Faculty Development

Brown Bag Lunch Series for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work

The Brown Bag Series provides an opportunity for Butler faculty to present their original research, scholarship, and creative work, aimed to speak to both departmental colleagues and those in completely different disciplines. 

All sessions begin at noon and will take place in AU326 unless otherwise indicated.

Students, staff and faculty are all welcome. Light refreshments will be available. No RSVP required.

2014-2015 Presentations:


Abstracts and posters forthcoming for the following:

Linda Willem, Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures ~ March 4, 2015, AU111 *note the change in location

Carol Reeves, English ~ April 14, 2015


RaoPlay / School
Gauram Rao, Art + Design ~ Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A discussion of the role of play in art, inventiveness and creativity.





  McGrath"The First Baptists, The Last Gnostics"
James McGrath, Philosophy and Religion ~ Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Mandaeans have been known to scholars for as long as there has been modern scholarship. Yet as fascinating as the Mandaeans are, the amount of attention they receive is surprisingly sparse, though there are encouraging signs that this at last is beginning to change. Join us for a conversation with James McGrath as he shares his research on this largely unknown religious group.


 Moore"(Un)Healthy Cognition & Communication in Social Networks"
Jessica Moore, Organizational Communication and Leadership ~ Monday, December 8, 2014

New Media is not only shaping our identities and relationships, but it is also shaping our health and wellness - and often not for the better. Constantly connected yet feeling disconnected? Surrounded by others but feeling alone? Want to shake that urge to pick up your phone?  Jessica Moore will present her research at the intersection of relationships, social networks, and health.  Join us for this conversation centered on thinking and talking, and learn how students, staff and faculty alike may benefit from healthy cognition and communication in a wired world. Click here to view the poster for this session.

Boyd"Piano Music by Alban Berg and Franz Schubert"
Kate Boyd, Music ~ November 19, 2014 (Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall)

Separated by a century, Franz Schubert and Alban Berg both impacted musical life in Vienna in profound ways. In this lecture-recital, Kate Boyd will explore one work from each composer, comparing and contrasting their different musical languages and styles, and discussing the artistic context in which they lived and worked. Click here to view the poster for this session.



  McNulty"From Butler to Lilly and Back - Chemistry in a New Context"
LuAnne McNulty, Chemistry ~ November 6, 2014

LuAnne McNulty spent her 2013-14 sabbatical at Eli Lilly and Company, working in the small molecule drug development division. Join us for a conversation about her research at Lilly, the pursuit of knowledge, and the positive impact this sabbatical has had on LuAnne since returning to her job at Butler. Click here to view the poster for this session. 



Azman"The Chemistry of Everyday Things: "Wednesday Fun Facts" make Organic Chemistry relevant and accessible"
Adam Azman, Chemistry ~ October 8, 2014

Have you ever been walking down the street and wondered, "Huh. How does that work?" How do Pop Rocks work? Why is High Fructose Corn Syrup bad? What makes Coors Light bottles change color? How do glow sticks work? Why is Shellac nail polish so chip resistant? Why does capsaicin feel hot and menthol feel cold? A weekly, 10-minute mini lecture over these and other interesting topics draws students into the curiosity of chemistry and encourages them to take an active role in learning. Students see how science, politics, money, environment, and safety are connected. Originally implemented in response to the 2011 UN International Year of Chemistry, the Wednesday Fun Facts continue today. Students have started taking the initiative and designing their own Wednesday Fun Fact presentations based on their own "how does that work?" questions. Qualitatively, student engagement with and excitement for chemistry and the scientific process have increased as a result of Wednesday Fun Facts.
Click here to view the poster for this session.

Colavito"'Frightening' Frankie, 'Dangerous' Drac, and (Yeah, Right!) 'Weirdo' Wolfie': Popular Appropriation, Monster Mash-ups, and Why Frankenberry is Really Bad for You"
Rocky Colavito, English ~ September 24, 2014

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's first of seven monster theses is one of the most significant for the purposes of this presentation: "The monster's body is cultural body." Cohen goes on to assert that the monster's body is ". . . an embodiment of a certain cultural moment  . . . [of] pure culture" . In this presentation, Rocky Colavito examines Cohen's assertions and how monsters' bodies and presences are affected by appropriation by the culture industry, one which very often domesticates them and co-opts them for antithetical purposes. Cartoons, commercials, comedy records - all represent cultural appropriations of the monsters we know and love, and this presentation seeks to explore the ramifications of this cultural process, what it means for Cohen's theses, and how this domestication affects  the definition and development of monsters and the monstrous for future generations.
Click here to view the poster for this session.




To request disability-related accommodations or inquire about accessibility, please contact Rebecca DeGrazia at rdegrazi@butler.edu or at 317-940-8558. Please allow two weeks advance notice in order to allow adequate time to make arrangements. Although attempts will be made to honor accommodation requests with less notice, it cannot be guaranteed that without two weeks notice a reasonable accommodation can be provided.


Interested in leading a Brown Bag Lunch presentation? Please contact Rebecca DeGrazia. 

2013-2014 Brown Bag Sessions ~ Show Series Archive

Oliver"Using the 'B' word: What does it really mean and how do we help?"
Brandie Oliver, College of Education,  Thursday, April 10

With the increased media attention on bullying, there has been an increase in over-labeling of what is considered bullying. It is critical that we understand what bullying is and what it is not. Educators are key players in the prevention and intervention of bullying. One person can make an impact, but it truly requires the whole school community for real change to occur. By focusing on empathy education and pro-social behaviors, we can provide a safe and supportive school community for ALL students. This discussion, led by Brandie Oliver, will focus on a clear definition of bullying, the subgroups of students that are at higher risk, empowering students, and strategies to strengthen our work as educators.

