Central College has announced its 2019-20 Faculty Lecture Series with a focus on civic engagement. Each of the five presentations will investigate civic engagement, the idea of making a difference through knowledge, skills, values and motivation. Each will question how to develop the skills and values to engage with others in community; what it means to act on behalf of others in addition to, or instead of, ourselves toward a common goal; and how these actions benefit us as individuals and the common good. All lectures run from 7-8 p.m. in the Boat/Moore rooms of the Maytag Student Center, unless noted. The five scheduled presentations are:
Oct. 23, 2019 (Van Emmerik Studio): “Mid-Americana: Oral Histories of Identity, History and Culture in the Midwest” – Joshua Dolezal, professor of English, and Brian Campbell, director of sustainability education, will discuss their podcast series, which traces the theme of homecoming through eight stories of Iowans who left the Midwest and came back to stay.
Nov. 18, 2019: “From the Iowa Caucuses to the White House: Understanding Donald Trump’s 2016 Electoral Victory in Iowa” – Andrew Green, professor of political science, will discuss the factors that helped President Trump win in a state that Barack Obama carried in 2008 and 2012. Green is an expert in American politics and policy, political behavior, and state and local politics.
Feb. 11, 2020 (tentative): “Flint, Michigan, and the Water Supply: How Safe is Our Own Drinking Water?” – Paul Weihe, associate professor of biology, and Cathy Haustein, professor of chemistry, will focus on this year’s common read for first-year students, “What the Eyes Don’t See,” which brought attention to the story behind the discovery of lead in Flint’s water supply. They will discuss whether this is something that could happen in our community.
March 9, 2020: “Civic Engagement Between Sikhs and Anthropologists” – Cynthia Mahmood, Frank Moore Endowed Chair in Anthropology and professor of anthropology, will discuss Sikhism, a faith tradition in which the spirit and world are of one piece; prayer and meditation are but the other side of service to community. Ethnographic work with Sikhs reveals a complex theology and history around this concept, which inspires a similarly engaged ethos in the anthropologist herself.
April 6, 2020: “From Empathy to Engagement: Mobilizing Public Space in Buenos Aries in #Niunamenos and Beyond” – Kathy Korcheck, professor of Spanish, will discuss #Niunamenos (Not One Woman Less), an evolving social movement in Argentina that originated in 2015 as a collective protest against femicide but since has expanded its scope to address reproductive rights, social and economic inequality and LGBTQ issues. The presentation will explore #Niunamenos as a grassroots feminist movement grounded in women’s longstanding role in mobilizing public space and motivation social transformation in Argentina.