College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters


2010 - 2011 Groups

Small Miracles: Turning Water into Beer

This is a propitious time for thinking about the role of water in producing beer because Indiana, like much of the country, is now going through a beer revolution.  Small-batch, craft breweries are now to be found all over the state.  Some Indiana breweries, such as Three Floyds in Munster, regularly attract national attention for producing some of the highest quality and most innovative beer in the country.  Indianapolis, which once had a rich culture of German brewing, saw its independent breweries disappear with the rise of mass-produced beers like Pabst and Budweiser in the 1950s.  Indianapolis once again has an independent brewery in Sun King, which opened last year, and the city is likely to see more craft breweries start up in the next few years.

A panel discussion will include participants from off-campus, including local brewers, and Rita Kohn, whose book, True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana, was published this summer by Indiana University Press, moderated by a member of our group.  This panel discussion will address the chemistry of beer and the steps needed either to eliminate or to enhance impurities in beer making.  The panel will also discuss the relationship between beer and place, and the re-emergence of local craft breweries in Indiana and across the country. 


  • True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana, by Rita Kohn The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1, by Mark S. Smith
  • Beer in America: The Early Years -- 1587 - 1840: Beer's Role in the Settling of America and the Birth of a Nation, by Gregg Smith
  • Ambitious Brew: the Story of American Beer, by Maureen Ogle

Faculty Participants:

Travis Ryan, Bill Watts, Chris Hess, Brynnar Swenson, and Brent Hege.

Traumatic Recovery, Global Identities and Post-Memory

This interdisciplinary group takes up the transnational and cross-disciplinary politics of memory in relation to the Holocaust and other traumatic global events.  Does the memory and identity of one group block the memory and identity of another? Or can both exist in a shared perspective of human history?  How do various models of cosmopolitanism contribute to our understanding of how humans view history?


  • Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History, by Cathy Caruth
  • Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, by Kwame Anthony Appiah Page
  • Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization, by Michael Rothberg

Faculty Participants:

Hilene Flanzbaum, Siobhan Mc-Evoy Levy, Ania Spyra, and Bruce Bigelow.

Critically Reflective Teaching

Critically reflective teaching happens when we identify and scrutinize the assumptions we make regarding teaching and learning. Examining these assumptions in a mutually supportive context helps us determine how best to ensure student learning. We will also take a close look at the assumptions and strategies of highly successful college and university faculty members make in their approaches to teaching. In the process, we hope to challenge and spur each other on in becoming better facilitators of student learning.


  • Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, by Stephen Brookfield
  • What the Best College Teachers Do, by Ken Bain

Faculty Participants:

Jay Howard, Kate Morris, Bob Pribush, Liliana Goens, LuAnne McNulty, Robin Turner, Sylvie Vanbaelen.