Tuesday, April 24, 2024 – Leveling the Playing Field – The Inclusion of Transgender Athletes

Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
RSVP: By Thursday, April 17 to clarkeforum@dickinson.edu. Space is limited. More information will be sent once we receive your RSVP.

Recently, 22 states, including Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama, have enacted laws restricting trans athletes from competition based on gender identity. In Pennsylvania, a bill (HB 972) was proposed in 2022 and vetoed in the same year, banning transgender girls and women ranging from K-12 to college from participating on women’s sport teams. Being a leading organization in regulating college sports, the NCAA permits transgender women to participate in women’s sports events with the requirement of documenting their testosterone levels 4 weeks before the sport’s championship selections, at the beginning of their season, and 6 months after it.

Since 2022, the NCAA Board of Governors has delegated decisions on transgender policies to each sport’s national governing body. However, the lack of consistency in policies is evident, with some organizations adopting inclusive measures based on hormone levels or time on hormone therapy, while others maintain stricter regulations linked to biological sex at birth.

This salon will explore the impact of current policies on transgender athletes. The discussion will be facilitated by Phuong Hoang ’26 and Thomas Lee, the Read more

Monday, April 15, 2024 – Teaching Genocide: Holocaust Education and its Implications

Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
RSVP: By Wednesday, April 10 to clarkeforum@dickinson.edu. Space is limited. More information will be sent once we receive your RSVP.

In the 1960s, West-Germany saw large-scale student protests to change the education curriculum. At that time, the country and particularly the judiciary was still largely run, and many but the most egregious crimes of the Holocaust were ignored even under the occupation of the Allied Forces. The students’ activism confronted their parents’ avoidance and led to an entirely new German approach to the history of the Holocaust. As a result, a new critical curriculum was created that persists until today.

It is difficult for countries to carry a generational burden of genocide. Education often struggles with these issues in classrooms as they may contradict patriotic beliefs and undermine loyalty to the country. How can a perpetrator state educate its citizens on the inheritance of crimes? In Germany educational mechanisms that the student protesters fought for in the 1960s are still in place and have continually been adapted. For a country like the U.S. with a history rooted in indigenous genocide and slavery that has been disregarded for centuries, it should be interesting to compare its teaching Read more

Thursday, February 8, 2024 – Women in Sports

Time: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
RSVP: By Wednesday, February 7 to clarkeforum@dickinson.edu. Space is limited. More information will be sent once we receive your RSVP.

At the 2023 World Cup medal ceremony, Former President of Spain’s Soccer Federation, Luis Rubiales, kissed player Jennifer Hermoso without consent. The fallout that ensued brought issues of sexism in women’s sports to a global stage. Prior to the World Cup, the Spain women’s national team had complained of subpar training facilities and transportation, as well as a hostile and monitored work environment, leading 15 players to withdraw from World Cup consideration in protest. These accusations were not taken seriously before the medal ceremony media fallout. Even now Hermoso is experiencing repercussions from speaking out about her experience, such as being excluded from the national team’s recent roster.

Additionally, in 2022, following a six-year legal battle, the United States women’s national team received a fairer contract regarding pay. Tensions rose when the United States men’s national team earned an overall higher salary than the women’s team, specifically in regard to international tournament payments (like the World Cup). Even though the women’s team had performed consistently and comparatively better than the men’s team they received Read more

Wednesday, October 25, 2024 – Politicization of Banned Books

Time: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Stafford Reading Area, Waidner-Spahr Library

Since 1982, the American Library Association has been tracking book bans and challenges in both school and public libraries. Book bans in the United States are not new, but starting in 2021 book bans and challenges, especially in K-12 schools, increased in striking numbers. Prior to this time, concerns over content in libraries would be brought to light by individual parents concerned about what their child was reading. However, the current wave of challenges is now organized by groups of parents, rather than individuals, and not only that, but they are also politicized.

Organizations like Moms for Liberty have a mission to ban books they deem inappropriate for school libraries. Many of these titles contain racial and LGBTQ+ themes. Diverse reading lists are weaponized; without ever reading these books in their entirety or at all, groups of parents go to their school board, demanding that these titles be removed from their children’s classrooms and libraries. This phenomenon did not happen in isolation or overnight. Conservative groups feel empowered by Florida’s governor—Ron DeSantis—and his hateful legislation such as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” and the prohibition of the Read more

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stern Center, Great Room, 6 p.m.

