This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Depicted above: Professor Ismail Rashid

Vassar’s Intellectual Buffet

In 1998, the Dean of the Faculty’s Office and AAVC created the Intellectual Buffet at Vassar. These evenings, held twice a year at Alumnae House, bring together professors from across disciplines to discuss a single topic. The audience of fellow faculty members and college colleagues enjoy an engaging presentation that often leads to lively conversations at the tables. Over the years, topics have ranged from “Realities and Representations” with history, film, religion, and political science professors to “Hot and Cold Reflections on Climate Change” (art, earth science, and geography) to “Media, Representation, and Technology” (women’s studies, computer science, and anthropology).

“I always enjoy these events for the rare opportunity they offer to learn about my colleagues' research and intellectual orientation,” said Associate Professor of Sociology Leonard Nevarez. “I also find that the stimulating nature of the presentations raises the bar for dinnertime conversations afterwards, which are among my favorite scholarly moments at Vassar.” Nevarez joined Professor of English Paul Kane (English) and Professor of Philosophy Giovanna Borradori to discuss “Contemporary Meanings of Place.”

The series continues today and is attended by 85–100 faculty and their guests plus representatives of AAVC. The most recent Intellectual Buffet was held on January 29. Professors Erica Crespi (biology), Eve Dunbar (English), Ismail Rashid (history and Africana studies), and Michael Bennett (science, technology, and society) addressed the question “In this post-election nation, how will the changing national conversation on race influence or affect our teaching?”

February 2009

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