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Spring 2020 Schedule

The Infiltrators Screening and Discussion with Alex Rivera
Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. in Trumbower 130 (Lithgow Auditorium)

Award-winning filmmaker Alex Rivera will present and discuss his new film, The Infiltrators. Designed in a hybrid cinematic language, combining familiar documentary form and scripted narrative, The Infiltrators sets out to map the uncharted domain inside an immigration detention system. Based on true events, The Infiltrators is both a suspenseful account of a high-stakes mission and an emotionally charged portrait of visionary youth fighting for their community.


"Conference on Refugees, Migration and the UN" with Richard Towle, acting director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), New York Office
Friday, February 21 (9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.)
Event Space, Seegers Union
In partnership with the Humpty Dumpty Institute and the United Nations

Prior to his role as acting director of UNHCR, Richard Towle previously served as the UNHCR Representative in Malaysia. He is a New Zealander who joined UNHCR in Hong Kong in the early 1990s, working in a variety of capacities with Vietnamese refugees, then moved to the London office of UNHCR. He has since held various senior legal roles in the Department of International Protection at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva and has been involved in the UNHCR development of polities and operations relating to human rights, internally displaced persons and asylum-migration issues. His other United Nations experience includes a role as Chief of Mission for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, from 2001 to 2003. Towle served as a member of the New Zealand Refugee Status Appeal Authority from 2005 to 2006, as a deputy chair of the Hong Kong Refugee Status Review Board and as a lawyer in New Zealand specializing in refugee and human rights issues. He served as the UNHCR Regional Representative for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific, a post he held from 2007 till 2013.

"Mapping the World" with Ayesha Ramachandran, associate professor of comparative literature, Yale University
Friday, February 21 (2-3:30 p.m.)
Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

Ramachandran is a literary critic and cultural historian of early modern Europe. Her recent work focuses on Europe’s relations with an expanding world—her first book, The Worldmakers (University of Chicago Press, 2015) charts transnational encounters and the early mechanisms of globalization from the late fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. It was awarded the MLA’s Scaglione Prize in Comparative Literary Studies (2017), the Milton Society of America’s Shawcross Prize for the best book chapter on Milton (2016), and the Sixteenth Century Studies Association’s Founder’s Prize for the best first book manuscript (2015).


Lifeboat Screening and Discussion with filmmaker Skye Fitzgerald
Tuesday, March 10 (7 p.m.)
Recital Hall, Baker Center for the Arts

Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. Lifeboat puts a human face on one of the world's greatest contemporary global crises and provides a spark of hope surrounding how civil society can intervene in the refugee crisis in a meaningful way.


Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar: Valerie Hudson
We are sorry to report that this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule our speaker's visit for the Fall 2020 semester.

Valerie M. Hudson holds the George H.W. Bush Chair in the Department of International Affairs at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where she directs the program on Women, Peace and Security.

Professor Hudson's research includes foreign policy analysis, security studies, gender and international relations and methodology. Hudson is one of the principal investigators of The WomanStats Project, which includes the largest compilation of data on the status of women in the world today. Winner of numerous teaching awards and recipient of a National Science Foundation research grant and a Minerva Initiative grant, she was recently named a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis by the International Studies Association. She is the author/co-author of Sex and World Peace, The Hillary DoctrineForeign Policy AnalysisBare Branches and (forthcoming) The First Political Order: Sex, Governance and National Security.


Mohsin Hamid, Author
We are sorry to report that this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule our speaker's visit for the Fall 2020 semester.

Hamid will be on campus to discuss his novel, Exit West, which was read by Muhlenberg’s class of 2023 and other members of the College community.


Brigid Cohen, associate professor of music, New York University
We are sorry to report that this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule our speaker's visit for the Fall 2020 semester.

Brigid Cohen is a historical musicologist who specializes in the historiography of music and musicians in migration. Her research and teaching examine the mass dislocation of peoples over the last two centuries, addressing conditions of empire, globalization, genocide, exile and minority experience. This intellectual program stems from her conviction that music assumes special value under the pressure of conditions of uprooting. Music serves as a mode of self-fashioning, secures new (and old) community bonds and brings individuals together in listening, speech and action. It also interacts in variegated ways with the silences that emerge from troubled sites of memory.


Arthur Brooks
We are sorry to report that this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule our speaker's visit for the Fall 2020 semester.

Arthur C. Brooks is Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Arthur C. Patterson Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty in July of 2019, he served for 10 years as president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy think tank in Washington, DC.

Brooks is the author of 11 books, including the national bestsellers “Love Your Enemies” (2019), “The Conservative Heart” (2015) and “The Road to Freedom” (2012). He is a columnist for the Washington Post, host of the podcast The Arthur Brooks Show and subject of the 2019 documentary film “The Pursuit.” He gives more than 100 speeches per year around the U.S., Europe and Asia, and serves on the board of the Legatum Institute, a think tank in London. 

