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

Reverberations of Inequality

INEQUALITY HAS EMERGED AS A KEY POLITICAL ISSUE. There are signs that inequality harms health, diminishes political engagement, and ripples across social life throughout the world. During its 2019-2020 theme year, Reverberations of Inequality, the Andrea Mitchell Center will invite a range of speakers to delve into a growing body of scholarship suggesting that inequality is not simply a matter of skewed wealth. Rather, it is something that permeates our lives, its ripple effects shaping our bodies, minds, social networks, identities, life chances, and capacity to participate in shared institutions. And if some degree of equality is indeed a precondition for democratic participation, how might that conflict with the personal liberties that also underlie democracy? What is the correct balance to strike?

 

9/20 OPENING CONFERENCE

Fri. September 20, 9:00am to 5:30pm
Auditorium (Basement), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
Map Accessibility / Lunch Provided

Co-sponsored by Penn Graduate School of Education, Penn School of Arts and Sciences,
Penn School of Social Policy and Practice, and Penn Economics.

9:00-10:40 AM – Panel 1: Health and Inequality
Bruce Link, University of California, Riverside
Chloe E. Bird, Rand Corporation
Elaine Hernandez, Indiana University Bloomington

11:00 AM-12:40 AM – Panel 2: Barriers to Mobility
Sam Friedman, London School of Economics
Karolyn Tyson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Michael Kraus, Yale University

1:30-3:00 PM – Keynote Address
Raj Chetty, Harvard University

3:20-5:00 PM – Panel 3: Policy Responses to Inequality
Brishen Rogers, Georgetown Law
Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan
David Daley, Activist and author of Ratf**ked

5:00-5:30 PM – Reception

10/17 JOE SOSS

Thu. October 17, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Forum (Room 250), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
Map Accessibility / Refreshments Provided

JOES SOSS is the inaugural Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the University of Minnesota, where he holds faculty positions in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Sociology. His research and teaching explore the interplay of democratic politics, societal inequalities, and public policy. He is particularly interested in the political sources and consequences of policies that govern social marginality and shape life conditions for socially marginal groups. His coauthored book, Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race (2011), was selected for the 2012 Michael Harrington Award (APSA, New Political Science) and the 2012 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award (ASA, Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities), the 2012 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award (American Library Association), and the 2015 Herbert Simon Award (APSA, Section on Public Administration).

Thu. 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.

Thu. 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.

 

Thu. January 23, 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 EducationDissentThe NationThe New Republic, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

 

Thu. 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.

 

Thu. 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.

04/16 ROB REICH

Thu. 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.