After Hours Conversations 2015-2016

October - November   2015   ;   February - March   2016

Catherine Chung's during her AHC talk, After Hours Conversations is a program of informal meetings that are held at Harry's Bar in the upper level of Simons Hall, from 5:00 pm till 7:00 pm, on Mondays and Thursdays, in October and November and again in February and March.

These talks are open to faculty, members, visitors, staff, spouses, and partners in an effort to encourage cross-discipline communication at IAS. The sessions will be moderated by Piet Hut, Program in Interdisciplinary Studies; Didier Fassin, School of Social Science; Patrick Geary, School of Historical Studies; and Helmut Hofer, School of Mathematics.

The format is as follows. At 5:30 pm, someone will give an informal presentation of no more than 10 minutes, intended for a general audience. The topic will be a brief description of a major open  problem in his or her field, together with suggestions for possible future progress with respect to that problem. This talk will be followed by 20 minutes of discussion, until 6:00 pm. During the remaining hour, everyone is free to mingle in more general discussions, preferably with others not from their own School.

If anyone would like to volunteer for giving a talk, please send an email to Piet Hut (, Didier Fassin (, Patrick Geary (, or Helmut Hofer (

To receive announcements of upcoming talks by email, contact Dawn Dunbar (

Note that in Harry's Bar all beverages including bottled water must be purchased with an IAS card. If you would like to purchase a drink, it would be best to arrive around 5:15, to allow the line at the bar to be processed before the start of the talk. Thank you for your cooperation.

Here is the list of speakers for the 10-minute presentations:

First Semester

Monday, October 5, 2015
Presentation by: Aron Wall, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Counting the Number of Ways to be a Black Hole 
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Presentation by: Jonathan Israel, School of Historical Studies
Title: Enlightenment and Revolution: What is the connection? 
Host: Patrick Geary

Monday, October 12, 2015
Presentation by: Eric Ramírez-Weaver, School of Historical Studies
Title: Terzysko's Astrological System: Diagrams in Late Medieval Prague
Host: Patrick Geary

Thursday, October 15, 2015
Presentation by:  Didier Fassin, School of Social Science
Title: The Epidemic Vanishes. Ebola's Lessons for Global Health
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, October 19, 2015
Presentation by: Timothy Brandt, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Gamma Rays from the Galactic Center: A Mystery No Longer?
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Presentation by: Carolyn J. Eichner, School of Historical Studies
Title: Controlling Names, Controlling Identity: Law and Custom in 19th-Century France
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, October 26, 2015
Presentation by: Paul Nugent, School of Social Science
Title: Why Black South Africans Don't Drink Wine
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, October 29, 2015
[ No meeting this day ] 

Monday, November 2, 2015
Presentation by: Donato Giovannelli, Program in Interdisciplinary Studies
Title: 8,000 Feet Under the Sea: A Day on Earth's Last Frontier
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, November 5, 2015
[ No meeting this day ]

Monday, November 9, 2015
Presentation by: Duncan McCargo, School of Social Science
Title: Are Military Coups Going Out of Style?
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Presentation by: Karina Urbach, School of Historical Studies
Title: Backchannels Before Kissinger
Host: Patrick Geary

Monday, November 16, 2015
Presentation by: Marga Vicedo, School of Historical Studies
Title: Knowledge, Experience, and Feelings: Insights from the History of Autism
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Presentation by: Daryl Cooper, School of Mathematics
Title: Mathematical Reality and Numbers
Host: Helmut Hofer

Monday, November 23, 2015
Presentation by: Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, School of Social Science
Title: Before ISIS: What Early America Thought of Islam
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, November 26, 2015
[ No meeting this day; IAS is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday ]

Monday, November 30, 2015
Presentation by: Willem Jongman, School of Historical Studies
Title: Slavery, the Roman Way
Host: Helmut Hofer

Second Semester

Monday, February 1, 2016
Presentation by: Scott Tremaine, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Roundoff Error: Our Faustian bargain with computers
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Presentation by: Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director, Institute for Advanced Study
Title: Revisiting the Wunderkammer
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, February 8, 2016
Presentation by: Francesca Merlan, School of Social Science
Title: Why Are Australia's Immigration Policies so Extreme?
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Presentation by: Carmela Vircillo Franklin, School of Historical Studies
Title: Reconstructing a Schismatic Papal History from the 12th Century
Host: Patrick Geary

Monday, February 15, 2016
[ no meeting this day; IAS is closed for President's Day]

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Presentation by: Marilyn Tremaine, Professor Emerita, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Title: What If I Don't Have Any Spatial Ability?
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, February 22, 2016
Presentation by: Kristin Surak, School of Social Science
Title: How Tea Became Japanese
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Presentation by: Abigail Thompson, School of Mathematics
Title: Math in the Social Sciences: A story
Host: Helmut Hofer

Monday, February 29, 2016
Presentation by: Courtney Booker, School of Historical Studies
Title: Remembering, Forgetting, and Stealing the First French Text
Host: Patrick Geary

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Presentation by: Vera Gluscevic, School of Natural Sciences
Title: What is Dark Matter?
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, March 7, 2016
Presentation by: Brian Connolly, School of Social Science
Title: Donald Trump, Sovereignty, and the Law of the Father
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Presentation by: Julia L. Hairston, School of Historical Studies
Title: Recounting Sex and Sexuality in Sixteenth-Century Italy
Host: Patrick Geary

Monday, March 14, 2016
Presentation by:  Enze Han, School of Social Science
Title: Familial Ties': China's Foreign Relations with Myanmar and Thailand
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Presentation by: Juna Kollmeier, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Distances in Astrophysics: How Conception Influences Content
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, March 21, 2016
Presentation by: Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, School of Social Science
Title: Who Cares for the Children? Migrant Mothers and the Children Left Behind
Host: Didier Fassin

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Presentation by: Albrecht Diem, School of Historical Studies
Title: Four Way to Last: The ways of the mountain, of the river, of the jungle, and of society
Host: Piet Hut

Monday, March 28, 2016
Presentation by: Yasser Roudi, School of Natural Sciences
Title: Is Language Memory or Logic?
Host: Piet Hut

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Presentation by: Wen-Shing Chou, School of Historical Studies
Title: Panoramic Visions: Religious Cartography in Nineteenth-century China
Host: Patrick Geary