Past Programs

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 – “Bruce R. Andrews Lecture in Political Science”

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Poster for Bernard Fraga's eventBruce R. Andrews Lecture in Political Science

Sueño Americano or Sueño Republicano? Latino Voters in 2020, 2022, and Beyond  

Bernard Fraga, Emory University 

In 2020, support for Joe Biden among Latina/o/x voters was 8 percentage points lower than support for Hillary Clinton in 2016, the largest drop of any racial/ethnic group. While much media and academic attention has focused on understanding the impact of misinformation, COVID concerns, and racial animus on Latino voters in 2020, in this lecture Fraga will discuss co-authored work examining the demographic and core ideological characteristics of Latino voters who voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Using a mix of national survey data, precinct returns, and voter file records, and disaggregating components of electoral change, he provides evidence of increasing alignment between issue positions and vote choice among Latinos. Moreover, he highlights pro-Trump shifts among working-class Latinos and modest evidence of a pro-Trump shift among newly-engaged U.S.-born Latino children of immigrants and Catholic Latinos. Examining evidence from 2022 elections, Fraga concludes by discussing the likelihood of a durable Republican shift for Latinos going forward. 

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues Read more

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Poster Alan Davis Event on Psychedelic-Assisted PsychotherapyAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Promising Intervention Mental Health Treatment

Alan Davis, Ohio State University

Psychedelic substances produce cognitive effects ranging from psychologically challenging to spiritual, mystical, and insightful. Although several factors are related to the type of psychedelic experiences one might have (i.e., dose, purity of substance, substance used, individual/environmental factors), many report that these experiences are psychologically helpful. For example, cross-sectional surveys and laboratory experiments suggest that psilocybin can have psychotherapeutic benefits, with published reports documenting positive outcomes. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the acute psilocybin experience is associated with positive clinical outcomes and with persisting changes in attitude, mood, personality, beliefs, and behavior among clinical samples with depression, PTSD, addiction, and anxiety. Therefore, this lecture aims to briefly review the empirical literature supporting the study of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, provide a basic framework of the possible acute effects occasioned by these medicines, and assist attendees in developing a foundational understanding of contemporary psychedelic research.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Pre-Health Program and the departments of chemistry and psychology. This event was initiated by the Clarke Forum’s student project managers.

Topic overview written Read more

Wednesday, March 1 – Thursday, March 2, 2023

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Althouse 106, 7 p.m.

Poster to advertise Happenings film screening and talk with Nathalie FroloffFilm Screening of Happening

(Film is in French with English Subtitles)

This award-winning 2021 film directed by Audrey Diwan is based on Annie Ernaux’s 2020 book by the same name. The timely exploration of reproductive rights focuses on Anne, “a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. When she falls pregnant in 1960s France, where abortion is illegal, she resolves to act, no matter the risk.”

A Q&A session will follow at 8:45 p.m. moderated by Professor Nathalie Froloff, Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris.


Thursday, March 2, 2023
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 – 8 p.m.

Life and Fate in Annie Ernaux’s Work: Writing Women’s Invisible History

(Lecture in English)

Nathalie Froloff, Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris

From the backlash to the Me Too movement in France to the controversial reception of Annie Ernaux’s 2022 award for the Nobel Prize in Literature, this talk discusses how Ernaux’s work reflects on women’s condition in French society. Moreover, it introduces Ernaux’s literary project, which blends collective and individual experiences into a universal narrative of life and fate.

These events are sponsored by the departments of French & Francophone studies; film studies; women’s, gender & Read more

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Poster for Arachu Castro EventAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Social Inequality and Maternal and Child Health in Latin America: A Health Equity Perspective 

Arachu Castro, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine  

In this lecture, Castro will present findings from research she conducted in Latin America on the impact of social inequality, poverty, and violence on maternal and child health outcomes. 

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of anthropology & archaeology; international studies; Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean studies; and the health studies and pre-health programs.

Topic overview written by Sofia Perrone ’25

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Arachu Castro headshotArachu Castro, Ph.D., MPH, is the Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America and director of the Collaborative Group for Health Equity in Latin America at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. She is a medical anthropologist trained in public health. Before joining Tulane in 2013, she was an associate professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School. Among other awards, Castro is the recipient of the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship for her research on HIV and syphilis Read more

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Livestream Link


Poster for Psyche Williams Forson eventLove Your Body Week Keynote

Bearing Witness to Myself: Womanness, Blackness, Fatness, Wholeness and…the Twisted Work of Trauma

Psyche Williams-Forson,  University of Maryland College Park

This discussion will engage the intersections of womanness, blackness, fatness, and wholeness to consider different definitions of health and personal agency. Creating healthy bodies requires a redefinition of the food stories that define African American culture. And it requires that we push back against acts that demonize and degrade the foods that help communities “to keep on keepin’ on.” Redefining and pushing back is part of the work that helps to heal bodies as well as minds. Healing occurs when we consider the whole person—the cultural, spiritual, biomedical, economic, and social being and when we allow people to live lives that empower and strengthen them without shame or fear of being shamed.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, and the departments of women’s, gender & sexuality studies; American studies, Africana studies; anthropology; and the Food Studies Program. The program is part of Love Your Body Week programming.

