A snapshot of our upcoming programs is listed below. Check back in mid-January for the full programming schedule for spring 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017
Reproductive Rights: Religion, Ethics, and the Law
Kathryn Ellis
, psychologist
David O’Connell, assistant professor of political science
Katie Oliviero
(moderator), assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Inequality and Stagnation by Policy Design
Thomas Palley, senior economic policy advisor, AFL-CIO

Thursday, February 2, 2017
My Journey: Ethiopia to Israel
Maly Jackson, Ethiopian refugee

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
La Cucaracha” and Political Satire

Lalo Alcaraz, political cartoonist, writer

Monday, February 13, 2017
Community Responses to Anti-Muslim Hatred
Joyce Davis (moderator), World Affairs Council
Samia Malik, Council on American-Islamic Relations
Harrisburg chapter
Ikram Rabbani ’17, student, Dickinson College
Ann M. Van Dyke, Pennsylvania Human Relations

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Trump, Race and the Slow Death of Democracy

Lester Spence, Johns Hopkins University

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Your Body is Not an Apology
Sonya Renee Taylor, author/poet

Friday, February 24, 2017 (Dickinson Community only. RSVP Required)
10 Tools for Radical Self Love
Sonya Renee Taylor, author/poet

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Muslim Women and the Freedom to Choose
Lila Abu-Lughod
, professor, Columbia University

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Bees and Beekeeping Today

Olivia Bernauer, graduate student, University of Maryland
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, beekeeper and professor, Rhode Island College
Samuel Ramsey,doctoral student, University of Maryland
Marcus Welker, (moderator), projects coordinator, Center for Sustainability Education

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Black Women Defense Squads in Online Fandom
Kristen Warner, University of Alabama

Residency: March 7 through March 10, 2017
Keynote: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Inviting Empathy: How I Elicit Trust and Engage Community through Documentary Storytelling

Erin Hudson, documentary filmmaker

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Morgan Lecture

Native Harvest: The Politics, Health, Culture, and Economics of Food
Winona LaDuke
, executive director, Honor the Earth

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Priestley Lecture
Harnessing Academic Work to Make a Difference: Food Policy as an Example
Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Location, Location, Location: Hollywood’s Precarious Mobility

Kevin Sanson, Queensland University of Technology

Residency: April 2 – April 8, 2017
Keynote: Thursday, April 6, 2017

Residency with Movement Artist
Eiko Otake, renowned performance artist

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Thoughts on Cybersecurity in an Age of Trump
Robert Deitz,  professor of public policy, George Mason University

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Hollywood Made in China
Aynne Kokas, University of Virginia

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Topic: Gentrification
Lance Freeman
, Columbia University

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Suffragist 3.0: Women and Democracy Online
Marie Tessier
, journalist, The New York Times

Jenny Lee

Lee PosterVictoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Fat Activism Down Under

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Althouse Hall, Room 106, 7 p.m.

This talk explores the fat activist movement in Australia and New Zealand including fat  femme synchronized swim, fat burlesque, and the “plus size” fashion industry.  Lee will discuss the challenges of doing fat activism and scholarship, the complexities of dealing with the media and organizations that discriminate, the personal cost of fat activism, and the white privilege of prominent fat activists.

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

J_Lee_12Biography (provided by the speaker)

Jenny Lee researches in the interdisciplinary fields of Fat Studies and Creative Writing at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing in ‘Culture and values in health’ at Victoria University.

She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and has published in academic journals and books, literary journals and magazines. She has presented her research at conferences in Spain, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and published work in England, Ireland, the U.S, and Australia. Her academic publications include, ‘Not just a type: diabetes, fat and fear’, in Somatechnics (2012); ‘Flaunting fat: sex with the lights on’, Queering Fat Embodiment (2014); ‘Hidden and forbidden: alter egos, invisibility cloaks and psychic fat suits’ in Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism (2015); ‘All the way from (B)lame to (A)cceptance: Diabetes, health and fat activism’ in The Politics of Size (2015) and the forthcoming ‘Stigma in practice: Barriers to health for fat women’ in Frontiers in Psychology: Obesity stigma in healthcare: impacts on policy, practice and patients. Lee’s creative publications include fiction, memoir and narrative non-fiction and she curates spoken word events for writers’ and queer festivals.

Her PhD research was in Creative Writing and Gender Studies, and explored the medical management of intersex bodies, and the consequences of this within families. This stemmed from Lee’s interest in bodies that Western culture considers non-normative, and engaged with notions of intrusion, discipline and punishment for certain bodies in our culture. Her post-PhD research has been in fat activism and fat embodiment. She is currently writing about intersections between fat and queer; fat stigma and barriers to health care for fat people, and fatness in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and motherhood. She is a queer, feminist, fat activist.

Video of the Lecture


Winona LaDuke – “Morgan Lecturer” – Rescheduled to Spring 2017

Executive Director, Honor the Earth

Morgan Lecture

Native Harvest: The Politics, Health, Culture, and Economics of Food

Thursday, October 27, 2017
(Rescheduled from Fall 2016)
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Future generations rely upon our wisdom and actions today. LaDuke will share stories from her work in local food, energy justice, intergenerational and interspecies equity, and the front lines of food sovereignty. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability Education, the Churchill Fund and the Departments of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Environmental Studies, American Studies, Anthropology & Archaeology and Political Science.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s  Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series and part of the Clarke Forum’s Fall 2016 semester theme, Food.

laduke_winona5-10(300)Biography (provided by the speaker)

Winona LaDuke is an internationally renowned activist working on issues of sustainable development renewable energy and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and is a two-time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party.

As executive director of the Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on the issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice with indigenous communities. And in her own community, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation based nonprofit organizations in the country, and a leader in the issues of culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and food systems. In this work, she also continues national and international work to protect Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.

In 2007, LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, recognizing her leadership and community commitment. In 1994, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising leaders under 40. She has been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, Ms. Woman of the Year (with the Indigo Girls) in 1997, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which in part she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The White Earth Land Recovery Project has won many awards, including the prestigious 2003 International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity, recognizing the organization’s work to protect wild rice from patenting and genetic engineering.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and is presently an advisory board member for the Trust for Public Lands Native Lands Program as well as a board member of the Christensen Fund. The author of five books, including Recovering the Sacred, All Our Relations, and a novel, Last Standing Woman, she is widely recognized for her work on environmental and human rights issues.

Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power, Art Spiegelman, Sandra Steingraber, Kay Redfield Jamison and Patricia Hill Collins.

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