Social Sciences Forum: John L. Jackson, Jr.: Black Gods and Red Devils: Race, Religion and the Re-Imagining of Africana Subjectivity (4/7)

jjacksonOn Monday, April 7 at 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, John L. Jackson presents, “Black Gods and Red Devils: Race, Religion and the Re-Imagining of Africana Subjectivity.”

Professor Jackson will discuss the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, a group of African Americans that emigrated from the United States to Israel in the 1960s. His talk will explain how this group understands their links to the ancient Hebrews and how they have spent the last 45 years in Israel creating a transnational spiritual community with members in Africa, Europe and the Americas that attempts to radically re-imagine what “race” and “religion” mean in the 21st century.

John L. Jackson, Jr. is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Africana Studies and Anthropology in the Standing Faculty of the Annenberg School for Communication and the Standing Faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Admission to this event is free. It’s co-sponsored with the Africana Studies Research Colloquium and the Department of Africana Studies. For more information, click here.

Social Sciences Forum: Karen L. Cox: Dreaming of Dixie: How the South was Created in American Popular Culture (4/2)

On Wednesday, April 2, Karen L. Cox presents “Dreaming of Dixie: How the South was Created in American Popular Culture,” at 4 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery.

Low Lecture

From the late nineteenth century through World War II, popular culture represented the American South by such southern icons as the mammy, the belle, the chivalrous planter, and white-columned mansions. In Dreaming of Dixie (2011), Professor Cox shows that the chief purveyors of nostalgia for the Old South played to consumers’ anxiety about modernity by marketing the South as a region still dedicated to America’s pastoral traditions. Professor Cox will also examine more recent representations of the South on television from The Andy Griffith Show to reality TV.

Karen L. Cox is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the founding director of the graduate public history program.

Admission to the event is free. The annual Low Lecture is co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Department of History. For more information, click here.

Social Sciences Forum: “Changing Demography, Eroding Democracy: Challenges to Latinos in the 21st Century” (3/27)

SaenzProfessor Rogelio Sáenz, Dean of the College of Public Policy and Peter Flawn Professor of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, will present, “Changing Demography, Eroding Democracy: Challenges to Latinos in the 21st Century,” on Thursday, March 27 at 4.30 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

Sáenz will provide an overview of the growth of the Latino population in the 21st century and the backlash that has occurred in efforts to minimize the political representation of Latinos. He will also discuss the opportunities and challenges that are ahead for Latinos.

The event is co-sponsored by the Social Sciences Forum, the Latino/Hispanic
Faculty Association, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the
Language, Literacy & Culture Doctoral Program.

Looking Forward from the 45th Anniversary of the Catonsville Nine Actions (5/10)

In May of 1968, nine individuals shook the conscience of the nation as they burned U.S. Selective Service records with homemade napalm on the grounds of the Catonsville, Maryland Knights of Columbus hall. The fire they started erupted into an infamous trial and influenced similar dynamic actions across the country.

The UMBC community is invited to a Social Science Forum exploring this action, and the trial that followed, on Friday, May 10th, at 2:30 p.m. in the Proscenium Theater (Performing Arts and Humanities Building). Joining us will be a panel of scholars, activists and two members of the Catonsville Nine. The event, cosponsored by the Department of American Studies will feature a film screening (3:00 p.m.) and dialogue (4:30 p.m.).

For more information on the project and to hear a WYPR interview with organizer Theodore Gonzalves (chair of American Studies), see the BreakingGround blog.

“The Black History of the White House: From Washington to Obama” (3/27)

Clarence Lusane, professor of comparative and regional studies at American University, will present “The Black History of the White House: From Washington to Obama” at UMBC on Wednesday, March 27, 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor.

This talk employs the White House as a prism to examine the historic and contemporary racial politics of the nation. From the building of the White House with slave labor to the “othering” of President Obama, Dr. Lusane explores the racial dynamics of one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

This Social Sciences Forum is co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Language, Literacy and Culture Doctoral Program; the Departments of History, Africana Studies, American Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology.

“Written in Bone,” Dr. Douglas Owsley (2/20)

owsley200On Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm, Dr. Douglas Owsley, Division Head for Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, will present “Written in Bone” in the Commons Skylight Room.

“Dr. Owsley will be speaking about his interdisciplinary work as a forensic anthropologist, assisting state and federal law enforcement agencies. Cases have included Jeffrey Dahmer’s first victim, recovery and identification of Waco Branch Davidian compound members, the 9-11 Pentagon Plane crash, and exhumation and identification of war dead from the former Yugoslavia. His bioarchaeological and osteological research concerns include: ancient American skeletons like Kennewick Man and the peopling of the New World; demography and health of 17th-century colonists; Civil War military remains including the crew of the H.L. Hunley submarine; iron coffin burials; and analyses of activity patterns, health and diseases of American Indian populations from the Plains and Southwest.” From

This Petrovich Lecture is co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Studies Council of Majors, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, the Departments of History, Ancient Studies, Anthropology and Sociology, Visual Arts, Biological Sciences, Psychology, the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, and the Honors College.

See the full Social Sciences Forum schedule here:

More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics (2/14)

landsburg200On Thursday, February 14 at 4 pm, Steven E. Landsburg, Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, will present More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics in University Center, room 310.

“Steven Landsburg’s writings are living proof that economics need not be ‘the dismal science.’ Readers of The Armchair Economist and his columns in Slate magazine know that he can make economics not only fun but fascinating, as he searches for the reasons behind the odd facts we face in our daily lives. In More Sex Is Safer Sex, he brings his witty and razor-sharp analysis to the many ways that our individually rational decisions can combine into some truly weird collective results — and he proposes hilarious and serious ways to fix just about everything.” From

This Social Sciences Forum is co-sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation.

See the full Social Sciences Forum schedule here:

Social Sciences Forum Spring 2013 Lecture Series

UMBC’s Spring 2013 Social Sciences Forum Lecture Series schedule is now available online. The Social Sciences Forum presents topics and perspectives of vital interest to the social sciences community and beyond. Lectures are free and open to the public and will last approximately one hour, followed by a question and answer period and reception. For more information, call 410-455-2916 or email

View the complete lecture series schedule at:

Social Sciences Forum on Inequality in Education (10/24)

Sean F. Reardon, associate professor of education at Stanford, will present the Social Sciences Forum “Income, Inequality, Educational Outcomes” on Wednesday, October 24, 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor. Reardon studies residential and school segregation as well as racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement and educational success.

Income inequality among the families of school-age children in the U.S. has grown sharply in the last 40 years. What impact has this had on the educational success of U.S. students? This talk will describe three recent studies that examine the trends in the relationship of income and income inequality to academic achievement and college enrollment.

This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Public Policy and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Language, Literacy, and Culture.

Mullen Lecture: “What’s a Life Worth?” (9/13)

Thursday, September 13 at 4pm 
Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor 

“What’s a Life Worth?”

W. Kip Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics, and Management,Vanderbilt School of Law

The value of statistical life (VSL) is a measure that forms the basis for assessing the benefits of government policies that reduce risks, such as regulatory efforts.  This presentation examines the empirical evidence on the heterogeneity of VSL and explores the potential implications for the valuation of regulatory policies, including “senior discount” issue as well as differences in VSL with age, income, and immigrant status. 

Mullen Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Economics 

Fall 2012 Social Sciences Forum More information about the lectures can be found at our website Contact us at 410-455-2916 or