Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Events & Workshops

  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

    Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk
    PLEASE REGISTER HERE
    Open to Penn students, faculty, alumni, and affiliates with a valid PennCard

    Co-sponsored by the Penn Government and Politics AssociationPi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, and Perry World House.

    JOIN THE PENN POLITICAL UNION as its five political parties and guest Jeb Bush debate the resolution, “The United States should adopt a merit-based immigration system.”

    THE PENN POLITICAL UNION (PPU) is an undergraduate organization formed in 2014 that features parliamentary-style deliberation on urgent contemporary issues. To represent a wide spectrum of political opinion, students are members of five different political parties: libertarian, conservative, independent, liberal, and progressive.

    JEB BUSH served as the 43rd Governor of Florida and ran as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016. He is a University of Pennsylvania Presidential Professor of Practice.

    PLEASE REGISTER HERE

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Room 350, Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (133 S. 36th Street)
    Food provided / Free and open to the public

    Raven Brown (New School Public and Urban Policy)
    Inequality During the Era of Democracy: Institutional and Economic Conflicts in the Post-Apartheid State (PDF)

    Francis Russo (Penn History)
    Rights vs. Duties: The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina (PDF)

    Peter Evans has argued that a central responsibility of the state, with regard to social and economic development, is that of arbiter of justice. In her paper, RAVEN BROWN argues that the inherent tension between the universal rights enshrined in South Africa’s constitution and its neoliberal macroeconomic policies prevents the state from carrying this responsibility to its citizens. South Africa’s persistent socio-structural inequality and high levels of unemployment has undermined the ability of the state to mete out justice, through inhibiting access to social and economic equity for the majority, as concentration of wealth and power is correlated with increased inequality. South Africa’s post-apartheid experience highlights the inability of neoliberalism and democracy to provide access to social and economic justice, which then prevents access to full citizenship. Because neoliberalism can be seen as antithetical to democracy, South Africa’s institutions have been unable to provide equal access of opportunity, manifesting in unmet political expectations, which serves to impair social buy-in, and thus, the stability of the state. The failure to reform institutions has thus led to the reproduction of apartheid era patterns of structural inequality, which has ultimately stymied equitable growth and eroded the promises of democracy.

    In his paper, FRANCIS RUSSO explores what a history of duty in the United States might look like by exploring the ideas of famous abolitionists and feminists Sarah and Angelina Grimké. Active in the 1830s, the Grimkés defy a neat narrative of “rights-talk” as the normative political discourse in U.S. emancipatory movements. By putting duties at the center of their theology, feminism, and abolitionism and rights only as a lesser corollary, the Grimke sisters provide a window into a lost history of citizenship and political activism defined by duty, hard to see from the twenty-first century’s overwhelming emphasis on human rights. The paper will also briefly sketch the Grimke sisters in a larger history of duty in the United States and beyond. Edmund Burke’s reaction to the French Revolution seemed to sum up the traditionalist standpoint on “duty” at modern democracy’s outset: rights are well and good, but what about the duties upon which rights must rest? Thomas Paine issued a stern reply in The Rights of Man (1791). “A Declaration of Rights is, by reciprocity, a Declaration of Duties also. Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another, and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.” Yet as the Age of Revolution’s Christian and republican inheritance faded and new forms of industrialized capitalism transformed social and economic organization, the assertive and unfettered individualism born of rights-talk jettisoned the commands of duty as it rode heedlessly into its laissez-faire transmutations. But this transformation was never total. Some thinkers such as T.H. Breen, John Dewey, and others sought to save liberalism from its own perversions by reclaiming duties.

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
    Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

    BRUCE MCEWEN is Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University. A prominent neuroscientist, he leads research on the effects of sex, stress and hormones on the brain. In 1968, his laboratory discovered adrenal steroid receptors in the hippocampus — a truly seminal discovery. His current research focuses on how stress affects particular areas of the brain, including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. He is also investigating how brain regions differ between men and women. Dr. McEwen’s research has significantly deepened our understanding of how the brain changes over the course of development, from childhood to old age, and it continues to shine new light upon the causes and progression of psychiatric illnesses, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

    CRAIG MCEWEN is Daniel B. Fayerweather Professor of Political Economy and Sociology Emeritus at Bowdoin College where he taught from 1975 to 2012.  His early research examined community corrections in comparison to traditional incarceration for juveniles and resulted in a book, Designing Correctional Organizations for Youths.  Over the next 25 years his research and commentary focused largely on mediation programs — small claims, community, corporate, family and general civil – and has been published widely in law reviews, social science journals and professional magazines.  He is co-author of the treatise Mediation: Law, Policy, Practice (with Sarah Cole, Nancy Rogers, James Coben, and Peter N. Thompson).  He also co-authored with Lynn Mather and Richard Maiman an empirical study of Divorce Lawyers at Work:  Varieties of Professionalism in Practice.  Most recently he co-authored Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes with Nancy Rogers, Robert Bordone and Frank Sander.

