Speakers Bureau talk

Description of a talk for the ORIAS Speakers Bureau

Farming for the Future: What should modern agriculture look like?

Speaker: Miguel Ochoa

How can we make the world a better place through food?

Agriculture is over 12,000 years old and forms the foundation of modern civilization. It is not one singular advancement, but rather many technological innovations built on top of each other. Yet while many of these technologies have helped humans produce staggering amounts of food, they have also brought new issues with them, such as soil degradation, excessive fossil fuel use, unhealthy diets, water...

Jewish and Muslim Coexistence in Morocco

Speaker: Leo Franks

How did Jews and Muslims coexist in Morocco?

This talk gently introduces students to Jews and Muslims in nineteenth-century Morocco. It explores how we can understand their coexistence. It introduces the topic of Jews' and Muslims' Moroccan coexistence to students through a series of interactive exercises. These exercises focus on encouraging students to understand the concept of coexistence. The exercises will teach them how to approach this word, which...

Courage and the Fight for Democracy in Hong Kong

Speaker: Alex Chow

What is the role of courage in the experiences of democracy protesters in Hong Kong?

Note: This presentation is possible in a 45-minute period but would benefit from a longer class period.

When students read about past social movements, they are able to assess historical actors’ choices and strategies with the benefit of hindsight. But people working for political or social change do not have this vantage point...

Fire the Monster, the Teacher, the Gift

Speaker: Ghaleb Attrache

How do we become friends of fire in a society that mostly teaches us to fear it?

"Fire the Monster, the Teacher, the Gift" is adapted from Ghaleb's dissertation project on fire management and intentional burning practices in California. The dissertation explores the different ways that, through burning, fire practitioners from governmental, non-governmental, and tribal backgrounds understand and engage with fire as a living being, and how these
understandings inform...

Aesthetics of Geopolitics: Art and Politics of Crisis at the Front Lines of the Taiwan Strait

Speaker: Chris Chan

What is the relation between art and war?

Taiwan and the islands in the Taiwan Strait have increasingly become the locus of heightening geopolitical tensions in the world and the site of a cultural and psychological contestation of the region’s uncertain future. This talk examines how artists, politicians and everyday villagers are mobilized at the front lines of China’s maritime border with Taiwanese-administered islands. Students will be introduced to a...

"Diaries of the Night" from Nazi Germany

Speaker: Sloane Nilsen

How can dreams inform us about history?

In 1966, German-Jewish journalist Charlotte Beradt released her magnum opus "The Third Reich of Dreams," a slim book containing over a hundred nightmares she had collected from ordinary Germans who lived in Berlin during the first six years of the Nazi dictatorship (1933-1939). What they demonstrate is a persistent political climate of anxiety and fear that could follow city residents under threat of...

China's Social Credit System: A Case Study in Misinformation

Speaker: Junius Brown

How does China’s “Social Credit System” actually work, and why is there so much misinformation about it?

For the last few years, the internet has been flooded with chilling stories about China’s social credit system. Bloggers, YouTubers, and even seemingly reputable news sources portray a high-tech dystopia in which AI and facial-recognition cameras track citizens’ every move to create a numerical loyalty rating that brings life-changing rewards and...

The "Dark Side" of AI: Technological Oppression in the Modern Era

Speaker: Lauren Chambers

How do we identify, understand, and resist the negative implications of widespread adoption of artificial intelligence?

As hype and excitement grows around algorithmic technologies and artificial intelligence, it's more important than ever to understand the broad impacts that AI can have on our society. Especially when governments adopt harmful technologies, or use technology in inappropriate ways, the scale of harm can be massive. Indeed, from facial...

Building the Nation, Building History: Monuments as Tools of Nation-Building in Twentieth-Century Europe

Speaker: Blaze Joel

How do states and ethnic groups use monuments as tools of unity and division in the aftermath of conflict?

All states seek to create a national identity to strengthen their domestic legitimacy. This is especially the case when a state and/or ethnic group undergoes a crisis moment that challenges its national narrative or sense of self. A central way in which nations do this is by commemorating national traumas. Memorials and monuments help to standardize, valorize...

Trust, Lies, and Misinformation

Speaker: Hannah DeBrine

When should we tell the truth? When should we believe someone?

Citizens today are subject to a wide variety of misinformation. But despite the risks, we can't get by without trusting other people. How can we deal with misinformation? In whom should we place our trust?

This lesson will introduce some basic concepts from epistemology (the theory of knowledge), with a focus on feminist epistemology, in an effort to give students some...