Spring 2022 Neilson Professor
Miguel Angel Rosales
Miguel Angel Rosales is a recognized pioneer in the development of Afrodiasporic studies in Spain, affiliated with Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville. He is a documentarist, anthropologist, forestry engineer, a graduate of the music conservatory in Granada, Spain, and has participated in film courses at EICTV (the International Film and TV School in Cuba). Rosales has earned international renown as the director of the path-breaking documentary Gurumbé, Canciones de tu memoria negra (Gurumbé: Afroandalusian Memories,2016). Gurumbé documents the silenced history of modern (i.e., post-16th century) African slavery from its origins in Spain and Portugal, as well as the importance of African cultures for Flamenco music and dance, and Andalusian expressive culture. Gurumbé combines historical knowledge based on archival textual evidence from early modernity (when concepts such as “humanism,” “individualism” and “freedom” were coined on the back of African enslavement) with unwritten musical sources such as rhythms, beats and dance. Gurumbé straddles a variety of countries (Spain, Portugal, Senegal, Cuba, Mexico).
Presently, Rosales researches communities of Andalusian Spaniards who self-identify as descendants of enslaved populations from Africa, specific historical figures of the Spanish Afrodiaspora, such as the fascinating 17–18th century African-born enslaved nun Sister Chikabe (first African enslaved woman published in a European vernacular) or the manipulation (taxidermy) of the body of an African man based on a specific museum exhibit in 20th-century Spain.
Lecture Dates and Titles
Miguel Rosales’ lectures will take place on February 22, March 29 and April 5, at 5 p.m. in the Neilson Browsing Room
In his three Neilson lectures, Rosales will help us explore: the importance of studying the pre-American steps of Afrodiaspora in Spain; the need to go beyond written archival evidence in the retrieval of histories of the oppressed; and the connection between body and mind in the acquisition of knowledge. He would be delighted to lend his expertise to our curriculum, lecturing on Gurumbé, on Spanish communities that self-identify as descendants of enslaved populations, on documentary-making as a form of historical and anthropological research, on his current documentary research conducted in Spain and Africa, and on the ecological repercussions of slavery in past and present land distribution and depletion.
LECTURE 1. Submerged Stories (Tuesday, February 22)
Spanish national identity and the writing of its historical narrative are deeply marked by race as an ideological concept. The history of Spain has basically been built on the concealment of colonial violence and the disappearance of its racialized minorities. Within these minorities, the Afro-descendant minority has suffered a profound erasure. What consequences has this had on current Spanish society, how has it influenced its most recent history, and how does it continue to articulate political discourses on identity and the Nation?
LECTURE 2. Surviving Stories (Tuesday, March 29)
Spain’s profound African heritage and its oblivion is hard to recover from historic sources and archives, due to the layers of silence created by invisibility, negation, and racism that go back to the creation of those very sources. The imprints that remain alive as embodied memory in Spain’s dances, music, and rituals, particularly as related to what Flamenco is today, can help us understand this profound memory.
LECTURE 3. A Focus on the Environment as a Source for the Recuperation of Memory (Tuesday, April 5)
A reflection on current projects, in which Rosales’s multifaceted identity as forest engineer, anthropologist and documentary-maker interweave and fuel his continued search for “the traces of the unthinkable" and the recovery of Afrodiasporic historical memory in Andalusia and Spain in general.
September 14, 2022
A lecture by Lauren Duncan, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology
Rebel with a cause: Psychological motivators of activism
Seelye 201, 5–6 p.m.
October 25, 2022
A lecture by Andy Rotman, Sydenham Clark Parsons Professor of Religion
Conference Center, 5–6 p.m.
December 7, 2022
A lecture by Ruth Ozeki, Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities and Professor of English Language & Literature
The Book of Form and Emptiness
Conference Center, 5–6 p.m.
February 15, 2023
A lecture by Andrew Guswa, L. Clark Seelye Professor of Engineering
Conference Center, 5–6 p.m.
March 9, 2023
A lecture by Bosiljka Glumac, Dwight W. Morrow Professor of Geosciences
Conference Center, 5–6 p.m.
April 25, 2023
A lecture by Carrie Baker, Sylvia Dlgaush Bauman Chair of American Studies and Professor of the Study of Women and Gender
Seelye 201, 5–6 p.m.
Bruce R Smith, Ruth and Clarence Kennedy Professor in Renaissance Studies (Fall 2022)
Fall 2022 Lecture Dates and Information
Renaissance Poetry Across Media
In our own media-savvy time, we realize that what gets communicated is very much a function of how it gets communicated. These three lectures investigate manuscript, print, sculpture, architecture and music as media for communicating 16th and 17th century poems in Shakespeare's England.
|Lecture Date||Lecture Title|
|Monday, September 26||Poetry, Media and Across|
|Monday, October 31||Poetry, Sculpture and Architecture|
|Tuesday, November 29||Poetry and Music|
All lectures will take place in the Neilson Browsing Room and begin at 5 p.m.
