Special Lecture Series


Tech Wars: China and the U.S.

Two Thursdays     10 a.m.-11:45 a.m.     Room 21 & Zoom

February 23, March 9

With the beginning of the 21st century, America was the undisputed leader in semiconductor chip technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Today, both China and the U.S. are engaged in a consequential struggle for global dominance of these two transformational technologies. In this course, we will describe the early history of semiconductor development beginning in California’s Silicon Valley and its evolution into the most complex supply chain in the world today. Advanced semiconductors have enabled the rapid growth of new AI technologies that are, and will, continue to have dramatic impacts on society and the economy. A recent development being AI “Foundation Models” in which ChatGPT has received extensive coverage. In this course, we will focus on the geopolitical impacts of these breakthrough technologies as China and the U.S. compete for economic dominance and military superiority.

Instructor:   Jim R. Monroe       Tech Coordinator:   Jay Messner

The Personal is Political: The Evolution of Spain and its Citizens from Dictatorship to Democracy

Tuesday, April 25, 2023 •  10:15 a.m.–noon • Auditorium & Zoom & Stream

When a country is sick, the population shows the symptoms. In this presentation Isidra Mencos examines the intersection between politics and private lives at a pivotal time in the history of Spain. Mencos grew up under the Franco dictatorship. She was 17 when Franco died in 1975. The transition to democracy took some years, but the cultural and sexual revolution happened fast. It was a time of hope, but also of political and social conflict. With democracy under threat around the world, Mencos reflects on the impact that authoritarianism has in every aspect of a person’s life, and the decades-long shadow it casts.

Instructor: Isidra Mencos, Ph.D.     Coordinator: Ellie Monroe