Back to class with Brown faculty

Back to Class with Brown Faculty | Podcasts & Videos

The Brown Alumni Association offers faculty programs that take you back into the classroom with active scholars on the cutting edge of fascinating topics. Selected Back to Class with Brown Faculty presentations are made available here for you to enjoy at your convenience.

Chcek back here in the coming months for more videos, like Professor Emeritus Barrett Hazeltine on entrepreneurship.

The BAA would like to thank our colleagues in Advancement Information Services for capturing these events.

Faculty Podcast Topics:

These lectures are presented as part of the intellectual discourse that characterizes Brown's commitment to learning through an open dialogue of diverse opinions. The opinions of the speaker are his/her own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown University or the Brown Alumni Association.

The Evolution Wars: Why They Continue, Why They Matter

Kenneth Miller ’70, biology professor

 Professor Ken Miller ’70 probes how Darwin's theory of evolution shapes our view of the natural world—and current social battles.

 Watch the full presentation

The Next Leap in Mars Exploration

Jack Mustard, geology professor

Gordon Wood photo NASA has successfully landed the Curiosity rover. What science will it pursue, and why? How is Brown involved? Geology professor Jack Mustard will bring you up to date and share the most recent results from Curiosity.

 Watch the full presentation

What Made The Founders Different?

Gordon Wood, professor emeritus of history

Gordon Wood photoWood delivers a compelling and insightful talk on what made the founders of America different. He spoke to the Brown Club of Rhode Island on March 13, 2012.

 Watch the full presentation

Sectarian Conflict in the Middle East: Myths and Realities

Melani Cammett ’91, Associate Professor of Political Science; Director, Middle East Studies Program

Melani Cammett photoCammett speaks about the situation in Iraq, sectarian organizations in Lebanon, and the complex relationships between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims in the region.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch an excerpt from the presentation

A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides

David Rohde ’90 and Kristen Mulvihill ’91

 Journalist David Rohde ’90 and his wife Kristen Mulvihill ’91 describe his abduction and seven months of captivity by the Taliban and her efforts to free him.

 Watch the full presentation
 Watch an excerpt from the presentation

Why Literature-and-Medicine?

Arnold Weinstein, Professor of Comparative Literature

 Professor Weinstein discusses how literature can be used to diagnose, explore, and treat diseases rather than traditional biology, and his desire to view medicine from a narrative perspective.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch an excerpt from the presentation

The Hip Hop Wars

Tricia Rose ’93 PhD, Professor of Africana Studies

 Professor Rose ’93 PhD describes the evolution and innovation of hip hop, and calls for a return to the creativity of the genre.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch an excerpt from the presentation

Old Things Everywhere: The Ancient World at Brown University

Susan Alcock, Director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

 Professor Alcock discusses archaeology on College Hill and beyond.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch highlights from the presentation

Building Brown: Brown’s Campus Master Plan

Michael McCormick, Assistant Vice President for Planning, Design, and Construction

 Michael McCormick describes the vision for and progress of Brown’s new and improved campus buildings and walkways, and its expansion into the city.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch highlights from the presentation

Brain-Computer Interfaces and Restorative Neurotechnology

Leigh Hochberg ’90, Associate Professor of Engineering

 Professor Hochberg discusses Brown's collaborative research towards developing assistive technology for people with paralysis and limb trauma.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch highlights from the presentation

Connecting with Arts and Culture: The Public Humanities Program at Brown

Steven Lubar, Professor of American Civilization

 Professor Lubar describes how The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage is building connections between communities, organizations, scholars and students.

 Watch the full presentation |  Watch highlights from the presentation

Dirty Rotten Secrets of Health Reform

James Morone, Professor of Political Science

 In this talk, Professor James Morone offers both historical and current perspectives on health reform.

 Watch the video

Darwin, God, and Design - America's Continuing Problem with Evolution

Kenneth Miller '70, Professor of Biology

 Is it time to replace “Darwinism” with ideas like “intelligent design” or, at the very least, to introduce criticisms of evolution into our educational system? In this presentation Professor Miller assesses the state of this conflict in America today.

 Watch the video

The Quantum Mechanics of Global Warming

Brad Marston, Professor of Physics

 Quantum mechanics plays a crucial, albeit often overlooked, role in determining the Earth’s climate. Professor Marston presents a simple physical picture of what will happen to the Earth as the concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide continue to increase.

