The OrJames Lab's Special Events and Outreach Programs

Local School Districts -The OrJames Laboratory welcomes K-12 students from local school districts annually to demonstrate healthy ways of living while doing physical activities and working with animal dissections.



SPRING 2018

Black History Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Black History Month.



  Alice Augusta Ball - February 7, 6:30pm

   Born in Seattle, Washington in 1892, Alice would go on to earn two degrees from the University of Washington, one in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1912, and pharmacy in 1914, before becoming the first woman and African American to earn a master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Hawaii in 1915. Upon graduating from the University of Hawii, Ball took a teaching post while conducting research there until her death at age 24. Ball created a highly effective method to produce an injectable treatment for leprosy, for which she recently, posthumously received full credit, as her ideas were stolen upon her death by the then chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Hawaii. Come learn more about this great individual and her works. Presentation by Orin James.


  A Reading of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man - February 21, 6:30pm

   Ralph Ellison himself wrote: "In our society, it is not unusual for a Negro to experience a sensation that he does not exist in the real world at all. He seems rather to exist in the nightmarish fantasy of the white American mind as a phantom that the white mind seeks unceasingly, by means both crude and subtle, to slay." Though this was written in his review of Myrdal's An American Dilemma, it serves as the premise for one of the greatest English novels written, namely, Invisible Man. This novel eloquently demonstrates the ruinous force and power racism has to render one invisible. This novel addresses a variety of themes: conformity/identity, black masculinty, leftist ideology, nationalism, contructed perceptions, among others. In discussing this book, I will reference key theories and historical events that may render the life of the protagonist not only possible but inevitable. The Novel can be found here. In addition to the novel, I will also provide supplementary material, from which I will draw several ideas and theories in my analysis and discussion. If you have time, you may also enjoy these:

Frederick Douglass What to the Slave is the Fourth of July (full text) an abridged audio clip can be found here
US Supreme Court Dred Scott v Sandford, 1857
US Supreme Court Plessy v Ferguson 1896 (abridged)
W.E.B Dubois Souls of Black Folk
Marcus Garvey Speech delivered in 1917
Sigmund Freud Totem and Taboo
Frantz Fanon Black Skin, White Masks
Malcolm X The House Negro and The Field Negro & The Ballot or the Bullet (Audio)

These are just a few things I will reference. There will be more at the discussion.



  Ernest Everett Just - February 28, 6:30pm

    Born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1883, Ernest Everett Just would became a pioneering figure in biology. Charles Drew is quoted as saying "Ernest is a biologist of unusual skill and the greatest of our original thinkers in the field." Indeed, Ernest Just would go on to make significant contributions in the areas on the physiology of development. This includes fertilization, experimental parthenogenesis, dehydration in living cells among other things. come learn more about this important individual and his works. Presentation by Orin James.




Women's History Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Women's History Month.


   Rosalind Elsie Franklin - March 14, 6:30pm

   Born in London, England in 1920, Franklin undoubtedly remains a scientist of great intrigue and controversy. It was her famous Photo 51 that led to the discovery of DNA's structure, but she was not listed as one of the discoverers, raising questions among scientists and non-scientists alike. Come learn more about this great individual and her experiments. Presentation by Orin James




  A Reading of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's Undine & Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome - March 21, 6:30pm

   It is accepted among a wide range of individuals that the notion of gender and the behavioral expectations and patterns found therein is heavily a social construct. However, some may argue that biological factors alone contribute to the behavioral patterns we observe, while some may suggest it is combination of both. A close reading of Fouqué's Undine and Wharton's Ethan Frome may reveal a perpetuation of social expectations that is founded in the development of an aesthetic ideal. Undine was written during German Romanticism and it can be classified as a Kunstmärchen (loosely translated as "artful tale"), as opposed to the Volksmärchen (Folktale). One notable difference between the two is the presence of an author actually creating a tale (Kunstmärchen), while the other is traditionally passed down orally and is merely transcribed by someone usually following a particular format (Mayer, Tismar). The line between the two may begin to blur as the author of the Kunstmärchen may borrow well established motifs from the traditional folktales with minor modification to produce a desired effect, as may be the case in Undine. One of the key philosophers of German Romanticism was Friderich Schlegel. Schlegel sought to achieve infinite perfectibility through a synthesis of contrary forms (Carol Tully). In doing so followers of Schlegel may have used the Kunstmärchen as a vehicle for the symbolic expression of the ideal as the artist might image. The behavior of the key characters reflect expectations and what may happen if those expectations aren't met. A similar trend is seen in Ethan Frome...During this talk, I will explore ways in which the "ideal" is generated with emphasis on gender. I will reference theories and historical events that may demonstrate the presence of the "ideal" in our society and its perpetuation. Below is a list of sources, from which I will draw for our discussion. If you have time you may also enjoy these.



