Speaker Series

Since 2007, RIC has sponsored a campus-wide speaker series organized around thematically-driven interdisciplinary initiatives. These international, interdisciplinary, and inter-divisional events provide an ideal forum for bringing together scholars and students from a wide range of disciplines and institutional sites from around the world, as well as various disciplines at Johns Hopkins.

In keeping with its multidimensional commitment to tackling scholarly problems, the RIC speaker series includes a number of special engagements.

Spring 2022

Theme Freedom Education

Ritual of Remembrance

Friday, January 21, 2022, 1pm–2:30pm
Location: Outside of Homewood Museum
Co-sponsored by the Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts, Center for Africana Studies, Center for Social Concern, and Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center

This is a community gathering to remember those who were enslaved at Homewood on the Johns Hopkins University campus and the legacy of Black labor that has made institutions thrive for centuries in America.

Join Urban Foli traditional African drumming and dance, contribute to a participatory art project, hear what researchers have learned of the ancestors’ stories, leave a note on the wall of remembrance, and name the ancestors as people and not slaves on the walk of remembrance. All are welcome.

Why Is Mass Incarceration Booming in the Rural U.S.?

Thursday, March 10, 5pm-6:30pm
Location: Gilman 50
Dr. Jack Norton, Senior Research Associate, Vera Institute of Justice
Co-sponsored by Dept. of Political Science

Drawing on qualitative fieldwork conducted over five years in twelve states, Jack Norton will present an overview of county jail expansion in the rural U.S., examining how local political realignments have coalesced around jail construction and the criminalization of poverty. More information here.

Abolitionist Research: A PhD Professional Development Career Workshop

Friday, March 11, 11am-12:30pm
Location: Mergenthaler 266 
Dr. Jack Norton, Senior Research Associate, Vera Institute of Justice

Jack Norton will lead a workshop on using humanities and social science PhD training to launch a career in a policy research and advocacy to reduce mass incarceration.

Freedom Writers Series

The Freedom Writers program will consider the various sides of clear, direct scholarly writing and intentional, academic obfuscation. Attendees will also look at how writing for the news cycle differs from academic communication, both in voice and in how one describes the workings of power.  There will be four meetings, convened by Dr. N.D.B. Connolly, director of the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship. Meetings will be held in the Berber Room of Charles Commons.

  • February 23: Light Side/Dark Side: Prof. Connolly’s “Star Wars” Approach to Writing
  • March 9: Big Stakes, Few Words: Writing to Busy People
  • April 13: Clarity, Despite Length
  • April 27: Genre, Mastery and Humility

Co-sponsored Spring 2022 Events

  • Center for Africana Studies Speaker Series: The Challenges of Africana Studies 50 Years On
    A Conversation with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
    Thursday, January 27, 2022, 4:00pm-5:30pm
    Location: TBD (hybrid)

    Professor Taylor is a scholar of anti-Black racism, public policy, radical politics, and social movements. She was written three award-winning books, including Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2020. Taylor has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for work on her next book. She is also a recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. Taylor is a contributing writer at The New Yorker.

    Check out RIC’s interview with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, conducted by PhD student Raychel Gadson, in Public Books.
  • Two Decades Later: Islamophobia in the War on Terror
    Panel Discussion
    Thursday, March 31, 2022 5:00pm-6.30pm

    Sponsored by the Program in Islamic Studies

    The Johns Hopkins University Program in Islamic Studies invites you to a virtual conversation on Islamophobia in the United States two decades after September 11, 2001. We focus on a new book by scholar and organizer, Dr. Maha Hilal, who tells the powerful story of two decades of the War on Terror, and how the official narrative has justified the creation of a sprawling apparatus of state violence rooted in Islamophobia and its worst abuses. 

    Dr. Maha Hilal (Researcher and writer on institutionalized Islamophobia and author of Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11)
    Dr. Nazia Kazi (Stockton University)
    Dr. Homayra Ziad (Johns Hopkins University)
    Lubna Azmi (Johns Hopkins University)

Fall 2021

Theme: Freedom Education

Freedom Education: A Launch Celebration for the RIC/Public Books Interview Series 

Thursday, October 14, 2021, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Co-sponsored by JHU Center for Africana Studies
Location: Hodson 210
Panel discussion featuring Raychel Gadson (Political Science) and Pyar Seth (Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies)  

Description: Please join the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship as we celebrate the launch of our new publishing initiative with Public Books, “Freedom Education.” Featuring interviews conducted by JHU graduate students in History, Political Science, and Sociology, this published series includes poet Nikki Giovanni, historian Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, political scientist Michael Hanchard, among four others. The panel will include two of the student interviewers, Raychel Gadson and Pyar Seth, speaking about their experiences conceiving, conducting, and editing their interviews. This panel launches the AY21–22 event series for RIC.  

