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.

Lester Spence

Johns Hopkins University

Trayvon Martin and the Political Imagination

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

The murder of Trayvon Martin has captured the nation’s interest. Many have used his murder to examine and complicate our understanding of the contemporary “post-racial moment”. However I suggest that the construction of the Trayvon Martin narrative as well as the resulting political events that stem from it truncate rather than expand our political possibilities. How might we use this tragic event to not only complicate our understanding of what it means to be a citizen in the Obama era, but to take more “personal moral responsibility for democracy” as Ralph Ellison says?

This event is co-sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, Office of Diversity Initiatives, Office of Institutional and Diversity Initiatives, the Women’s Center and the Department of Sociology.

About the Speaker
Link to Lester Spence’s webpage

3/20/11 – Michael Shenkman ’68 – Leading Greatly: Why a Liberal Arts Education Matters

Program information

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Steve Sparks – Volcanic Eruptions – Priestley Lecture – 11/11/10

Link to program information

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Fred Greenstein – Buchanan vs. Lincoln: A Presidential Comparison – 10/29/10

Link to program information

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A Preview of Programs Scheduled for Fall 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Asking for It: The Ethics & Erotics of Sexual Consent
Harry Brod, University of Northern Iowa
Location TBD, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gay Marriage and its Others
Heather Love, University of Pennsylvania
Location: TBD, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mary Ellen Borges Memorial Lecture
God is Not One
Stephen Prothero, Boston University
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.


Clarke Forum Fellow

McCauslandDr. Jeffrey D. McCausland

Dr. Jeffrey D. McCausland is a Visiting Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He served as the Director of the Leadership Initiative at Dickinson College from January 2004 thru November 2006. In this capacity he has conducted leadership development seminars for over two hundred educators from major urban school districts across the United States, hosted senior Indian and Pakistani officials for discussions and lectures on the ongoing disagreement between their two countries, and organized a major conference focused on the future of the Special Relationship between the United States and United Kingdom.

Dr. McCausland served for over thirty years in the United States Army. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1972 and was commissioned in field artillery. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger Schools as well as the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds both a Masters and Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

During his military career Dr. McCausland served in a variety of command and staff positions both in the United States and Europe. This included Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council Staff during the Kosovo crisis. He also worked on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a member of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, US Army Staff, the Pentagon. Following this assignment he assumed command of a field artillery battalion stationed in Europe and deployed his unit to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990 and 1991. He completed his active duty service in 2002 culminating his career as Dean of Academics, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Upon his retirement in 2002 he was awarded the Class of 1961 Chair of Leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy.

He has both published and lectured broadly on leadership, military affairs, European security, the Gulf War, and arms control throughout the United States and over twelve countries. He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; Conflict Studies Research Center, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; Stiftung Wissenshaft und Politk, Ebenhausen, Germany; George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies, Garmisch, Germany; and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.

He has also served as a member of numerous panels on leadership and character development. These include the Chief of Staff Army’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Training and Leader Development (2001); the Character Review Panel for the Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy (2002); as well as providing advice and assistance to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Aerospace Leader Development Panel.

Dr. McCausland is an adjunct fellow at both the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as well as the RAND Corporation in Washington. He is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs based in New York City and a member of the advisory board to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.

He also serves as a national security consultant to CBS television and radio. He has been a frequent commentator on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan for CBS since early 2003. In this capacity he has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Christian Science Monitor. He is interviewed frequently on CBS radio and appeared on the CBS Evening News, Morning Show, and Up to the Minute. He has also appeared on CNN Morning Show, CSPAN Booknotes, MSNBC, and Al Jazeera. He is married to the former Marianne Schiessl and has three children – Tanya, Nicholas, and Phillip.