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Fall 2016 Humanities Forum

7 p.m., Proscenium Theatre, Performing Arts and Humanities Building
Guillermo Gómez-Peña Unplugged: A brand new spoken-word monologue by el Mad Mex
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Chicano performance artist, writer, activist, and educator

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, aka “El border brujo,” draws from his 30-year archive to present a unique perspective on the future of the Americas. He invokes performance art as a form of radical democracy and citizenship. Combining spoken-word poetry, activist theory, radical storytelling and language experimentation, Gómez-Peña comments on the art world, academia, new technologies, war and violence in the US, organized crime in Mexico, gender and race politics, and complications surrounding gentrification.

Sponsored by the Latino/Hispanic Faculty Association; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Global Studies Department; the Theatre Department; the Office of Institutional Advancement; and the Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication Department.

4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Ancient Studies Week
Demopolis: Democracy, Legitimacy, and Civic Education
Josiah Ober, Constantine Mitsotakis Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Professor of Political Science, and Professor of Classics, Stanford University

Democracy requires self-government by participatory citizens. But why should citizens govern themselves when populist autocrats are willing to do it for them? In “Demopolis” (City of the People), Josiah Ober will present a thought experiment that shows how citizens can build and preserve democracy by their active participation in government. He will argue that civic education, which focuses on persuasive and rationally defensible arguments for civic engagement, is crucial to the past and future of true democracy.

Sponsored by the Ancient Studies Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Philosophy Department, and the Political Science Department

5 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor
The Black Presidency
Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University, and radio host

In “The Black Presidency,” Michael Eric Dyson will explore the role of race in shaping Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. With the overwhelming number of tragic deaths of young, Black males at the hands of police officers, President Obama has had to deal publicly with race in ways previous presidents have not. What can we learn from Obama’s remarks, major speeches, and responses to recent incidents about his approach to racial conflict? Dyson explores issues of identity, race, and culture by listening to President Obama’s own voice, as well as those closely surrounding him.

This public lecture is part of the Obama Effect 2.0 Conference at UMBC. Sponsored by the American Studies Department; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Language, Literacy, and Culture Program; the Africana Studies Department; the Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Administration and Policy Department; the History Department; the Global Studies Department; the English Department; the Media and Communication Studies Department; and the Student Life’s Mosaic: Center for Culture and Diversity

7 p.m., University Center, Ballroom
E. B. Du Bois Lecture
From Black Lives Matter to the 2016 Elections: The Future of Black Politics
Cathy J. Cohen, David and Mary Winton Green Professor and Chair, Political Science, the University of Chicago

With the end of the Obama presidency in sight and the continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement, many wonder what black politics will look like after President Obama leaves office. Cathy Cohen will discuss the future of black politics in light of electoral vs. protest tensions, generational differences, and an increasing class bifurcation in black communities. Is a radical black politics rooted outside the electoral system possible or will the incorporation and the election of black politicians overwhelm the future of black politics?

Sponsored by the Africana Studies Department; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Political Science Department; the Social Sciences Forum; the American Studies Department; the Gender and Women’s Studies Department; and the Student Life’s Mosaic: Center for Culture and Diversity and Interfaith Center

4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Webb Lecture
Wretched Girls, Wretched Boys, and the Medieval Origins of the “European Marriage Pattern”
Judith Bennett, John R. Hubbard Professor Emerita, University of Southern California

The “Girl Effect,” a new buzzword in development circles, argues that economies grow when girls marry later and get more schooling. This lecture skeptically examines its historical equivalent – the idea that “Girlpower” (better jobs for girls and later marriage) drove the extraordinary development of modern Europe. Judith Bennett shows, first, that late marriage began in Europe long before 1500, and, second, that the impetus for this distinctive “European Marriage Pattern” was poverty, not prudential investment in girls.

Sponsored by the History Department and the Dresher Center for the Humanities

7 p.m., Performing Arts and Humanities Building, Room 132
Mill Stories: Remembering Sparrows Point Steel Mill Film screening and conversation
Michelle Stefano, Visiting Assistant Professor, American Studies, UMBC, and Co-Director, Maryland Traditions
Bill Shewbridge, Professor of the Practice, Media & Communication Studies, and Executive Producer, New Media Studio, UMBC

In 2012, Baltimore’s Sparrows Point Steel Mill closed forever. The award-winning film, Mill Stories: Remembering Sparrows Point Steel Mill, presents a collection of stories based on interviews at the time of the mill’s closing as a means of helping to safeguard and promote the living heritage of the mill and its surrounding areas. Michelle Stefano and Bill Shewbridge, the creators of the film, will discuss the community research behind the project, the process of making the film, and their thoughts about its significance.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the American Studies Department, and the Media and Communication Studies Department

4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
10th Annual Korenman Lecture
Figuring the Population Bomb: Malthusian Masculinities and Demographic Transitions
Carole McCann, Chair and Professor of Gender + Women’s Studies, UMBC

Drawing from her new book, Carole McCann will trace the genealogy of the twentieth-century demographic “facts” that created a mathematical panic about a looming population explosion. She will illuminate the gendered geopolitical grounds of the specialized mathematical culture and population figures that supported the idea of a dangerous explosion.  Those figures also moved nations to intervene in women’s reproductive lives in attempts to control population growth in the twentieth century and continue to haunt struggles to secure reproductive justice today.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Gender + Women’s Studies Department


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