Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Caring for Our EldersVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


Caring for Our Elders: A Conversation on the Present and Future of Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Dr. Michael Daniels
Jean Foschi
Sherry Knowlton ’72
Tim Potts ’71
Dave Sarcone (moderator)

The Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has been a Cumberland County resource since 1829. It is a community-based non-profit with an open admission policy, focused on providing quality skilled nursing services to residents in a caring and dignified environment. However, deficit budgets in recent years have prompted the County Commissioners to decide to sell the Center to a private nursing home facility provider in order to avoid property tax increases. There are currently two potential buyers, and commissioners anticipate that a sale will be finalized by the summer of this year. This event will explore potential costs to our residents of a sale and discuss ways the center might be kept as a county owned resource.

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


IMGDr. Michael Daniels, MD, MBA, is a general practitioner based in Mount Holly Springs. He is a residency trained, board certified family physician with additional certification in geriatrics. For 35 years he Read more

Monday, March 29, 2021

Ben Ghiat Poster FBVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


Strongman Propaganda and Personality Cults from Mussolini to the Present

Ruth Ben-Ghiat – New York University

This talk examines the “authoritarian playbook” strongman rulers used to get to office and stay there: corruption, propaganda, violence, and the myth of national greatness. The talk will focus on how propaganda and personality cults tie everything together – and how to push back against authoritarian disinformation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and cosponsored by the department of Italian & Italian studies and history.

Topic overview by Gabriella Farrell ’21.


thumbnail RBG Headshot lo res crop jpgRuth Ben-Ghiat is a historian, educator, and commentator on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda — and the threats these present to democracies around the world. Professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, she is author or editor of seven books and many essays and op-eds in media outlets including CNN, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. Her newest book is Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (Norton,2020), which examines the authoritarian playbook (corruption, violence, propaganda, and virility) that such leaders have used for a century.

Video of the Presentation

Read more

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Venuti PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

What is Translation? Theory, Practice, Value

Lawrence Venuti, Temple University

Although the history of translation theory and practice has been distinguished by a range of concepts and strategies, two approaches, one instrumental, the other hermeneutic (or interpretive), have recurred so frequently they are considered the dominated models. This talk will explore the continuing pertinence of these models for both theory and practice by examining the work of various theorists and commentators from antiquity to the present.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of classical studies, English, French & Francophone studies, Italian & Italian studies, Spanish & Portuguese, German, and Middle East studies.

Topic overview written by Logan Cort ’22


VenutiLawrence Venuti, professor emeritus of English at Temple University, is a translation theorist and historian as well as a translator from Italian, French, and Catalan. He is, most recently, the author of Contra Instrumentalism: A Translation Polemic (2019), the editor of The Translation Studies Reader, 4th ed. (2021), and the translator of I.U. Tarchetti’s Fantastic Tales (2020).

Video of the Presentation

  Read more

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Representation of Women in US CongressVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


The Representation of Women in the U.S. Congress

Kira Sanbonmatsu –  Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics of Rutgers University

Sanbonmatsu will share data from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) about the current status of women in elective office and discuss women’s candidacies in the 2018 and 2020 elections. She will also share findings from her coauthored book, A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters, about how women in Congress perceive their representational roles. The book draws on interviews with women serving in the 114th Congress.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center.

Topic overview written by Bao Tran ’23

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Sanbonmatsu RU PhotoKira Sanbonmatsu is professor of political science at Rutgers University and senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. Her research interests include gender, race/ethnicity, parties, public opinion, and state politics. Her most recent book, coauthored with Kelly Dittmar and Susan J. Carroll, is A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Read more

Monday, March 1, 2021

election panel finalVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


Analyzing The 2020 Elections in Pennsylvania: A Panel Discussion

Jean Foschi – Cumberland County Board of Commissioners
Valerie Gaydos ’89 – 44th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Matt Haverstick – Kleinbard LLC
Sarah Niebler (moderator) – Dickinson College

In October 2019 the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 77 which allows for no-excuse mail-in voting. There was wide bipartisan support for this legislation which Governor Wolf signed into law on October 31. Some months later, however, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and President Trump began to repeatedly denigrate mail-in voting, claiming that it would lead to rampant fraud. In October 2020 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted a request by the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania to extend the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots as long as they were postmarked by election day. That decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. In this program panelists will discuss the debate concerning mail-in voting and the many court challenges to the official results.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science.


