Spring 2012 SSF Events

The Costs of Justice: Understanding How New Leaders Choose to Respond to Previous Rights Abuses

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Brian Grodsky, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UMBC

Dr. Grodsky discusses factors that impact on whether and how new elites pursue transitional justice policies (legal and symbolic acts designed to address past abuses) after a period of repression. The theoretical discussion is applied to two cases of post-conflict states, Serbia and Poland.

Dilemmas of Longevity: Society, the Fourth Age & You

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Leslie Morgan, Professor of Sociology, Co-Director of Ph.D. Program in Gerontology, and the 2011-2012 Lipitz Professor of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, UMBC

Dr. Morgan discusses the complex influences of longer lives on society and on all of us as aging individuals. Pervasive ageism continues to drive anxiety and avoidance of aging—especially the fourth age, characterized by frailty and dependence. Beyond fiscal challenges posed by Social Security and other entitlements, society remains challenged to find meaningful, positive social roles for the growing cadre of older adults.

Lipitz lecture, sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Forecasting the 2012 Election

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Nate Silver, Blogger for The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver’s Political Calculus

Nate Silver talks about forecasts for the 2012 presidential election, the prospects for Barack Obama’s re-election and his new book about making accurate predictions.

Sponsored by the Social Sciences Forum

Totaram Sanadhya’s  Mere Fiji Dwip me Ikkis Varsh  (My 21 years in Fiji) and the Second Abolition

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Mrinalini Sinha, Associate Professor, Department of History and Women’s Studies, Pennsylvania State University

The system of indentured labor from India, which the British devised in the aftermath of the abolition of slavery to replace the demand for labor world wide, has often been referred to as a “new system of slavery.” When, how, and why did this once lucrative system eventually come to an end? What was the significance of this second abolition? The contributions of the abolitionist, Totaram Sanadhya, an ex-indetured laborer and author of one of the earliest first-hand accounts of indenture, provides a useful way of getting at the history of the second abolition and of its unexpected global ramifications.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program; Gender and Women’s Studies Program; Department of History; Department of English; Department of Political Science

Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War

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Peter H. Wood, Professor Emeritus of History, Duke University

In 1866, the great American artist Winslow Homer created an unusual picture linking Georgia’s infamous Andersonville POW camp to the black struggle for freedom, but the painting of an enslaved woman vanished for a full century.  Dr. Wood, the first scholar to explore it closely, suggests that Homer’s image provides a striking new way for Americans to view the Civil War, and ourselves, in the twenty-first century.

Low lecture, sponsored by the Department of History; Dresher Center for the Humanities

Combining Technical Skills with Public Service: Confessions of a Political Economist

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Scott Farrow, Professor of Economics, Affiliate Professor of Public Policy, UMBC

Before joining the UMBC faculty in 2005, Dr. Farrow served as Chief Economist at the U.S.Government Accountability Office and also in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Professor Farrow will address the usefulness and challenges in combining disciplinary skills with public service.  His talk, primarily based on four periods of Federal government service, will also address the importance of soft skills along with the ethical and real-life dilemmas posed in government service.

Phi Kappa Phi lecture

Critical Psychology Confronts Racialized Crises: Activist Research on the School to Prison Pipeline, and the Prison to College Pipeline

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Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Women’s Studies and Urban Education, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dr. Fine will discuss social psychology’s long and often buried history of critical psychological engagements with movements for social justice. She will then review two participatory action research projects, one with New York City youth and one with women in prison, that focus on the school to prison, and prison to college, pipelines as racialized dynamics during times of growing inequality gaps.

Distinguished Lecture in Psychology, sponsored by the Department of Psychology

Community Recovery After Disaster: Almost Seven Years After Katrina

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Virgil H. Storr, Research Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Senior Research Fellow and Director of Graduate Student Programs at the Mercatus Center

The talk will focus on the role of commercial, social and political entrepreneurship in bringing about community recovery after a disaster using examples from post-Katrina New Orleans.

Sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation