Joseph Abrams ‘23
Chief News Editor
Writing about the many lectures and discussions that Rehm Library’s McFarland Center presents is a Spire staple and a personal hobby. Many students glance curiously at the emails and posters that advertise these events, but the topics and dates often recede behind pressing inquiries into what homework needs to be done and whether the Lobby Shop will be restocked. That’s why this time we’re telling you about them before they happen, and the excited gasp you make when you see a future article about the event you went to, followed by a humble brag to your friends, will be our reward.
Shannen Dee Williams, an associate professor of history at the University of Dayton, will make her way to the hill first on November 10th. Williams will present “Confronting America’s Real Sister Act: Black Catholic Nuns in United States History” just in time for Black Catholic History Month. Williams is an expert on the topic– in fact, she just released a book this year titled “Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle”. The professor and author argues that much of the religious history of American women has been shrouded in white supremacy and racism, with black christian women having to fight for freedom. Thus, in her presentation, Williams will discuss the journey of a group of black Roman Catholic women who fought racial adversity on their way to consecration.
Victor Seow, a historian and an associate professor of the history of science at Harvard University will come to the hill next on November 14th for “Coal Capital: Fushun and the Contradictions of Fossil Fuel Extractivism”. This one is definitely for the climate enthusiasts, as Seow will be discussing the fossil fuel industry in China and Japan and how fossil fuels determine contemporary power dynamics. This was thoroughly researched in his book “Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia”, which came out just last year. For possible sneak peeks into his next book, which will dive into the psychology of industry in China, make sure you stop by.
For those of you looking for a (literally) deeper look at the history of centuries past, check out “Home in a Distant Land: Archaeology and the Study of Uprooted Communities in Israel” on November 15th. Ido Koch, a senior lecturer in archaeology at Tel Aviv University and the co-director of the Tel Hadid Expedition, will be presenting the lecture courtesy of the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding. The presentation will largely focus on archaeological findings in the Middle East that show how communities were forced out of or into Israel after Assyria conquered the land in 722 B.C.E.
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown University will make his way to the hill just a few days later (November 17th) for “Being in the Room Privilege: Elite Capture and Epistemic Deference”. In his lecture, Táíwò will address how marginalized and underprivileged communities are restricted from elite circles specifically through a lack of resources like legal freedom and internet access. This removes their perspective from important conversations, particularly in those that seek to help the underserved.
Shelley Lee, a professor of American Studies at Brown University, will close out the month with “Koreatown, Los Angeles: Immigration, Race, and the ‘American Dream’” on November 21st. IN her lecture, Lee will talk about the contrast between stereotypes of success and the racial discrimination and social ostracization experienced by Korean immigrants in the years since 1965. For a closer look at the material she will be presenting, look for her new book “Koreatown, Las Vegas”, which came out this year.