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CAS Online Media Archive

“Americanitis: American Movies and Soviet Cinema”

Posted: February 8th, 2011 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor Denise Youngblood

If Americans ever think about Soviet cinema, they either imagine dreary propaganda films or remember world-class avant-garde directors like Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky. Some Soviet movies were indeed dismal propaganda, and more than a few were cinematic masterpieces (usually the ones in trouble with the censorship). There was, however, another world of Soviet movies—the pictures that ordinary movie-goers actually liked. More often than not, these popular films were infected with the disease of “Americanitis” (amerikanshchina); that is, they were strongly influenced by Hollywood style. This talk traces the ebb and flow of the cinematic Americanism that was evident in Soviet cinema even during its darkest hours, providing a unique lens through which to view Soviet society and culture over the course of more than 70 years.

Video (mp4)
Audio (mp3)

The Dean’s Lecture Series celebrates College of Arts and Sciences faculty who are acclaimed scholars or artists and who translate that knowledge into stimulating teaching.

“Central Banking before the Federal Reserve”

Posted: January 18th, 2011 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor of Economics, Jane Knodell

One reason the U.S. was late to create a central bank was that earlier renditions of central banks, the First and Second Banks of the United States (1791-1811 and 1816-1836, respectively), drew political fire as large, financially powerful corporations. Although both institutions performed well, it proved impossible for either to convince both a congressional majority and the President that they should continue to exist after their charters expired.  Why has the Federal Reserve Bank, also a center of concentrated financial power, succeeded in surviving where its predecessors failed?  An institutional comparison reveals that the Federal Reserve enjoys certain organizational advantages that the earlier central banks lacked.

Video (mp4)
Audio (mp3)

The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to recognize faculty newly promoted to full professor rank.

“Running from Anxiety: How Exercise Changes the Emotional Brain”

Posted: December 7th, 2010 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor William Falls

It is well known that exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, promotes a stable and healthy body weight, and strengthens the immune system. There is now growing evidence that exercise also improves emotional health. Studies of humans and other animals have shown that voluntary exercise reduces many of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and promotes stress resilience. Professor Falls will review this literature and share some recent experiments carried out by him and his colleagues examining how exercise changes emotional circuits of the brain and how these changes may serve to reduce anxiety and promote stress resilience.

Video (mp4)
Audio (mp3)

Full Professor Lecture:
The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to recognize faculty newly promoted to full professor rank.

“The Social Organization of Technology: Vermont Perspectives on American Innovation”

Posted: November 9th, 2010 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

The United States came to lead the world economy by the early 20th century. As symbolized by Henry Ford’s automobile production, it was the world’s most mechanized country. Among the factors accounting for the ascendance of this once-backward colony, the rapid diffusion of technological knowledge was particularly important. Supported by effective government policies and civil organization, networks of highly mobile machinists spread knowledge widely and generated broad ranges of new techniques, forming a distinctive American technology in the process. Professor Thomson will discuss how several prominent Vermonters played pivotal roles in this development.

Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)

The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to give newly promoted faculty an opportunity to share with the university community a single piece of research or overview of research trajectory meant to capture the spark of intellectual excitement that has resulted in their achieving full professor rank.

“From James Marsh to Computers in Backpacks: UVM and Romanticism in the 21st Century”

Posted: November 2nd, 2010 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor Tom Streeter

Building on his recent book, The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet- a study of the role of culture in the social construction of internet technology-Tom Streeter looks at the persistence of romanticism in the twenty-first century. Communities as diverse as computer programmers, CEOs, and college students at times demonstrate a fondness for self expression, adventurous self-transformation, the impulsive overthrow of history and tradition, and other romantic gestures. These habits of thought have left their imprint on some very contemporary phenomena, such as internet regulation, trends in intellectual property law, and the self-concept of UVM undergraduates, with effects we cannot afford to ignore.

Slides and Lecture Notes (PDF)

The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed to recognize faculty newly promoted to full professor rank.

Philip Baruth “A Brief Series of Impolitic Remarks, Potentially Culminating in Summary Dismissal from the University (Or, On Satire)”

Posted: October 12th, 2010 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor of English, Philip Baruth

Satire is always hungry for pieties: commonplaces we learn and repeat without ever asking how, public figures we esteem without ever quite understanding why. For this reason, there is a certain rhetorical violence to satire that is at once its greatest draw, and its greatest drawback. Because he or she makes sport of powerful people and closely-held ideas, those that society has done its best to sanctify, the satirist is generally held in low esteem — and eventually fired or, in some cultures, jailed and then killed. This is especially true of a satirist working in a very small New England state. In this talk, Professor Baruth will review some of the things he has written which have caused deep offense in the past, and make headway on provoking fresh offense for the future.

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Tina Escaja “Optics as Metaphor; The Printer at the Far End of the Romance Languages: A CyberArtist / Feminist / Impostor’s Take on Otherness.”

Posted: March 31st, 2010 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office


What does it mean to be a woman then and now, at two turns of the century? What does it mean to be a feminist, a scholar, a brown, thick-accented woman in American academia? Escaja’s lecture invites you to reflect on the elusive concept of otherness, from fin-de-siecle decadence to technological fallacies of liberation in the new millennium; from death as metaphor of demise to death as opportunity and rebirth for Latin American and Spanish women seeking to reinvent themselves, searching to invert, refract, reconfigure the light of canonical literary tradition.

Due to a technical failure at the time of the original lecture, Dr. Escaja’s lecture was re-taped at the UVM studio


C. William Kilpatrick, “The Mystery of White-nose Syndrome”

Posted: January 19th, 2010 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Howard Professor of Zoology and Natural History of the Department of Biology

Of the nine species of bats that occur in Vermont, only two were of conservation concern prior to the 21st century. By the winter of 2007-2008, white-nosed syndrome had spread into Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and killed somewhere on the order of 600,000 bats. White-nosed syndrome continues to spread and has now been verified in nine states. It may have resulted in the death of as many as 2.5 million bats in the northeastern United States. Professor Kilpatrick presented the current knowledge of the cause of white-nose syndrome along with ongoing research and survey work to assess the impact of this emerging condition and other threats to Vermont bat populations.



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William Geiger, “How Can One Small Electron Make Such a Big Difference?”

Posted: October 28th, 2009 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor William GeigerProfessor, Department of Chemistry

Molecules taking part in chemical and biochemical reactions receive their energy either thermally (i.e., heat), photo-chemically (light), or through electron transfer (electricity). The last of these often requires transfer of a single electron from one molecule to another. Given that an electron is, by far, the smallest of the major subatomic particles, and that molecules (and even atoms) have dozens to hundreds of them, how can electron-transfer reactions trigger so many important processes of great diversity, from the easily understood operation of batteries to the amazing and complex reactions involved in respiration and photosynthesis? Dr. Geiger’s lecture took us on a journey that started with simple electron clouds and led to the speaker’s favorite organometallic electron-transfer reactions.
Video (MP4) Audio (MP3)

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Michael Zvolensky, “Anxiety, Smoking and Smoking Cessation”

Posted: October 6th, 2009 by Arts & Sciences Computing Services Office

Professor Michael Zvolensky
Professor, Department of Psychology

Tobacco use and dependence rates are disproportionately high among those with anxiety and its disorders. Professor Zvolensky provided an overview of the scientific literature on anxiety, smoking, and smoking cessation. He also discussed current promising treatment and prevention approaches for smokers with anxiety risk factors and disorders.

The College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture Series was designed two years ago to recognize faculty newly promoted to full professor rank. Dr. Zvolensky is the Richard and Pamela Ader Green and Gold Professor.
Video (MP4) Audio (MP3)

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