Smile Politely

Listen Up: Oct. 15 – 21

WHAT: Voting Against One’s Own: Local Ethnic Geography and Voting in Ghana,” Nahomi Ichino, Harvard University

WHEN: Monday, October 15 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 404 David Kinley Hall, 1407 West Gregory Drive, Urbana

This is a comparative politics workshop featuring U of I grad student Ashlea Rundlett as a discussant.


WHAT: Agreeableness as the central component of psychopathy,” Don Lynam, Purdue University

WHEN: Monday, October 15 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 819 Psychology Building, 603 E Daniel St, Champaign


WHAT: The Future of Europe and EU-US Relations: A Public Dialogue with the French and German Consuls General from Chicago,” Graham Paul (Consul General, France) and Christian Brecht (Consul General, Germany)

WHEN: Tuesday, October 16 @ 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Heritage Room, ACES Library, 1101 S. Goodwin, Urbana


WHAT: Spatial Dynamics of Private Timber Markets and the Market Power: Efficacy of Government Regulations in Western Himalayas, India,” Pushpendra Rana, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Geography

WHEN: Tuesday, October 16 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews, Urbana


WHAT: The Black Cultural Front Black Writers and Artists of the Depression Generation,” Brian Dolinar

WHEN: Wednesday, October 17 @ 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Illini Union Bookstore — Authors Corner

From the event announcement: “How the aftermath of the Great Depression convinced several African American writers to adopt a leftist outlook The Black Cultural Front describes how the social and political movements that grew out of the Depression facilitated the left turn of several African American artists and writers. The Communist-led John Reed Clubs brought together black and white writers in writing collectives. The Congress of Industrial Organizations’ effort to recruit black workers inspired growing interest in the labor movement. One of the most concerted efforts was made by the National Negro Congress, a coalition of civil rights and labor organizations, which held cultural panels at its national conferences, fought segregation in the arts, promoted cultural education, and involved writers and artists in staging mass rallies during World War II. This book examines the formation of a black cultural front by looking at the works of poet Langston Hughes, novelist Chester Himes, and cartoonist Ollie Harrington.”


WHAT: Between Rome and Jerusalem: Labor and the Law in the 21st Century,” Matthew W. Finkin; Center for Advanced Study Professor of Law

WHEN: Thursday, October 18 @ 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 South Gregory Street, Urbana

From the event announcement: “Should the law distinguish the lease of labor from the lease of a house? Roman law said “no.” Jewish law said “yes.” The debate echoes down the centuries and in America today. By the end of the 1940s, the United States settled upon a modus vivendi: a low statutory floor for wages and hours upon which collective bargaining would build. That experiment, in terms of raising income and achieving fairness at work, enjoyed some success. But collective representation has evaporated in the private sector; and, though the floor of federal protections has been raised, realization is problematic. Legal address to new and pressing problems rests with the states, with piecemeal results; and efforts io privatize public law and to blunt the growth of law abide. Consequently, we are summoned anew to confront an ancient issue: What is the role of the law in the employment relationship? Are we to be Rome — or Jerusalem?”


WHAT: Freedom to Read: Ethnic Studies Under Fire/A Program for Banned Books Week

WHEN: Thursday, October 18 @ 7 p.m.

WHERE: Urbana Free Library, 210 West Green Street, Urbana

From the event announcement: “Last year Arizona passed controversial legislation which essentially outlawed the Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. In January while classes were in session, seven books (including Re-Thinking Columbus and Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement) were “cleared from all classrooms, boxed up and sent to the Textbook Depository for storage,” and teachers in the MAS courses were reassigned and instructed by district administrators to refrain from using books in which “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes.”  Intense debate and public protest followed. Prominent writers, teachers, librarians and activists for intellectual freedom say the case highlights issues of censorship, discrimination, multicultural education, and the targeting of immigrants.”


You live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays when classes are in session.

Related Articles