College of Arts and Sciences
Dean's Office

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2140
Fax: (248) 370-4280

2017-18 College of Arts and Sciences Theme

CAS Theme

In celebration of the liberal arts, the College of Arts and Sciences features annual themes that provide opportunities for students and faculty to investigate topics of interest from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. Theme events highlight the multiple facets of a single concept through the perspectives of the arts, literature, the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences.

The topic for 2017-18 is “Unity in Diversity.” A schedule of past events are listed below. Please check back for upcoming events and updates.

  • February 1, 5-6:30pm, Oakland Center, Banquet Room B - "The Future of Humanity: How We Shape Human Communities"
    Two opposing sociopolitical forces are now shaping the future of humanity in liberal societies.  One force is liberal eugenics and the other force is human rights.  Join us for a conversation on the moral implications presented by this conflict.  Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is one of the founders of critical disability studies, and she has developed a substantive and wide-ranging interdisciplinary career that engages feminist theory, cultural criticism, literary analysis, and most recently, bioethics. Her talk will run approximately 45 - 55 minutes with a question and answer session afterwards.
  • January 27, Varner Recital Hall performance, 205 Varner Hall post-performance discussion and reception - Soul Food
    “Soul Food” is a special event that reflects the unity within diverse religious traditions through the medium of music.  It is designed to unite our fractured community and celebrate the oneness of humanity.  This is a music event in which the descriptor of “food” is used metaphorically: attendees feed their spirits and experience the healing power of music while observing the many ways we are all connected.   A discussion with Religious Studies faculty and reception follow the performances. As part of the College of Arts and Sciences 2017-18 theme “Unity in Diversity,” the event is jointly sponsored by the City of Pontiac and Oakland University.

    Fall semester events:
  • September 15, 12pm, Oakland Room~ A Theory of Affective Agency: The Emotional Substrates of Electoral Support for Anti-Immigrant Policies in the Developed World
    Presenter: Nicholas Valentino,
    Research Professor, Center for Political Studies
    Professor, Department of Political Science
    Professor, Communication Studies
    Professor Valentino will discuss some of the factors that trigger opposition to immigration. His presentation will explore how depictions of anxiety, group cues, or immigration threat narratives, among others, help promote anti-immigrant attitudes.

  • November 15, 8pm, The Lab Theatre, 134 Varner Hall ~ A Performance of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” (adapted for the stage by Ian Wooldridge) followed by a panel discussion: “Animal Farm” Beyond the Soviet Union Allegor
    Director: Anthony Guest, MFA, Associate Professor of Theatre
    Panel: Paul Kubicek, PhD, Professor of International Studies
    Graham Cassano, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology
    Alison Powell, PhD, Assistant Professor of English
    Opening on a note of joyous triumph for the farm creatures who have emancipated  themselves from the cruel mastery of their human owner, audiences are left shaken with a tale of tragedy that begs the question: Could this happen in our own backyard?
The 2016-18 CAS theme graphic designed by John McCarthy, assigned by Maria Smith Bohannon, DES 350 (Graphic Design II).

Past themes:

  • Presidential Leadership (2004-2005)
  • Environmental Explorations (2005-2006)
  • Global Citizenship (2006-2007)
  • Cities (2007-2008)
  • Revolution (2008-2009) 
  • Religion and Society (2009-2010) 
  • Frontiers and Borders (2010-2011)
  • Water (2011-2012)
  • Cracking Codes: Literacy Now (2015-16)