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Programs and Events

FRAMING THE DIALOGUE

The Commons presents this series, in collaboration with campus partners and visiting scholars, to invite dialogue across disciplines, that references the broader conversations we face at a societal level. These events broach topics of intersectional identity, community, and the sociopolitical implications of events. While they address themes that are at times difficult to discuss, they encourage conversations worth having. Through this series we endeavor to frame these topics so that conversation is productive despite the difficulty and potential for disagreement.

We recognize that the only way to understand different perspectives is to hear them, and to keep asking questions. Please feel encouraged to contribute to the discussion, and recognize that many of these topics are particularly sensitive.

Partners in programming include: the KU Libraries, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, the KU Honors Program, the Office of First-Year Experience, the KU Law School, Peace & Conflict Studies, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the Department of English.

EVENTS

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "We Should All Be Feminists" in Context

Charlesia McKinney, English + Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Chris Martin, Theatre
Jameelah Jones, African and African-American Studies
10:00am Friday, September 16 | The Commons

Inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay “We Should All Be Feminists,” this event will begin with an introduction by three graduate students whose research connects to Adichie’s work from different disciplinary perspectives. Charlesia McKinney, Chris Martin, and Jameelah Jones will share contributions from their research on related themes. After these contextual prompts, the audience is charged with carrying the conversation. Topics will include: intersectionality and construction of identity; how this work relates to contemporary literature; and more.

The first 20 audience members will receive a copy of the essay in advance of the event. Please note that this event requires prior familiarity with the essay, the presentation of which can also be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc.

RSVP required to thecommons@ku.edu.

PRESENTATIONS

Gender Equity & Policy 2016
Presented as part of Make Your Mark: a nonpartisan effort to promote civic engagement among students

5:30pm Tuesday, September 20 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Center for Civic & Social Responsibility

Gender Equity and Policy 2016 is a series of TED-style talks that address issues of gender equity and related policies relevant to the current election cycle including: reproductive health, bathroom access for trans-identified people, and sexual violence in higher education. For more information, visit the Make Your Mark website: http://ccsr.ku.edu/make-your-mark

FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION

3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets

7:00pm Wednesday, October 12 | The Commons
Sponsored by the KU Honors Program, the Office of First-Year Experience, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs

In 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, two lives intersected and were forever altered. On Black Friday 2012, two cars parked next to each other at a Florida gas station. A white middle-aged male and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the boy’s car. A gun entered the exchange, and one of them was left dead. Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and then fled. Three of those bullets hit 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who died at the scene. Arrested the next day, Dunn claimed he shot in self-defense. Thus began the long journey of unraveling the truth. 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets follows that journey, reconstructing the night of the murder and revealing how hidden racial prejudice can result in tragedy. View the trailer here.

Join us for a screening of this 2015 documentary.

LECTURE & DISCUSSION

The Journey Out of the Racial Divide: Reflections on the Reclamation of the Human Spirit
Michael Penn, Department Chair & Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College

3:00pm October 31 | The Commons
Sponsored by the KU Libraries, KU Law School, and Peace & Conflict Studies

Dr. Michael Penn is Department Chair and Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College. Professor Penn has lectured widely around the world and has been invited to serve as a consultant and speaker at United Nations-related conferences in several countries. He serves as faculty for the United Nations Staff College in Turin, Italy, and as a trainer for the UN Leader’s Programme, which trains Director-level United Nations officers. For the past 25 years Professor Penn has focused his research and teaching on the world’s most challenging problems. These problems include the problem of violence against women and girls, racism and intergroup conflict, hopelessness, and the challenge of relational authenticity.

POETRY READING

Melissa Buzzeo

7:00pm Wednesday, November 2 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Department of English

Melissa Buzzeo's recent book The Devastation (Nightboat 2015) was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in Poetry. She is also the author of For Want and Sound (Les figues 2013), Face (Bookthug 2009) and What Began Us (Leon Works 2007). She is working on a new book--a simple kind of memoir, a history of sexuality and something else opening or shutting it. It is called Writing.

She lives in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing, feminism and poetics of healing at Pratt Institute.

