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Contact: Dr. Christopher Ciochetti, Department of Philosophy, 318-869-5246, or Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Social, Philosophical Issues Forum Addresses Race during Jan. 27, Jan. 29 and Feb. 10 Public Events at Centenary College

Dr. Ron Mallon

SHREVEPORT, LA – The Forum, a joint project of three Centenary College organizations, will address the issue of “Race” during a three-part public program beginning Jan. 27.

“Each year, for a month, the campus turns its attention to a social issue,” said Dr. Christopher Ciocchetti, assistant professor of philosophy. “We choose a topic, and invite scholars to present opposing points of view, but in the end,” he added, “the students have the last word.”

Dr. Charles Gallagher

The Forum will present philosopher Ron Mallon of the University of Utah on Jan. 27 and sociologist Charles Gallagher on Jan. 29. Their presentations will be followed by student responses in the student newspaper and at a Feb. 10 program. All three events will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in Kilpatrick Auditorium, located in the Smith Building. Each is free and open to the public.

“Racism is repugnant,” Ciocchetti said. “But, before we can reject racism, we need an account of race. What does it mean to say that someone is black or white? Are we referring to biological features, social institutions or some combination of the two? Are races real or just an illusion? Does the meaning of ‘race’ affect how we think of racial equality?’

Dr. Mallon’s research focuses on naturalistic understandings of culture and the mind. In his local presentation, he will argue that there cannot be a univocal, social constructionist account of race.

Dr. Gallagher, who specializes in race relations, urban studies and inequality, will focus on race as a socially constructed phenomena.

Students will be able to respond to the speakers’ theories during the Feb. 10 program.

The Forum at Centenary is a joint project of the Sociology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta; the Philosophy Discussion Group; and the History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta, with assistance from the Convocations Subcommittee and the Women’s Endowment Quorum. The previous Forum examined “Faith-based and Community Initiatives.”

For further information, contact Dr. Ciocchetti, Department of Philosophy; Michelle Wolkomir, Department of Sociology; or Dr. Karin Breuer, Department of History and Political Science.

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