Autumn Lecture Series Begins

Julia Fishman

Speakers include CNN commentator Bakari Sellers, political columnist Jonah Goldberg, and author Javier Ávila.

September 13, 2019—Marist College’s autumn lecture series kicks off next month and runs through November 14. Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the 2019 line-up features a wide range of scholars, media commentators, authors, and more. The events include a one-man show examining diversity in an ever-changing political climate (Javier Avila, 11/14) to a talk about the ethical treatment of animals (Peter Singer, 10/11), and an examination of interfaith families (Samira Mehta, 11/8).

“This diverse series of events offers something for everyone. Topics covered include religion, politics, Hudson River Valley history, and Jewish history,” said series organizer John Knight, Associate Professor of Religious Studies. “We are also pleased to bring luminaries such as Bakari Sellers, Jonah Goldberg and Javier Ávila to campus this year.”

All events are free and open to the public.


2019 Autumn Lecture Series
Lisa Yaszek,“Understanding Naomi Alderman’s The Power
Wednesday, October 2, 11:15am, McCann Center
Yaszek, a Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will discuss The Power, the book assigned to Marist first-year students. In her scholarly work Yaszek explores science fiction as a global language crossing centuries, continents, and cultures.


Peter Singer, “Why Applied Ethics Matters: The Treatment of Animals and Effective Altruism”
Friday, October 11, 5:00pm, Murray Student Center, Fusco Recital Hall
Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, has been called “the world’s most influential philosopher,” largely because of his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals. He is credited with starting the modern animal rights movement.


Bakari Sellers, “Education, Civil Rights, and Equality: Cornerstones for Our Future”
Tuesday, October 15, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Nelly Goletti Theatre
A rising star within the Democratic Party, Sellers made history in 2006 when, at age 22, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. He is also an attorney and a frequent political commentator on CNN and MSNBC.

Left to Right: Javier Avila, Bakari Sellers

L-R: Javier Avila, Bakari Sellers

H. Daniel Peck, “‘The Stream Will Have Its Course’: Thomas Cole, The Hudson River Valley, and the Paintings of Catskill Creek”
Wednesday, October 16, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Nelly Goletti Theatre
Peck, Professor Emeritus of English at Vassar College and author of Thomas Cole’s Refrain: The Paintings of Catskill Creek, will deliver this talk, the annual Handel-Krom Lecture in Hudson River Valley History.


Frances Moore Lappé “Innovation for Our Environment: Finding Hope Through Democratic Action”
Tuesday, October 22, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Nelly Goletti Theatre
Moore Lappé, co-founder of Food First in Oakland and Small Planet Institute in Cambridge, is the author of numerous books, including Diet for a Small Planet. Her talk is the annual Sustainability Week Lecture.


Jonah Goldberg, “The Future and Past of Conservatism”
Wednesday, October 23, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Nelly Goletti Theatre
Syndicated columnist and bestselling author, Goldberg also holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a frequent Fox News contributor and the founding editor of National Review Online. The Atlantic named him one of the top 50 political commentators in America.

Left to Right: Jonah Goldberg, Peter Singer

L-R: Jonah Goldberg, Peter Singer

Gerasimos Tsourapas, “Regime Survival in the Middle East: Authoritarianism and the Politics of Migration in Egypt”
Wednesday, October 30, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Fusco Recital Hall
Tsourapas is a Lecturer in Middle East Politics and Political Science at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on the politics of migrants, refugees, and diasporas in the broader Middle East. 


Samira Mehta, “Interfaith Families in the New Millennium”
Friday, November 8, 5:00pm, Hancock Center, Room 2023
Mehta is Assistant Professor of Women & Gender Studies and Jewish Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder, and a scholar of religion and the politics of the American family. She is the author of Beyond Chrismukkah: Christian-Jewish Interfaith Families in the United States and has served as a Health and Spirituality Fellow at the Library of Congress.


David Stern, “Through the Pages of the Past: The Jewish Book in its Historical Contexts”
Monday, November 11, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Nelly Goletti Theatre
Stern, Harry Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Hebrew and Jewish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, will deliver this talk, the annual William and Sadie Effron Lecture in Jewish Studies. His most recent book is Jewish Literary Cultures: Volume 2, The Medieval and Early Modern Periods.


Javier Ávila, “The Trouble with My Name”
Thursday, November 14, 7:00pm, Murray Student Center, Nelly Goletti Theatre
In this eye-opening one-man show, Ávila, a renowned poet and novelist, will examine what it means to be a diverse citizen in a changing political climate. A Professor of English at Northampton Community College (where his work earned him the 2015 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year award), Ávila is also the author of the bestselling novel, Different, which became an award-winning movie, Miente, screened in over a dozen countries.


For more information about Marist events, visit

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