Past Events - Spring 2020

Wes Lowery, impage courtesy of The Washington Post.An Evening with Wes Lowery

Thursday, January 23
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Bovee U.C. Auditorium
Open event flyer

Pulitzer Prize winner Wes Lowery is a journalist for The Washington Post and a CNN political contributor. He is the author of They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement (2016), which describes his experiences while reporting on the 2016 Ferguson unrest and also chronicles the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sponsored by the Department of Journalism and the College of Liberal Arts and Social SciencesCritical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.



Climate Denial Isn't About Science:
Like Fake News It's A Symptom, Not A Cause

Image of Alan Rudy

Presented by Alan Rudy
Tuesday, February 18
6:30 p.m.
Anspach 256
Open event flyer

For all those whose boats were floated - and for many more who aspired to rise - during the post-war period from 1945 to 1985, free inquiry, free elections and free markets were each understood as positive forces and each was seen as checking and balancing the negative tendencies of the others. Science wars, culture wars, and comments pages are manifestations of a perfectly reasonable loss of faith in the social foundations of those individual freedoms. Without a shared effort to re-establish trust in scientific experts, political representatives and economic elites, explaining science and facts to denialists and those committed to fake news will get us nowhere.

Alan Rudy is an associate professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Central Michigan University. His research interests include the areas of hybrid environmental social theory, the overlapping politics of nature, labor and community and regional agricultural studies. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


Facts, Fake, and Other F-Words: Critical Thinking in Contentious Times

Joel BestPresented by Joel Best
Wednesday, February 26
6:00 p.m.
EHS Building, French Auditorium
Open event flyer

Recent name-calling features angry disputes about what is factual and what is fake. Making sense of these claims and counterclaims requires us to think about the social processes by which truth and fakery are determined. Joel Best is a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. He is a former editor of the journal Social Problems and a past-president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He has published more than 25 books, and received the American Sociological Association's Public Understanding of Sociology Award in 2016. 

Sponsored by the Department of Journalism, the Department of Psychology, the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


Between the Lines:
French Periodicals Dodge Royal Controls, 1745 to the Revolution

Presented by Jack Censer
Wednesday, March 18 **This event has been canceled.**


Jack CenserJack Censer is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. His research has examined the French Revolution, intellectual history, and the press. He is the author of The French Revolution and NapoleonPrelude to Power: The Radical Press in the French RevolutionThe French Press in the Age of EnlightenmentOn the Trail of the DC Sniper: Fear and the Media, and Debating Modern Revolution: The Evolution of Revolutionary Ideas.

Sponsored by the Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


Excavating a Myth: Atari, Archaeology, and Trutherism

Presented by Archaeologist Andrew Reinhard
Thursday, March 19  **This event has been canceled.**

Archaeologist Andrew Reinhard holds games pulled from the Atari landfill.Archaeologist Andrew Reinhard will discuss myths and reality of the famed Atari graveyard in New Mexico. In 2014, Reinhard and a team of archaeologists--including Dean Richard Rothaus--joined an excavation of a large burial site of Atari video game cartridges in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Be sure to join us for behind-the-scenes revelations and tales of inter-group subterfuge from the documentary Atari: Game Over and the quest for the elusive ET cartridges, alleged to have sparked the video game crash of 1983.

Reinhard is the director of publications at the American Numismatic Society, author of Archaeogaming, and earned a Ph.D. in archaeology (digital heritage) at the University of York. 

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


Why We Dug Atari
'Punk archaeologists' explain that they went looking for more than just video-game cartridges in a New Mexico landfillThe Atlantic, 8/4/2014

 


The Reality of Refugee Resettlement

Friday, March 20, 2020 **This event has been canceled.**

Panelists will discuss the reality of refugee resettlement. Panelists include: Judi Harris, Director of Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing; Dhan Khatiwoda, former Bhutanese refugee; Jeaul Khan, Rohingya translator/community leader; and Mohammed Toyub, former Rohingya refugee. 

A reception will follow in the Baber Room. More information will be posted soon. Co-sponsored by the Dr. Harold Abel Endowed Lecture Series in the Study of Dictatorship, Democracy and Genocide, the Critical Engagements Initiative, the Refugee Outreach Collective, and Amnesty International at CMU.


