to Talk About Vibrating Air Molecules: A Crash Course in Music Theory".   With examples, he will introduce basic vocabulary in music theory with the aim of enabling listeners to describe what's going on in the music they love.


    JEFFREY TREVIÑO, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music received the B.A. in Music, Science, and Technology from Stanford University's CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Music Composition from the University of California at San Diego. His electronic and acoustic works have been premiered internationally by acclaimed soloists and ensembles around the world.  His reviews and research into philosophies of musical expression, the design of electronic instruments, and automated data visualization for historic performance practice have been published in Computer Music Journal (MIT Press) and the Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage (Association of Computing Machinery) and presented at the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. His work reinvents performing, composing, and listening through the novel application of technology.


  • Carleton Connects: Global Engagement Initiative
    Created 24 February 2015; Published 24 February 2015
    Carleton Connects: Global Engagement Initiative

    Carleton students have long had transformative experiences abroad, but it hasn’t always been easy to fold those experiences back into on-campus work. Join Professors Scott Carpenter (French) and Katie Ryor (Art History) to learn about the College’s new Global Engagement Initiative—a three year plan to shape the student experience through courses, internships, and even comps research.

    About the Speakers

    Scott Carpenter teaches in the Department of French & Francophone Studies and currently serves as the director of Carleton's Global Engagement Initiative. He offers courses on the representation of “otherness,” nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry, the aesthetics of falseness, and literary theory. He has published extensively (sometimes with students) on such authors as Charles Baudelaire, George Sand, Honoré de Balzac, and Prosper Mérimée. In addition to Acts of Fiction (1996, on political representations in nineteenth-century literature) and Reading Lessons (2000, an introduction to literary theory), he has co-edited an intermediate French reader (Vagabondages littéraires). His most recent book focuses on literary and cultural mystifications: Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France: Frauds, Hoaxes and Counterfeits (2009). He also writes fiction, with works appearing in a number of literary journals.

    Kathleen Ryor teaches courses on Asian art history and the Introduction to Art History. Her primary area of research is Chinese painting of the late Ming dynasty. Her other research and teaching interests include interactions between different modes of representation in the Ming and Qing periods, Chinese gardens, 20th-century Chinese art and Japanese prints. Her position was sponsored by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. She is currently a board member of the Society for Ming Studies and serves as co-director of Carleton's Global Engagement Initiative.

  • Professor Serena Zabin
    Created 4 December 2014; Published 4 December 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Serena Zabin

    The most famous picture from eighteenth-century America is Paul Revere’s striking engraving of the “Bloody Massacre,” when British troops shot into a crowd of Bostonians, killing five. But that picture tells much less than half of the story.  Join Carleton Connects as we learn about Professor of History Serena Zabin's new research on the Boston Massacre.  Using digital mapping and social network software, Zabin’s research shows that soldiers and townspeople were intimately bound together through ties of sex, friendship, and family. Far from being strangers, on the eve of the American Revolution, soldiers and townspeople were neighbors who knew each other all too well.

    About the Speaker

    Professor Zabin is a historian of early America and the early modern Atlantic world. She is particularly interested in the ways that ordinary people had an impact on such immense and invisible institutions as empire, early capitalism, and Atlantic networks. Her current research project is a cultural and social study of the occupation of Boston that led to the Boston Massacre in 1770.  Both this project and her previous work on New York grew out of her first-year seminar entitled “Trials in Early America.”

    Professor Zabin came to Carleton in 2000 as an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in early American history. In 2002 she accepted our very first full-time position in early American history.  Professor Zabin teaches classes on British colonial America, the American Revolution, the early republic, and the Atlantic World. A former classicist, she has also published scholarly and pedagogical materials on the ancient Mediterranean.

  • Carleton Connects: Professor Daniel Groll
    Created 25 November 2014; Published 25 November 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Daniel Groll

    Over the past 50 years, the idea that patients have the right to make decisions about their own medical care has become a, if not the, central tenet of clinical medicine. In recent years, however, a series of scholars have argued that some degree of clinician paternalism -- where the clinician intercedes in the patient's decision for the patient's own good -- is ok.  Join Carleton Connects and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Groll for "Persuasion at the bedside: what can clinicians do to help patients make decisions?"   He  explorse the issues of autonomy and paternalism in clinical medicine and offers a framework for understanding the different ways we might think about the role of the clinician in a clinical encounter.

    Want more?  View some case studies selected by Professor Groll here (available for 1 week following program).

