Exploring space, reimagining Red Hiding Hood and understanding language without words

The following stories from The University of Western Ontario may be Of Interest.

Are we alone in the universe?
Could life exist on other planets? Join Gordon “Oz” Osinski for a voyage through the solar system and beyond as the Deputy Director of Western’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration discusses the prospects for finding evidence of life in upcoming space missions in the next Classes Without Quizzes. The free lecture, presented Thursday, February 9th at 7 p.m. at Stevenson & Hunt Room, Central Branch, London Public Library (251 Dundas Street), is among a handful of entertaining and insightful monthly lectures by some of Western’s leading faculty, taking place in various locations throughout the London area from November 2011 to March 2012. For more information, please visit http://communications.uwo.ca/CWQ/

Girl in the Woods
The Red Riding Hood story has been retold and recast by countless authors, illustrators, and media artists around the globe for over 400 years, most recently by Catherine Hardwicke in the feature film, Red Riding Hood (2011). With a forthcoming anthology on international retellings of the Red Riding Hood story, Sandra L. Beckett from Brock University discusses how this remarkably versatile tale has been adapted to new social and cultural contexts while Western’s Cornelia Hoogland reads from her recent fairy tale revisioning, entitled “Woods Wolf Girl” (Wolsak and Wynn 2011) for the 2012 Joan Pedersen Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, February 9th at 4:30 p.m, at the Community Room (Room 1139), Western’s Faculty of Education Building. The Joan Pedersen lecture series is made possible through the generous contribution of Dr. K. George Pedersen, surviving husband of Joan Pedersen (1931-1988). This annual lecture event pays tribute to Joan Pedersen’s great vitality and many accomplishments in the field of education. There is free admission for the lecture, and free parking is available in the north lot. For more information please contact Professor Cornelia Hoogland at chooglan@uwo.ca

Understanding language without words
John Bolender, a Visiting Fellow at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy (http://www.rotman.uwo.ca/), will deliver a talk titled, “The Evolution of Counting and Knowledge by Description: How the Language Faculty Enriches Mentalese” on Friday, February 10th at 3:30 p.m. in Stevenson Hall, Room 1145. In his book “Propositional Attitudes,” released in 1978, renowned American philosopher and cognitive scientist Jerry Fodor proposed that the language of thought, sometimes known as mentalese, allows complex thoughts to be understood by combining simpler thoughts in various ways. In the talk, Bolender explores the hypothetical language while examining how chimpanzees communicate and why humans gain awareness through description.

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