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Faculty Development

Brown Bag Series

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. 

Students, staff, and faculty are all welcome to attend. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Brown Bag Series presentations will be held via Zoom until further notice. RSVP to is required to receive log-in information.

Show 2020-21 Presentations:

Rocky Colavito (English), "Rhetorical Analysis of the Use of Extreme Imagery and Information in Professional Wrestling Documentaries"
Thursday, October 7, noon-1 p.m.
RSVP to for Zoom log-in details.

Abstract forthcoming.


Fabiana Alceste (Psychology), "Expectations vs. Reality: Custody in Police Interrogations"
Friday, November 6, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
RSVP to for Zoom log-in details.

Abstract forthcoming.


Sudip Das (Pharmaceutical Sciences), "Nanomedicine for Cancer Therapy"
Wednesday, February 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
In-person or online format TBD

Abstract forthcoming.


​Vivian Deno (History), "Feminist Foundations? Demia Butler, Catherine Marshall, and Harriet Noble – and the Historicization of the Founding Generation of ‘Feminists’ at Butler University"
Thursday, March 4, noon-1 p.m.
In-person or online format TBD

In 1869 a grief-stricken Ovid Butler memorialized the passing of his daughter, Demia, by establishing the Demia Butler chair in English in her honor - the first in the nation to be designated to be held by only women. Catherine Merrill was the inaugural Demia Butler Professor in 1869. In 1900 when she passed, the local newspapers gave her a lengthy send-off—far longer and more detailed than Ovid Butler’s obituary had been. The Indianapolis News celebrated not only her teaching and commitment to the memory of the civil war dead but for her work as a clubwoman who while fearless had “never felt in harmony with the woman’s suffrage question.” Her successor Harriet Noble quickly ran afoul of Merrill’s memory and the expectations it demanded.  As an ardent suffragist and tireless worker on behalf of women’s rights, Noble was branded as something of a firebrand by friends and naysayers alike.

This Brown Bag lecture will put these three women into conversation to better understand the struggles that characterized feminist or womanist efforts on campus and in the region in the early 20th century. Vivian Deno will offer a critical analysis of the first generation of ‘feminist’ campus icons, Demia Butler, Catherine Merrill, and Harriet Noble.  Connected by tragedy and opportunity the three represented a founding generation of women on campus both in the classroom and in the memory of the campus and community.

Presentation Proposal Process and Application Instructions

Faculty interested in presenting a Brown Bag lecture in the next academic year should submit a proposal by May 8 of the current academic year.

Proposals should include the following: description of the session, objective of the session, ways of including the audience, and what attendees can expect to learn. To submit a proposal, please send your responses to the following items in an email to by May 8.

  1. What is your college/department affiliation?
  2. Please briefly describe your proposed Brown Bag session (150 words or fewer). A detailed abstract will be requested at a later date if your proposal is accepted.
  3. List at least two things you expect attendees to learn from your session.
  4. Please describe the ways in which you plan to make this session engaging, hands-on, and/or participant-focused.
  5. Have you presented as part of the Brown Bag series in the past? If so, when?
  6. If you are not selected to present a full-length session this year, would you be willing to give a short-format presentation during an end-of-year “Pearls of Wisdom” session in which multiple faculty members present a brief version of their lecture?

Proposals will be evaluated on the following characteristics:

  • Organization and clarity
  • Novelty and innovation/creativity
  • Likelihood of being interactive/engaging

In addition, selection will be based, in part, on the desire to offer a variety of topics so as to appeal to different faculty, staff, and students across disciplines. First-time presenters and faculty from underrepresented colleges/units/disciplines are especially encouraged to apply.

To request disability-related accommodations or inquire about accessibility, please contact Rebecca DeGrazia at 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.