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Guidelines for Provost Lectures »

FALL 2014
December 3: Daniel Esty

esty-danFrom 20th Century Environmental Protection to 21st Century Sustainability
Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with appointments in both the Environment and Law Schools. He also serves as the Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and co-directs the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale. Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy, and sustainability -- and their connections to policy, corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, and economic success. His prize-winning volume, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, has recently been named the top-selling “green business” book of the past decade.  Known for his pathbreaking work at the business-energy/environment/sustainability interface, Professor Esty has provided strategy advice to companies, governments, international organizations, NGOs, and foundations around the world.

From 2011 to early 2014, Professor Esty served as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection where he earned a reputation for bringing fresh thinking to both energy and environmental policymaking, including such innovations as Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation Green Bank and a “LEAN” restructuring of all of Connecticut’s environmental programs to make the state’s regulatory framework lighter, faster, and more efficient and effective.  Prior to taking up his Yale Professorship in 1994, he served in a variety of senior positions at the US Environmental Protection Agency and was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC. Co-sponsors: The Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the College of Business, the Department of Technology and Society, the Department of Chemistry, and the Sustainability Studies Program.

Abstract: Twenty-first century sustainability will need to build on very different foundations from 20th century environmental protection efforts. In law, a paradigm shift from “command and control” regulation is giving way to a new focus on economic incentives. In business, corporate leaders now recognize that an active approach to environmental issues and sustainability can yield competitive advantage and marketplace success. Drawing on firsthand experience in business, academia, and government, Professor Esty’s lecture will illustrate how smart companies use environmental strategy to innovate, create value and build competitive advantage. He will also discuss the future of state and federal governments in making the regulatory framework lighter, faster, and more effective.

Wednesday, December 3, 4 pm, Wang Center Theater

Previous Lectures
October 9: Bill Drayton

bill draytonEducation and Job Creation in a World of Accelerating Change
Bill Drayton, 21st century prophet and founder of ASHOKA, and his Ashoka Fellows network of some 3,000 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries have changed our world forever. Interest and demand for social entrepreneurship programs worldwide and on American college campuses are, as Mr Drayton predicted, accelerating while older organizational models struggle and fail. Mr. Drayton will share his insightful view of a "changemaker world" where people who can't find jobs go out and create their own meaningful work, where companies value employees whose teamwork, empathy, and leadership “from the inside” help to bring about changes to help them adapt and thrive, and where young people grow up feeling empowered and equipped to bring about new solutions to entrenched social problems. He will also address the urgency of adapting our institutions to make this world a reality as rapidly as possible. Co-sponsored by the College of Business, Lift Up Long Island, Inc., Social Enterprise Alliance of Long Island, Long Island’s United Way. An interactive panel of Long Island business and education leaders will convene at 2:30 pm, preceding Mr. Drayton’s presentation. 

Thursday, October 9, 4 pm, Tabler Center, Black Box Theater

October 15: Richard Leakey, FRS

richard leakeyLiving Off the Grid with Good Access to Energy and Water
Paleoanthropologist, politician, explorer and environmentalist, Richard Erskine Frere Leakey is chairman of the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI), and Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University. Additionally, Dr. Leakey is Chairman of WildlifeDirect, Inc., and Transparency International Kenya, and the recipient of a multitude of awards including more than a dozen honorary doctorates from universities around the world. Together with his wife Meave and a number of talented and experienced Kenyan fossil hunters, Leakey's team made an astounding number of significant finds throughout the 70s and 80s, including “Turkana Boy,” the extraordinary and nearly complete 1.6 million-year-old skeleton of a juvenile Homo erectus, and have provided the world with much of the evidence for human evolution. In 2005, he outlined to Stony Brook University his concept to develop TBI, which would provide permanent infrastructure to enable year-round research in the remote Turkana Basin region. This dream has since been realized, and at present, TBI has two state-of-the-art research facilities on the east and west shores of Lake Turkana, and plays a crucial role in facilitating scientific research in this tremendously important part of the world. Richard was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007. Co-sponsored by the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Department of Anthropology; Sustainability Studies Program; Turkana Basin Institute

