Speaker Series

The Levitt Center Speaker Series is committed to enhancing the academic experience of our students by introducing them to a wide array of intellectually challenging speakers. The Series features many speakers with substantial academic and policy experience, an invaluable asset in helping students make the connection between the classroom and policies enacted in the real world.

Students and other audience members have the opportunity to engage speakers in thoughtful discussion following each lecture. Our four program areas, Inequality and Equity, Justice and Security, Sustainability, and Public Health and Well-Being; as well as our Leadership and Social Innovation initiatives, provides a focus for our year-long lecture series, as well as for our Faculty Lunch series and Innovation Roundtable discussions.

Spring 2018 Speakers & Panel Discussions

The Judge - a documentary from Director Erika Cohn. Kholoud Al-Faqih, a young Palestinian lawyer, became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts. The Judge offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud's brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. The Judge presents an unfolding legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates  universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine including custody of children, divorce, and abuse. (https://www.thejudgefilm.com) (Tuesday, March 27,  7:00 p.m. Kirner Johnson 127 - Red Pit)

Technologies of Empathy. Lecture and Discussion with Timothy Recuber, Visiting Assistant Professor, Hamilton College Department of Communications
(Wednesday, February 28th 4:15 pm in the Taylor Science Center G027 Kennedy Auditorium)

What Does the Earth Ask of Us?  Speaker Robin W. Kimmerer is the Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director for the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. (Friday, February 23 at 4:10 p.m. in the Taylor Science Center G027 Kennedy Auditorium)

Living with Uncertainty - A presentation with Bikash Regmi and Kumari Pokhrel.  What is the lived experience of recent immigrants to Utica? Join us for a conversation with two people who will share their stories of migration, and their attempt to build a new life amid uncertainty. (Tuesday, February 20, 4:00 p.m. Kirner Johnson 127 - Red Pit)

Europe’s Migration Crisis  - A lecture by Leila Simons Talani, Professor of International Political Economy at King’s College London, and Levitt Center Scholar-in-Residence. Since 2015, Europe has struggled with how to respond to increasing numbers of refugees, migrants, and other displaced peoples. How do political and economic factors condition Europe’s response? How does the crisis influence an already tumultuous European politics? How do the various  responses throughout Europe reverberate in the internaional economic order? (Monday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Red Pit - KJ 127)

Groundwater Sustainability in Wisconsin: the Role of Science Amid Political Controversy.
Ken Bradbury, Wisconsin State Geologist, will be discussing water ownership and use problem in an area in central Wisconsin where there is an ongoing dispute between agricultural water users (wealthy large farmers who irrigate their fields) and recreationalwater "users" (wealthy homeowners with houses on the lakes). The irrigation is making the lake levels decline; they both are fed with the same groundwater. Both sets of stakeholders tend to be rich and conservative, so it has made for nontraditional partnerships on both sides of the issue. (Friday, February 16, 2018, at 12:00 noon, Taylor Science Center, G027 - Kennedy Auditorium. Lunch will be provided.)

Policy, Data, Models, and Inference: The Importance of Critical Thinking, and the Risks of Believing you have ‘All the Data.’  A lunch conversation with Shauna Sweet ’03. She has applied, examined, and developed advanced analytic methods in operational environments within both government and private industry.  (Friday, February 2, 11:45 a.m., Levitt Conference Room)

Vladimir Kara-Murza presents Nemtsov, a documentary about a vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin’s regime.  Kara-Murza, Vice-Chairman of the NGO Open Russia, was a close friend of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was fatally shot near the Kremlin in February 2015.  Kara-Murza (who barely survived two assassination attempts) discusses repression, dissent, and political violence in Russia. (Tuesday, January 30, 7:30 p.m., Bradford Auditorium (KJ 125)

Fall 2017 Speakers & Panel Discussions

Just Research: Widening the Methodological Imagination in Contentious Times
Michelle Fine, distinguished professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies, American Studies, and Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. (Thursday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., K-J 125 Bradford Auditorium)