Topic Overview written Read more

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Poster to advertise: The Carlisle Project programMathers Theatre, 6 p.m.

This event is in-person only. It will not be livestreamed or recorded. 

Tickets are free, reservations are required. (Link to Reserve Tickets)

The Carlisle Project: Artists in Conversation  

Ronee Penoi, FLORA musicals 
Annalisa Dias, FLORA musicals

The Carlisle Project, written by Ronee Penoi (music/lyrics) and Annalisa Dias (lyrics), unravels the complicated legacy and trauma of Indian boarding schools in an expressive song cycle. The project uses song, satire, and ceremony to tell the harrowing history of the Carlisle Indian School and the brutal assimilation enforced under its motto “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” In this musical song cycle, Indigenous descendants separated by time, place, and experience grapple with the generational trauma and erasure that Carlisle caused and explore what it means to be Native American now.  

In their lecture, Penoi and Dias discuss how The Carlisle Project is an act of decolonization and a restorying of our past, while offering a view of an Indigenous future. 

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Center on the Futures of Native Peoples; Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education (Cambridge, NY); the Department of Theatre & Dance; Read more

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Poster for Erica Armstrong Dunbar eventAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

(This event will not be recorded for later viewing.)

Black History Month Keynote

Running from the Washingtons: Ona Judge and The Founding of a Nation 

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Rutgers University 

When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he brought along nine slaves, including Ona Judge. As the president grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t abide: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire.

Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom. So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Judge became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts Read more

Friday, February 10, 2023

Poster for Rurality and Access to Higher EducationWaidner Admissions House, Large Meeting Room – 6:45 p.m.

This event is in-person only. It will not be livestreamed or recorded.

From Small Town to Campus: Rural Student Experiences at Research One and Liberal Arts Institutions

Opening Keynote: Rurality and Access to Higher Education

Corinne Smith, Associate Director of Admissions at Yale University

In this forum, Smith will address topics related to rurality and access to higher education, such as the complexities of geographic diversity and defining rural; the challenges in identifying rural and small-town applicants; college access barriers impacting rural students; the importance of rural student organizations; and national efforts to support rural and small-town students. This forum will be moderated by Madison Mellinger, student at Princeton University and will be presented via Zoom to an in-person audience.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by Student Engagement, Retention and Persistence at Dickinson. It is part of the national conference “From Small Town to Campus: Rural Student Experiences at Research One and Liberal Arts Institutions.”

Topic overview written by Anne Fisher-Henson ’24

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Corinne Smith, Yale University, HeadshotCorinne Smith (she/her) is an associate director of admissions at Yale University. Originally from a Read more

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Poster for The Cradle to Prison PipelineThis event is in-person only. It will not be livestreamed or recorded.

The Cradle to Prison Pipeline and the Criminalization of Black Youth  

Kristin Henning, Georgetown Law

Drawing upon twenty-five years of experience representing young people in Washington, D.C.’s juvenile courts, Kristin Henning confronts America’s irrational and manufactured fears of Black youth and makes a compelling case that the nation’s obsession with policing and incarcerating Black America begins with Black children. Unlike White youth, who are afforded the freedom to test boundaries, experiment with sex and drugs, and figure out who they are and who they want to be, Black youth are seen as a threat to White America and denied the privilege of healthy adolescent development. Weaving together powerful narratives and persuasive data, Henning examines the criminalization of Black adolescent play and sexuality, the demonization of Black fashion, hair, and music, and the discriminatory impact of police in schools.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by Penn State Dickinson Law; the Center for Civic Learning & Action; the Women’s & Gender Resource Center; and the departments of American studies; educational studies; history; philosophy; psychology; sociology; Read more

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Poster for Free Speech on Campus

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Free Speech on Campus

Sigal Ben-Porath, Professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania

Free speech, a staple of modern democracy, has become the focal point for political and cultural forces impacting universities. Higher education is charged with the mandate to expand the boundaries of knowledge; to disseminate knowledge through teaching and other modes; and to serve the public by training citizens and leaders. To do so it must ensure that a broad range of views and approaches are discussed openly. But should all speech be protected in the name of free inquiry? Should the universities allow bigotry or exclusionary speech that targets specific groups? Should it make room for misinformation? Recent speech controversies around the globe expose the difficulty in carving a response in this polarized time. This struggle over the boundaries of speech is based in disagreement over core democratic principles. A democratic framework of inclusive freedom will be presented and defended. It reflects the values of protecting free thought, inquiry and expression, and maintaining a commitment to the dignity of all campus members.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Read more