Livestream link coming soon

War in Gaza: An International Lawyer’s Perspective

Leila Nadya Sadat, the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University and a Visiting Fellow at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale

The current war in Gaza has roiled the international community. It has also been deeply upsetting to many in the United States. Historians, politicians, and pundits have weighed in on the origins of the conflict and its current conduct. International law, a discipline based upon global values, norms, and standards, offers a different perspective. This lecture will address the conflict from the perspective of the international lawyer, and discuss, in particular, the work of the United Nations, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which have been tasked with bringing peace to the region and, in the case of the ICC and the ICJ, evaluating the legality of the parties’ conduct. In addition to explaining the role of international law and institutions, the lecture will reflect upon the gaps and shortcomings of the international legal system when faced with a seemingly intractable conflict.

This program is sponsored by the Program in Read more

Snapshot of Spring 2024 Programs

While we work on our programming for the spring semester, there are a few ways to stay connected to the Clarke Forum. You can enjoy our content by viewing past programs and listening to guest interviews conducted by our talented student project managers.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel where our previous programs are available for viewing.

Snapshot of our Spring 2024 Programs

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 – 7 p.m.
Gender Based Violence and Women’s Education
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Sewing Hope Foundation
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 – 7 p.m.
Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy
April Baker-Bell, University of Michigan

Monday, February 12, 2024 – 7 p.m.
Bruce R. Andrews Lecture
Unseen Politics: Hidden Impact of Entertainment Media in Unequal America
Eunji Kim, Columbia University
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Thursday, February 22, 2024 – 7 p.m.
Black History Month Keynote
The Ethics of Anti-Racism
Eddie Glaude Jr., Princeton University
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Thursday, February 29, 2024 – 7 p.m. (Rescheduled from 11/14/23)
Morgan Lecture
Savage States: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow
Audra Simpson, Columbia University
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Monday, March 4, 2024 – 7 p.m.
Race and the Origins of
Read more

Our Programming is Completed for the Spring 2023 Semester

Check back with us periodically to see what it is planned for Fall 2023.

While we work on our programming for the spring semester, there are a few ways to stay connected to the Clarke Forum. You can enjoy our content by viewing past programs and listening to guest interviews conducted by our talented student project managers.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel where our previous programs are available for viewing.

Fall 2023 Programs

Thursday, September 7, 2023 – 7 p.m.
The Case for Rage: Why Anger is Essential to Anti-Racist Struggle 
Myisha Cherry, University of California, Riverside
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 – 7 p.m.
Counting Lost Stars: A Reading and Discussion
Kim van Alkemade, Author
Stern Center, Great Room

Thursday, September 14, 2023 – 7 p.m.
It’s Time to Talk about Women’s Brains and the Birth Control Pill
Sarah E. Hill, Texas Christian University
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Thursday, September 21, 2023 – 7 p.m.
The Beirut Barracks Bombing of 1983: The Stories that America Needs to Hear
James Breckenridge, U.S. Army War College

Michael Gaines, Beirut Vetarans of America
Mireille Rebeiz, Dickinson College
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – 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

Our Programming is Completed for the Fall 2022 Semester

Check back with us periodically to see what it is planned for Spring 2023.

While we work on our programming for the spring semester, there are a few ways to stay connected to the Clarke Forum. You can enjoy our content by viewing past programs and listening to guest interviews conducted by our talented student project managers.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel where our previous programs are available for viewing.

Spring 2023 Programs

Thursday, January 26, 2023 – 7 p.m.
The Cradle to Prison Pipeline and the Criminalization of Black Youth
Kristin Henning, Georgetown Law
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Friday, February 10, 2023 – 6:45 p.m.
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, Yale University
Admissions’ Large Meeting Room

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 – 7 p.m.
Keynote for Black History Month  
Running from the Washingtons: Ona Judge and The Founding of a Nation 
Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Rutgers University
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium

Saturday, February 18, 2023 – 6 p.m.
Residency Wednesday, February 15 – Monday, February 20 
The Carlisle Project: Artists in Conversation
Ronee Penoi, FLORA musicals
Annalisa Dias, 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

A Snapshot of Our Fall 2022 Programming*

Thursday, September 8, 2022 – 7 p.m.
The New Culture Wars: Social Media Use & Racial Discourse 
Apryl Williams, University of Michigan