Click here to view the poster for this session.


Mahenthiran and Xu"Factors that Influence Online Learning Assessment and Satisfaction with Online Courses"
Sakthi Mahenthiran and Hongjiang Xu, College of Business, Tuesday, March 4
Many studies suggest factors that might influence online learning and assessment, but most of them have not been empirically tested. Join us for a conversation with Drs. Mahenthiran and Xu, as they share the results from their study, which investigated factors that influence student satisfaction with online assessment, and overall student satisfaction with online learning.

Click here to view the poster for this session.


Akinbo"The Void and the Drumbeat:  Addressing the Paradigm Shift in Education Facilitation through Chemical Analysis of Common Samples"
Olujide Akinbo, Chemistry, Wednesday, February 12
The drumbeat for a paradigm shift in the way education is facilitated has been loud for decades. The call fueled by new knowledge in the way people learn comes from every facet of the society: the government, graduate and professional schools, industry, parents, echoes of experts from the past and more recently the economy. Higher institutions are responding to this call in a variety of ways through programs and diverse pedagogical developments.  However, the pedagogical developments are occurring in silos called colleges, departments, disciplines and sub-disciplines. There is hardly any sharing of information and ideas across the silo boundaries. This presentation will describe how we are using the analysis of common samples (bottled water, wine, potato chips) to facilitate the shift from a traditional to a learner-centered pedagogy in a subspecialty of chemistry.  In particular data generated by students will be used to address the questions: What's in your bottled water? Is it any better than the tap water? Is it worth spending the extra dollar on bottled water?

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Glennan"The New Mechanical Philosophy"
Stuart Glennan, Philosophy and Religion, Tuesday, January 28
Natural and social scientists often characterize their work as a search for the mechanisms responsible for the phenomena they study. While this way of thinking about the nature of science has its origins in 17th century philosophy, contemporary philosophers of science have only recently begun to think about mechanisms. The result has been an explosion of work on the nature of mechanisms, and their relation to causation, explanation, modeling, and discovery that has come to be known as the New Mechanical Philosophy.

Please join us for a discussion with Stuart Glennan on his sabbatical research for his book on this emerging area in the philosophy of science.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Kelly"Possession Films and the Horrors of Womanhood"
Casey Kelly, Media, Rhetoric and Culture: Wednesday, December 4
Why do films about demon possession seem to resonate with American filmgoers? In this presentation, Casey Kelly (CCOM) examines contemporary horror films about demonic possession in the context of present cultural anxieties about young women's sexuality. In a public culture saturated with messages of sexual purity and abstinence-until-marriage, possession films transcode contemporary discourses about the dangers of young women's sexual agency into a cinematic form that resonates with the gender anxieties of popular audiences. With an emphasis on the threats to young women's innocence and physical integrity, the dangers of lost fatherhood, and the protections of religious faith and the nuclear family, possession films project collective fears that burgeoning womanhood might precipitate a crisis in masculinity and the family. Through a comparative analysis of the rhetoric of sexual purity advocates and the narrative structure of possessions films, Casey illustrates what is currently articulated as monstrous about young women in American culture. This lecture will examine the 2012 film The Possession to show how images of vulnerable, violated, and monstrous young women legitimize male control over female bodies.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Lantzer"Rebel Bulldog: The Davidson Family of Indianapolis and the Civil War that Divided Them"
Jason Lantzer, Honors Program: Tuesday, November 12
During the 1857-1858 school year, North Western Christian University welcomed as part of its student body two brothers, Dorman and Preston Davidson.  The Davidson boys were from a prominent and influential Indianapolis family and were active in the life of the young college founded by Ovid Butler just a few years before.  Like many of their peers, Dorman and Preston were destined to live through and serve in the Civil War.  However, while Dorman eventually wore Union blue, his brother Preston is the only Butler University alum to wear Confederate grey.  Come and learn more about this interesting family, what they can tell us about the Civil War, the early years of Butler University, and their connection to Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

Click here to view the poster for this session. 

Cline"Cyber-Moms: The Mediating and Moderating Effects of the Internet on the Relationship between New Momism and Self-Efficacy"
Krista Cline, Sociology and Criminology: Wednesday, October 30
Previous research has revealed that new momism, which is a way of describing how women in current times must live up to certain expectations of parenting and the pressure to be perfect, is strongly enforced by self-guilt, but also by the media. This study seeks to examine the internet as a form of media enforcement of new momism, and how it relates to parenting self-efficacy.  Using data collected from an online survey, we examined the main, mediating and moderating effects of the internet on the relationship between new momism and self-efficacy. Regression analyses revealed that  the internet appears to play a mediating role, meaning that internet consumption strengthens the relationship.  New momism is associated with lower self-efficacy for  women who use the internet more frequently. This finding leads us to believe that mothers are indeed comparing themselves to other mothers that they encounter in cyberspace.  Limitations and future directions are also discussed.  

Click here to view the poster for this session.

