Climate change, genealogy, and immigration policies are the topics to be discussed as part of the Hoag Lecture Series beginning next week on the University of North Georgia's Gainesville and Dahlonega campuses.
"The Hoag Lecture Series committee is charged with bringing in speakers who have distinguished themselves in their fields," said Dr. Lauren Oliver, committee chair and assistant professor of biology at UNG. "And we want them to talk about current events and topics important to the area."
And, she adds the committee has succeeded. Speakers include Ovie Mughelli, former Atlanta Falcons football player and climate activist; Dr. Elizabeth West, professor of African American studies and English at Georgia State University; and Dr. Nolan Kline, assistant professor of anthropology and co-coordinator of the Global Health Program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Kline will launch the speaker series at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Robinson Ballroom on UNG's Gainesville Campus. The title of his lecture will be "Pathogen policing in polarizing times: Calls to action and needed reform." It stems from his book, "Pathogenic Policing: Immigration Enforcement and Health in the US South," which examines the numerous health-related consequences of immigration enforcement policies and local police practices in Atlanta.
"His work is relevant and deals with current issues about immigration policy enforcement and immigrant health," said Dr. Lauren Johnson, interim department head of Culture, Language and Leadership in the College of Education. "The Gainesville Campus is where we have more students, faculty, and staff who are directly impacted by those issues."
West will deliver her speech at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Special Collections Room of the Library on UNG's Dahlonega Campus. Her teaching and scholarship focus on spirituality and gender in early African American and women's literature and African diasporic literatures of the Atlantic world. Her lecture is tentatively titled "From Hip-Hop to Biography: Sampling as a Method of Academic Research."
Dr. Ian Afflerbach, assistant professor of American literature in the English department, said her lecture will explain the unique way she conducts research using genealogy.
"She is an impressive speaker," he said. "And I want the undergraduate students to see someone who has innovative research."
Mughelli rounds out the trio of speakers with his appearance on Earth Day at 6 p.m. April 22 in the Health and Natural Sciences auditorium on the Dahlonega Campus. The title of his talk is "Battling climate change: Empowering the next generation through green superheroes."
Mughelli started a foundation in 2009 bearing his name with the mission to educate and empower youth to save and sustain the environment. He developed sports programs and gaming tools to teach young children and teens about environmental issues and what they can do to help save the planet. His talk is co-sponsored with Climate Month on the Dahlonega Campus.
Oliver said a question-and-answer period will follow each speech to spark discussion.
"Through the series of speakers, I think people can look at current events from multiple perspectives and think about the topics deeply," Oliver said.