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Murder of Madam Bessie Jones poster

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

The Murder of Madam Bessie Jones in Carlisle

J. M. West, Author, Madam Bessie Jones
Pat LaMarche (moderator), Charles Bruce Foundation
Ron Turo, Cumberland County
Carmen James, Cumberland County Historical Society

This October marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Bessie Jones, who ran a brothel in Carlisle in the mid-20th century. The murder remains unsolved, but Jones’s story is remarkable—she was a black entrepreneur whose clients were exclusively white men. West will provide an overview of Jones’s life and the made-for-television legal case associated with her death. The panel will discuss the complex racial, gender, and sexuality issues that the case brings to light.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Topic overview written by Shayna Herzfeld ’25

Biographies (provided by the speakers)

Photo of JM WestJ. M. West, author of the award-winning, Madam Bessie Jones: Her Life and Times,  a tapestry of history: a local brothel owner’s struggles and sacrifices to survive. West also penned the fact based Carlisle Crime Cases series (CCCs) featuring homicide detectives Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy, is Read more

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Keynote for DickinsonPoster for Public Engagement, Organizing and the Role of Faith-Based Institutions‘s Multifaith Week

Public Engagement, Organizing, and the Role of Faith-Based Institutions

Michael Pappas ’83, Executive Director of SanFrancisco Interfaith Council

What is the role of religious and spiritual based communities in advocacy work? In a society which is encountering Christian nationalism, religious extremism, and growing resentment of religion in the public sphere, much of higher education has sought to move away from engagement with religion. Today’s religious and spiritual communities though continue to represent some of the core realms of advocacy work and organizing. Many in higher education attribute religion as being a topic to be avoided, but without the role of religious organizations and the compelling narratives that drive faith-based communities into activism, many in society would be left without a way to engage on larger issues of social concern. This lecture with Dickinson alum Michael Pappas seeks to elevate a conversation around how and why religious and spiritual communities continue to matter in society, their historic as well as present work in communities, and the ways in which individuals can themselves consider careers that coalesce around religion, government, social justice, and public policy. The talk Read more

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Poster for Journalism in Conflict programAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m

Livestream Link

Journalism in Conflict: Reporting from Ukraine and Beyond

Anthony Borden, Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Borden will discuss the work of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), whose mission is to “empower local voices to drive change in countries in conflict, crisis, and transition.” He will discuss the role of IWPR and local journalists in the fight against hate speech and propaganda, and consider the importance of reliable information and public debate in global conflict zones, like Ukraine.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Military Science.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Natalia Fedorczak ’24

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Anthony Borden headshotAnthony Borden is the founder of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR). He was editor of the highly regarded IWPR magazine War Report from 1991-98 and was commended for the “Best Online Journalism Service” in the 1999 NetMedia journalism awards, for IWPR’s reporting on the Kosovo crisis. He has worked with the UK’s Department for International Development assessing media programs in post-communist countries. Read more

Friday, October 7, 2022

Kaufman Hall, Room 178
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Let’s Talk Climate Series – Facilitated Discussion

Warming in the Arctic: Why Do We Need to Care?

Ben Edwards, Dickinson College

The Arctic is a critical area to understand as a first glimpse of changes that will be coming as global warming starts having a larger impact on driving climate change. If melting of the Greenland ice sheet causes too much freshening of North Atlantic waters, many bad things could follow ecologically and climatologically. The geopolitical realm of the Arctic is also moving to the global stage, in part as a result of Russia’s international ambitions and their impacts on current and future (Sweden and Finland) NATO members. We will pick out a few critical natural components of the Arctic in this session (sea ice, permafrost, glaciers), and discuss how they will have increasingly direct impacts on geopolitics in the near future.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Sustainability Education.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, The Arctic.

Visit Let’s Talk Climate for a full list of events in this series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Ben Edwards is Read more

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Poster for Political Prisoners eventAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Political Prisoners and Free Speech in Cuba

Jorge Olivera Castillo, City of Asylum     

Nancy Alfaya Hernandez, Activist & Artist

Castillo will discuss censorship in Cuba and share his experiences working both in government media and against it. He began to write literature as a political prisoner in Cuba’s Guantanamo Prison in 2003. He will speak about his experience in prison and solitary confinement. After the Ladies in White protest movement organized for release of Black Spring prisoners, he was released in 2004. He and his wife, Nancy Alfaya Hernandez, continued to work as activists for freedom and democracy in Cuba while facing repression from the political police. Castillo will give information about activists and artists working to bring freedom to Cubans and the risks they face. He will share about his new writings, including a book based on his experiences as a veteran of the Angolan Civil War at 19 years old. In addition, Castillo will read political poems in Spanish with English subtitles.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of Spanish & Portuguese studies; and Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean studies.

