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Hennebach Program

Our mission is to enhance the profile of the humanities at Colorado School of Mines by means of interdisciplinary humanities education, research, and outreach.

Our vision is to make the humanities a strong, integral feature of the teaching and research activities at Colorado School of Mines.

The Hennebach Program in the Humanities’ is built on the Hennebach Visiting Professorship endowment that was established in 1991, thanks to a major endowment from Ralph Hennebach ’41. Since 1995, the Hennebach Program in the Humanities has supported a series of visiting scholars to help make the humanities an essential component of any education at the Colorado School of Mines.

Given increased recognition of the importance of the humanities in science and engineering education, the Hennebach Program provides opportunities to meet the needs of students who aspire to assume leadership roles in the technical world. Such students benefit from focused studies in the humanities that complement their technical degree curricula.

Visiting professors have included scholars in classics, environmental studies, ethics, history, literature, philosophy and social theory as well as the interdisciplinary fields of environmental policy and science/technology and society studies. Visiting scholars support the humanities through course offerings, lectures, workshops and collaboration on projects and research.

Ralph L. Hennebach, 1920-2008

Ralph HennebachIn memory of his father and family, Ralph L. Hennebach ’41 in 1991 established the Hennebach Visiting Professorship in the Humanities. This professorship assists the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies in faculty development by bringing exceptional humanities and social science talent to campus. Mr. Hennebach’s leadership gift further persuaded ASARCO Inc. to join him in meeting a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities designed to strengthen the liberal arts in engineering education at CSM. When making the gift, Mr. Hennebach envisioned that visiting professors would stimulate interest and inspire students to further pursue the humanities.

Ralph L. Hennebach was born in Garfield, Utah, where his father was employed as a metallurgist. When his father became superintendent of the Leadville Smelter and Refinery the family moved to Leadville, Colorado, where the young Ralph grew up and began his career with the American Smelting & Refining Co. (now ASARCO) as carpenter’s assistant. After graduating from CSM, Mr. Hennebach joined ASARCO as a chemist in the El Paso laboratory, subsequently becoming an assayer and plant metallurgist. Mr. Hennebach served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy (1944-1946). After his service he returned to Denver to marry Mary Louise Johnston and then rejoined ASARCO as assistant superintendent of the Hayden, Arizona, copper smelter. In 1948 he was transferred back to El Paso and put in charge of a new stag fuming plant. In 1952 he attended MIT as a Sloan Fellow and after earning in MBA in 1953 spent two and a half years in the ASARCO New York office as an ore buyer.  In 1955 he was promoted to assistant manager of the Western Department in Salt Lake City.  In 1958 he became assistant to the vice president, smelting and refining, New York; then in 1963 vice president of smelting and refining ASARCO. In 1964 he assumed the position of director; in 1966 executive vice president; in 1971 president; and in 1982 CEO and chairman of the board of ASARCO. He retired in 1985. Mr. Hennebach served as a director of many boards and was a great supporter of Mines. He and his wife of 61 years raised their family in Short Hills, New Jersey, and enjoyed playing golf and traveling. At his death, Ralph Hennebach was survived by his wife, Mary Louise; his son, Mark; his daughters, Anne Kirspel and Margo Hennebach; his sister, Carmen Fisher; and six grandchildren.

Humanities in Engineering

The Humanities in Engineering helps turn a technical education into an expansively human one.

In a world progressively defined by engineered design and technical management, the humanities are called on to further understand the technical world. Likewise, engineering and the applied sciences — as they seek to serve the non-technical world — are increasingly called on to incorporate humanities perspectives into education and practice.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. National Science Foundation has funded programs to promote the development of professional engineering ethics. During the 1980s and 1990s professional engineering societies expanded activities related to the formulation and implementation of ethical codes of conduct. In 2000, ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) began to require the teaching of engineering ethics in programs seeking technical accreditation. From such concerns has emerged the awareness of the importance of the humanities and liberal arts in engineering education.

Ethics is just the beginning. Like the sciences and the social sciences, engineering is called upon to become self-reflective in order to realize its leadership potential. To assist in this advancement, the humanities support CSM’s commitment to engineering knowledge and technical skills in the areas of Earth, Energy, Materials, and Environment. Through the humanities CSM further promotes self-knowledge, intelligent citizenship, and critical participation in public life, turning a technical education into an expansively human one.

Hennebach Lectures

My involvement with literature and the other humanities has broadened me and greatly enriched my life, and I hope to help others have the same experience.