"Contesting Faith, Truth, and Religious Language at the Creation Museum: A Historical-Theological Reflection"
Brent Hege, Philosophy and Religion: Wednesday, October 9

HegeThe Creation Museum, a ministry of the apologetics organization Answers in Genesis, purports to demonstrate the factuality of the biblical creation narratives and to raise suspicions concerning the overwhelming scientific consensus on evolution. Informing the museum's apologetic efforts are highly contested definitions of faith, truth, and religious language, definitions paradoxically rooted in modern science and the Enlightenment. The focus of this presentation by Brent Hege is on the competing definitions of faith, truth and religious language in Creationism and mainline Protestantism and the effects these definitions have on how Christians understand the relationship between faith and science.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

"DNA @ 60: What is in Store for You is Mind-Blowing"
Alex Erkine, Pharmaceutical Sciences: Tuesday, September 24
ErkineAfter 60 years of the discovery of the DNA structure, it is now possible to read the entire content of your own DNA for just $5000 in a few weeks. In a year or two, the price is predicted to drop to $1000 and will be routinely done - similar to a blood test, with data stored on a computer. Since this information holds the keys to potential life-threatening medical conditions, as well as to your personal traits (psychological character, mental abilities, ethnic origins, etc.), the question is: do you want to gain this information about yourself, your relatives, or your future spouse? Do you think the insurance companies, your roommate, or the NSA will want it? And if they do get it, what do you think they will do with it? Join us for a lunchtime conversation on this topic with Alex Erkine, Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Click here to view the poster for this session. Click here to view the PPT from this session.

"Doctor Who and Religion: A 50th Anniversary Celebration"
James McGrath, Philosophy and Religion: Wednesday, September 11
McGrathDoctor Who is the longest running science fiction television show in history, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. Such a long-running show provides a unique opportunity to trace trends in the intersection of religion and popular culture. But Doctor Who (like much other science fiction) also explores a number of scenarios that are interesting from the perspective of religious studies. For instance, if one traveled through time, could one change the ancient practice of human sacrifice, or the outcome of the Council of Nicaea? Or if the gods and demons of ancient peoples were real alien beings, would that undermine human religion, or demonstrate it to be literally true?

Join Dr. James F. McGrath, editor of Religion and Science Fiction (Pickwick Publications, 2011) and co-editor of the forthcoming volume Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith:  (Darton, Longman, and Todd, 2013) for a lunchtime exploration of some highlights from 50 years of religious themes and explorations in this famous TV show.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

2012-2013 Brown Bag Sessions ~ Show Series Archive

Spring 2013

Liliana Torres-Goens, Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Thursday, January 24, UClub (AU111)
"Using Panopto to Strengthen Student Confidence in Oral Language Classes"

Join us for a conversation with Liliana Torres-Goens, where she will share her success stories using Panopto in the classroom and beyond. Liliana has successfully been using Panopto in her Spanish Conversation class, and has found it to be a valuable tool, providing her students with a sense of self-confidence in the use of their oral skills. Students are creators and viewers of their own work. Oral presentations are done using this instructional method which allows them to critique their own work, as well as the work of their peers.  A lot of class time is saved from doing oral activities online and the communication process is more productive. Self-evaluations on their performances are encouraged.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Chad Bauman, Philosophy and Religion: Wednesday, February 6, UClub (AU111)
"Conversion and Hindu-Christian Conflict"

Chad Bauman (Religious Studies) will present his research on Hindu-Christian conflict and violence in contemporary India. Though Christians have lived in India since at least the 4th century, they have been accused by some Hindus, since the late colonial period, of adhering to a foreign and anti-national faith, peddled unscrupulously through the evangelical use of "force, fraud, and allurement." The accusations fuel and are informed by a number of intriguing and prominent public debates about the limits and desirability (for India) of western-style governance, about what "freedom of religion" should entail, about whether "intolerant" (read: evangelical) religions can be tolerated, and even about the nature of religion itself. These debates take place not only in the press and among intellectuals and politicians, but also increasingly, through the medium of interreligious riots.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Ulf Goebel, Honors Program: Wednesday, February 13, UClub (AU111)
"Into That Good Night: Notes to the Enigma of Origin"
Ulf Goebel, Honors Program, will read from "Into That Good Night: Notes to the Enigma of Origin" (a work in progress) documenting his experiences as a young boy who experienced the devastating bombings in Dresden. In addition, he will recite a poem he wrote in response to 2009-10's Sunset Project - "a celebration of the beauties of a firestorm mimicking a spectacular sunset."

Click here to view the poster for this session. Click here to review Ulf's notes from this presentation.

Elizabeth Mix, Art Program: Monday, March 4, UClub (AU111)
"Bio Art and the Cabinet of Curiosities in The Netherlands"
Contemporary Dutch artist Dolf Veenvliet is the creator of Entoforms (future fossils based on insect forms). There are two iterations of the work-digital video captures the generative process of creation using  two specifically Dutch computer programs: the open-source software Blender (for 3D modeling) and Python (a flexible scripting language). Select Entoform specimens are printed as small sculptures via stereolithography (a process originally developed for industrial design prototyping), and then are pinned and placed in museum-quality archival boxes. Veenvliet's work bridges disciplines: science and art; art and technology; art and design; design and popular culture. Join Elizabeth Mix (Art History) as she explains how Veenvliet's work can be categorized as New Media, Bio Art and Generative Art, and identifies significant connections between Veenvliet's work and the tradition of the Cabinet of Curiosities in The Netherlands as exemplified by the 17-century collections of Rembrandt van Rijn, Levin Vincent, Albertus Seba and Haarlem's Teylers Museum.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Mark Rademacher, Strategic Communication: Wednesday, March 20, UClub (AU111)
"Get Rich or Die Buying: The Travails of the Working Class Auction Bidder"

