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Past Events: 2020-2021

Fall 2020

All events were held virtually

First Year Book Club: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
September 10, 2020
This lively discussion of the First Year book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, provided an opportunity to meet new friends in the Class of 2024. Four Holy Cross professors introduce questions raised in the book germane to their fields — medical ethics, biology, public health, critical race and feminist theory.

Party Labels: What do they mean? Do they matter?
September 15, 2020
Two popular Holy Cross professors, Political Science Professor Donald Brand and History Professor Ed O'Donnell, discuss the meanings of party labels and political ideology. What does it mean to be a Republican or Democrat, conservative or progressive? Part of the Holy Cross Elections Forum 2020.

What is the Government's Role in Ensuring the Health of its Citizens?
September 21, 2020
In this forum, Holy Cross professors Melissa Boyle (Economics) and Tsitsi Masvawure (Health Studies) help explain the parties' platforms and actions to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to Americans. Part of the Holy Cross Elections Forum 2020.

Joseph Nye: What is a Moral Foreign Policy?
September 29, 2020
One of the world's leading scholars of international relations, Joseph Nye speaks about his recent book, "Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump" (Oxford University Press, 2020), providing analysis of the role of ethics in U.S. foreign policy after 1945. Nye is University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus and former Dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Part of the Holy Cross Elections Forum 2020.

Holy Cross Student Forum with Dr. Anthony Fauci '62
October 6, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci '62, the nation's most trusted expert leading the COVID-19 response, addresses students' questions, the trajectory of the pandemic, and the ways we can respond and help. A top-cited scholar, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and Holy Cross alumnus, Dr. Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Justice for All: Filling the Seat on the Supreme Court
October 6, 2020
The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has prompted controversy and widespread speculation on when and how to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court and the ramifications for decisions on the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade, Voting Rights, and even the 2020 election. Political Science professors Alex Hindman and Greg Burnep discuss recent Senate confirmation hearings, possible scenarios for seating a justice, and what a shift in balance could mean for pending and future cases. Part of the Holy Cross Elections Forum 2020.

Politics of Memory and Commemoration: Columbus Statues and Beyond
October 7, 2020
Morgan Freeman, a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Yale University; Thomas Doughton, senior lecturer in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Holy Cross; and facilitated by Sarah Luria, professor of English and Environmental Studies, College of the Holy Cross. First of the 1620/2020 Speaker Series.

Wampanoag Life Before the Pilgrims
October 14, 2020
Linda Coombs, an independent scholar and historian who has served as program director of the Aquinnah Cultural Center on Martha’s Vineyard; Kelly Wisecup, associate professor of English at Northwestern University; and Sarah Klotz, assistant professor of rhetoric and English at Holy Cross as moderator. Part of the 1620/2020 Speaker Series.

Climate Change and the Energy Transition: What’s at Stake this November
October 14, 2020
Jody Freeman, Archibald Cox Professor of Law at Harvard University and founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program, reviews where we are in addressing climate change, where we need to be, and what’s at stake in the November elections. Part of the Holy Cross Elections Forum 2020.

Massasoit’s Meanings: Shifting Histories of Settler-Colonialism
October 21, 2020
Jean O’Brien, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of History at the University of Minnesota; Lisa Blee, associate professor of history at Wake Forest University; and moderated by Sarah Klotz, assistant professor of rhetoric and English at the College of the Holy Cross. Part of the 1620/2020 Speaker Series.

Teaching for Better Humans
October 22, 2020
Sonia Nieto, University of Massachusetts Amherst professor emerita and author of "Affirming Diversity" (Pearson, 2018), and Jesse Hagopian, ethnic studies teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle and co-editor of the book "Teaching for Black Lives" (Rethinking Schools, 2018), highlight specific ways to counter the inequities baked into our school systems and help young people grow into better humans at every level of schooling.

Post-Election Day Political Science Roundtable
November 4, 2020
The Holy Cross Elections Forum caps its Fall 2020 programming with a virtual roundtable discussion featuring members of the Political Science faculty on key takeaways the day after the November 3 election. Moderated by Daniel Klinghard, professor of political science and director of the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World.

Film Premiere and Panel Discussion: “Pakachoag: Where the River Bends”
November 7, 2020
The event premiers "Pakachoag," a film that documents historic sites around College Hill, and considers ways to commemorate Pakachoag. Panel discussion with Colin Novick, executive director of the Greater Worcester Land Trust; Fred Freeman, chairperson, Nipmuk Cultural Preservation, Inc.; Rev. Philip Boroughs, S.J., president of the College; Gwenn Miller, associate professor of history at Holy Cross; Thomas Doughton, senior lecturer of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Holy Cross; Sarah Klotz, assistant professor of rhetoric and English at Holy Cross; Digital Media Services coordinator Ian Kaloyanides (filmmaker); and Madison Chouinard ‘22, an Environmental Studies major; and moderated by Sarah Luria, professor of English/Environmental Studies. Part of the 1620/2020 Speaker Series.

