Visiting scholars share diverse expertise

The College of Arts and Letters is sponsoring six lectures in October as part of its Visiting Scholars Program. Guests of the series represent a wide variety of intellectual disciplines and their presentations deal with a diversity of challenging and thought-provoking topics.

Scholars are nominated by faculty each semester and selected by the Visiting Scholars Committee. Admission to each lecture is free and open to the public.

Kendra Stewart
Tuesday, Oct. 1
7 p.m., Room 2105, Harrison Hall
“Engagement: What, How, Why and Should?”

Dr. Kendra Stewart is director of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities and associate professor of political science at the College of Charleston. Stewart serves on the Provost’s Academic Council and chairs the College Budget Committee. She also serves on the Graduate Council and was director of the MPA Program from 2008 to 2011. Stewart earned a double B.A. in communications and political science from the University of Central Florida. She holds her M.P.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina.

Vladlena Lisenco
Monday, Oct. 7
7 p.m., Room 2105, Harrison Hall
“Human Trafficking in Eastern Europe”

Vladlena Lisenco is the national legal adviser for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Mission to Moldova. The mission’s primary task is to facilitate a lasting political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. Its activities cover a broad spectrum of issues including democratic transformation, military security, the promotion of human rights, and methods to combat human trafficking. She is the author of more than 30 scientific articles on human rights, European integration, the activity of public associations and development of civil society. Lisenco studied at Transnistrian University and James Madison University. She earned a law degree from Moscow State University.

Kelley Coblentz-Bautch
Tuesday, Oct. 8
7 p.m., Room 1101, Miller Hall
“Escaping from Lusty Angels: Early Jewish and Early Christian Portrayals of Women and the Divine”

Dr. Kelley Coblentz-Bautch, associate professor at St. Edward’s University, explores accounts of women fending off sexual predators who are divine: angels. In a recurring tradition that finds expression in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the female protagonist outwits and escapes the grasp of malevolent angels, and she is presented as being clever as well as righteous. Flourishing within patriarchal contexts are texts that convey a striking message: women do not have to submit to sexual advances. In fact, women can outwit the very beings an ancient audience would have assumed to be superior: angelic beings or divine representatives. Through this investigation, the more familiar portrayal of “woman as temptress” is thereby turned upside down.

Modhumita Roy
Monday, Oct. 14
6:30 p.m., Room 2105, Harrison Hall
“Immaculate Conceptions: Making Families in the Age of Surrogacy and Globalization”

Dr. Modhumita Roy is associate professor of English at Tufts University, where she also served as director of the women’s studies program from 2004 to 2011. The author or editor of numerous publications and literary reviews, Roy was awarded the Sophie Coe Memorial Prize for “Some Like It Hot: Gender, Class and Empire in the Making of Mulligatawny Soup” by the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at St. Catherine’s College in 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Presidency College in Calcutta, India, a master’s degree from the University of Calcutta and a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Barry Long
Wednesday, Oct. 16
5 p.m., Room 142, Music Building
“Black Blowers of the Now: Jazz and Activism from King’s Birmingham to Coltrane’s Alabama”

Jazz musician and educator Dr. Barry Long was the inaugural Samuel Williams Professor of Music at Bucknell University and the first person to receive a doctoral degree in jazz studies from the Eastman School of Music. A recent fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Long studies the intersection of jazz and social justice, particularly during the civil rights movement. An accomplished performer (trumpet and flugelhorn), Long has played with such artists as Kenny Wheeler, Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton, Elaine Elias, Benny Carter, Jim McNeely and Clark Terry.

Chitja Twala
Friday, Oct. 18
9 a.m., Allegheny Room, Festival Conference and Student Center
“The Strategy and Tactics Document of the African National Congress in South Africa: An Historical Perspective”

Dr. Chitja Twala, senior lecturer in the history department at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, focuses his research on the history of the African National Congress in the Free State Province after 1990 and the history of the heritage sites in the Eastern Free State. Twala is currently working on three research projects under the auspices of the National Heritage Council and the South African Democracy Education Trust. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Vista University in Bloemfontein and bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of the Free State.

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 Oct. 1, 2013