Cailin O'Connor

Thursday, March 26 **This event has been canceled.**

Book cover for The Misinformation Age by Cailin O'Connor. Cailin O’Connor is a philosopher of science at UC Irvine and co-author of The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread. Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread without apparent consequence for the people who hold them?  It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it (apparently) irrelevant to many people whether they believe true things or not? In an age riven by factual disputes over everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, O'Connor argues that social factors, not individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the persistence of false belief, and that we must know how those social forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively.

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


The Good Grief Network: Ten Steps to Personal Resilience and Empowerment in a Chaotic Climate

Thursday, April 30 This event has been canceled
8:00 p.m.
Sarah & Daniel Opperman Auditorium, Park Library

CMU alums Aimee Lewis Reau (English major, '11) and Laura Schmidt (Biology and Environmental Studies double major, '09) run an organization called The Good Grief Network, which builds personal resilience while strengthening community ties to help combat despair, inaction, eco-anxiety, and other heavy emotions in the face of daunting systemic predicaments. The state of the world seems unmanageable, chaotic even. For those of us paying attention, awareness of our systemic issues is confusing and painful." Their talk will offer a ten-step plan to empower those who "feel pulled to act, but don't know what to do." They will also discuss strategies for confronting the systemic issue of "fake news." 

This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Department of English, Language and Literature and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.



Past Events - Fall 2019

Vaccination: When 'Fake News' Has Lasting Consequences

Wednesday, September 18
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Anspach 162
Open event flyer

Faculty and community members look into the origins of and controversies surrounding vaccinations and autism. We will explore the history of vaccination, hesitancy to vaccinate, vaccination myths, science, and autism. Presenters include:

  • Dr. Karen Rathmann
    Pediatrician, Isabella Citizens for Health
  • Dr. Ariel Cascio
    Assistant Professor, CMU College of Medicine
  • Dr. Melissa Tuttle
    Director, CMU Psychological Training and Consultation Center
  • Robert Wyse, M.S.
    Doctoral Student, CMU School Psychology Program

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 orchristi.brookes@cmich.edu.



Faculty Panel on Fake News

Thursday, September 19
7:00 p.m.
Anspach 161
Open event flyer

Faculty from different disciplines will host a lively discussion of what they know, how they know it, facts, and truth. This is the kick-off event for the 2019-20 Critical Engagement initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Elbert Almazan, Professor of Sociology
  • Dr. Sarah Domoff, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Wendy Robertson, Assistant Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Dr. Ed Simpson, Associate Professor of Journalism
  • Dr. Greg Smith, Associate Professor of History & Chair
  • Dr. Joshua Smith, Professor of Philosophy
  • Bryan Whitledge, Archivist for University Digital Records, Clarke Historical Library (CMU Libraries)

Sponsored by the Critical Engagements initiative within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.



D’oh! Pioneers: Unraveling Founding Myths with a Twitter Thread

Tuesday, October 8
7:00 p.m.
Anspach 162

With a little help from Lisa Simpson, Central Michigan University history faculty member Andrew Wehrman will offer a historian’s perspective on truth, fiction, and the stories we tell about who we are and where we came from. He will critique David McCullough's book, The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, and offer a clear-eyed view of the founding of Ohio and the Northwest Territory. He'll also discuss his May 2019 viral Twitter post in which he shared his experiences unraveling founding myths of Marietta, Ohio, commonly described as the "first permanent settlement" in Ohio. 

Sponsored by the Isabella County Historical Society and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


The Impeachment of President Trump: A Real Possibility or Just 'Fake News'?

Tuesday, October 15
4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Anspach 260

Join Central Michigan University faculty members for a seminar style discussion about the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and whether it's a real possibility. Department of Political Science and Public Administration faculty members Kyla Stepp and Jeremy Castle will facilitate the discussion. Coffee and cookies will be provided. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? For more information, contact David Jesuit at 989-774-2795 or david.jesuit@cmich.edu.

>>View event video (links to Facebook)


Using Wikipedia in the Age of Alternative Facts:  Creating Student Expertise

Facilitated by Rachael Barron-Duncan (ART)
Friday, October 18
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Strosacker Room, Park Library

This year, the CLASS Excellence in Teaching and Learning Committee is considering the president’s call to programs that display “rigor, relevance, and excellence,” particularly in light of our Critical Engagement’s theme of “Fake News:  What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?” 

