Laura Wexler

Yale University

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program

Frederick Douglass: On Photography

Thursday, November 10, 2016
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

In the 1860s, Frederick Douglass gave several public lectures about the importance of the then-new invention of photography.  In “Pictures and Progress” he shared his vision of the role he hoped photography would play in fostering a more democratic society after the Civil War.  Along with Sojourner Truth, Douglass thus became one of the first major American theorists of the medium.  This lecture engages with his critical thought in the context of his time, and ours.

The event is sponsored by the  Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Phi Beta Kappa.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

LauraWexlerphoto copyLaura Wexler, co-director of the Yale Public Humanities Program, is professor of American studies, professor of film & media studies, and professor of women’s, gender & sexuality studies at Yale University, and she holds an affiliate position in ethnicity, race & migration.  She is also founder and director of the Photographic Memory Workshop at Yale.  She is former chair of the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, and former co-chair of the Yale Women Faculty Forum.

Professor Wexler has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Henry R. Luce Foundation Grant for a three-year long project on “Women, Religion and Globalization,” (2007-2010) and institutional financial support to help pilot the Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship Program of the OpEd Project at and beyond Yale.  Her positions as a scholarly consultant include the PBS Documentary Kate Chopin: A Re-Awakening, the Alice Austen House on Staten Island, and the Eugenic Rubicon Project.   She serves as a member of the advisory board of Bridging with STEAM/M, and is a partner on Family Camera, both recipients of major grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  From 2015-2016, she was an agent of the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art.  She serves on the editorial board of the Trans-Asia Photography Review, and is a member of the American Studies Association; C19: The Society of Nineteenth Century Americanists; The Organization of American Historians; The American Historical Association; The Modern Literature Association; The Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University; and FemTechNet, an activated network of hundreds of scholars, students, and artists who work on, with, and at the borders of technology, science and feminism.

Since 2011, Professor Wexler has been principle investigator of the Photogrammar Project team, co-directed by Taylor B. Arnold and Lauren Tilton.  Photogrammar has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies to make a web-based interactive research system for mapping, searching and visualizing the more than 170, 000 photographs from 1935-1945 created by the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information during the Great Depression and the first years of American entry into World War II.

Professor Wexler centers her scholarship and teaching on photography and visual culture. Her many essays and books include the award-winning Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism (2000), Pregnant Pictures (2000), and “’A More Perfect Likeness:’ Frederick Douglass and the Image of the Nation,” in Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity, Maurice Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith, eds. 2012.   Two essays are forthcoming in 2017:  “The Purloined Image of Roland Barthes,” in Photography and the Optical Unconscious, Sharon Silwinski and Shawn Michelle Smith, eds., and “’I Saw It!’: The Photographic Witness of Barefoot Gen,” in Remaking Reality: U.S. Documentary Culture after 1945, Sara Blair, Joseph Entin and Franny Nudelman, eds.

Currently, she is teaching a graduate seminar in the digital humanities, developed with support from the Mellon Foundation, and a seminar on American public sculpture, developed in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  She is collaborating with Magnum photographers Donovan Wylie and Jim Goldberg on a book about New Haven.  As well, in 2015 the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale held the first public exhibition of her own photographs, entitled “The Tenderness of Men in Suburbs.”

Laura Wexler holds MA, MPhil, and PhD degrees from Columbia University in English and comparative literature.

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program has been offering  undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. The 15 men and women participating during 2016-2017 will visit 110 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, spending two days on each campus and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. They will meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a lecture open to the university/college community and the general public. Now in its 61st year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 648 Scholars on 5,288 two-day visits.

Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.

Additional information about the Visiting Scholar Program can be found on Phi Beta Kappa’s website (www.pbk.org/programs).

