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Dr. Frank Greene Honors Lecture: Global Citizenship: Past, Present and Future

February 22, 2024
12:50 P.M. - 1:50 P.M.
St. Francis College
5th Floor Auditorium

The St. Francis College Honors Program, in collaboration with SFC International and the Human Rights Lecture Series, is honored to present a conversation with Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on "Global Citizenship: Past, Present and Future."

"Global citizenship" can mean different things to different people: it can represent a genuinely inclusive, cosmopolitan worldview, but also materialize as a cynical ploy to transcend national borders for personal gain. This talk will outline different visions of what global citizenship has meant, starting in ancient Greece and ending in our uncertain future. It will talk about how national citizenship—largely considered a valuable public good—is being turned into a commodity, and how the international market for passports affects those with no country to call their own. Along the way, you'll meet the people who have become stateless by choice; people who have found themselves with citizenships they'd previously never heard of; and the man who might just have the most passports in the world.
Brooklyn-based Atossa Araxia Abrahamian is an independent journalist and 2024 New America fellow who writes about the cracks in the nation-state system. A former editor at the Nation and Al Jazeera America, Abrahamian’s reporting and criticism have appeared in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, the London Review of Books, the Intercept, and many other publications.

Abrahamian’s first book, The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen (Columbia Global Reports, 2015), investigated the multi-billion dollar market for passports, interrogating what the sale of citizenship means for nomadic billionaires, the stateless poor, and everybody else.

The Hidden Globe, which will be published by Riverhead in 2024, examines the jurisdictions above, between, and beneath nations. Combining reporting, criticism, metaphysics and legal theory, it leads readers through the special economic zones that prop up world trade, the polar archipelagos that challenge the definition of national sovereignty, the ships crisscrossing the world flying flags of convenience, and the micro-states rewriting the laws of outer space. A Livingston Award finalist in 2019, Abrahamian was a recipient of the 2021 Silvers Award for Works in Progress and the 2022 Whiting Nonfiction Grant. She spent the 2022–2023 academic year as a Knight Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan. Abrahamian is a Swiss, Iranian, Canadian and American citizen.

About the Dr. Frank Greene Lecture Series
Each year, the Honors Program hosts a lecture in honor of Dr. Frank Greene, an art historian and SFC Professor Emeritus who led the Honors Program for many years. These lectures follow the theme of the Honors Program's freshman honors seminar and feature a distinguished speaker on that topic.

This year's event is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.

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