Our first workshop describes an assignment in Dr. Barron-Duncan’s current African Art course which tackles the common internet conundrum: the most “relevant” and popular sources often lack rigor and excellence. Looking at the misinformation or complete dearth of information on English-language Wikipedia regarding African visual culture, Dr. Barron-Duncan’s students have set about to supply the expertise needed to curate those pages in an academically responsible way.

Join us to discuss an example of how discipline-based content assignments can build source-analysis and critical-thinking skills. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by October 16 to class@cmich.edu.

Sponsored by the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Committee (ETLC) and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative.


Fabricated History: The Ban on German Aircraft History after WWII

Friday, November 1
3:00 p.m.
Park Library Auditorium

Central Michigan University history faculty member Lutz Budrass reviews the whitewashing of national histories, including a discussion about how the history of the German aircraft industry has been manipulated to conceal the participation of aircraft industrialists in Nazi crimes.

Sponsored by the Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


The Naked Sphere: Trolls, Fake News & Other Audience Shenanigans

Thursday, November 7
7:00 p.m.
Moore Hall 107

Join us for a discussion on how CMU faculty are researching what happens in the public sphere, how consumers react to digital advertising, the impact of presidential rhetoric, Fake News and conspiracy on YouTube, and other matters. Panelists include Dr. Edward Hinck, Dr. Shelly Hinck, Dr. Jinhee Lee, and Dr. Zulfia Zaher from the College of the Arts and Media.

Sponsored by the College of the Arts and Media and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Ed Simpson at 937-243-4185 or simps1e@cmich.edu.


The Intersection of Environmental Reporting and Fake News

Thursday, November 14
7:00 p.m.
Park Library Baber Room

From climate change to cancer clusters to an algae menace that's on the rise globally and capable of killing you, award-winning environmental-energy writer and CMU alum Tom Henry will sift through scientific gobbledygook, political spin, and lobbyist agendas to make sense of fake news that's dumbing down society and threatening our very democracy. 

Sponsored by the Clarke Historical Library and the College of Liberal Arts and Social SciencesCritical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, please contact Bryan Whitledge at 989-774-2159 or whitl1br@cmich.edu.


The Alternative University

Featuring President Robert O. Davies and Dr. David Staley
Monday, November 18
5:30 p.m.
Park Library, Sarah & Daniel Opperman Auditorium
Open event flyer

Dr. David Staley, director of the Humanities Institute and associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, will discuss his new book, Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education, and innovative visions of higher education. Dr. Staley will be joined on stage by Central Michigan University President Robert O. Davies. 

Dr. Staley's book examines opportunities to re-envision the university. What do the universities of the future look like? What will the students of the future need? Will their universities have buildings, gen ed, or traditional disciplines?

Dr. Staley is also hosting a workshop for faculty & staff from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please register here for the workshop. Seating is limited. 

Sponsored by the President’s and Provost’s Fund for Program Innovation and Excellence and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or brook1nc@cmich.edu.


Facebook & Fake News: How Misinformation is Spread and Why We Fall for it.

Wednesday, November 20
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Anspach 162

Come learn about the role of social media in spreading "fake news" and the psychology behind why we believe untrue messages. After a screening of the PBS special The Facebook Dilemmapsychology faculty members Sarah Domoff, Kimberly O'Brien, and Kyle Scherr and experimental psychology graduate student Brian Kissell will lead a panel discussion. Sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or brook1nc@cmich.edu.


Open-Label Placebos and Self-Deception

Presented by Dr. James Brian Coleman
Friday, November 22
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Anspach 167

The placebo effect has long been seen as a kind of “fake news” of the medical world: intentionally deceptive medicine that happens somehow to have real results. But could placebos in fact be a sort of fake news patients tell themselves? Philosophy faculty member James Brian Coleman will discuss recent research on the placebo effect which shows that there can be a positive therapeutic result even when the patient is fully informed of the placebo’s inert content. The medical literature refers to such placebos as “open-label placebos.” Traditionally, objections to placebo use center on the apparent requirement of some degree of deception in their application, which violates requirements on respect for patient autonomy. But do open-label placebos involve some form of deception? The question this lecture pursues is whether open-label placebos imply self-deception. If so, is this ethically problematic? What are the implications of the relation between self-deception and autonomy for clinical medicine in general?

Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Andrew Blom at 989-774-3444 or blom1a@cmich.edu.