A snapshot of our upcoming programs is listed below. Check back in mid-August for the full programming schedule for fall 2016

Upcoming Events Slated for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Constitution Day Address
Celebrating a Dead Letter or a Living Document?
Barry Lynn, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Thursday, September 8, 2016
The World That Food Made
Raj Patel, award-winning writer, activist and academic

Friday, September 9, 2016 (for Dickinson community only)
One Bite at a Time: Addressing Food Policy Issues through Community Engagement and the Art of Cooking
Hugh Acheson
, chef, restaurateur and author

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Carmen-Francesca Banciu, author

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Topic: Death Penalty
Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle, exonerated death row inmates

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
The Populist Challenge: Germany and the United States before the Elections
Lothar Probst, University of Bremen

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Women on the Run: Why Women Don’t Run for Office and What Happens When They Do
Jennifer Lawless, American University

Thursday, October 6, 2016
Iran and Saudi Arabia Relations
Panel Discussion

Monday, October 10, 2016
Eating While Black: A Case Study on Food Shaming and Policing
Psyche Williams-Forson
, University of Maryland

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Presidential Election Roundtable

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Morgan Lecture

Native Harvest: The Politics, Health, Culture, and Economics of Food
Winona LaDuke, Environmentalist & Political Activist

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Bringing Animal Welfare to 21st Century Agriculture
James McWilliams, Texas State University

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Wesley Lecture
Noisy Believing: Ethical And Spiritual Responses To Sexualized Violence

Kristen Leslie, Eden Theological Seminary

Thursday, November 3, 2016|
Albion W. Tourgée and the Interracial Campaign Against Lynching
Carolyn L. Karcher, author and professor emerita, Temple University

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Mary Ellen Borges Memorial Lecture
The Good Lord Bird: Faith & American Slavery

James McBride, author and musician

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Morgan Lecture

Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University



Yair Teller

TellerPosterFinalChief Scientist and Founder, HomeBiogas

The Business of Peace through Green Energy: The HomeBiogas Story

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Teller will discuss how he is using his company, HomeBiogas, as a mechanism for peace building, sustainable development, women’s empowerment, and improvement of the quality of health and life for citizens of developing countries.

Yair Teller is chief scientist and co-founder of the HomeBiogas Company based in Netanya, Israel.  HomeBiogas produces a household renewable energy appliance that recycles kitchen waste into cooking gas and organic fertilizer.  Profits from sales to suburban customers and a successful crowd-funding campaign are used to support donation of HomeBiogas units to economically disadvantaged Bedouin, Palestinian, and Ugandan families for alleviation of poverty.  The work of HomeBiogas has been recognized by the UN and the Peres Center for Peace.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Student Senate, and co-sponsored by the departments of Judaic studies, Middle East studies and earth sciences, the Center for Sustainable Education, the Treehouse, J Street U, and the Geology Club.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

7925288_origYair Teller is a visionary and entrepreneur committed to the cause of sustainability, and driven to empower underserved communities throughout the world. He is an internationally recognized authority on domestic biogas systems, and frequently lectures at institutions throughout the world.  Teller has led forefront research developing integrative systems of waste management, anaerobic digestion, and algae production at Ben Gurion University. Teller discovered domestic biogas in India, and went on to conduct field projects constructing systems in Mexico, Kenya, the Palestinian Territories, and Israel.

In 2010, Yair Teller, together with Oshik Efrati and Erez Lanzer, founded HomeBiogas, and began developing the most advanced and affordable small-scale biogas systems.

Currently, Yair is the chief scientist for HomeBiogas and directs international peace-building projects with the EU, USAID, Peres Center for Peace, and Arava Institute for environmental studies. In November 2015, the company launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign that reached 200% of its goal over two months, and sold systems to over twenty countries. Yair’s leadership has pushed the company to dream big; the HomeBiogas vision is to make advanced biogas technology mainstream and accessible to families throughout the world.