Living Hopkins Roundtable: Black-Asian Solidarities: Confronting Anti-Black and Anti-Asian Racism

Thursday, November 4, 2021, 5:00pm–6:30pm
Location: Hodson 210
Panel discussion featuring Erin Aeran Chung (Political Science), H. Yumi Kim (History), Minkah Makalani (Center for Africana Studies and History), and Robbie Shilliam (Political Science), moderated by Quinn Lester (Political Science).

Description: The 2021 roundtable seeks to advance the comparative and global study of racial politics through an emphasis on the relations between racialized groups within the United States and beyond. Specifically, the roundtable will explore the historical tensions between Black and Asian communities within various localized contexts, as well as alliances and camaraderie across these differences, helping to develop visions of global, anti-racist solidarity against the rising tide of white supremacy. The roundtable discussion will consider how anti-Black and anti-Asian Racism have historically played out in Baltimore, interrogating the role of institutions such as Johns Hopkins in structuring and enabling the perpetuation of such forms of discrimination, as well as the possibilities of new institutional commitments to interrupt such racism. Panelists will also speak to the omnipresence of anti-Black and anti-Asian racism across the world as global structures of oppression, focusing on these dynamics across the Atlantic World, East Asia, and the Pacific.

Art, Power, Politics: Bridging Divides in Baltimore City 

Thursday, November 11, 2021, 5:00pm-6:30pm 
Location: Hodson 210
Panel discussion featuring Lady Brion (independent artist-activist), Margaret Huey (independent artist), Cori Dioquino (Asian Pasifika Arts Collective), moderated by Alessandro Angelini (Anthropology) 

Description: What is anti-racist art? How can artistic expression embody a force of resistance? What is the importance of aesthetics to power, politics, and social change? This panel discussion brings together Baltimore-based artists, activists, and educators whose work traverses the fields of arts practice and aesthetic theory, engaging issues of social and racial justice. This panel will explore the power of the arts to enact transformative social change, specifically asking how art might be leveraged to bridge divides among racialized groups, especially across the unequal terrain of Baltimore City. The discussion further develops RIC’s programmatic focus for the Fall semester of anti-racist alliances and Black-Asian solidarities.   

Lobbying and Legislative Action to Reduce Incarceration
A PhD Professional Development Career Workshop 

Friday, November 19, 2021 11:00am to 12:30pm
Location: Zoom
Workshop featuring Katy Walker (Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights) in conversation with Christy Thornton (Sociology and Latin American Studies)

Description: Dr. Katy Walker will discuss her work for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, particularly its long-running campaign to abolish sentences of juvenile life without parole. This campaign has achieved significant success in reducing death-in-prison sentences for juveniles, first in 2017 with the abolition of juvenile life without parole for second-degree murder, and again in 2020 with the abolition of virtual life sentences. Despite these gains, the work to achieve complete abolition is ongoing. Dr. Walker will explain how she has used her PhD to guide her legislative work and discuss her experiences working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in Louisiana. She will also address some of the challenges and rewards of working with legislators to overcome strong legacies of racism in the criminal punishment system.

Entangled Solidarities Graduate Symposium

Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Registration required
Graduate Symposium for JHU graduate students

 The theme for this first symposium is Entanglements and Solidarities. Through the symposium, we seek to bring together junior and senior scholars from across the university to build a multidisciplinary coalition of scholars equipped to advance and enrich the study of social justice, broadly construed, at Hopkins. The one-day symposium will allow JHU graduate students to present their work and receive feedback from faculty members and peers affiliated with RIC in an intensive, deeply engaged, seminar-like fashion. The deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, November 5, 2021. RIC is currently planning to provide a small honorarium to graduate students selected to present at the symposium.

