University of Notre Dame Anthropologist to Lecture at Seton Hill University 10/21
Dr. James J. McKenna, the Edmund P. Joyce C.S.C Chaired Professor in Anthropology and Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, will present a lecture titled “Changing Concepts of Infant Care and Parenting: Sleeping with Baby, Breastfeeding, and Infant Sleep Position” on Tuesday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Carol Ann Reichgut Concert Hall, Seton Hill University's Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Avenue, Greensburg, Pa. The lecture is free to attend and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved through the Seton Hill University Box Office online. Sponsored by the Greensburg/Uniontown Notre Dame Alumni Club and Seton Hill University, the lecture is a presentation of the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s Hesburgh Lecture Series.
“Seton Hill is delighted to join with the Greensburg/Uniontown Notre Dame Alumni Club to bring Dr. McKenna, a world-renowned expert in infant care and parenting, to campus to speak on such an important topic,” said Mary C. Finger, Ed.D., Seton Hill President. “The Hesburgh Lectures provide a wonderful opportunity for people from across the country to hear from some of the brightest minds in academia and scientific research. We are looking forward to Dr. McKenna’s visit to Greensburg and believe his lecture will be of utmost interest to the community and, in particular, parents and parents-to-be.”
Dr. McKenna is recognized as the world’s leading authority on mother-infant co-sleeping, in relationship to breastfeeding and SIDS. In recognition of his work, in 2009 he was admitted as a Fellow into the select body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's most prestigious scientific society.
Initially, Dr. McKenna specialized in studying the social behavior of monkeys and apes, but after the birth of his son in 1978, he began to apply the principles of human behavioral evolution to the understanding of human infancy. At the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, his research team pioneered the first studies of the physiology and behavior of mothers and infant sleeping together and apart, using physiological and behavioral recording devices.
Dr. McKenna, who came to the University of Notre Dame in 1997 after 20 years teaching at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., has published over 139 refereed scientific articles in diverse medical and anthropological journals on co-sleeping, breastfeeding, evolutionary medicine and SIDS, and both here and abroad he gives over 20 lectures especially to pediatric groups and parents. In the United States, he remains one of the primary spokespersons to the media on issues pertaining to sleeping arrangements, nighttime breast feeding and SIDS prevention.
He has also published two monographs on SIDS and infant sleep, and co-edited two books: Evolutionary Medicine (published by Oxford in 1999) and Evolutionary Medicine And Health: New Perspectives, also with Oxford University Press. His first trade book for parents was published in 2008 entitled: Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parents Guide To Co-sleeping, and was recently translated and available in Spanish and Dutch.
Dr. McKenna received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970, his Master's Degree from San Diego State University in 1972, and his Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Oregon, Eugene, in 1975.
Offered each year through Notre Dame’s network of more than 200 alumni clubs, the Hesburgh Lectures are delivered by Notre Dame faculty members nominated by their colleagues and the deans of the University’s colleges and law school. The series is named for Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C, president emeritus of Notre Dame. Father Hesburgh is considered one of the most influential figures in higher education in the 20th century. The recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Freedom, Father Hesburgh has held 16 U.S. presidential appointments and been a leading force in major social issues, ranging from civil rights to nuclear non-proliferation to Third World development and immigration reform. His stature as an elder statesman in American higher education is reflected in his more than 150 honorary degrees.