Ralph L. Hennebach

Since the Hennebach Program in the Humanities began bringing in multiple visiting scholars each year, the program has more significantly enhanced the visibility of humanities-related research and teaching at Mines. Also, we have seen an increased interest in these talks from a wide spectrum of campus and off-campus community members. In that sense, the Hennebach Program is helping to bridge real or perceived technical-social divides while augmenting an overall appreciation for what the humanities have to offer.

Jon Leydens, Professor

There is no question in my mind that a program such as the Hennebach will help round out the education of Mines students—and that of faculty as well!

Jon Leydens, Professor

Contact Us

Seth Tucker is the Director, who consults with an advisory committee and reports to the Director of HASS.

For questions, call 303-273-3628, or email stucker@mines.edu.

The advisory committee is composed of faculty from all ranks:

  • Seth Tucker
  • Tina Gianquitto
  • Derrick Hudson
  • Toni Lefton
  • Shannon Mancus
  • Jay Straker

Current & Past Seminar Events

Spring 2019


Matthew Baum
Thursday, April 25th, 2019 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Marquez Hall 235

Dr. Baum’s research focuses on delineating the effects of domestic politics on international conflict and cooperation in general and American foreign policy in particular, as well as on the role of the mass media and public opinion in contemporary American politics. His books include Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age (2003, Princeton University Press), War Stories: The Causes and Consequences of Public Views of War (2009, Princeton University Press, co-authored with Tim Groeling), and War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy (2015, Princeton University Press, co-authored with Phil Potter).


Ben Baron
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Alderson Hall 330

In the fall of 2016, the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, the four members of the indie folk band “The Infamous Flapjack Affair” set out on a journey through the public lands of the Colorado River Basin. Their goal: to meet people who have crafted their lives in the Basin; to hear their stories about the places they love and the challenges that face those places; and to write music inspired by those encounters.

This film paints the Colorado River as a metaphorical confluence of ecological regions, diverse human cultures, and intense controversy over the use of land and resources. The people the band meet — an NPS ranger, a Havasupai medicine woman, a Navajo musician, a Colorado rancher, and a USGS scientist — all leave their mark on what becomes a profound and moving story of human connection to place. Music may be just the tool we need to inspire a new conversation, to let our public lands unite us instead of dividing us.


Brian Turner and Jared Silva
Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 5:30 – 6:45 PM
Marquez Atrium

Brian Turner is a poet and memoirist who served seven years in the US Army. He is the author of two poetry collections, Phantom Noise and Here, Bullet, which won the 2007 Poets Prize, among many others. Turner’s work has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, Poetry Daily, Harper’s Magazine, and other fine journals. Turner has been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and more. His recent memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country, has been called, “achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful.”


Carol Byerly
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Marquez Hall 326

In 1919, the world was still reeling from the double tragedies of WWI and the influenza pandemic. Dr. Byerly, an expert on the military contexts of influenza and tuberculosis, will talk to us about the politics of disease and war, using the influenza pandemic as a case study. She is the author of Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army during World War I  (New York, New York University Press, 2005), and ‘Good Tuberculosis Men’: The Army Medical Department’s Struggle with Tuberculosis (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 2014).


Paul Sutter
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 5:00- 6:00 PM
Berthoud Hall 108

Between the middle of the 17th century and the early 20th century, yellow fever raged throughout the Americas, killing huge numbers of people and transforming the geopolitics of the region. In the process, it came to be known as an “American plague,” and its successful eradication in Havana and then Panama became a stock chapter in heroic histories of American medicine. But both the virus and its vector are of African origin, and the disease itself also has had both African and European histories. Using recent phylogenetic evidence that has refined our sense of the Atlantic World histories of both virus and vector, this lecture will offer a new narrative about yellow fever as an environmental agent that shaped the history of the Americas.

Professor Sutter teaches Modern U.S. History and Environmental History. He has received major fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Huntington Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health. He was a Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany during the Fall of 2016


Susan Schulten
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 5:00-6:00 PM
Hill Hall 204

Whether as handmaidens of diplomacy, instruments of social reform, or even advertisements, maps have been central to American history. Across five centuries, maps have captured what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such, they have the power to both illuminate and complicate our understanding of the past. Join us as Susan Schulten explores the myriad ways that maps have both reflected and shaped American history, from the voyages of discovery to the digital age.

Professor Schulten earned her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her research on maps.Dr. Schulten’s talk is based on her recent book, A History of America in 100 Maps

Fall 2018



Kathleen Sheppard
Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Marquez Hall 226

Many people know parts of the story of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt’s the Valley of the Kings in 1922. It was, and still is, sensationalized the world over. There was the thrill of discovery, the “glint of gold”, and rumors about a mummy’s curse. There was, and still is, a lot of conflict surrounding the discovery itself. To whom did it belong? Where should the artifacts go? Who gets to decide?