Keeping Government Honest: The Power of Transparency
Rose Gill Hearn, principal at Bloomberg Associates
(Wednesday, November 15, 4:15 p.m., Bradford Auditorium - KJ 125)

Whither Work? Film and the Representation of Labor
Scott MacDonald, professor of Art History at Hamilton (Monday, November 13, 11:45 a.m., Levitt Center Conference Room)

Narrowing the Literacy Gap: Examining Difference in Early Childhood Education
Sabrina Boutselis ’19, Levitt Summer Research Presentation
(Thursday, November 9, 4:30 p.m., Levitt Center Conference Room)

Cyrus Boga Workshop: How the World Really Works.
The Importance of Finance for Social Innovators, Change Makers & Everyone Else

Cyrus Boga ’90 is CEO of Novamaya, an education startup serving college students (Saturday, November 4, 2017, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Brunch included, Levitt Center Conference Room. RSVP)

Arab and Muslim in the Age of Trump
Ann Lin, associate professor of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Friday, November 3, 7:30 p.m., Red Pit.)

Cyrus Boga Workshop: How Social Entrepreneurship Prepares you for a Career in Almost Everything
Cyrus Boga ’90 is CEO of Novamaya, an education startup serving college students (Friday, November 3, 2017, 12:30 p.m., lunch included, Levitt Center Conference Room. RSVP.)

Cyrus Boga Workshop: Creating A Viable and Sustainable Social Venture
Cyrus Boga ’90 is CEO of Novamaya, an education startup serving college students (November 2, 2017, 4 p.m., Levitt Center Conference Room. RSVP)

Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here
Sam Quinones, journalist, storyteller, and acclaimed author (Thursday, October 26, 2017,
7:30 p.m., Hamilton College Chapel)

Levitt Center Future of Work Series: “High School Equivalency, ESL, and the New Economy”
Megan Bates, Mia Caterisano, Morgan Walsh, and Professor of Anthropology Chaise Ladousa (Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 11:45 a.m., Levitt Center Conference Room. RSVP

Journalism & Free Speech
Sam Lebovic, Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University, and historian of American politics and culture (Monday, October 16, 2017)

Generational Leadership Preferences: Reality and Myth
A Levitt Leadership Institute Workshop

Susan Mason, Director of The Levitt Leadership Institute (Saturday, October 7, 2017)

From Anger and Fear to Hope and Love: Redefining Self and Community for Justice and Social Transformation
Margo Okazawa-Rey, professor of Women’s and Gender Studies (Thursday, October 5, 2017)

New Developments in Russia-China Relations: Reappraising the Grand Strategic Triangle during the Trump Era
Lyle Goldstein, associate professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI)
at the U.S. Naval War College (Wednesday, October 4, 2017)

The U.S. Presidential Election: Russian Perspectives
Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (Tuesday, October 3, 2017)

U.S.-Russia Relations Under Trump and Beyond
Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (Monday, October 2, 2017)

Will China’s Economy Crash? The End of the Miracle
Alexsia Chan, Professor of Government (Wednesday, September 20, 2017)

A Public Scholar Workshop: Blogging about Public Issues
Luke Perry, Professor of Government at Utica College (Thursday, September 14, 2017)

Discussion on Hate Speech
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Mariam Durrani, Assistant Professor of History Celeste Day Moore, and Associate Professor of Africana Studies Nigel Westmaas (Tuesday, September 12, 2017)

Speaking Out: A Documentary Theatre Play
Presenting the Real Words of Survivors of Sexual Assault

Bridget Clare Lavin ’18, Levitt Summer Research Fellowship Presentation (Friday and Saturday, September 8 and 9, 2017)

Spring 2017 Speakers & Panel Discussions

International Challenges for the Trump Presidency: East Asia, Latin America, and the Mid-East
Alexsia Chan, Professor of Government; Kira Jumet, Professor of Government; and Heather Sullivan, Professor of Government

Rethinking Campus Sexual Assault: Taking Stock of Obama-Era Reforms,
Against Affirmative Consent, 
and Rethinking the Sexual Violence Framework
Janet Halley, the Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

