Cupid’s Arrows: Can Science Predict Trajectory?

When: Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 6:30 – 8:30 PM

PARKING: Attendees from the local community may park in the Warsaw Street Parking Deck for the February 9 JMuse anytime after 6:15 PM. (To verify the location of this parking deck, see the appropriate portion of the Campus Map on the JMU website.) Once you have parked in the deck, take the stairs to the groundlevel of the deck, walk along the breezeway toward Main Street, and then take the doord on your right into the Forbes Center. You can find the Harris Studio Theatre Lobby (which is at the south end of the Forbes Center) by following the trail of flower petals.

Where: Harris Studio Theatre Lobby, Forbes Center
The February 9 event is the first one to be held “beyond the Libraries.” The JMuse Café organizers are grateful to Regan Byrne, Executive Director of the Forbes Center, for making this space available to us.

The topic “Cupid’s Arrows: Can Science Predict Trajectory?” has been selected in recognition of Valentine’s Day. Three guest speakers will “set the table” for conversations: Beth Eck, Associate Professor of Sociology, Anne Stewart, Professor of Graduate Psychology, and Robin McNallie, Associate Professor Emeritus of English. Beth and Anne will raise ideas and questions – some of them surprising and provocative — about romantic love. Robin will read a few short pieces selected from the enormous literature on love.

We are also grateful to several JMU students who have volunteered to share their musical talents at the event: flutists Sarah Casey and Kathryn Whitesel, and vocalists Rachel Sandler and Leslie Zaipain.

As usual at a JMuse Café event, once the speakers have made their presentations, we’ll allow a few minutes for comments and questions as a single large group, and then we’ll devote about 45 minutes to discussions around the various tables. After that we’ll reconvene to hear comments from the tables and we’ll conclude with informal conversation, sweets, and more music.

Abstract for Beth Eck’s Remarks

The institutionalization of the “romantic love complex” (Goode 1959) in the West teaches us that falling in love is highly desirable and that any lifelong union without it is destined for disaster. Despite beliefs that there is “one person for everyone” and that love is “fated,” careful attention to the matter reveals that societies play a large role in structuring love – what it means and with whom we should experience it. As much as we believe in “destiny,” most spend considerable effort attracting “the one” they desire. My remarks on February 9 will provide a launch pad for conversations regarding how societies control love, and how the messages from social actors and agencies frame what romantic love means.

PDF: Beth Eck’s Remarks – Can Science Predict Trajectory?


Abstract for Anne Stewart’s Remarks

Cupid’s arrows were believed to prompt romantic love for the person, or god, who was pierced. In this JMuse, we will examine recent discoveries from neuroscience and interpersonal theories about people in love–exploring what the Greeks named the “madness of the gods.” We will have an opportunity to learn about the “neural liquor” fueling our passion and to discuss diverse aspects of love, including passion, commitment and intimacy. We’ll investigate the energy and craving of romantic passion, the science of attraction and how love evolves over time. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we hope you can come and engage in lively conversations, from and about the heart.

PDF: Anne Stewart’s Presentation – The Science of Romantic Love