PDXTalks 2014

When was the last time you heard someone tell a story that made you think? Or moved you to action? Or left you in tears and laughter? That's the idea behind PDXTalks, an annual event to showcase the knowledge and experiences of PSU's fearless faculty. Five speakers talked October 17, 2014 for less than 20 minutes on a topic close to the heart. This is your opportunity to hear their stories – to be inspired, enlightened and entertained. Settle in for some gourmet brain nourishment and share their videos with your friends. 

Watch the Talks

Brian Michael Bendis
Fearless comic creator

The cool thing about Spiderman is that he can be anyone. No one knows who’s behind that suit. That’s the concept behind Bendis’ latest venture -- a new Spiderman who breaks the mold of the typical “white guy with a crewcut” superhero. Bendis is a comic book writer and consultant on many of Marvel’s projects, including Guardians of the Galaxy. Here, he explores the storytelling power of comics, and the changing nature of their global audience.

Kate Bingaman-Burt
Fearless commercial illustrator

To become an artist, start small. Draw one thing. Write one thing. Compose one thing. Then do it again. And again. And again. Repetition, Bingaman-Burt says, leads to craftsmanship, to confidence and eventually to true artistry. She traces her roots as both a commercial illustrator and a social commentator on consumption, and how the two intertwine. Hint: she started by drawing her monthly credit card bills after she fell far into debt.

Mark Weislogel
Fearless space researcher

The International Space Station, orbiting 250 miles above Earth is a nonstop laboratory, testing the limits of space flight and human performance. Weislogel gives a rapid-fire tour of the wide variety of experiments on how low gravity affects everything from combustion to the movement of fluids to the human bone structure. All of these issues must be resolved, he says, before we can consider long-term missions in space.

Claire Wheeler
Fearless physician/psychologist

The health that is “done to us” isn’t working, says Wheeler, who promotes a holistic approach to healing and relieving stress. Health care, she says, is not all about pills and doctors and surgeons -- it’s everything we do from when we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep. Wheeler, who was an ER doctor and studied to be a surgeon, calls mind/body health “the new paradigm of medicine” and explains how it can be incorporated in everyday life.

Cornel Pewewardy
Fearless advocate

“Walk a mile in my red face,” Pewewardy invites his audience. A professor of indigenous nation studies, he goes into detail about the “micro-aggressions” natives face on a regular basis, whether it’s a demeaning school mascot, rules that prohibit ceremonial wear or leftover colonial perceptions of the relationship between tribes and other governments. Higher education is a double-edged sword that reinforces “settler mentality” but also provides critical thinking about power and control.


See other PDXTalks: 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2019