Kathleen Sheppard, Associate Professor at Missouri S&T in Rolla, Missouri, studies the history of archaeology in Britain and the United States. She is associate editor of the Bulletin of the History of Archaeology and a contributing editor for Lady Science.


Jessica Deters
Thursday, November 15th, 2018 3:30 – 4:30 PM
Coolbaugh Hall 131

Graduates who do not pursue engineering careers are typically framed as “non-persisters,” and it is assumed that some factor within the university or student failed. In this presentation, I question this “failure” assumption within engineering education. By better understanding how senior engineering students seeking non-engineering careers experience their undergraduate degree, we can better design engineering programs, curricula, and resources for the full population of engineering students.

Jessica Deters holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and an Honors Minor in Public Affairs from the Colorado School of Mines. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech.


Susan M. Gibbons
Monday, November 12th, 2018 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Marquez Hall 126

For much of the past century, conservation efforts around the world largely adopted a pattern established in North America of protecting forests and wild-lands. In recent decades, new forms of conservation have come into focus, including the transition of militarized landscapes to new land uses dedicated to conservation. This talk examines several cases of this type of conversion, including the militarized borderlands of Europe’s Iron Curtain and Colorado’s Rocky Flats, which challenge traditional notions of conservation and point to new land use strategies in places long known for their contamination or danger. The restoration of such landscapes can be understood variably as a form of legitimating militarization or as a legitimate approach to preserving land and open space. In either case, coming to terms with the particular contexts of science, technology and policy in these places proves essential if we are to adequately understand the emerging relationships between conservation and militarization.

David Havlick, Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Geographic Society, and the U.S. Forest Service.


Susan M. Gibbons
Monday, October 29th and Monday, November 5th, 2018 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Foothills Arts Center

This workshop will cover the basics of working with encaustic (pigmented bee’s wax) and give the students to opportunity to create two to three paintings exploring various techniques.

Susan M. Gibbons is a fine artist who resides and works in the Denver Metro area. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in various galleries in Colorado and at the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture (MUBE) in San Paulo, Brazil.


Monday, October 22nd, 2018 5:00-6:30 PM
Student Center Ballroom C

Four leading experts on China, discuss the implications of the great power’s return to the global stage and what it means for scientists and engineers in the coming decades.

China Cyber-war Policy  by:  Elizabeth Davis

The Three Gorges Dam: What Americans Don’t Know  by: Carl Mitcham

The Many Rises of China in Modern Times by: Timothy Weston

The Professional Formation of Confucian Engineers by: Qin Zhu


Wyckham Avery
Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st, 2018 12:00 – 5:00 PM
Coors Tek 150

In this weekend-long workshop, students will work in large and small groups to create a variety of performances that invite the audience to play along. We will explore ensemble devising, improvisation, and audience interaction ending in a sharing of final projects for an invited audience. No experience is necessary; participants of all experience levels are welcome. Come prepared to move, have fun, and create.

Wyckham Avery is a theatre maker and educator in the Washington, DC area. As a performer she was recently seen in The Welders’ production of Hello, My Name Is… by Deb Sivigny, and as Pistol in Henry V with We Happy Few.


Christy Tidwell .
Monday, October 8th, 2018 4:30-5:30 PM
Hill Hall 202

Science fiction and horror films frequently reflect (and sometimes shape) our cultural anxieties about nature. As we work to respond to contemporary environmental issues such as pollution and mass extinction, these pop culture narratives take up such issues both directly and indirectly. Some horror films, for instance, imagine monstrous animals attacking humans (Jaws) or reveal the reveal the dangers of isolated spaces (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Some science fiction films explore the potential consequences of our current practices of pollution (Wall-E) or resource extraction and use (Mad Max). Other science fiction/horror films illustrate audiences’ anxieties about confusing the lines between human and nonhuman (The Fly). These fears of and for nature play a complicated role in our cultural response to environmental threats, sometimes creating more distance from the natural world, sometimes creating sympathy for it, and sometimes prompting reflection on our own place in it.

Christy Tidwell is Associate Professor of English and Humanities at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. She serves as co-leader of The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment’s Ecomedia Special Interest Group and was one of the organizers of A Clockwork Green: Ecomedia in the Anthropocene (ASLE’s first Nearly Carbon Neutral virtual symposium). 


