CNISS announces spring lecture series

Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for New Institutional Social Sciences (CNISS) Spring 2012 Seminar Series kicks off Monday, Jan. 30, with a lecture by social advocate and rabbi Tsvi Blanchard.

The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are at noon in Seigle Hall, Room 170, on the Danforth Campus. To attend, RSVP to

Tsvi Blanchard, PhD, director of Organizational Development at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) and the Meyer-Strukman Professor of Jewish Law at the Humboldt University Law Faculty-Berlin, will present “Courts, Coercion, and Culture: The Meaning of Religion in Public Spaces.”

Blanchard is a longtime social advocate, psychologist, teacher and rabbi who has been in the forefront of promoting inclusive, vital Jewish communities in the 21st century.

An expert in community and leadership development, he is a recognized leader in the Jewish healing movement. In addition to his work on issues of ethics, healing, spirituality and the environment, he is an active voice for CLAL’s mission of religious pluralism and diversity and a participant in the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding.

On Feb. 20, Swaran Singh, PhD, professor at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation, and Disarmament at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, will present “Multilateralization of China India Relations.

Singh’s research includes issues of arms control and disarmament, war and peace, defense, China’s foreign policy, and India-China and India-Pakistan confidence building.

Singh serves as general secretary for the Indian Congress of Asian and Pacific Studies and president of the Association of Asia Scholars.

On Feb. 27, Vusal Gasimli, PhD, senior research fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies for the president of Azerbaijan, will present “Social-political, Economic, and Legal Parameters of the Middle Class in Azerbaijan.”

Gasimli’s research areas include macroeconomics, international economic relations and agricultural economics.

On Feb. 27 and 28, CNISS will co-sponsor the Work and Livable Lives Conference at WUSTL.

The conference will address U.S. employment-related challenges and how these limit the ability of households to lead secure and stable lives, raise children successfully and contribute to the community. With a focus not just on problems, but also constructive solutions, the conference also will explore and propose policies for employment supports, health care and job creation.

The conference is co-sponsored by Washington University’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital, the Center for Social Development, the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, and American Culture Studies in Arts & Sciences.

On April 2, Ashley Evans, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in African and African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences, will present her research that specifically examines the ways in which African-American college students’ gendered experiences of racial discrimination are relevant to their achievement outcomes.

On April 16 (tentative), CNISS will co-sponsor a panel discussion featuring Sam Olens, JD, attorney general of Georgia, and Chris Koster, JD, attorney general of Missouri. The discussion is co-sponsored by the WUSTL School of Law.

On April 23, Clarissa Hayward, PhD, associate professor of political science in Arts & Sciences, will present “Justice and the American Metropolis.”

Hayward is co-editor of a recent volume examining today’s American cities and suburbs as sites of “thick injustice” — unjust power relations that are deeply and densely concentrated, as well as opaque and seemingly intractable. She argues that thick injustice is hard to see, to assign responsibility for and to change.

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