Sherry Kafka Wagner

Sherry Kafka Wagner stands amid her book collection in the Hotel Emma library.  Photo by Scott Ball.Nationally renowned urban planner, exhibition designer, and author Sherry Kafka Wagner will present “What the Best College Students Do: Reading, Writing, Creating. A Personal Account” on Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Higgins Hall, room 300. Wagner is the author of the novel, Hannah Jackson, which won the Friends of American Writers Award in Chicago and the Texas Writers Roundup award. Her play, The Man Who Loved God, is included in the collection Best Short Plays of 1968. She also penned two children’s books: Big Enough and I Need a Friend. Her life story is one of the vignettes in the acclaimed book by Ken Bain, What the Best College Students Do. Since the late 1960s, Wagner has been involved in urban design and exhibitions, working extensively with museums, aquariums, and visitor centers throughout the world.She is perhaps most known as one of the co-creators of the “River Walk” system in San Antonio, Texas. She recently donated her extensive private library of  3,700 volumes to the Hotel Emma in San Antonio, to serve as a house library for guests and interested readers. Sponsor: Heinz Bluhm Memorial Lecture Series.Co-sponsors: Institute for Liberal Arts, the Office of the Associate Dean for the Core, and the Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures.

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The value of Beckett

beckettBoston College holds a major archive of the work of Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. On Oct. 27, Professor Ronan McDonald of the University of New South Wales, Australia, a leading authority on the works of Beckett and the literature of his time, will lecture on “The Value of Beckett.” His talk will take place at 5 p.m. in Devlin Hall, Room 008. McDonald’s publications include: Flann O’Brien & ModernismSamuel Beckett, Endgame, and Tragedy and Irish Literature: Synge, O’Casey, Beckett. Sponsor: Boston College Irish Studies Program. Free registration.

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drone-poemsKim Garcia, who teaches in the English Department, has published a new book of poetry that is a meditation on modern warfare in a technological age. Drone (The Backwaters Press, 2016) explores the human, animal, personal, and domestic aspects of wars being fought by the US. Garcia is the author of The Brighter House, winner of the 2015 White Pine Press Poetry Prize, and Madonna Magdalene. Her chapbook Tales of the Sisters won the 2015 Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, Nimrod and Subtropics.

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dissidenceIn her new book, Philosophy and Dissidence in Cold War Europe (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016), Assistant Professor of Philosophy Aspen E. Brinton examines the ways Cold War dissidents in Central and Eastern Europe turned to the past for inspiration in order to change and transcend their present entrapment, contributing to a more general narrative about how to change one’s way of acting by altering one’s way of thinking. Brinton argues for a view of dissent as an existential search for mutual understanding and recognition, showing how dissidents’ ideas contribute to current conversations in political theory and philosophy about thinking and action. She was recently interviewed by Jonas Barciauskas of BC Libraries.

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Medea Benjamin

kingdomNoted activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the women-led peace group Code Pink and the human rights advocacy group Global Exchange, will hold a discussion on her latest book, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection, on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 305. With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced US need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of US relations with Iran, Benjamin contends the time is right for a re-evaluation of America’s close ties with Saudi Arabia. Named “one of the high profile leaders” of the peace movement by the Los Angeles Times, Benjamin has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation; the Marjorie Kellogg National Peacemaker Award; the Thomas Merton Center Peace Award, the Peace Foundation Memorial Award, and  the Gandhi Peace Award from Promoting Enduring Peace. She is the author of several other books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Sponsors: Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Islamic Civilization & Societies program, History Department and the Sociology Department. RSVP Requested.

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Poetry reading in honor of Burns Scholar

poetrygaelicAn event will be held Oct. 18 to celebrate the publication of Leabhar Na hAthghabbhála: Poems of Repossession (2016), an anthology of Gaelic poems and English translations from the past 50 years, edited by Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies Louis de Paor. Poets Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Deirdre Brennan, and Liam Ó Muirthile will join de Paor in reading and discussing selections from the volume. The event will take place in Devlin Hall, Room 101, starting at 5 p.m. Sponsors: The Center for Irish Programs and Boston College Libraries with support from Culture Ireland and Poetry Ireland.

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Ignatian-Based Ethical Leadership colloquium

heroic-leadershipChris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, will be the keynote speaker at an Ignatian-Based Ethical Leadership colloquium on Oct. 14 from 1 to 6 p.m in Fulton Hall 145. Other speakers include Joan Lee of Fairfield University and Sarah Cabral of the Carroll School of Management. The speakers will address the question of what the Ignatian tradition tells about the nature of ethical leadership, and the question of how educators can best instill Ignatian ethical principles in their students. Sponsor: Woods College of Advancing Studies


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