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Events & Exhibits: Spring 2020 Brown Bag Talks

Spring 2020 Brown Bag Talks

Library Brown Bag Talks are free and open to UNC Asheville students, faculty, and staff as well as the Asheville community. Feel free to bring your lunch. Light refreshments are always served.

For questions or comments about Library Brown Bag Talks, please contact Gene Hyde, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, UNC Asheville. ghyde@unca.edu or 828-251-6645

"Reconstructing Ancient Battles: History, Topography, and Technology"

Thursday, January 16

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Jacob Butera, Department of Classics 

"Reconstructing Ancient Battles:  History, Topography, and Technology"

Using historical accounts, new mapping technologies, and on-the-ground topographical studies, this talk will discuss the reconstruction of the ancient battles of Phillipi and Pydna, inviting audience members to attempt their own reconstructions and interpretations.

"Third Culture Kids: The Blessings and Curses of Being a Global Nomad"

Thursday, January 23

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Karin Hedberg, Conferences and Camps Office 

 

"Third Culture Kids:  The Blessings and Curses of Being a Global Nomad"

 

Imagine your identity formed out of many cultures. Imagine growing up in multiple countries and speaking several languages. Imagine your friends are scattered across the globe. These are only some of the traits of Third Culture Kids or TCKs. We are the children of adventuresome parents who dared to leave their countries of origin and go elsewhere. Find out what the TCK phenomenon is all about and why we can never easily answer the question “Where are you from?” This session will include material from "Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds" by David Pollock and other studies of this population. The facilitator will also share personal experiences and first-hand accounts from other TCKs.

"A metacognitive approach to trust and a case study: artificial agency"

Thursday, January 30

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Ioan Muntean

"A metacognitive approach to trust and a case study: artificial agency"

Trust is defined as a belief of a human H (‘the trustor’) about the ability of an agent A (the ‘trustee’) to perform future action(s). We adopt here dispositionalism and internalism about trust: H trusts A iff A has some internal dispositions as competences. The dispositional competences of A are high-level metacognitive requirements, in the line of a naturalized virtue epistemology. (Sosa, Carter) We advance a Bayesian model of two (i) confidence in the decision and (ii) model uncertainty. To trust A, H demands A to be self-assertive about confidence and able to self-correct its own models. In the Bayesian approach trust can be applied not only to humans, but to artificial agents (e.g. Machine Learning algorithms). We explain the advantage the metacognitive trust when compared to mainstream approaches and how it relates to virtue epistemology. The metacognitive ethics of trust is swiftly discussed.

 

"Indigenous Languages and Polysynthetic Words; Software for Conjugation"

Thursday, February 13

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Barbara Duncan, Adjunct Instructor of Cherokee

"Indigenous Languages and Polysynthetic Words; Software for Conjugation"

This is the year of indigenous languages by declaration of the U.N. Join Barbara Duncan as she discusses work she and colleagues from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians did to develop software that breaks break down the polysynthetic words (equal to a sentence in English) that are the basis of Cherokee and other indigenous languages.  They discovered that these long words are made of regular parts similar to a math equation, and that this equation can be programmed to conjugate words from a known language.  The software also can break down and find the regular parts of words in unknown polysynthetic languages.  This software received a patent in 2015, and has enabled them to create a dictionary with 80,000 words at www.yourgrandmotherscherokee.com.

"What We Say When We Talk about Writing: Seeking Common Ground across the Curriculum"

Thursday, February 20

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Jessica Pisano and Brian Graves, Department of English

"What We Say When We Talk about Writing: Seeking Common Ground across the Curriculum"

Inspired in part by existing Writing Studies research, we’ve been examining how UNCA faculty talk about writing with their students. Over the past several semesters, we’ve surveyed faculty about how they teach writing and followed up with both focus groups and a review of assignment prompts. What can we learn from this data that might help all of us with writing instruction in our respective disciplines? We invite interested faculty from across campus to learn about our findings and enter into conversation about their significance and implications.

"Contracts for Honors credit: Balancing access, equity, and opportunities for authentic learning"

Thursday, February 27

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Patrick Bahls, Department of Mathematics

"Contracts for Honors credit: Balancing access, equity, and opportunities for authentic learning"

A 2017 study by Scott, Smith, and Cognard-Black shows that at a majority of institutions, honors students are able to earn honors credit through fulfillment of honors “contracts” that stipulate additional work the student must perform in a non-honors-designated section of a particular course. As popular as they are, little has been written on honors contracts’ design and delivery, in part because of the difficulty of assessing both contract systems’ efficacy at helping students meet various learning objectives and their impact on the sense of community honors administrators attempt to cultivate in their programs. The purpose of the present article is to offer an overview of the first full year of our own institution's newly-implemented honors contract system, focusing on students’ metacognitive reflections on the work they did in fulfilling their contracts. These reflections demonstrate students’ gains in understanding of interdisciplinarity, alternative ways of knowing and ways of being, and intellectual humility, among many other things. Given this, we find that despite legitimate concerns about contracts’ effect on honors curriculum and community, contracts provide a flexible means of offering rich opportunities for student learning.