Foschi imageJean Foschi is vice chairman and is the newest member of Read more

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Williams PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 12 – 1:30 p.m.

Wesley Lecture

Black Queer Christian Lives Matter: Race, Religion, and Sexuality – an Intersectional Conversation

Rev. Dr. Jay Williams – Senior Pastor at Union Church in Boston

The Annual Wesley Lecture will feature the Rev. Dr. Jay Williams, Senior Pastor at Union Church in Boston. The Rev. Jay (as he is known) is a queer cisgender man and partner to Robert. Williams is known as a charismatic leader and will discuss the deep roots of liberation theology and the Christian church’s difficult and important history of racism and anti-LGBTQIA+ actions. A keynote will be followed by a Q & A session to discuss these important intersections.

This lecture is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice and co-sponsored by the Office of LGBTQ Services, the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, and the Department of Religion.

Topic overview written by Rebecca Fox ’22


Jay Williams seated JanuaryRev. Dr. Jay Williams returned to Union Church in Boston as lead pastor on July 1, 2018, having guided this congregation September 2012 – June 2017. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Jay has served Read more

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Eugene Volokh FB Event CoverVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

The First Amendment and Epidemics

Eugene Volokh, UCLA School of Law

Under what circumstances can an epidemic justify the government restricting religious worship services?  What about restrictions on other First-Amendment-protected activities, such as protests or political party gatherings?  Volokh will discuss how the Free Exercise Clause, the Free Speech Clause, and the Assembly Clause bear on these questions. This discussion-led presentation will be moderated by Harry Pohlman, professor of political science.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Center for Spirituality & Social Justice and the departments of political science and sociology.

Topic overview written by Scout Meredith Best ’21


volokhEugene Volokh has taught First Amendment law for 25 years at UCLA School of Law; he is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (7th ed. 2020) and Academic Legal Writing (5th ed. 2016), as well as over 80 legal journal articles. He is also the founder and coauthor of The Volokh Conspiracy, a Weblog (independent 2002-2014, hosted at the Washington Post 2014-2017, hosted at Reason from 2017).

H. L. Pohlman is the A. Lee Fritschler Professor of Public Read more

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Duprex Facebook PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


@10queues and 10 Questions in Virology

Paul Duprex – Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh

In early January 2020, a group of people in Wuhan, China who were suffering from pneumonia, were found to be infected with a novel coronavirus – what soon after would be termed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. By the end of 2020, the United States had approved two novel vaccines for use against this virus. Additional vaccines likely will be approved soon. The astonishing speed in developing effective vaccines was noted as the 2020 Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine. During this conversation-led presentation with David Kushner, associate professor of biology, information about the vaccines, how they work, why it is important to be vaccinated, and whether or not we need to be concerned about new viral variants are among the topics that will be discussed.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of mathematics & computer science, biology, the Program in Policy Studies, and the Health Studies Program. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Read more

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Air Pollution Final PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


Air Pollution in Pennsylvania: Community Panel

Thomas Au –  Clean Air Board of Central PA
Germaine Gooden-Patterson – Women for a Healthy Environment
Naida Elena Montes – Temple University
Krishnan Ramamurthy – Pennsylvania DEP
Heather Bedi (moderator) – Dickinson College

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air pollution levels in some parts of Pennsylvania are among the nation’s highest. The United Health Association ranks Pennsylvania’s air quality as 48th out of US states. In addition to other health implications, new research links increased levels of air pollution to higher COVID-19 death rates. To orient these concerns, this panel will include a review of key air pollution sources across Pennsylvania. Community members will reflect on localized air pollution considerations and potential opportunities for engagement.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the department of environmental studies and the Center for Civic Learning & Action.

Topic overview written by Bao Tran ’23


Thomas YThomas Y. Au has practiced environmental law in the public interest for over 30 years.  He is currently president of the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania, a citizens group of working to Read more

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

sabrinastringsposterfinalVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Program is Part of Love Your Body Week

Fatphobia as Misogynoir: Gender, Race and Weight Stigma

Sabrina Strings -University of California, Irvine

Strings will explore the rise and spread of fatphobia in the Western world and its relationship to race science. She will also consider how this dubious legacy has impacted the science behind the “obesity epidemic.”

