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Department of Social Sciences
Social Sciences Lecture Series
In 1942, the Vichy Government of occupied France held a show trial that failed. This talk will examine the reasons for this failure by investigating the ideological origins of the trial in the interwar period. We find that those most responsible for Vichy’s trials had been heavily motivated by the desire for a more technocratic France, and that the failed Cour Suprême at Riom was heavily influenced by the example of the supposedly apolitical US Supreme Court. The circumstances of 1940, however, altered what had originally been an attempt to defend and deepen French democracy by establishing an apolitical body devoted to the defense of fundamental rights into – paradoxically - a partisan attack on partisanship. The individuals who inspired the Riom Trial had wanted to break from what they saw as the Third Republic’s intrusion of politics into the apolitical spheres of justice and administration. Yet the fact that the burning question of 1940 was the military defeat meant that the new court would devote itself not to the defense of uncontested individual rights – or even the rather more contested category of property rights – but to the establishment of a new category of wrongs: “Treason by negligence.” In practice, this category meant trying the leaders of the late Republic for having adopted incorrect (“negligent”) policies. Thus the French interwar pursuit of apoliticism resulted in the most political trial in the nation’s history.
Most people have heard the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but do we really want other people correcting our children? Are parents the sole arbiters of their child’s growth and development, or should other adults in society play a role? Non-parental discipline (NPD) is the correction of children by a person other than a parent or guardian. Many parents have experienced someone other than themselves (or the other parent) correcting their child’s behavior. This raises questions of how parents react to others disciplining their children, why they react the way they do, and how the specific situation influences their reaction.
October 2, 2014, José Alvarez, Associate Professor of History, UHD
“At 1700 Hours on the 17th: the Spanish-Moroccan Origins of
the Spanish Civil War”
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. in main building, room N-1099.
This paper examines the pivotal role of Spain’s “Army of Africa” in a pronuciamiento that sparked the Spanish Civil War. While the bulk of the planning for the coup was conducted by General Emilio Mola in Pamplona, he agreed that it would not succeed without the cooperation of the best trained and equipped military troops in the Spanish Army at that time: the battle-tested “Army of Africa.” This paper details the major players in the conspiracy, how the conspirators organized and plotted in the major towns of the Moroccan Protectorate, and how they were able to overcome minimal opposition. With the rebels in control of the Protectorate, the invasion of the Peninsula by these elite forces, by air and sea, could proceed in conjunction with successful military uprisings in some of the major cities and regions of Spain.
October 15, 2014, Kristin Anderson, Professor of Psychology, UHD
“The End of Men, the Boy Crisis, and the Privilege to
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. in main building, room N-1099.
Anderson has followed the “boy crisis” in education and popular culture for 15 years, as well as the more recent narrative constructing boys and men as victims of feminism. In this talk, she critiques the boy crisis/end-of-men discourse and offers an alternative account of the faddish but inaccurate belief that girls and women are making disproportionate gains in education and media at the expense of boys and men.
How do college students come to make decisions about their college majors and post-graduation plans? A dominant cultural narrative about career choice is that young men and women choose fields that are self-expressive and for which they have “passion.” Cech asks, how might this passion narrative actually serve as a cultural mechanism of inequality reproduction? Drawing on survey data and qualitative interviews, her talk will explore the ways that the passion narrative undergirds occupational sex segregation and may constrain social mobility.
Rwanda and the lesser known Burundi have been intertwined with one another in the ongoing trauma of colonization and genocide. Scholars have argued that identity claims for the Hutu and Tutsi in both nations arose from colonization and were cemented politically at the moment of independence. In every way, these nations have trod the same violent path leading to genocide in the 1990s, but their paths diverged dramatically. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide period in both countries. I answer the question: Why did the genocide stop in Rwanda and not in Burundi? The answer: Rwandan identity changed from one of ethnicity to one of nationality--Rwandese--while ethnic cleavages remain in tact in Burundi. How did this happen? The theory of cultural trauma can explain.
Contact Claude Rubinson for more information on the lecture series.
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Last updated or reviewed on 12/11/14