Central College has announced its 2021-22 Lecture Series with a focus on responsible citizenship.
Challenges like political polarization, civil unrest, climate change, economic inequality and a global pandemic all require the ability for respectful dialogue, openness to change, active engagement and complex, interdisciplinary perspectives. Central’s mission calls upon its community to help students “develop values essential to responsible citizenship,” preparing them for “service in local, national and international communities.”
Each presentation will investigate the call to responsible citizenship. All lectures are from 7-8 p.m. in the Boat/Moore rooms of Maytag Student Center and are open to the public. Scheduled presentations are:
Monday, Sept. 27, 2021: “Faith in the Vaccine”
Central faculty members Paulina Mena, associate professor of biology; Oscar Reynaga, lecturer of Spanish; and Paul Weihe, associate professor of biology, will hold a panel discussion with student ambassadors from “Faith in the Vaccine,” an outreach program through Interfaith Youth Corps.
They will discuss the history and science of vaccines; the psychology of risk; whether we have a duty as citizens to be vaccinated; and how to effectively communicate vaccination benefits. This will be an informal and interactive discussion of why “vaccine hesitancy” exists, despite centuries of public health success.
Mena has been with Central since 2009 and is an expert in understanding how organisms adapt to their environment and what role their chromosomal architecture plays in that process. Reynaga is an expert in Latin American and Latina/o literature; Mexican and Chicana/o literature and cultural studies; and film theory and media studies. He has been with Central since 2007. Weihe is an expert in wetland ecosystems, ethnobotany, ecology and environmental science and has been with Central since 1998.
Monday, Oct. 25, 2021: “Toward Understanding Indigenous Iowa: Public Memory, Environmental Methodology, and Putting the Past in Perspective”
Kevin Mason, associate professor of history at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa, will guide a discussion to help Iowans better understand its own past and create a more inclusive and complex historical narrative. Mason will examine public memory, especially as it relates to specific Indigenous leaders like Black Hawk, Wapello and Inkpaduta.
Monday, Nov. 15, 2021: “Nurturing Global Citizenship Through Community-Based Human Rights and Social Justice Education”
Jim Zaffiro, professor of political science at Central, will discuss the value of cultivating a global perspective in the context of a liberal arts education. Offering meaningful opportunities for community engagement and reflection while infusing human rights and social justice education across the curriculum will help prepare students for “service in local, national, and international communities.”
Monday, Feb. 21, 2022: TBD
Monday, March 21, 2022: “Love as Responsible Citizenship in Deuteronomy”
Daniel Vos, lecturer of religious studies at Central, will discuss Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 6 famously calls for its hearers to “love the Lord with heart, soul and strength,” and makes it clear that love connotes choices that will favor or benefit the recipient of that love. In light of this, biblical calls for love of God and neighbor require not merely warm feelings towards those around us, but direct action that will benefit others.
Vos is an expert in biblical studies.
Monday, April 11, 2022: “Pobreza y privilegio en Latinoamérica (Poverty and Privilege in Latin America)”
In this session, Ally Krogstad, professor of Spanish at Central, will examine the situations of several individuals who have attempted to change the culture of exclusion seen in many countries, set against the history of economic and social inequality in Latin America.
Krogstad has been at Central since 1999 and is an expert in Latin American studies, indigenous studies, Latin American literature and colonial studies.