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center. It is also part of Dickinson’s Love Your Body Week.

Topic overview by Bao Tran ’23

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D. is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. She has been featured in dozens of venues, including BBC News, NPR, Huffington Post, Medium, Mashable, Los Angeles Times, Bitch Media, and goop. Her writing has appeared in diverse venues including, The New York Times, Scientific American, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Her book, Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia (2019), has been named an NYU Press Bestseller. It was awarded the 2020 Read more

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 – Morgan Lecture

Final Richardson PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Morgan Lecture

Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones, and the Fight to Preserve Our Democracy — One Video at a Time

Allissa Richardson, University of Southern California

Richardson will share how Black smartphone witnesses of the last five years launched the largest social justice movement in American history. In her new book, Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones and the New Protest Journalism, she explains why we cannot ignore the mobile testimonies of the afflicted — and what is at stake when we do.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and cosponsored by the Center for Civic Learning & Action; the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity; the Women’s & Gender Resource Center; and the departments of English; math and computer science; women’s, gender & sexuality studies; Middle East studies, American studies, history and sociology.  This program was initiated by the Clarke Forum’s student project managers.

Topic overview by Rebecca Fox ’22


PhotoCredit DaJuana Jones scaledDr. Allissa V. Richardson is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School. She researches how African Americans use mobile and Read more

Monday, November 9, 2020

Instagram Community Connections and CommentaryVirtual program on YouTube live, 12 p.m. EST

Livestream Link

Community, Connections and Commentary:
Perspectives on the US Elections from Bremen, Málaga, Moscow and Toulouse


Françoise Coste, representing Toulouse, France
Manuel Arias Maldonado, representing Málaga, Spain
Konstantin Sonin, representing Moscow, Russia
Neil van Siclen, representing Bremen, Germany
Sarah Niebler (moderator), Dickinson College

Given the interdependence of the world today, hearing global voices, views and perspectives is more important than ever. Join us and partners from our communities abroad for a discussion on the 2020 U.S. elections. Dickinson College collaborators representing Bremen, Germany; Toulouse, France;  Málaga, Spain;  and Moscow, Russia will give an in-depth analysis of the election results, bringing their insight and highlighting the impact of the elections both near and far.

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

Topic overview written by Gabriella Farrell ’21

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Francoise Coste headshot scaledFrançoise Coste is a professor of American studies at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès. She devotes her research to contemporary American politics, with a special focus on the history of women’s rights and on the contemporary conservative movement. Her biography of Ronald Reagan (Reagan Read more

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Keck posterVirtual program on YouTube live, 12 p.m.

Pandemic Preparedness and Environmental Awareness

Frédéric Keck

Laboratory of Social Anthropology
(CNRS-Collège de France-EHESS)

The current Covid-19 pandemic has connected public health concerns in the West (the fabric of vaccines, the use of masks and other distancing measures) with questions on what happens with bats in China, since Covid-19 is a zoonosis emerging from animal reservoirs. While preparedness asks us to prepare for future pandemics, and question how much we are prepared in the organization of public health, it also includes attentiveness to environmental changes as early warning signals of pandemics. Focusing on the perception of sentinels for influenza pandemics in Hong Kong, this talk will question how we can read viral mutations as signs of environmental changes.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of East Asian studies and anthropology.

Topic overview written by Amanda Sowah ’22

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Frédéric Keck is director of research at the Laboratory of Social Keck PhotoAnthropology (CNRS-Collège de France-EHESS). After studying philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, he has been researching the history of Read more

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Environmental Justice in PA InstagramVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

The State of Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania


Saleem Chapman, City of Philadelphia
Veronica Coptis, Center for Coalfield Justice
Adam Cutler, Fox Rothschild, LLP
Horace Strand, Chester Environmental Partnership
Heather Bedi (moderator), Dickinson College

Environmental justice aspires for all people- regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, or socioeconomic background – to have equal access to a healthy environment, including avenues to participate meaningfully in decisions regarding their environment. Environmental injustice examines which communities and places are disproportionately exposed to environmental health risks from industrial, municipal, commercial operations, or government policies. Research in the field of environmental justice has shown that people living in poverty, as well as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their communities, are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation and pollution.  This panel will focus on environmental justice work occurring in Pennsylvania, bringing together community representatives and members of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Justice Advisory Board to discuss progress and challenges to achieve environmental justice in the Keystone state. Panelists will reflect on the diversity of activism and legal actions taken to achieve environmental justice. Presenters will highlight contemporary and future efforts Read more

Monday, October 12, 2020

Rose Walters Cohen DIGITAL EventLivestream Event – 7 p.m.

