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University Connected Learning
Gain an appreciation for contemporary research in the humanities. In this three-part lectures series, fellows from the Tanner Humanities Center share their work in various disciplines. News Media and Democracy in Tumultuous Times, Kevin Coe Claims about media bias and "fake news" are common, but the reality of bias in the news media (and in public perception) is much more complex. This talk focuses on the kinds of bias that might exist in different forms of news media, how common or uncommon they are, and what this means for American democracy. The Continuing Empire: Muslims in Modern Russia, Matt Romaniello After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation had to navigate its relationships not only with the former Soviet states but also a number of semi-autonomous regions inside Russia. In 2001, a new law eradicated any local or ethnic political parties that did not have representation at the national level in an attempt to curtail the independence of these regions. This talk will focus on the relationship between three key Muslim regions inside Russia (Chechnya, Tatarstan, and Chuvashia) to understand Russia's struggles with multi-pluralism. Genre Bending in Contemporary Fiction, Jeremy Rosen Surveying today's literary marketplace, one notices a striking phenomenon: the prevalence of esteemed "literary" writers that incorporate "low" forms of "genre fiction" into their works. In the past, novelists who aspired to literary quality defined their writing in opposition to the commercial sphere, in particular to genres such as romance, western, science fiction, horror, and mystery. Many of today's most prestigious writers, by contrast, work within genre fiction--often bending these genres in fascinating directions. This lecture examines this phenomenon, and what this means about the supposed divide between "high" literature and popular culture.