Video of the Lecture


Venue Locations

Printable Campus Map

Stern Center, Great Room

208 W. Louther Street, Carlisle, PA 17013
(Situated between N. West and N. College Streets)

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

360 S. Louther Street, Carlisle, PA 17013
(Situated between N. College and Cherry Streets)


Preview of Fall 2015 Programs

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Glover Memorial Lecture
Advancing Science
Rush Holt, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shale Gas and Oil Development: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells, Methane Emissions, and Energy Policy
Tony Ingraffea, Cornell University

Monday, September 28, 2015

Marx in Soho by Howard Zinn
Bob Weick
, actor and monologist, featured as Karl Marx

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Morgan Lecture
Intersectionality, Black Youth and Political Activism
Patricia Hill Collins
, University of Maryland

It Takes a Village: Home Rule for Carlisle, PA

Home Rule Poster WebMonday, April 27, 2015
Allison Hall, Community Room. 7 p.m.


John Sacrison, member, Carlisle Government Study Commission for Home Rule
Blake Wilson
, member, Carlisle Government Study Commission for Home Rule
Robert Winston
, member, Carlisle Government Study Commission for Home Rule
Ken Womack
, chair, Carlisle Government Study Commission for Home Rule

On May 19, 2015, Carlisle residents will face a historic vote:  Whether or not to adopt a Home Rule Charter that will bring significant changes to the structure of our municipal government.  Four members of the Carlisle Government Study Commission, including two Dickinson faculty, will present and answer questions regarding the Home Rule Charter they have spent nearly two years drafting. Copies and summaries of the Charter will be available at the meeting.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, the Greater Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce, American Association of University Women (AAUW) Carlisle Branch, and the League of Women Voters Carlisle Area.


Charles Brown

holocaust posterLeonard and Sophie Davis Genocide Prevention Fellow, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Thursday, April 16, 2015 – 7 p.m.
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Holocaust: Justice and Accountability

Following World War II, the Nuremburg trials convicted 22 principal Nazi leaders, sentencing 12 to death and seven to various terms in prison. Hundreds of lower-level concentration camp officials were also tried, but the total number convicted and sentenced was relatively small in comparison to the number who implemented the Final Solution, the Nazi term for the Jewish Holocaust. In response to this unprecedented attempt to exterminate an entire group based on racial, ethnic, and religious criteria, the United Nations unanimously adopted the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on December 9, 1948. The pursuit of Nazi criminals continues to this day even though the passage of time and fading memories make successful prosecutions difficult.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum Contemporary Issues and the  Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) of the U.S. Army War College.

The PKSOI is distributing relevant essays about the Holocaust each week in preparation of this event. Here are links to these essays:
Week One – The Holocaust and Rule by Law
Week Two – The Holocaust System of Systems
Week Three – Concentration Camps Liberation
Week Four – Justice and Accountability

Charlie Brown Bio photoBiography (provided by the speaker)

Charles J. (Charlie) Brown currently serves as managing director of Strategy for Humanity, which helps mission-driven organizations build healthy operations, conduct smart advocacy, and secure meaningful results. He is also the Leonard and Sophie Davis Genocide Prevention Fellow at the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevenion of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he is conducting a review of U.S. policy toward the crisis in the Central African Republic.

From 2010 to 2014, Charlie served in the Obama Administration. From 2012 to 2014, he was senior advisor on Atrocity Prevention and Response in the Department of Defense (DoD), where he was responsible for leading implementation of President Obama’s initiative on atrocity prevention. In 2013, he served as DoD’s interim representative to the Atrocities Prevention Board. From 2010 to 2012, Charlie was principal deputy for the Office of Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Policy in the Office of the Under Secretary for Policy, overseeing work on a range of issues.

In the past, Charlie has held senior positions with the Institute for International Law and Human Rights, Citizens for Global Solutions, Amnesty International, and Freedom House. During the Clinton Administration, he served as chief of staff in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the U.S. Department of State and as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Rome Conference on the Establishment of the International Criminal Court. He is co-author of The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba (1991) and co-editor of Judges and Journalists in Transitional Democracies (1997).



Akbar Ahmed

Ahmed posterAmerican University

Islam & the West: A Clash of Civilizations?