This essay examines A&E Network's popular reality TV (RTV) program "Storage Wars," and suggests that its documentation of the market-based social practices of a group of working class, professional auction bidders harnesses and celebrates the dramatic and festive aspects of a modern day treasure hunt to create an engaging and entertaining RTV program. This mediated depiction of auction culture, however, generates a contradictory narrative regarding the role of working class cultural capital and alternative marketing systems such as auctions within a consumer culture. The essay argues "Storage Wars'" depiction of bidders' cultural capital and consumption practices illustrates the subtle nature in which consumption creates and legitimates social distinctions within a neoliberal consumer culture. Specifically, the narrative constructs working class cultural capital and consumption practices in an alternative marketing system as reflective of, and in contrast to, those present in more commonly experienced marketing systems. Ultimately, this narrative framing legitimates rather than challenges capitalist ideology and existing class-based status hierarchies, consequently contributing to the transformation of society's understanding of alternative marketing systems within a neoliberal consumer culture.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Robin Turner, Political Science: Monday, April 8, UClub (AU111)
"Traditional, Modern, Accountable? Navigating dual governance in Rural South Africa"
Nearly two decades after South Africa's democratization, questions of tradition and modernity, representation and accountability continue to trouble rural localities. Governance remains fragmented by place and by race despite the extension of the franchise to all adult citizens as millions of black South Africans remain dually subject to so-called traditional leaders-kings, queens, chiefs, and headmen-and to "modern" government officials-municipal councilors, provincial premiers, and national government officials. While most citizens experience the formally democratic, supposedly modern governance system established in the1996 Constitution, 28 percent of South Africans lived in places with traditional leaders in 2011.  In this presentation, I will discuss how rural people have pursued community development and sought effective, accountable governance in this context. Drawing from extensive field research in four rural localities, this presentation will explore the potential and limitations of local initiative by South African citizen-subjects in the absence of radical reforms to traditional institutions.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Gautam Rao, Visual Arts: Monday, April 22, UClub (AU111)
A conversation about inspiration and the creative process. Led by Gautam Rao.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Fall 2012

 Kate Boyd, Music: Tuesday, September 18, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall
"John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes, for prepared piano"
To commemorate the 2012 centenary of American composer John Cage, Kate Boyd has been performing his Sonatas and Interludes, a 65-minute work for prepared piano. "Prepared piano" involves placing objects between the strings of the piano, thereby transforming its sound into one resembling a percussion orchestra.
Join Kate Boyd as she discusses Cage's "invention" of the prepared piano and describes the two-hour preparation process required for Sonatas and Interludes. The talk will introduce Cage's thoughts on silence, as well as his inspiration for this piece: the "eight permanent emotions" of Indian philosophy. This lecture involves a number of demonstrations from the piece and piano preparation techniques.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Doug Spaniol, Music: Tuesday, October 2, UClub (AU111)
"Bassooner or Later: 'New' Nineteenth Century Bassoon Music"
Julius Weissenborn served as principal bassoon of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and was the first bassoon instructor at the conservatoire in Leipzig. He also enjoyed a multi-faceted career as composer, conductor, and copyist. To this day, his pedagogical works are among the most widely used by bassoon students and teachers. However, his grand plan for a complete curriculum of study never materialised as he intended, and several works are now lost. Doug Spaniol will discuss his recent work restoring Weissenborn's music in a way that will on the one hand retain his original content and intent, and on the other hand meet the demands of today's bassoonists (and publishers). Including in the discussion will be how this work related to Doug's application for a Fulbright Teaching/Research Award and how the Fulbright helped enable much of the research.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

 Su-Mei Ooi, Political Science: Monday, October 22, UClub (AU111)
"The Transnational Protection Regime and Democratization in Taiwan and Singapore"

The Pacific Asian region has been a constant source of fascination for political scientists. Rising from the ashes of postwar devastation and uncertainty, the "little dragon" economies of Taiwan and Singapore transformed themselves into economic powerhouses within 3 decades. Until the spirit of democracy swept through Asia in the latter part of the 1980s, promising to transform the political landscape of the region, democratic prospects in Taiwan and Singapore seemed uncertain however. In this Brown Bag presentation, Su-Mei Ooi will explain the complexities of democratic development in Taiwan and Singapore, the importance of comprehending its international dimensions, and the significance of these two case studies for our understanding of democratization.

Click here to view the poster, and to read the full abstract, for this session.