Thursday, September 15, 2022 – 7 p.m. – Constitution Day Address
The Past and Future of the Political Supreme Court
Rachel Shelden, Penn State University
President John E. Jones III, Dickinson College

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 – 7 p.m.
Can You Still Have Fun? In Search of “The Good Life” in a Broken World
Katrina Jurgill Briddell ’01, The Hershey Company

Thursday, September 22, 2022 – 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

Thursday, September 29, 2022 – 7 p.m.
Sliding Earth: Arctic Indigenous Cryo-Worlds, Environmental Risks and Human-Non-Human Collaborations
Olga Ulturgasheva, University of Manchester
Indigenous Ballet Performance (Excerpt)
Sayan Ulturgashev, Ballet Dancer and Choreographer

Thursday, October 6, 2022 – 7 p.m.
Political Prisoners and Free Speech in Cuba
Jorge Olivera Castillo
, City of Asylum
Nancy Alfaya Hernandez, Activist and Artist

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 – 7 p.m.
Anthony Borden, Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Thursday, October 13, Read more

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Poster for Critical Race Theory eventWho’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?
A Panel Discussion Exploring CRT’s Centrality in the Current Culture Wars


Scott Hancock, Gettysburg College
Katie Oliviero, Dickinson College
Kevin Wagner, Carlisle Area School District

In 2021 nine states passed anti-CRT legislation. In most cases, these new laws severely restrict what public schools can teach regarding systemic racism. Our panelists will provide context for understanding what CRT is, what the motivations are behind anti-CRT legislation, and what teaching about race and racism is like in area schools.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Center for Spiritualty & Social Justice and the departments of educational studies, sociology, American studies, and Africana studies.

Biographies (provided by the speakers)

Scott Hancock HeadshotScott Hancock is an associate professor of history and Africana Studies at Gettysburg College. After spending 14 years working with teenagers in crisis, he switched careers and received a Ph.D. in early American history in 1999. This combination of careers fueled his desire to understand and tell the stories of people whom society and history typically discounts as troublesome or unimportant. He’s focused mainly on African American experiences from the mid-1600s Read more

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Shale PlayVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.


Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields

Julia Spicher Kasdorf, poet

Steven Rubin, documentary photographer

Poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and award-winning documentary photographer Steven Rubin have explored the small towns, farms, and forests of Appalachian Pennsylvania to gather the stories of these places and the working people who inhabit them. They will present their work and describe the process of the project that has become Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of English, art & art history, environmental studies and the film & media studies program.

Topic overview written by Scout Meredith Best ’21


Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of four books of poetry: Sleeping Preacher; Eve’s Striptease; Poetry in America; and Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields. She has also published a collection of her own essays, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, and the biographical study, Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. With Joshua R. Brown she edited new editions of Yoder’s regional Read more

A snapshot of our upcoming programs is listed below.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
Topic: Fighting racism and other forms of discrimination: Justice for All
Chad Lassiter,  Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
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, Annenberg

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Livestream, 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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
Air Pollution in Pennsylvania: Community Panel
Panel Discussion

Tuesday,  February 23, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
Topic: COVID vaccine

Paul Duprex, University of Pittsburgh

Thursday,  February 25, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
The First Amendment and Epidemics

Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law

Monday, March 1, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
Topic: 2020 election discussing alleged fraud and voting security 

Panel Discussion

Wednesday,  March 3, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
Topic: Career, role as mentor and ideas on leadership

Kelsey Hightower, Google

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Livestream, 7 p.m.
What is Translation? Theory, Practice, Value
Lawrence Venuti, Temple University

Thursday, March 25, 2021
Livestream, 7 Read more

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Mondesir Poster VersionVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Film Screening of What Happens to a Dream Deferred? and Q&A with Filmmaker Esery Mondesir

This short documentary film is part of Mondesir’s “Haitian Trilogy” exploring the lives of Haitian and Haitian-descended communities in Cuba and Mexico. The film showing will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmaker.

Synopsis of Documentary:
It’s New Year’s Eve in Tijuana, Mexico. Wood and Colonel are busy making Soup Joumou to celebrate Haitian Independence Day with their friends at the “Trap House.” As their cooking progresses, memories of the perilous journey that brought them to the US/Mexico border two years ago resurface. From Haiti to Brazil and through nine other South and Central-American countries, here they are, sandwiched between their dream of a musical career in the US and an American president who calls Haiti a “shithole” and believes all Haitians have AIDS.

