Post-war Britain

clair-willsThe 2017 Adele Dalsimer Memorial Lecture will be presented by Clair Wills, a leading scholar of 20th-century British and Irish literature and society, on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in Devlin Hall, Room 101. Her lecture, titled “Digs and Lodging Houses: Literature, Ruins and Survival in Post-War Britain,” will explore the world of post-war British culture and draw in part on the work of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. Wills is the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Chair of Irish Letters at Princeton University. Included among her most recent publications are: That Neutral Island: A History of Ireland during the Second World WarDublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO, and The Best Are Leaving: Emigration and Post-War Irish Culture.  She is currently writing a cultural history of post-war Britain, told from the perspective of European and Commonwealth immigrants. Her lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Sponsor: Center for Irish Programs.

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Emancipation and illness

sickfromfreedomJim Downs will talk about emancipation and illness in his talk titled “Dying to Be Free: The Unintended Consequences of Emancipation During the American Civil War and Reconstruction” on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Fulton Hall, room 511. Downs is the author of Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Drawing on a number of unexamined records at the National Archives, Downs shed light on a smallpox epidemic that devastated newly freed slaves and how cholera, dysentery, and yellow fever threatened the lives of emancipated slaves. Downs is an associate professor of history at Connecticut College. Sponsors: American Studies Program and the Institute for the Liberal Arts.

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The assassination of Sister Maura

markey book coverAuthor Eileen Markey will discuss her book, A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura, on Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in McGuinn Auditorium. A Radial Faith follows the life of Sister Maura Clarke, one of four U.S. churchwomen murdered by a Salvadoran death squad during the Salvadoran civil war in the 1980s. Drawing on interviews with Sister Maura’s family and the people she loved and worked with, her letters, and heavily‑redacted government documents, Markey follows Sister Maura’s spiritual and political journey. According to Markey, working in poor communities transformed Sister Maura from an obedient and rule-bound young woman into a provocative critic of authority who pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be faithful to religious conviction — even if it meant challenging the CIA-backed regimes terrorizing the poor of Latin America. Markey is an investigative journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Reporter, America, and Commonweal. | New York Times book review. Co-sponsors: Center for Human Rights and International Justice and the Church in the 21st Century Center | RSVP requested.

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Book review by BC prof

heatherPolitical historian Heather Cox Richardson recently reviewed The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency by Kathryn Smith. LeHand, FDR’s private secretary, is described as a child of Irish immigrants who rose “to become second only to Eleanor [Roosevelt] as the most powerful woman in America.” A professor of history, Richardson is the author of several books, including  To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party. Washington Post review.

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A geologist investigates Noah’s Flood

rocks-dont-lieOn Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. in Higgins Hall, room 300, scientist David R. Montgomery will talk about his investigation of the world’s flood stories and the counterintuitive role Noah’s Flood played in the development of both geology and creationism. In his book The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood, Montgomery takes readers on a journey across landscapes and cultures in a discovery that reveals the illusive nature of truth, whether viewed through the lens of science or religion, and how it changed through history and continues changing, even today. Montgomery is a professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and an award-winning author. Sponsor: Environmental Studies Program.

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Ireland and modernity

endadelaneyUniversity of Edinburgh Professor of History Enda Delaney will present “Out of Time: Ireland and Modernity” as part of the 2017 Thomas J. Flatley Irish Studies Lecture Series. His talk will take place Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. in Connolly House. Born and raised in Dublin, Delaney is the author of The Great Irish Famine: A History in Four Lives; The Irish in Post-War Britain; and Demography, State and Society: Irish Migration to Britain, 1921-1971, among others. His current book project is about the Irish encounter with modernity,  tentatively titled Making Ireland Modern: Society and Culture since 1780. His lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Sponsor: Center for Irish Programs.

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The War on Terror: A progress report

jihad-bookCounterterrorism and Middle East security expert Daniel Byman, a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, will present “A Progress Report on the War on Terror” on Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in McGuinn Auditorium. Byman’s most recent book is Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know. Byman served as a staff member with the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (“The 9/11 Commission”) and the Joint 9/11 Inquiry Staff of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. He is also senior associate dean for undergraduate affairs at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and a professor in its Security Studies Program. His other publications include A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism; Deadly Connections: States that Sponsor Terrorism, and The Five Front War: The Better Way to Fight Global JihadSponsors: Islamic Civilization & Societies Program and Middle Eastern and Islamic Student Association.

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