Divided Worlds? Contexts of the New Testament Then and Now
November 6-8, 2020
This virtual conference seeks to bring together scholars from two disciplines that have much in common but that have seldom been in conversation in recent times—New Testament studies and Classics. Sessions examine if and how the New Testament, an ancient collection of texts with its own distinctive set of religious, social, and rhetorical strategies, can serve as a helpful resource in understanding our obligations to take moral stands on issues that are dividing our world with increasing fury. View the schedule.

Lost in the Historical Record: Four Centuries of African American Entrepreneurship, Where Do We Go From Here?
November 12, 2020
Juliet Walker, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, is founding director of the its Center of Black Business History, Entrepreneurship, and Technology and author of the first comprehensive book on black business history, "The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship" (1998). Attendees also heard from Sienna Ablorh '21, a history/psychology major with a concentration in Africana studies, and Darrell Byers '83, CEO of Interise, an organization that supports established small businesses that are in low-income neighborhoods or minority owned. Co-sponsored with the Ciocca Center.

Spring 2021

Coming to Terms: America on the Brink
January 8, 2021
Efforts to undermine the presidential election and peaceful transfer of power, culminating in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, have been devastating to witness. To begin to address this national crisis, McFarland Center Director Thomas M. Landy moderated a Zoom community event for Holy Cross faculty, students and staff to talk honestly about what's happened, who's responsible, and where we go from here.

Rebuilding Democracy Think Tank Discussion
January 12, 2021
In small group discussions, Holy Cross faculty strategize about pedagogy and action in our shared work as educators to help each other teach effectively in light of what we see in our country. What does this moment ask of us as faculty members and educators, and how can we engage in sustained conversations on democracy, citizenship and justice over the spring semester and beyond?

Ron Lawson ‘75 on the Homeless Crisis
February 8, 2021
Holy Cross alumnus Ron Lawson ‘75, Chief Operating Officer of Care for the Homeless, talks about the history of homelessness in New York City and the federal, state and city laws and policies that contribute to the problem. He also discusses the impact systemic racism has had on the homeless crisis.

Saving the Planet Cost-Effectively
February 17, 2021
Economist Joseph E. Aldy, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, draws from the theory and practice of carbon pricing and pollution markets to explain how it works around the world and to explore the potential design of U.S. climate change policy.

Campus Fishbowl: COVID-19 and the Ethics of Vaccines
February 22, 2021
Holy Cross professors Rev. William Stempsey, S.J., and Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou (Philosophy), Geoffrey Findlay (Biology), Denis Kennedy (Political Science), Mary Doyle Roche (Religious Studies) and others participate in a fishbowl discussion moderated by Thomas M. Landy, director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture.

Deaf Catholics Shaping the Church Today
February 24, 2021

Lana Portolano, author of "Be Opened: The Catholic Church and Deaf Culture" (CUA Press, 2020) and professor of English at Towson University, joins College of the Holy Cross Deaf Studies Professor Stephanie Clark, an expert on Deaf culture, and Rev. Joseph Bruce, S.J., archivist with the Deaf Catholic Archives at Holy Cross and the first Deaf Jesuit priest, for a discussion at the intersection of Catholic life and Deaf culture. Thomas M. Landy, director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at Holy Cross, moderates.

The Republican Party’s Factional Future
February 24, 2021
Steven Teles, Professor of Political Science at the Johns Hopkins University, Senior Fellow at the Niskanen Center, and co-author of "Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites" (Oxford University Press, 2020), assesses how these fissures in the Republican Party will develop in the coming years, and how a more heterogeneous, fractured party will change how American politics works across the board.

Public Health Reporting in a Pandemic of Disinformation
March 1, 2021
Caroline Chen, investigative health reporter for ProPublica, speaks to Holy Cross students, faculty and staff about how she approaches public health reporting in a time of pandemic, when the science and data are fast-paced and changing, the public is seeking answers, and misinformation and disinformation are rampant.

Responsibilities of Social Media Companies in Repairing our Social Divisions
March 4, 2021
Political Science Professor Daniel Klinghard, Director of the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts and the World and Co-Director of the Charles Carroll Program, and Amit Taneja, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, are joined by Richard Freije ’81, who is AVP and Senior Counsel at Sun Life Financial and Adjunct Instructor at Clark University and WPI teaching Cyber Law and Policy, for a discussion on regulating social media moderated by McFarland Center Director Thomas M. Landy.

