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History Seminar Fall 2016 Schedule

November 30, 2016

Handcuffs and Chain Link: The Criminalization of Undocumented Immigration

Presented by Ben Gonzalez O'Brien

Mexican immigrants have been the target of nativist and racist rhetoric that has painted them alternately as economic threats because of the cheap labor they provide, cultural threats because of a belief that Latino communities in the United States do not assimilate in the same fashion or with the same speed as other immigrant groups, and a suspicion that undocumented immigrants are predisposed to criminality because of how they came to the United States. This latter claim, that Mexican immigrants are likely to be criminals, has been used to justify some of the most restrictive immigration policies and has been a central theme of the Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration. He has characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists and proposed a border wall to keep them out, despite the wealth of data that contradicts this narrative. In this talk, Dr. Benjamin Gonzalez O'Brien examines the historical roots of the criminalization of undocumented immigration, explores the modern rhetoric of criminality, and assesses the claims made by individuals like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President-elect Donald Trump that the undocumented are inclined to criminality.

November 16, 2016

Ancient Societies of Peru: The Lima, the Moche, and the Inca

Presented by Jennifer Jones

Sex. Drugs. Magic. Ritual combat. Human sacrifice. Powerful elites. Awesome outfits. About 1,550 years before Game of Thrones . . .

November 9, 2016

Did the United States Attempt Genocide on Native Peoples? Where are They Now?

Presented by Tanya Powers

Come to History Seminar for a brief overview of the history of the unique relationship between the United States and Native Americans. We will look at culture, land, and where Natives live now.

November 2, 2016

Hollywood and the Home Front

Presented by John Jensen, Former Radio Station Broadcaster and Historian

Learn how the entertainment industry was used by the War Department to build morale with our troops overseas as well as on the home front during World War II. Through rare audio and video clips you'll see and hear how industry moguls, movie stars, radio comedians, and recording artists donated their services to the war effort. We'll also hear an excerpt of a radio broadcast the War Department used to demoralize enemy troops overseas.

October 26, 2016

Politics and the Environment - From the 1970s to Today

Presented by James Peyton, Economics Instructor

Much of what we see in environmental activism today has its roots in the 1970s. Several high-profile environmental disasters set the stage for President Richard Nixon's signing of the National Environmental Policy Act on January 1, 1970. But business interests fought back even as more legislation followed. The modern era of environmental impact statements and court battles came to be. In the succeeding years, environmental issues have remained a battlefield of U.S. politics. The recent examples of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines show how the patterns of the 1970s get repeated.

October 19, 2016

The Rise of the Nazis and the Death of the Weimar Democracy

Presented by Teri Balkenende

Insults and personal slights are par for the course in politics, and sooner or later just about *every* politician gets compared to Hitler for one reason or another. “Another day, another Hitler comparison on the internet,” or so the story goes. But has there ever been an election when the Nazi analogies were quite so prevalent? Is there anything to it?

Who exactly were the Nazis and—other than the anti-Semitism that led them to annihilate 6 million Jews—did they actually stand for anything at all? Were they really socialists? Why did the Germans support them? Could anything so evil ever really happen here? And does Germany’s experience with Nazism have any lessons for American Democracy?

October 12, 2016

Eugenics

Presented by Ivanova Smith

Ask the average person about the “eugenics movement,” and you are likely to get a blank stare. A popular social movement and a dark time in United States history, the eugenics movement took root in the United States in the early 1900s. The term was first coined by Francis Galton, a half-cousin of Charles Darwin.

Ivanova Smith, an Autistic historian, advocate, and educator, will talk about the ways in which people with intellectual/developmental disabilities were criminalized and institutionalized during the American eugenics movement and how eugenics is still being practiced today in many ways.

October 5, 2016

Panama is More than Papers

Presented by Arline Garcia

In April 2016, 11.5 million documents were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca providing information on tax evasion and money laundering by rich and powerful people all over the world, including but not limited to heads of state like Russian’s president, Vladimir Putin. These documents became known as the Panama Papers. Once again, Panama is reduced in the U.S. media to a banana republic, where corruption and scandal are endemic. This presentation will examine some aspects of the complex historical connection between the U.S. and Panama, including the ways that racist discourse in the U.S. has contributed to how countries like Panama are represented in the media. Finally, it will paint a fuller picture of Panama by giving a brief overview of its people, geography, and biodiversity.

 


 

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Page last updated: December 14 2016.

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