The Patten Lecture Series

Permanent link for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/2022/3191

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    From Rio de Janeiro (1992) to Paris (2015) to the Future: Why is international cooperation on climate change so difficult to achieve and will it get easier?
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2023-10-26) Oppenheimer, Michael
    Just as countries seemed to be turning a corner at Paris, COVID, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting instability in energy markets have drawn attention elsewhere. Meanwhile, at the Glasgow Climate Summit (2021), negotiators had to face yet another politically complex and confounding aspect of the climate issue -- “loss and damage” to the world’s poorest countries due to climate change. Has international cooperation on climate change reached a dead end? Will other concerns continually push it off center stage, delaying a successful global effort to solve the problem and exposing humanity to ever greater climate risk? What have we learned about treaty-making on climate change over the past 30-plus years that should make us either optimistic or pessimistic about international cooperation?
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    Short Memories, Long Time Frames, Perverse Incentives: How Well Will We Adapt to Climate Change?
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2023-10-24) Oppenheimer, Michael
    Humanity is accustomed to highly variable weather but climate, the average weather over the long term (for example, a human lifetime), was quite predictable. In the US, we established institutions like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program to cushion the shock of those rare extreme events, like landfall of a category 5 hurricane, a once-per-century flood of a major river system, or a severe multiyear drought, but as far as the climate went, we didn’t need to think ahead because it wasn’t changing. Now, those days are gone and we face a continuously evolving climate for decades to come. The most challenging aspect is that those formerly rare events are becoming commonplace, each having the potential to compound the damage from the last. Are our institutions up to the task of dealing with the increasing frequency of hazardous events? Is human psychology capable of the forward planning required to limit the damages? Can our political system provide adequate incentives to policy makers to think and act ahead?
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    Overcoming Vetocracy: Democratic Decision-making and the Climate Crisis, Part II
    ([Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University], 2023-03-30) Fukuyama, Francis
    "Liberal democracies constrain power by imposing legal constraints on the exercise of power. Among developed democracies, the United States has one of the most extensive sets of checks and balances. When combined with the country's current polarization, this institutional setup often leads to what I have termed "vetocracy," in which there are so many veto points that even the simplest forms of collective action become impossible. The US and other liberal democracies will face major challenges in the coming years in making difficult and costly decisions to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Is there a way of reducing vetocracy without undermining basic principles of liberal democracy? We do not want to imitate China, which stands at the opposite end of the spectrum as a consolidated authoritarian state with virtually no checks on the power of the Communist Party. These lectures will look at institutional measures that democracies might adopt to improve decision-making and implementation."
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    Overcoming Vetocracy: Democratic Decision-making and the Climate Crisis, Part I
    ([Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University], 2023-03-28) Fukuyama, Francis
    "Liberal democracies constrain power by imposing legal constraints on the exercise of power. Among developed democracies, the United States has one of the most extensive sets of checks and balances. When combined with the country's current polarization, this institutional setup often leads to what I have termed "vetocracy," in which there are so many veto points that even the simplest forms of collective action become impossible. The U.S. and other liberal democracies will face major challenges in the coming years in making difficult and costly decisions to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. Is there a way of reducing vetocracy without undermining basic principles of liberal democracy? We do not want to imitate China, which stands at the opposite end of the spectrum as a consolidated authoritarian state with virtually no checks on the power of the Communist Party. These lectures will look at institutional measures that democracies might adopt to improve decision-making and implementation."
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    What I learned since I wrote Learning from the Germans
    ([Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University], 2023-02-28) Neiman, Susan
    "My most recent book argued that Americans--and other peoples--have much to learn from Germany about historical reckoning. Historically, nations cultivate heroic narratives; failing that, they seek narratives of victimhood. Germany was the first nation to confront its vast crimes during World War II, and acknowledge that it had been neither hero nor victim but perpetrator. This may seem obvious to outside observers, but this process was a long and hard one; in the first four decades after the war, West Germany considered itself the war’s worst victim. Dedicated grassroots work, along with foreign policy considerations, forced far-reaching changes in attitude. In the past two years, however, German historical reckoning has gone awry in many ways. I will discuss this, along with parallels to current developments in the U.S."
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    Left is not Woke
    ([Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University], 2023-03-02) Neiman, Susan
    "In the United States as in other countries, many people genuinely concerned to right historical wrongs have woven together an ideology often called “the woke left.” I will argue that this ideology is not, in fact, genuinely leftist, as it challenges many of the crucial ideas that have traditionally been central to all leftwing movements. I will argue for a new understanding of ideas of solidarity, justice and progress that have their roots in the much-maligned Enlightenment, and discuss how those ideas might be applicable today."
