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Libraries Lecture Series announces fall speakers

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The University of Kansas Libraries has announced the fall speakers for the Libraries Lecture Series. The series highlights the breadth of interdisciplinary research and creative work found on an expansive range of topics across campus.

Sarah Goodwin Thiel, head of KU Libraries’ Center for Community & Affiliate Initiatives, explained that the lecture series contributes to the campus culture of engaged scholarship and highlights the use of the libraries’ vast collections in internationally recognized research conducted by the KU community. “The series continues to serve as a platform to raise the profile of interdisciplinary scholarship within the university and beyond,” said Thiel.

The fall 2014 series features distinguished KU scholars. Upcoming installments will include Dr. Steven Duval, Rebecca Blocksome, Dr. Chris Beard, Dr. Pauline Coster and Dr. Town Peterson.

The lectures are free, open to the public, and begin at 3:30 p.m. on the dates and locations specified below. Refreshments will be provided.


Dr. Steven Duval and Rebecca Blocksome – September 18

Watson Three West

Thinking through: Practice-led research, interdisciplinarity and road building

Dr. Steven Duval, post-doctoral researcher for the ARC initiative, and Rebecca Blocksome, art editor at Spencer Museum of Art, will discuss the history of practice-led research, the role of hybrid practices in collaborative research and their work with the Spencer Museum of Art’s ARC (Arts-Research-Collaboration) initiative. Artists and curators have been making work for years that has produced knowledge, but how does this knowledge turn into what we would traditionally call research? This talk will revolve around this question and coincides with the Watson Library exhibition, “art+science: Collaborative research at the University of Kansas.”


Foundation Distinguished Professor Dr. Chris Beard and Post-Doctoral Researcher Pauline Coster – October 16

Watson Three West

Science in the midst of geopolitical instability: New data on early primate evolution in Libya

Foundation Distinguished Professor Dr. Chris Beard and Post-Doctoral Researcher Pauline Coster will discuss their recent fieldwork and associated research on early Cenozoic primates and other mammals in Libya. The project resonates with the current geopolitics following the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 and their aftermath, as well as the purely scientific issues relating to primate evolution and how climate change may have impacted early African ecosystems.

Dr. Beard is a 2000 MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Award” winner, and his discoveries of new primate groups have reshaped our understanding of the early history of mammals.


University Distinguished Professor and Senior Curator Dr. Town Peterson – November 20

Watson Three West

Merging science with history: Filling in a century of Mexican ornithology

University Distinguished Professor and Senior Curator Dr. Town Peterson focuses on aspects of the geography of biodiversity with a focus on tropical ornithology and systematics. He has conducted research focusing on the alpha taxonomy of birds, as well as on the phylogeny of recently radiated clades of birds. His work with the geographic and ecology of species' distributions has taken him into other fields, including conservation biology and planning, invasive species biology, and disease transmission systems. Dr. Peterson’s work is collaborative in nature, and usually involves geographers, computer scientists, and biologists.


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