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Events at the McFarland Center

Spring 2018

Events for Spring 2018 are still being confirmed. Check back for more details.

Monday, February 12, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Tricia BushnellRace, Poverty, and the Criminal Justice System: Lessons Learned From Wrongful Conviction Cases — Since 1989, over 2,100 men and women have been exonerated for crimes they did not commit. They served a total of 18,590 years. Although each of their stories is unique, their collective experience reveals the hard truths about the criminal justice system and its treatment of race and class. Tricia Bushnell, director of the Midwest Innocence Project, will discuss the known causes of wrongful convictions, policies and solutions to prevent the conviction of the innocent, and our social obligation to change the system and prevent future injustice. Co-sponsored with Peace and Conflict Studies.

Thursday, February 15, 2018; 7:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Petina GappahWriting Africa Today: On the Intersection Between Truth, Justice and Reality in Contested Spaces — Prize-winning Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah writes critically about the government, social and criminal justice issues, and human rights work in sub-Saharan Africa. Her collection of short stories called "Elegy for Easterly" was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and won the Guardian First Book Award in 2009. Co-sponsored with Africana Studies.

Thursday, February 22, 2018; 7:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Gish JenGish Jen: Vocation of the Writer — Gish Jen’s nonfiction title, “The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap” (Knopf, 2017), is a provocative and important study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about the self and society and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business. She has published short work in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals and anthologies. Her work has appeared in "The Best American Short Stories" four times, including "The Best American Short Stories of the Century," edited by John Updike. Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

Monday, February 26, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Stan Chu IloPentecostal and Catholic Charismatic Movements in Africa: The Search for Human and Cosmic Flourishing — Stan Chu Ilo, research professor for the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University, will offer a comparative analysis of Pentecostal and Catholic Charismatic movements in Africa, paying particular attention to cultural knowledge, artifacts, and symbols as they manifest in the actual faith of the people, with some narratives and examples from Nigeria, Kenya, Benin, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. He is author of “Wealth, Health and Hope in African Christian Religion: The Search for Abundant Life” (2017, Rowman and Littlefield). Part of the McFarland Center’s initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

Thursday, March 15, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library Canceled
Mary Ellen KoniecznyConservative, Progressive, Millennial? Childhood Faith Formation Experiences, Catholic Parishes, and Belonging — Mary Ellen Konieczny, associate professor of sociology and Henkels Family Collegiate Chair, and faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, draws on comparative ethnographic research conducted in two middle class Catholic parishes at the turn of the millennium, one progressive and the other conservative, to ask: How might different styles of faith formation influence the ways in which middle class millennials perceive faith, spirituality, and the Catholic Church today? Konieczny is author of "The Spirit's Tether: Family, Work, and Religion among American Catholics" (Oxford University Press, 2013). Her talk is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity and part of the McFarland Center's initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

Friday, March 16, 2018; Rehm Library
CONFERENCE — Between the Sacred and the Profane: Love and Desire in Premodern China — This one-day conference will explore the intersection of religion, literature, and the arts through examination of various circumstances by which the discourse of love and desire is represented, transmitted, transformed, and re-contextualized in traditional China. Held in conjunction with the Worcester Art Museum exhibition, “Dangerous Liaisons Revisited: Art and Music Inspired by the Chinese Tang Court.” Co-sponsored with Asian Studies. Learn more»

Tuesday, March 20, 2018; 7 p.m., Rehm Library
Andrea JamesNothing About Us Without Us: The State of Incarceration for Women — Andrea James is founder and executive director of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, founder of Families for Justice as Healing, and author of “Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration” (Goode Book Press, 2013). Her talk is co-sponsored by Sister to Sister and the McFarland Center. It is part of Unity Week at Holy Cross.

