Welcome to WheaTalks 2018! Find out about the speakers below. Join us on April 12th at 7:30 PM in Hindle Auditorium to hear them!

Casey Smith

Casey Smith: How Charlemagne Stopped the Apocalypse: Historical Perceptions of Tragedy

This talk will focus on the “apocalyptic” events at the turn of the 9th century that coincided with a Biblical prophecy that the world would end in the year 800. Charlemagne’s Frankish Kingdom was suddenly wrought with eclipses, earthquakes, famines, and plagues that, to many Carolingians, seemed scenes straight from the Bible. At the time, responses of the Carolingian court were heavily divided about whether this was the end of days or not, and today historians debate whether Charlemagne changed the calendar system in order to “prevent” the end of the world or sheerly for political reasons. Interestingly, even though we now have modern technologies to understand tragedies and natural disasters, we still possess a deep-rooted fear of a prophetic apocalypse. Whether it be 800 or 2018, we still seem to possess conflicting ideas of scientific understandings of disasters and spiritual, prophetic interpretations. This talk will focus on the troubling events of Charlemagne’s time, the nature of religion in the Middle Ages (and our modern misconceptions about it), and the connection of these factors to our understanding of reactions to tragedy in an age of less sophisticated

James McFatter

Mob Mentality on the Internet

The internet is home to some of the most unique cultures around, namely, memes and hoaxes can spread like wildfire, and in an instant, one person can get a certain image or idea to reach hundreds of millions of people. We’ve seen this power used in ways which have made the web a better place(by identifying issues online and constructing solutions, such as assembling battleforthenet.com), have caused some (mostly) harmless chaos(like with some “pranks” people have pulled in the past), and have caused a few disasters(with some cases of false “witch hunting”). I want to do an analysis of whether or not “mob mentality” on the internet is a good thing or a bad thing for our society. Is it a good thing that we can have a giant swarm of people ready to point out and solve problems online, or is the internet merely a hornet’s nest which can severely damage people?

Kyla Goux

Humanize My Hoodie

Humanize My Hoodie is a social-cultural movement that was started by Jason Sole, President of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP’s, to help bring awareness and discussion to the threat perception of black men who wear hoodies. During the month of January, I conducted research of a mostly white sample to see what their threat perception was in regards to black and white men wearing hoodies and how/if Humanize My Hoodie could make a difference on their perception. My research was eye-opening and I want to share what I found with my community and beyond.

Graham Johnson

Finding Your Therapy

If people pursue hobbies that they enjoy and would like to be good at, it can function as a means of mindful self-care. This is a very beneficial concept to the student body, due to how many students may struggle to keep in mind just how accessible mindfulness and mental health self-care can be. For example: practices such as yoga and meditation can be seen as options on campus for relieving stress, but these options are simply not for everybody. Individuals with physical disabilities may struggle to keep up with these activities, for example, while other people simply might not be able to get themselves immersed within the activities at all.

Kaitlyn Megathlin

Re: Public Project – Bringing Open-Source Textbooks to Wheaton

In Roosevelt @ Wheaton’s assessment, the current state of the market for textbooks is a heavily skewed one. At establishments of higher learning, there is widespread (even ubiquitous, at many colleges and universities) institutional reliance on proprietary textbooks peddled by a monopolistic group of mega-publishers. The situation has lead to skyrocketing costs for these learning materials, despite dubious necessity for the hikes. This dynamic puts a financial strain on students, and can present barriers to full academic participation for those with low incomes or who do not have the means to pay exorbitant sums up front.