Rockford, Illinois

First Tuesday Lecture Series

All RVC First Tuesday Lectures are free and open to the general public. Refreshments are served 30 minutes prior to each lecture start time. For more information call Kathy McCarty at 815-921-4009.

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September 1, 2015

Fictitious Feasts: The Role of Food in Literature and Film

This presentation explores the social and cultural uses of food in multiple short stories, novels, and films of various eras. Works likely to be covered in detail include Castillo’s “So Far From God” and Carver’s “A Small Good Thing.”

Presented by Dr. Karen Courtney, Professor of English
6:00pm in the
Student Center Atrium

October 6, 2015

Between Alarm and Awareness: Contemporary Representations of Autistic People

An exploration of two connected yet contrasting topoi (rhetorical commonplaces that facilitate communication, a motif) that account for many of the representations of autistic people in contemporary cultural and political discourse: alarm and awareness. On one hand, I will explore the topos of alarm which emphasizes diagnosis and impact in order to prompt political and educational change: Autism Speaks’ slogan, “Our 1 in 68 can’t wait” is indicative of this rhetorical move. On the other hand, I will consider the topos of awareness which focuses on the nuances of the lived experiences of autistic people: Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and the character, Max, on ABC’s drama, Parenthood, are both examples of this second topos. The lecture considers the rhetorical risks and rewards of each of these topoi in mobilizing particular types of responses and explores each through recent political and cultural representations.

Presented by Mathew Oakes, Professor of English
6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium

November 3, 2015

Establishing Access to Post Secondary Education Programs: A Review of RVC's First Ten Years

The defining events of Rock Valley College’s earliest years included opening the college, building the permanent campus, and stabilizing the budget. With its establishment in 1965, the college provided access to post-secondary education for students who previously had fewer options. By William Deegan’s and Dale Tillery’s definition, RVC was established during the third generation in the evolution of community colleges as institutions of higher education. Critiques of community colleges during the 1960s and early 1970s considered conflicts among the transfer and career education functions. Review of these critiques and applicability to opportunities and challenges faced by the college during the first 10 years.

Presented by Steve Thompson, RVC Library Outreach and Archivist
NOON in the Student Center Atrium

November 3, 2015

Exploitation in Clinical Drug Trials

With a number of internationally-run clinical drug trials increasing, the double standards between those in developed nations and those in developing nations are being scrutinized under the ethical microscope. Many argue that several pharmaceutical companies and researchers are exploiting developing nation participants. Two issues of concern are the use of a placebo-control when an effective alternative treatment exists and the lack of drug availability to the country that hosted the clinical trial should the experimental drug prove effective. Though intuitively this seems like an instance of exploitation, philosophically, exploitation theories cannot adequately account for the wrong doing in these cases. After explaining why existing exploitation fails and theories fail, I provide an alternative account of exploitation that can explain why the double standard in clinical research is harmful. I will also address the “standard of care” argument, which most defenders use to justify the double standard in clinical research. I elaborate on Ruth Macklin’s position that advocates of the “standard of care” position make three faulty assumptions: Placebo-controlled trials are the gold standard, the only relevant question responsive to the host country’s health needs is “Is the experimental product being studied better than the ‘nothing’ now available to the population?, and the only way of obtaining affordable products is to test cheap alternatives to replace the expensive ones. In the end, I advocate moving towards a universalizing of standards in order to avoid exploitation.

Presented by Dr. Danielle Fundora, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium 

December 1, 2015

A Case for Religious Pluralism

In a world of rich diversity, questions begin to arise about how to interact with people of different religious backgrounds. Are all religions the same? Is it possible for all religions to be true? What does a religious truth look like? We will examine one possible interpretation of religious pluralism as an attempt to resolve religious conflict and differences.

Presented by Brian Wagner, Philosophy Instructor
6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium

February 2, 2016

Community Health Awareness: Hypertension Presentation Signs, Causes and Prevention

An introduction to this silent disease (hypertension) that has multiple serious consequences if left undiagnosed or untreated. National and global statistics, causes and preventive methods will be discussed, and to a small extent, the current practices of management of high blood pressure.

Presented by Dr. Tabinda Azam, Biology Instructor
6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium

March 1, 2016

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A discussion of the causes and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the underlying physiological mechanisms, and what the current research says about the best treatments. Dr. Fisher will also discuss the results of her study on PTSD.

Presented by Dr. Erin Fisher, Professor of Psychology
6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium

April 5, 2016

Down to the Sea in Ships: The 15 Most Significant Naval Battles in World History

Continuing Dr. Quirk’s popular military history series, the 15 most significant sea battles in World History will be examined using visual sources and an analytical mode. The presentation follows Dr. Quirk’s exploration of aerial and land warfare.

Presented by Dr. Martin Quirk, Professor of History

6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium

May 3, 2016

Coping with the Smart Grid By Using a Smart Phone

Commonwealth Edison plans on launching Smart Grid Technology to our region in 2016. Consumers need to understand how this will affect their billing and why it will become very important to manage their own electrical energy usage. Appliances will form part of a wireless Home Area Network (HAN) using ZigBee. The improvements to the grid reliability need to be understood as well as the available scrutiny of our individual electrical energy usage by the power utility.

Presented by Dr. Tom Lombardo and Stephen Fleeman - Professors, Engineering & Technology Division
6:00pm in the Student Center Atrium

Download a printable version of all First Tuesday lectures


Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent those of Rock Valley College, the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees, their agents or employees.