Rethinking How We Talk About Space: Lessons from The Expanse
The Expanse serves as a warning that the ways we talk about and advocate for space exploration are at odds with what will likely happen as humanity expands its activities in space. This talk by Dr. James S.J. Schwartz, assistant professor of philosophy at Wichita State University, will revisit and critically engage with our basic assumptions about spaceflight and its importance in order to determine whether our foundation is secure.
Deported Americans: Life After Deportation to Mexico
Law professor and former public defender Beth Caldwell will share her research about the consequences of deportation from the U.S. to Mexico. Based on interviews with over one hundred people who grew up in the U.S. but have been deported, Caldwell links people’s stories with an analysis of the law to demonstrate how U.S. immigration law systematically fails to protect the rights of immigrants and their families.
South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to Civil War
In the four decades before the Civil War, several thousand enslaved people escaped from the south- central United States to Mexico. Alice L. Baumgartner, assistant professor of history at University of Southern California, will explore why enslaved people escaped to the south, what kinds of lives they forged for themselves in Mexico, and how their flight helped to destabilize slavery in the United States.
Does Anything Really Matter or Did We Just Evolve to Think So? (Darwin Day Lunch & Learn)
Most human beings value life over death, health over sickness, altruists over cheaters, and their children’s well-being over their harm. Sharon Street, Professor of Philosophy and Associate Chair of the Department of Philosophy at New York University, discusses if we hold such values “just” because the mindless process of evolution by natural selection shaped us that way, if it means that life, health, and the value of these things is ultimately an illusion.
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation
In her exploration of white evangelical conceptions of masculinity from the Cold War to the present, Calvin University professor of history and gender studies Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s Jesus and John Wayne examines how evangelical politics are the fulfillment of a decades-long embrace of gender traditionalism, Christian nationalism, and militant white masculinity.
Conventional wisdom holds that the C.S. Lewis was largely uninterested in politics and public affairs, but the conventional wisdom is wrong. Viewed through the right lens, we can see that Lewis was in fact deeply political even as he eschewed partisan political attachments and electoral campaigns. Join Justin Buckley Dyer, professor of political science at the University of Missouri, as he explores Lewis’ multi- faceted engagement with political philosophy and the natural-law tradition.
Night of the Bayonets: The Texel Uprising and Hitler’s Revenge, April–May 1945 (Lunch & Learn)
In his talk, author, journalist and political activist Eric Lee explores the fascinating but little known last battle of the Second World War: its origins, the incredible details of the battle and its ongoing legacy.
Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality
James Kwak, writer and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law and chair of the board of Southern Center for Human Rights, explores one of the central themes of his book Economism: the idea that the competitive market model taught early in Economics 101 has become disproportionately influential in our contemporary political and intellectual culture, raising the question of what would constitute a richer and more realistic understanding of economics and the economy.
American Exile is a film by John J. Valadez and Carleen L. Hsu, about two brothers who volunteered and served in Vietnam and returned damaged by the trauma. Fifty years later they and thousands of other US veterans are being deported. Filmmaker John J. Valadez discusses his movie, which asks difficult questions about race, national service and what it means to be American.
Texas State University professor of history and Director of the Center for International Studies Paul Hart will explore the ways in which the memory and meaning of Emiliano Zapata have been promoted and manipulated by Mexico’s political leadership over time, arguing that, far from obsolete, Emiliano Zapata’s views on equality, nationalism, democracy, and economy are vitally relevant to the modern era.
Lucas Morel, Professor of Politics and Head of the Politics Department at Washington and Lee University, will talk about his new book Lincoln and the American Founding in which he “argues that the most important influence on Abraham Lincoln’s political thought and practice was what he learned from the leading figures of and documents from the birth of the United States,” demonstrating that “to know Lincoln well is to understand thoroughly the founding of America.” (Southern Illinois University Press)
Sutherland Springs: God, Guns, and Hope in a Texas Town
One part Columbine, one part God Save Texas, Houston Chronicle columnist Joe Holley will talk about his riveting, compassionate book examining the 2017 mass shooting at a church in a small Texas town, revealing the struggles and triumphs of these fellow Texans long after the news trucks have gone.