Humanities Seminar: Works in the Works – Pinkie and The Blue Boy: Material Culture and Immigrant Identity


In June Cleaver’s home, reproductions of Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy (1770) and Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie (1794) hang in the foyer. For television viewers who tuned in to watch their favorite postwar family sitcom, “Leave it to Beaver,” the paintings represented traditional gender roles and a new type of domestic affluence and consumerism for middle-class Americans. The same reproductions hung in Paolina Belluccia’s Florida room. For family viewers and visitors, the paintings conjured up a range of emotions surrounding the politics of Italian identity and American domestic values. In this lecture, Dr. Scannell explores the peculiar presence and placement of these middle-class adornments in a contemporary immigrant’s home.

Humanities Seminar: Works in the Works – Prof. Zhijian Qian presents Is There a Chinese Type of Abstraction?


Professor Zhijian Qian writes:

In the recent worldwide resurgence of abstract art, Chinese artists are making their unique contribution with works inspired by the tradition of Chinese ink painting and calligraphy. Their exploration of new possibilities of abstraction is part of a global endeavor to revive and redefine abstract art. This presentation discusses the achievements of a group of contemporary Chinese artists who investigate such approaches as Calligraphic and Linear Abstraction, Gestural and Performative Abstraction, Textural Abstraction, Conceptual Abstraction, and Lyrical Abstraction.

All Welcome.

Humanities Seminar: Works in the Works: Exploring Persuasion in Health Communication (from Stating to “Shoulding”) A Talk by David Lee

[icon name=”calendar” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016

[icon name=”clock-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm

[icon name=”map-marker” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Location: A631


Globalization, migration, extreme weather events and multilingual populations present a need for better Health Communication. Public health campaigns are always trying new ways to reach target populations but these days people are bombarded with a cacophony of health related messages and it’s harder to break through the clutter. Understanding health promotion campaigns involves surfacing assumptions about what it is that communication can do beyond information transfer. Messages can state facts but also contain implicit instructions to the audience. This brisk introduction to communication pragmatics covers modal verbs (should or must), enthymemes (logical proofs missing a conclusion) and “indirect directives,” which are forms of advice stated as propositions. Examples from health campaign ads and science center exhibits are used to illustrate.


Faculty and students are invited.