This series is hosted by the Department of English and made possible by the Ruth and Clarence Kennedy Endowment for Renaissance Studies.
The Engel Lectureship is granted annually to a Smith faculty member who has made a significant contribution to his or her field. The lecture was established in 1958 by the National Council of Jewish women in honor of Engel, its onetime president and a 1920 Smith graduate. This year there will be two Engel Lecturers. The 2021–22 Engel Lecturer Susan Levin and the 2022–23 Engel Lecturer Patty DiBartolo.
The 63rd Katharine Asher Engel Lecture
Are We Essentially Information? Why Humanity’s Future Hinges on Our Answering This Question
Roe/Straut Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy
Monday, November 7, 2022 at 5 p.m. — Seelye 201, Smith College
In this lecture, Susan Levin will critique transhumanism, whose advocates urge us to pursue “radical” enhancement of humans’ cognitive ability and moral attitudes, through manipulation of genes and the brain. Surpassing us categorically, the possessors of these abilities would qualify as “posthuman.” According to Susan, transhumanism is deeply misguided, both scientifically and philosophically. Transhumanists insist that cutting-edge science will deliver humanity’s self-transcendence. In actuality, their view of our genes and brain rests on a conceptualization of the real and knowable per se as “information,” crystallized in potent metaphors, such as “program” and “code.” Far from manifesting a timeless truth as transhumanists presume, this picture stems from a particular confluence of developments during World War II and its aftermath. Mounting findings in genetics and neuroscience undercut this informational frame and, with it, prospects for the discrete manipulation of capacities that transhumanists single out for elevation.
Ultimately, Susan’s objections to transhumanism are philosophical. Even if the informational picture were correct and posthumans could be “built,” we should not proceed. For, in so doing, we would eliminate what makes existence as a human being distinctive and worthwhile. Moreover, science cannot be “salvific,” as transhumanists presume, for it cannot tell us what humanity’s guiding values and ends should be. Ancient virtue ethics, adapted to liberal democracy, offers a holistic perspective on living well that is radically superior to transhumanism, which, condemning humanity as hopelessly defective, locates humanity’s worth in subserving the emergence of its own “godlike” successors.
Susan B. Levin is the Roe/Straut Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy. In addition, she is a member of the steering committee for the Five College Program in Culture, Health and Science. Susan received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and her B.A. from Pomona College. She has been a member of the faculty at Smith since 1993.
The areas of Susan’s research are bioethics and ancient Greek philosophy. Her most recent book is Posthuman Bliss? The Failed Promise of Transhumanism (Oxford, 2021). The American Philosophical Association featured the book in its Recently Published Book Spotlight. Susan also discusses the book in a post for OUPblog, an article for the Institute of Art and Ideas, and a blog post in the series “The Page 99 Test.” An interview with her appears in the Summer 2021 issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.
Susan previously published two books in Greek philosophy, Plato’s Rivalry with Medicine: A Struggle and Its Dissolution (Oxford, 2014) and The Ancient Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry Revisited: Plato and the Greek Literary Tradition (Oxford, 2001). In addition, she has published numerous articles in both bioethics and Greek philosophy.
The 64th Katharine Asher Engel Lecture
Golden and Gifted: Perfectionism as Hegemony
Caroline L. Wall ’27 Professor of Psychology
Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 5 p.m. — Leo Weinstein Auditorium, Smith College
In this lecture, Patty DiBartolo shares an emerging paradigmatic shift in her intellectual journey as a perfectionism scholar. This shift is propelled by interdisciplinary engagement, clinical and scientific literatures, collaborations with students, relationships with fellow faculty, and today’s extraordinary historical events.
Patty traces the explosion of research on perfectionism in the last 30 years. The field grew from only a handful of clinical case studies when she was a beginning undergraduate researcher to the tens of thousands of scientific books and articles published today, at a time of what some have called an epidemic of perfectionism. Why is it that the field now knows so much about perfectionism, yet the distress it spawns is more endless than ever? Might there be something we are missing?