 Tibi Popa, Philosophy: Wednesday, October 31, UClub (AU111)
"Scientific Method and the Dawn of Medicine"

Hippocrates and his followers are remembered today mostly for the famous oath and for their compassionate attitude towards the fragility of human condition. Yet, the writings that constitute the Hippocratic Corpus are perhaps even more remarkable for their contribution to the emergence of science. A few wildly fanciful assumptions notwithstanding, many of those works look surprisingly modern in their rational approach, emphasizing careful observation of the patients' condition, of the evolution of diseases, and the environments that seemed to cause epidemics, among other things. The Hippocratics also attempted to build a theoretical framework for their practice, by relying on causal explanations and quasi-laws governing human physiology. In this talk, Tiberiu Popa will share a number of passages that give the measure of those physicians' extraordinary originality.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Stacy O'Reilly, John Esteb, LuAnne McNulty, Anne Wilson, Chemistry: Wednesday, November 7, UClub (AU111)
"And Remind Me Again Why We Make Them Do Lab?"
Hands on laboratory work has long been incorporated into the chemistry curriculum. These labs are often characterized by a "cookbook" approach. Students go through the specific motions of the laboratory procedure with little understanding of the process. Modern pedagogical research has questioned the student learning gains from these "cookbook" lab approaches. In 2008, faculty members in the department of chemistry were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to review the laboratory courses in the curriculum dealing with chemical synthesis. The goal of the work was to explore how giving meaning to the physical processes of the laboratory would impact student learning and retention of material.

Join John Esteb, LuAnne McNulty, Stacy O'Reilly, and Anne Wilson from the department of chemistry as they present results from their 3-year study.

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh, Journalism: Tuesday, November 27, UClub (AU111)
"Media, Politics and Polygamy in South Africa"

In South Africa, polygamy is legal for cultural groups who have traditionally practiced this form of marriage. It entered the public discourse primarily through the marriages of Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa and leader of the African National Congress, and has drawn much attention from the local (and international) news media since he became deputy president in June 1999. Potential contradictions between the traditional and the modern in Zuma's life present rich material for a case study on media, culture, politics and gender in South Africa. In this presentation, Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh will examine the reaction of the South African news media to Jacob Zuma's polygamy and the implications for gender equality. Results show coverage that varied from speculation about which wife would be considered First Lady, to questions about the burden on taxpayers, to descriptions of Zuma's children and wives as his "kindergarten" and "harem."

Click here to view the poster for this session.

Matt Pivec, Music: Wednesday, December 5, LH112, 12:15-1:15 p.m.
"The Radiohead Jazz Project"

The English rock band Radiohead, which formed in 1985, has the rare distinction of obtaining both significant commercial success and critical acclaim. The band's sound has continually evolved throughout the years, including at various points, folk, electronic, minimalist, and many other influences. Consequently, Radiohead's expressive pallet far exceeds most bands with that degree of commercial success. In 2011, a coalition of jazz arrangers who, like Radiohead, are recognized for their ability to incorporate new musical styles into their voice, created the Radiohead Jazz Project. This Brown Bag session focuses on the realization of their efforts through four Radiohead works for jazz ensemble. Matt Pivec will lead a discussion of the relevant influences and features of each piece, followed by a full performance by the Butler University Jazz Ensemble 1. 

Click here to view the poster for this session.

2011-2012 Brown Bag Sessions ~ Show Series Archive

Jon Sorenson, Computer Science: "The Life and Work of Alan M. Turing"
Wednesday, February 8
In the 1930s, the British mathematician Alan Turing developed a mathematical model of computation, now called the Turing Machine, which has encouraged many to give him credit for the invention of the computer as we know it today.  In this talk, Jon Sorenson will look at Turing's work, and discuss some of the controversies surrounding his life. Click here to view a poster for this presentation.

Brian Murphy, Physics and Astronomy: "Twinkle, Twinkle Giant Star"
Wednesday, February 22

Stars come in various colors, radii, masses, and compositions.  These properties determine how a star will live and eventually die.  Star clusters are particularly useful for understanding the lives of stars since we can do a stellar census of a cluster with just a few digital images.  In this talk, Brian Murphy will discuss our current understanding of the lives and deaths of stars.  He will focus on research he and his students have been pursuing on pulsating giant stars that can varying in brightness by 300% in just one hour. Click here to view a poster for this presentation.

Shannon Lieb, Chemistry: "The Observation Problem in Quantum Mechanics"
Thursday, March 1

Quantum Mechanics is so fundamental to our understanding of all areas of Chemistry due to its ability to relate molecular structure at the atomic scale to function at the human scale.  Despite this fundamental role in Chemistry, Philosophers and Physicists who insist on pre-1900 Classical Physics explanations of physical phenomena malign Quantum Mechanics.  One of the crucial experiments that evokes this schism in science is the double slit experiment.  Shannon Lieb will explore developing an appreciation for how the "Observation Problem" of the double slit experiment is related to a classical, everyday "Monte Hall" problem. Click here to view a poster for this presentation. Click here to view the PowerPoint from this presentation.

Kristen Hoerl & Casey Kelly, Communication: "Staging Disingenuous Controversy at the Creation Museum"
Tuesday, March 20

This presentation analyzes the argumentative structures that guide visitors' experiences at the "Answers in Genesis" ministry's Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Kristen Hoerl and Casey Kelly will explain that the Creation Museum stages a "disingenuous controversy" with evolutionary science to legitimate an interpretation of the Genesis myth as an equally-valid and more desirable explanation for the origins of life. Further, they suggest that the museum's technologically-advanced displays and pseudoscientific layout articulates the Creation Museum's status as a museum while it advances its ideological mission. They conclude that this museum is a representative anecdote for the ways in which contemporary fundamentalists adapt their texts to the formal and aesthetic conventions of secular society and manufacture controversy to delegitimize their opponents. Click here to view a poster for this session.

