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Winter Term 2012 - Jackson, WY

Winter Term 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson


Saturday U welcomed Paul V.M. Flesher, associate professor and director of the Religious Studies Program; Susan Aronstein, professor in the Department of English; and Klaas Van't Veld, associate professor in the Department of Economics. Their presentations took place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson.

8:30-8:45 a.m.  Coffee and Donuts

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00-10:00 a.m.  Church and/or State:  A Difference to Die for?
Paul V.M. Flesher, Associate Professor and Director, Religious Studies Program, University of Wyoming

Paul Flesher

What is the relationship between a people's religion and their government? Americans often think our separation of church and state is a model for the world. Yet in China, government rejection of religions is resulting in continuing crackdowns on Tibetan Buddhists and Chinese Catholics. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, religion is moving closer to government, as evidenced by the results of the Arab Spring. We'll look at different ways cultures around the world have handled the relationship of religion and government and how America might navigate the world's turbulent waters of church-state relations, in the coming years, at home and abroad.

10:15-11:15 a.m.

Find Your Grail! Monty Python on Broadway
Susan Aronstein, Professor, Department of English, University of Wyoming

Susan Aronstein

Eric Idle's Spamalot, "lovingly ripped off" from the cult classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, opened on Broadway in 2005. We'll examine Idle's translation of a very-British 1974 film into a very-American Broadway musical. We will begin by looking at the film's youthful rebellion: it's a send-up of Hollywood film, the Arthurian legend, and the nostalgia for a medieval past that never was, a past in which strange women lying around in ponds distributing swords could be a basis for a political system. And then we'll look at what happened when the film's mud-and-muck medievalism met Broadway's glitter and glam.

11:30 -12:30 p.m.

Give Me Austerity & Fiscal Discipline, But Not Yet
Klaas Van't Veld, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Wyoming

Klaas Van't Veld

You would not know this from reading the newspaper or listening to politicians, but the vast majority of economists (both liberal and conservative) agree that (1) a large federal budget deficit is bad for the economy, but (2) the deficit should not be cut during a recession - if anything, it should be expanded, through tax cuts and/or increases in government spending. This talk will introduce just enough basic macroeconomics to explain why, using nothing more technical than a few charts and even a game or two.

12:45-1:45 p.m. - Lunch and Discussion 
Speaker Roundtable

Watch the video here:

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