Wednesday, April 15 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Ahmed will explore Samuel Huntington’s thesis of a clash of civilizations and challenge it in light of his own research examining relations between the West and the World of Islam after 9/11.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Political Science,  Middle East Studies, Sociology and the Churchill Fund. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, War at Home, and the Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

akbar-ahmed-hi-resBiography (provided by the speaker)

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. He has served as a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and was the first distinguished chair of Middle East and Islamic studies at the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Ahmed belonged to the senior Civil Service of Pakistan and was the Pakistan High Commissioner to the U.K. and Ireland. Previously, Ahmed was the Iqbal Fellow (Chair of Pakistan Studies) and Fellow of Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge. He has also taught at Harvard and Princeton Universities. He is the author of over a dozen award-winning books including a quartet of studies published by Brookings Press examining relations between the West and the World of Islam after 9/11: Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (2007), Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (2010), The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam (2013), and Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Empire (forthcoming).

Video of the Lecture

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Gilmore PosterCity University of New York

Understanding Mass Incarceration Today

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

A two year decline in the number of people locked in prisons and jails prompted a so-called “bipartisan consensus” to declare victory in the fight to end mass incarceration. Year 2013 reversed the trend; how, why, and to what end?

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Life, the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity, and the Departments of American Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Africana Studies, and Economics.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Ruth Wilson Gilmore PhotoRuth Wilson Gilmore is professor of earth & environmental sciences, and American studies, and director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received a B.A. and M.F.A. in dramatic literature and criticism from Yale, and a Ph.D. in geography from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has many publications, invited lectureships, honors, and awards. Her prize-winning book is Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, published in 2007. In a front-page review, the San Francisco Chronicle said “Now, if you want to understand why progressive California leads the Western world with its regressive system of punishment, Gilmore’s “Golden Gulag” is the first must-read book of the 21st century”.

Awards include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Soros Justice Senior Fellowship, the James Blaut Award for Critical Geography, the Ralph Santiago Abascal Award for Economic and Environmental Justice, and the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero Best Book Prize, the ASA’s Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship, and the Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racist Research and Activism from the American Association of Geographers. She has been recognized by many community justice organizations as well as: the California State Senate; the Los Angeles (California) Board of Supervisors; and the State of Connecticut. Gilmore is a board member of the Economic Roundtable; Theoretical Criminology; and Women’s Studies Quarterly. A co-founder of several grassroots social justice groups, and member of several scholarly societies, she is a past president of the Central California Environmental Justice Network, and of the American Studies Association.

The Spring 2015 Program Schedule will be Available in mid-January


Should Pennsylvania Legalize Marijuana?

Marijuana posterWednesday, April 23, 2014
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Marc Mastrangelo, professor of classical languages, Dickinson College
Crispin Sartwell, associate professor of philosophy, Dickinson College
William Nelligan, class of 2014
Willa Hut, class of 2017
Alex Toole ’14 (moderator), class of 2014

Crispin Sartwell, associate professor of philosophy, and Willa Hut ’17, will argue in favor of the motion, while Marc Mastrangelo, professor of classical studies, and Will Nelligan ’14 will argue in opposition.  The debate will focus in part on the consequences of legalizing marijuana, both positive and negative, as well as how the question relates to the rights and duties of a human being.

This event is the first in a new series titled Dickinson Debates sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Student Senate Public Affairs Committee.

Biographies (provided by the participants)

Marc Mastrangelo is a professor of classical studies and has taught  at Dickinson for 17 years. He has published books and articles on the literature of the later Roman Empire, Greek tragedy, and ancient intellectual history. He is cofounder of the Humanities Collective and faculty advisor to the Quads Neighborhood.

Crispin Sartwell is an associate professor of philosophy at Dickinson College. He’s the author of a number of books, including Obscenity, Anarchy, Reality and Political Aesthetics. His essays have appeared in many places, including Harper’s, The New York Times, and the Times Literary Supplement.

William Nelligan ’14 is Dickinson’s student senate president. He is a double-major in political science and history, focusing on the history of higher education, urban America, and the civil rights movement. A resident of Portland, Maine, Nelligan is Dickinson’s inaugural Public Service Fellow, the chair of the majors committees in history and political science, and research assistant to Prof. Matthew Pinsker and the House Divided Project.