Margaret Brabant, Political Science: "The Slow Pace of Change - Citizenship and Women in the Republic of Turkey"
Thursday, March 29 

In this presentation, Margaret Brabant will discuss her field-based research that analyzes how the educational system in Turkey reinforces a particular notion of Turkish citizenship and perpetuates a gendered concept of the ideal Turkish citizen. It appears as though the Turkish concept of citizenship produces paradoxical outcomes - at once stimulating the advancement and the erosion of women's rights. This presentation sets the historical and political context of citizenship in the Republic of Turkey and then focuses upon the efforts of a particular women's organization which seeks to address the needs of women who are marginalized from the realm of politics and precariously hold their rights as citizens. Click here to view the poster from this session.

Chris Bungard, Classical Studies: "Playing with the Trickster: The Undoing of Milphio"
Tuesday, April 10

Scholars of the Roman playwright Plautus have focused on the role of the clever slave in scripting the plots of plays they are in. Some scholars have elevated these clever slaves to an equal status with Plautus as a playwright of their plays, but there is an inherent danger in doing so. Looking at Milphio in the play Poenulus, Chris Bungard will show the limits of this equation and the dangers Plautus warns us of believing we really are the roles we are called to play. Please click here to view the poster for this session.

Brooke Beloso, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies: "Is 'Cyberprostitution' Prostitution? New Paradigm, Old Crime"
Wednesday, April 25

Brooke Beloso will examine the way in which an ensemble of new ICT practices and possibilities that the American legal system has recently begun to label  "cyber prostitution" disturbs the status quo of the law as privileged conservator of sexual morality. She will map out the "early, clumsy form" of cyber prostitution today-the practices and possibilities that threaten to serve as "an incubus on later understanding" of these new technologies, explore the way in which such technical laymen as judges (and lawyers) have begun to apply familiar analogies from the past (principally, pimping and pandering, pornography, and prostitution) in their attempts to assimilate "cyber prostitution" into some semblance of a structure of rights and obligations, and will suggest that the interface produced by this analogization to the new ICT practices and possibilities that are, in the eyes of the law, collectively constitutive of "cyber prostitution" provides an important and likely short-lived window of opportunity for an honest moment of reckoning with a naked emperor previously and pervasively dressed up and trotted out as "prostitution" by our courts. Click here to view the poster for this session.

2010-2011 Brown Bag Sessions ~ Show Series Archive


"Designing Novel Antibiotics in Undergraduate Laboratories"
Jeremy Johnson, Chemistry
Wednesday, March 30, noon - 1 p.m., AU111

Since the discovery of penicillin in the 1920's, antibiotics have become the standard treatment for bacterial and fungal infections. The overuse of these antibiotics has however led to the development of antibiotic resistance amongst bacterial populations. The emergence of these new antibiotic resistant bacteria or "superbugs" has created a significant human health hazard. Yet, only three new classes of antibiotics have been developed in the last 40 years. So how do you design a novel antibiotic? In this presentation, Jeremy Johnson, Chemistry, will explain the basics of drug design and describe the construction of novel antibiotics using undergraduate laboratories at Butler.

Click here to see a pdf version of the poster for this presentation.



"What is Transnational Literature?"
Ania Spyra, English
Wednesday, March 9, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

"Transnational" has become the buzzword in literary studies. It often replaces terms such as "comparative," "international," "world," or "global" in describing literature influenced by globalization. But is there really such a thing as transnational literature? If so, how is it different from immigrant or postcolonial literature? While questioning the ubiquity of the term, Ania Spyra will argue that its strength resides in de-centering the nation state as the standard unit of academic inquiry. Used as a way to describe a collection of literary texts, "transnational" transforms the perception of literature as necessarily a national endeavor.

With the support of BAC Short Course Attendance Grant, Dr. Spyra participated in Rebecca Walkowitz's Summer Seminar titled "After the National Paradigm: Literary History, Translation, and the Making of World Literature." Dr. Spyra would like to use this opportunity to share with her colleagues how the readings and discussions at the seminar influenced her research on multilingual experiments in literature.

Click here to see a pdf version of the poster for this session.

Grossman"Designed for Failure: America's Alternative Energy Policies"
Peter Grossman, Clarence Efroymson Professor of Economics
Monday, February 28, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

Why have U.S. government programs to create alternative energy technologies always failed? Because they have been based on the mistaken belief that - like the Apollo moon landing - creating a viable alternative energy technology is only an engineering problem. In fact, substitution of energy technologies involves commercial and social questions that engineering alone cannot solve. Peter Grossman contends that policymakers are confused about the way innovation occurs and how new products succeed in the market. Although the promise of a grand engineering feat has political traction, U.S. energy policy with respect to alternatives has inevitably failed, and current programs will almost surely continue that historical record.

Click here to see a pdf version of the poster for this session.


OMalley"Beyond Pleasure and Pain: The Motivational Implications of Our Misguided Attempts at Predicting Future Feelings"
Ali O'Malley, Psychology
Monday, February 14, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

People tend to be quite bad at predicting how they will feel in the aftermath of events. This is unfortunate, for our predictions about our future feelings--known as affective forecasts--play a role in the decisions we make. Although we know that the affective forecasting process is rife with error, we don't know much about the origins of affective forecasts or their impact on motivation and behavior. Alison O'Malley will discuss her work linking affective forecasts to feedback seeking and performance in organizational and classroom contexts.

Click here to see a pdf version of the poster for this session.


