Category Social Sciences

Sept. 16 SS forum

Disaffection with the U.S. Constitution

Social Sciences Forum
Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair, University of Texas School of Law
“Disaffection with the U.S. Constitution”
Friday, September 16, 12 p.m.
310 University Center

Sanford Levinson has argued the Constitution is fundamentally undemocratic and in need of revision. Levinson’s call for a new constitutional convention has been dismissed as fanciful by many critics. However, recent public opinion data reveal support for constitutional change is higher than one may expect. (Click heading for full description.)

October 6 SS Forum

The Lottocratic Alternative: Lottery as Method for Selecting Political Representatives

Social Sciences Forum
Alexander Guerrero, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Law, University of Pennsylvania
“The Lottocratic Alternative: Lottery as Method for Selecting Political Representatives”
Thursday, October 6, 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

It is widely accepted that electoral representative democracy is better than any other alternative lawmaking political arrangement. It is also widely accepted that the only legitimate alternative to electoral representative democracy is some form of direct democracy, but that this would lead to bad policy. Guerrero argues against both of these assumptions, and considers the prospects for another alternative system — one that uses lotteries, not elections, to select political officials — that he claims would be better than electoral representative democracy. (Click heading for full description.)

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Demopolis: Democracy, Legitimacy, and Civic Education

Humanities Forum
Ancient Studies Week
Josiah Ober, Constantine Mitsotakis Professor in the Humanities and Sciences, and Professor of Political Science and Classics, Stanford University
“Demopolis: Democracy, Legitimacy, and Civic Education”
Wednesday, October 12, 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Democracy requires self-government by participatory citizens. But why should citizens govern themselves when populist autocrats are willing to do it for them? In “Demopolis” (City of the People), Josiah Ober will present a thought experiment that shows how citizens can build and preserve democracy by their active participation in government. (Click heading for full description.)

October 13 SSF

Not in My Neighborhood: UMBC New Student Book Experience

Social Sciences Forum
Antero Pietila, Journalist and Author
Thursday, October 13, 7 p.m.
University Center Ballroom

In Antero Pietila’s book Not in My Neighborhood, Baltimore is the setting for one of the most penetrating examinations of bigotry and residential segregation ever published in the United States. Pietila will discuss Baltimore’s history, from its early suburbanization in the 1880s to the consequences of “white flight” after World War II, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century, and how it parallels the complicated histories of other American cities. (Click heading for full description.)

Oct 18 SSF

Black Woman Narrative Interrupted: Debunking Mainstream Narratives about Physical Activity

Social Sciences Forum
Rashawn Ray, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
Tuesday, October 18, 4:30 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor

Why are black women in the U.S. more likely to be obese and less physically active than other groups, and what can be done about it? Rashawn Ray has explored this question through intensive qualitative and quantitative research, finding that black women face an assortment of structural and cultural barriers that inhibit their ability to be as physically active as other groups. (Click heading for full description.)

10.27.16

The Black Presidency

Humanities Forum
Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University, and radio host
“The Black Presidency”
Thursday, October 27, 5 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, 7th floor

In “The Black Presidency,” Michael Eric Dyson will explore the role of race in shaping Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. With the overwhelming number of tragic deaths of several young, Black males at the hands of police officers, President Obama has had to deal publicly with race in ways previous presidents have not. (Click heading for full description.)

Oct 28 SSF

Reassessing Racial Differences: The Perception of Racial Equality in the Obama Era

Social Sciences Forum
Melvin Thomas, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, and Hayward Derrick Horton, Associate Professor of Sociology, University at Albany, State University of New York
Friday, October 28, 2 p.m.
Location to be announced

The election of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States was heralded as a sign that the U.S. had entered a post-racial era. Thomas and Horton explore the perception of racial equality in the Obama era. (Click heading for full description.)

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