Read more

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Sliding Earth: Arctic Indigenous Cryo-Worlds, Environmental Risks and Human-Non-Human Collaborations

Olga Ulturgasheva                              Sayan Ulturgashev

University of Manchester                        Choreographer 

Accounts of dramatic environmental change offered by Arctic Indigenous communities and international climate scientists have recently pointed to a profound sense of unpredictability generated by the rapidly disappearing cryosphere. There are reports of the unprecedented extinction of ice-dependent worlds and of increasing likelihood for thousands of towns and villages to be threatened by rising sea levels and loss of the sea ice. All of the above will only intensify in the course of the next couple of decades, with methane released by rapidly thawing permafrost. The continuous and rapacious extraction of subsurface resources makes it increasingly clear that an ice-free Arctic is no longer located in the distant future but is lurking just around the corner. This lecture will examine the ways Arctic/Siberian Indigenous communities respond to unpredictable climate events and the knowledge, strategies, and human-non-human collaborations they draw from to face environmental calamities.

Following the lecture, students participating in Dickinson’s Ballet Certificate Program will perform an excerpt of Eveny Melody by Sayan Ulturgashev, Indigenous ballet dancer and choreographer.

The event is sponsored by the Read more

Thursday, September 22, 2022 – Morgan Lecture

Poster for Roosevelt Montas's EventAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Morgan Lecture

Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation

Roosevelt Montás, Columbia University

What is the value of a liberal education? Traditionally characterized by a rigorous engagement with the classics of Western thought and literature, this approach to education is all but extinct in American universities, replaced by flexible distribution requirements and ever-narrower academic specialization. Many academics attack the very idea of a Western canon as chauvinistic, while the public increasingly doubts the value of the humanities. In this Clarke Forum lecture based on his book Rescuing Socrates, American academic Roosevelt Montás tells the story of how a liberal education transformed his life and offers an intimate account of the relevance of the Great Books today, especially to members of historically marginalized communities.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Roberts Fund for Classical Studies, and the Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean Studies Program.

Topical background written by Georgia Schaefer-Brown ’25

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Roosevelt Montás PhotoRoosevelt Montás grew up in the Dominican Republic until, at twelve years old, Read more

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Poster for Katrina Briddell's eventStern Great Room, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Can You Still Have Fun? In Search of “The Good Life” in a Broken World

Katrina Jurgill Briddell ’01, Head of Social Impact & Community Investment at The Hershey Company

How do we live life with intention and with wonder and delight–while witnessing the injustice, darkness, division, and pain in the world?  What does it mean to balance responsibility to our family, community, and world while prioritizing joy, fun, growth, and our own experience of life? Katrina Jurgill Briddell ’01 will be the first to tell you she does not have all the answers, but she will share how her life was shaped by sitting with these questions and engaging with them along the way.  In this session, she explores lessons from her personal and professional journey—from her time studying Spanish and Religion at Dickinson to her work today in social impact and sustainability—and how an evolving vision of “the Good Life” has served as a guide on her path through life.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies. This program is part of the Good Life Series  and Read more

Thursday, September 15, 2022 – Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Conversation

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Video of the Presentation is Available on House Divided’s YouTube Channel

Constitution Day Conversation

The Past and Future of the Political Supreme Court

Rachel Shelden                             John E. Jones III

Penn State University                       Dickinson

To commemorate Constitution Day in 2022, Dickinson College will feature President John E. Jones III, a retired federal judge, in a wide-ranging constitutional conversation with noted political historian Rachel Shelden. Jones and Shelden will help put several of the current bitter controversies over democratic elections, abortion, and judicial partisanship into revealing historical context.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the House Divided Project. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.


Rachel Shelton PhotoRachel Shelden is an associate professor at Penn State University and the director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center. Her work centers on the long U.S. Civil War era with a focus on politics, culture, slavery, constitutionalism, and law. Her first book, Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War, examines how the social lives of federal politicians in Washington created a political fraternity that left
Read more

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Poster for Apryl Williams EventAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


The New Culture Wars: Social Media Use & Racial Discourse

Apryl Williams,  Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Studies at the University of Michigan

Racial trouble and civil unrest reached a new peak after the 2016 presidential election. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor ushered in a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement during the spring and summer of 2020. At the same time, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on widespread anti-Asian sentiment in the US. People have deeply emotional views on both sides of the issue yet, having an exchange of ideas has become increasingly difficult, especially online. This lecture will explore why it can be emotionally triggering to talk about race and how imbalanced the burden of emotional labor can be when constrained by social conventions of civility. Williams will cover research highlighting gendered roles in heated racial discussions and explore how we might step into anti-racism framing, discourse, and living.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity; the Women’s & Gender Resource Center; and the departments Read more