Co-sponsored Fall 2021 Events

  • Critical Responses to Anti-Asian Violence Fall Speaker Series
    “On the Politics and Promise of Hate in Anti-Racist Work”
    October 27, 2021, 4:00pm-6:00pm
    Location: Zoom
    Speaker: Kandice Chuh, CUNY, English and American Studies
  • Exhibit
    “Hostile Terrain”
    November 2021–December 2021
    participatory art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project and Dr. Jason De León
    Location: Milton S. Eisenhower Library
    Description: This exhibition offers a visual, forensic and intimate way to think about the human cost of migration and immigration policy along the US-Mexico border. The nature of the exhibition makes possible a visualization of the under-recognized lethal effects of a U.S. immigration strategy unfolding since 1994 known as “Prevention Through Deterrence,” and provides a literal forensics of immigration policy.
    More information about the exhibit here.
  • Critical Responses to Anti-Asian Violence Fall Speaker Series
    “The Bones of Strangers: On Violence, Grief, and Asian-American Kin-making”
    November 10, 2021, 4:00pm-6:00pm
    Location: Zoom
    Speaker: Eileen Chow, Duke University, Chinese and Japanese Cultural Studies
  • Critical Responses to Anti-Asian Violence Fall Speaker Series
    Roundtable: “Building an Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program”
    November 17, 2021, 4:00pm-6:00pm
    Location: Zoom
    Speakers: Ji-Yeon Yuh, Northwestern University, History; Fariha Khan, University of Pennsylvania, Asian American Studies; Heidi Kim, University of North Carolina, English and Comparative Literature
  • Critical Responses to Anti-Asian Violence Fall Speaker Series
    “‘Anti-Asian Violence’ in Conditions of (U.S.) Domestic Warfare: :Toward an Abolitionist Rethinking of Coalition, Intersection, and Justice”
    December 1, 2021, 4:00pm-6:00pm
    Location: Zoom
    Speaker: Dylan Rodriguez, UC Riverside, Media and Cultural Studies 
  • JHU Anthropology Colloquium
    “’So my voice could be heard, even much louder’: Collective Acting and the Politics of Youth Performance in Liberia” 
    December 7, 2021, 4:00pm-5:30pm
    Location: Mergenthaler 426 
    Speaker: Jasmine Blanks Jones, RIC Postdoctoral Fellow 

Spring 2021

Wednesday, February 3 through Sunday, February 7 (afternoons)
JHU Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine Conference: 
Critical Conversations on Reproductive Health/Care: Past, Present, and Future
Details about this major conference here
Co-sponsored by RIC

Thursday, February 18 (11am)
Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship Townhall meeting 
Freedom Education and an Anti-Racist Academy: An RIC Townhall 

Friday, February 26 (3pm) Note New Time!
Johns Hopkins Committee to Establish Principles on Naming
What’s in a Name?: Re-asserting University Values for the 21st Century
Co-sponsored by RIC

Friday, February 26 (all day)
JHU Program in East Asian Studies 
Social Science Research Council Workshop on Chinese Diasporas and Transnational Public Sphere in the Long Twentieth Century (the 2nd workshop): Colonial and Postcolonial Diasporas in the Indo-Pacific-Australian Space
Co-sponsored by RIC 

Friday, March 12 (11am)
Provost’s Professional Development Innovation Initiative
Co-sponsored by Latin America in a Globalizing World

Thursday, March 25 (2pm)
JHU Program in East Asian Studies 
Anti-Asian Violence and Anti-Racist Coalition Building: A Roundtable Discussion on the Atlanta Shootings
Co-sponsored by RIC, Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS), and the Department of History’s Black World Seminar

Thursday, April 1 (4:15pm)
JHU 21st Century Cities Initiative 
Short-term Rentals and the Right to Housing
David Wachsmuth, Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance, McGill University
Co-sponsored by RIC

Thursday, April 8 (7:00pm)
Inside Look: A Conversation with Undergraduates about Education in Prison
Heather Furnas, JHU Sheridan Libraries
Contact ricjhu at jhu dot edu for Zoom details
Co-sponsored by JHU Jail Tutorial Project

Thursday, April 22 (8:00pm)
JHU Foreign Affairs Symposium: Where Do We Go From Here?
Angela Y. Davis
Co-sponsored by RIC

Wednesday, May 19 (1:00pm)
Palestine is Burning, An Emergency Debriefing
Toufic Haddad, Author and Researcher
Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame
Nadeem Karkabi, University of Haifa
Moderated by Arpan Roy, Johns Hopkins University
Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Islamic Studies

Fall 2020

Thursday, October 22, 6:00pm–7:30pm
“Education in Prison”
Jessica Neptune (Bard Prison Initiative), Kaitlin Noss (NYU Prison Education Program), Amy Roza (Goucher Prison Education Partnership), moderated by Vesla Weaver (JHU Political Science/Sociology)