Fall 2017

Young’s Environmental Symposium

Social Perspectives on the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis

OCTOBER 18 @ 6:30 PM – OCTOBER 19 @ 9:00 PM

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with the Hennebach Program in the Humanities and former Mines President John Trefny, is organizing the Young’s Environmental Symposium on October 18-19.

The symposium opens Wednesday, October 18, with a screening of “Noah: Rising from the Ashes in Flint” at 6:30 p.m. in the Green Center’s Metals Hall. The film tells the story of Noah Patton, a young Flint resident, who is working to positively shape the future of his community.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Dana Romanoff; Pastor Robert McCathern, a local Flint religious leader; Margaret Kato, the executive director of Genesee County Habitat for Humanity in Flint; and Marc Edwards, Thursday’s keynote speaker. Thursday’s keynote will start at 7 p.m.

Presidents, the Constitution, and Engineers:
Shaping Earth, Energy, and Environment

Rich Levine, J.D.
Monday, September 18th 5:00-6:00 pm

The Constitutional embodiment of “liberty” unleashed the creative and productive forces of engineers, miners, and entrepreneurs to transform the land and economic might of the United States. The American Revolution was, at foundation, a revolution in the relationship of democratic institutions to property – most especially land and its use. From the philosophical  concepts of Jefferson and Washington, to the practical experience of H. Hoover and J. Carter, engineering, mining, and earth sciences have been core components of US political thought and action.

“It is a great profession … the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege.” (President H. Hoover)

Adjunct Professor Rich Levine brings you US history through the lens of Earth science, engineers, and miners: come hear about founding fathers, presidents, and The Constitution from this unique perspective.

Scientists, Engineers, and Politics:
Perspectives from China and Germany

Liu Yongmou (Renmin University of China)
Alfred Nordmann (Technical University Darmstadt)
Tuesday, Sept 5, 3:30-5:30

One of the most contentious issues in America today is the relationship between scientific and technological expertise and political power. On one side are those who think scientific knowledge should fundamentally inform politics and technical expertise should guide governmental action. On another are those who maintain that scientists and engineers are just another interest group whose influence in public affairs should be limited. The presentations by two leading science policy scholars from China and Germany will offer new perspectives on such debates by considering the roles played by technoscientific experts in two very different political regimes.

Spring 2017


Photography as Activism and Poetry of Witness: A Dialogue Between Forms

The Hennebach Photography as Activism class collaborates with the Advanced Poetry Workshop for a dialogue between the camera and the page. This show is a call and response to the current threats that endanger the ideals of America.

Opening night: April 27, 6 to 8 p.m., Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., Golden, Colorado

Celebration of National Poetry Month

With a reading and Q&A with David J. Daniels, April 26, Boettcher Room, Arthur Lakes Library

David J. Daniels is an editor, essayist, teacher, and poet who writes often about the cultural ramifications of new and old testament dogma, about human sexuality and innocence, and the elegiac treatment of survivors and victims alike (many of them friends) of the AIDS crisis. Daniels graduate thesis investigated the culture of hate, especially those focused efforts by current and past US hate groups, and his scholarship and research on formal poetry is seen clearly in the many formal and created forms he deploys in his own poetry. David J. Daniels is the author of Clean (Four Way Books), winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize, and finalist for the Kate Tufts Award and Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Breakfast in the Suburbs (Seven Kitchens Press), and Indecency (Seven Kitchen Press). He teaches composition in the University Writing Program at the University of Denver and has received fellowships or scholarships from Kenyon Review, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and The Stadler Center at Bucknell University.

Visual Bridges

Dr. Carrie Roy, March 22, Student Center Ballroom C

While you may be doing phenomenal research, moats of discipline-specific vocabularies or rivers of jargon could be isolating your great idea—preventing it from reaching broader audiences. This talk examines the role visual bridges (in the form of art, infographics and data visualizations) can play in connecting with audiences and collaborators outside your field.

Dr. Carrie Roy grew up on a cattle ranch in southeast North Dakota and received her B.A. from Harvard in Visual and Environmental Studies, where she focused on sculpture and photography. The ethnographic interests explored in her undergraduate work led her to pursue advanced degrees in the humanities – culminating in post-doctoral research in the Living Environments Laboratory and work coordinating a digital humanities initiative at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She continues to create art bridging the capabilities of computers and the creative touch of humans and conduct research exploring computational approaches to humanities data.

Ocean Legacy: Inspiring Marine Conservation in the Ross Sea, Antarctica and Beyond

John Weller, Safina Center Fellow, March 8, Green Center Petroleum Hall

Join us for a journey above and below the ice as internationallyacclaimed photographer, filmmaker, and author John Weller tells the inspiring story of the Ross Sea. Working out of his garage in Boulder, Weller started what would become a global coalition of organizations, scientists, diplomats and more than a million people, and eventually entrained the attention of world leaders from the White House to the Kremlin.

