Luncheon Seminars Explore World Affairs

    The Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars explore historical, political and religious topics.
    January 8, 2019

    During the spring semester, the Schemel Forum’s World Affairs Luncheon Seminars at The University of Scranton will expose area residents to timely topics and provide a historical perspective.

    On Monday, Feb. 4, Trudy Rubin, Worldview Columnist with The Philadelphia Inquirer, will present “What to Expect from Trump’s Foreign Policy in 2019.” According to Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum, Rubin’s presentation will address two important questions: Can this new leadership make a difference? And what developments should we watch for in U.S. relations with Beijing, Moscow, Pyongyang and Middle East hot spots this year? “Trudy is a field reporter and global commentator who works ‘in the trenches,’ in the world’s most troubled areas.,” said Myers. The seminar will take place in Redington Hall in Collegiate Hall.

    Brent D. Glass, Ph.D., director emeritus at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, will present “Sing Sing Prison and the History of Criminal Justice: An Illustrated Presentation about One of America’s Iconic Institutions.” Sing Sing is a maximum security prison operated by the New York State Department of Corrections. Dr. Glass said his talk “will review Sing Sing’s extraordinary and largely unknown history, present plans for a new museum there and connect its history to contemporary issues in criminal justice – including sentencing guidelines, prison conditions for men and women, re-entry programs, capital punishment, and parole.”

    “The image of prisons in popular culture was shaped by the films made at Sing Sing in the 1930s. The history of prison reform at Sing Sing is relevant to understanding the national conversation about various criminal justice reform initiatives today,” said Dr. Glass. “Telling the story of Sing Sing Prison will pull the curtain back on these issues and engage the audience in a lively discussion about crime and punishment yesterday and today.” The seminar will take place in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

    On Friday, March 1, “The History of Israel-Palestine: Peering into the Future” will be presented by Hussein Ibish, Ph.D., senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C., and David N. Myers, Ph.D., Sady and Ludwig Kahn professor of Jewish History at UCLA , and president of the New Israel Fund. This fourth in a series of lectures by Dr. Ibish and Dr. Myers will move from an analysis of the history of the conflict to a discussion of future directions. They will lay out a variety of possible scenarios in light of today’s profound crisis of democracy in the world and the region. The seminar will take place in Redington Hall in Collegiate Hall.

    On Thursday, March 21, the World Affairs Luncheon series will welcome Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein, director emeritus of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; senior advisor for strategy and policy for the Union for Reform Judaism; and senior fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s Center for Jewish Civilization. Rabbi Saperstein’s talk, “The State of Religious Freedom in the U.S. and Across the Globe,” will address religious freedom disputes at home and abroad. The seminar will take place in the Kane Forum of Edward Leahy Hall.

    Fredrik Logevall, Ph.D., Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and professor of history, will present “Empathy in Politics: Does it Matter? If So, Why?” on Monday, April 8. Dr. Logevall, who will point to some leaders in American history who had the capacity for empathy and used it effectively. He will ask us to reflect on how we should think about empathy in today’s politics. The seminar will take place in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall.

    The series will conclude on Tuesday, April 30, when Yehudit Shendar, content director and chief curator of the British Holocaust Memorial, will present “The Holocaust: Confronting Evil, Assuming Responsibility.” The United Kingdom’s Holocaust Memorial, under construction, aims both to remember and to encourage reflection on the lessons of the past among British citizens and visitors of all nationalities. The seminar will take place in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall.

    The World Affairs Luncheon Seminar series is sponsored by Munley Law.

    All seminars include a buffet lunch and run from noon to 1:30 p.m. Participants can register to attend one luncheon for $20 per person or $30 per couple, or for the entire series of six luncheons for $110 per person or $160 per couple. Schemel Forum members may attend any or all seminars free.

    To register, contact Alicen Morrison, Schemel Forum assistant, at 570-941-6206 or For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers, Schemel Forum director, at 570-941-4089 or

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