Abstract: Much of the world’s population lives off the grid and has little expectation of having grid services provided. If we are to address issues of fairness and security in much of the developing world, the challenge is to find ways for people to live off the grid at a reasonable standard of living and with reliable access to energy and water. Richard Leakey has lived off the grid for his entire life and has had good access to power and water. Beginning in 2008, the Turkana Basin Institute has constructed two facilities in the desert in northern Kenya to support research work in this remote part of sub-Saharan Africa. Each of the TBI facilities can accommodate about 100 people at any time (scientists, students and staff) and all have access to power and water. TBI can serve as an existence proof for technologies that can provide underserved populations and regions with access to energy and water when they are “off the grid”. TBI is also serving as a catalyst for construction of additional facilities such as large, top quality schools and a world-class science museum whose needs for power and water will require innovation and imagination.

 Wednesday, October 15, 5 pm,  Wang Center Theater

October 16: Joan D. Frosch

joan froschWho is (Not) Human?
Joan Frosch is Professor of Dance in the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida, where she has taught since 1995. Dr. Frosch co-founded and directs the Center for World Arts, a living laboratory exploring contemporary global expression in performance. Recently named a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, Dr. Frosch is a dance ethnographer, Laban Movement Analyst (CMA), filmmaker, choreographer, and author. Her research has attracted numerous honors and awards, including the Lilly Fellowship and two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (Dance-Creativity). She received the inaugural EMPAC (RPI) film commission for her production Nora (2008) which premiered on PBS in 2011 for which she was also awarded the prestigious INPUT Producer’s Fellowship. Dr. Frosch is the director and producer of the feature documentary Movement (R)Evolution Africa: a story of an art form in four acts (2009) on African experimental choreographers. Co-sponsored by the Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning. Part of the Festival of the Moving Body.

Abstract: The sinister constructions of personhood which fostered genocide and slavery haunt us. From Michael Brown, to Trayvon Martin, to Steven Sotloff, and over 1500 unnamed victims of the Ebola virus, the world appears to wonder: "Who is (not) human?" Whose life is one to value, respect, if not exceptionalize, and, whose life can we stand to lose, if not take? The recognition of humanity is clearly a matter of life and death. What race, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, language, or age privileges the status of the human, "who manifests a subjectivity—that is, a consciousness like our own—that would allow us to consider each of them, taken individually, as another self?"

Thursday, October 16, 10 am, Charles B. Wang Center Theater

October 22: Ruth B. Bottigheimer

ruth bottigheimerFairy Tales and City Life:
Literature and Society, Generic Shifts and Worldview Changes  

Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Research Professor in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University, has written extensively about fairy tales. Beginning with Grimms’ Bad Girls and Bold Boys, she moved on to the European originator of fairy tales, Giovan Francesco Straparola in Fairy Godfather. Fairy Tales: A New History provides an archeological approach, beginning with the Grimms and working backward to the earliest efforts to produce a fairy tale kind of story. She has edited several scholarly volumes on the history of fairy tales; and has published nearly 200 scholarly articles in journals and encyclopedias. Bottigheimer, a Fulbright scholar and past Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Clare Hall, Cambridge, has just published a comprehensive history of the change from magic tales to fairy tales, Magic Tales and Fairy Tale Magic from Ancient Egypt to the Italian Renaissance (Palgrave Macmillan 2014).

Abstract: Tales that express human aspirations for and the achievement of a good life here on earth, fairy tales are closely related to city living with its possibilities for moving up the social and economic ladder. Even more importantly, when fairy tales emerged during the Italian Renaissance, magic itself shifted dramatically. Now fairies and magical creatures lost their backstories together with their complicated and complicating enmities and friendships, and instead wielded magic principally to benefit the girls and boys, men and women they wanted to help. Without histories of their own fairy tale fairies stopped became entirely human-centered. Professor Bottigheimer’s innovative approach to fairy tale history has aroused attention worldwide. Although her first talk on the subject brought a fist-shaking and shouting audience to its feet in 2005 and provoked the Journal of American Folklore to devote an entire issue to attacking her pathbreaking work, her writings have since come to be seen as opening new understandings of the ways in which the humble fairy tale expresses core attitudes that developed with city living, a money economy, and human-centered modern society.

