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January 27, 2020

SFC Hosts Spring '20 Lecture Series, Interpreting the 60s

The legacy of 1960s' activism will be the focus of this spring's St. Francis College Senior Citizens Lecture Series, a set of presentations and discussions that bring together SFC students, local senior citizens and the general public to learn from experts and exchange ideas with each other.

"Interpreting the 60s" will feature academics, researchers and activists addressing topics central to the social upheaval that defines that decade, including civil rights, the Vietnam War and Gay liberation.

This spring's Series is organized by Dr. Emily Horowitz, Chair of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department and Dr. Sara Rzeszutek, SFC Associate History Professor.

All events are 11:10 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. in Room 4202 at St. Francis College (180 Remsen St., Brooklyn Heights) unless otherwise noted. Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, February 4

Stonewall & The Gay Rights Movement

Guest Lecturer: Donald Gallagher

Fifty years after the watershed Stonewall uprising – a turning-point in this country's gay liberation movement -- Donald Gallagher, a witness and participant, will discuss growing up as a gay man, his experience at Stonewall and what he sees as its legacy. Gallagher was among those New Yorkers who took to the streets in spontaneous protest after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, on June 28, 1969. The demonstrations brought to light the unjust legal and social status afforded gay Americans and galvanized a new generation of activists to push for respect and equality.

After Stonewall, Gallagher pursued a life in both activism and in art, identifying as part of the Radical Faeries, a spiritual queer consciousness network started in the 1970s.

Tuesday, February 11

College Student Activism & The New Left

Guest Lecturer: Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen is a professor of history and social studies in NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is an affiliated member of NYU's History Department. His historical scholarship focuses on politics, higher education, and social protest in twentieth-century America. His social studies work links middle and high school teachers with the recent advances in historical scholarship, and develops curriculum aimed at teaching their students to explore history as a critical discipline – and one that is characterized by intense and exciting debate.

Cohen's recent books include: Rebellion in Black and White: Southern Student Activism in the 1960s (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2013; co-edited with David J. Snyder).

Tuesday, February 18

Agent Orange, PTSD, and the Lasting Impact of Vietnam

Guest Lecturer: Philip Napoli

Philip Napoli teaches 20th-century U.S. and public history, including courses on the history of the American war in Vietnam, American popular culture, oral history and the history of immigration. Napoli writes about the history of American war veterans and the Vietnam war. His book, Bringing It All Back Home: An Oral History of New York City's Vietnam Veterans (Hill and Wang) was published in June 2013. He is presently working with a senior representative of the veterans' community on his oral history and conducting interviews with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan for his next book. In 2019, he co-authored, "Oral History, Moral Injury, and Vietnam Veterans" in the Oral History Review.

Thursday, February 20

Civil Rights Journalist Jerry Mitchell on his Memoir, Race Against Time

St. Francis College - Founders Hall

In this talk, Mitchell will draw from his new memoir Race Against Time (Simon & Schuster, 2020) and reveal details that led to the reopening and eventual solving of four of the most infamous killings from the days of the civil rights movement, decades after the fact, including the notorious "Mississippi Burning" murders. He will bring the discussion forward to today, talking about the current race against time to keep this nation from fracturing along the lines of race, political partisanship and identity.

Mitchell is founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. His investigative journalism has helped lead to convictions of Klansmen guilty some of the nation's most notorious crimes.

Mitchell has won a $500,000 MacArthur "genius" grant and more than 30 other national awards, including being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist, over a 30+ year career.

Advance registration requested:

Tuesday, March 17

Panel Discussion: SFC Post-Prison Students & University of Southern Mississippi Students

St. Francis College students who are part of the College's Post-Prison Program will join undergraduates visiting from the University of Southern Mississippi in a moderated conversation, part of the programming for SFC's Prison Reform & Re-Entry Conference taking place on March 17 and 18.

