Professor of Soil and Ecosystem Ecology, Curtin University
Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 5:00-6:00 p.m., D109, BSB
"The Ground Beneath our Feet (and Other Things We Take for Granted)"
Professor of Psychology, Rice University
Monday, October 19, 2015, 3:30-4:30 p.m., B110, BSB
"Mindbugs and Gorillas and White Bears, Oh My!"
Lisa Russ Spaar
Professor of English, University of Virginia
Monday, October 26, 2015, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Bennett Auditorium, Draper
"The Golden Laboratory: Poetry in the Classroom and Why We Need It"
The physician and poet William Carlos Williams wrote that “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Probably the lack of poetry can no more kill us than the presence of it can save our lives. But certain processes and practices of mind—cultivated when poetry is studied deeply, in real time, in a classroom, in a cohort—foster skills that are needed perhaps now more than ever, when the very technologies which offer us enthralling opportunities for learning can also besiege our attention in ways that make it difficult to focus on anything, let alone verse. How can “digital natives” and late-comers alike—hop-scotching among e-mail, on-line shopping, big data, attachments, homework, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Yik Yak, gaming, Twitter, YouTube, and a constant stream of text messages—benefit from the concentration, imaginative exercise, ways of knowing, and enrichment that the exploration of poetry inimitably affords?