PUBLIC SESSION

The Power of Migration Stories

3:30pm Tuesday, December 6
Hosted by the Kansas African Studies Center

Presented as part of the ongoing Framing the Dialogue conversation at The Commons, this gathering will feature a conversation about migration issues across disciplines. The Kansas African Studies Center and its Migration Stories project partners will highlight accomplishments in facilitating and sharing stories of migration this year during an initiative funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Join us to view the fruits of the project to date and to discuss possible broader collaborations in the future.

PUBLIC EVENT

Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair

Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of English, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
7:00pm Thursday, February 16 | The Commons
Presented by the KU Libraries, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of English, the University Honors Program, the Department of American Studies, and The Commons

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and AIDS historian, and the author of eighteen books. A Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, Sarah is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, and on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. She is the Co-Founder of MIX: NY LGBT Experimental Film and Video Festival, Co-Director of ACT UP Oral History Project, and the US Coodinator of the first LGBT Delegation to Palestine. She was also the Coordinator of the HOMONATIONALISM and PINKWASHING CONFERENCE at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (April, 2013). She is also a member of the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and is a fellow at the NY Institute for the Humanities at NYU.

Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair was published in October, 2016. bell hooks writes, "With awesome brilliance and insight, Sarah Schulman offers readers new strategies to intervene on all relations of domination both personal and political. The core of this book provides ways to think and move beyond blaming and/or assuming victimhood -- so that each of us may come to understand the role we assume in creating and sustaining conflicts in all our relations. Sharing myriad ways, critical vigilance can help us all understand that conflict need not be viewed as abuse, that essential distinctions may be made between the hurt we experience in conflict and the violence of abuse, Schulman offers a vision of mutual recognition and accountability that liberates."

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS

on Change within a University

Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of English, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
10:00am Friday, February 17 | The Commons
Presented by the KU Libraries, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of English, the University Honors Program, the Department of American Studies, and The Commons

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and AIDS historian, and the author of eighteen books. A Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, Sarah is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, and on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. She is the Co-Founder of MIX: NY LGBT Experimental Film and Video Festival, Co-Director of ACT UP Oral History Project, and the US Coodinator of the first LGBT Delegation to Palestine. She was also the Coordinator of the HOMONATIONALISM and PINKWASHING CONFERENCE at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (April, 2013). She is also a member of the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and is a fellow at the NY Institute for the Humanities at NYU.

STUDENT EVENT

Lunch & Learn with Sarah Schulman, on Student Activism

12:00pm Friday, February 17 | Office of Multicultural Affairs
Presented by the KU Libraries, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of English, the University Honors Program, the Department of American Studies, and The Commons

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and AIDS historian, and the author of eighteen books. A Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, Sarah is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, and on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. She is the Co-Founder of MIX: NY LGBT Experimental Film and Video Festival, Co-Director of ACT UP Oral History Project, and the US Coodinator of the first LGBT Delegation to Palestine. She was also the Coordinator of the HOMONATIONALISM and PINKWASHING CONFERENCE at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (April, 2013). She is also a member of the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and is a fellow at the NY Institute for the Humanities at NYU.

MIGRATION LECTURE SERIES

Stories of the Undocumented: Cultural Trauma and American DREAMers

Marta Caminero-Santangelo, Professor of English/Interim Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Kansas
7:00pm Tuesday, February 21 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Center for Migration Research at the Institute for Policy and Social Research

Marta Caminero-Santangelo examines how US Latinx writers are increasingly expressing their solidarity with undocumented immigrants in representing the issues surrounding unauthorized immigration as a form of cultural trauma; and she looks at the narratives of the undocumented themselves—especially so-called “DREAMers”—to discuss their formation of a common group identity and compelling story of American identity.

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS

with Photographer Natalie Krick

Challenging Female Beauty
10:00am Friday, February 24 | The Commons
Sponsored by The Hallmark Corporate Foundation, the Department of Design, and The Commons

Natalie Krick (b. 1986) lives in Seattle, Washington. She completed a BFA in Photography at the School of Visual Arts in 2008 and an MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago in 2012. She has recently exhibited at Aperture Gallery in New York, at David Weinberg Gallery in Chicago, and at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver. In 2015, she received an Individual Photographer's Fellowship from the Aaron Siskind Foundation.