  • Future Learning Technologies Group
    Created 21 October 2014; Published 21 October 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Greg Marfleet

    From blended learning to MOOCs, Carleton's strategic plan set out in 2012 to understand the best use of technology in its classroom.  But where are we now?  Under the direction of Greg Marfleet, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Future Learning Technologies Group (FLTG), Carleton faculty and staff have been researching and collaborating to implement meaningful advancements in technology that complement Carleton's unique teaching style.  Are you curious as to what that means for learning on campus?  Join Greg and Carleton Connects as he discusses the role of the FLTG and what Carleton is doing to provide an outstanding learning experience for its students.

    This program took place on Tuesday, October 20, 2014.

    About the Speaker

    Professor Marfleet completed his PhD at Arizona State University, in international relations and comparative politics. His dissertation was entitled "Taking Risks for War and Peace: Groups, Leaders and Crisis Behavior." His work has appeared in Political Psychology, Foreign Policy Analysis and the Journal of Political Science Education. His courses include International Relations & World Politics, Methods of Political Research, Complexity in Politics, and American Foreign Policy.

  • Nirthfolde Visitors' Bureau
    Created 3 June 2014; Published 3 June 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor David Lefkowitz

    Missed Carleton Connects: Professor David Lefkowitz?  You can experience it here!

    While you may be an expert on Northfield, the town of cows, colleges, and contentment, what do you know about Nirthfolde?  Join Carleton Connects as we get the inside scoop on Nirthfolde from Professor David Lefkowitz '85 as he presents "Quasi-Fictional Places: The Nirthfolde Visitors' Bureau and Other Original Facsimilies".  

    "NRTHFLD: The Nirthfolde Visitors' Bureau," was an exhibition installed at the Northfield Arts Guild in January 2013. Created by Lefkowitz and Carleton web content specialist Doug Bratland, the show included "misinformation panels, ahistorical artifacts, and other displays guaranteed to perplex and amaze."  Lefkowitz's talk will introduce audiences to Nirthfolde, "a bucolic, yet bustling burg situated in a parallel universe that neatly overlaps Northfield, Minnesota, and that has existed relatively unnoticed for over a century and a half."

    This program took place on Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    About the Speaker

    David Lefkowitz '85 teaches painting and drawing. In his own work, Lefkowitz combines Western traditions of representational oil painting with the flotsam and jetsam of consumer culture to draw attention to the complex relations between image and object, past and present, and nature and culture. His work can be found in the collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Miami Art Museum, and The Langen Foundation in Neuss, Germany. His recent solo show at the Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis, "Austerity Plans" was featured on Metropolis magazine's Point of View blog:
    His work is represented by the Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago.

  • Carleton Connects: Joel Weisberg
    Created 6 May 2014; Published 6 May 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Joel Weisberg

    Missed Carleton Connects: Professor Joel Weisberg?  You can experience it here!

    What were you doing on Tuesday, November 20, 2012?.  For Professor Joel Weisberg of the Physics and Astronomy Department, November 20th marked the day his time map launched into space from Kazakhstan.  Part of "The Last Pictures" project, Weisberg created the time map which was part of an archival disk that will orbit the earth for billions of years on a satellite.  Join Carleton Connects and learn more about Professor Weisberg's fascinating work in his presentation on "The Last Pictures: A Reflection".

    This program took place on Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    About the Speaker

    Starting at Carleton in 1984, Professor Joel Weisberg is the Herman and Gertrude Mosier Stark Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Natural Sciences.  Weisberg, a radio astronomer, studies pulsars, gravity waves, and the interstellar medium at the Arecibo, Green Bank, and Very Large Array radio telescopes. He also has strong interests in science policy, and frequently teaches in the Environmental and Technology Studies Program.  He has received national recognition in his field as a recipient of seven major research grants from the National Science Foundation and one from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • Adriana Estill
    Created 15 April 2014; Published 16 April 2014
    Carleton Connects: Adriana Estill

    Missed Carleton Connects: Professor Adriana Estill?  You can experience it here!

    In shows as disparate as Ugly Betty, Modern Family, and House, U.S. primetime television has increasingly been interested in playing with genre by invoking Latin American telenovela conventions. How is the telenovela made visible? What relationship does it have to our national anxieties over Latino demographic growth? How is U.S. television mediating the way that we can and should know Latin America? Join Carleton Connects for Professor Adriana Estill's presentation of "How and Why the Telenovela Haunts U.S. Primetime TV in the 21st c."

