Indiana University’s annual Themester, organized the College of Arts and Sciences, presents opportunities to engage with students, colleagues, and the wider community in conversation on challenging issues. Each year the College invites speakers who possess significant scholarly or creative credentials, as manifested through performances, publications, or productions and independent of their political ideology.
The theme of Themester 2013 is “Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World” with a focus on the role of connection in society and in people’s lives. The following WTIU specials will deepen your understanding of the issues raised in this year’s Themester.
LONG ROAD HOME
Thursday, November 7 at 10 p.m.
Long Road Home explores the effect of wartime Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), offering compelling stories of Pittsburgh-area military veterans of Vietnam, Korea, and World War II still coming to terms with the emotional wounds of war.
The film documents successful therapies and promising research underway at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where doctors study the sleep and brain patterns of PTSD sufferers and examine the reasons why women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder.
The program concludes on a hopeful note, with a visit to a weekend retreat for veterans dealing with PTSD and combat stress. United by their experiences, the former servicemen and women discuss their struggles in civilian life, their need for closure, and their optimism for the future.
As part of Themester 2013, actress Glenn Close will present a talk at IU Bloomington, “Ending Stigma, Changing Minds and Saving Lives through Mental Health Advocacy.” Close will speak about the organization she founded that works to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, Bring Change 2 Mind. She works closely with her sister and nephew, who both live with serious mental illness.
Close will speak on November 5th at 3 p.m. at the Whittenberger Auditorium.
GLOBAL HEALTH FRONTIERS: FOUL WATER, FIERY SERPENT
Thursday, November 14 at 10 p.m.
Foul Water, Fiery Serpent is the first in a series of public television specials in the Global Health Frontiers series chronicling the devastating illnesses affecting the world’s poor. It follows a cast of engaging, passionate individuals as they confront the disabling parasitic infection known as Guinea worm disease.
The film, narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress Sigourney Weaver, documents the efforts of American health workers and community partners over the course of three years as they track the last-known reports of Guinea worm in Ghana and Sudan. Through a relentless cycle of success and failure, facing ignorance and tribal superstitions in a harsh, vast landscape ravaged by war, these dedicated young men and women struggle to drive an ancient enemy into extinction.
On November 14th, Kevin Lafferty, one of the world’s preeminent disease ecologists, will give a lecture as part of Themester 2013 titled “Food Webs and Disease Ecology.” His lecture will address the role of parasitism in ecological food webs, as it relates to the spread of infectious disease and the conservation of biodiversity, including fisheries that provide an important food source for humans. (The time and location of the lecture have yet to be determined.)
GOOSE POND: THE STORY OF A WETLAND & ITS NEIGHBORS
Thursday, November 21 at 10 p.m.
Goose Pond: The Story of a Wetland and Its Neighbors tells the compelling story of an 8,000-acre wetland marsh in southern Indiana formed thousands of years ago by receding Illinoisan glaciations.
Shortly after Indiana’s statehood in 1816, the federal government began encouraging settlers to dredge, drain, and tile Gosse Pond in an effort to make it suitable for farming. Because of the mucky soil and seasonal flooding, those efforts were only marginally successful.
Attempts were made for years by conservationists to reverse “progress” and restore the marsh to its original state as a refuge for the beautiful migratory birds that travel thousands of miles along the Mississippi Flyway between the southern tip of South America and the Arctic. After years of struggle, the effort finally succeeded with the completion of the Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, the largest and one of the most successful wetland restorations of its kind in U. S. history.
As part of Themester 2013, Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will give a lecture titled “Conservation Networks.” The lecture will take place Wednesday, November 20th at 3 p.m. in the Maurer School of Law, Moot Court Room (room 123).