Fall 2013 SSF Events

Sowing Struggle: Social Movements and the Future of Corn in Tlaxcala, Mexico

Luz Rivera Martinez, co-founder and lead organizer of Consejo Nacional Urbano Campesino  (CNUC), an organization that advocates for and accompanies peasant workers, a bus drivers’ cooperative and the National Assembly of Braceros in their struggles against government corruption, police repression and neoliberalism.

Luz will speak about her 20 years of experience in women’s, peasant, and labor movements. As CNUC’s lead organizer, Luz has worked tirelessly to demand government accountability, defend family farms, resist the use of GMO seeds, and build inspiring, community-based autonomous projects.

Sponsored by the Department of History; Department of Geography and Environmental Systems; Department of Political Science; Department of American Studies; Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication; Gender and Women’s Studies Program, Global Studies Program; Language, Literacy, and Culture Program; Graduate Student Association; Women’s Center; Shriver Center; Honors College

Constitutional Principles and The Double Bind of Affirmative Action

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Carla Pratt, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law

Professor Pratt will discuss the role of constitutional principles in legal arguments for and against race conscious admissions policies in higher education and the ways in which such arguments reflect insufficient allusions to and underspecified notions of governmental and societal interests. She will also discuss the June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Fisher vs. University of Texas, a case challenging the consideration of race in college admissions, and the potential implications of the decision for debates about equal protection and diversity.

Constitution Day Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Political Science; Department of Africana Studies; School of Public Policy; Office of Student Life

The Pivot to Asia in Obama’s Second Term

Victor Cha, senior adviser and the Korea Chair to the Center for Strategic and International Affairs, Professor and Director of Asian studies, holding the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Dr. Cha will discuss the origins of the pivot in President Obama’s first term, the implications of China’s rise, and regional relations including Japan and Korea. He will also discuss the prospects of the pivot in President Obama’s second term.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program; Global Studies Program

HOT: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth

Mark Hertsgaard, Fellow of the New America Foundation, the environment correspondent for The Nation, and a co-founder of the group, Climate Parents.

For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has written about global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, NPR, the BBC and The Nation. Drawing on reporting from around the world, HOT is a call to action that injects hope and solutions into a debate characterized by doom and gloom and offers a blueprint for how all of us can navigate an unavoidable new era.

First Year Book Experience Lecture, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education; Dresher Center for the Humanities; Division of Student Affairs; through the support of PNC Bank

Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

Kate Brown, Associate Professor of History, UMBC

Kate Brown will speak on the great plutonium disasters of the United States and the Soviet Union, drawing on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias–communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Plutopia was successful because in its zoned-off isolation it appeared to deliver the promises of the American dream and Soviet communism; in reality, it concealed disasters that remain highly unstable and threatening today.

Sponsored by the Department of History; Friends of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

W.E.B. Du Bois Fifty Years after the March on Washington

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David Levering Lewis, Professor of History at New York University

The author of eight books and editor of two more, Lewis’s field is comparative history with special focus on twentieth-century United States social history and civil rights. He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, for part one and part two of his biography of W.E.B. Du Bois (in 1994 and 2001, respectively).

W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies; Department of History; Department of American Studies; Language, Literacy, and Culture Program; Honors College; Dresher Center for the Humanities; Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery; Mosaic Center of the Office of Student Life