    About the Speaker

    Adriana Estill teaches courses on U.S. Latino/a literature and twentieth century American literature, especially poetry. She also teaches in the American Studies program. She has published essays on Sandra Cisneros and Ana Castillo and recently contributed to the Gale encyclopedia of Latino/a authors with scholarly entries on Sandra María Esteves and Giannina Braschi. Her interest in popular culture has led to published articles on Mexican telenovelas and their literary origins as well as to current research into the perceptions and constructions of Latina beauty in contemporary Latino literature and the mass media. Degrees: Stanford B.A.; Cornell, M.A., Ph.D.

  • A placard image for media work Carleton Connects: Dave Musicant
    Created 25 March 2014; Published 25 March 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Dave Musicant

    Missed Carleton Connects: Professor Dave Musicant?  You can experience it here!

    Wikipedia describes itself as “a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia” with “30 million articles in 287 languages”. Who actually contributes to Wikipedia, and how does that affect the text within? What biases can be found throughout Wikipedia? Join Carleton Connects for Professor Dave Musicant’s presentation “Getting to the Source: Where does Wikipedia Get Its Information From?” 

    About the Speaker

    Dave Musicant is a Professor of Computer Science at Carleton College.  Joining Carleton in 2000, Musicant’s research focuses on solving machine learning and data mining problems as well as collaborative human/computing systems.  He is currently working on understanding the dynamics of people working with online collaborative communities such as Wikipedia.  At Carleton, he teaches Introduction to Computer Science, Data Structures, Programming Languages, Artificial Intelligence, Database Systems, and Data Mining.

  • A placard image for media work Carleton Connects: Professor Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh
    Created 26 February 2014; Published 26 February 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh

    Missed Carleton Connects: Professor Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh? You can experience it here!

    Have you ever thought about the environmental politics behind your morning cup of coffee? Join Carleton Connects as Professor Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh, Department of Environmental Studies, presents "The Vulnerability and Resilience of Coffee Growers to Seasonal Food Insecurity".  In addition, she will also discuss land-use/cover change dynamics and ecosystem services provided by shade-grown coffee farms in Central America.

    Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh is the Robert A. Oden, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow for Innovation in the Liberal Arts in Environmental Studies.  She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and her doctorate from Indiana University.  Her research focuses on land-use/cover change, carbon dynamics, and land use management activities in tropical rainforest ecosystems and coffee agroecological systems.  Joining Carleton in 2012, Mikaela teaches courses on local and global perspectives on agroforestry systems, remote sensing of the environment, coffee ecologies and livelihoods, and urban ecology.


  • Title slide for Annette Nierobisz's Carleton Connects program
    Created 14 January 2014; Published 14 January 2014
    Carleton Connects: Professor Annette Nierobisz

    Missed Carleton Connects: Professor Annette Nierobisz?  You can experience it here!

    Carleton Connects joins with Professor Annette Nierobisz to present her current research titled "American Idle: Job Loss Among Aging Americans".  "American Idle" investigates the contemporary experiences of Minnesota workers age 50+, who have lost employment in a period marked by a severe economic recession, a subsequent long-term jobless recovery, decline of longstanding institutional protections for workers, and a dramatic inversion of the population age demographic. Thirty-one in-depth interviews reveal the insurmountable struggle older workers face from this unprecedented and volatile confluence of socio-economic conditions. The interviewees share their experiences of ageism in the job market, neglected medical needs, evaporating retirement funds, a decline from middle class into poverty, and a damaged sense of self. 

    With interests broadly situated in the sociology of work and occupations as well as the sociology of law, Annette Nierobisz’s research explores the social impact of macro-economic forces. Her dissertation, completed at the University of Toronto in 2001, examined how judges decided employment dismissals submitted to Canadian courts over a time span that captured the emergence of downsizing practices and two periods of severe economic recession. A current project examines job loss among aging Americans in a period of economic instability.

    In 2006 Annette was invited to be the Senior Researcher at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. In this two year appointment she completed projects that examined a number of human rights issues including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, discrimination on the basis of disability, and the discriminatory impact of national security policies.

    At Carleton, Annette's courses include Working Across our Lives; Myths of Crime; Girls Gone Bad: Women, Crime and Criminal Justice; Methods of Social Research; and Introduction to Sociology.

  • A placard image for media work Carleton Connects: Eric Hillemann, College Archivist
    Created 3 December 2013; Published 3 December 2013
    Carleton Connects: Eric Hillemann, College Archivist

    Join Carleton College Archivist Eric Hillemann for a discussion of his new book A Beacon So Bright: The Life of Laurence McKinley Gould. Chronicling the namesake of Carleton College’s library, long-time geology professor, and fourth President, A Beacon So Bright illuminates the extraordinary life of world-famous polar explorer Larry Gould, who dedicated much of his life to promoting higher education, and helped shape Carleton College into a “beacon so bright” for generations of students.