Saturday, November 7, 6:00pm-8:00pm
“‘Daughters of the Movement’: a song in a weary throat,” co-sponsored by JHU Alexander Grass Humanities Institute
Panelists: Hasna Muhammad, Stacy Renae Lynch, Gina Belafonte, Suzanne Kay, Ilyanah Shabazz, Dominique Sharpton, Keisha Sutton James 
Moderator: N.D.B. Connolly (JHU History/RIC)

Thursday, November 19, 3:00pm-5:00pm
“After Redlining,” co-sponsored by JHU 21st Century Cities Initiative, Social Policy Workshop
Rebecca Marchiel (University of Mississippi) in dialogue with N.D.B. Connolly (JHU History/RIC)

Spring 2020

A Tale of Two Letters: Toward an Understanding of Retrenchment, Immigration, and Citizenship

Nathan Connolly, JHU
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 5-6:30pm
Glass Pavilion

Iran Teach-in

Jamal Abdi, National Iranian American Council
Niloofar Haeri, JHU
Abbas Barzegar, George Mason University
Thursday, February 6, 5-7pm
Gilman 50
Co-sponsored by JHU Program in Islamic Studies

Living Hopkins Roundtable
White __________: Naming Racism, Violence, and Power

Heidi Beirich, The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
Iris Barnes, Maryland Lynching Project
Marc Steiner, Center for Emerging Media
Robbie Shilliam, JHU
Friday, February 21st, 2-4 pm
Mergenthaler 111

Hopkins Counts: Everything You Need to Know About Census 2020

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, JHU
Austin Davis, City of Baltimore
ME Hughes, JHU SPH
Monday, February 24, 6pm-7:30pm
Glass Pavilion
Co-Sponsored by JHU President’s Office, 21st Century Cities Initiative
Join us for free pizza, t-shirts, and other swag and learn about the importance of JHU students to Census 2020 in Baltimore!

Book Discussion

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the Antebellum South
Stephanie Jones-Rogers, UC Berkeley
Tuesday, February 25, 12-3 pm
Gilman 308
Co-Sponsored by the Black World Seminar, Department of History

Richard Macksey Lecture
“This Sack”: Reconstructing Enslaved Women’s Lives Through Objects

Tiya A. Miles, Harvard
Friday, March 6, 3-5pm
Eisenhower Room, Hopkins Club
Co-Sponsored by Alexander Grass Humanities Institute

Pedagogy Workshop
How to Teach about Racism, Sexism, and White Supremacy

Nathan Connolly, JHU
Jared Hickman, JHU
Thursday, March 12, 12:15-1:45pm
Mergenthaler 366

Refugees in Baltimore: A View from the Front Lines

Ruben Chandrasekar, Executive Director, International Rescue Committee in Baltimore and Silver Spring
Ilil Benjamin, JHU
Monday, March 30, 5-7pm
Arellano Theater
Co-sponsored by Latin America in a Globalizing World and Program in International Studies

Just Added
Foreign Affairs Symposium

Angela Y. Davis
Thursday, April 16, 8-10pm
Shriver Hall Auditorium
Co-sponsored by Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

RIC Annual Conference
Retrenchment // Entrenchment: Exclusion in a Time of ‘Crisis’

April 17-18, 2020
More information here

Fall 2019

Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers

David FitzGerald, UC San Diego
Thursday, Sept. 12, noon-1:30 p.m.
Mergenthaler 526
Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology

American Concentration Camps: A Teach-In

Jonathan Katz, New America Foundation
Seth Michelson, Washington & Lee University
Melisa Carolina Argañaraz, Sanctuary Streets Baltimore
Friday, Sept. 13, noon-5 p.m.
Great Hall, Levering
Co-sponsored by the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, Latin America in a Globalizing World, Urban Landscape Humanities Initiative of Garden & Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks

Fellowship Application Workshop

Stuart Schrader
Christy Thornton
Friday, Sept. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Merganthaler 366

SOLIDARITIES: Anthropology Graduate Student Conference

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21
Co-sponsored by the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, Islamic Studies, East Asian Studies, Women & Gender Studies

Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook Film Screening

Michael Kasino, director, 2018
October 1
Co-sponsored by Film & Media Studies

Comparative Perspectives on Free Speech and Trademarks: The U.S. Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam

Ilhyung Lee, University of Missouri Law School
Friday, Oct. 11, noon-1:30 p.m.
Mergenthaler 266
Co-sponsored by East Asian Studies