The Destruction of Images (and Images of Their Destruction)
March 8, 2021
Aaron Tugendhaft, author of Idols of ISIS: From Assyria to the Internet (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores the power of images and the politics of iconoclasm. From Assyrian palace reliefs to videos of the destruction of images by ISIS, Tugenhaft examines this destruction (and images of it) with regard to religious and cultural pluralities, drawing connections from the ancient past to today. The talk is presented in conjunction with the Cantor Art Gallery and its exhibition, Kevork Mourad: Memory Gates, on view March 4-April 11, 2021.

Damon Hart ‘96 and Dominic Blue ‘98 on Investing in Racial Equity
March 9, 2021
Holy Cross alumni Damon P. Hart ‘96 and Dominic Blue ‘98
join McFarland Center Director Thomas Landy for a discussion of corporate responsibility in dismantling structural racism and the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund they helped to form. Hart is executive vice president and chief legal officer of Liberty Mutual Insurance; Blue is head of MassMutual Strategic Distributors.

Conference: The Intelligentsia in Russia: Spiritual and Moral Values
March 13-14, 2021
In preparation of their edited volume, "The Intelligentsia in Russia: Myth, Mission, Metamorphosis," Olga Partan, associate professor of Russian at Holy Cross, and Professor Sibelan Forrester of Swarthmore College virtually convene the book's contributors to present and solicit feedback on their draft work. The volume offers a multidisciplinary approach to addressing spiritual and moral missions of the Russian Intelligentsia, tracing its evolution over time from the 18th century to the post-Soviet era. View the schedule.

America’s Place in the World 
March 16, 2021
A discussion of our standing in the world with distinguished diplomats and policy analysts including Holy Cross alumni retired Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. ‘78, and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Tomlinson Ph.D. '74, associate professor in National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School; along with retired Ambassador Susan Elliot and longtime foreign service officer David Rank.

College Hill on Capitol Hill: Alumni Serving in Congress
March 18, 2021
Three Holy Cross alumni were serving in Congress during the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol and subsequent second impeachment of former President Donald Trump. Hear from Sen. Robert Casey ’82 (D-Pennsylvania), Rep. Peter Welch ’69 (D-Vermont) and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier ’74 (D-California) about the political crisis we're in and how we move our country beyond. Featuring a special welcome by Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern.

Can Protest Really Change the Political Order: Learning from Russia, Belarus and Bulgaria
March 24, 2021
Can protest really change the political order? Holy Cross faculty members Cynthia Hooper (History), Erina Megowan (History) and Nina Barzachka (Political Science) will discuss recent, daring protests in Russia, Belarus and Bulgaria to explore how people are trying to "speak truth to power" and how elites are responding. It will also look at the role of U.S. protests in inspiring both those participating in demonstrations and those in the government determined to shut them down.

How Can Catholics Contribute to Public Life? 
March 25, 2021
What does it mean to be a faithful citizen and how can our Catholic faith contribute to a healthy, vibrant polity and society? Meg Griffiths '04, assistant director of programs at Essential Partners, moderates a discussion among Catholic alumni including Mark Kennedy Shriver '86, president of Save the Children Action Network; Broderick Johnson ‘78, former assistant to the president and cabinet secretary under President Barack Obama; Virginia Doherty McGregor '84, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee; and
Yarlennys Villaman '14, outreach director for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Organized with the College Chaplains.

A Return to Hope and Healing: Seeing our Way Through a Crisis of Our Time
April 7, 2021

Worcester Art Museum Director Emeritus James A. Welu looks back at a landmark exhibition on "Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800," to explore what the work of master artists can teach us about the human condition during a time of crisis similar to our own. Following his illustrated presentation, he is joined by Cantor Art Gallery Director Meredith Fluke and Holy Cross Art History Professor David Karmon for questions and discussion.

Lessons from Around the World in the Aftermath of Crisis
April 8, 2021
Holy Cross faculty share from their comparative scholarship to glean lessons from other countries’ experiences about how to rebuild a damaged, fragmented society. Featuring History Professor Cynthia Hooper and Political Science Professors Judith Chubb, Maria Rodrigues and Aditi Malik.

What Future Can Conservatives Imagine to Repair Our Political Fabric?
April 12, 2021
A group of Holy Cross students, alumni and faculty discuss the range of conservative ideas and policy goals that they see moving us forward: Mary Clare Amselem '13, a writer and former policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation; Political Science Professor Donald Brand; Peter Flaherty '87, former deputy campaign manager and senior advisor to Mitt Romney; Marisa George '21, co-chair of the College Republicans; and Tim Rice '16, associate editor of the Washington Free Beacon.

Contagion of Hate: Pandemic and the Virus of Racism
April 13, 2021
Kim Yi Dionne, associate professor of political science at the University of California Riverside, and Russell Jeung, professor and chair in the Department of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, discuss historic examples of "othering" during epidemics and times of crisis, and how the surge of anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 has affected members of the AAPI community.