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Summer Lecture Series

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Summer 2019 Lecture Series

The Summer Lecture Series brings together outstanding faculty, distinguished guests, and graduate students to share their expertise on some of the most salient issues of today. Because Yale welcomes hundreds of students and scholars from around the world each summer, the Summer Lecture Series offers a space for the diverse summer community to join together and engage on a wide range of topics. 

All lectures are free and the public is welcome. No formal RSVP is requred to attend the lectures.

What Do Personality Tests Tell Us?

Jennifer Hirsch | Lecturer, Psychology - Yale University

Thursday, June 6 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most widely used assessments of personality by companies and schools, but one that is never used by personality psychologists. In this lecture, Jennifer Hirsch will review the pseudoscience of the MBTI by reviewing methodological issues with the test itself, conceptual issues with the underlying theory, and the factors about taking the MBTI that makes it so appealing to laypeople. Dr. Hirsch will review some personality assessments actually used by personality psychologists as well as recommendations on how to enjoy the MBTI in light of it's fundamental issues.

The Future of Food and Planetary Health

John Wargo | Professor, Forestry and Environmental Studies - Yale University

Wednesday, June 12 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

What are the global food challenges to human and environmental health? In this lecture, Professor John Wargo will summarize global trends related to food production and consumption including: climate, water, nutritional excess, corporate concentration, dietary convergence, pollution, and the growing chemical complexity of food.

Energy and the Environment 

Alessandro Gomez | Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science - Yale University

Wednesday, June 19 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

The subject of energy permeates every aspect of our lives. Environmental and sustainability issues have become more and more cogent, with global warming becoming a primary environmental concern about which most industrialized countries are more or less mobilizing. The energy landscape has been varying rapidly in some respects, but some features of the energy make up remain unchanged: wind, solar and other renewable sources are playing an ever increasing role, but off a relatively small base. Therefore, despite intense research and development in carbon-free technologies, the majority of the energy supply through the middle of this century and beyond will stem inevitably from fossil fuels. Professor Alessandro Gomez will discuss these issues and a solution to the energy problem that will involve a combination of conservation, increased efficiency and new technologies.

The Egg Freezing Revolution?

Marcia Inhorn | Professor, Anthropology - Yale University

Tuesday, June 25 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

A new reproductive technology called oocyte cryopreservation (aka egg freezing) promises to prolong women's reproductive lifespan. But are we on the verge of a new reproductive revolution? Based on a National Science Foundation study of women's egg freezing experiences in two countries, we examine the global gender gaps in education that are leading millions of women into unintended reproductive "waithood."

Why Go to College?

Kathryn Dudley | Professor, Anthropology and American Studies - Yale University

Wednesday, July 3 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

College is often promoted as the way to overcome the uneven playing field created by multiple forms of inequality in America and the world today. The best and brightest, it is said, will be rewarded with upward mobility and economic security. But there are good reasons to question the myth of meritocracy. This lecture will discuss alternative ways to think about inequality and how higher education can help us combat it.

The Right to Go to War

Yuan Yuan | Graduate Student, Philosophy - Yale University

Tuesday, July 9 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

War is always fought in the name of justice. However, the idea of using unilateral force in pursuit of justice is paradoxical. In this lecture, Yuan Yuan will lead a philosophical inquiry into the following three questions. Is there a human right to resort to war? Why do international law reserve the right to wage wars for sovereign states? Under what circumstances could non-state actors go to war as in revolutions and secessionist movements?

Crisis in the Middle: A Conversation with the Never-Trump GOP

Special Guests, Elise Jordan and Charlie Sykes

Wednesday, July 17 | 5:00 - 6:30pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

Yale Summer Session and the Yale Film and Media Studies Program are proud to announce Elise Jordan, TIME Magazine and NBC News Contributor, and Charlie Sykes, political commentator and editor-in-chief of The Bulwark, as the distinguished guests of the 2019 Head of Summer Colleges Tea on July 17.

In an era of polarized politics, moderate voters are up for grabs. In 2016, this key group tilted to promises of Trump populism and economic opportunity. How have these voters faired and what are the telltales and strategies that will win them over in the next election cycle? Please join MSNBC's and "never Trump Republicans" Elise Jordan and Charlie Sykes for a lively discussion on the profile and priorities of the swing voters who may well have the ultimate say in 2020.

Sexuality and Culture

Maria Trumpler | Director, Office of LGBTQ Resources and Senior Lecturer, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies - Yale University

Thursday, July 18 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Loria Center, Room 250 (190 York St) | View the Facebook Event

Human sexuality is central to our existence and our experience but we talk about it very little and study it in very circumscribed ways.  This presentation will explore a series of historical vignettes to illuminate the cultural plasticity of human sexual behavior. We will ask if female sexual freedom among forager-hunter groups was related to their food contributions.  We will then look at The Kama Sutra for an early discussion of erotic practices.  What happened when western scientists starting studying human sexuality in the early 20th century? Why was Freud's approach so revolutionary?  How has the AIDS epidemic changed our public conversations?  How have Michel Foucault's ideas about power and govermentality jump-started the field of sexuality studies at American universities in the 21st century?

Evolution on Ice: Antarctica's Biodiversity

Thomas Near | Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Yale University

Wednesday, July 24 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

Antarctica is the harshest place on earth and yet is the home to an incredibly rich diversity of animals. This lecture will present the exciting history of biological exploration in the Southern Ocean. Through the lens of evolutionary biology, we will explore a unique radiation of fishes that have antifreeze genes and white blood. Your view of the Chilean Sea Bass will be forever altered.

Comedy and Popular Culture

Albert Laguna | Assistant Professor, American Studies - Yale University

Tuesday, July 30 | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Sudler Hall (William L. Harkness Hall, rm 201) | View the Facebook Event

With the lens of standup comedy and the circulation of popular culture more broadly between Cuba and Miami, Assistant Professor Albert Laguna will explain the evolution of US Cuba relations in the 21st century and technology's role in blazing new paths in Cuban society.