Tuesday, March 24

Historian Michael Koncewicz on his Book, They Said No To Nixon: Republicans Who Stood Up To The President's Abuses Of Power

Historian Michael Koncewicz is the Cold War Collections Specialist at the Tamiment Library at New York University. He previously worked at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. The Nixon tapes famously exposed a president's sinister views of governance that would eventually lead to his downfall. Despite Nixon's best efforts, his vision of a government where he could use his power to punish his political enemies never came to fruition because members of his own party defied his directives. While many are familiar with the Republicans who turned against Nixon during the final stages of the Watergate saga, They Said No to Nixon uncovers for the first time those within the administration—including Nixon's own appointees—who opposed the White House early on, quietly blocking the president's attacks on the IRS, the Justice Department, and other sectors of the federal government. Delving into the abuses of power surrounding the Watergate era and showing how they were curbed, They Said No to Nixon sheds light on the significant cultural and ideological shifts that occurred within the GOP during the pivotal 1970s. Koncewicz deftly demonstrates how Nixon's administration marked a decisive moment that led to the rise of modern conservatism and today's ruthlessly partisan politics

.Tuesday, March 31

Keeping House in the 1950s and 1960s: Pat Murphy Robinson and Mothering

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Robyn Spencer

Dr. Spencer is an Associate Professor of History at Lehman College. She is the winner of a 2016 Andrew W. Mellon Mid-Career Research Fellowship at Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University. Academic Year, 2016-2017 and a fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library: Scholar in Residence Award, 2010. She is the author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016).

Tuesday, April 7

The Weather Underground

Guest Lecturer: Maniza Ahmed

Maniza Ahmed is the Project Administrator of the Race & Capitalism project at Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC) at the University of Chicago and WISIR at the University of Washington -- a multi-institution collaboration that seeks to reinvigorate, strengthen and deepen scholarship on how processes of racialization within the U.S. shaped capitalist society and economy and how capitalism has simultaneously shaped processes of racialization. She recently graduated with a master's degree from the University of Chicago, where she studied race relations and social movements. Maniza has also attended Mount Holyoke College, where she double majored in economics and sociology. She now produces the Race and Capitalism Project's podcast series New Dawn.

Tuesday, April 14

High School Student Activism in the 1960s

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Dara Walker

Dr. Walker holds a PhD in History from Rutgers University. Her research and teaching expertise include African American history, the history of children and youth, urban history, 20th century U.S. history, and public history. She received her B.S. in African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University in 2009 as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar as well as an M.A. in Pan-African Studies from Syracuse University in 2011.

Dr. Walker is currently writing her book manuscript, High School Rebels: Black Power, Education, and Youth Politics in the Motor City, 1966-1972, which examines the role of the high school student organizing tradition in the development of Black radical politics of the Black Power era. Her research has been funded by the Ford Foundation's Dissertation Fellowship, the Walter P. Reuther Library's Albert Shanker Fellowship for Research in Education, and Rutgers University. She has presented her research at several national and international conferences, including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the American Historical Association (AHA), the Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY), and the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS). Her review articles have appeared in several journals, including The Black Scholar, Feminist Studies, and The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, in addition to her online publications for Black Perspectives.

Tuesday, April 21

Living Through Freedom Summer in Mississippi

Guest Lecturer: Bernice Simmons

Bernice Sims is the author of "Detour Before Midnight," a memoir about her participation in Freedom Summer, the 1964 struggle for integration, equality, and voting rights for African-Americans in Mississippi. Sims spent her childhood in Mississippi, and Sims and her two older brothers volunteered for the local branch of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Sims and her brothers interacted with the three murdered civil rights workers (Goodman, Schwerner, and Cheney) the day of their deaths; Sims had almost joined them and would have been in their car when they were murdered by the KKK. Sims was traumatized by this event, and her book details the impact that Freedom Summer and its most violent event had on her life, as well as living with "survivor guilt". In her lecture, Sims will share what it was like to grow up in Mississippi under Jim Crow, work on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement, and the personal impact of meeting the three murdered voting rights activists.

For more information about "Interpreting the 60s," email Dr. Emily Horowitz at [email protected]

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