Hedgehogs and Foxes:
Toward Climate Pragmatism

Armond Cohen – Rose-Walters Prize for Environmental Activism Recipient

Clean Air Task Force (CATF)

Climate change is the consequence of the uncontrolled use of fossil fuels, providing 80% of our energy, burned in billions of machines. It took us two centuries to create this complex global industrial system. Now we must replace it in a few decades with zero carbon machines while providing much more energy for the world’s poor. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin once cited a fable about two kinds of thinkers: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Hedgehog thinkers embrace single solutions to problems, while foxes see complexity, contingency, and risk. Climate pragmatism embraces multiple strategies and technologies, and a variety of market and policy approaches, to find what works. This is the moment for foxes, not hedgehogs.

This event is sponsored by the The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism and co-sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Sustainability Education.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

CohenArmond Cohen is executive director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Read more

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Final Reparations Poster IngmVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

The Path to Reparations:
No Yellow Brick Road

William Darity           A. Kirsten Mullen

 Duke University                        Artefactual

The co-authors of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century will discuss the promise of and the obstacles to achieving reparations for descendants of U.S. slavery. They also will examine the benefits of mobilizing a reparations project to eliminate the black-white wealth differences in the United States. In addition, they will examine the flaws in existing legislation to promote black reparations.

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 sociology and history.

Topic overview written by Carolina Celedon ’22

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

William Darity image credit Justin Cook Minneapolis FedWilliam A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Darity’s research focuses on inequality Read more

Thursday, September 24, 2020

MIGRATING TO PRISON POSTERVirtual Program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.
(Rescheduled from 4/21/20)

Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

University of Denver

Every year, the United States imprisons almost half a million people because of immigration law violations. In Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants, García Hernández explains that we haven’t always done things this way and argues that we shouldn’t.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of sociology; Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean studies; Spanish & Portuguese; the Program in Policy Studies and the Community Studies Center.

Overview of topic written by Gabriella Farrell ’21.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Hernandez PicCésar Cuauhtémoc García Hernández is a writer and law professor at the University of Denver who focuses on migration policing. In December 2019, he published a book, Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants, about the United States’ reliance on prisons to enforce immigration law. In 2015, he published his first book, Crimmigration Law. His op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been quoted Read more

Thursday, September 17, 2020 – Constitution Day Address

Kendi Poster Fall scaledVirtual Program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.

** Members of the Dickinson community will be able to view the recording of this program on our website here:  Audio/Video tab, Lectures for Campus-Only

Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Address

How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning Historian and Author of How to Be an Antiracist

When the first Black president headed into the White House, Americans were imagining their nation as colorblind and went so far as to call it post-racial. According to Kendi, since the 2016 election, people are awakening and seeing racial reality for the first time. With opened minds, people are actively trying to understand racism. In this lecture, Kendi will shift the discussion from how not to be racist, to how to be an antiracist. He will share his own racist ideas and how he overcame them. He will provide direction to people and institutions who want more than just band-aid programs, but actual antiracist action that will build an antiracist America. This discussion-led presentation will be moderated by Vincent Stephens, director of Dickinson’s Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity.

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Race and Policing Poster scaledVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m

Race and Policing

Raff Donelson, Penn State Dickinson Law
Matthew Guariglia ’12, University of California-Berkeley
Stephanie Jirard, Shippensburg University
Vincent Stephens (moderator), Dickinson College

The murder of George Floyd catalyzed great social upheaval in the U.S. and prompted protests across the world. In addition to Floyd, numerous high profile cases of unarmed Black Americans killed by police, including Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, have garnered national and international attention already this year. The names of victims of police violence and brutality have become a rallying cry to “defund the police.” However, detractors of the protests insist that law enforcement officers serve as the “thin blue line,” preventing society from unhinging and degrading into criminality and chaos. This panel will explore the relationships between race and policing in the United States, including discussion of the history of the police and their response (at local, state, and federal levels) to protests since Memorial Day weekend.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Program in Policy Studies, the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, and the department of Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies.

Overview of Read more