Spring 2018 SSF Events

The South and the Battle Over LGBTQ Rights

Jay Barth, Graves Peace Distinguished Professor of Politics, Hendrix College

Most of the lingering conflicts over LGBTQ rights are playing out in the South and will determine the pace of change regarding LGBTQ rights across the nation. Barth will examine the South’s latest area of defiance; the expansion of LGBQT rights. Barth will analyze LGBTQ rights in the region examining public opinion change, the role of LGBTQ issues and actors in electoral politics, conflicts in the state legislative arena, and key state rulings.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science; Department of Psychology; Department of Gender + Women’s Studies; Department of History; School of Public Policy

A Pound of Flesh

Alexes Harris, Sociology, University of Washington

Harris will discuss her book, A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor, where she presents her research about the contemporary relationships between the United States’ systems of social control and inequality and specifically, the expansion of and use of monetary sanctions as a criminal sentencing tool. Monetary sanctions are a type of criminal sentence imposed by state superior courts nationally, and include fines, fees, costs, interest, surcharges, and restitution.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science; Department of Psychology; Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Administration and Policy

Achieving the American Dream or Not: Immigrants’ Narratives Following the Great Recession

Claudia Strauss, Professor of Anthropology, Pitzer College

Strauss examines the life narratives of first-generation Latin American and Asian immigrants in the U.S. looking at their feelings of success and frustration and their understandings of the American Dream in the wake of the Great Recession at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Health Administration and Policy; Department of American Studies; Department of Political Science; Department of Psychology; School of Public Policy; Social Work Program

Learning to Address Inequalities in a Global Health Context

Koki Agarwal, Director, Maternal and Child Survival Program, Vice President, Jhipiego DC Operations; Senior Associate, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Despite global efforts to develop and promote health for mothers and babies, too many continue to die in rates that reveal significant inequalities across and within nations.  Agarwal will report on the work that she directs in 27 countries through the United States Agency for International Development’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program to address inequities and increase coverage and utilization of high-quality reproductive, maternal, newborn and child heath interventions.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Administration and Policy; Department of Gender & Women’s Studies; Department of Geography & Environmental Systems; Global Studies Program; Department of Psychology; School of Social Work; School of Public Policy; the Shriver Center

Against Empathy

Paul Bloom, Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Most people think the only problem with empathy is that we don’t have enough of it. Drawing on research in areas such as psychopathy, criminal behavior, charitable giving, cognitive neuroscience, dehumanization, and Buddhist meditation practices, Bloom argues that this is mistaken. Empathy makes us worse. We are better off, in both public policy and intimate relationships, drawing upon a combination of reason and distanced compassion.

Sponsored by the Department of Psychology; Department of Philosophy

“The Wall” and Other Walls in Contemporary American Life

Anand Pandian, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

The idea of a southern border wall was in many ways the defining idea of Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign. What was so appealing about his idea to so many Americans, and how did this promise resonate with other walls and boundaries already at work in everyday American life? These questions are at the heart of a new book project that Pandian is pursuing in far-flung corners of the United States, in the company of ordinary people from diverse walks of life. This talk shares stories and insights gleaned from this anthropological examination of contemporary America.

Sponsored by the Department of Visual Arts; Department of Political Science; Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Health Administration and Policy; Department of American Studies; Dresher Center for the Humanities

Lipitz Lecture – Planned Parenthood in Maryland: A Vital Community Resource

View lecture online

Carole McCann, Professor and Chair, Gender + Women’s Studies, UMBC

The talk will highlight Carole McCann’s project about Planned Parenthood (PPM), which marked its 90th anniversary in 2017. Working with local archives and PPM, McCann is reconstructing the history of the staff and community members whose efforts in the mid-twentieth century made PPM a respected public health organization and a vital affiliate in the national Planned Parenthood Federation.

Sponsored by the Department of Gender + Women’s Studies; College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Dresher Center for the Humanities