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Civil Rights Advocate to Present Lecture on Racial Injustice in Legal System

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Michelle Alexander, critically-acclaimed author and legal scholar, will be speaking Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30pm in Zankel.

Skidmore’s Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding will be sponsoring a lecture presented by legal scholar and civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander on Wednesday, Oct. 22nd in Zankel. Alexander will give a talk entitled “The New Jim Crow,” which will most likely sample some of the material covered in her first book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness–in which she claims that “”[w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” 

Published in 2010, The New Jim Crow received rave reviews and went on to win a slew of awards. Benjamin Todd Jealous of the NAACP wrote that the book “offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration, its roots to Jim Crow, our modern caste system, and what must be done to eliminate it. This book is a call to action.” Plus Cornel West called it the “secular bible for a new social movement in early twenty-first-century America,” so it doesn’t get much more badass than that.

Alexander, who currently hold a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at OSU, has spent many years in the legal system advocating for justice in cases of gender and race discrimination. She’s worked at the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU, the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford, and in both the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals.

As you can tell, this woman is pretty fucking incredible, seems like a very good speaker, and will no doubt have some very interesting things to say on an issue that has been at the focal point of the media and our cultural consciousness. Alexander writes in The New Jim Crow that “the future of the black community…may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society.”

So if you’re tired of seeing shit like this and this, then go to Alexander’s lecture on Wednesday at 7:30pm in Zankel.

Venezuela After Chávez

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Former Venezuelan president and giant toe Hugo Chávez

Tomorrow, Model EU will be sponsoring a panel discussion on Venezuelan and regional politics in the wake of socialist President Hugo Chávez’s death in early March. The panel will include Professors Aldo Vacs (Government), Maria Fernanda Lander (Latin American Studies), Violeta Lorenzo (Foreign Languages and Literature), Mehmet Odekon (Economics), and Jordana Dym (History).

This is a veritable powerhouse team of international affairs scholars here at Skidmore, and the discussion is sure to be lively and interesting. Definitely worth checking out for those into that sort of thing.

Wednesday April 17, 8:30pm @ Gannett

Hugo Chavez Documentary Screening

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Chavez and friend

Tomorrow, United Minds and Raices will be screening the No Volverán: The Venezuelan Revolution Now! This documentary examines the tenure of populist leader Hugo Chávez and the so-called “Bolivarian Revolution.”

Chávez has ruled Venezuela for over a decade. In that time, he has presided over a hilariously mismanaged economyrampant crime, and a crippling brain drain. Earlier this month, he secured a fourth term in a contested (and sketchy) election, and he has vowed to “deepen the Revolution” in the coming years.

A discussion will follow the screening, and a representative of Hands Off Venezuela! will be in attendance. I’ve watched part of the documentary, and though it’s fairly obvious Chávista propaganda, it’ll definitely foster a good, robust debate about Latin American politics, leftism, human rights, and the future of democracy in the region.

Wednesday October 18, 7pm @ Spa

(via Facebook)

Boyers in Lapham’s Quarterly

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

English professor and editor of Salmagundi, Robert Boyers, has been published in jack-of-all-trades literary magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly. The essay–titled “Between the Lines“— is a real doozy, examining the relationship between politics and the novel.

“Politics, in novels we can admire, must always pit ideas against the world as it exists, or might conceivably exist, and allow at every turn for contradiction and irresolution. Irving Howe got it right when he spoke of “the vast respect which the great novelist is ready to offer to the whole idea of opposition, the opposition he needs to allow for in his book against his own predispositions and yearnings and fantasies.” To think of politics and the novel without bearing in mind that commitment to “opposition” is to miss more or less entirely what is central to our great and familiar subject.”

The essay is basically a summary of Boyers’ “Political Novel” class. Even if you’ve taken it, you should still read the essay, because it’s very good.

(via Lapham’s Quarterly)