Weller will share his world-renowned images from 4 trips to the Ross Sea, including 3 months diving under the ice with the National Science Foundation. And most importantly, John will share how it was at the end – inside the international meeting in a stone fortress in the center of Hobart, Tasmania, when all these countries reached agreement in one of the most profound international collaborations of our times.

John Weller was named a SeaWeb Fellow in 2005, a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation in 2009, and has served as a Safina Center Fellow since 2014. In addition to his foundational work in the Ross Sea, Weller has collaborated with Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs and an array of environmental organizations to conceive, create and deliver national-level media campaigns in support of marine conservation initiatives in many other crucially important regions of the world’s ocean. These campaigns have resulted in new shark and manta ray sanctuaries in the Bahamas and Micronesia, new marine protected areas in Indonesia, and new international law protecting manta rays. He continues to work in defense of the ocean alongside a team of close collaborators and his wife Cassandra Brooks.

Fall 2016

Science, Patents, and Liberty! How the United States’ Constitution Contributes to Liberty and Prosperity on Campus and Far Beyond

Constitution Day Lecture by Rich Levine, September 16, Student Center Ballroom D

From the inception of our nation, our ideas enjoy protection under the United States Constitution, through the so-called “copyright clause” which covers both copyright and patent.  What is the connection between copyrights and patents, and our fundamental liberties?  Why did the founding fathers of this nation enshrine these rights within the original Constitution?  The answer to these questions are fascinating, and reveal some of the key, cornerstone features of our national economic engine and crucial building blocks of our national character whereby all citizens, and indeed international authors and inventors contribute to the development of the useful arts and sciences.   Colorado School of Mines professors hold an esteemed place in this rich history of inventors.  This lecture will elaborate not only on the historical and philosophical origins of copyright and patent protection in the United States, but will highlight the fabulous work and contributions of several Mines’ professors.  Inventors and authors, come learn a little bit more about how you and your contributions are valued cornerstones in a vibrant American democracy, placing these freedoms on par with the First Amendment and our most cherished freedoms.  Celebrate this Constitution Day as a community of learners dedicated to earth, energy and environment, in an environment of scholars.

Rich Levine is an adjunct professor in the Liberal Arts and International Studies division at Colorado School of Mines. Professor Levine earned his Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986, and has taught extensively at Mines and the University of Denver over the past decade.  Prior to completing his JD at Berkeley, Rich earned a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Law and Society, as well as a BA in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Mr. Levine also completed post-graduate coursework in comparative religious studies in Jerusalem, Israel at Tannebaum College.  In addition to Constitutional Law, Professor Levine has contributed to the fields of International Human Rights (freedom of conscience and religious belief) and economics (particularly the study of the economics of justice).  Professor Levine serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics, Colorado, and resides in Evergreen with his wife, Kim, a public school teacher.  Rich Levine maintains a private law practice as a trial attorney licensed in Colorado, California and Washington, DC.

Curiosity: A Talk with Science and Nature Writer Kimberley Todd

September 22, Hill Hall 202

Kimberley Todd writes about science and the natural world, focusing on the ways in which the stories we tell about animals and places have on-the-ground implications. Todd has explored the natural and cultural history of the house sparrow (Sparrow, 2012), the story of non-native species in the U.S. (Tinkering with Eden, a Natural History of Exotics in America, 2001), and the fascinating life story of a pioneering 17th century woman explorer/naturalist who studied insects in South America (Chrysalis, Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis (2007). Todd has also published numerous articles in well-respected journals. She currently teaches literary nonfiction in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.

The Year Without a Summer, 1816: Tambora, the Eruption That Changed the World

Dr. Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Berthoud Hall 241

When Indonesia’s Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, it unleashed the most destructive wave of extreme weather the world has witnessed in thousands of years. The volcano’s massive sulfate dust cloud enveloped the Earth, cooling temperatures and disrupting major weather systems for more than three years. Communities worldwide endured famine, disease, and civil unrest on a catastrophic scale. In this talk, Dr. Wood brings the history of this planetary emergency to life, shedding light on the fragile interdependence of climate and human societies and offering a cautionary tale about the potential tragic impacts of drastic climate change in our own century.

Gillen D’Arcy Wood is a professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he directs the Sustainability Studies Initiative in the Humanities.

