Faculty Convivium

The Faculty Convivium is a luncheon lecture series featuring SUNY Oneonta faculty who present their research and creative activity projects, accessible to the non-specialist, in a collegial atmosphere.

Seating is limited. To reserve a seat please call x2517 at least several days before a scheduled Convivium talk. Vegetarian meals are available.

Questions? Comments? Email a member of the Faculty Convivium committee.

Fall 2023 Lecture Series

Presented in Otsego Grille, Morris Conference Center, at noon
(unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, November 15th

Alissa Walls (Art History)Space Dust:
Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels

My talk “Space Dust,” explores the relationship between the Great Salt Lake and two works of land art: Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (April 1970) and Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973-76). Taken together, Spiral Jetty and Sun Tunnels serve as touchstones for notions of being and doing as artistically investigated through space and time, light and scale. Given their geographic and geologic connections to the Great Salt Lake, in imminent danger of total extinction, these earthworks also spur us to contemplate just what constitutes sustainable living in the contemporary era.
    My research is both art historical and rooted in my own artistic practice, the Spiral having driven work that I have made since 2020. An art memoir in-progress entitled Running the Entire Length: On Running, Breath, Art, and Life explores themes from this more focused study and, more broadly, states of being and doing. In the Spring I will present the exhibition Space Dust at the Open Space Gallery at SUNY-Oneonta, which will encompass the third movement in my Space Trilogy.


Thursday, October 5, noon to 1:00 p.m. Otsego Grille, Morris Conference Center Valerie Rapson Physics and Astronomy Studying Alien Worlds from the College Camp Observatory

Thursday, October 5th

Valerie Rapson (Physics and Astronomy)
Studying Alien Worlds from the College Camp Observatory

In the last 30 years, over 5000 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Most of these exoplanets are discovered when they transit their host star, briefly causing the star to dim once per planet orbit. While large space-based telescopes make the bulk of the initial detections, small ground-based telescopes play a crucial role in confirmation and follow-up observations of known systems. Using telescopes at the College Camp Observatory, we can determine the size of the exoplanet, the orbital distance from the star, and potentially detect the presence of additional planets in the system. In this talk, I will share the work that SUNY Oneonta students and I have done to explore known exoplanet systems, and our attempts to detect candidate exoplanets identified by the TESS Observatory. I’ll also discuss my efforts to inspire the general public to get involved in these, and other astronomy-based Citizen Science projects, through public outreach events and planetarium shows.

Spring 2023 Lecture Series

Presented in Otsego Grille, Morris Conference Center, at noon
(unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, April 5th

Chloe Diamond-Lenow (Women’s and Gender Studies)
"Race, Gender, Sex, and Species in the 'War on Terror'”

Cairo, a U.S. military working dog, was part of the SEAL Team 6 mission that captured and killed Osama bin Laden on May 1st, 2011. Cairo was rendered a public hero after the mission. Dogs like Cairo have figured centrally in the U.S. “war on terror” and in articulations of U.S. nationalism. The dogs are deployed as tools of intimidation, equipment to be cared for, pets to be loved, and heroes to be honored. In this talk, I analyze the politics of race, gender, sexuality, and species in discourses about, and practices surrounding, U.S. military working dogs and the dogs that Americans “rescue” from Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2021. I consider how dogs are deployed in this war to mediate representations of racialized masculinities and femininities within frameworks of U.S. nationalism and imperialism. This research extends transnational feminist and postcolonial literature on militarism and racialization through an analysis of how frames of species and tropes of animality inform racialized and gendered nationalisms in U.S. militarism and imperialism.




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