Racism, Immigration, and Populism in the Americas

Thea Riofrancos, Providence College
George Ciccariello-Maher, Decolonizing Humanities Project, College of William & Mary
Moderator: Bécquer Seguin, JHU
Monday, Oct. 14, 6-8 p.m.
Hodson 213
Co-sponsored by Latin America in a Globalizing World

Stand With Kashmir Teach-In

Hafsa Kanjwal, Lafayette College
Mona Bhan, Syracuse University
Nosheen Ali, Institute for Ecological Studies, Pakistan
Friday, Nov. 1, 2-4 p.m.
Great Hall, Levering

Living Hopkins Roundtable [Postponed until Spring]

Friday, Nov. 8, 3-5 p.m.
Great Hall, Levering

Hazel V. Carby, Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands

Book discussion with the author
Tuesday, Nov. 19, noon-2 p.m.
Gilman 308
Co-sponsored by the Black World Seminar, Department of History

Spring 2019

Now, Later Never: Candlelight Protests and Queer Futurity

Judy Han
UCLA, Gender Studies
Wednesday, March 6, noon-1:30 p.m.
Mergenthaler 266
Co-Sponsored by East Asian Studies Program and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program

Murder and Mattering in Harambe’s House

Claire-Jean Kim
UC Irvine, Political Science
Thursday, March 7, 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Mergenthaler 366
Co-Sponsored by Political Science Department

Living Hopkins Roundtable: Policing our Communities

Chair: Vesla Weaver, Johns Hopkins University
Participants: Tara Huffman, Open Society Institute-Baltimore; Lawrence Grandpre, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle; Mira Wattal, Students Against Private Police
Thursday, March 14, 4-6 p.m.
Mattin 160

The Dictatorship of Capital: Urban Redevelopment and the Question of Violence in Post-Authoritarian South Korea

Hae Yeon Choo
University of Toronto, Sociology
Tuesday, March 26, noon-1:30 p.m.
Mergenthaler 266
Co-Sponsored by East Asian Studies Program and the Sociology Department

Decolonial Daughter: Letters from a Black Woman to her European Son

Book Talk: Lesley-Ann Brown
Tuesday, April 2, 3-5 p.m.
Location TBD
Co-Sponsored by the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program and the International Studies Program

Queering Deportability: The Politics of Lesbian Migrant Anti-Deportation Activism

Rachel Lewis
George Mason University, Women and Gender Studies
Wednesday, April 3, 4:15-6 p.m.
Gilman 17
Co-Sponsored by the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program and the International Studies Program

8th Annual Graduate Student Conference: Eyes on Surveillance: (In)security in Everyday Life

Keynote: Bernard Harcourt
Columbia University
Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6

Race Realism and U.S. Globalism

Nikhil Singh
New York University, History
Wednesday, April 24, 4:15-6 p.m.
Mergenthaler 366

Fall 2018

(Gay)panic Attack: Coming Out in a Colorblind Age

David Eng
University of Pennsylvania, English
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 5 p.m.
Gilman 400
Visiting Distinguished Professor Lectures

Absolute Apology, Absolute Forgiveness

David Eng
University of Pennsylvania, English
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 5 p.m.
Gilman 400
Visiting Distinguished Professor Lectures

Not in My Neighborhood

Documentary Directed by Kurt Orderson
Film screening and panel discussion with director
Thursday, Oct. 11, 6 p.m.
Hodson 110
Co-Sponsored with the Arrighi Center

RIC Fall Reception

Friday, Oct. 12, 2-4 p.m.
Mergenthaler 252

An Ethics of Toxic Apprehension

Vanessa Agard-Jones
Columbia University, Anthropology
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 4-6 p.m.
Mergenthaler 439

Race, Across Time and Space

David Eng
University of Pennsylvania, English
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 5 p.m.
Gilman 400
Visiting Distinguished Professor Lectures

Labors of the Counter-Present: Abortion and Reproductive Life in Mexico

Amy Krauss
Princeton University, Postdoctoral Fellow, Global Health Program
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 4-6 p.m.
Mergenthaler 439

Asian Americans and the Color Line

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 3–4:30 p.m.
Shaffer Hall 101

The Developmental Migration State

Erin ChungDarcie Draudt, and Yunchen Tian
Johns Hopkins University, Department of Political Science
Thursday, Nov. 29, 4:14–5:45 p.m.
Mergenthaler 366
Co-Sponsored with the Department of Political Science