St. Francis College Offers Free Lecture Series On American Politics & Policies

St. Francis College
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St. Francis College (SFC) in Brooklyn Heights is offering a stellar lineup in an ongoing  free and open to the public lecture series under the topic, Perspectives on American Politics and Policies.

The series is part of the school’s For Seniors program run year-round with the school’s faculty members Professor Emily Horowitz (Chair, Sociology & Criminal Justice) and Athena Devlin (Director, American Studies) organizing the Tuesday and Tursday ongoing lecture series.

This combination of senior citizens and undergraduate students creates a mixture of ideas and perspectives that offers a unique learning experience for both groups. The lecture series, started in the 1960’s, is responsible for hundreds of notable guest lectures and has helped strengthen the bond between the college and members of the community.

“The long-term success of this series relies on a simple formula,” said Professor Horowitz. “Bring together different groups of people with a wide variety of opinions and expose them to the deeper meanings and causes of issues they face every day. The result is an open and honest discussion where everyone is heard and hopefully, some deeply held positions are questioned.”

Unless otherwise noted in the schedule below, the lectures are slated to begin at 11:10 a.m. on Tuedays from Sept. 12 – Dec. 5, at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.

Sept. 12: Chase Madar –The Criminalization of Everyday Life  

Chase Madar is a civil rights attorney in New York and the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower (Verso). Madar will talk about how we’re using criminal law, police, and prisons to deal with nearly ALL of our problems, and why this is counterproductive.

Sept. 19: Adam H. Johnson – Media Bias and Inaccuracy

Adam H. Johnson writes for Fair Media Watch, the NationAlternet, and the Los Angeles Times (“How the media smears black victims”). He co-hosts Citations Needed, a weekly podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, with Nima Shirazi.

Sept. 26: Catherine Carpenter – The Unconstitutionality of Sex Offense Laws

Professor Catherine Carpenter (Southwestern Law School) is a nationally renowned criminal law scholar in the area of sex crimes and sex offender registration laws. Her scholarship has been cited by numerous courts and used as a guide by attorneys; she is also one of the foremost authorities on law school curricula and accreditation. Among her important law review articles is, “Against Juvenile Sex Offender Registration.”

Oct. 3: Debbie Nathan – Politics on the U.S.-Mexican Border

Debbie Nathan has been a journalist, editor and translator for almost three decades. She specializes in writing about immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border, sexual politics and sex panics, particularly in relation to women and children. Debbie is author and co-author of four books, including Sybil, Inc (2012).

October 10th: Paul Beston – The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring

Paul Beston will talk about his book, The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring,in conversation with journalist Jacob Siegel. This event is organized by St. Francis College Scholar-in-Residence Fred Siegel.

October 17: Marty Tankleff – Being Wrongfully Convicted & Exonerated

Marty Tankleff was wrongly convicted of murdering his wealthy parents when he was 17 years old after being pressured into a false confession. He served 17 years before his conviction was vacated. Tankleffreceived a settlement from the state after he settled his wrongful conviction lawsuit; he recently graduated from law school and passed the bar exam; Marty now plans to help the wrongfully convicted. He will be joined by his lawyer Amy Marion (Partner at Barket & Marion).

**Thursday, October 19 at 11:10am: Mayor DiBlasio and President Trump

New York Post Columnist Michael Goodwin in conversation with New York Daily News Columnist Harry Siegel on Mayor DiBlasio and President Trump. This event is organized by St. Francis College Scholar-in-Residence Fred Siegel.

**Thursday, October 19th at 2:55pm: Resistance at Tule Lake – Screening & Q + A

Documentary screening and discussion with Konrad Aderer, director of the new documentaryResistance at Tule Lake, about the people who fought back against World War II Japanese internment camps. [Event Held in Founders Hall]

 Oct. 24: I Am Not Your Negro – Screening & Q+A

SFC presents a film screening of I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary about author and activist James Baldwin). Following the film, Professor Athena Devlin will host a Q&A on James Baldwin and American Studies

Oct. 31: Arun Venugopal – Post-Trump Politics

Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the host of Micropolis, WNYC’s ongoing examination of race, sexuality and identity. The series has explored such issues as the global skin-lightening market, the problems with ethnic sitcoms and the meaning of turbans. Arun is a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He has appeared on PBS Newshour, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, On the Media, and Studio 360, and has been published in The GuardianThe Wall Street Journal and Salon.

Nov. 7: Judith Levine and Professor Trevor Hoppe – The War on Sex

Judith Levine (noted journalist and author) and co-editor Trevor Hoppe (Assistant Professor, Sociology, SUNY Albany) discuss their important new work — The War on Sex (Duke University Press).

“The past fifty years are conventionally understood to have witnessed an uninterrupted expansion of sexual rights and liberties in the United States. This state-of-the-art collection tells a different story: while progress has been made in marriage equality, reproductive rights, access to birth control, and other areas, government and civil society are waging a war on stigmatized sex by means of law, surveillance, and social control.” 

Nov. 14: Belen Lowrey-Kinberg – The Application of Forensic Linguistics to Policing: The Case of Sandra Bland

Professor Belen Lowrey-Kinberg (Assistant Professor, Sociology & Criminal Justice, St. Francis) gives an overview of forensic linguistics, examines the escalation of language in Sandra Bland’s traffic stop, and discuss how theories from criminal justice and linguistics can help us understand police-citizen dynamics.

Nov. 21: Margee Kerr – Hijacking Fear: The subtle, and not so subtle ways politicians and the media use fear to motivate action

Margee Kerr is a sociologist and author. She earned her Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh and currently teaches and conducts research on fear, specifically how and why people engage with “scary” material. Dr. Kerr is the co-investigator on a first-of-its-kind study which measures how the brain and body respond to “fun-scary” experiences like haunted attractions, paranormal investigations, and thrill rides.

Nov. 28: Dr. Mical Raz – Making Child Abuse White? Parents Anonymous, Physicians and Child Abuse Policy in the 1970s 

Mical Raz, MD, PhD, completed her medical training at Tel Aviv University, where she also received a Ph.D. in History of Medicine. She’s worked at the Tel Aviv Medical Center and volunteered with Physicians for Human Rights. She is the author Psychosurgery (U of Rochester 2013) and What’s Wrong with the Poor? Race, Psychiatry and the War on Poverty (UNC 2013). A historian of American psychiatry, Raz is interested in the intersection of psychiatry, poverty and politics.

Dec. 5: Kathleen Gray – Imperceptible Privilege: How Whites Negotiate Conversations about Race

Dr. Kathleen Gray is a sociologist and the Assistant Academic Dean at St. Francis College. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh with a research focus on race and racism. Her work explores how white people collectively construct, reinforce, and occasionally disrupt dominant racial ideology during conversations about race and politics.

St. Francis College thanks the New York City Council and New York State Legislature for their support of the For Seniors program, which is funded under contract with the New York City Department for the Aging and includes free activities like, swimming, yoga, and tai-chi, as well as creative writing classes and movies.