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Author and journalist Mark Harris to speak on WWII era American filmmaking Feb. 7


Lecture will be part of the Center for Ethics’ spring programming on War & Peacebuilding

Thursday, February 2, 2017 03:20 PM

As part of this year’s Center for Ethics programming at Muhlenberg College, Mark Harris will be giving a lecture on American filmmaking and propaganda during World War II.

The talk will be held in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum on Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. Harris will focus on the relationship that developed between Washington and Hollywood following the events of World War II, and how the American film industry changed in the 1960’s.

During this time, filmmakers in Hollywood were strongly encouraged to incorporate into their films talking points approved by the government. The lines between fact and fiction, entertainment and news, began to blur, much like what has been happening recently with what we have deemed “fake news.”

Born in 1964, Harris is an American journalist and author, best known for his book “Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of New Hollywood” and “Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War.” The Yale graduate has been an executive editor and columnist for Entertainment Weekly. In addition, he has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, Slate, Grantland and Fortune. Harris is also married to acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner.

Throughout this spring semester, the Center for Ethics will be hosting a number of other guest lecturers to discuss the “War & Peacebuilding” theme.

Upcoming spring Center for Ethics events include:

Brian Orend lecture

Feb. 20, 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum

Brian Orend is the director of international studies and a professor of philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He is the author of six books, with two more forthcoming. His most acclaimed, and most widely-used, book is “The Morality of War.” The updated second edition was released in Fall 2013, and has attracted expert praise for being “splendid…easily the most important work, in its field, in a generation.”

Pete Giugni presentation and discussion, “Humanitarian Operations in Insecure Environments”

March 14, 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall's Miller Forum

Giugni, Protection of Civilians Delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the Regional Delegation of the United States and Canada, will give a brief presentation and be part of an open discussion that explores his experience of helping to facilitate humanitarian aid in multiple combat zones around the world. He joined the ICRC in 2004 and has worked in various protection and managerial roles in India (Kashmir), Afghanistan (Kandahar, Khost and Faryab), the Philippines (Mindanao) and Tajikistan (Dushanbe).

Michael Kazin lecture, “Should the U.S. Have Fought in World War One”

March 28, 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum

Kazin, author of the recently released "War Against War," will examine the debate over whether the U.S. should prepare for and then declare war on Imperial Germany, which was one of the most contentious and significant in American history. In the early spring of 1917, President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly sided with the pro-war party, and large majorities in Congress endorsed his stand.  A century later, it is difficult to defend what they did.

LVAIC Conference From War to Peace, with presentation by Theatre of War

April 7, 8:30-4, locations around campus
Theatre of War performance at 1:30 in Seegers Union’s Event Space

A talk by Matthew Payne, assistant professor of film, television and theatre at the University of Notre Dame, is being confirmed for the first week of April. Visit the Center for Ethics webpage for up-to-date schedules.

Through thematic lectures and events, the Center for Ethics serves the teaching and study of the liberal arts at Muhlenberg College by providing opportunities for intensive conversation and thinking about the ethical dimensions of contemporary philosophical, political, economic, social, cultural, and scientific issues. In service to its mission, the Center for Ethics hosts special events and programs, provides faculty development opportunities, and provides support for student programming. The Center and thematic programs are directed by full-time faculty members.

Chris Sistare, professor of philosophy and co-director of philosophy and political thought, serves as director; Brian Mello, associate professor of political science, Roland Kushner, associate professor of business, and Jack Gambino, professor of political science, are this year’s program directors.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as selected pre-professional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.