Al Turco , Professor of English, Emeritus, "What I have Learned from Teaching" Patience, perseverance, and performance art in the Wesleyan classroom as observed by an insider of forty-three years.
Karl Scheibe , Professor of Pshchology, Emeritus Paradoxes of Well-Being Wellbeing has recently moved to center state of the psychologists field of attention. This is in part a reaction to the traditional focus of psychology on problems of human suffering. But research on this topic has turned up some fascinating puzzles and contradictions. Pleasure and pain do not accumulate in the same wayrevealing a curious asymmetry in our emotional lives. Paradoxes of wellbeing are conspicuous, not the least of which is the observation that older people manifest an unexpected level of satisfaction with their lives.
Ryan Overbey, Visiting Professor of Religion "Buddhism and the Body: Desire, Disgust, and Transcendence The fundamental questions of Buddhism are questions about the human body: what sort of thing is this body, how does it structure my desires and actions, and how can I overcome it, transfigure it, or transcend it altogether? In the Buddhist account, it is our desire for the pleasures of the human body that traps us in a world of suffering. Premodern Buddhist texts recommend concrete strategies for overcoming this desire through disgust: analytically reducing bodies into their constituent parts, meditating on decaying corpses, and transposing perceptions of living human bodies with horrifying images of death and decay. But in the end, the rejection of flawed human embodiment gives way to radical new visions of what is possible for the human body. From morally perfected bodies of adamant to tantric bodies composed only rainbow light, the Buddhist traditions give us powerful ways of thinking through and thinking beyond what it means to be human.
Mary Alice Haddad, Professor of Government Environmental Politics in East Asia East Asia is one of the largest contributors to climate change and also a global leader in green energy. Learn how citizens and policymakers in this advocacy hostile region have been working to improve the environment in their communities, region, and the world.
Justine Quijada, Assistant Professor of Religion Genres of History (Buddhist, Shamanic, and Soviet) in a Buddhist Ceremony in Inner Asia In September, 2005, a Buddhist monument (stupa) was erected in the village of Orangoe to commemorate the birthplace of Dashi-Dorzho Etigelov, a pre-revolutionary, reincarnated Buddhist leader whose miraculously imperishable body was exhumed in 2003 and has become a pilgrimage destination in Siberia. Participants at the event do not just tell different histories of Etigelov, they tell these histories in three different genres: a Buddhist genre that integrates Buryat Buddhism into Russian Imperial history through reincarnation, a shamanic genre, in which Etigelov becomes a local place spirit, and a Soviet genre which tells the history of the Orangoe collective farm and its contribution to the Soviet war effort. The ritual illustrates the way in which, for Post-Soviet Buryats, religious practice has become a resource for re-imagining an unstable past, and thereby producing identities in the post-Soviet present.
Ying Jia Tan, Assistant Professor of History The History of Electricity in China
Modern Times (1936) Directed by Charlie Chaplin. A parody of the highly industrialized modern life that transforms humans into mere assembly lines. Chaplin, Paulette Goddard. 87 minutes.
Walkabout (1971). Directed by Nicolas Roeg. Set in the Australian outback, the film illuminates the madness of modern l ife through a chance encounter between white children (Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg) an aboriginal boy (David Gumpilil). 100 minutes.
The Woman in the Dunes (1962). Directed by Teshigahara Hiroshi. A nameless man (Okada Eiji) from highly modernized Tokyo journeys to a distant sand dune in search of a rare insect so that his name may appear in an encyclopedia. He is trapped in a sand pit occupied by a woman (Kishida Kyoko), also nameless, living a primitive life. In Japanese with English subtitle. 147 minutes.
Shower (1999). Directed by Zhang Yang. An elderly father (Zhu Xu) and his mentally challenged son (Jian Wu) have been running a traditional bathhouse in an old section of Beijing. Tension develops when his older son (Pu Cunxin), now a businessman working in a modernized city outside the old capital, returns home for a visit. At the same time, Beijing wants to demolish the district to promote commercial development. In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitle. 94 minutes