Fall 2010 Brown Bag Series:


"Tending a Difficult Hope"
Leah Gauthier, Art
Monday, December 6, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

The time to act is NOW. I mean RIGHT NOW. This earth we live on has changed beyond manageable repair, and there is not another moment to spare to prepare us for the uncertainties that lie ahead. In this Brown Bag session, Leah Gauthier will discuss how we the people have become a nation largely dependent on industry to care for our needs.

"Tending a Difficult Hope" is an artistic journey towards self-sufficiency. Throughout the duration of this work, Leah is learning self-sustaining skills, and teaching them to others through gallery installations, performances and workshops. Her hope is that if we can learn together to live "lightly, carefully, gracefully", maybe, just maybe, we'll gather through what may come, and learn a second chance to make things right.

The Brown Bag Series provides an opportunity for Butler faculty to present their original research, scholarship, and creative work, aimed to speak to both departmental colleagues and those in completely different disciplines.

Click here to see a pdf version of the poster for this presentation.

"Tending a Difficult Hope" a poem by Larry Lad

Sustainable, useable, reusable
Pertaining to
Refraining from
Consumption presumption
Consciousness raising
Planet Earth dug up
Dirt under fingernails
Tending hope, tending garden
Digging in, reclaiming ½ acre among 20,000
Munificent planet
Reintroducing heirloom plants, learning preserving
Declaring the gallery as classroom
Repurposing discards, growing edible sculptures
It's about the beginning of change, engaged senses
Seeing broadly
Smelling, nostrils tingling
Taste buds on fire
Touch as tactile, primordial
Hearing and listening for the gold
Food emotion, food lust
Reflect on this bridge to self sufficiency
Leah's journey work, vision quest, meaning uncovered in this rediscovery
Small is beautiful!


"More than a Writing Group: Notes from an Active Research Group"
Terri Carney, Spanish, and guests from IUPUI
Monday, November 1, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

Do you want to increase your scholarly output? Perhaps you would like to develop a more concrete, organized plan to work towards promotion and tenure? This session is for any faculty member who would like to approach their research production in a more organized and supported fashion. In this short session we will address:

- Individuals' typical research trajectories
- Tools to our success; testimonies of "failures"
- Resources for forming your own research group
- The importance of peer mentoring
- Accountability systems to ensure continued production

Click here to view a pdf version of the poster for this session.


Hess pic

"Banging your Head Against Buildings: Differences in Window Strikes Between Downtown and Suburban Birds and Prospects for Saving our Fine Feathered Friends."
Chris Hess, Biology
Wednesday, October 20, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

Just days after arriving on campus, Chris Hess started to notice a high frequency of birds dying from window collisions on campus and started collecting data on when, where and what species were most at risk. Hess will discuss the results of these studies as well as compare them to data gathered by the Amos Butler Audubon Society for buildings in downtown Indianapolis. He will end with a discussion of options aimed at decreasing the frequency of window strikes and a possible experiment that will begin at Butler over the next year.

Click here to view a pdf version of the poster for this session.



"Libel, Free Speech and Shared Governance"
Bill Watts, English
Monday, October 4, noon-1 p.m., University Club (AU111)

The libel lawsuit Butler University v John Doe occasioned a good deal of discussion last year about free speech and the rights and responsibilities of students. In his paper, Bill Watts argues that the lawsuit also raises important issues related to shared governance, the principle that the faculty, administration and board of trustees share responsibility for shaping and guiding the academic mission of the university. In particular, he attempts, through examination of the principles of shared governance, to initiate discussion about the proper role of the faculty in shaping the learning environment of our students. This presentation contains the substance of a paper Bill will deliver at the AAUP Conference on Shared Governance in November.

Click here to view a pdf version of the poster for this session.


Lad Stephen"Perspectives on Microfinance: Evolution and Revolution"
Larry Lad, Marketing, and Sheryl Ann Stephen, Finance
Wednesday, September 22, noon-1 p.m., University Club, AU111

A revolution is catching on. Even during the current global financial turmoil, microfinance and micro-lending has drawn increased attention in both popular business press and academic research. This Brown Bag session will trace the evolution of microcredit, and offer a range of perspectives on its potential and practice including both international and local examples. Where possible, we intend to engage the group in an interdisciplinary discussion about how we can move from "third person" observers to "first person" doers in this movement.

Click here to view a pdf version of the poster for this session.

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation from this session.



"Explaining Nature, Explaining History"
Stuart Glennan, Philosophy
Wednesday, September 8, noon-1 p.m., AU302

What if anything is the connection between the explanatory methods of historians and natural scientists? Some philosophers have argued that the nature of the subject matter in history and the "human sciences" demands a special methodology, while others claim that historical explanations, if they are to really explain things, must emulate the explanatory techniques of the natural sciences. Stuart Glennan (Philosophy) will argue that the explanations in the natural sciences (especially biology) have more in common with explanations in history than is commonly supposed. Biologists (especially evolutionary biologists) are concerned with historical questions, and like historians their explanations often utilize narrative. Certain problems that have been raised about the legitimacy of narrative explanation in both history and the natural sciences can be solved if we understand narratives as descriptions of something Stuart calls an "ephemeral mechanism."

Click here to view a pdf version of the poster for this session.

2009-2010 Brown Bag Sessions ~ Show Series Archive

Monday, April 26
"Celebrate the Scholarship of New Faculty"
Join us for the final Brown Bag Lunch session of the semester, a roundtable discussion with new faculty from around the university. Sarah Eyerly (Music), Leah Gauthier (Art Program), and Robin Turner (Political Science) will briefly present on their research. 

