Love is in the air! Nerd Nite Valentine’s  Special will be held on Tuesday, 4 February 2014. Bring your special someone for an early Valentine’s Day date. Or come with a bunch of friends that you love; drink, eat, positively heckle the speakers and kick of this Valentine’s month by learning something new. This month we find out if our brain can forget that ex and learn to love again. We’ll hear about romance and sex in the aged. And the most romantic dance of all, tango, and its history.

Our friends at Mr Wow’s Emporium will be hosting us again with cold beers, amazing cocktails and a pizza food truck.  Be there and be square!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014
at Mr Wow’s Emporium
97b Smith Street, Fitzroy
Doors 7pm/$5

Back to the lectures at hand:

*Presentation 1
Love’s memory, forgetting, and remembering
by Dr Jee Hyun Kim

Description: What is the role of memory in love? Can we change love by changing the memory? Or is it that love changes and the memory follows? How do we forget? How can we not forget?

Bio: Jee is a self-proclaimed queen of nerds whose PhD completion in Psychology at the University of New South Wales was slowed down by her dedication to saving Azeroth 2005-2008. Following a postdoctoral training at Michigan University, she moved to Melbourne to become the youngest laboratory head at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Her work focuses on the neuroscience of good and bad memories underlying anxiety and addiction in childhood and adolescence using rodent models. She has received various awards and major grants including the University Medal in Psychology and the Australian Psychological Society early career research award. She strongly believes in the importance of treating mental disorders early in life, a topic she shared recently at TEDxMelbourne. She features regularly on radio and television to discuss memory and forgetting, and lists Beyonce, Kerrigan, and Ronda Rousey as her inspirations.

*Presentation 2
Do you have to be young to be in love?
by Dr Sue Malta

Description: Why do we equate love, sex and romance solely with youth? Why is it that we look at our elders and think that they are past ‘it’? This presentation explores our ageist attitudes and stereotyping of older adults as non-sexual, non-physical beings.  It presents findings from a study which shows that love and sex are not only possible in later life – they can be just as vivid and exciting as earlier life experiences.

Bio: Sue Malta is a research fellow at the National Ageing Research Institute, where she works on a variety of projects involving ageing and community.  Her PhD study investigated new late life romantic relationships, online and offline.   Until recently she was the editor of the online journal iJETS, the International Journal of Emerging Technologies & Society, a post she held for six years and she is currently the co-editor of Nexus the newsletter of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).  In her spare time she can often be found with a glass of sparkling or red wine in hand (she’s not too fussy which), or at the beach or crying over her favourite footy team (no prizes for guessing which team – good natured ribbing encouraged!).

*Presentation 3
The secret history of tango
by Dr Ralph Newmark

Description: From the working class seaport neighbourhoods of 19th century Buenos Aires in Argentina comes the distinctive and romantic rhythms of tango, brought to you by Dr Ralph Newmark, Director of La Trobe’s University’s Institute of Latin American Studies. Hear how ‘gangster’ music became an iconic and respectable middle-class dance. And also find out about tango’s biggest secret. This is a multimedia presentation.

Bio: Dr Ralph Newmark is an historian and Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.  He was President of the Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia (AILASA) between 2006 and 2008 and co-editor of JILAS~Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies (now JILAR) for over a decade. Dr Newmark appears in the media on a regular basis discussing Latin American affairs and also conducts a fortnightly radio program discussing the history and music of Latin America and the Caribbean. Over the past decade he has developed the concepts of “Aural History” and “Tasting History”, which use music and food in innovative ways to research and teach history. In 2012 he won an Australian Government Citation for these pedagogic methodologies. He is a specialist in Brazilian history – especially the Getúlio Vargas era (1930s-1950s).