Lecture spotlight: ‘Postgenomic Condition’; ‘Street Art’; ‘Will Race Always Matter?’

“The Postgenomic Condition: Truth, Race and Justice After the Genome” by Jenny Reardon, professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
5-6:30 p.m. March 5, 501 Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: The political theorist and public intellectual Hannah Arendt worried in her classic text, “The Human Condition,” that the rise of mathematics and technological “proof” would threaten public capacities to speak and think, and thus to decide, the meaning and purposes of collective life. In this talk, Reardon considers the need to attend to Arendt’s concern in the wake of the rise of genomics and its importation of big data and mathematics into the heart of the life sciences. What new challenges do –omics big data style modes of analysis present to “our” capacities to think and speak about human differences, and “our” abilities to critically address questions of race and social justice?  Who are “we” becoming as we attempt to answer this question?


“Development of Street Art as Community” by Ricardo Klein, professor of sociology, University of Valencia, Spain
Noon-1:30 p.m. March 16, 4130 Posvar Hall

This talk will share experiences of communities in Latin America with respect to the role that street art plays as an artistic tool for these regions. At the same time, it will explain how, through these initiatives, such art develops strategies for recognition and legitimation of communities, generating new collective spaces for participation.


American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series: “Will Race Always Matter?” by Larry E. Davis, dean emeritus of the Pitt School of Social Work
7:30-8:30 p.m. March 18, University Club, ballroom B

During his 17 years as dean, the School of Social Work moved into the top 10 in national rankings and he became the founding director of Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems, the first such center in any American school of social work. Davis is a widely acclaimed author and speaker, who has addressed audiences throughout the country. In his most recent book, “Why Are They Angry With Us? Essays on Race,” he says, “Race is what I always have thought most about. In fact, I have been thinking about race as long as I can remember thinking about anything.” His talk is co-sponsored by the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy and the University Honors College. Register for the talk here.


Pitt Education Alumni Lecture: “We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching And The Pursuit Of Educational Freedom” by Bettina L. Love
5:30-7 p.m., March 19, William Pitt Union

Love is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia and is an author. She is also a two-time Pitt alumna, and completed her Master of Education in in Pitt’s School of Education. RSVP here.