Willa Hut ’17 is from South Orange, New Jersey. She is currently a first-year at Dickinson College. She has not yet declared her major but is interested in studio art and English. On campus, she is a member of the Outing Club.

Alex Toole ’14 is the student project supervisor at the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues. He is a double-major in political science and French, and also serves as Dickinson’s Student Senate Vice President for Finance. Toole is a member of Dickinson’s all-male a cappella group, and after graduating he will join the Baltimore City School District as an elementary school teacher.


Dickinson Debates is a new series of debates co-sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Student Senate Public Affairs Committee.  In this series, Dickinson professors and students will debate significant and timely issues that are of interest to the Dickinson community.  If you have an issue that you think should be debated as part of this series, please email your idea to the Clarke Forum at clarke@dickinson.edu.

 Video of the Debate


Our Spring Schedule will be Available in Mid-January

Preview of Spring 2014 Programs

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Carlisle’s Future: Balancing Environmental and Economic Concerns
Panel Discussion

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Freedom of Religion: A Debate
Kim Colby, senior counsel, Christian Legal Society
Heather L. Weaver ’99, senior staff attorney, American Civil Liberties Union

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Global Consequences of Current Lake Warming
Catherine O’Reilly
, professor, Illinois State University

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Global Consequences of Current Lake Warming
Scott Sumner
, professor, Bentley University


Joseph Sestak – “General Omar N. Bradley Chair Lecture”

Layout 1Former Congressman and a Former U.S. Navy Three-Star Admiral and 2013-14 General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership

Leadership to Restore the American Dream

Monday, November 4, 2013
Penn State Dickinson School of Law
Lewis Katz Hall Auditorium, 6 p.m.

Link to Penn State Dickinson School of Law Web site

“We once had leaders who recognized the expectations of the people, and turned them into demands that advanced the American Dream for both individual opportunity and the common good of the nation. Leadership must once again be accountable for brokering the shared alliance that deepens the individual strengths of these two great values of our American character so that we can restore the dream,” Sestak said.

His presentation will draw on his distinguished 31-year career in the U.S. Navy and his tenure as director for defense policy on the National Security Council, the first director of “Deep Blue,” the U.S. Navy’s counterterrorism unit, a sea-going Commander of an aircraft carrier battle group in war, and a U.S. Congressman representing Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District.

Sestak plans to discuss the American Dream, the belief that one’s children will have the opportunity to do even better than their parents. “It was a unique alliance of rugged individualism and our collective response to challenges that created an unparalleled environment in America for this opportunity,” he said. He will address what is missing in today’s leadership which he identifies as a willingness to be accountable for this special character of America.


Sestak PicJoseph Sestak was born and raised in Pennsylvania, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served 31 years in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of 3-star Admiral. He led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the GEORGE WASHINGTON Aircraft Carrier Battle Group during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served as President Clinton’s director for Defense Policy in the National Security Council; as head of “Deep Blue”, the Navy anti-terrorism unit focused on the “Global War on Terrorism”; and oversaw the Navy’s five year $350 billion warfare budget as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.  After the Navy, Sestak was elected to Congress from Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District in 2007, where he served through 2010 when he ran for the U.S. Senate. The highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to Congress, The National Journal identified him as “at the ideological center of the House,” while the House Majority Leader named Sestak the “most productive” representative in his class, through his service on the Armed Services Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and as vice chairman of the Small Business Committee. While in the Navy, Sestak received a master’s in public administration, and a Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard University. Married to Susan, and Dad to Alex, he resides in Edgmont, Pennsylvania.

General Omar Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership
The Omar Bradley Chair is a joint initiative among the United States Army War College, Dickinson College and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs. Its objective is to advance the study of strategic leadership and enhance civilian-military dialogue by offering distinguished individuals the opportunity to contribute to the educational and research activities of the partner institutions. Previous chair-holders include former director of national intelligence and retired United States Navy four-star Admiral Dennis Blair and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist Rick Atkinson.

