Notable figures travel to the Danforth Campus every year to speak in named lecture series, and 2019 is no exception! Be sure to mark your calendars for the following events this semester. All members of the university community are welcome to attend these thought-provoking lectures and conversations.
The Weissman Lecture Series
October 31 & November 1
Ron Naaman, Weizmann Institute
"Chiral molecules and electron spin: How are they related and how can we utilize their cooperative properties" and "The chiral induced spin selectivity effect, from spintronics to enantioseparation"
This chemistry department-hosted lecture honors Professor Samuel I. Weissman, who was a Washington University faculty member from 1946 until his death in 2007. In his time at WashU, he researched a number of areas including optical spectroscopy, which became the new field of magnetic resonance. In this area, he was a renowned pioneer and world-class expert. His groundbreaking studies were initially carried out using home-built spectrometers. A scientist to the core, Weissman did creative research until virtually his last days at the age of 95.
Past Speakers: Fraser Stoddart, 2018; Ann McDermott, 2017; Michael Turner, 2016; W.E. Moerner, 2015
James E. McLeod Memorial Lecture on Higher Education
George J. Sanchez, Director of the Center for Democracy and Diversity, University of Southern California
“Bridging the Divided City: Preparing Students for a New Los Angeles”
Founded by the Center for the Humanities in honor of the esteemed vice chancellor of students who passed away in 2011, the series focuses on the role of the liberal arts in higher education, a subject especially meaningful to Dean McLeod. Speakers include academics and journalists who have written about the liberal arts and higher education, both positively and critically, as well as noted people who talk about how the liberal arts affected their lives and their career choices.
Past Speakers: Cathy Davidson, 2018; Sarah Ahmed, 2017; Christopher Newfield, 2016; Rebecca Ginsburg, 2015
Robert Morrell Memorial Lecture in Asian Religions
Michael Bathgate, Professor of Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Saint Xavier University
"Foxes, Gods and Monsters in the Edo Anthropocene"
Named after the late Professor Emeritus Robert E. Morrell, this annual series commemorates his life work by bringing distinguished scholars of Asian religions to campus. Robert Morrell taught Japanese literature and Buddhism, and was the first to teach courses on Buddhism at Washington University.
Past Speakers: Robert Campany, 2018; Barbara R. Ambros, 2017
Holocaust Memorial Lecture
Jason De León, UCLA
"The Land of Open Graves: Understanding the Current Politics of Migrant Life and Death along the US/Mexico Border"
The Holocaust Memorial Lecture is an annual event administered since 1989 and sponsored by the Center for the Humanities. Held on or near November 9, the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms in Nazi Germany, the lecture aims not only to commemorate the Holocaust, but also to address its broader implications for other instances of systematic persecution, mass murder, and genocide.
Past Speakers: Sue Vice, 2018; Crystal Feimster, 2017; Doris Bergen, 2016; Jay Winter, 2015
Robert M. Walker Distinguished Lecture Series
Kip S. Thorne, 2017 Nobel Prize winner, Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology
"Exploring the Warped Side of the Universe with Gravitational Waves: From the Big Bang to Black Holes"
The McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences sponsors the lecture series in memory of Robert M. Walker, the center’s inaugural director from 1975-1999. Walker was a pioneering physicist who played a decisive role in shaping research in the space sciences, not only at the university but also worldwide.
Past Speakers: David Charbonneau, 2018; George Philander, 2017; Gabriela Gonzalez, 2016; Edward C. Stone, 2015
Nelson Wu Lecture
Forrest McGill, Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
"Dancing in Circles in the Arts on India and Its Neighbors"
Nelson Wu was an internationally known scholar and advocate of Asian art and architecture who taught at WashU for nearly 20 years. He is also known by his pen name, Lu Chiao, for his magical short stories and fiction. Co-sponsored by East Asian languages and cultures and the Saint Louis Art Museum, this series offers a talk each fall by an internationally renowned specialist in the field, as well as related events and activities at both the museum and the University. All events are free and open to the public.
Past Speakers: Rebecca Brown, 2017; Gennifer Weisenfeld, 2016; Alfreda Murck, 2015; Matthew McKelway, 2014