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Northwestern University

Science Salon & Humanities Hour

Science Salon & Humanities Hour - Lectures at Lunch for Staff

There is remarkable research and scholarship that surrounds us every day at Northwestern University. Weinberg College staff members host an ongoing series of faculty talks given especially for staff where there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions, discuss, and learn about what the scholars we work with do, and the new knowledge that they create.

Faculty Department or Field Date (noon-1pm unless otherwise noted) Room Title of Talk

Nyree Zerega

Plant Biology & Conservation

October 10, 2018

Dearborn 23 Conference Room

Dearborn Observatory
2131 Tech Drive

A global harvest: Exploring origins, diversity and conservation of underutilized food crops

With over 400,000 species of plants on earth, and tens of thousands of them known to be edible, it is surprising that we broadly cultivate only a very small number of them for food. In this context, I will talk about my research on a group of important, but underutilized crops (the breadfruit and jackfruit genus), focusing on their origins, genetic diversity, conservation, and biology, and how they can contribute to global food supply. 

Tom Meade


December 5, 2018

Tech F160

Physics & Astronomy Conference Room

Seeing is Believing: Is Cancer the Unsolvable Problem?

Gerry Cadava


January 16, 2019

Hagstrum Room

University Hall 201

The Rise and Fall of the Hispanic Republican.

I will talk about the fate of the Hispanic conservative movement from the 1960s to the 1990s. I will focus on the network of individuals who worked to find a “home” for Hispanics in the Republican Party; their family and professional lives, rise within the Republican Party structure, and service in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and first Bush Administrations. My talk will conclude with the disillusionment of Hispanic Republicans caused by the Republican party’s rightward turn on immigration and border control. All of these are the subjects I’m writing about in my book project on Hispanic conservatism.

Jonathan Holloway


February 27, 2019

Harris Hall 108 

Currency: Race and the Circulation of the American Ideal

This talk explores the making of the “American ideal,” a faith in this country’s exceptionalism and its embrace of freedom and democracy. These ideas circulate freely, but a more complicated understanding of their creation makes clear that there is a cost to that discourse. A close reading of material objects that are tied to the African American experience makes clear that so much of our commitment to the American ideal is, at best, about a commitment to a particular kind of forgetfulness, or, at worst, a conscious commitment to amnesia.

Co-sponsored by
the Weinberg Mentors Group
This lecture will be held from 12:00 - 1:30pm.

Lunch will be provided

Francesca Tataranni


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Hagstrum Room

University Hall 201

Ancient Rome in Chicago. A Local History of Classical Antiquity in the most American of American Cities

From its beginnings Chicago was a city of superlatives: big shoulders, the first and tallest skyscraper, the fastest population growth, the largest grain market and stockyard, the largest transportation center, the biggest theater hall in America, the first hotel with air conditioning. Yet this quintessentially American city had a reputation as an unlivable place, a porkopolis without culture where nobody desired to go on vacation. Chicago’s taste for Roman-inspired architecture and the visual language of the classical past reflects the city’s struggle to shape its own image and the ambition to be acknowledged as heir to the great civilizations of antiquity and Europe.

Natasha Trethewey


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hagstrum Room

University Hall 201

Natasha Trethewey will be giving a reading from her new book Monument: Poems New and Selected

"Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love." (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Science Salon & Humanities Hour committee members: Hafiza Adam, Pam Beck, Sarah Ferrer, Crystal Foster, Elizabeth Foster, Nancy Hickey, Greg Jue, Beth Clifford Smith,  Jennie Woodring.  

For information contact:

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