Upcoming talks and lectures at Williams College


Author to discuss Rio de Janeiro's Oylmpic challenges

Brazilian-born journalist Juliana Barbassa will appear at Williams College on April 5, to discuss the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Summer Games and the challenges facing Brazil as it prepares for international scrutiny. Barbassa will speak at 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. The event is free and open to the public.

Barbassa recently authored her first book Dancing With the Devil in the City of God (Touchstone, 2015), which details the story of Brazil's preparation for the Olympic Games under an intense international spotlight and amid a deep economic recession and politicians and business elite facing serious corruption charges. The book takes readers beyond the superficial tourist knowledge of Brazil's Ipanema and Carnival, and delves into current state of Brazil's social, political, and economic affairs. Barbassa will discuss Brazil, Rio, and the impact the Olympics will have on the country.

Born in Brazil, Barbassa had a nomadic life between her home country and Iraq, Malta, Libya, Spain, and France before settling in the United States. Barbassa began her career with The Dallas Observer, where she won a Katie Journalism Award in 1999 for covering immigration. The work also made her a finalist for the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award. She joined the Associated Press in 2003, and after two more awards from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the APME, she returned to Brazil in 2010 as the AP's Rio de Janeiro correspondent. An expert in Brazilian current affairs, Juliana has also made various appearances on programs such as the BBC, NPR, Public Radio International, and HuffPostLive to discuss such events as the deadly floods, mudslides, the violence in Rio's favelas, and Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Barbassa holds bachelor's degrees in Spanish literature and journalism from University of Texas-Austin and master's degrees in Latin American studies and journalism from UC Berkeley.

The Department of History and the Marcel Pallais Fund are sponsoring this event.

Poet Sonia Sanchez to speak

Poet Sonia Sanchez will visit Williams College on April 12, at 7 p.m. in the '62 Center MainStage to discuss her work as a writer, playwright, and activist. Tickets are available at the box office Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. or by calling 413-597-2425. Sanchez's visit will follow a screening of BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, a documentary about her life. The screening will take place at Images Cinema on Sunday, April 10, at 8 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

For Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. During the 1960s Black Arts Movement, she raised her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Sanchez has received awards including the American Book Award, a P.E.N. Writing Award, the Lucretia Mott Award, and the National Visionary Leadership Award. From 2012 to 2014, she was Philadelphia's first poet laureate. Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.

In BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, a documentary by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, Sanchez's life unfolds with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work. The documentary examines Sanchez's contribution to the world of poetry, her singular place in the Black Arts Movement and her leadership role in African American culture over the last half century.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies.

Udo Schuklenk to give Weiss lecture

On April 12, Williams College will host its annual Weiss Lecture on Medicine and Medical Ethics at 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. This year's lecture will be delivered by Udo Schuklenk, professor of philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. The event is free and open to the public.

During the 2015 Ebola outbreak, international medical humanitarian aid organizations wrestled with the question of whether they should offer experimental medical interventions to patients in emergency medical centers. Schuklenk spent several weeks in Liberia and Sierra Leone during the outbreak, trying to develop an ethics framework that could provide guidance. In his Weiss Lecture address, titled "Catastrophic Illness and Access to Experimental Medical Interventions: Revisiting the 2015 Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak," Schuklenk will discuss the ethical quandries concerning informed consent in epidemic situations, prioritizing patients in randomized placebo-controlled trials over those requiring immediate emergency access, and relying on results from non-human primate experiments to treat humans.

Schuklenk is the joint editor-in-chief of Bioethics, the journal of the International Association of Bioethics, and the founding editor of Developing World Bioethics. From 2009 to 2011 he chaired an international expert panel on end-of-life decision making on behalf of the Royal Society of Canada. He is an author or editor of seven books and more than 150 articles in peer reviewed journals and anthologies. His most recent journal contributions include papers in the American Journal of Public Health on mandatory HIV testing and in the Journal of Medical Ethics on religious symbols in doctors' rooms. Schuklenk holds a Ph.D. from Monash Univeristy in Melbourne, Australia.

The Weiss Lecture is an annual event sponsored by the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences that memorializes the life and work of the late Andrew B. Weiss '61 and his wife Madge Weiss. It promotes discussion of health care, including the economics of health care as well as biomedical and ethical issues.

Author Paul Greenberg to discuss local seafood

Author Paul Greenberg will visit Williams College on April 14, for a talk titled "American Catch: How We Lost and Might Regain Our Local Seafood." This event will take place at 8 p.m. in Paresky Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Greenberg is the author of two books about sustainable seafood. In Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, he explores the state of commercial fishing and aquaculture through comments on four fish that dominate menus: cod, salmon, bass, and tuna. In American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood, he examines New York oysters, Gulf shrimp, and Alaskan salmon to reveal why it is that 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat is imported.

Since 2005, Greenberg has written regularly for The New York Times in the magazine, book review, and opinion sections, focusing on fish, aquaculture, and the future of the ocean. He has been a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow and a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow. In 2011, Greenberg won the James Beard Award for Writing and Literature for Four Fish. He has authored one other novel, titled Leaving Katya.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Environmental Studies and the Class of 1960 Scholars Program in Environmental Studies.


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