Coffee @ The Commons provides a venue for conversation between interested members of the community and a visiting expert. In collaboration with departments across the University, The Commons invites speakers whose work has implications across disciplines. Coffee @ The Commons is then an opportunity for more intimate dialogue with these guests.

Coffee @ The Commons is open to KU faculty, staff, and students, as well as members of the larger Lawrence community. Those interested in attending should familiarize themselves with the work of the speaker beforehand, so that they are prepared to ask questions and prompt dialogue with the speaker and other attendees.

PUBLIC EVENT

Closing the Gap: Salary Negotiation for Women

5:00pm Tuesday, April 4 | The Commons
Sponsored by the KU Career Service Alliance and the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity

PUBLIC EVENT

Understanding Free Speech on a University Campus
A Panel Discussion and Dialogue with Audience
Stefan M. Bradley - Associate Professor of History St. Louis University
Connie Burk - Executive Director, the NW Network
Susan Kruth - Senior Program Officer, Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE
Frank LoMonte - Executive Director, Student Press Law Center
Moderator, Jeff Chasen - Associate Vice Provost, Integrity & Compliance, KU

7:00pm Tuesday, April 25 | The Commons
Sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Provost, the Department of African and African-American Studies, the Department of American Studies, and The Commons

The First Amendment guarantees a right to free speech, but how does that apply at a university? How does the First Amendment affect a university’s ability to promote the discussion and debate of ideas? How does the concept of free speech intersect with free thinking? Does the First Amendment apply differently to students, staff, and faculty? To what extent does the First Amendment protect the dissemination of research? What opportunities and risks are there for activism and advocacy among students, staff, and faculty? What can we learn from the history of activism on a college campus? How do these questions affect the future of universities?

Join us for a discussion of these questions and more, with a panel of scholars on campus activism, constitutional law, and the intersections between them.

Stefan M. Bradley is fascinated with the efforts and abilities of black college students to change not only their scholastic environments but also the communities that surrounded their institutions of higher learning. Through protests and demands, students have been able to influence college curricula as well as the policies of their schools. His book, Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s follows the black students who risked their educations and lives during the famous controversy at Columbia University between 1968-1969. Currently, he is working on Blackened Ivy: Civil Rights, Black Power, and Ivy League Universities in the Postwar Era for New York University Press. His work on student/youth activism has been discussed in the Harvard Law Review, History News Network, NPR, C-Span2 BookTV, MSNBC, BBC, and BET.Research.

Connie Burk directs the NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse (The NW Network). Under her leadership, the Network established the National LGBT Training & Technical Assistance Initiative and the National Q&A Institute. Connie also spearheaded two national campaigns to publicize the Network, one of which was featured in Times Square. A nominator says of Burk’s work, “One of the most important ways Connie has influenced the antiviolence movement is by bringing violence prevention and a positive vision for change to the forefront of the work.”

Susan Kruth earned her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2007, with a concentration in music and film. After a handful of short film and documentary gigs, Susan was inspired to go to law school in order to study the ways that the Constitution protects filmmakers. While attending the University of Virginia School of Law, she served as musical director of the law school’s a cappella group, the A Cappellate Opinions, and performed in UVA Law’s spring musical comedy program, the Libel Show. Susan earned her J.D. in 2011 and is now a member of the Virginia State Bar. She got her start working to protect free speech through a fellowship with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has also completed civil rights internships with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT & AIDS Project.

Frank LoMonte returns to KU having spoken on the Free Speech in Social Media panel at The Commons in 2014. He became the executive director of the Student Press Law Center in 2008 after practicing law with Atlanta-based Sutherland LLP and clerking for federal judges on the Northern District of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Before law school, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist for daily newspapers in Florida and Georgia. LoMonte graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the Georgia Law Review. His articles about the First Amendment and media-law topics have been widely published in Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the American University Law Review, the University of North Carolina First Amendment Law Review, and in many other outlets.

