Two Oglethorpe students had the opportunity to deliver public lectures within their fields of study, as part of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art’s spring exhibitions “Azadi va Edalat: Stories Retold by Contemporary Iranian Women Artists” and “Time is an Illusion: Revisiting Einstein’s Theory of Relativity,” showcasing an original handwritten Einstein manuscript owned by the university.
Ruwa Romman ’15 and Antonio Màntica ’15 were selected by Elizabeth Peterson , OUMA’s director, to speak about the exhibits and share their academic and personal expertise on the subject matters.
In her lecture, “Liberated, not oppressed: A different perspective on Muslim women,” Ruwa, a politics major, spoke of women’s liberation on a global scale. “Women being oppressed is not exclusive to the Muslim faith,” she said. “In fact, Islam liberated women by giving them the right to inherit, choose who they marry, work, etc. The issue is that people misuse ideologies for what they want. It’s not the faith, it’s the people. I view my faith as a liberating thing, including my head scarf.” Ruwa’s perspectives are grounded in her Muslim faith, multiple leadership roles on campus (including president of the Student Government Association and founding member of COEXIST), and her recent internship at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.
Antonio, a physics major active in theatre, presented the lecture “A Tour Through Time,” which also was a featured event in the city-wide Atlanta Science Festival. Antonio walked his audience through the history of various cultures’ perceptions of time—highlighting specific cultures and points in history that contributed to our current understanding of time. He also illustrated our modern conception of how time passes and what it means to measure it, and explored what we do not understand about it. “Einstein revolutionized how we picture time,” said Antonio, “and my lecture aimed to describe the history and the concepts of his ideas to the audience.”
“Only at Oglethorpe could a student have an experience like this,” said Antonio, who was excited to have the chance to speak about his hero Einstein. “Before the lecture, Elizabeth Peterson said to me: ‘I love working at a place where this is possible.’ At Oglethorpe, students have these amazing opportunities to present academic studies in a professional setting, and that is invaluable.”