Wednesday, October 22, 4:00 pm, Humanities Institute 1006

October 27: Li Wei

ruth bottigheimerMultilingualism, Social Cognition, and Creativity
Li Wei is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, where he is also Pro-Vice-Master of the College and Director of the Birkbeck Graduate Research School. He is Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism. His most recent publications include Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism, and Education (with Ofelia Garcia, 2014, Palgrave) and Applied Linguistics (2014, Wiley). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and currently serving as Chair of the University Council of General and Applied Linguistics, UK. Co-sponsored by The Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication.

Abstract: This talk explores the issue of how multilingual language users process social information and the potential impact of multilingualism on creativity. It reviews existing linguistic and psycholinguistic research on multilingualism and social cognition, and reports ongoing investigations that aim to understand the dynamics of multilingualism and the links with creative and critical thinking. Conceptual and methodological issues that emerge from this research and the implications for research design will also be discussed.

Monday, October 27, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater

October 30: Jack Halberstam

halberstam"A Path So Twisted:" Thinking Wildly With and Through Punk Feminisms
Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Halberstam is the author of five books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book on Fascism and (homo)sexuality. Halberstam has co-edited a number of anthologies including Posthuman Bodies with Ira Livingston (Indiana University Press, 1995) and a special issue of Social Text with Jose Munoz and David Eng titled “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Jack is a popular speaker and gives lectures around the country and internationally every year. Lecture topics include: queer failure, sex and media, subcultures, visual culture, gender variance, popular film, animation. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities

Abstract: In the queer punk film from 1980, Times Square directed by Alan Moyle, two teenage girls meet in the psychiatric ward of  a Neurological Hospital in NYC and, sensing a shared purpose and a mutual instinct for rebellion, they shed their hospital gowns, don garbage bags and run from the hospital to become part of the discarded denizens of Times Square. Refusing all psychiatric 
diagnoses of their disaffection, Pammy and Nicky, refuse and resist psychologized accounts of injury and project the injuryback onto the society as a whole. They have been wounded but their wounds are not the problem, the problem lies in a racist and homophobic world that regards them and the queer worlds they inhabit as obstacles to the “safe” and “clean” version of NYC to which local politicians have committed. The film, emerging as it does on the very cusp of the AIDS crisis and just before the clean up of Times Square and at the very beginning of the Reagan years, represents a lost world of queer rebellion that instructs us now on the tactics and the cultures of revolt that were swept aside by neo-liberal discourses of respectability, responsibility and social hygiene. This talk wants to explore (without romanticizing) with Nicky and Pammy the potential of the unsafe and the unclean. In the Patti Smith song at the core of the film Smith asks: “Should I pursue a path so twisted?/Should I crawl defeated and gifted?” Taking this terminology as a vocabulary for punk feminism, let’s venture into the wild world and the wild genders of Times Square not to find what has been lost but to unlearn the lessons of compliance that are nested within discourses of improvement, recovery and health.

Thursday, October 30, 4 pm, Wang Center Theater

November 11: Richard Gelfond, ’76 

richard gelfondThe Entrepreneurs Edge: Success on Long Island
The Entrepreneurs Edge will feature a lively conversation between Richard (Rich) Gelfond, Stony Brook alumnus and Chief Executive Officer of IMAX Corporation, and Joseph Campolo, Chairman of Protegrity Advisors, about Gelfond's path from shoeshine entrepreneur to one of America's top CEOs. Under Gelfond's leadership, IMAX has evolved from a niche purveyor of nature and science documentaries to a Hollywood movie force - both as a high-tech exhibitor and a creative partner in the movie-making process. IMAX presented some of 2014's top movies, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Co-sponsored by the College of Business and the Office for the Integration of Research, Education, and Professional Development. Generous support is provided by Protegrity Advisors, LLC and the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency.

This event will be the first in the Entrepreneurs Edge series, which showcases successful innovators from Long Island, describing their sometimes round-about and always individual career journeys. Connect with local business leaders at a reception immediately before the presentation, at 6 pm in the Wang Theater Lobby. Seating is limited. Please register at: SBUEdge.Eventbrite.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 7 pm,  Wang Center Theater

For more information, contact the Provost's Office at 632-7211.

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