Lecture Series

Fall 2018

To register for lectures over the phone, please call (619) 260-4815.

Braving Difficult Conversations During an Election Year 

Thursday, September 20, 10-11:30 a.m.

A politically charged conversation with a person who holds different perspectives than your own can quickly turn tense, heated, and harmful. These conversations are regularly predictable, rarely influential, and feed partisan politics. However, it is possible to navigate this political terrain in productive ways, ways that improve relationships rather than damage them, that increase understanding rather than prevent it. Dr. Diane Keeling, a rhetorical scholar in the Department of Communication Studies, will discuss bad habits that prevent meaningful political dialogue and the practical communication skills that can enhance it.

The New Monasticism and Contemplative Living

Thursdsay, October 4, 10-11:30 a.m.

This presentation will explore contemplative approaches to daily life, with particular attention to the importance of interiority and silence. In the process, Dr. Komjathy, from the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, will discuss New Monasticism, which is an emerging lay contemplative movement, and Contemplative Studies, which is an emerging interdisciplinary field dedicated to research and education on contemplative practice and contemplative experience. This talk will invite attendees to consider life itself as a contemplative space, one in which we explore our deeper meaning, values, commitments, and purpose. This includes reality beyond the merely human.

Language Processing and the Brain

Tuesday, October 16, 10-11:30 a.m.

One of the most complex cognitive functions of humans is our ability to combine arbitrary symbols with meaning to express our feelings, desires, and thoughts to other people. Our capacity for language is central to our ability to communicate ideas across time and distance. For effective communication, we need to understand the words, sentences, and discourse that we are hearing or reading; we also need to then be able to craft our own thoughts or ideas into coherent speech. Join Dr. Jena Hales, from the Department of Psychological Sciences, as she discusses how our brain is involved in the ability to both understand and produce language, and what happens if these brain areas are injured.

Exploring Indigenous Engineering

Wednesday, November 7, 10-11:30 a.m.

Join Dr. Joel Alejandro Mejia, from the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, to learn about the cultural and social practices of the Misiones Mbyá Guaraní people and how these practices relate to engineering. To date, there has been little discussion on how indigenous knowledge can be the basis of engineering practices that are not traditionally recognized in the engineering curriculum. The purpose of this lecture is to generate knowledge on how native engineering practices (indigenous engineering) are enacted, and use this body of knowledge to describe how non-Western ways of knowing, doing, and being also have a place in the engineering narrative. This lecture highlights the voices, histories, practices, and emic perspectives of indigenous communities in the engineering curricula. 

¡Guerra! The People and Places of the Mexican-American War in San Diego

Tuesday, November 27, 10-11:30 a.m.

In December 1846, the largest battle of the Mexican-American War in California occurred just north of Old Town, in the San Pasqual Valley near today’s San Diego Zoo Safari Park. American and Mexican forces struggled for control of Alta California and the battle paved the way to eventual Mexican surrender near Los Angeles a month later. In this talk, the Department of History’s Dr. David Miller will explore the ways in which the people and places of San Diego placed it at the crossroads of the story of American western expansion and war.