Schemel Forum’s University for a Day Focuses on America and the World


Area residents will have the opportunity to experience college through an innovative program offered by the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton. University for a Day, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, focuses this year on “America and the World.”

Offered every fall, University for a Day features insights from Scranton faculty members and other experts into a variety of thought-provoking topics – with ample time for discussion. Morning coffee, lunch and a closing reception round out the event, which will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium on the second floor of Brennan Hall on campus.

“University for a Day is our signature event, offering a rich array of food for thought,” said Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton. “This year’s theme celebrates America’s particularity and our changing role in an era of globalization.”

“Since the program falls on Constitution Day, we will open with one of our nation’s preeminent constitutional scholars, Akhil Amar, J.D., Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University,” said Myers.

 Amar’s lecture (as well as his forthcoming book), titled “America’s Unwritten Constitution,” proposes that the U.S. Constitution only begins to map out the fundamental rules that govern modern Americans. He will also answer the question: Once we decide to venture beyond it, how do we start and where do we stop?

Following a discussion with Amar, Joseph Kraus, Ph.D., associate professor of English and theatre at The University of Scranton, will present “Framing Roth.” His lecture traces the career of the prolific author Philip Roth from his early days as the “bad boy” of American Jewish literature to his stature today as one of America’s most distinguished authors.

“Roth’s early works dealt with clear moral dilemmas and contained explicit sexual themes. A lot of readers and critics found that unsettling and saw him as a disruptive, troubling figure,” said Dr. Kraus. “Over the decades, though, he’s won almost every significant literary award and, even more impressively, he has remained on the cutting-edge and managed to sustain his relevance as someone who forces us to think.”

After lunch, University for a Day continues with “Globalization: Its Challenges and Opportunities for an Interdependent World,” presented by David Grewal, Ph.D., J.D., associate professor at Yale Law School and author of “Network Power: The Social Dynamics of Globalization.” Dr. Grewal explores how globalization changes the stakes of today’s most important struggles: for environmental protection, international security and cultural understanding. He asks, “Can globalization be remade, or is it a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process?”

Kathryn S. Meier, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at The University of Scranton, will deliver our final lecture, “Environmental Justice for the 21st Century.” Dr. Meier looks to the period when slavery was largely eradicated in our society to understand how sustainability and human justice have gone hand in hand in America and in the world.

“Social justice and environmental justice are often close companions,” said Dr. Meier. “When nature is exploited for capital gains, so too are vulnerable people groups. When enslaved people helped to extinguish slavery, citizens no longer had the means to exploit land in the same way, being devoid of their former sources of labor, and so sought a new relationship with nature.”

            Seating is limited and reservations are required to attend the Schemel Forum’s University for a Day program. The participation fee is $25 for non-Schemel Forum members.

            To register, contact Kym Fetsko, Schemel Forum events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers at (570) 941-4089 or


The Schemel Forum is a program of participatory learning experiences aimed at cultivating the intellect and the imagination through study and discussion of classical texts and current policies, from the arts, history and philosophy to technology and theology. Founded in 2006 through generous gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, the forum has grown quickly from a handful of informal lectures to a comprehensive enrichment program of study, dialogue, performances and special events. Session fees vary by program.

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