Friday, March 19, 2010

Government and Politics Lecture Series

The Social Sciences Division of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library will feature presentations from scholars in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, as part of its Government and Politics Lecture series,thoughout 2010. The scholars will discuss their recent books, on a wide range of subjects.

On April 27, 2010, the Library will host Dr. Lee Ann Fuji, who will discuss her recent book,  Killing Neigbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda

On May 13th the Library will host a presentation by Dr. John Kenneth White, Barack Obama's America: How New Conceptions of Race, Family, and Religion Ended the Reagan Era.  These lectures will contribute to an engaging learning experience for all who attend.

April 27, 2010 6:30pm Dr. Lee Ann Fuji Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda

In a transformative revisiting of the motives behind and specific contexts surrounding the Rwandan genocide, Lee Ann Fujii focuses on individual actions rather than sweeping categories. Fujii argues that ethnic hatred and fear do not satisfactorily explain the mobilization of Rwandans one against another.

Fujii's extensive interviews in Rwandan prisons and two rural communities form the basis for her claim that mass participation in the genocide was not the result of ethnic antagonisms. Rather, the social context of action was critical. Strong group dynamics and established local ties shaped patterns of recruitment for and participation in the genocide. This web of social interactions bound people to power holders and killing groups. People joined and continued to participate in the genocide over time, Fujii shows, because killing in large groups conferred identity on those who acted destructively. The perpetrators of the genocide produced new groups centered on destroying prior bonds by killing kith and kin.

May 15, 2010 1-3pm Dr. John Kenneth White Barack Obama's America: How New Conceptions of Race, Family, and Religion Ended the Reagan Era

Research and reflections on the American demographic shift that led to the election of President Barack Obama. The election of Barack Obama to the presidency marks a conclusive end to the Reagan era, writes John Kenneth White in Barack Obama's America. Reagan symbolized a 1950s and 1960s America, largely white and suburban, with married couples and kids at home, who attended church more often than not.

Obama's election marks a new era, the author writes. Whites will be a minority by 2042. Obama's inauguration was a defining moment in the political destiny of this country, based largely on demographic shifts, as described in Barack Obama's America.

These lectures will be in the Auditorium of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library at 901 G Street NW. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Talk: "Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East"

As part of the Government and Politics Lecture Series, the Social Sciences Division is pleased to announce that Dr. Nathan Brown will discuss his recent book Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East. Please join us, on April 12, 2010 at 6:30pm, as Dr. Brown, professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at The George Washington University discusses the prospects for democracy, in the Middle East. This book examines this issue in light of the region's sectarianism, culture, religion, security and the promotion of democracy. The book focuses on the challenges of activists, political parties and others working at democratization in the Middle East.

The lecture will occur on April 12, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library 901 G St. N.W. Washington, D.C. Auditorium A-5 (A-Level)