Monuments Men and the American Restitution of Looted Books

March 23, 2017 located in the  Presidents’ Lounge presented by Dr. Kathy Peiss, Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History, University of Pennsylvania. The Annual Francis X. Gerrity Lecture. When the U.S. Army uncovered millions of looted books in Germany at the end of the war, the majority stolen from Jews, it set in motion a chain of events leading to the largest book restitution in history.  Going beyond heroic tales, this talk explores the day-to-day operations, decisions, and conflicts arising in the restitution effort, to deepen our understanding of the Monuments Men’s achievement.

Dulling or Sharpening the Horn: Global Security, Justice and the UN in the Horn of Africa

April 21, 2016 in the Science Center.  Discussion Panel includes Prof. Brian Yates, Ethiopia, The Leauge of Nations, Justice and Security in the Early 20th Century, Prof. Jennifer Riggan, Arcadia University, Long Memories and Shifting Targes: The Role of UN Sanctions in the Mida War Over Representations of Eritrea, Prof. Michael Woldemariam, Boston University, African solutions to African problems: the UN and the African Union in conflict management/ resolution in the Horn and Prof. Lee Cassanelli, University of Pennsylvania, From Trusteeship to UNSOM 2015: 65 Years of UN Missions in Somalia.

Natural Philosophy & Magic in the Latin Middle Ages

April 16, 2015, Presidents’ Lounge. Elly R. Tuitt, Assistant Professor of Medieval History, Bryn Mawr College, presents philosophers, theologians, clerical writers, and practitioners – of all sorts debated and defined the scope of human inquiry, the nature of Nature, and whether it was possible, let alone permissible, to go beyond the divinely ordained limits of the human intellect.  Archbishops consulted with auguries, while astral science, including astral prediction, was taught in university curricula.  Yet the distinction between legitimate and welcome inquiry into the laws of nature and the pursuit of the so called “dark arts” remained fraught, contested, and context dependent.

Democratic Art

March 15, 2016 in the Presidents’ Lounge. Dr. Sharon Ann Musher, of Stockon University, spoke on her book “Democratic Art”. Throughout the Great Recession American artists and public art endowments have had to fight for government support to keep themselves afloat. It wasn’t always this way. At its height in 1935, the New Deal devoted $27 million—roughly $461 million today—to supporting tens of thousands of needy artists of all races, who used that support to create more than 100,000 works.

Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide

March 3, 2016 in the Presidents’ Lounge. The Annual Francis X Gerrity Lecture.  Renowned policy analyst, historian, and journalist Gary Bass shows how Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s involvement in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh led to war between India and Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia, and left in its wake a host of major strategic consequences for the world today.

United Nations Trip

February 22, 2016.  Our tour of the United Nations began at noon and was followed by a special briefing on the topic of Global Migration.  We had lunch in the cafeteria at the United Nations.  After our briefing, we returned to Philadelphia.

Martin Luther King Jr. Alternative Narratives

January 20, 2016 in the Presidents’ Lounge.  A round table discussion with Professors Randall Miller, Katherine Sibley and Brian Yates, presented alternative narratives of his life and philosophy, emphasizing his internationalism and his critiques of American domestic and foreign policies.