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Colby-Sawyer Faculty Present Research at Colloquium Series

Colby-Sawyer College announces the Faculty Colloquium Series, which will feature monthly research presentations by Colby-Sawyer faculty. The series is free, open to the public and begins Thursday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. at Wheeler Hall in the Ware Student Center.

The opening colloquium, “Festivals and Nature in Japanese Art,” will be presented by Fulbright Scholar and Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Professor of Fine and Performing Arts Jon Keenan. With expertise in Japanese language and culture, East Asian art history, studio ceramics and ceramic history, Professor Keenan has been recognized with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Professor Keenan's studio work explores raku and high-fired glazed ceramics, along with anagama wood-fired functional and sculptural clay work. He has exhibited, lectured and consulted on acquisitions throughout the United States and abroad.

Humanities and Multidisciplinary Studies Teaching Fellow Paul Robertson will continue the colloquium series on Tuesday, March 18 at 4 p.m. in Wheeler Hall with his presentation “Comparing the Incomparable: Flattening Data from Different Religions and Cultures.”

Professor Robertson received a B.A. in the interdisciplinary classics/religion major at Reed College in 2006, and a Ph.D. in religious studies at Brown University in 2013. He teaches courses in humanities, religion, literature, writing and multidisciplinary studies. His current research explores the letters of the early apostle Paul. Professor Robertson uses interdisciplinary theory and quantitative mapping to understand and relate ancient Mediterranean social practices and texts from the purportedly different cultures of Greece, Rome, Judaism and early Christianity that actually suggest pan-Mediterranean phenomena. His other interests include early-Christian group formation, tracing the origins and developments of Western morality, defining religion, the role of religion in human evolution and cognition, the multi-disciplinary overlaps between the humanities and sciences, and philological projects in Byzantine paleography and early Syriac literature.

Concluding the colloquium series, Assistant Professor of Sociology Kate Turcotte will present “The Fate of a People: Oppression, Economic Shift, Climate Change and Human Agency in Kivalina, Alaska” on Thursday, April 17 at 4 p.m. in Wheeler Hall.

Professor Turcotte received her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Hampshire and teaches Individual and Community, Social Problems, and Race and Ethnic Relations at Colby-Sawyer. She has also taught courses on research methods, statistics, sociology of the family, sociology of gender, and sociology in film. Professor Turcotte's areas of interest include poverty, economic and social inequality, and community well-being. Prior to joining the Social Sciences and Education Department at Colby-Sawyer in 2013, she traveled to Alaska to study native populations in the Northwest Arctic and their sustainability, health and well-being. She has also led a student-driven research project on local issues, community health, and coping strategies in the face of personal and community adversity.

For more information, contact Academic Dean Burton Kirkwood at (603)526-3761 or

–Anurup Upadhyay '15

Anurup Upadhyay is a Business Administration major and a student writer for College Communications.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000