POSTPONED: Only Connect: On Writing and Cultural Diplomacy, or How I Found Myself at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan and Other Adventures

This event has been postponed until the fall. Only Connect: On Writing and Cultural Diplomacy, or How I Found Myself at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan and Other Adventures A Public Lecture and Reading by Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa Monday, March 30, 2020 12:00-1:00 pm The Dr. Paul and Natalie Strasser Legacy Room Room 220 Eggers Hall Syracuse University Campus A light lunch will be provided. This will be a lecture and reading by a writer who has conducted more than fifty cultural diplomacy missions to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Congo, Venezuela, and other places of strategic interest to the United States. This lecture is supported by the 2019-2020 Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program, the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach in the Burton Blatt Institute, and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART — live captioning) will be provided. For other accommodation requests, or if you have any questions, please contact Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri at 315-443-2156 or by 3/23/20. Disability Arts and Culture as Vital Performance: As disability art and culture have become important elements in the extraordinarily diverse field of American art and social advancement, the international involvement of disability arts in our nation’s diplomatic exchanges is critically important. This is one of many events designed to highlight disability as a vital source of knowledge and imagination. As we seek to expand, create, and advance interdisciplinary, intersectional educational programs, research, and pedagogy focused on disability justice, identities, cultures, and studies, these literary events both explore the somatic intelligence of disability arts and culture and form a dialogue to think together about the very nature of disability travel and literary work as diplomacy.


CANCELED: Paul Volcker Symposium in Behavioral Economics

This event has been canceled.   The Volcker Symposium features young scholars working on the forefront of behavioral economics. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Environmental Decision Making.” The panelists this year are Shahzeen Attari (Indiana University), Alex Maki (Department of Energy), and Lisa Zaval (Columbia University).


CANCELLED: Laura McCall, Lecture

The Setnor School of Music has cancelled this event in response to concerns around COVID-19 (coronavirus). For continued updates on the University’s policies surrounding COVID-19, please visit: Laura McCall, an instructor of voice at the Setnor School of Music, gives a lecture.


CANCELLED: Michael Spooner | Visiting Artist Lecture Series

This event has cancelled in response to concerns around COVID-19 (coronavirus). For continued updates on the University’s policies surrounding COVID-19, please visit: J. Michael Spooner has worked as a concept designer in the animation industry for 35 years with such notable companies as Pixar, Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, and DreamWorks. His impressive array of projects include: The Emperor’s New Groove, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, (Walt Disney Feature Animation); Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Goof Troop, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and A Goofy Movie (Walt Disney Television Animation); Hotel Transylvania 2 (Sony Pictures Animation); and Shrek (DreamWorks). In 1999 Michael moved to Chicago with Big Idea Productions, home of the popular 3D animated video series, VeggieTales, heading up their Visual Development Department, and as Art Direction Consultant on Big Idea’s first full-length theatrical release, Jonah. Shortly after, he started Spoonerville Animation Design, an independent visual development and illustration studio, providing both traditional and CGI computer-design concepts for clients such as, Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation and Big Idea. In 2013 Michael was offered a position with Sony Pictures Animation to work on Hotel Transylvania 2, Surf’s Up 2, Emoji, Smurfs: The Lost Village, and other projects, then moved to Warner Animation Group for the theatrical feature, SCOOB. Michael graduated with distinction from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, and taught drawing and illustration there for twelve years while working as an editorial illustrator. He lives in Los Angeles with his writer-wife, Beverly Spooner, and son Philip. Michael is a visiting artist and lecturer, presenting in colleges, universities, art schools and animation studios throughout the United States. Visit Michael’s online portfolio at Contact Michael at or: (630) 301-0895.    


CANCELLED: Hindi-Urdu Culture and Conversation Table-SAC

Please join us for a great opportunity to practice your Hindi-Urdu conversation skills. All are welcome to attend, from beginners to native speakers. This event is sponsored by the South Asia Center at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. Contact Emera Bridger Wilson ( for more information or for accommodations.