Edith Wharton Ethan Frome
Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué Undine
Friedrich Schlegel (in German, unable to find English version) Progressive Universalpoesie (in German)
Ferdinand de Saussure Course in General Linguistics
Carl Gustav Jung's Collective Unconscious by Philipe de Costar Review of Jung's Collective Unconscious
Jacques Lacan The Mirror Stage
Hélène Cixous The Laugh of the Medusa
Michel Foucault Sex and Sexuality vol. 1
Judith Butler Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity


   Barbara McClintock - March 28, 6:30pm

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1902, and studied at Erasmus Hall High School and Cornell University, McClintock would go on to become the first female to win the Nobel Prize unshared. Her work led to the discovery of "jumping genes". Come learn more about this great individual and her work. Presentation by Orin James.




All Roads Lead to Austria -The OrJames Laboratory hosts a series of events annually leading up to The Comparative Healthcare in Graz summer program for students.*New* for this year- one additional week in Slovenia!



Enjoy an Austrian Meal with Slovenian dessert while playing Jeopardy! - April 4, regular dinner hours and prices.

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Meet the Habsburgs - April 11, 6:30pm

For over six centuries Austria and much of Europe was ruled by the Habsburgs Dynasty. Their influence is clearly found throughout much of Europe today. Come learn a bit of Austrian and Slovenian history. Emphasis will be placed on Maria Theresia and Joseph II. We will explore Schonbrunn and the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. We will also practice German greetings. Presentation by Orin James.





Fall 2017

COMPARATIVE HEALTHCARE IN GRAZ GENERAL INTEREST MEETING Austria and Beyond - September 6, 6:30pm    Come learn more about this popular exciting study abroad opportunity from me and students who have experienced it.



THE EFFECTS OF GLYCEROL ON ANTIFREEZE PROTEINS Open Lab Night - September 13, 6:30pm    Get caught up on the research going on in the OrJames lab. This presentation will highlight the steps that brought me to this point, current data and moving forward. Students interested in research opportunities are strongly encouraged to attend this talk.



Hispanic Heritage Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Hispanic Heritage Month.



  Luis E. Miramontes - September 27, 6:30pm

   Born in Tepic, Mexico in 1925, Luis would go on to earn his first degree in chemical engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, before inventing the key ingredient that will forever alter the discourse of family planning and the role of science therein. Luis Miramontes, at the young age of 26 synthesized norethisterone, the chemical that allowed the first oral contraceptive, or "the pill" to do its job with great potency. Come learn more about this great individual and his works. Presentation by Orin James.

  Mario J. Molina - October 11, 6:30pm

   Mario José Molina-Pasquel Henríquez received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in detailing the threat to the Earth's ozone layer of chlorofluorocarbon gases. The strong present-day laws designed to protect the ozone layer attest to the importance of his work. Come learn more about this great individual and his works. Presentation by Orin James.