"National Humanities Institute Scholars' Reports; or, Banjos and Chaucer"

This Brown Bag has been canceled during the UNCA Campus response to COVID-19. For full details see https:/coronavirus.unca.edu

 

Thursday, March 26

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Toby King, Music Department & Will Revere, Department of English

"National Humanities Institute Scholars' Reports; or, Banjos and Chaucer."

Join Toby King and Will Revere as they discuss their National Humanities Institute Scholar projects.

 

Toby King: "Another Double-History: Decentering Bluegrass in Japan"

Bluegrass has existed in Japan for almost as long as it has in the US, and many of the historical tropes pertain. Its version of American/Appalachian identity has circulated nation- and worldwide attendant to its commodified musical forms. This “genre-in-motion” is revealed to be a useful heuristic tool for investigating the nature of the contemporary world. How do spaces of emergent, dynamic, flexible interpretation allow for multiple interpretations, temporary crystallizations of meaning, and for provisional assessment, allowing for a social negotiation that depends on evaluative consensus? The goal of this paper is to compare three parallel histories of American-style bluegrass music, one of which is performed in Matsuyama, Japan, and to examine the attendant similarities and differences of these histories, destabilizing an explanatory narrative concerning the potential social value or use of bluegrass musical performance in general.
 
Will Revere: “Recognitions: Medieval and Modern”
Did the Middle Ages have a dramatic theory?  Might modern literature and drama still be in conversation with it?  Medieval narrative is full of instructional and argumentative dialogue (often including unlikely speakers like personified concepts or giant talking fowl); this paper will report on some explorations around what’s revealed when we read this dialogue in dramatic terms.  In particular, I’ll be interested in what Aristotle in his account of tragedy in the Poetics called anagnorisis or recognition, the move from ignorance to knowledge.  As critic Terence Cave has written, “Anagnorisis conjoins the recovery of knowledge with a disquieting sense, when the trap is sprung, that the commonly accepted co-ordinates of knowledge have gone awry.”  How might our coordinates go awry when we recognize someone or something, again or for the first time?  Or when we fail in such recognition?  Dramatic theory tips over here into essential questions in ethics.  I’ll suggest that a sixth-century writer named Boethius was a powerful source for medieval writers in thinking creatively about such questions, and I’ll consider some scenes of recognition in medieval narrative and its afterlives, moving from the work of Geoffrey Chaucer to the contemporary American stage.     

"Voices of Migration: An Oral History Collective"

Thursday, April 9

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Michelle Bettencourt, Languages and Literature Department

"Voices of Migration: An Oral History Collective"

This presentation describes three distinct courses that experiment with integrating oral history as both text and product. Each course varies in its student body and mode of instruction (online, hybrid, and in person) but all share the use of oral history and digital tools and archives to explore the migrant experience. The presentation includes a brief overview of the courses' aims and methods and examines examples from the student project websites, unearthing what the collected oral histories reveal about our changing communities and interrogating how the digital collective may serve to build community within and beyond the college classroom.

"National Distribution of Group One Human Carcinogens in Natural Environments"

Thursday, April 16

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Brittani McNamee, Department of Environmental Studies

Concerning carcinogenic minerals, most think of asbestos products such as insulation or brake pads. The minerals deemed as group 1 human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are asbestos group minerals, erionite, and crystalline silica. Concerns surrounding the health impacts of exposure to these minerals (asbestos in particular) have extended from occupational settings to their presence in soils and rock deposits.  Furthermore, certain non-asbestos varieties of amphiboles and serpentine are currently regulated as asbestos and quartz is a carcinogen, but not regulated as in the same manner as asbestos. The distribution of these minerals is ubiquitous in natural environments and defining these minerals is complex, but key in regards to regulations.

"Driving to Net 0: Stories of Hope for a Carbon Free Future"

Thursday, April 23

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Dave Erb, Retired UNCA Mechatronics Engineering Faculty 

Electric vehicles and solar energy offer significant potential to reduce harmful emissions, improve public health, ease geopolitical tensions, and lower the cost of energy for everyone.  "Driving to Net 0: Stories of Hope for a Carbon-Free Future" is a collection of 15 first person accounts of families who combine driving on sunshine with other sustainability strategies.  Dave Erb, who retired from the UNC Asheville Mechatronics Engineering Program in 2018, wrote Chapter 1, titled "An Unapologetic Car Junkie."  After reading an excerpt from his chapter, Dave will lead a discussion of electric vehicles and renewable energy.