Fairfield University to host 4th annual American Studies Conference, March 19, 2016
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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 29, 2016) — Fairfield University’s 4th annual American Studies Conference will host a roundtable discussion entitled, “The Politics of Family, Sex, and Gender and What It Means — or Doesn't — For the Elections of 2016,” on Saturday, March 19 at 4 p.m. in the Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room. The lecture features Jonathan Rauch, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution; Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., editor-in-chief of America: The National Catholic Review and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, PhD., professor in the Government Department and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Cornell University. The lecture is part of a free, public conference that runs from 12 – 6p.m. To register for the conference or the roundtable discussion, visit www.fairfield.edu/asconference.
Peter Bayers PhD., director of the American Studies Program at Fairfield University, explained that the conference’s theme of “Family, Sex, and Gender in American Culture” is especially relevant in our current election year. “The institution and the very definition of the family in U.S. culture has been front and center in political discourse leading up to the elections of 2016,” said Dr. Bayers. “From presidential candidates’ comments on gay marriage, economic struggles, immigration policies and prison reform, one might argue that the health of the family unit is central to the stability and future of the United States.”
Sponsored by Fairfield’s American Studies Program, as well as The Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, the conference will start with student scholar presentations from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will cover a wide-range of historical and cultural perspectives that explore the conference’s theme. At 4 p.m., panelists Rauch, Rev. Malone S.J. and Dr. Katzenstein will expand on these issues in their roundtable discussion moderated by Gwendoline Alphonso, PhD, assistant professor of politics at Fairfield University.
Rauch is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit public policy organization that conducts independent research on issues such as social policy, education and international affairs. The author of six books, Rauch has also penned a number of articles on public policy, culture and government, while also writing on topics as diverse as adultery, economics, gay marriage and animal rights. He is also a contributing editor of National Journal, a research and insights company, as well as The Atlantic, and is a recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, Rauch was honored with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association prize for excellence in opinion writing.
Editor-in-Chief of America: The National Catholic Review, Rev. Malone was the youngest person in the magazine’s history to hold the position at the time of his appointment in 2012. Prior to his tenure at America, Rev. Malone was a speechwriter and special assistant to U.S. Representative Martin T. Meehan (D-MA) from 1995 to 1997, and went on to serve as the deputy director of MassINC, an independent political think tank, and co-publisher of CommonWealth, an award-winning review of politics, ideas and civic life. In 2006, he won the first place award from the Catholic Press Association for essay writing, and his writing has since appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times to The Washington Post.
Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, the Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies Emerita, is a professor in Cornell University’s Government Department and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She has written extensively on comparative feminist activism, focusing her studies on the United States, Europe and India. While her teaching interests center on Comparative and American politics with a special focus on India, Katzenstein is currently researching the issues of movement activism, incarceration and citizenship in the United States.
Because of the expertise of the panel, Dr. Bayers hopes that conference will provide an enlightening look at the idea of family in the current election season. “The American Studies Program is excited to bring together experts in a wide-ranging roundtable to address pressing questions about the family in American culture, and what it means — or doesn’t — for the elections of 2016.”
To register for the conference or the roundtable discussion, visit www.fairfield.edu/asconference.
Vol. 48, No. 98
Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.
Posted on March 4, 2016
Vol. 48, No. 98