GerShun Avilez of University of North Carolina will deliver a lecture in October

Every academic year, Cornell University attracts some of the brightest minds from around the world to speak to gathered audiences. The lecturers, whose backgrounds and work span a diverse range of areas, impart their knowledge to students and residents alike. The following lectures highlight the many captivating guests invited to the university this fall. 

“Farmer Suicides and Food Sovereignty: Synthesizing Insights from the Political Ecologies of Health and Education.”

Friday, September 14 at 3:00 p.m. 

Cornell will welcome David Meek of the University of Oregon to Warren Hall. From 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., Meek, an assistant professor in the Department of International Studies, will present to the audience: “Farmer Suicides and Food Sovereignty: Synthesizing Insights from the Political Ecologies of Health and Education.” The lecture will discuss how an unreliable commodity market and the corporate food regime are leading to a worldwide escalation in farmer suicides, and present research on how Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) developed in India can mitigate this issue. 

“Under Fire: A White House Reporter’s View”

Thursday, September 20 at 5:00 p.m.

Prominent reporter April Ryan will give the annual Daniel W. Kops Freedom of the Press Lecture in the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium at Klarman Hall. Ryan has been the White House bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks since January 1997, and in 2017 she became a political analyst for CNN and was dubbed “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists. An author as well, Ryan’s latest book Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House will be released on Sept. 1. She has also written The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Four Presidents and Race in America (2017) and At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White (2016). The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing. 

“Locking up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America”

Thursday, October 4 at 4:30 p.m.

Yale Law School professor James Forman Jr. will present his debut publication at the Alice Statler Auditorium, dealing with certain aspects of mass incarceration. Titled Locking up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, the book received 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and has been named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, The Marshall Project, Publisher’s Weekly, and GQ Magazine, among others. The lecture will be presented by the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences’ 2015-2018 Mass Incarceration Project. Afterward, there will be a reception and book signing in the atrium. 

“Fugitive Movement: Queer Vulnerability in the Black Diasporic Imaginary”

Tuesday, October 16 at 4:30 p.m.

GerShun Avilez will examine the effects of social and geographic restrictions on racial and sexual minorities, how they create a state of vulnerability, and how black queers innovatively circumvent these restrictions to display their agency in a free lecture at Goldwin Smith Hall. Avilez is the director of the Program in Sexuality Studies and an associate professor in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is also a cultural studies scholar with a specialization in African American literature and visual culture, and the art of the Black Diaspora. His 2016 book Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism won the Modern Language Association’s 2017 William Sanders Scarborough Prize. 

To learn about more intriguing lectures at Cornell this fall, visit the university’s online events calendar.•


Freelance Reporter

Austin Lamb is a freelance reporter, copy editor, and social media manager. Austin is a 2018 LACS graduate and will attend Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2019.

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