May 4, 2022

Damascus Kafumbe, Music: Towards a Decolonial Pedagogy: African Music and Dance Performance in the American Academy  

Lightning Lunch (Zoom)

Damascus Kafumbe

When students enroll in world music performance courses, they typically enter them carrying certain stereotypes, biases, and expectations that distort the learning process. Perhaps the most common of such misconceptions is that all musical knowledge and skills can and should be transmitted primarily through Euro-American pedagogical methods such as written notation, individualized instruction, and codified theory. This presentation makes a case for musical pedagogy that utilizes the cultural principles that inform the artistic styles being taught as frameworks for instruction. Drawing on two decades of experience teaching African music and dance performance in the American academy, the talk demonstrates this approach’s efficacy through recorded performances, exemplary quotes from student reflections, and my analysis of these materials. The presentation is part of a larger project (teaching guide) that contributes to ongoing discourses about effective pedagogy.  

Damascus Kafumbe is a performing ethnomusicologist, teacher, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, composer, and instrument technician from Uganda. Since joining the Middlebury music faculty in 2011, Professor Kafumbe has developed and taught several courses in ethnomusicology and world music, directed the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble, and maintained the College’s Ugandan musical instrument collection. Professor Kafumbe’s research interests span diverse fields, including African studies, ethnomusicology, performance, history, politics, ritual, and social organization. 

April 6, 2022

Erin Wolcott, Economics: Pandemic Layoffs  

Lightning Lunch (Zoom)

Photo of Erin Wolcott

At the onset of the pandemic, Professor Wolcott worked with co-author Marianna Kudlyak (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) and Middlebury students  Lachlan Pinney ’21.5 and Claire Moy ’22 to assemble a dataset of high-frequency state-level layoff data from the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.  Professor Wolcott will discuss the ways in which they used this data to document layoffs in the United States which were predominantly temporary as well as more recent work in which they study the effect of local stay-at-home orders in March-April 2020 on mass layoffs.  

Erin Wolcott joined the Middlebury Department of Economics as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2017.  Her research is in macroeconomics, labor economics, and international finance.  She teaches courses on macroeconomics, globalization, and inequality.

March 8, 2022

Million Dollar Hoods: Mapping the Cost of Mass Incarceration, an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecture  

Guest speaker (Zoom)

Kelly Lytle Hernandez

OAH Distinguished Lecturer Kelly Lytle Hernández: Mapping the Cost of Mass Incarceration by Kelly Lytle Hernandez

Los Angeles County operates the largest jail system in the United States, which incarcerates more people than any nation on Earth.  Kelly Lytle Hernández will join us to provide an introduction to Million Dollar Hoods, a university-based, community-driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. This event is co-sponsored by and Black Studies.

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer.  Prof. Hernandez is Faculty Director of Million Dollar Hoods, and Professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at UCLA, where she is also the Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of the award-winning books, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). In 2019, Professor Lytle Hernandez was named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow.


March 2, 2022

Anthony Castelletto: The Digital Ocean: Data: Analytics at The Center for the Blue Economy  

Lightning Lunch (Zoom)

Anthony Castelletto

This talk will describe how the Center for the Blue Economy uses data to conduct translational work in environmental economics. The Center translates geophysical data into economic consequences to guide leaders on how to cope with the ocean and coastal effects of climate change and to promote sustainable development of ocean resources.  

Anthony Castelletto is the Center for the Blue Economy’s Research Associate. He manages the center’s research projects under the direction of Dr. Charles Colgan, Director of Research. Anthony comes to the Center following a career in Computer and Information Science. Working in that industry, he built networked information systems and managed scientific data supply chains in Physics, Atmospheric Science, and Linguistics. He went into Public Policy and Economics to help address the problem of climate change. He uses his skills in the sciences and data management to deliver timely research to preserve the health of the environment and promote sustainability.