Scientists, humanists explore topics through monthly luncheon lectures

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville professors will tackle issues of religion, politics, history and weather when they resume a public, monthly luncheon lecture series this semester.

    The College of Arts and Sciences and the Liberal Studies Project offer the Meet the Professor series to highlight the college’s cultural and research offerings.

    The Thursday luncheon talks begin at noon in the University Club. Reservations are required, with $15 payment by check. To reserve a spot, contact Janna Tajibaeva at 502-852-2247 or janna@louisville.edu no later than the Monday before each event.

    Here are the spring 2020 semester talks:

    Jan. 9 – “Thomas Jefferson, Andre Michaux and the Expedition That Nearly Made Lewis and Clark a Footnote,” Lee Dugatkin, biology professor. He will share the story of how Jefferson became entangled in a natural history and political adventure involving a French botanist and explorer he dispatched on a North American journey to the Pacific Ocean.

    Feb. 6 – “Mad with Supernatural Joy: Black Religio-cultural Praxis in the Wake,” Brandon McCormack, Pan-African studies and comparative humanities professor. McCormack, who researches African American religions and culture, will start from sociologist-author W.E.B. DuBois’ description of slave religion in his classic “Souls of Black Folk” in his talk.

    March 5– “Louisville’s Urban Heat Island: More Than Just Hot Air,” Jason Naylor, geography and geosciences professor. While some studies have identified Louisville as having one of the fastest growing heat islands in the country, he will discuss the impact the city itself has on not only temperature but also local rainfall, thunderstorms and even severe weather.

    April 2 – “A Garden Beyond the Garden: The Mystical Vision of Paradise in Classical Islam,” Maryam Moazzen, comparative humanities professor. Moazzen, who teaches Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, will discuss how Muslim theologians and philosophers, as well as Sufi mystics, have re-examined and debated the fate of human beings in the hereafter.

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    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a communications and marketing specialist for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing, where she works in media relations and contributes to news about the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and Kent School of Social Work. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.