Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

Carrie Mae Weems

“‘Don’t Let Me Be Lonely’: A Lecture by Carrie Mae Weems”

Wednesday, September 10, 2018
7:00 p.m. | Devlin Hall, Room 101

Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power through art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frist Center for Visual Art, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum. Weems has received awards, grants, and fellowships, including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Alpert. In 2012, Weems was presented with one of the first US Department of State’s Medals of Arts in recognition for her commitment to the State Department’s Art in Embassies program and in 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with “Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement” on exhibit at the McMullen Museum of Art from September 10 – December 13, 2018.

Cosponsored by the Institute for the Liberal Arts.

Charles Sennott

Charles Sennott: “GroundTruth in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Charles Sennott is the Founder and Executive Director of The GroundTruth Project. He is an award-winning foreign correspondent, author, and editor with 30 years of experience in journalism. Sennott has reported on the front lines of wars and insurgencies in at least 15 countries, including the 2011 revolution in Cairo and the Arab Spring. Sennott’s deep experience reporting internationally led him to launch The GroundTruth Project and to dedicate himself to training the next generation of international journalists for the digital age. Sennott is also the co-founder of GlobalPost, an acclaimed international news website. Previously, Sennott served as the Boston Globe’s Middle East Bureau Chief based in Jerusalem from 1997 to 2001 and as Europe Bureau Chief based in London from 2001 to 2005.

Marlon James

Fiction Days presents Marlon James: A Brief History of Seven Killings

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. In the novel, James explores Jamaican history through the perspectives of multiple narrators and genres. The political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit are used to tell the untold history of Jamaica in the 1970s, with excursions to the assassination attempt on reggae musician Bob Marley, as well as the country’s own clandestine battles during the cold war.  James is the author of two other award-winning novels, John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women. His widely read essay, “From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself,” appeared in the New York Times Magazine and an early 2016 viral video “Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer” received millions of hits. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College. 

Cosponsored by African and African Diaspora Studies.

C. Dale Young

Poetry Days presents C. Dale Young

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
7:00 p.m. | Devlin Hall, Room 101

C. Dale Young is an award-winning poet and writer who practices medicine full-time and teaches in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. He is the author of four poetry collections including most recently Torn (2011) and The Halo (2016) and his novel in storiesThe Affliction (2018). He is a recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. C. Dale Young is the 2017 recipient of the The Hanes Award given by the Fellowship of Southern Writers to recognize a distinguished body of work by a poet in midcareer. He is the first Latino (and first of Asian descent) to win the award. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including The Best American PoetryAsian American Poetry: The Next GenerationAmerican Poetry ReviewThe Atlantic MonthlyThe NationThe New RepublicThe Paris Review, and POETRY. He lives in San Francisco with his spouse the biologist and composer, Jacob Bertrand. C. Dale Young is a graduate of Boston College, class of 1991.

Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit: The Mother of All Questions

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of twenty books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, and hope and disaster.  Her latest titles include essay collections The Mother of All Questions (2017) and Men Explain Things to Me (2015). She has received two NEA fellowships for literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and other awards. She is a columnist at Harper’s and frequent contributor to the Guardian newspaper.


Ruth Rubio Marín

Ruth Rubio Marín: Reparations for Historic Institutional Violence: Learning from Transitional Justice?

Thursday, November 1, 2018
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Ruth Rubio Marín is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sevilla as well as member of the Faculty of The Hauser Global Law School Program at New York University. Her research represents an attempt to understand how public law creates categories of inclusion and exclusion around different axis including gender, citizenship, nationality and ethnicity. Professor Rubio is the author of over 40 articles and author, editor and co-editor of 8 books (plus two in press). She is currently working on the book The Disestablishment of Gender in the New Millennium Constitutionalism. As a consultant and activist, Rubio has worked for several national and international institutions and agencies including with the UN and the EU, and has extensive in-country experience in dealing with reparations in post-conflict societies, including in Morocco, Nepal and Colombia. Her image will be included in the Legacy Wall to be installed in the new building of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to honor her lifelong commitment to gender justice.