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    Partnership in Practice: Making Conservation Work in Madagascar
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2022-04-14) Richard, Alison
    Community-based approaches have gained attention in recent decades as crucial building-blocks for conservation in many regions of the world. But what does it take to make them work? Almost 50 years ago, leaders of a small community in southwest Madagascar joined with academics in Madagascar and the US to launch a partnership with the declared goal of helping people, forests and wildlife in the area flourish together. I trace the gradual development of this partnership from a “bargain struck” between constituencies with very different interests into a broadly shared endeavor. Today, it offers a model for transcending the small scale and limited impact typical of community-based-conservation initiatives, and a glimmer of hope that they can help safeguard the environment in Madagascar and beyond.
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    Madagascar: Journeys Through Time
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2022-04-12) Richard, Alison
    Madagascar has always been a place of change, as even a brief glimpse at its long history makes clear. A widely held view is that human activities alone have driven recent environmental changes, and the island is a poster child for human destructiveness: forest cover has declined sharply, and all the largest-bodied animal species have gone extinct within the past thousand years. Evidence bearing on the decline and disappearance of the island’s giant elephant birds raises many questions about this simple story of human-driven change. A more nuanced understanding of the past is a vital foundation for efforts to ensure the continued survival of the many unique plants and animals to which Madagascar is still home.
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    Hiding in the Climate Crisis: Honest Hope in Democratic Action
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2021-11-11) Lappé, Frances Moore
    It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the simultaneous political, economic, and climate crises upon us, but Frances Moore Lappé digs to their interacting roots so we can be sure that in attacking them our actions matter. Lappé shows us how our peculiarly brutal form of capitalism—enabling Big Money’s corruption of our democracy—has brought on climate catastrophe. Lappé also exposes and uproots our culture’s myths about our own nature that hinder us. Our deepest human needs beyond the physical are for power, meaning, and connection, she argues, and only democracy can fulfill them. Stepping up to meet our historic crises becomes an opportunity to meet our own legitimate needs. Through inspiring stories and startling facts on effective climate actions, Lappé helps us realize our own power to generate a new story as we tackle root causes with exhilarating, courageous action—together.
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    Diet for a Small Planet: From Choice to Necessity
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2021-11-09) Lappé, Frances Moore
    Frances Moore Lappé shares her journey from an awakening that led to the three-million-copy Diet for Small Planet in 1971. Starting with events triggering her to ask, “why hunger?”, she describes how this question led her to a life-long quest probing “the question behind the question.” She identifies both the progress in both understanding and partially realizing holistic solutions to food and hunger as well as shocking, backward motion worsening ecological destruction and human health. The actions she advocated in 1971 as positive choices are now absolute essentials, Lappé explains. Throughout she stresses the “power of ideas” guiding human action—how limiting ideas have trapped us on the wrong path as well as how a new, more holistic “story” is emerging. From courageous actions across the planet, some in surprising places, she identifies a positive remaking of our understanding of human capacities that can inspire our effective action.
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    FULLNESS: Next
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2020-02-27) Kieran, Stephen; Timberlake, James
    James Timberlake’s lecture, FULLNESS: Next, explores how FULLNESS: The Art of the Whole might be interpreted through unbuilt work, future work, and current research – revealing the art, science, and beauty of architecture in data, fact, and logic, and in the seams of program, life, work, and production.
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    FULLNESS: The Art of the Whole
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2020-02-25) Kieran, Stephen; Timberlake, James
    Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake proceed from the belief that architecture is most resonant, beautiful, and artful when it connects deeply across levels and dimensions in ways that resolve into a new whole—a whole that is expansive, unified, and far greater than the sum of its parts. Their lecture FULLNESS: The Art of the Whole explores how beautiful design arises from the art and science of a deep, query-based research process, and includes many individuals and many (often competing) influences. Central among these influences is an ethical commitment to researching and envisioning anew the ways in which architecture and planning can address some of the most pressing issues of our time: the international crisis of affordable shelter and the role that carbon consumption plays in global warming and the decimation of our physical environment. Using project examples from the past decade, they will discuss the evolution of their creative process over time, the expanding role of communication in their work, and how innovative new modeling and analysis technologies can become tools for dialogue and collaboration.
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    Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2019-11-05) Perry, Imani
    In this lecture, emerging from my book Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation, I will describe how the figure of the patriarch emerged as part and parcel of modernity, the nation-state, the Industrial Revolution, and globalization. Moving from this analysis of the root of patriarchy, I outline how digital media and technology, neoliberalism, and the security state continue to prop up patriarchy. By exploring the past and present of patriarchy in the world we have inherited and are building for the future, I describe how its mechanisms of domination are a necessary precursor to dismantling it.
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    From Me to We: Searching for the Genetic Roots of Sociality
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2019-03-20) Robinson, Gene
    Studies of genes and social behavior, aided by new genomic resources, are coming of age. Here, I highlight three of the insights that have emerged from these studies that shed light on the evolution and mechanisms governing social life: 1) Nature builds diverse social brains from common genetic blocks in insects and vertebrates, including those related to metabolism and transcriptional regulation; 2) Changes in the wiring of gene regulatory networks are involved in the evolution of insect societies; and 3) The social brain is addicted to altruism.
