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Gonzaga’s New ‘Transformation Cafes’ Bring Faculty Lectures to Community Venues Starting Feb. 23

Gonzaga launches a series of free faculty lectures titled “Transformation Cafes,” presented in neighborhood venues on a wide variety of topics.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane-area residents are used to visiting the Gonzaga University campus for outstanding lectures from scholars in many fields. As part of its 125th Anniversary celebration, Gonzaga is launching a new series of free faculty lectures titled “Transformation Cafes.” Presented in neighborhood venues, Gonzaga brings scholars to the community to share knowledge, perspectives and the joy of learning with more residents. The series begins Saturday, Feb. 23.

What We Value, What We Eat. Features philosophy Associate Professor Ellen Maccarone. Saturday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. at Roast House Coffee Warehouse, 423 E. Cleveland Ave., Suite C.

Professor Maccarone will discuss how food choices and engaging around issues of food are expressions of deeply held values, involving a large variety of academic disciplines and professional fields. Learn how contemporary food studies make use of the Jesuit model for education to improve personal health and promote food advocacy, justice, and security worldwide.

Walking the Talk of Leadership. Features JoAnn Barbour, associate professor in Gonzaga’s Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies. Friday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at the E.J. Roberts Mansion, 1923 W. 1st Ave.

In 1985, Italian novelist and essayist Italo Calvino was about to leave Italy for Harvard to deliver a series of lectures when he died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as “Six Memos for the Next Millennium,” a compact little book filled with philosophy and wisdom about literature and writing. We will discuss the memos from a leader’s perspective, that is, how one embodies leadership or walks his or her talk with lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity, and consistency.

Humans as Cultural Animals: Implications for Psychological Diversity Between East and West. Features Vinai Norasakkunkit, assistant professor of psychology. Sunday, March 3 at 10 a.m. at Forza Coffee South Hill, 2829 E. 29th Ave.

Western notions of the self as independent and autonomous lead to assumptions about motivation, emotions, and thinking patterns that challenge globalization efforts, especially when engaging with traditionally collectivistic and conformist societies like Japan. Discover how emotional well-being and distress manifest differently across cultures, and how external pressures from globalization can impact individuals in these societies in negative and positive ways.

Does Student Testing Improve Education in America? Features Elaine Radmer, lecturer of educational leadership & administration. Saturday, March 23 at 10 a.m. at Indaba Coffee, 1425 W. Broadway Ave.

In this hands-on, interactive session, we will discuss the intended and real impacts of education reform since the late 1950s. Bring your perspectives and experiences to consider questions such as: Why do schools give standardized tests? Who is being held accountable? Are the tests helping or hurting?

Shakespeare (and others) in the Material World. Features Heather Easterling, associate professor of English. Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m. at The Shop, 924 S. Perry St.

Join a discussion on ways that scholarly interest in the plays of Shakespeare (and his peers) has become focused on their embeddedness in Renaissance culture and society. Far from being “for all time,” these plays are distinctly “of” their time. What does it mean to read Shakespeare (and others) in terms of early modern societies that did not always see literature as important? How did Renaissance anxieties about English as a language impact reading of this literature? Do these approaches change what these plays are staging? Join us for a unique look at well-known literature through new and influential lenses.

International and Intercultural Communication. Features Claudia Bucciferro, visiting assistant professor of communication arts. Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m. at The Little Garden Café, 2901 W. Northwest Blvd.

Worldwide travel has increased, transnational corporations reach the farthest regions of the Earth, and communication technologies provide instant access to distant places. How does this influence the way we communicate? How do these factors influence the way we see ourselves, our nation, and the people we consider to be “others”? Discover international and intercultural communication, a discipline that provides pathways to improve human understanding in our diverse and global world.

For more information, please contact Angela Ruff at (509) 313-3572 or via email.


  1. Evelyne
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I will attend at least two of those transformation café.
    I really like the idea that the faculty can share their passion with the Spokane residents at large. How was the location selected?
    Thank you Angela for sharing your gifts with us and inviting us to let our light shine like Ignatius did with his companions.

    Evelyne Ello Hart