The Post-ISIS Middle East

Hassan Hassan, October 26, Green Center Petroleum Hall

Join us for a talk by Hassan Hassan on the incremental defeat and territorial retreat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Hassan Hassan is a journalist and author focusing on Syria, Iraq, and the Gulf States. He is a resident fellow at The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and has authored, with Michael Weiss, the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. Mr. Hassan’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and the New York Times, among others. Mr. Hassan received an M.A. in international relations from the University of Nottingham.

The Harmonious Scientific Career

Dr. Roel Snieder, November 2, Student Center Ballroom A

The professional and personal demands and expectations that a scientist or engineer operates under can be considerable. Apart from these pressures, we have different roles to play in different aspects of our professional and personal lives. When not handled properly, this can lead to feelings of stress, demotivation, and burn-out. In this workshop, we will explore strategies, as described in the book, The Joy of Science, to harmonize the different aspects of the life of the modern scientist or engineer.

Salam Neighbor: Film Screening and Panel Discussion on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

November 10, Student Center Ballroom BC

Our final Hennebach event of the semester will take place on Thursday, November 10. This is a special event: a documentary film screening and panel discussion on the humanitarian dimensions of the Syrian refugee crisis. Panel discussants will include the film’s producer, Salam Darwaza, and Joe Wismann-Horther, from the Colorado Refugee Services Program.

Two Americans head to the edge of war, just seven miles from the Syrian border, to live among 85,000 uprooted refugees in Jordan’s Za’atari camp. As the first filmmakers allowed by the United Nations to register and set up a tent inside a refugee camp, Zach and Chris plunge into the heart of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crisis.

From meeting Um Ali, a woman struggling to overcome personal loss and cultural barriers, to the street smart, 10-year-old Raouf, whose trauma hides just beneath his ever present smile, Zach and Chris uncover inspiring stories of individuals rallying, against all odds, to rebuild their lives and those of their neighbors.

Spring 2016

Energy in Literature: Essays on Energy and Its Social and Environmental Implications in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literary Texts

Dr. Paula Farca, April 14, Marquez Hall 126

How are sources of energy presented in modern and contemporary literary texts? Energy in Literature shows the connections in twentieth and twenty-first century literary texts between energy, society, and environment. The edited volume includes a substantial introduction, poems on energy, eighteen critical essays from international contributors, and a photo essay. The book explores how authors of recent world literature present energy sources ranging from coal and oil to solar, wind, nuclear, and hydropower, and how these sources affect local and global communities. The anthology focuses on the impact energy sources have on individuals and the environment, and on salient themes including pollution; disposal of waste; industrial landscapes; sustainability;  resource extraction and its economic, social, and developmental consequences; the intertwining between nature and culture; and gender and ethnic identity constructions.

Paula Anca Farca is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies at Colorado School of Mines, where she teaches literature, writing, and academic publishing. Her main research focuses on contemporary, postcolonial, and Indigenous literature. Along with numerous published critical essays and book chapters, Paula has published Identity in Place: Contemporary Indigenous Fiction by Women Writers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (2011), co-authored a textbook, A Student’s Guide to Nature and Human Values (2010 and 2012), and coedited Speculations: An Anthology for Reading, Writing, and Research (2006).

Teaching Professor Toni Lefton contributed three poems to the book: “Winter Tulip,” “Top Kill,” and “Make Believe” and Teaching Associate Professor Sarah Hitt wrote a chapter entitled “Mining in Contemporary Indigenous Literature.”

McBride Student Richard Sebastian Coleman will play some classic pieces together with his quartet.

Geopolitics and the Making of the Oil Curse

Dr. Cullen Hendrix, April 13, Marquez Hall 126

Does oil hinder democracy? Most research on the subject has focused on domestic effects of oil wealth on political institutions, with international dynamics only affecting domestic politics through ownership structure and market prices. In new research, Dr. Hendrix argues the end of the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union reduced support for non-oil rich authoritarian regimes in the developing world, amplified the domestic effects of oil wealth on democracy. Using case studies and statistical modeling, he finds the oil curse is a function not just of international market conditions but geopolitical dynamics as well.

Dr. Hendrix is Associate Professor at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. At the Korbel School, he directs the Environment, Food and Conflict (ENFOCO) Lab, which leverages collaborations between physical and social scientists and policymakers to produce scholarship and analysis on issues at the intersection of the environment, food security, and conflict. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation’s Coupled Natural and Human Systems program and the US Department of Defense Minerva Initiative, as well as the Carnegie Corporation and the Smith-Richardson Foundation. He holds a PhD and MA from the University of California, San Diego, where he was a fellow of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and a BA from Kalamazoo College. His first book,Confronting the Curse: The Economics and Geopolitics of Natural Resource Governance (with Marcus Noland), was published in 2014.

