American Culture

Land Back: The Movement for Indigenous Rights and Decolonization throughout the Americas

Posted: July 30, 2021 at 2:54 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 8:16 pm

Indigenous Peoples throughout North and South America find themselves on the front lines of struggles over natural resources–land, forests, rivers, and subsoil minerals–and they are not shying away from the fight. From Chile to the Arctic Circle, native communities have been organizing for recognition and partnering with allies to protect sacred places. Beyond the ethical […]

A/V requirements: Internet Access, LCD Projector, Screen

Jeremy Campbell

Polarization’s Children: Political Socialization in the Age of Hatred

Posted: July 23, 2021 at 2:46 pm

This is part of an ongoing research project looking at whether polarized parents pass along their hatred to their children. It is derived from a proprietary data set of 1,048 pairs of parents and middle school children.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD, Screen

Jeremy Mayer

Border Security

Posted: July 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm, Last Updated: July 13, 2021 at 3:14 pm

A/V requirements: Internet Access, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera

Critical Race Theory: What Is All The Controversy About?

Posted: June 29, 2021 at 4:55 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 6:18 pm

Critical race theory is an approach to issues of race, social structure, and history that has caused intense disagreement among analysts and activists of various political schools. This talk describes the doctrine analyzes the sources of disagreement about it, and suggests ways of resolving the conflict.

A/V requirements: None

Richard Rubenstein

War and Peace in an Age of Empire: What About China?

Posted: June 29, 2021 at 4:54 pm, Last Updated: June 29, 2021 at 5:04 pm

The speaker’s 2010 book, “Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War,” describes the arguments and images that persuade Americans to consent to wars. It looks as though many of those same propaganda techniques are being used to prepare Americans to accept a war with China. What is causing this and what can be done to […]

A/V requirements: None

Richard Rubenstein

Political Tribalism in America: Causes and Cures.

Posted: June 29, 2021 at 4:52 pm, Last Updated: June 29, 2021 at 5:05 pm

Why do political conflicts in America increasingly resemble ethic, religious, and nationalist struggles that have been fought out violently in many other nations. How can the threat of civil violence in our own country be averted?

A/V requirements: None

Richard Rubenstein

UFOs: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted: June 21, 2021 at 7:48 pm

The concept of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), now called UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena), will be discussed in an historical context. UFO stories, will be presented from history. The current media hype about some recently released photographs will be reviewed within the context of historical examples, within a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes approach.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Harold Geller

Civil War Memorials in Washington, DC

Posted: March 4, 2021 at 5:04 pm, Last Updated: June 29, 2021 at 3:12 pm

This talk considers the design and origins of key Civil War memorials in the Washington, DC, metro area, as well as contemporary debates over their meaning and removal.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Meredith Lair

The Threat to American Democracy and Civil Society: Understanding Influence Operations, Violent Extremism, and the Fractures Spawned by Political Partisanship

Posted: January 15, 2021 at 2:58 pm

On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was attacked by a violent mob in an attempt to disrupt an electoral vote count by a joint session of congress. The Capitol almost fell under the weight of this insurrection. Americans – stunned and frozen in front of their televisions and mobile devices – witnessed a […]

A/V requirements: Internet Access, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen, White Board and Markers

John Villanueva

Current Events

Posted: December 16, 2019 at 8:30 pm, Last Updated: December 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

Immigration, Demographic Change, Populism, Nativism, Backlash, Minority Politics, Islam, Identity Politics, Brexit, White Working Class Voters, United States, Europe, Middle East, Policy Communication

A/V requirements: Internet, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Justin Gest

Is That Really in the Bible?

