CU on the Weekend’s Spring Lectures

Back to news

By Gretchen Minekime


CU on the Weekend’s spring series will cover topics from inequity in sports to the music of the ‘70s to how GPS has changed our world. Join us beginning February 4 to hear from some of CU Boulder’s most dynamic faculty members. The series is free, open to the public and offered in person and virtually. 

Nicholas Villanueva, assistant professor of ethnic studies and director of critical sports studies, will kick off the series with A Study of Inequity in Sport on February 4. 

Description: In the late 1970s, scholars from North America began to incorporate gender in their critique of contemporary sports. Soon thereafter, European sports scholars also embraced gender as a transformative concept. Initially, scholars focused on women athletes as subjects, but in the 1980s they expanded their perspectives. Rather than considering gender a distinct category, scholars redefined it as a dynamic relational process. The focus shifted from women athletes to a cultural critique of sport using intersectionality and cultural studies perspectives. Scholars purported that gender in sport intersects with other dimensions of human experience and identity, such as age, ethnicity, race and social class. This CU on the Weekend talk with Professor Nicholas Villanueva will examine the intersectionality of gender and sport through these many dimensions, explore existing inequities and share how Critical Sports Studies scholars are working to make sport more inclusive.

CU Boulder Professor Reiland Rabaka, founder and director of the Center for African & African American Studies, will join College of Music Professors Jay Keister, Michael Sebulsky, Jeremy Smith and Keith Waters on March 4 to guide the CU on the Weekend audience through Music of the Long ‘70s: Black Power, Punk, Jambands and Jewish Soul. 

Description: If the “Me Decade” of the 1970s is often treated as the decadent extension of a faded 1960s counterculture, the music offered innovations that continue to reverberate. This CU on the Weekend’s four presenters will discuss influential trends in Black Power and Soul music, Punk, Jambands, and Jewish Soul with a view to the “long” 1970s. Professors Jay Keister, Reiland Rabaka, Micheal Sebulsky and Jeremy Smith, guided by moderator Professor Keith Waters, will view the musical and cultural legacy of artists and groups such as Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, the Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Dave Matthews, the Sex Pistols, and Fanny. There will be ample time for discussion with the audience and between presenters.

Distinguished Professor and Joseph T. Negler Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences Penina Axelrad will discuss on April 15 how GPS has had an unprecedented impact on our daily lives and scientific discovery. Tours of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Building will be available before and after the lecture. 

Description: The Global Positioning System (GPS), fully operational since 1995, has redefined what it means to navigate in the world. GPS receivers serve to guide airplanes, Uber drivers, tractors and satellites. GPS timing synchronizes power grids, telecommunications networks and bank transactions. GPS is also essential in scientific measurements of the motion of ice sheets, variations in Earth’s gravity field, and atmospheric conditions used in numerical weather prediction.  

How is it that a system, originally intended to support worldwide military operations, has created such broad-reaching benefits?  Professor Penina Axelrad’s CU on the Weekend presentation will describe the “HOW.”  That is, how GPS works and how its key technical elements came together with serendipitous parallel developments to have an unprecedented impact on our daily lives and scientific discovery.  She will also discuss threats to GPS utility and the evolving landscape of global navigation satellite system capabilities.All lectures will be on Saturdays at 1 p.m., and audience members can attend in person or virtually. Visit CU on the Weekend for details and registration.