In 2009, Brooks became the 11th president of AEI, as well as holding the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. Under his leadership, the Institute more than doubled its annual revenues, deepened its outreach to leaders across the ideological spectrum and expanded its research portfolio to include work on poverty, happiness and human potential.


Fall 2019 Schedule


Exit West – An Invitation to the Conversation
September 3, 2019 (7–8:45 p.m.)
Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

Faculty Panelists: Jim Bloom, Ioanna Chatzidimitriou and Sharon Albert

This opening event features a panel of Muhlenberg faculty presenting brief reflections on Mohsin Hamid’s novel, Exit West, followed by an invitation to the campus community to join in an opening discussion of the Center for Ethics theme via key themes, moments, characters and symbols presented in Hamid’s work. 


Ronny Quevedo – Art Gallery Exhibit & Talk
September 18, 2019 (5:30–7 p.m.) Exhibit Opening
Marten Art Gallery, Baker Center for the Arts

October 15, 2019 (7–8 p.m.) Public Talk
Recital Hall, Baker Center for the Arts

Quevedo's field-sized outdoor drawing will include fragmented diagrams of basketball, soccer, volleyball and handball courts. Having moved from Ecuador to New York City in the 1980s, Quevedo’s work interlaces autobiographical and sociological insights in a reflection on his bi-cultural upbringing and his father’s soccer career as player and referee in both places. Taken together, the installation renders the disquiet, yet poetic and exuberant, state of peoples and cultures in global flux through a materially syncretized and conceptually complex body of work.


Borders & Immigration – Current Challenges and Constitutional Concerns
Friday, September 20, 2019 (2:00 – 3:45 p.m.)
Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

This Constitution Day panel discussion will feature Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center, and local immigration lawyer Raymond Lahoud. The panel will be moderated by Assistant Professor of Political Science Ross Dardani, who will discuss a range of important policy concerns affecting immigration in the contemporary American political context. 


Ieva Jusionyte: “Injury and Rescue on the U.S.-Mexico Border”

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 (7–8:45 p.m.)
Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

Ieva Jusionyte is assistant professor of anthropology and social studies at Harvard University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of political-legal and medical anthropology, with a focus on the study of state power and the materiality of violence; law and criminalized livelihoods; discourses and infrastructures of security; technologies of injury; politics and ethics of representation; and ethnography as method and storytelling.

Based on fieldwork in the tri-border area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay from 2008 to 2014, her first book, Savage Frontier: Making News and Security on the Argentine Border (University of California Press 2015), examines how local journalists both participate in and contest global and national security discourses and practices in a region portrayed as the hub of drug and human trafficking, contraband and money laundering. Drawing on her professional background as a news reporter and experience of producing an investigative television program “Proximidad” in Argentina, the book probes politics and ethics of representation and knowledge production in ethnography and in journalism. In addition to the book, her work on the tri-border area has appeared in Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, Anthropological Quarterly, and Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

Her second research project, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, focuses on security infrastructures and emergency services along the border between Sonora and Arizona. Her new book, Threshold: Emergency Responders on the U.S.-Mexico Border (University of California Press, 2018), delves into the lives of first responders under heightened security on both sides of the wall.


Ellis Island Trip (campus community only; advanced sign-up required)
Sunday, October 27, 2019

Ellis Island Event Information
Sign up directly with Maureen Bayraktar, Political Science Suite, 3rd Floor, Ettinger Hall, M-F, 9:30 a.m.3 p.m.   


Amy-Jill Levine: "On Different Grounds: Jewish and Christian Foundation for Engaging the Middle East"
Sunday, October 27 (3:30 p.m.)
Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

A.-J. Levine is university professor of New Testament and Jewish studies, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies and professor of New Testament studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Science. She is an internationally prominent public speaker on Christian-Jewish relations, an instructor in the Great Courses series and a consultant to the Vatican and the World Council of Churches. Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus and Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. She is the co-editor, with Marc Z. Brettler, of the Jewish Annotated New Testament. 

This is an affiliated event co-sponsored with the Institute for Jewish Christian Understanding.



“They Had to Have it Cleaned Out”*: Echoes of the Armenian Genocide in Syria
*President Trump, justifying Turkey’s military operation (October 17, 2019)
Friday, November 15, 12-1:15 p.m.

Shabbat Dining Room, Leffell Center for Jewish Student Life


Join the Center for Ethics for an open discussion that explores how recent events involving the Turkish military operations in the Kurdish regions of Syria raise contemporary echoes of darker moments in 20th-century history. We will ask how nationalisms and the physical and demographic demarcation of borders continue to contribute to genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Please respect the religious nature of this venue and refrain from bringing outside food. Due to building-access requirements, this event is limited to members of the Muhlenberg community and invited guests.


Lifeboat – Screening and Discussion with Skye Fitzgerald
Monday, December 2, 2019 (7-9 p.m.)
Postponed until Spring 2020

Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. Lifeboat puts a human face on one of the world's greatest contemporary global crises and provides a spark of hope surrounding how civil society can intervene in the refugee crisis in a meaningful way.