Posted: June 3, 2019 at 6:45 pm, Last Updated: June 22, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Nearly everybody has a favorite event or story from the Bible. Ruth has collected dozens of them for the class, each with a very different spin than may be customary. The lecture will address love stories in Genesis, and great curses in Deuteronomy, the stories of Deborah and Hannah—two great heroines—will be covered. Several stories […]

A/V requirements: LCD Projector, Screen, Laptop

Steve Ruth

Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Rodney M. Davis (USMC)

Posted: October 17, 2018 at 3:04 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 6:05 pm

My new book, “Sgt. Rodney M. Davis: The Making of a Hero,” is a factual account of the life, death and enduring legacy of Macon, Georgia’s lone Medal of Honor recipient following that fateful afternoon in Vietnam’s Que Son Valley in which his company of 200 Marines desperately tried to withstand an onslaught by an […]

A/V requirements: Internet, laptop

John Hollis

History, Lessons and Legacies of the Vietnam War

Posted: October 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 6:04 pm

This talk considers how the Vietnam War remains influential in contemporary American life.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Meredith Lair

War Memorials on the National Mall

Posted: October 5, 2018 at 7:28 pm, Last Updated: June 29, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Post-pandemic, I can do this as a walking tour on the National Mall. As a talk, I provide historical background about the development of various war memorials on the National Mall, as well as interpretation of their design and meaning in American culture.

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen

Meredith Lair

Meredith Lair

Posted: October 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm, Last Updated: February 16, 2022 at 3:48 pm

Professor Lair’s work examines warfare and its relationship to American society and culture, with particular emphasis on how knowledge and memories of the past are constructed and disseminated over time. She is the author of Armed with Abundance: Consumerism and Soldiering in the Vietnam War, which examines the non-combat experiences of American soldiers in Vietnam. […]

Tyler Cowen

Posted: March 22, 2017 at 3:25 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 5:58 pm

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He is also the Director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Utopian Communities

Posted: September 29, 2014 at 8:05 pm, Last Updated: March 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm

We all dream of living in the perfect society. What is the history of utopianism and what kinds of experiments have there been in the U.S.? Why do a few succeed but most fail? What social conditions make people want to escape into a utopia?

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD, Screen

Mary McCutcheon

Transnational and Transracial Adoption and the Changing Faces of American Families

Posted: September 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm, Last Updated: June 22, 2021 at 5:53 pm

Speaker has completed major project on changing faces of American family. Will discuss multiple impacts of transnational and transracial adoption on family-making in the U.S. Seligmann’s book, Broken Links, Enduring Ties: American Adoption across Race, Class, and Nation (Stanford University Press, 2013) examines the experiences of families who have adopted from China, Russia, and those […]

A/V requirements: Flip Chart, Laptop, LCD, Screen

Linda Seligmann

Sports Industry, NCAA, Sport Governance, Olympics, Sport Management, Sport Diplomacy and Coaching

Posted: September 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm, Last Updated: June 22, 2021 at 5:45 pm

Willing to talk about the sports industry, sports management program at Mason, college athletics, professional sports, youth sports, Sport Diplomacy, the coaching profession, the Olympics, basketball and basketball coaching.

A/V requirements: None

Craig Esherick

Quiet Leadership: Discovering the New Strategic Advantage and the Hidden Talent in Your Organization

Posted: September 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:47 pm

“A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind,” wrote Nelson Mandela in his autobiography. In the United States, leadership is closely connected to charisma and visibility. If you are not […]

A/V requirements: LCD, Screen, Lavalier Microphone, Two Speakers

Tojo Thatchenkery


Posted: September 26, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Introduction to one of the greatest American and world novels. What is it really about?

A/V requirements: LCD, Screen

Roger Lathbury

Hiawatha in History, Legend and Poetry

Posted: September 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 5:58 pm

Most of us know about Hiawatha from Longfellow’s long poem. But there was a historic Hiawatha as well as Iroquois legends embellishing this person’s career. How did Longfellow come to pick Hiawatha for his poem?

A/V requirements: LCD, Screen

Mary McCutcheon

Gentrification in Washington, DC

Posted: September 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm, Last Updated: March 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Gentrification and its impact on inequalities and democratic participation in Washington, DC. From the 1940s to the present.

A/V requirements: LCD, Screen

Johanna Bockman