Assembly Series announces changes, additions to its spring ’09 lineup

Changes include four new programs; time & location

Since the initial announcement of the 2009 Assembly Series schedule was published, there have been several changes and the addition of four programs. The following list provides all the updated information at this time, beginning with the next program.

For the most current information on Assembly Series programs, please visit the Web site at or call 314-935-5285. All programs are free and open to the public.

Lela Lee

4 p.m., Wednesday, February 11. Graham Chapel

Through her cartoons, short films and Web comic series, Lee has found creative outlets for expressing her feelings as a minority in America. Lee also is an actress, and has appeared on television hits such as Scrubs. Her talk, “Pop Culture Is my Culture,” is sponsored by the Asian American Association.

Janice Radway

Noon, Tuesday, February 17. Women’s Building Lounge

Radway is known as a cultural historian and literary scholar who examines the art as well as the act of reading. Her books, Reading the Romance, and A Feeling for Books, look at the excitement and satisfactions of “middlebrow” reading.

Radway is one of three speakers for this year’s Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities (IPH) Lecture Series. Please check the IPH Web site at for other events.

Jonathan Schaeffer

11 a.m., Wednesday, February 18. Steinberg Auditorium

Schaeffer created the Chinook Project, which built a computer program capable of winning the human World Checkers Championship. For the Ferguson Lecture, “Computer (and Human) Perfection at Checkers,” he will discuss the interplay between people and technology — the story of man versus machine — for supremacy at Checkers.

The Legacy of George Washington: A Panel Discussion

6 p.m., Wednesday, February 18. Women’s Building Lounge

Linda Nicholson, Ph.D., the Susan E. and William P. Stiritz Distinguished Professor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and professor of history, in Arts & Sciences, will moderate a panel discussion with David Konig, Ph.D., professor of law in the School of Law and professor of history in Arts & Sciences, and Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in political science in Arts & Science, to examine the legend versus the real man, and consider whether the philosophical and moral ambiguities he wrestled with during his lifetime have modern connotations.

A Discussion about Race and Identity

4 p.m., Wednesday, February 25, Danforth University Center Fun Room

Students and faculty will converge for an informal and candid conversation about being a member of a minority group in America today.

Paul Alivisatos

11 a.m., Wednesday, March 4. Graham Chapel

Nanoscience and its applications will play a major role in future scientific and medical breakthroughs, and for the past two decades, Alivisatos has been at the forefront of this revolution. In his talk, the Compton Lecture, he will describe his work and the promise it holds for creating new imaging tools.


Janine Benyus

5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 19. Location TBA

Benyus is a leading theorist and practitioner of the new discipline of biomimicry, which develops sustainable technologies inspired by ideas from nature. Benyus’s talk is sponsored by Engineers without Borders and the Architecture School.

Robert Osserman

4 p.m., Wednesday, March 25. Steinberg Auditorium

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is not only a monumental architectural structure, it’s also a mathematical marvel. Osserman will explore the concepts involved in the Arch’s design. (Note: An exhibition, “Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future,” is at the Kemper Art Museum through April 27.)

Henry “Roddy” Roediger III

Monday, March 30, 4 p.m. Graham Chapel

Roediger, Ph.D., the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences, will deliver the annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture. An expert in human memory function, his most recent research focuses on applying cognitive psychology to improve learning in educational situations.

Morgan Spurlock

7 p.m., Wednesday, April 1. Graham Chapel

In 2005 Spurlock received an Oscar nomination for “Super Size Me,” an indictment of Americans’ unhealthy eating habits. His film, “Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?” was released in 2008. This is the Congress of the South 40 Lecture.

Richard Martin

4 p.m., Thursday, April 9. Steinberg Auditorium

The distinguished scholar in Homeric poetry and ancient Greece will deliver the annual Biggs Lecture in the Classics. Martin’s work centers on the way in which Homer was appreciated as performance art in his time, and compares ancient Greek poetry with modern rap.

The “Onion” Guys

7 p.m., Thursday, April 9. Graham Chapel

“Fake” newscasters Chad Nackers and John Harris of “The Onion” will bring their satire to campus. The popular weekly newspaper and now also a “fake” News Network, “The Onion” has contributed its share of political hilarity this past campaign season with such articles as “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.” This program is sponsored by WUnderground and the University Libraries.

Theresa Wilson

11 a.m., Wednesday, April 15. Graham Chapel

Wilson is leading thousands of women in some of the poorest countries out of poverty with her non-profit organization, The Blessing Basket. The concept, connecting basket weavers directly with consumers, translates a simple purchase into one that makes a big impact. The Women’s Society of Washington University Adele Starbird Lecture, “Making a Purchase that Makes a Difference: The Blessing Basket Project,” will close the Spring 2009 Assembly Series.