Resources for:

    Lecture Series

    Lecture Series

    2015-2016 College of Letters and Sciences Contemporary Issues Lecture Series


    FALL 2015

    Antwi Akom
    Campus Diversity Forum Keynote Lecture
    "From Urgency to Action: Ecojustice, Tech Innovation, and Community Revitalization"
    Monday, November 2, 2015
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium

    AkomAntwi Akom is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of I-SEEED (Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design - and Associate Professor of Environmental Sociology, Public Health, and STEM Education at San Francisco State University. Dr. Akom was recognized by the Partnership for Democracy and Education as one of twenty-one 21st century eco-visionaries. His work includes developing tools, ideas, and models that empower communities through community-driven technologies that improve planning and design processes, democratize data, and the way social services are delivered to low-income communities and people of color. Professor Akom has held research and academic appointments at UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco, Health Policy Institute, and currently San Francisco State University. Professor Akom received his Ph.D. in Urban Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.


    Annie Griffiths
    "Help a Woman, Help the Planet"
    Monday, November 30, 2015
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium

    GriffithsAnnie Griffiths, one of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, ( has photographed in nearly 150 countries. She is the Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document the programs that are empowering women and girls throughout the developing world, especially as they deal with the devastating effects of climate change. Griffiths has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, the National Organization of Women, The University of Minnesota and the White House News Photographers Association. With author Barbara Kingsolver, she produced Last Stand: America's Virgin Lands, a book celebrating the last pristine wilderness in North America. In 2008, Griffiths published A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel and in 2010, she published Simply Beautiful Photographs, which was named the top photo/art book of the year by Amazon and by Barnes and Noble.


    SPRING 2016

    Cameron Conoway
    "Bare Knuckle Warrior Poetics: On Fighting, Writing and the Worlds Between"
    Monday, February 29, 2016
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium

    ConowayCameron Conaway ( is a former MMA fighter, an award-winning poet and a creative writing instructor at Penn State Brandywine. While serving as the Poet-in-Residence at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand, Conaway wrote Malaria, Poems, the first full-length book of contemporary poetry about malaria's impact on the world and one of only five poetry collections to make NPR's Best Books of 2014 list. He has published several books of poetry as well as the memoir, Caged, the story of how he overcomes a very challenging family background and his own inner torment by learning to channel his frustrations into the physical world of mixed martial arts fighting and the cerebral world of poetry and writing. In 2011 Conaway spearheaded the Social Justice section at the Good Men Project. He currently serves on the Editorial Board at Slavery Today: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Human Trafficking Solutions.


    Elizabeth Kolbert
    "The Sixth Extinction"
    Wednesday, April 20, 2016
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium

    KolbertElizabeth Kolbert, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for The Sixth Extinction, has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. Her three-part series on global warming, "The Climate of Man," won the 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest, the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, and the 2006 National Academies Communication Award. She received a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2006 and a Heinz Award in 2010, and won the 2010 National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism. She is the editor of The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 and the author of The Prophet of Love: And Other Tales of Power and Deceit and Field Notes from a Catastrophe, which was selected as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year (2006) by The New York Times Book Review. In addition to being awarded the Pulitzer Prize, The Sixth Extinction was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014.

    This year's series is being co-sponsored by Continuing Education. COLS greatly appreciates the generous support.

    All events are free and open to the public. Contact Susan Johnson ( for further information.  For a full pdf of the events, please click here.


    College of Letters & Sciences
    Laurentide Hall 4100
    University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    800 W. Main Street
    Whitewater, WI 53190-1790


    Office of the Dean
    Rebecca Reichert
    Phone: (262) 472-1621

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