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

Topic overview written by Carolina Celedon ’22

Esery MondesirBiography
Esery Mondesir is a Toronto-based artist-filmmaker who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haïti. He worked as Read more

Thursday, October 15, 2020

IG Open Forum DePasqualeVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Open Forum with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale
Democratic Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District

As we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, our foremost priority must be to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and stem the pain of its current economic impact on families and businesses. But as we get past the immediate challenges posed by the virus and its economic fallout, it is critical we begin to think about how we rebuild. Our world, pre-coronavirus, already faced another existential danger, one that is revealing the potential scope of the danger it presents with California suffering from its worst fire season in memory, climate change.

As policy makers, movement leaders, private industry and everyday citizens think about how we rebuild, we can and must factor sustainability and green technology into that equation. Eugene DePasquale, candidate for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional district will be speaking about how we can use 2021 and beyond as a moment to set our economy and the world on a sustainable path by addressing climate change, structural economic challenges like income inequality, and setting the stage for future prosperity.

This event is also an open forum where Read more

Global Pandemic: What it Reveals About Prospects for a Sustainable World

Global Pandemic Poster scaledTuesday, April 21, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event

Dickinson Panelists

Heather Bedi, assistant professor of environment studies
Michael Beevers, associate professor of environmental studies
Neil Leary, director of the Center for Sustainability Education

The effects and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are making visible stark differences in who and what are vulnerable and resilient to its widespread disruptions and dislocations. In this panel discussion, we will explore what the pandemic is revealing about existing inequities and vulnerabilities and implications for pursuing sustainable development goals.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Sustainability Education and is part of Dickinson’s Earth Day Teach-in.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Heather Bedi is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Dickinson College. Funded by the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust, she completed a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Cambridge. Bedi’s research examines how civil society and socio-environmental movements experience and adapt to natural resource and landscape modifications related to energy processes, climate change, industrialization, and agricultural transitions. Her broader research and teaching interests include environmental and social justice, political ecology, development, planning, and low carbon futures. Her current Read more

Marie Helweg-Larsen

we wont get corona scaledDickinson College

Why Are We Optimistically Biased About Our Risks?: Applications to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Monday, April 6, 2020
Live Stream Event, NOON – 1 p.m.

The optimistic bias (thinking you are less at risk than other people) is well documented. This talk will explain why it is so pervasive and how it can help us understand complacency in following coronavirus precautionary behaviors.


helwegmMarie Helweg-Larsen is a social psychologist who examines why smart people do dumb things. Helweg-Larsen has examined the causes, consequences, and correlates of optimistic bias (thinking you are less at risk than others) as well as other health-related behaviors and cognitions. Most recently she has examined cross-culturally how moralized beliefs about smoking affect risk perceptions and willingness to quit smoking. In her current NIH-funded research she is examining the effects of stigmatization on smokers’ willingness to quit smoking. Last week Helweg-Larsen began a research project with two Dickinson alumni (Laurel Peterson ’06 and Sarah DiMuccio ’15) in which they are examining the gendered and political factors in the link between coronavirus risk perceptions and preventive behaviors.

Related Links



Video of the Presentation

  Read more

Update on this Semester’s Programming

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Dickinson College has made the decision to complete the semester online. The college is following federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that all gatherings of 50 or more people should be suspended for eight weeks. In accordance with this guidance, all Clarke Forum /programs on campus are postponed. We are, however, organizing more live-streaming events so stay tuned. You can take advantage of past programming by viewing our lecture videos or listening to interviews of our guest speakers. Read more

Denise Sekaquaptewa (Event Cancelled*)

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

* The event was cancelled due to the college’s response to COVID-19.

Effects of Stereotyping and Implicit Bias on Underrepresented Minorities in STEM

Thursday, April 16, 2020
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

This talk will describe social science research findings regarding the experiences of White women and underrepresented racial/ethnic minority (URM) people in STEM fields.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of earth sciences; educational studies; mathematics & computer science; environmental studies; biology; physics & astronomy; and  women’s, gender & sexuality studies, the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, the Inclusivity in STEM committee, the Neuroscience Club, the Anthropology Club and the Women of Color Summit. This event is initiated by the Clarke Forum student project managers.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

dsekaquaptewaDr. Denise Sekaquaptewa is University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.  Her research program in experimental social psychology focuses on stereotyping, implicit bias, and the experiences of women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering.  Her research program has been supported by the National Science Foundation, and the National Center for Institutional Diversity.  Read more