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Common Hour

Spring 2005

Friday, January 28

Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture
Professor Jennifer Scanlon, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, Director of Women's Studies

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore': U.S. Consumers, Wal-Mart, and the Commodification of Patriotism

An award-winning teacher and scholar, Jennifer Scanlon is Associate Professor and Director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program at Bowdoin College. She is the editor of The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader (NYU Press, 2000); editor of Significant Contemporary American Feminists (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999); author of Inarticulate Longings: The Ladies' Home Journal, Gender, and the Promises of Consumer Culture (Routledge, 1995); and author, most recently, of "Old Housekeeping, New Housekeeping, or No Housekeeping? The Kitchenless Home Movement and the Women's Service Magazine," Journalism History 30 (April 2004); and "Mediators in the International Marketplace: U.S. Advertising in Latin America in the Early Twentieth Century," Business History Review 77 (Autumn 2003). A version of this Wal-Mart research is forthcoming in The Selling of 9/11; How a National Tragedy Became a Commodity, ed. Dana Heller (NY: Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, 2005). Professor Scanlon's current research projects include an article on the beauty parlor as feminist film space and a book about the relationship between Glamour magazine, its longtime editor Ruth Whitney, and the second wave of the feminist movement in the U.S.

The Karofsky Family Fund was established by Paul I. '66, his son David M. '93, and his brother Peter '62 in memory of their father and David's grandfather, Sydney B. Karofsky. Each semester the Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture will feature a Bowdoin faculty member chosen by members of the senior class honoring him or her as a teacher and role model.

Friday, February 11

Randall Kennedy, Professor Harvard Law School and Best-Selling Author

The History of African American Self-Naming

What is the history of the various labels -- "African," "Negro," "Colored," "Black" -- by which African Americans have identified themselves collectively? Why is it that "Negro" is disfavored (though Martin Luther King, Jr. used that term throughout his magnificent career) as is "colored"(though the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People remains a respected organization). Another term that Randall Kennedy dissects is the most notorious racial slur in the American language and the basis for his New York Times best-seller, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.

These and related questions are the topics to be explored by Randall Kennedy, Professor at Harvard Law School and author of Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity and Adoption, and Race, Crime and the Law.

Randall Kennedy is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar. He served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime and the Law. Mr. Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications, and sits on the editorial boards of The Nation, Dissent, and The American Prospect.

Friday, February 25

Student Performances

Haliday Douglas '05
On the Meaning of Life: Finding the Happy Medium Between Boredom and the Boondocks

This talk spiraled out of an independent study in the Sociology and Anthropology department. Partly comical, partly serious, and altogether surprising, Haliday's Common Hour engages the notion of identity performance at Bowdoin.

Haliday Douglas is a member of the Fourth-year class at Bowdoin, where he is majoring in English and Literature. Outside of the classroom he presides over the Bowdoin Student Government, manages the SU Café, runs track, and does year-round institutional research for Aim High St. Louis, a local non-profit back in his hometown.

Friday, April 1

Dr. J. Larry Brown
Director of the National Center on Hunger and Poverty

How Did The Working Get So Poor?

Dr. J. Larry Brown is the nation's leading scholarly authority on domestic hunger. He directs the National Center on Hunger and Poverty, located within the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scientist. Formerly on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Brown chaired the Physician Task Force on Hunger in America. Brown is also the past chairman of the board of Oxfam America and author of several books including Living Hungry in America.

Friday, April 15

Terry Tempest Williams
Author, Naturalist, and Environmental Activist

"An Activist's Heart"

Terry Tempest Williams is a natural teacher and lecturer, passionate about the social issues of our time. Hailed a "visionary" by the Utne Reader, Terry Tempest Williams is a well-known author and advocate for the preservation of the American Western wilderness.

As a writer, Terry Tempest Williams seeks to see the world whole, with all its paradoxes, humor, and complexity. Her art form is storytelling where one remembers what it means to be human. She is perhaps best known for her book Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, which is now regarded as a classic in American Nature Writing. Williams other books include The Open Space of Democracy, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert, and Leap.

Recently, Ms. Williams' work has appeared in The New York Times, the International Herald and other newspapers, as she has questioned the current administration's environmental policies on public land issues, particularly in the American West. This Common Hour lecture will explore politics and activism. Ms. Williams will discuss her steps in pursuing her beliefs and engaging in politics.

Friday, April 29

Student Chamber Ensembles Concert

Please join us for a relaxing afternoon listening to the wonderful music of the Student Chamber Ensembles Concert performed by students in the Bowdoin Music Department.