Temporary cities to bio weapons: Gordy Forum fall series offers varied topics

August 25, 2012 9:10:30 PM



On Thursday, Sept. 6, the Gordy Honors College Forum series at Mississippi University for Women will present Dr. Ronald Cossman from Mississippi State University and his presentation on "The Burning Man Festival: A City of Front Porches (and fire, dust, fire, music, fire, structures on fire and mutant vehicles)."  


During the 6 p.m. program at Nissan Auditorium in Parkinson Hall on the MUW campus, Cossman will explore the geography and demography of Burning Man, a temporary city of 50,000 situated on a dry lake bed in Nevada. On the one hand, it is a temporary space that seeks to elude formal structures of control. Yet, over its 26-year run, principles have developed to provide order to this "city." This presentation examines front porches, participatory art and some really bizarre looking vehicles. 


The Forum Series, which opened Aug. 23 with a program on study abroad, continues through November with lectures, film and undergraduate research. 


Dr. Thomas G. Velek, director of the Gordy Honors College, said, "I'm pleased that the Forum Series continues to be one of the premier lecture series in the state. It strives to offer dynamic and stimulating presentations for the MUW campus and the community as a whole." 




The larger world 


On Sept. 20, Dr. Paul Mack of MUW will present "Biological Arms Races: What You Don't Know Can Still Kill You." Mack explains that the term "arms race" originated as a human construct over a century ago but has been adopted by biologists to refer to a wide range of co-evolutionary interactions. These interactions range from such classics as predator-prey standoffs to less direct conflicts between competitors for the same food source. All that is really needed is a basic antagonism -- a feature easily provided in a world where environments are variable and there are never enough resources to go around. 


The series continues Oct. 4 when Sen. Sally Burchfield Doty (R-Miss.) presents "Campaigns and Common Sense; How to Keep Your Sanity in the Crazy World of Politics."  


Sen. Doty represents Lincoln, Lawrence and portions of Simpson Counties in the Mississippi Senate. Her committee assignments include drug policy and economic development. She serves as the committee chair for Gov. Bryant's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force.  


Continuing the pre-election theme, attorney Elizabeth Crowell of Jackson will present "It is Your Vote and It Still Matters" on Nov. 1. Crowell is a representative of the American Association of University Women. 


The Forum Series concludes on Nov. 8 and 29 with the Honors College's Fall Research Symposiums. The event showcases the undergraduate research of MUW seniors who are working on honors research projects. A poster session will be presented by students midway through projects and final research presentations will be made. 


Velek said, "This semester there are so many students doing honors research that the symposium had to be spread across two evenings. "It is exciting that we have so many students doing undergraduate research and that the quality of the work done at MUW is so high." 


All presentations are at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium and are free and open to the public. Speakers are available to meet and greet members of the audience. For further information or to reserve group seating, contact Velek at [email protected] or 662-241-6850, or visit web2.muw.edu/index.php/en/main-honors/.