    Eric Hillemann has been the Carleton College Archivist in Northfield, Minnesota since 1990. He received his masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin where he studied American History and Library and Information Science.  From 1990-2010, Hillemann also coached the Carleton College Academic Quiz Bowl team which captured two national championships under his tutelage.  His first book, "A Beacon So Bright: The Life of Laurence McKinley Gould" was published in 2012.

  • History Professor and Department Chair Susannah Ottaway (Early Modern European History)
    Created 12 November 2013; Published 12 November 2013
    Carleton Connects: Professor Susannah Ottaway

    While it seems most things are going from the physical to the virtual, Carleton's Humanities Center has been doing just the opposite.  From its virtual inception in 2011 to this year's establishment of a physical office in the Weitz Center for Creativity, the Humanities Center is on the ground building upon interdisciplinary spaces and institutions within the college to ensure that Carleton makes the best possible use of opportunities to connect between faculty, students, staff, and even the Northfield community.  

    Join us as Professor of History and Director of the Humanities Center Susannah Ottaway '89 presents the Humanity Center's exciting work, including this fall's Lucas lecture featuring renown author Salman Rushdie visit and accompanying events.

    Susannah Ottaway is a historian of Early Modern Europe who focuses on the history of aging, poverty, social welfare and the family. She grew up in the Hudson River Valley, and then came to the Midwest to get her BA at Carleton College before returning to the East Coast for her MA and PhD studies at Brown University.  She returned to Carleton as an assistant professor in 1998, and teaches courses on the French Enlightenment and Revolution, Irish history, Early Modern Britain, and the History of Poverty and Social Welfare, as well as survey courses on Early Modern Europe.

    Her current research focuses on the history of institutions for the poor, and she is completing a book manuscript that is a narrative history of the workhouse in England in the long eighteenth century (c. 1660-1834).

  • A placard image for media work Carleton Connects: Neil Lutsky
    Created 22 October 2013; Published 23 October 2013
    Carleton Connects: Neil Lutsky

    The famous (or infamous) Milgram "obedience" experiments are now 50 years old.  Recent research--new studies, interviews with participants in the original studies, and reviews of materials in Milgram's archives at Yale--suggests we may need to revise our understanding of these experiments and our assessments of their ethics.  In this October Carleton Connects program, Professor Neil Lutsky, Department of Psychology,  will present "You Must Attend! What You Don't Know About The Milgram Experiments" where he will summarize what we now know about what are, arguably, psychology's most influential studies.

    Neil Lutsky, (Ph.D., Harvard University) teaches courses in social psychology, social cognition, personality, general psychology, positive psychology, and quantitative reasoning. He is a former president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association) and the 2001 recipient of the Walter D. Mink Undergraduate Teacher Award given by the Minnesota Psychological Association and the 2011 recipient of the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award given by the American Psychological Foundation. He directed a 2004-2008 Department of Education FIPSE grant to Carleton on "Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge," and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Numeracy Network. His professional interests include the teaching of psychology, quantitative reasoning, the social psychology of obedience to authority, psychology and the Holocaust, and the study of therapy, relationship, and other life endings.

  • A placard image for media work Carleton Connects: Nancy Braker '81, Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum
    Created 10 June 2013; Published 11 June 2013
    Carleton Connects: Nancy Braker '81, Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum

    Missed Carleton Connects: Nancy Braker '81, Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum?  You can experience it here!

    Each year during Reunion we host tours of the Arboretum.  The most common remark we hear from alumni is something like “I feel disoriented – what used to be here?” The Arboretum has undergone vast changes in the past 20 years since the first Arboretum Manager was hired. In the past five years these changes have accelerated as the College has provided additional levels of support and grant funding has been available.  This presentation will provide information on the over-all goals of the Arboretum, recent restoration and management activities, faculty research and class use.  While some of your favorite places in the Arb may look different we hope you will find new or additional favorite places as you hear about how our students are learning and benefiting from this important College resource.

    Nancy Braker (BA Carleton; MS University of Minnesota - Entomology) is a conservation biologist.  She has 20 years of experience working for The Nature Conservancy in land management, conservation planning, and monitoring of rare species populations, specializing in management of fire adapted natural communities.  Nancy oversees all aspects of management of the Cowling Arboretum and McKnight Prairie, and works with faculty, students and outside users on research and use of the properties.


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