Oct 04 Wednesday
Every Wednesday, September 13 to October 4
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
This course covers four main topics: the history of Islam, diverse cultures of Islam, and Islam and the Western World. There will be introductions to the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the development of Islamic law and theology, and the spread of Islam across the Arabian Peninsula. We will also explore the significance of the five pillars of Islam, the diversity of Muslim practices and beliefs, and the role of Islam in different regions of the world. Finally, examination of the historical and contemporary relationships between Islam and the Western world will include issues such as immigration, terrorism, and lslamophobia.
Convener: Mohammad Labadi was born in Jerusalem, Palestine, and moved to the U.S. when he was 19. He graduated from NIU with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s in business management from the Keller Graduate School of Business. Mohammad is deeply committed to positively impacting his community and is passionate about volunteering and helping others whenever he can.
All sessions meet in HSC Illinois Room.
Every Tuesday, September 12 to October 31
This lecture series will pick up where the previous one left off, describing the contributions of · Michelangelo as a major figure of both the High and late Renaissance in Italy. It will then proceed to major developments in the art and literature of Rome, Venice and other Italian cities throughout the sixteenth century, including Giorgione, Titian, Cellini, Veronese, Ariosto, Stampa, Tasso, and the literary phenomenon of Petrarchism. The lectures conclude with certain developments of the early seventeenth century, especially the scientific revolution of Galileo whose view of the universe stands in marked contrast to the medieval notions of Dante, the subject of the first lecture series.
Convener: Christopher Nissen received his Ph. D. in Italian from the University of California at Berkeley, then taught Italian language and literature at NIU from 1988 to 2019. He is the author of numerous studies of Italian literature.
Every Thursday, September 14 to October 5
Recently, there has been a growing international enthusiasm for the repatriation of cultural objects to their “rightful origin.” However, much of the current clamor is rooted in [objects to their ‘rightful place of origin’] ethical and patriotic concerns that may not be held in their country of origin. This right-headed, “Western concern has often led to wrong-headed, misguided initiatives. The processes involved in a “return” being surprisingly complicated. The lecturer was involved in an agonizing 20-year effort to right such a cultural wrong through the return of a rare, stolen, 11th century Burmese Buddha image. A variety of other examples will be discussed.
Convener: Richard Cooler was a professor in the School of Art (1970-2002) and the founding Director of the Center for Burmese Studies (1986-2002).
Every Wednesday, September 13 to November 1
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Since its beginning, LLI has featured weekly talks by experts, primarily NIU faculty. We’ve learned about topics from ancient Rome to swarming robots. This fall’s topics include the physics of football, social media’s influence on health behaviors, understanding the disease of addiction, artificial intelligence, brewing whiskey, and more. As always, there will be time for questions of our speakers.
September 13Understanding the Baffling Disease of AddictionPaul PriesterNIU School of Interdisciplinary Health Professions
September 20Distilling Whiskey in the Corn FieldsJamie WalterWhiskey Acres Distillery, DeKalb
September 27The Questionable Influences of Social Media on Your Health BehaviorsLynn HerrmannPublic Health
October 4From Research to Practice: Chronic Disorders in Hearing & BalanceBlythe KitnerNIU Audiology Program
October 11Is This the Party to Whom I Am Speaking: How Automation & Artificial Intelligence Are Changing How We CommunicateAndrea GuzmanNIU Dept. of Communication
October 18The Physics of FootballMike EadsNIU Dept. of Physics
October 25Making Education Out of Jefferson in an Age of Racial ReckoningKerry BurchNIU Dept. of Leadership, Educational Psychology & Foundations
Thursdays, (Part 1) September 14, 21 and (Part 2) October 19, 26, and November 2
1 to 3 p.m.
Do you have plans to travel to a Spanish speaking country, just want to learn some travel phrases in Spanish or maybe just practice Spanish? All these opportunities will be available in this five-week class emphasizing useful Spanish travel vocabulary. All levels are invited, whether you know not one word of Spanish or you have a strong background.
Convener: Jan Modloff taught high school Spanish for many years, and in the past 20 years she has presented various LLI classes [mostly about the Spanish language, literature and travel].
All sessions meet in HSC Illinois Room except for Thursday, Oct. 19, when we'll meet in HSC Room 406.
Chat GPT, DALL-E and other generative AI technologies are changing the face of human creativity and impacting professions in marketing, art and literature. However, polarizing arguments about these new technologies’ ability to either save or doom humanity are at least as old as Plato – who recorded a debate about that new fantastic and disruptive technology that was called writing more than 2,000 years ago.
Join two experts in new and emerging technologies to learn more about the practical and ethical implications of artificial intelligence on creativity and communication. They’ll help us understand how a computer with no brain can “see,” “learn” and “create” art, how this technology reproduces human biases, and some of the short- and long-term effects of generative AI on human audiences. They’ll also provide historical context to help us better understand recent technology as yet another iteration in a long line of technical innovations that have contributed to and helped us better understand what we mean by “creative.”
David J. Gunkel, Ph.D., NIU Professor of Media Studies and Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry ProfessorAndy Jeon, PhD, NIU Assistant Professor of Marketing
Northern Illinois University STEM Cafés are part of NIU STEAM and are designed to increase public awareness of the critical role that STEM fields play in our everyday lives. They are offered in partnership with the NIU Alumni Association and made possible with support from Bayer Fund.
Oct 05 Thursday
Thursday, October 5
Just as Freudian and Jungian psychologies have enriched our understanding of the arts, the psychedelic-based psychology of Stanislav Grof adds another. This talk will show how to use Grof’s view of our minds as an additional kind of psychocriticism.
Convener: Tom Roberts has led several LLI groups over the years. Starting in 1981, he taught the world’s first university based psychedelic course, predominately in Northern’s Honors Program. Related books include those on psychedelic medicine, spirituality, policy, and education. His most recent book MindApps, presents psychedelic contributions to the humanities, including a chapter on Grof.
This session will meet in HSC Illinois Room.