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2016 Dean's Distinguished Lectureships

Keynotes in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

SBS articleHeadline

SBS latinoCaribbeanLatino and Caribbean Studies

Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion

Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

Associate Professor of African Religions Harvard Divinity School


4:00pm, Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lecture Hall, Alexander Library


Santería is an African-inspired, Cuban diaspora religion long stigmatized as witchcraft and often dismissed as superstition, yet its spirit- and possession-based practices are rapidly winning adherents across the world. Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús introduces the term “copresence” to capture the current transnational experience of Santería, in which racialized and gendered spirits, deities, priests, and religious travelers remake local, national, and political boundaries and reconfigure notions of technology and transnationalism, and draws on eight years of ethnographic research in Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, and in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area to trace the phenomenon in the lives of Santería practitioners.

SBS geographyGeography

The Changing Context of Hazard Extremes: Events, Impacts, and Consequences

Susan Cutter

Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of South Carolina


4:00pm, Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Livingston Student Center, 201AB


Dr. Susan Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina where she directs the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. She received her B.A. from California State University, East Bay and her M.A. and Ph.D. (1976) from the University of Chicago. Her primary research interests are in the area of disaster vulnerability/resilience science and how vulnerability and resilience are measured, monitored, and assessed. She has authored or edited fourteen books, the most recent published by Cambridge University Press, Hurricane Katrina and the Forgotten Coast of Mississippi, more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Cutter has mentored more than 50 masters and doctoral students.

SBS poliSciPolitical Science

Communicating the Value and Values of Science

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication
Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania


3:30pm, Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Scholarly Communications Center Lecture Hall, Alexander Library


SBS psychologyPsychology

Depression and (in)sensitivity to emotion: Perspectives from affective neuroscience

Greg Hajcak

Professor of Psychology, SUNY Stony Brook


2:00pm, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Life Sciences Auditorium, Busch Campus


Greg Hajcak, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University where he directs the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology Laboratory. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and English and a B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Delaware. His research program focuses on intersections between cognition, emotion, and psychopathology. He uses an array of psychophysiological measures (i.e., ERPs, fMRI, startle reflex) to understand abnormalities in emotion and cognition in relation to anxiety and depression; the long-term goal is to identify modifiable biomarkers that can inform intervention and prevention. He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles.

SBS economicsEconomics

Real Wage Rates Around the World and Over (a Long) Time

Orley C. Ashenfelter

Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics
Princeton University


10:30am, Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mast Chapel, New Brunswick Theological Seminary


Orley Ashenfelter is one of the most influential architects of modern labor economics. He pioneered two widely used methods of analyzing data, natural experiments and program evaluation, and has used them to assess the impact of government training programs, the return to education, the impact of trade unions, and questions related to wages and employment, discrimination and labor supply. He is currently the President of the Society of Labor Economics (SoLE), and was the recipient of SoLE's Mincer Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has worked beyond academe to improve society, working at the Department of Labor, tutoring judges in statistics, and making his expertise available in court cases related to the labor market.

SBS sociologySociology

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matt Desmond

John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences
Co-Director, Justice and Poverty Project, Harvard University


7:00pm, Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trayes Hall, Douglass Campus


After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Matthew Desmond joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography. He is the principal investigator of the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, an original survey of tenants in Milwaukee’s low-income private housing sector. His most recent book is Evicted (2016) and, in addition to his scholarly publications, his writing has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.

SBS CJCriminal Justice

Why is America so Punitive? The Social Roots of Mass Incarceration and the “New Jim Crow”

David Garland

Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law, Professor of Sociology
New York University


3:30pm, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Gathering Lounge, Livingston Student Center


David Garland is the author of a series of award-winning books on punishment and criminal justice that includes Punishment and Modern Society (1990), The Culture of Control (2001), and Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (2010). He was the editor of Mass Imprisonment: Social Causes and Consequences (2001). His most recent book, The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction, will be published by Oxford University Press early in 2016. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

SBS anthropologyAnthropology

Paleoanthropology of the Ledi-Geraru: Habitat Change and Human Evolution

Kaye Reed

President's Professor, Institute of Human Origins, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University


7:00pm, Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rm 001, Ruth Adams Building, Douglass Campus


SBS africanaAfricana Studies









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