Through data and anecdote, Patty traces how psychology’s earliest clinical conceptualizations of perfectionism centered upon privilege, generating a legacy of knowledge relatively silent on the role of race and power. Mapping the ways in which scholars from an array of disciplinary perspectives outside of psychology—including history, political philosophy, and feminist and critical race theories—provided key insights, Patty articulates how the methods, assumptions, and sociocultural and historical influences on the perfectionism field influenced and limited research and practice. To hone and address these limitations, she shares ethnographic and narrative stories in law, literature, and higher education that provide rich description of the ways in which women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals express, experience, and understand perfectionism. Within many elite and selective spaces, perfectionism serves to reinforce and recapitulate current systems of hegemony, especially when inequitable notions of standards and mistakes negatively impact those historically marginalized. As a result, the current atomistic view of perfectionism and the treatment interventions that view informs tragically underestimate how identity as well as broad historical and contextual factors give rise to this trait.
As a next step, Patty offers a currently imperfect draft of an expanded definition of the perfectionism construct. The research and practical suggestions that flow from this revision provide new directions to disrupt perfectionism and prevent it from exacting a toll from so many, especially those historically kept at the margins.
Patty is the Caroline L. Wall ‘27 Professor of Psychology. She received her A.B. from Smith College in 1989 and returned to join the faculty after earning her doctorate in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. Patty previously served as the inaugural faculty director of the sciences (2013–2017) and the associate dean of faculty/dean for academic development (2017–2020) at Smith.
Her long standing research interests focus on investigating the definition and phenomenology of perfectionism and its relationship to mental health, work first begun while she was an undergraduate. In the last 10 years, Patty’s scholarly interests expanded to include research on effective and equitable programs and pedagogy in higher ed. She has given more than 100 scholarly and poster presentations and published 45 articles and chapters, regularly including undergraduate collaborators. A 4th edition of her edited volume, Social anxiety: Clinical, social, and developmental aspects (Elsevier, 3rd ed., 2014, with Stefan Hofmann) is currently in the works and her therapist manual, Cognitive-behavioral therapy for social phobia in adolescents: Stand up, speak out (2007, with Anne Marie Albano), is part of the Oxford University Press’ Programs that Work series. Patty is often called to present her research to a variety of audiences, including teachers, parents, and mental health professionals, and her work has been featured in a range of mainstream media venues, including Time, Health, Redbook, and Psychology Today. In 2008, Patty was awarded the Smith College Kathleen Compton ’54 and John J.F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching and in 2015, she was elected a fellow of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Liberal Arts Luncheons
Liberal Arts Luncheons are sponsored by the Provost and Dean of the Faculty. LALs will be held on Thursdays in the Neilson Browsing Room, unless otherwise noted. Talks begin at approximately 12:10 p.m., a complimentary lunch is offered for the first 40 attendees (first come, first served).
*location is Conference Center, Paradise Room
Supporting Collaborative Modeling for Software Quandaries
|Alicia Grubb, Assistant Professor of Computer Science|
Unpacking the SmithVent Experience: a Framework for Collaborative Distributed Design and Fabrication
Susannah Howe, Senior Lecturer of Engineering and Dean of the Junior Class
Nick Howe, Professor of Computer Science
|September 29||Brought to Life: Painted Wood Sculpture from Europe, 1300-1700||Danielle Carrabino, Curator of Painting & Sculpture, SCMA|
|Self-Managed Abortion in the United States||Carrie Baker, Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Chair of American Studies, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender|
|October 13||Beyond the Op-Ed||Naila Moreira, Writing Instructor, Jacobson Center and Director, Journalism Concentration|
|October 20||A visual attention intervention for intergroup bias in appraisals of video evidence||Yael Granot, Assistant Professor of Psychology|
|October 27||What my Geoscience students did during the Covid-19 pandemic: stories of resilience and rocks||Sara Pruss, Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor of Geosciences|
|November 3||Book Dedications in the Eighteenth-Century European Republic of Letters||John Moore, Professor of Art|
|November 10||James Webb Space Telescope||
James Lowenthal, Professor of Astronomy
Kim Ward-Duong, Assistant Professor of Astronomy
|November 17||Futurist Geographies of Abundance in Early African American Print||
Magdalena Zapedowska, Writing Instructor, Jacobson Center and Director
|December 1||Powerblind gatekeeping through tenure policy?||
Patty DiBartolo, Caroline L. Wall '27 Professor of Psychology
|December 8||Revolutionaries on the Train from Moscow to Beijing||
Lisa Armstrong, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender
Sigma Xi Luncheons
Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, meets regularly for talks and a complimentary lunch throughout the year. Talks are open to all faculty, staff and students.
Talks begin at approximately 12:10 p.m. in McConnell Auditorium. A complimentary lunch is offered in McConnell Foyer. Please visit the Sigma Xi website for the schedule.
Faculty Development Events
“Celebrating Collaborations: Students and Faculty Working Together” showcases and celebrates the scholarly work of Smith College students. Students present the results of their senior theses, independent study projects, research seminars and other creative work as part of oral sessions, panels, poster sessions, exhibits and performances.