Our Fall 2013 Schedule will be Available in Mid-August

Preview of September 2013 Programs

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gail Dines,  founding member, Stop Porn Culture
Sex, Identity and Intimacy in a Porn Culture

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Robert Bilheimer, president, Worldwide Documentaries, Inc.
Not My Life

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

David Eng, professor, University of Pennsylvania
Absolute Apology, Absolute Forgiveness

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sarah Tishkoff, professor, University of Pennsylvania
African Genomic Variation

Preview of January and February Programs

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Michael Shellenberger, president of the Breakthrough Institute
Topic: Technological Innovation

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jay Michaelson, author of God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality
Topic: Homosexuality versus Religion

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ta-Nehisi Coates, contributing editor, and blogger for The Atlantic
Topic: The U.S. Political Scene and The Emancipation Proclamation 150 Years Later

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jordan Motzkin, co-founder and CEO of Big Box Farms
Topic: Big Box Farms, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Urban Agriculture

H. Brian Holland – Continued

Additional Information about H. Brian Holland’s Lecture
Shepard Fairey’s HOPE poster remains an iconic image from the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign. By repurposing iconic aesthetic elements of Soviet, Chinese and German propaganda posters, as well as those found in many domestic campaign posters, Fairey sought to create an ironic and idealistic message “designed to capture the optimism and inspiration created by Obama’s candidacy.” For Fairey and others—those interpretive communities sharing similar semiotic regimes—the aesthetic of the poster was interpreted through social conventions of the young, smart, and hip. Within his community, the message was positive and successful.

As various other interpretive communities encountered the posters, however, divergent flows of discourse developed, producing multiple distinct and often contradictory meanings and effects. Two distinct themes were dominant. The first focused on Fairey’s use of propaganda imagery and the underlying fears that Obama’s election would lead to the imposition of an alternate, non-capitalist economic system; the rise of a dominant, totalitarian government that would threaten basic liberties; and the elevation of a leader with cult-like status. The second theme, in some ways related to the first, accused Obama and his supporters of equating him to the messiah or a messiah-like figure.

This discourse highlights the struggle and uncertainty surrounding the employment of particular symbols. The imagery, once released into a multitude of social contexts, was out of the author’s control. In many of these contexts, the author’s desired meanings were not missed by the audience but simply rejected.

There is remarkable evidence here of the struggle for power through control of social convention. The Fairey posters themselves served as raw material for countless mash-ups by supporters and detractors. Obama is variously portrayed as a Communist or Socialist, as Hitler or Che, as a false messiah, as a fraud, or as a snob. Other propaganda posters superimposed Obama’s face on iconic posters from the Soviet Union, Maoist China, and Nazi Germany. These mash-ups evidence both individuals’ attempts to negotiate the meaning of the Fairey posters, and the struggle against the author’s attempt to control, transmit, and maintain meaning. Moreover, these images are themselves evidence of certain dominant social conventions within the various interpretive communities from which they emerged — only to be engaged, negotiated, and challenged once again.

The presidential election of 2012, although lacking such a singularly powerful image as the HOPE poster, presents similar evocative symbolism. Exploring these images provides a glimpse into the underlying struggle to define and control the very basic conventions of American society—how actions and ideas will be embraced, rejected, or even vilified.

H. Brian Holland

Associate Professor of Law, Texas Wesleyan School of Law

Hope, Hitler, or Heresy? The Visual Language of a Presidential Campaign

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Depot, 7:00 p.m.

Remix politics is here. As divergent audiences engage and manipulate the carefully crafted images of presidential campaigns, competing symbols evidence a struggle for power over social convention and meaning. Read More

This event is jointly sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, Penn State Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs and co-sponsored by the Departments of American Studies and Political Science.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Professor H. Brian Holland joined the faculty of Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 2009. Prior to his arrival, Professor Holland was a Visiting Associate Professor at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law.

Professor Holland received a LL.M., with honors, from Columbia University School of Law; a J.D., summa cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law, and a B.A. from Tufts University. Professor Holland is currently pursuing his Ph.D. studies in digital media and mass communications at Penn State University.

