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Events at the McFarland Center

Fall 2021

Events will be held in person unless specified. At this time, attendance is limited to current Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. Most events will be recorded and made available for public viewing on our Listen and Learn page.

First-Year Book Discussion: 'Walking to Listen' with Author Andrew Forsthoefel

Tuesday, September 7, 2021
7 p.m., New Location! Hoval Tent

Andrew Forsthoefel

Members of the Holy Cross Class of 2025 are invited to a conversation with author Andrew Forsthoefel, author of Walking to Listen: 4000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time, assigned as the first-year read for the Class of 2025. After graduating from Middlebury College, Forsthoefel spent a year walking across the highways of America, an apprentice to the discipline of listening. He teaches trustworthy listening as a practice in reconciliation, personal transformation, and peace-making.
First-year students are encouraged to register for this event on MyHC.

Never Forget: Congressman Jim McGovern on 9/11 and Twenty Years of War in Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Congressman Jim McGovern

Worcester’s Congressman James McGovern has been a longtime critic of the U.S. military policy in Afghanistan. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and subsequent War on Terror, he joins Holy Cross Political Science Professor Ward Thomas to reflect on the legacy of war in Afghanistan, the consequences of withdrawal, and our responsibilities to U.S. service members and the Afghan people. Rep. McGovern (D-MA) is chairman of the House Rules Committee and co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Watch the livestream.

African, Christian, Feminist and More: Mapping and Engaging African/a Women’s Theo-ethical Footprint in the Age of Globalization

Thursday, September 16, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Teresia Hinga

Teresia Mbari Hinga, associate professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University, is a founding member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, a pan-African association of women who study the role and impact of religion and culture on African women's lives. She will trace the historical footprint of African/a women’s theology and ethics, highlighting key themes, roadblocks to flourishing, and proposals for morally viable ways out of the precarity that characterizes the lives of women and children. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

You Think You Know Catholicism? Peering into the Diversity of the Global Church

Banner image for "Peering into the Diversity of the Global Church" features a photo from the stage of eucharistic adoration at Fr. Mbaka's all night worship service in Nigeria.

Monday, September 20, 2021
Noon, Hogan 519

In this lunchtime talk for Holy Cross students, Thomas M. Landy, director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, will introduce the incredible diversity of worship styles and devotions—including Masses, feasts, processions, and pilgrimages—practiced by contemporary Catholics in countries and cultures around the world. For seven years, Landy has traveled the globe documenting global lived Catholicism for the initiative he founded on Catholics & Cultures, catholicsandcultures.org. Pizza, salad and beverages will be provided. Register by September 13. Part of International Education Week.
Students must register on MyHC by September 13. Space is limited.

Before Gentrification: Race and Dis/Investment in the Nation’s Capital 

Monday, September 27, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library  

Tanya Golash-Boza

In the late 1950s, thousands of African Americans achieved the American Dream of homeownership in Washington, DC. They purchased two-story brick rowhouses in neighborhoods like Petworth and Mount Pleasant—made available as White people were leaving the city for the newly-built suburbs. The remarkable rise in homeownership among Black families, however, would not translate into Black middle-class stability. In this presentation, Tanya Golash-Boza, professor of sociology and founder of the Racism, Capitalism, and the Law Lab at the University of California-Merced, explains that multiple structural forces—creation of segregated neighborhoods, the rise in Black unemployment, disinvestment in public schools, the war on drugs, and, more recently, various forms of gentrification—worked together to create barriers for these families.

Polarizing Disagreements: Philosophical and Psychological Reflections on a Political Conundrum

Friday, October 1, 2021
2 p.m., Rehm Library

Karsten Stueber

The seemingly irreconcilable differences tearing apart our political institutions have become a popular topic for philosophers to ponder. Karsten Stueber, professor of philosophy at Holy Cross, suggests that the current political conundrum is best approached from the perspective of moral philosophy and moral psychology, rather than as an epistemic problem. From that perspective, humans are to be viewed first and foremost as moralizing animals rather than moral agents. Moreover,  new technologies such as social media undermine rules put in place to regulate our at times detrimental moralizing impulses. Whether or not our democracy will survive will depend to a large extent on our ability to rebuild and rethink such regulations. Part of the Colloquia on Philosophy Series.

From Justice to Reconciliation: A Jesuit Response to the Refugee Crisis in the Middle East

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Rev. Dan Corrou, SJ

Over 13 million people have been forcibly displaced by the crisis in Syria since 2012, and over 4 million people need humanitarian assistance in Iraq because of the ISIS/ ISIL military activity since 2014.  These combine to form the largest forcibly displaced population in the world since the Second World War.  Ten years into these crises, there is no clear direction toward return.  In this talk, former Holy Cross Chaplain Rev. Dan Corrou, S.J., regional director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria), will describe humanitarian approaches to the crises and the JRS mission of accompaniment—a model for the work of reconciliation based in the 500-year Ignatian tradition of cura personalis.  Co-sponsored with the Office of Mission.

Refugees, Prisoners of War, and Foster Kids: A Long History of Child Taking

Wednesday, October 27, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Laura Briggs

The border policy of taking children of migrants to get them to withdraw their petitions for an asylum hearing became sharply politicized in 2018 and 2019, with many suggesting that the Trump administration was uniquely cruel. In this talk, Laura Briggs, professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an expert on U.S. and international child welfare policy, will argue that on the contrary, from Indian Wars to the Cold War to the War on Drugs, the U.S. federal government under both Democratic and Republican administrations has taken children for political ends. It has also consistently engendered opposition, from the 19th century to the present. Briggs is author of Taking Children: A History of American Terror (University of California Press, 2021).

Muslims and the Holocaust

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Mehnaz Afridi

Mehnaz M. Afridi, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College, will discuss her journey with Judaism as a Muslim, her interviews with Holocaust survivors, antisemitism and Islamophobia, and Islam and memory. She is author of Shoah Through Muslim Eyes (American Studies Press, 2017). Part of the Kraft-Hiatt Program in Jewish-Christian Understanding

Politics in the Name of Lord Rama in Narendra Modi's India 

Monday, November 8, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Kalpana Jain

Kalpana Jain, an award-winning journalist and the religion and ethics editor at The Conversation US, will discuss how politics is being reshaped in India and religious sentiments are being mobilized under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She will illustrate how the Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s pro-Hindu nationalist ruling party, has used the image of Hindu God Rama to whip up religious sentiments to its advantage and unite Hindus. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

What Has American Politics Done to the Catholic Church?

Banner for "What has American Politics Done to the Catholic Church?" features photo of Holy Cross President Vince Rougeau on campus with headshots of guest speakers Ross Douthat and Matthew Sitman overlaid.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Holy Cross President Vincent Rougeau leads a discussion with Ross Douthat, a conservative columnist for the New York Times and author of To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism, and Matthew Sitman, associate editor of Commonweal, who hosts "Know Your Enemy," podcast critical of the right. The three will talk about the entanglements of politics and religion, advantages and drawbacks, and whether and how to decouple them.

Priorities for Post-COVID-19 Public Health Research, Education, and Practice

Wednesday, November 17, 2021
4:30 p.m., Rehm Library

Dr. Sandro Galea

Sandro Galea is a physician, epidemiologist, Dean and Robert A Knox Professor of the School of Public Health at Boston University. His new book, The Contagion Next Time (Oxford University Press, 2021), articulates the foundational forces—including racism, marginalization, and socioeconomic inequality—shaping health in our society and how we can strengthen them to prevent the next outbreak from becoming a pandemic. In this talk, Dr. Galea will discuss what we learned during COVID-19 and what implications that has for our scholarship in population health science.