Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: Colloquium Series

Spring 2019



January 16, 2019 (12-12:50 PM)

“Teaching Design as Humanities Inquiry” by Dean Nieusma

Dr. Nieusma’s research focuses on integrating social and technical dimensions of engineering in education and practice, with a focus on design and project-based learning. He is also broadly interested in the social and ethical implications of technologies and the application of engineering and design expertise to enduring social and environmental problems. He is Division Director and Associate Professor of Engineering, Design, & Society.


January 30, 2019 (12-12:50 PM)

“Inhumanitarian Engineering: Using History to Understand Engineering Gone Wrong” by Joe Horan

Engineers in the 21st century strive to ensure safety and improve the quality of life for the general public. Yet history offers numerous examples of engineering expertise being used for purposes that we would now consider inhumane. This talk examines how these historical examples can be used to advance contemporary engineering education by guiding engineering students to learn from the past in order to make ethically sound decisions in the present, and for the future. Examples drawn from the French Revolution and the Holocaust help to illustrate the complex considerations that guide ethical decision making for engineers, and provide both opportunities and challenges for engaging or students on the social context of engineering practice.


February 13, 2019 (12-12:50 PM)

“South Sudan – Entrenched Elites, Foreign (Over)Intervention, and a Stalled Peace Process:  What is the Way Forward?” by Derrick Hudson

Dr. Hudson studies religion and politics in Africa, with particular expertise in the role of prophetic Christianity as an agent for social change in deeply divided societies.  His teaching interests also include the role of truth commissions in societies in transition from authoritarian to democratic rule.  More on Derrick’s fascinating work here!


February 27, 2019 (12-12:50 PM)

“Ecofantastic Communication and the Performance of “Green” Citizenship” by Shannon Davis Mancus

Dr. Shannon Davies Mancus is the Hennebach Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities.  Her research focuses on the narrative contexts and performative implications of environmental communication in popular cultural discourses.


April 17, 2019 (12-12:50 PM)

“Darwin’s Plants and the Evolution of Evolutionary Theory in the U.S” by Tina Gianquitto