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    Sociogenomics and the Dynamic Genome: A New Perspective on Nature and Nurture
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2019-03-19) Robinson, Gene
    This lecture will describe the roots of sociogenomics and how it provides a new framework for understanding the relationship between genes and social behavior. The key discoveries underlying this framework will be discussed: 1) Brain gene expression is closely linked with behavior, across time scales, from physiological to evolutionary; 2) Environmentally induced changes in gene expression mediate changes in behavior; and 3) The relationship between genes and behavior is highly conserved, from animals to humans.
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    Marxism Engages Bourdieu
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2018-03-29) Burawoy, Michael
    The influence of Pierre Bourdieu has spread across disciplines and over the world. Like all the great sociologists before him, his theory emerges from a critique of Marx. In Bourdieu’s case the critique revolves around Marx’s failure to develop a theory of cultural domination. But, like his predecessor sociologists, Bourdieu reduces Marxism to Marx and, thus, never engages such figures as Lukács, members of the Frankfurt School, Beauvoir, Fanon, Freire and above all Gramsci, all of whom address the question of cultural domination. In this lecture I develop the comparison of Bourdieu and Gramsci, starting out from the difference between symbolic domination and hegemony that entails further contrasts: between the field of power and civil society; classification struggle and class struggle; academic and subaltern theories of knowledge; and traditional and organic intellectuals. These divergent perspectives on cultural domination have dramatic implications for the critique of society and what is to be done.
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    Universities in Crisis
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2018-03-27) Burawoy, Michael
    The university reflects the society which it shapes. Its “functions” can be understood it terms of the challenges it faces. Today, the university is under assault from both economic and political forces. The result is that its professional and policy functions dominate its critical and public functions, giving rise to four sets of crises: fiscal, administrative, identity and legitimation. There is no restoring university autonomy and its public character without recomposing it from within. The analysis will be illustrated with a preliminary study of the University of California, Berkeley.
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    Sadie and the Sadists: A Reading of New Poems and Song Lyrics
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2017-09-12) Muldoon, Paul
    In addition to his interest in the lyric poem, which he has now been exploring for fifty years, Paul Muldoon is drawn to the shadowy domain of the song lyric. His reading tonight focuses on new poems and songs, as well as work included in the recently published Selected Poems 1968-2014 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and Sadie and the Sadists (Eyewear).
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    Taking Risks: Oil Frontiers and the Accumulation of Insecurity
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2017-02-28) Watts, Michael
    Oil frontiers are the social spaces associated with the exploration and development of one of the most global and strategically important resource sectors of contemporary capitalism: oil and gas fields. Through an examination of two oil frontiers – one in the Global South (Nigeria) and the other in the Global North (the Gulf of Mexico and the US outer continental shelf) – this lecture explores the particular qualities of frontiers in general, and why oil frontiers arise in conditions in which questions of authority, the rule of law and governance conspire to produce what I call the accumulation of insecurity. These oil frontiers were both marked by risks and forms of precariousness which culminated in profound crises: in one case, an environmental disaster (the blowout and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010), and in the other, the rise of an insurgency (in the Niger delta in 2005). Through a comparative examination of the dynamics of these two resource frontiers, I demonstrate how a geographical perspective can shed light on the shifting landscape of risk and precarity within neoliberal capitalism.
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    Forty Years After: Reflections on Food, Famine and Hunger in the West African Sahel
    (Indiana University William T. Patten Foundation, 2017-03-02) Watts, Michael
    Almost a half century ago, the West African Sahel – stretching from Senegal in the west to the Horn of Africa in the east – experienced a raft of massive food crises in which millions of people died from hunger and disease. Situated on this larger canvas, during the mid-1970s, I tried to understand the relations between drought-prone regions and the onset and dynamics of famine through an historical and local village study in northern Nigeria. The book which emerged from that research – Silent Violence – was published in 1983 but was reprinted in 2014 against the backdrop of recurrent and widespread hunger and food insecurity in the region. In 2016, some 4 million people were again confronting famine-like conditions in the northeast of Nigeria alone. In this lecture, I revisit Silent Violence as a way of exploring why hunger and famine have proved so durable and resistant in semi-arid West Africa. Currently, the region is caught between the challenges of global climate change and new threats associated with terrorism, illicit economies, and so-called "fragile and conflicted states." Most striking of all is the rise of a new and widely influential development discourse and form of analysis – resilience theory – which purports to offer new insight on vulnerability and food insecurity, and offers sets of practices to build resilient communities, households, and individuals: to make farmers and pastoralist drought- and famine-proof. By revisiting the critical analyses of famine that emerged in the 1980s, I offer an assessment of these contemporary approaches to food security in the Sahel and consider whether they are capable of resolving the serial food crises and the recurrent famine-proneness of the region.