The Legacy of Barack Obama
Al Tillery, Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University

The Half-life of Democracy: Regime Decay in Theory and Practice
Frank Anechiarico, Professor of Government; Alfred Kelly, Professor of History; and
Richard Werner, Professor of Philosophy

Knocking the Hustle
Lester K. Spence, Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University

Empathy, story-telling and American prisons
Doran Larson, Professor of English and Creative Writing

Japanese Interment 75 Years Later
Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor of Women’s Studies

Counterterrorism: What Works and What Doesn’t
Erica De Bruin, Professor of Government

Identity and Difference
Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor of Women’s Studies

Envisioning the Future of Food
Claire Hinrichs, Penn State University; Margaret Gray, Adelphi University; and Evan Weissman, Syracuse University

No One Left Behind: A Bond Forged in Combat
Matt Zeller ’04 and Janis Shinwari, Co-Founders of No One Left Behind

Turkey at a Crossroads: After the Referendum
Riada Asimovic Akyol ’07, contributing  writer for Al-Monitor; Mustafa Akyol, Turkish journalist for Al-Monitor and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times; and Erol Balkan, author of multiple books on politics and economics. Professor Balkan teaches economic development,  international finance and political economy of the Middle East at Hamilton College

Muslim Women and Perceptions in the East and West
Riada Asimovic Akyol ’07, contributing  writer for Al-Monitor

Fall 2016 Speakers & Panel Discussions

The Homeland Security Paradox and Community Resilience
Benjamin Joelson, senior associate at the Chertoff Group; former U.S. Airforce, Security Forces; and Antiterrorism Officer

A Cuban Perspective on US-Cuba Relations
Ernest Dominquez Lopez, Associate Professor and Chair, U.S. Studies Program, CEHSEU, University of Havana


Regional Challenges for the Trump Presidency
Alexsia Chan, Kira Jumet, and Heather Sullivan (Government Department)

Gender, Sexuality, Misogyny, and Election 2016
Joyce Barry and Anne Lacsamana (Women’s and Gender Studies)

The Half-life of Democracy: Regime Decay in Theory and Practice
Frank Anechiarico (Government), Alfred Kelly (History), and Rick Werner (Philosophy)

Year of the Party-Crashers: 2016 and the State of the American Party System
Sam Rosenfeld (Government), David Frisk (AHI), and Maurice Isserman (History), and Gbemende Johnson (Government)

High Stakes for the Planet: The 2016 Presidential Election
Peter Cannavo (Government)

Transparency, Politics, and the Federal Reserve
Ann Owen (Economics)

The State of the Election
Sam Rosenfeld, Phil Klinkner, and Gbemende Johnson (Government)

American Foreign Policy and the Election
Alan Cafruny (Government)

Hot Seats: The Math of Electoral Apportionment
Dick Bedient (Math)

Inequality and the Election
Dennis Gilbert (Sociology)

American Religions and the Election
Steve Ellingson (Sociology) & Quincy Newell (Religious Studies)

Whose Politics? Race, History, and American Politics
Celeste Day-Moore (History) and Margo Okazawa-Rey (Women’s and Gender Studies)

SPring 2016 Speakers & Panel Discussions

Between Two Worlds
John Dau, Human Rights Activist 

What Is the Problem for which Gun Control Is the Solution? 
The 2nd and 14th Amendments and Gun Culture;
Gun Controls: Keeping Firearms out of the Hands of Dangerous Users;
Good Guns and Bad Guns 
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts at the New York University School of Law 

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State 

Understanding Gender Bias in Developing World
Robert Jensen, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 

Walking with Abel: Herding Cattle in Mali and Other Ways of Looking at the World
Anna Badkhen, journalist covering stories of people around the world in extremis

Ancient Myth: A Tool for Self-Discovery
Rhodessa Jones, Director of The Medea Project 

Contact Information

Levitt Center

Kirner-Johnson 251
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4451 levitt@hamilton.edu
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