Click here to view a poster for this session.

 Monday, April 5
"H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Scare: An Example of Disease Mongering?" - Michael Vance
Disease mongering is an increasing popular term that refers to the marketing of a "disease" in order to sell a treatment, usually a pharmaceutical. Disease is in quotations as it is claimed everyday conditions are sometimes labeled diseases for promotional purposes. I will argue that the concern over pandemic H1N1 influenza was greatly exaggerated and this was the result of disease mongering, though in a form not fitting the commonly accepted model. The concept of disease mongering is important in understanding the high costs of health care. 

Click here to view a poster for this session.

Wednesday, March 17
"The Holocaust and Me"  - Hilene Flanzbaum
The Holocaust and Me, a memoir, traces Hilene Flanzbaum's relationship to the twentieth century's most defining moment. From her childhood, where she met relatives that are survivors but do not know they are, to her 49th year when she went to France to reconfigure the stories of their survival. This book explores the treatment and representation of the Holocaust in American culture. It also reflects on persistent questions that many Jewish-Americans face today: What special connection do I have to this event Americans termed the Holocaust? Is it different from the connection that non-Jewish Americans feel? Have Jewish Americans, the overwhelming majority that did not experience the Holocaust, accrued benefits for identifying with this event? And how has that identification been culturally constructed, packaged, and delivered to Americans, both Jewish and not?

Click here to view a poster for this session.

Wednesday, March 3 - Kristin Swenson
"Drugs, Work and Capitalism: The Governing of Affect"   
Join Kristin Swenson for a discussion exploring the intersections between lifestyle pharmaceuticals, work and affect. Kristin examines the discourse of lifestyle medication such as anti-depressant advertisements along the side of public policy documents, including George W. Bush's "New Freedom Initiative on Mental Health."

Click here to view a poster for this session.

Tuesday, February 16 - Chris Bungard
"Duping the Man: Rethinking the Tradition of the Clever Slave in Plautus"
Roman comedies generally follow an easy pattern: boy loves girl he cannot have; clever slave concocts schemes to help boy; boy gets girl. Since the 1980's work of Niall Slater, scholars have typically read the clever slave as the author of the plot. Chris Bungard's research seeks to re-understand the clever slave not as ones who control their plots (i.e. authors as controllers of meaning), but as characters who are constantly adapting to the situation (i.e. a participant who must negotiate meaning). In this Brown Bag, Chris Bungard will look at the clever slaves of Plautus' Pseudolus and Miles Gloriosus. 

Click here to view a poster for this session. 

Wednesday, February 3 - Ageeth Sluis
"Journeys to Others and Lessons to Self: Carlos Castaneda, Heterotopia, and Indigenous Masculinity at the End of the Mexican Revolution"
During the 1970's, Carlos Castaneda's series on shamanism introduced a large U.S. readership to Mexico at the end of the Mexican Miracle, a period of rapid economic decline. Yet, this was also a time when the country saw the growth of an alternative tourism industry that fit Castaneda's "lessons" on the nature of reality as representing a journey inward as a turn away from U.S.-style consumerism. Castaneda's positioning of a "separate reality" predicated on an indigenous worldview was geared to a larger world, and spoke especially to a global middle-class youth culture based on ennui with material increase. Due to their global reach and counterculture success, Castaneda's books also became popular in Mexico with Mexican youth. While heavily criticized by contemporary anthropologists as pseudo-science, Castaneda's best-selling books became instrumental in the construction of an imagined Mexico, which-besides drawing "counterculture tourists" to the jungles of Oaxaca in search of hallucinogens and spiritual enlightenment-also featured a new way of conceptualizing race and gender.

Click here to view a poster for this session. 

Tuesday, December 8 - Roundtable Discussion
"Celebrate the Scholarship of New Faculty"
Please join us for the final Brown Bag Lunch session of the semester, a roundtable discussion with new faculty from around the university. Daniel Abbott (College of Education), Kristen Hoerl (Communication Studies), and Alex Quintanilla Aguilar (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) will briefly present on their research.  

Click here to view a poster for this session.

 Monday, November 9 - Margaretha Geertsema
"Building Global Bridges? International News for Women"
While the right to communicate is a basic human right, women continue to be excluded from the news media. In response, some women's groups have created alternative media that focus on women. This presentation by Margaretha Geertsema, Journalism, considers the efforts of the New York based online news service Women's eNews and in particular the creation of its Arabic news site. Women's eNews covers international women's issues on a regular basis through freelance correspondents from all over the world. Results of this study are based on an institutional analysis, in-depth interviews, and an analysis of international stories published by Women's eNews since 2000.

Click here to view a poster for this session.

 Friday, October 23, 2009 - Priscilla Ryder
"Inequality, Experience of Discrimination, and Health"
Achieving and maintaining good health, especially at the level of populations, is not as simple as making healthy "lifestyle" choices. We know that huge disparities in health exist between groups of people with the single largest determinant of health status being socioeconomic position. Priscilla Ryder, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, will discuss some of her recent research involving the ways in which experience of race-based discrimination in healthcare varies with age, gender, race/ethnicity and education level.

Click here to view a poster for this session.

October 3, 2009 - Jason Goldsmith
Jason Goldsmith examines the rise of celebrity culture and the rise of modern national consciousness in England during the early nineteenth century.

Click here to view a poster for this session.