Prior to joining the academy, Professor Holland practiced law in New York and Washington, D.C., specializing in appellate work before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals, as well as international arbitration. Prior to law school, Professor Holland spent seven years working as a graphic designer and creative director for clients ranging from S&P 500 corporations to small nonprofits.

Professor Holland’s interdisciplinary scholarship examines the intersection between law—particularly intellectual property and technology law—and theories of communication and memory.

Lieutenant General James M. Dubik – “General Omar N. Bradley Lecture”

Leadership Under Pressure

Monday, October 22, 2012
Katz Hall, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, 7:00 p.m.

Link to Live Webcast

General Dubik, The General Omar N. Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership, will discuss the strategic mistakes made in Iraq; the myths that are partly responsible for these mistakes; the transformation that turned Iraq from a strategic failure to a strategic opportunity; and how the U.S. should incorporate its experience in Iraq in addressing current ongoing events in the Middle East and North Africa.

This event is jointly sponsored by Dickinson College, Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs, and the U.S. Army War College.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

The Omar Bradley Chair is a joint initiative among the United States Army War College, Dickinson College and Penn State University Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs. Its objective is to advance the study of strategic leadership and enhance civilian-military dialogue by offering distinguished individuals the opportunity to contribute to the educational and research activities of the partner institutions. Previous chair-holders include former director of national intelligence and retired United States Navy four-star Admiral Dennis Blair and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist Rick Atkinson.

Dubik Named Next Bradley Chair in Strategic Leadership

Michael Morrison and David Hirshey – EVENT CANCELLED

Michael Morrison, president and publisher, U.S. General Books & Canada at HarperCollins Publishers
David Hirshey, senior VP and executive editor, HarperCollins Publishers

So YOU Want To Work in Publishing

Friday, October 5, 2012
Biblio Cafe, Waidner-Spahr Library, 4:00 p.m.

A brief overview of the publishing industry with an emphasis on the job opportunities in the different areas of today’s global publishing companies. Q&A encouraged.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.

Biographies (provided by the speakers)

Michael Morrison is president and publisher, U.S. General Books and Canada at HarperCollins Publishers. He oversees the publishing operations of the U.S. General Books Group. In addition, his responsibilities include the oversight of HarperCollins Canada. He was appointed to this position June, 2008.

Morrison joined HarperCollins in January 1999 as vice president, associate publisher of HarperCollins and later became executive vice president, publisher of Morrow/Avon. He most recently served as president and group publisher of the HarperMorrow division. Morrison began his publishing career in the finance department of Simon & Schuster in 1982. He subsequently moved to Bantam, Doubleday and Dell as a Production Manager and then he became a marketing manager for many years. He returned to Simon & Schuster as a national accounts sales representative and later moved to Random House in the same role. While at Random House he rose to the position of sales director of the Knopf/Vintage Group and then ran the RandomHouseAudio Division, before moving to HarperCollins as the associate publisher.

Morrison also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Masters in Publishing program at New York University.

David Hirshey is a senior vice president and executive editor of HarperCollins Publishers, which he joined in 1998 after a distinguished career in magazines and newspapers. After graduating from Dickinson where he wrote for the school paper and played soccer (unimpressively) for four years, David joined the New York Daily News, then the largest circulation newspaper in the country, as a cub reporter in the sports department. He rose quickly in the ranks and after five years became the youngest sports columnist in New York City. In 1984, he landed his dream job at Esquire Magazine where, among other things, he was in charge of the magazine’s celebrated annual humor issue, the Dubious Achievement Awards. In 1997, he moved briefly to the New Yorker before being hired by HarperCollins the following year as an executive editor of non-fiction. In his 14 years at Harper, David has edited numerous bestsellers and worked with some of the country’s most famous authors such as Tom Robbins, Dave Eggers, Seymour. M. Hersh, and George Tenet. He still keeps his hand (and foot) in soccer by writing a twice weekly column for ESPN.com but for the good of the beautiful game has given up playing competitively.

HarperCollins is one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP, NCPDP).  Headquartered in New York, the company has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australasia.  Its publishing groups include the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children’s Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India.  You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at http://www.harpercollins.com.