Jeff Chasen is the Director of Integrity & Compliance at KU, providing independent oversight and coordination of institutional compliance. He earned a BA in 1984 and JD in 1987 from George Washington University. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Public Risk Management Association and the Association of Governmental Risk Pools.

LECTURE & BOOK SIGNING

The Color of Law

Richard Rothstein, Research Associate of the Economic Policy Institute, Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California - Berkeley
7:00pm Tuesday, September 5 | The Commons
Supported by: the Department of African and African-American Studies, the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, KU Libraries, the School of Law, the Department of American Studies, the School of Public Affairs & Administration, the Department of Sociology, the Langston Hughes Center, and The Commons

In The Color of Law (Liveright, May 2017), Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America—the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife—is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Book-signing and reception to follow the event.

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS

Confederate Monuments

Lua Yuille, Law
Randall Fuller, English
Shawn Leigh Alexander, African & African-American Studies
1:00pm Friday, September 8 | The Commons

In the national debate about the future of Confederate monuments, what should be taken into consideration?
The conversation will begin with an introduction from Lua Yuille, Randall Fuller, and Shawn Alexander. Afterward, it will turn into a dialogue with those in attendance.

PANEL

Student Rights on College Campuses

Martin Doherty, Student Rights Committee Chair for Student Senate
David Farber, Distinguished Professor, Department of History
Bill Larzalere, KU Legal Services
7:00pm Thursday, September 21 | The Commons
Co-sponsored by The Commons, KU's Student Senate, and the University Honors Program

College campuses have historically been hotbeds of political activism and free speech. But what rights are guaranteed to students, and where are their rights limited? Join this interdisciplinary discussion panel of faculty, staff, and students to learn more about student rights on college campuses, particularly with regard to freedom of speech.

DISCUSSION

Addressing Islamophobia: Dispelling Myths to Break Down Barriers

Amer F. Ahmed
12:00pm Wednesday, September 27 | The Commons Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs

This event will be a space for a program that will continue to explore the impacts of Islamophobia in many different areas of not just higher education but society itself. Additionally, it will be a space for people that are interested in learning more about Islam and Islamophobia. It will be an event that will have folks from many interdisciplinary fields coming together.

COFFEE @ THE COMMONS

Healing in Activism: Why It's Important and How To Do It

Sandra Kim, Founder and Executive Director, Everyday Feminism
10:00am Friday, October 20 | The Commons
Supported by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and The Commons

Kim will speak at 6:00pm on October 19 at Capitol Federal Hall about Compassionate Activism, a project of Everyday Feminism. Everyday Feminism's mission is to help people dismantle everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization through applied intersectional feminism and to create a world where self-determination and loving communities are social norms through compassionate activism.

For more information about Everyday Feminism and Sandra Kim's Compassionate Activism model, please visit: http://www.compassionateactivism.com/about/

LECTURE

Globalism in the Age of Trump

Or Rosenboim, Lecturer, Modern History, City University of London
7:30pm Thursday, November 2 | The Commons
Supported by the Hall Center for the Humanities

In current political debates, globalism attracts a great deal of interest. The omnipresent processes of globalization invite politicians and commentators to declare themselves in favor or against globalist ideologies. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, repeatedly attacked the idea of globalism to the extent that his followers now use “globalist” as a slur. Dr. Or Rosenboim will discuss the place of "globalism" in contemporary politics by exploring the emergence of this idea. Is globalism a pluralistic and democratic political project, or a conservative and reactionary creed? By recovering the fascinating history of globalism, Dr. Rosenboim will reveal the relations between globalism and the new tide of nationalism in US politics today.

Rosenboim is a Lecturer in Modern History at City University of London. She holds a BA (hons. Bologna) and MSt (Oxon) in History and PhD (Cantab) in Politics and International Studies. Her doctoral dissertation was awarded the Lisa Smirl Prize (Cambridge) and the prestigious Prix Raymond Aron (EHESS, Paris). Prior to her current position, she held a research fellowship at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and was a visiting fellow at The University of Chicago, Sciences- Po Paris and LUISS, Rome. Dr. Rosenboim’s research focuses on the history of political thought and international relations, and she has published extensively on geopolitics, international thought, European integration and federalism.