Friday, March 23, 2018; 3:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Heidi MaibomEmpathy and Morality in Psychopaths — Heidi Maibom, professor of philosophy at the University of Cincinnati, focuses on issues in contemporary philosophy of mind, psychology, and cognitive science. She is editor of “Empathy and Morality” (Oxford University Press, 2014). Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018; 7:30 p.m., Rehm Library Canceled
Charles Asher SmallContemporary Global Antisemitism as the Rejection of the Other: Implications for Human Rights and Democratic Principles — Charles Asher Small is director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), and senior research scholar at the Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle East and African Studies, Tel Aviv University. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library Canceled
Threads: New Concepts of Justice — Bangalore-based activist Corinne Kumar will speak on jurisprudence and patriarchy, violence against women and the rational/masculine mode of our justice system, and the urgent need for women to find new ways to justice. Kumar is secretary general of El Taller International, an NGO committed to international women’s human rights, sustainable development, and both North-South and South-South exchange and dialogue across diverse cultures and civilizations. A philosopher, poet, human rights theoretician and activist, she is editor of two human rights journals, and has written and spoken extensively on refugees, violence against women, militarization, and the dominant human rights discourse, critiquing it from a gender and Global South perspective.

Thursday, April 5, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library Canceled
Terry EagletonWas Jesus a Revolutionary? — Terry Eagleton is a renowned British literary theorist, critic and public intellectual. He is currently Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University. His latest books include: "Why Marx Was Right" (2011); "The Event of Literature" (2012); "How to Read Literature" (2013); and "Hope without Optimism" (2015). This talk is the Thomas More Lecture on the Humanities.

Wednesday-Thursday, April 11-12, 2018Pope Francis visits Fatima
CONFERENCE — Francis the Pilgrim: From Personal Devotion to Papal Diplomacy — This conference will take Francis’ own devotional life, as demonstrated through his pilgrimages and the symbols he chooses to surround himself with, as a starting point to interpret the papacy of Francis in its goals, objectives and outcomes. Speakers include Austen Ivereigh, London-based Catholic journalist and author of "The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope" (Henry Holt, 2014); Inés San Martín, an Argentinean journalist who covers the Vatican in Rome; and Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J., senior analyst at Religion News Service and former editor-in-chief of the weekly Catholic magazine America. View the schedule»

Monday, April 16, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Seelos Theatre
Jenny RheeAll Too Human: Labor and Dehumanization in the Robotic Imaginary — Jennifer Rhee, assistant professor of new media at Virginia Commonwealth University, explores how the human is defined in robotic visions and technological relations. Drawing on the robot’s imbrication with exploited labor, she argues that the history of robotics is enmeshed with devalued and exploited forms of labor, from care and domestic labor to contemporary U.S. targeted drone strikes. Co-sponsored by Sociology & Anthropology, Montserrat and the McFarland Center.

Monday, April 16, 2018; 7:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Lewis GlinertThe Story of Hebrew — In recognition of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th birthday, Lewis Glinert, professor of Hebrew Studies at Dartmouth and author of “The Story of Hebrew” (Princeton University Press, 2017), will discuss the extraordinary hold that Hebrew has had on Jews and non-Jews alike. Preserved by the Jews across two millennia, Hebrew endured long after it ceased to be a mother tongue, resulting in one of the most intense textual cultures ever known. Part of JCC Author Series and supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish Christian Understanding.

Thursday, April 19, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Katya Gibel MevorachJews, Intersectionality and Contemporary Anti-Semitism — Katya Gibel Mevorach, professor of anthropology and American studies at Grinnell College, will speak about anti-Semitism in the 21st century with a focus on intersectionality. She is author of "Black, Jewish and Interracial: It's Not the Color of Your Skin but the Race of Your Kin, and Other Myths of Identity" (Duke University Press, 1997). Part of the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding, her lecture is supported by a grant from the Academic Engagement Network.

Friday, April 20, 2018; 3:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Georges DreyfusTradition and Inquiry in Tibetan Buddhism: An Examination of Tibetan Debate Practices — Georges Dreyfus, Jackson Professor of Religion at Williams College, is a Tibetan Monk and the first Westerner to receive the title of “Geshe,” traditionally the highest degree awarded by Tibetan Buddhist monastic universities and presented by the Dalai Lama himself. Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy.

Monday, April 23, 2018; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Randy BoyagodaMy Flannery O’Connor Problem, and Yours: Being a Catholic Novelist in 2018 — Randy Boyagoda, a Catholic writer and professor of English at the University of Toronto, will discuss the challenges of trying to write religiously serious fiction today, when the terms for doing so are often overdetermined by the outsized influence and popularity of writers like Flannery O’Connor and Marilynne Robinson. After diagnosing this situation and the various reasons for it, Boyagoda will then read a preview from his forthcoming novel, "Original Prin." One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.