Armstrong’s Faculty Lecture Series Opens September 7


(August 1, 2011) The 2011-2012 Armstrong Atlantic State University Robert I. Strozier Faculty Lecture Series will kick off at noon on Wednesday, September 7 in the Student Union’s Ogeechee Theatre on the Armstrong campus, 11935 Abercorn Street.

The lecture series will continue throughout the academic year. All lectures begin at noon in the Ogeechee Theatre and are free and open to the public. The schedule is:

September 7
Beth Howells, associate professor of English, and Teresa Winterhalter, professor of English, will present “Illegitimate Mothers from the Bible to the Mommy Blog: Narrative Constructions, Virtual Surveillance and the Reality of Separate Spheres.”

Contemporary conceptions of legitimate motherhood have been defined through discourses that insufficiently accommodate the roles real women inhabit. Especially interesting are the regulating and superintending functions of these definitions and how their inadequacies are revealed through fissures and tensions within mother-centric discourses. Semiotic inadequacies exist in the Biblical narratives of Abraham and Solomon that exalt the sacrifice of a father’s love to a higher authority but endorse the complete selflessness of the mother’s love to the well-being of the child. While both narratives infiltrate and undergird cultural judgments about spheres of parenting, they are unable to accommodate contemporary realities where mothers are simultaneously intellectuals, professionals and artists in their own right. Because perceptual penalties levied against mothers who challenge traditional roles can become so severe, it seems it is not the child who is threatened to be split in two, as Solomon forewarns, but the mother herself who is split by competing discourses of self and selflessness. One of the contemporary responses to this difficulty is the manifestation of the “Mommy Blogs,” situated as one potential location of “outsider” feminism, a virtual space in which negotiations about legitimate maternal voices take place daily and a site where illegitimate mothers find their transgressions called out. Difficult dialogues, however, have come to characterize mommy blogs: the conventional codes of surveillance simply reinstate the binaries that articulate, police and maintain the split subjectivity of working mothers. Grounded by a discussion of the Dooce and Maytag mayhem of August 2009, as well as the MommyGate controversy that characterized the BlogHer conference of July 2009, this lecture examines the ideological implications of the next frontier of motherhood maintaining its separate spheres.

September 28
Helen Taggart, professor and head of nursing, Sara Plaspohl, assistant professor of health sciences, and Marilyn O’Mallon, assistant professor of nursing, will present “Western Students Meet Eastern Medicine.”

A core value of any institution of higher education, including Armstrong, is to “cultivate diversity, multi-ethnic participation and international opportunities to promote the understanding of cultural differences.” Often, there is no better way to introduce students (and faculty) to other cultures than through study abroad. This lecture describes the College of Health Professions’ most recent study abroad program in China and reflects on the changes in student perceptions of traditional Chinese medicine as the result of a cultural immersion experience.

October 21
Linda Ann McCall, assistant professor of early childhood education, and Joyce Bergin, assistant dean of the college of education, will present “Some Thoughts, Reflections and Cautions Regarding Mind/Brain-Based Instruction.”

Over the past few years, a new topic has emerged in teacher preparation literature. Typically referred to as brain-based instruction or, as one author put it, “learning with the brain in mind,” this topic has raised almost as many questions and concerns as it has offered viable constructs. Just what is brain-based instruction? Can educators gain sufficient insight from the findings of neuroscience to make the kinds of instructional changes that will increase student achievement? This lecture examines what educators may employ successfully in the classroom, as well as offers caveats about misinterpretations and misrepresentations that result from leaping-before-looking at new claims and methodologies.

November 9
Joey Crosby, associate professor of health science, and Rod McAdams, associate professor of health science, will present “Not Your Father’s Medicare: The Future of the Social Safety Net for Older Adults and the Disabled.”

Recent budgetary conflicts at the federal level have shone a bright spotlight on the pending fiscal peril of the Medicare program. A number of recent legislative proposals have been developed as well as enacted to try to address such issues. This lecture describes the nature of the fiscal crisis facing the 46-year-old program and summarizes the different policy alternatives for dealing with it. One thing is seemingly certain—the Medicare of the future will likely be far different than it has been in the past.

January 25
Cameron Coates, associate professor of engineering, will present “Implants for Joint Replacement and Fracture Fixation: What Your Orthopedist Does Not Want You to Know.”

This lecture examines the biomechanisms that dictate choice of implant and recommendation for removal or retention. Often, there is not a general consensus among surgeons as to the type of implant to use under specific conditions and whether this implant should be retained after fracture healing. The biomechanical performance information emanating from European and Eastern peer-reviewed works sometimes conflicts with inferences and practices based on Western peer-reviewed research. Who is right? How do orthopedists determine what is best for patients? Other contradictions appear to exist between what manufacturers of implants claim and what independent researchers have found. Recently, there was a recall for a specific type of hip implant in the United States. How could such an event happen given the significant advances in biomedical technology? An independent biomechanical analysis of systems (hip replacement, forearm fracture), and an independent study of a decision-making scheme for forearm fracture fixation removal or retention, provide insight into solutions for optimizing orthopedic recommendations.


February 10
Douglas E. Masini, head of respiratory therapy, will present “A Joint Effort: Medical Professionals and Citizens Confronting Legalized Medical Marijuana.”

The allied health and medical communities are vigilant in their review of the safety of medical marijuana’s active cannabinoids. Medical marijuana has received favorable legislation in 12 states and has been legalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The powerful marijuana lobby guarantees that medical marijuana legislation eventually will be proposed by Georgia’s lawmakers to citizens and health professionals. The lecture examines the therapeutic objectives of medical marijuana and discusses what the literature says about its utility and safety profile, including the portrayal of cannabis in popular media and its history as a federally grown, government distributed healing agent.

February 29
Olavi Arens, professor of history, will present “Herbert Hoover and the Birth of the Modern International Relief Organization.”

Herbert Hoover directed the three major food relief operations that were related to World War I and its aftermath: Belgian Relief during World War I, Eastern Europe in 1919 and Soviet Russia in 1921–22. This lecture centers on aspects of the least researched of these—the one directed at Eastern Europe (the area from Finland to Romania) in 1919—and examines the motivation, organization, financing and implementation of the relief, as well as the political and economic impact of the relief effort.

March 21
Ella Howard, assistant professor of history, will present “Poverty and Place: The Spatial Concentration of Urban Homelessness in 20th-Century America.”

From approximately 1900 until 1980, many homeless Americans lived on skid rows. This lecture surveys the nature and function of American skid rows, focusing on New York City’s Bowery. On one level, skid rows were simply historically specific urban poverty zones, demonstrating the ways in which poverty defines certain places. But in the case of modern homelessness, the lack of a place of belonging, caused most often by poverty, serves also to define and delimit individuals. Skid rows defined the homeless, narrowing both the ways in which they were understood and the solutions offered to their problems.

April 11
José de Arimatéia da Cruz, associate professor of political science, will present “From Genocide to Leading Information and Communication Technology Hub in East and Central Africa: The Case of Rwanda.”

This lecture examines the rise of Rwanda from a war-torn nation to a major center of technology and communication. What led Rwanda to develop its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry? Three factors contributed to the development of the Rwandan ICT industry: the Rwanda diaspora, Rwanda Vision 20/20 and the rise to power of President Paul Kagame.

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