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From Muslim to Christian: How Coffee Went Global

Thu, February 20th, 2020
4:15 pm
- 5:30 pm

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Ashok Rai, an economist, will present the second of six talks in the Faculty Lecture Series.  His current research, on the globalization of coffee, draws on history, literature, ecology, and on fieldwork in Central America and East Africa.  In his teaching and scholarly writing, Rai uses game theory, a cross-disciplinary mathematical tool, to analyze how people interact — in the past and in the present, in cartoons and in business.  He has a B.A. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Göttingen.

The aim of the Faculty Lecture Series is to present big ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries.  All lectures will be followed by a reception in Thompson Biology Lounge. The lectures are free and open to the public. Upcoming talks:

  • February 27  Ileana Perez Velazquez, Department of Music, “Creating Music as an Out of the Box Composer”
  • March 5  Julie Blackwood, Department of Mathematics, “Diseases, invasive species, and other ecological systems: insights from mathematical models”
  • March 12  Matt Carter, Department of Biology, “The Food Network: How Your Brain Makes You Feel Full”
  • March 19  Jessica Fisher, Department of English, “The Faraway Brought Close”: Poetry and the Work of Feeling”

The Faculty Lecture Series was founded in 1911 by Catherine Mariotti Pratt, the spouse of a faculty member who wanted to “relieve the tedium of long New England winters with an opportunity to hear Williams professors talk about issues that really mattered to them.” From these humble and lighthearted beginnings, the Faculty Lecture Series has grown to become an important forum for tenured professors to share their latest research with the larger intellectual community of the college.

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