 Watch the video

Changing the World: The Story of Global Health at Brown

Edward J. Wing, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences

 Dean Wing describes how Brown faculty and students are changing the world, and his vision of the future of global health at Brown. He discusses programs in Kenya, the Dominican Republic, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Russia that provide direct care to patients while offering educational opportunities.

 Watch the video

The End of the Beginning: The Continuing, Growing Financial Crisis

Ross Levine, Professor of Economics

 The financial crisis has affected world financial markets and is likely to have enduring implications. Professor Levine describes the current state of affairs, offers thoughts about where things are headed, and discusses options available to the Obama Administration.

 Watch the video

On the Inside Track: Navigating the Ever-Changing Landscape of College Admissions

James Miller ’73, Dean of Admission

 Dean Miller addresses many of the recent changes in the college admissions process. Gender balance, shifts in geographic representation, the elimination of early admissions at select institutions, the role of alumni volunteers, and changes to financial aid are some of the topics covered.

 Watch the video

Fourteen Months Down, 72 Days to Go: Recounting and Forecasting Election 2008

Jennifer Lawless, Assistant Professor, Political Science and Public Policy

 In this presentation, Assistant Professor Lawless examined the dynamics of the 2008 election, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly, while assessing the prospects for victory and governing for each candidate.

 Watch the video

Democratic Rights

Corey Brettschneider, Associate Professor of Political Science

 Associate Professor Brettschneider offers an alternative to the traditional divide between procedural theories of democracy and substantive theories of justice. He argues that democracy is fundamentally about a core set of values: political autonomy, equality of interests, and reciprocity with implications.

 Watch the video

Hellfire Nation: Saints and Sinners in American Politics

James Morone, Professor of Political Science

 How did America become a nation with the soul of a church? Professor Morone shows how religious and moral fervor ignites our fiercest social conflicts -- and how it moves dreamers to fight for social justice.

 Watch the video

Election 2008

Darrell West, Former Professor of Political Science

 In this talk, and subsequent conversation, Darrel West describes Election 2008 as an important turning point in American history and shares his prediction of the election results. West is now vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

 Watch the video

Race, Immigration Reform and the 2008 Election

Matthew Garcia, Associate Professor of American Civilization, Ethnic Studies and History

 Associate Professor Garcia has worked with the Smithsonian to create a web-based oral history archive and traveling exhibition about the Bracero program, a temporary guest worker program for Mexican workers from 1942-1964. He also reflects on proposals for immigration reformleading up to the 2008 Elections.

 Watch video

Many Hands, One Dream: Brown's Impact on the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Kenya

E. Jane Carter, Assistant Professor of Medicine

E. Jane Carter photoThe Brown/Kenya Program began in 1996 and Brown has been an integral part of the ASSANTE Consortium. In this presentation, E. Jane Carter describes in vivid and captivating detail the efforts of this program, and its impact on the HIV/AIDS Crisis.

 Watch the video

Children At Play: An American History

Howard Chudacoff, Professor of American History and Urban Studies

 Professor Chudacoff’s book, Children At Play: An American History, traces the history of how children have played and raises questions about how much freedom children have had, and should have, in their play.

 Watch the video

Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President

Lincoln D. Chafee ’75, Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies

 Former Senator Lincoln D. Chafee ’75 delivers his perspective on the following major political occurrences during his seven-year period in the Senate; the vote to go to war in Iraq, Bush’s tax cut program, the 2004 election and the return of Congress to a Democratic majority.

 Watch the video

Architecture of the Night

Dietrich Neumann, Professor of History of Art and Architecture

 Professor Neumann explores the history of architectural illumination since the introduction of electric light as a "new building material," showing historic and contemporary examples and discussing the debates that accompanied this development.

 Watch the video

A Long Time Ago: Reflections on Brown's Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice

James Campbell, Former Associate Professor of American Civilization, Africana Studies and History

 James Campbell, who chaired Brown's Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, discusses the committee’s findings and entertains questions, comments, criticisms, and suggestions about its work. In 2009, Campbell returned to his alma mater, Stanford University, as the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History.

 Watch the video

About the BAA Podcasts

The BAA would like to thank our colleagues Bandith Vorasane, Assistant Director, and Stephen Crocker, Video & Web Content Editor in Advancement Information Services for capturing these events.

Also of Interest: