A diverse look at our origins that draws on the humanities as well as the natural sciences.
Because inquiries into our origins combine ideas about causation, boundaries and chronology while linking the factual with the ethical and the empirical with the theoretical, the study of origins requires an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the humanities as well as the natural sciences.
The Evolution of Nature: Creation, Nature and Human Origins
Indigenous Creation Stories: Who is Mother Earth?
The Origins of Social Otherness: Social Stigma and Disease
The Origins of Human Uniqueness: Evolution and Contemporary Neuroscience
Jason Scott Robert
The Origins of Race: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the U.S.
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Ph.D., writes on Jewish intellectual history with a focus on philosophy and mysticism in pre-modern Judaism; the interaction between Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Middle Ages; feminist philosophy; Judaism and ecology; bioethics; and religion and science. She holds a doctorate in Jewish philosophy and mysticism from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a bachelor's in religious studies from the State University of New York in Stony Brook, N.Y. Since 1999 she has taught undergraduate courses in Jewish history at ASU. In addition to her academic position, Professor Tirosh-Samuelson sits on the editorial board of the Journal of American Academy of Religion and the academic advisory board of the Metanexus Institute of Science and Religion, and is the co-editor of a book series, Studies in Jewish History and Culture, for Brill Academic Publishers.
Joni Adamson, Ph.D., is associate professor of English and environmental humanities in the School of Letters and Sciences; senior research scholar at the Global Institute of Sustainability; program faculty in human and social dimensions of science and technology; and an affiliate of women and gender studies. She created ASU’s environmental humanities certificate and serves as its director. She is currently serving as president of the Association for the Study Literature and Environment, which has an active membership of 1400 scholars, educators, students, and scientists in 41 countries. She helped establish the field of environmental literary criticism in 1992 and is the author of books and articles credited with shifting the direction of the field to a “second wave” focused on global social and environmental justice issues. She has delivered keynotes in the United Kingdom, Canada and Taiwan, and this year will lecture in Scotland, Spain, and Germany. She is currently at work on two new collections, Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture andAmerican Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons. She teaches courses that focus on ecocriticism and global indigenous and ethnic minority movements focused on climate justice, sustainability, food justice, migration, movement and trans-genetics.
Rachel Scott, Ph.D., is assistant professor of anthropology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at ASU. Scott completed her bachelor's in anthropology at the University of Chicago, a Higher Diploma from University College Dublin and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research investigates the relationship between the physical body and social identity, using case studies from early and late medieval Ireland. For example, she integrates human skeletal, archaeological and historical data to explore the ways in which the early medieval Irish actively created and maintained their individual and community identities. Another project examines late medieval leper hospitals and their associated cemeteries in order to elucidate how and why certain biological diseases become imbued with social meaning — a process in which alteration of the physical body alters a person's social identity.
Jason Scott Robert, Ph.D., is the Franca Oreffice Dean's Distinguished Professor in Life Sciences and Lincoln Associate Professor of Ethics in Biotechnology and Medicine in the School of Life Sciences. He is also the director of the Bioethics, Policy and Law Program in the Center for Biology and Society. He teaches in the Bioethics Program within the Center for Biology and Society and conducts research and teaching at the intersection of bioethics and the philosophy of science. He has published extensively on ethical, conceptual and methodological issues in developmental biology and evolution, and his current work focuses on neuroscience. He is funded by the National Science Foundation and the James S. McDonnell Foundation to explore how neuroscientists do and should attempt to justify their research with non-human animals in the pursuit of findings relevant to humans. Robert directs the Bioscience Ethics, Policy and Law Program in the Center for Biology and Society at ASU, administering the master's and doctoral degrees in biology as well as the Biomedical and Health Ethics track of the new master's in Applied Ethics and the Professions. He holds a doctorate and master's degree from McMaster University and completed his undergraduate work at Queen's University.
Sally Kitch is a Regents' Professor and the founding director of the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU. She is also an ASU Foundation Professor and a Dean's Distinguished Humanities Professor of Women and Gender Studies. Professor Kitch — who has degrees from Cornell University, the University of Chicago and Emory University — specializes in feminist theory and epistemology; theories of interdisciplinarity; gender representation in visual and narrative culture; the intellectual history of gender and race; the theory of intersectionality; and the study of resistance to conventional gender narratives throughout U.S. history and in the contemporary Muslim world. Her most recent book is Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States, which was honored by the American Studies Association in 2010. She has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory. Her most recent book on the topic isHigher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in American Feminist Thought and Theory. Other books (both of which have won national prizes) include This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth and Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status.
Tuesdays, Feb. 7–March 6
1–1:55 p.m. Lecture
1:55–2:05 p.m. Refreshments
2:05–3 p.m. Lecture
2398 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Free parking provided