  A selection of Hispanic Poetry

   Here is a short selection of poems from the Hispanic Diaspora I put together. Authors include: Nicolás Guillén, Frederico García Lorca, and Pablo Neruda. Recordings were taken from vinyl, hence the scratchy background noise. Nonetheless it's worth the listen. Enjoy here




THE ORJAMES LAB CELEBRATES THE HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES: MEDIEVAL EUROPE

The following series of events are designed to demonstrate the often unnoticed intersection between the humanities and natural sciences. I will focus on ways in which science was used to explain and describe the emotion of love during Medieval Europe as found in literature and how this may have changed over time as science developed. For this, I turn to Italian writer, Dante Alighieri's transformational text "La Vita Nuova" (The New Life). In this piece, Dante uses both scientific and philosophical principles of optics and the soul known to him and others during his time to elucidate his strong affection towards Beatrice for an audience enthralled by the humanities, more specifically, by the idea of courtly love. I will explore this intersection over a three week period. References will also be made to Chrétien de Troyes' Cliges and Joseph Bedier's tale of Tristan and Iseult.

  DANTE ALIGHIERI'S LA VITA NUOVA - OCTOBER 25, 6:30PM

   This event will be a discussion of the book La Vita Nuova. We will discuss the various ways in which courtly love is depicted and possibly defined. We will also make note of the use of magic. A free copy of the text can be found online here. Attendees are also encouraged to read "Cliges" and "Tristan and Iseult". Presentation by Orin James.



  SCIENCE IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE - NOVEMBER 8, 6:30PM

   This event will serve as an introduction to a variety of scientific principals and philosophical schools of thought that developed as a result of intellectual exchange between Europe and the Islamic Empire. Emphasis will be placed on astronomy, alchemy, mathematics, and the development of optics (extramission theory). We will than make the connection between these developments and the depiction of love in La Vita Nuova. Presentation by Orin James.

  OPTICS LAB EXERCISE - NOVEMBER 15, 6:30PM

   During this event we will discuss the behavior and properties of light as they occur in nature. We will than compare our understanding of optics today (intromission theory) to medieval Europe (extramission theory) and how our modern day understanding may alter our approach to describing and writing about emotions such as love within the realm of the humanities. Attendees will participate in an optical bench lab exercise that will demonstrate the formation of images using light, an object and various lenses. Presentation by Orin James.

SPRING 2017

Local School Districts -The OrJames Laboratory welcomes K-12 students from local school districts annually to demonstrate healthy ways of living while doing physical activities and working with animal dissections.



Black History Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Black History Month.



  George Washington Carver - February 8, 6:30pm

   Born into slavery and orphaned as a child, George Washington Carver grew to become one of the nations leading agriculture scientists of his time. He is credited with providing the world with various uses of the peanut. These uses include dyes, and plastics among other things. Carver ultimately devoted his life to helping former slaves earn a high quality education. Come learn more about this individual and his experiments. Presentation by Orin James.



  Charles Drew - February 22, 7:00pm

   Born in Washington DC on June 3, 1904, Charles Drew was pioneer in medical research. His work led to the development of ways to safely process and store blood in blood banks. His wisdom and knowledge led him to direct blood plasma programs for the US and Great Britain during WWII. Come learn more about this great individual and his work. Presentation by Orin James.

Women's History Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Women's History Month.



   Marie Curie - March 15, 6:30pm

   Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867, Marie Curie as a dedicated scientist, worked with the mineral pitchblende and discovered a new radioactive element, now named polonium, after her native country. In the same pitchblende, she found another radioactive material, now called radium. In 1903 Marie Curie made history, as she became the first women to win the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911 Marie won her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry. Come learn more about this great individual and her experiments. Presentation by Orin James



Florence Nightingale - March 22, 6:30pm

While grappling with the cholera outbreak during the Crimean War during the 1850's, Florence saw first hand the need to improve hygiene practices. This same war presented Nightingale with the horrific conditions of the British base hospital in Constantinople, which in turn inspired her revolutionary work to modify the hospital setting. Come learn more about this great individual and her work. Presentation by Orin James.

All Roads Lead to Austria -The OrJames Laboratory hosts a series of events annually leading up to The Comparative Healthcare in Graz summer program for students.



Galen and Vesalius - April 5, 2017 6:30pm

Galen's theories and approach to studying physiology strongly influenced Western medicine for over 1,000 years. His treatises, however, were based heavily on animal dissections. Because of this some of the ideas he applied to human physiology were erroneous. It wasn't until Vesalius we get human dissections and a better understanding of human physiology. Come learn more about how these two individuals carried out their studies and the impact of their work that still stands today.