Category Social Sciences

Rogers Smith

The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today

Social Sciences Forum
Wednesday, September 17 | 4:30 p.m.
Rogers M. Smith, Associate Dean for the Social Sciences and Chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

The author of seven books on citizenship and equality in the United States, including one that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History, Dr. Smith will address why America’s political leaders avoid discussing racial policies, even as many forms of racial inequality persist and deepen. Smith argues that the United States is profoundly divided between two rival conceptions of civic equality–but that common ground may be found in the bold views of the Constitution’s purposes advanced by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. (Click heading for full description.)

Stephen Ross

The Unforseen Anticompetitive and Racially Discriminatory Effects of Baseball’s North American Draft

Social Sciences Forum
Thursday, September 18 | 4:00 p.m.
Stephen F. Ross, Director, Penn State Institute for Sports Law, Policy, and Research, Penn State University Dickinson School of Law
University Center, Room 312

When Major League Baseball instituted its amateur draft in 1966, elite players honed their sills in widely available competitions organized by high schools and the American Legion. Today, virtually all North American youth selected in the draft or offered major college scholarships must join private, elite, and expensive traveling teams to display their talent. In contrast, MLB teams spend millions to train poor Latin American kids in academies, because these young men are not subject to the draft. Professor Ross will propose modifications to create economic incentives for MLB teams to invest in domestic academies for youth unable to afford private teams. (Click heading for full description.)

Faith Hillis

Children of Rus': Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation

Humanities Forum
Webb Lecture
Thursday, October 2 | 4:00 p.m.
Faith Hillis, Assistant Professor of Russian History, The University of Chicago
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Russian national interests in Ukraine became front-page news during the recent crisis. This talk places the struggle for control of Ukraine in a broader historical context. In the 19th century, a powerful and transformative Russian nationalist movement, claiming to restore the ancient customs of the East Slavs, swept across what is today central Ukraine. By examining the role of this nineteenth century movement, Faith Hillis, an assistant professor of Russian history at the University of Chicago, will reflect on the causes of and potential solutions to the crisis in Ukraine. (Click heading for full description.)

Mark Leibovich

America’s Gilded Capital

Humanities Forum
Tuesday, October 7 | 4:00 p.m.
Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent, New York Times Magazine
Performing Arts and Humanities Building Theatre

Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, talks about his best-selling account of Washington, D.C., “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – plus plenty of valet parking! – in America’s Gilded Capital.” The book is described by critics as a stunning and often hysterically funny examination of our ruling class’s incestuous “media industrial complex.” (Click heading for full description.)

Robert Lawson

Economic Freedom and the Wealth and Health of Nations

Social Sciences Forum
Monday, October 13 | 4:00 p.m.
Robert A. Lawson, Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom, The O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Southern Methodist University
Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

Dr. Lawson and his colleagues produce the annual Economic Freedom of the World Index. Dr. Lawson will discuss the Index and how economic freedom impacts the wealth and health of countries worldwide. (Click heading for full description.)

Avind

Translating the Indian Past: The Poets’ Experience

Humanities Forum
Monday, October 13 | 4:00 p.m.
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Poet, Anthologist, Literary Critic and Translator
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Arvind Mehrotra, one of India’s most celebrated contemporary poets and an acclaimed translator of Indian literature, will talk about how three important Indian poets (Toru Dutt, AK Ramanujan, and Arun Kolatkar) translated the Indian classics. Toru’s translation of a Purana story would be unthinkable without her Christianity; Ramanujan’s without Modernism; and Kolatkar’s without the American idiom. These translations bring past and present together in the ongoing construction of India’s literary heritage. (Click heading for full description.)

Anthony Appiah

The Honor Code

Humanities Forum
Monday, October 20 | 5:00 p.m.
Daphne Harrison Lecture
Kwame Anthony Appiah, Philosopher, Cultural Theorist and Novelist
Performing Arts and Humanities Building Theatre

Philosophers spend lots of time thinking about what is right and wrong, and some time thinking about how to get people to see what is right and wrong—but almost no time thinking about how to get them to do what they know is right. Anthony Appiah has spent the last decade thinking about what it takes to turn moral understanding into moral behavior. In this talk, he explores one of the keys to real moral revolution: mobilizing the social power of honor and shame to change the world for the better. (Click heading for full description.)

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