What They Said - at Sarah Lawrence Last Semester
October 17, 2007 “Impact of Ghetto Mores, Attitudes, and Lifestyles on American Culture,” hosted by the Diversity Book Club
The truth is, ghetto is a state of mind that celebrates the worst. It’s not okay that when I was looking for a Halloween costume for my daughter, I found pimp and ho costumes in newborn sizes. At my grocery store, the cashier can’t do her job because her acrylic nails are too long to press the keys on the cash register. Our expectations of ourselves and of each other have gotten too low. I wrote this book to shine a light on the things that we’ve become numb to. “Ghetto” is no longer where you live; it’s how you live.
Award-winning journalist Cora Daniels, an expert on diversity and business issues, is the author of Black Power Inc. and Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless.
November 5, 2007 “Democracy in Russia: Local Politics in the 19th Century,” sponsored by the Merle Rosenblatt Goldman Fund to Support International Inquiry
One of the significant developments since the 1991 revolution has been the animation and revival of local centers, prompting an intensive interest in usable pre-Soviet past. This ranges from architectural details on building facades, to anthropologists’ rediscovery of towns, to historians’ interest in restoring regional entrepreneurship. Nuanced documentation from the 19th century shows a remarkable investment in information on the local level. The provincial intelligentsia understood that total knowledge of one’s local world could ultimately result in the capacity to shape it, and to convey its essence to future generations like us.
Dr. Evtuhov is associate professor of history and director of graduate studies in the department of history at Georgetown University. A leading scholar of 19th century Russia, she has co-authored many books on the subject.
November 8, 2007 “The Movement to Fight Factory Farming: One Advocate’s Perspective,” sponsored by Students Promoting the Awareness of Animal Rights
A standard sheet of paper folded by a third represents the meager amount of space that each caged, egg-laying bird has to live in for her entire life. As opposed to merely making us feel good, the growing movement to switch to cage-free eggs leads to tangible results. We’re seeing farmers rip out their cages because customers are unwilling to support such practices. Another thing we can do is to eat more vegetarian food. Even if someone who eats meat every day becomes a vegetarian one or two days a week, it improves the welfare of animals.
Josh Balk is the outreach coordinator for the factory farming campaign of the Humane Society of the United States.
December 5, 2007 “Intersecting Identities: 4 of the Many Faces of Jewish Art Across the Globe,” sponsored by Hillel
The desire to find home, spiritually and literally, has always preoccupied me. I am a Jew from India; I’m also an American living and working in New Jersey. By evoking issues such as identity, immigration, motherhood, and the role of art in social change, my paintings raise questions about what and where home is. In making a mosaic inspired by Indian Persian miniature paintings and also inspired by Sephardic icons from both Christian and Jewish texts, I combine the imagery of my past with the role I play in America, reflecting the cultural boundary zones in which I have lived.
Originally from Bombay, Siona Benjamin’s paintings reflect her Jewish upbringing in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India.