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Room 350, Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (133 S. 36th Street)
    Food provided / Free and open to the public

    Alla Baranovsky (Harvard Dept. of Government)
    “The Politics of Trash Dissent: the cases of Putin’s Russia and Lebanon’s “You Stink!” campaign”

    Irina Soboleva (Columbia Dept. of Political Science)
    “No Politics, Please! When Democracy Promotion Suppresses Political Engagement”

  • Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
    Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

    ALEXES HARRIS is a University of Washington Presidential Term Professor in Sociology. Her research interests focus on social stratification processes and racial and ethnic disparities. She investigates how contact with varying institutions (educational, juvenile and criminal justice and economic) impact individuals' life chances.  Her book, A Pound of Flesh (2016), documents the contemporary relationship between the United States' systems of social control and inequality.  Using a mixed-method approach (court observations, interviews with court actors and defendants, review of legal statute and cases, and statistical analysis of court automated data), it analyzes the particular policies and mechanisms used within the criminal justice system to impose and monitor sanctions to poor people who do not pay their legal debts, and I examine the consequences of this process. Outlining how local community and court culture and financial constraints influence contemporary notions of who should be held accountable for their actions by the criminal justice system, Harris argues that monetary sanctions serve as a punishment tool that permanently penalize and marginalize the poor.

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Room 350, Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (133 S. 36th Street)
    Food provided / Free and open to the public

    Muira McCammon (Annenberg School for Communication)
    “Tweeting and Deleting: When and Why Information Disappears from U.S. Federal Agencies’ Social Media Platforms”

    Ayesha Mulla (University of Chicago Dept. of Anthropology)
    “Marwa Na Dena/Don’t Get Us Killed: Reporting Between the Marginal and the Military in Pakistan”

  • Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
    Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

    SAMUEL MOYN is Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and Professor of History at Yale University. His areas of interest in legal scholarship include international law, human rights, the law of war, and legal thought, in both historical and current perspective. In intellectual history, he has worked on a diverse range of subjects, especially twentieth-century European moral and political theory. He has written several books in his fields of European intellectual history and human rights history, including The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010), and edited or coedited a number of others. His most recent books are Christian Human Rights (2015, based on Mellon Distinguished Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2014) and Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (2018). He is currently working on a new book on the origins and significance of humane war for Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Over the years he has written in venues such as Boston Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dissent, The Nation, The New Republic, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

    Room 350, Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (133 S. 36th Street)
    Food provided / Free and open to the public

    Hajer Al-Faham (Penn Political Science)
    “Contingent Citizenship: Muslims in America”

    Mo Torres (Harvard Dept. of Sociology)
    “The Undeserving City: Policy Elites, Race-Class Subjugation, and the Moral Worthiness of Place”

  • Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
    Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

    PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa. From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality. She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

  • Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
    Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

    KIMBERLY NOBLE is a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, and director of the Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development (NEED) lab. She and her team study how socioeconomic inequality relates to in children's cognitive and brain development.  Her work examines socioeconomic disparities in cognitive development, as well as brain structure and function, across infancy, childhood and adolescence. She is particularly interested in understanding how early in infancy or toddlerhood such disparities develop; the modifiable environmental differences that account for these disparities; and the ways we might harness this research to inform the design of interventions. Along with a multidisciplinary team from around the country, with funding from NIH and a consortium of foundations, she is currently leading the first clinical trial of poverty reduction to assess the causal impact of income on children’s cognitive, emotional and brain development in the first three years of life.

  • Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
    Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

    ROB REICH is professor of political science and, by courtesy, professor of philosophy and at the Graduate School of Education, at Stanford University. He is the director of the Center for Ethics in Society and co-director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review), both at Stanford University. He is the author most recently of Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better (2018) and Philanthropy in Democratic Societies: History, Institutions, Values (edited with Chiara Cordelli and Lucy Bernholz, 2016). He is also the author of several books on education: Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education (2002) and Education, Justice, and Democracy (edited with Danielle Allen, 2013). His current work focuses on ethics, public policy, and technology, and he serves as associate director of the Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence initiative at Stanford. He is a board member of the magazine Boston Review and at the Spencer Foundation.