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Past Events: 2017-2018

Fall 2017

September 11, 2017
A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America — Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and author of "The Color of Law," explains how residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-20th century.

September 13, 2017
Finding the Self: Charles Taylor's Theory of SubjectivityInternational Jesuit Visiting Scholar Rev. Janez Percic, S.J. explores the definition of "self" in Charles Taylor's approach to subjectivity.

Monday, October 2, 2017
Our Lady of the Slaves: Marian Devotion in Cuba, Race and Revolution — Jalane Schmidt, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and author of “Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba” (Duke University Press, 2015) explores how devotion to Cachita, the Virgin of Charity, has been central to how many Cubans of various racial and religious identities have navigated the Revolutionary to contemporary eras. This lecture is part of the McFarland Center's initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

October 3, 2017
Lunch Discussion: Public History and Activism in the Age of the Alt-Right — Jalane Schmidt, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, reflects on her involvement in alt-right resistance in Charlottesville.

October 4, 2017
Dare We Hope for Common Ground? — Julie Hanlon Rubio, professor of Christian ethics at St. Louis University and author of “Hope for Common Ground” (Georgetown University Press, 2016), looks to Catholic social teaching and moral theology for direction in seeking common ground on controversial topics. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

October 16, 2017
When should we edit nature? Moral questions raised by gene drive research — Kevin Esvelt, assistant professor of M.I.T. Media Lab, explains the technology he developed to alter the DNA of wild populations with the potential to save millions of lives and advocates for the practice of open and responsive science in determining how and when to use it.

October 17, 2017
'Blown on by God's Breath': The Riddle of Thoreau’s Religion — Holy Cross alumnus Richard Higgins ’74, author of “Thoreau and the Language of Trees” (University of California Press, 2017), discusses Henry David Thoreau’s much misunderstood religiosity and his perception of the divine in nature.

October 19-21, 2017
Rethinking the Afropolitan: The Ethics of Black Atlantic Masculinities on Display — This three-day conference examines the intersections of  gender, race, and visual culture, in the Atlantic, spanning Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe from the 16th century to the present. Learn more»

October 23, 2017
Book Launch: Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits — Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., general editor, and Rev. James Corkery, S.J. and Alison Fleming, associate editors, share some of the interesting items and visual richness that can be found in the pages this new volume spanning the Jesuits’ 500-year history. Co-sponsored with the College Committee on Mission and Identity. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

October 24, 2017
Beyond the Abortion Wars: Finding A Way Forward in a Time of Polarization — Charles Camosy is associate professor of theology at Fordham University and author of "Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation" (Eerdmans Publishing, 2015). One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

November 1, 2017
Out of the Depths: Jewish Religious Life and Practice During and After the Holocaust — Alan Rosen, Kraft-Hiatt scholar-in-residence, explores the complex and difficult process for religious Jews to make sense of the world during the Holocaust, and to find meaning in its aftermath.

November 6, 2017
Anti-Semitism on the Internet — Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former Google data scientist and author of "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are" (HarperCollins, 2017), will share what Big Data from hate sites can teach us about contemporary anti-Semitism in the United States. This lecture is supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

November 15-17, 2017
Religion, Protest, and Social Upheaval — This conference brings together a diverse group of scholars across national and religious divides to examine the impact of religion on various social and political movements. Co-sponsored with Religious Studies. Learn more»

December 1, 2017
A Radical Solution to the Race Problem — Quayshawn Spencer, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, focuses on the biological meaning applied to race when used by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in reporting jobs, college loans, mortgages, etc., to defend his metametaphysical position of radical racial pluralism. Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy.

Spring 2018

February 12, 2018
Race, Poverty, and the Criminal Justice System: Lessons Learned From Wrongful Conviction Cases — Tricia Bushnell, director of the Midwest Innocence Project, discusses 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.

February 15, 2018
Writing Africa Today: On the Intersection Between Truth, Justice and Reality in Contested Spaces — Prize-winning Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah focuses on her forthcoming book on the companions of explorer David Livingstone who carried his body for nine months so he could be buried in his homeland. Co-sponsored with Africana Studies.

February 22, 2018
Gish 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. Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

February 26, 2018
Pentecostal 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, offers 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. Part of the McFarland Center’s initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

March 16, 2018
CONFERENCE — Between the Sacred and the Profane: Love and Desire in Premodern China — This one-day conference explores 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»

March 20, 2018
Nothing About Us Without Us: The State of Incarceration for Women — Andrea James, founder and executive director of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, and founder of Families for Justice as Healing, argues for the abolition of prisons. Co-sponsored by Sister to Sister and part of Unity Week at Holy Cross.

March 23, 2018
Empathy 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. Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy.

April 11-12, 2018
CONFERENCE — Francis the Pilgrim: From Personal Devotion to Papal Diplomacy — This conference considers 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 journalists and theologians Austen Ivereigh, Inés San Martín, Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J., and Elise Harris. Learn more»

April 16, 2018
All 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. Co-sponsored by Sociology & Anthropology and Montserrat.

April 16, 2018
The Story of Hebrew — Lewis Glinert, professor of Hebrew Studies at Dartmouth and author of “The Story of Hebrew” (Princeton University Press, 2017), discusses the extraordinary hold that Hebrew has had on Jews and non-Jews alike across two millennia. Part of JCC Author Series and supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish Christian Understanding.

April 19, 2018
Jews, Intersectionality and Contemporary Anti-Semitism — Katya Gibel Mevorach, professor of anthropology and American studies at Grinnell College, offers historical and global context for contemporary anti-Semitism, exploring various forms of Jewish and intersectional identity. Part of the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding, her lecture is supported by a grant from the Academic Engagement Network.

April 20, 2018
Tradition and Inquiry in Tibetan Buddhism: An Examination of Tibetan Debate Practices — Georges Dreyfus, Jackson Professor of Religion at Williams College, Tibetan Monk and “Geshe,” explains Tibetan monks' unique and animated tradition of debate as a practice to develop inquiry skills. Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy.

April 23, 2018
My 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, discusses the challenges of trying to write religiously serious fiction today and reads a preview from his forthcoming novel, "Original Prin." One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.