CANCELED: Rethinking Informality: Waste, Market Exchange, and the Commodity-Form

This event has been canceled.   Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs South Asia Center presents Waqas Butt, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto Scarborough Rethinking Informality: Waste, Market Exchange, and the Commodity-Form Waste materials in Pakistani cities put on full display how discarded commodities mediate desire and consumption under contemporary capitalism. This talk explores the kabāṛīan (junkyard owners) and bīopārīan (middlemen or brokers) as figures who accumulate waste materials through relations of exchange and indebtedness with waste workers and suppliers. In doing so, this talk explores the workings of informal economies, in which the commodity-form obscures the work performed by low or non-caste groups that reproduces urban life across Pakistan. Please contact Emera Bridger Wilson at for any questions or concerns.


CANCELED: Hidden Lithospheric Scars and Perennial Plate Tectonics

The Department of Earth Sciences presents the K.D. Nelson Lecture Series featuring guest speaker, Russell Pysklywec, from the University of Toronto. The focus of Pysklywec’s research program is to study deformation of the solid Earth–in particular exploring the complex dynamical couplings between convection in the mantle, tectonics in the crust, and surface processes controlled by the atmosphere.  Broadly, the goal of the work is to determine the driving forces for lithospheric tectonics on the active surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies.

CANCELED: AAPI Heritage Month Paving the Way

AAPI Heritage Month “Paving the Way” Alumni Speaker event featuring journalist and writer Mitchell Kuga ’09. Kuga is a Newhouse alumni living in New York City. His writing has been published in GQ, T Magazine, The Village Voice, and Condé Nast Traveler, and he is the 2019 recipient of the Excellence in Online Journalism Award from NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He will discuss the particularities of growing up fourth generation Japanese American; his clumsy transition from Hawai’i to Syracuse; self-tokenizing as a queer Asian person; toiling on the fringes of queer media; and the ongoing process of learning to write himself into existence. Yes, he is a Pisces. This event is has been made possible by Co-Curricular Fee funding and is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Syracuse University Multicultural Advancement, and LGBT Resource Center.  To request accommodations, please contact Huey Hsiao at by March 3.


CANCELLED: PLACA Presents Melissa Castillo Planas

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs Program on Latin America and the Caribbean present Melissa Castillo Planas, Assistant Professor of English, Lehman College Sponsored by Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, and Program on Latin America and the Caribbean Contact Havva Karakas-Keles for more information:


Moby-Dick and Environmental Trauma: The Leviathan in the Permanent Collection

Can we in the 21st-century learn about the harms of environmental devastation and the resilience of communities by reading Moby-Dick? Join Lenny Grant, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, as he combines passages of Herman Melville’s 1851 novel with images in the permanent collection to explore how we and our natural world can endure in the time of climate change.


CANCELED: Jade: An Epic Journey from the Depths of Earth to the Museum Halls of New York

The Department of Earth Sciences presents the last K.D. Nelson Lecture Series of the Spring 2020 semester, featuring guest speaker, Kennet Flores, from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Kennet is a geologist specializing in plate tectonics and geodynamics of subduction zones. He is a self-proclaimed field regional geologist who applies various techniques, including structural geology, geochemistry, metamorphic petrology, geochronology and sedimentology, to develop geodynamic scenarios and plate tectonic models. His other foci are the evolution and modeling of the plate tectonics of convergent margins and the exhumation of HP/LT mélanges and belts around the world.

CANCELED: Jerry Miner Lecture: Susanna Loeb

This event has been canceled.   Susanna Loeb will be this year’s speaker. Professor Loeb is Director of the Annenberg Institute and Professor of Education & International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Her research focuses broadly on education policy and its role in improving educational opportunities for students. The annual Jerry Miner Lecture is sponsored by EFAP and named in honor of Emeritus Professor, Jerry Miner. Professor Miner is an Education Finance and Accountability Program (EFAP) faculty associate who is widely known for his research in public finance and education finance. He is one of very few scholars who understands the New York State Education aid formulas.