Ruth Rubio Marín’s lecture is part of a two-day conference entitled “Transitional Justice, Truth-telling, and the Legacy of Irish Institutional Abuse” supported by the ILA, Office of the Provost, Irish Studies Program, The Jesuit Institute, The Boston College Law School, and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

Michael Sandel

Michael Sandel: Bioethics and the Common Good

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Harvard political philosopher and bestselling author Michael Sandel challenges audiences to examine the ethical dilemmas we confront in politics and in our everyday lives. A Professor of political philosophy at Harvard University, Sandel has been described by New Republic as “the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world.” Sandel’s legendary course “Justice” has enrolled over 15,000 students and was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on public television. In his latest bestseller, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, Sandel invites readers to rethink the role that money and markets should play in our lives. Sandel served for four years on the President’s Council on Bioethics, exploring the ethical implications of new biomedical technologies. This prompted him to write The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering, a book about the moral quandaries that arise when we seek to perfect our children and ourselves. He has appeared on The Colbert Report, the Today Show, and Morning Joe.

Cosponsored by the Park Street Corporation Speaker Series.

Werner Jeanrond

Annual Candlemas Lecture | Werner Jeanrond: Hopes, Hope and Radical Hope: Christian Hope and the Praxis of Love

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
7:00 p.m. | Devlin Hall, Room 101

Werner G Jeanrond is a native of the Saarland, now part of Germany. Following his studies of theology, German, and education at the Universities of the Saarland and of Regensburg and his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School, he taught systematic theology at Trinity College Dublin, the Universities of Lund (Sweden) and Glasgow (Scotland) before taking up his present appointment in 2012 as Master of St Benet’s Hall and professor of theology at the University of Oxford. His books and articles in theology and hermeneutics have been translated into many languages. He and his wife Betty have two grown children.

Cosponsored by the Theology Department.

Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum: Fear, Anger, Democracy: Our Need for the Liberal Arts  

Celebrating 10 Years of the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and has worked on political emotions and the capabilities approach. Recent publications include Creating Capabilities (2012) and Anger and Forgiveness (2016).  In 2018, she published The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (2018) on fear, anger, and hope in our current American political moment. Nussbaum identifies the liberal arts as one “practice of hope.” Among her awards are the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy (2016) and the Don M. Randel Prize for Achievement in the Humanities, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018). She delivered the Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2017.

Cosponsored by the ILA.

Carmen Maria Machado

Fiction Days presents Carmen Maria Machado: Her Body and Other Parties

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. She is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in the New YorkerGrantaTin HouseGuernicaGulf CoastNPR, and elsewhere. Her stories have been reprinted in Best American Science Fiction & FantasyBest Horror of the YearYear’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. Her memoir House in Indiana is forthcoming in 2019. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded numerous fellowships and residencies. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

James C. Scott

James C. Scott: “In Praise of Floods: The Study of Rivers and Civilization.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression. Recent publications include Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, And Meaningful Work and Play (2012) and Against the Grain: A Deep History of the First Agrarian States (2017). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Science, Technology and Society Program at M.I.T., and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Recently, he has been working on hill-valley relations in Mainland Southeast Asia, particularly Burma. 

Francisco Cantú

Francisco Cantú: The Line Becomes a River

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Francisco Cantú served as a border patrol agent for the United States Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012. A former Fulbright fellow, he recently received an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Arizona. His essays and translations appear frequently in Guernica, and his work can also be found in The Best American Essays 2016Ploughshares, and Orion, among others and he published his memoir The Line Becomes a River in 2018. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. 

Cosponsored by the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics. 

Alvin Jackson

Alvin Jackson

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
7:00 p.m. | Gasson Hall, Room 100

Alvin Jackson is Richard Lodge Professor of History at The University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on modern Irish, Scottish, and British history and has been supported by three major national awards – a British Academy Research Readership in the Humanities (2000), a British Academy-Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (2009) and a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2014). His interest in the Union and Irish Unionism have made him a leading scholar on Brexit. He has published many articles and six books, including The Two Unions: Ireland, Scotland, and the Survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2007 (2011, which was shortlisted in Scotland for the Saltire Society’s Scottish History Book of the Year (2012) and for the Ewart-Biggs Irish Literary Prize (2013). In 2014, he was elected as an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and in 2015 as Member of the Academia Europaea. He was the John J. Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies at Boston College in 1996-1997.