Syria: From Revolution to War

April 4, Student Center Ballroom B

Please join us for an evening of conversation on The Syrian War with Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami. They recently co-authored Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War (Pluto Press, 2016).

Robin Yassin-Kassab is the author of the novel The Road from Damascus. He co-edits www.pulsemedia.org and blogs at www.qunfuz.com.

Leila Al-Shami was a founding member of Tahrir-ICN a network connecting anti-authoritarian struggles across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The Global Refugee Crisis: Unrest in the Middle East & Its Implications for the US

March 25, Berthoud Hall 241

Presentations and discussion will focus on:

  • People in Flight: A Global Perspective, Domestic Implications
  • War, Refugees, and the Humanitarian Catastrophe in Syria
  • Human Rights in Syria

Kelly M. Greenhill is a professor at Tufts University and a research fellow at Harvard University. Greenhill is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy, which won the 2011 International Studies Association’s Best Book of the Year Award; and co-author and co-editor of Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict and The Use of Force: Military Power and International Politics. Greenhill’s research has also appeared in a variety of journals, national and international media outlets, and briefs prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court and other organs and agencies of the U.S. government.  She is currently finishing a new book, a cross-national study that explores why, when, and under what conditions, contested sources of political information—such as rumors, conspiracy theories, myths and propaganda—materially influence the development and conduct of states’ foreign and defense policy. Outside of academia, Greenhill has served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as a defense program analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, and as an economic policy intern in the Office of then Senator John F. Kerry. She also serves as Associate Editor of the journal International Security. Greenhill holds an S.M. and a Ph.D. from M.I.T., a C.S.S. from Harvard, and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Samer Abboud is an Associate Professor of International Studies at Arcadia University and a Senior non-resident Fellow at the Center for Syrians Studies at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. In 2013, Samer was a Fellow at the Institute of International and Security Affairs in Berlin and a Visiting Scholar at Carnegie’s Middle East Center in Beirut. Samer is the author of the recently published book on the Syrian conflict entitled Syria (Polity, 2015) and has published extensively in academic and popular venues on contemporary Syria and the conflict. His current research is interested in the phenomenon of capital flight during the Syrian conflict.

Quitaiba Idlbi is an associate producer and translator for Red Lines. A native of Damascus, Qutaiba became actively involved in human rights and democracy activism with the start of the revolution in March 2011. Following detainment and torture at the hands of internal security forces in Syria, he was forced to leave the country and continue his efforts from abroad. Qutaiba currently works with the Syrian National Council and the Syrian National Coalition (Etilaf) as a resident and research associate. He is the co-founder and director of operations with People Demand Change.

War, Heroes, Poems: A reading and discussion with Seth Brady Tucker

February 25, Marquez Hall 126

Seth Tucker is an award-winning teacher originally from Lander, Wyoming. He has led poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction workshops and literature classes for graduate and undergraduate students alike over a career spanning eleven years, and has taught at Colorado School of Mines for over three years. Seth is also an award-winning poet and fiction writer, and his first book won the 2011 Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize (Mormon Boy, 2012), and was a finalist for the 2013 Colorado Book Award.  His second book won the Gival Press Poetry Award (We Deserve the Gods We Ask For, 2014) and went on to win the Eric Hoffer Book Award in 2015. Seth is also the founder and codirector of the Seaside Writers’ Conference (which takes place annually in May), and volunteers his time teaching veterans and veteran caretakers through the Wounded Warrior Project, and inmates through the prison literacy program, Words Beyond Bars. Seth has been an editor for a number of different literary journals, and is currently the Senior Prose Editor at the Tupelo Quarterly Review.

The Liberating Visions of Washington, DuBois, X, and King in the 21st Century

A discussion with Dr. Winston A. Grady-Willis, Rev. Dr. H. Malcom Newton and Dr. Derrick Hudson, February 8 and 22, Student Center Ballroom A

Dr. Hudson is a Teaching Associate Professor of International Relations in LAIS. He specializes in religion and politics in Africa, with particular expertise on the role of prophetic Christianity as an agent for social change in historically deeply divided societies.

Dr. Winston Grady-Willis is professor and chair of African and African American Studies at Metropolitan State University. His book, Challenging U.S. Apartheid: Atlanta and Black Struggles for Human Rights, 1960-1977 (Duke), provides a gendered examination of the contemporary Black Freedom movement.

Rev. Dr. H. Malcolm Newton is the founding President of The Urban Tikkun Centre. He is a graduate of Cheyney University (HBCU), Dallas Seminary, and Harvard University, and he is the author of numerous books, including the forthcoming The Urban Kingdom of God and Green Faith.

Why the Persistent Under-representation?: African Americans in the Engineering Profession in the United States

Dr. Derrick Hudson, February 4, Marquez Hall 126

This talk is the inaugural lecture in the Hennebach HASS author series. Throughout the semester, HASS faculty who have published books since the spring/summer of 2014 will be presenting their work to the campus community.

Dr. Hudson is a Teaching Associate Professor of International Relations in the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies, where he teaches undergraduate courses in International Relations, African History and in the Masters of International Political Economy of Resources (MIPER) program.  He earned his PhD in International Relations from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.  He specializes in religion and politics in Africa, with particular expertise on the role of prophetic Christianity as an agent for social change in selected historically deeply divided societies. His teaching interests also includes the role of truth commissions as societies are in transition from authoritarian to democratic rule and will teach a course on power and leadership in the McBride Honors Program at CSM.  Prior to coming to Mines, Dr. Hudson was an Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver in which he gained valuable experience in teaching African American Studies, Social Movements, and Kenyan Politics and Culture

Fall 2015

China’s Political Future: Meritocracy, Democracy, or Both?

December 7, public lecture by Daniel Bell at noon, Coolbaugh Hall 209, and round table discussion with James Jesudason and Elizabeth Van Wie Davis in Student Center Ballroom D

Westerners divide the political world into “good” democracies and “bad” authoritarian regimes. But the Chinese model does not fit in either category. China has evolved a political system that can best be described as “political meritocracy.” Drawing on his 2015 book The China Model,  Daniel A. Bell will discuss the ideals and the reality of this unique political system.

Daniel A. Bell is a prolific and controversial political theorist who has been teaching at Tsinghua University in Beijing since 2004. He is now Chair Professor of the Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua and director of the Berggruen Philosophy and Culture Center. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, Global Times, Wall Street Journal, and in regular columns published in the Huffington Post, Project Syndicate, and The Guardian, as well as in Chinese language press.

Elizabeth Van Wie Davis lived and worked in Asia for many years. Initially her academic research focused on China, but her work on Chinese energy policy and the environment expanded to other parts of Asia. Her most recent book is Ruling, Resources, and Religion in China (2012).

James V. Jesudason grew up in Malaysia and was educated in the U.S. His academic work has focused on Southeast Asia, and he overlapped with Daniel Bell as a professor at the National University of Singapore. After obtaining his PHD at Harvard, Jesudason taught in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore, where he overlapped with Daniel Bell.

Meeting Minds; Encountering Worlds: Sciences and Other Expertises on the North Slope of Alaska

November 16, Marquez Hall 126

Speaker: Barbara Bodenhorn

During the summer of 2006 a dozen young people, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, came together from three indigenous communities: Ixtlán de Juárez Oaxaca, San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Michoacán, and Barrow, Alaska. For two months students were incorporated into scientific research teams; they met with elders; they had weekly sessions with local language experts; they lived with families; and they participated in local subsistence activities. Out of this, Bodenhorn asks: How might distinct scientific disciplines (in this instance, biology, archaeology; and climatology) be differently accessible – as well as open – to knowledgeable, non-scientist others? To what extent that sense of ‘the accessible’ about the nature of disciplinary practice, interdisciplinarity, and/or of the particular collaborative relations involved? ‘Complexity’ is increasingly made visible in research being carried out in the natural as well as the social sciences. It is very much a factor in the design of collaborative projects. Many potential obstacles may stand in the way before such collaborations can productively ‘take hold,’ Bodenhorn suggests, but the ‘science/lay divide’ is not necessarily one of them.

Oil on the Edge: The Interrelated Histories of Petroleum in the Alaskan Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico

October 21, Brown Hall W280

The Shultz Family Leadership in Humanitarian Engineering Speaker Series  presents Dr. Tyler Priest, Associate Professor of History and Geography. This event is co-sponsored with Hennebach Program in the Humanities, the McBride Honors Program and Mines Without Borders.

Tyler Priest is Associate Professor of History and Geography at the University of Iowa. He is the author of the prize-winning book, The Offshore Imperative: Shell Oil¹s Search for Petroleum in Postwar America (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2007), and coeditor of a 2012 special issue of the Journal of American History on “Oil in American History.” In 2010, he served as a senior policy analyst for the President¹s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. His current book project is “Deepwater Horizons: The Epic Struggle over Offshore Oil in the United States.”