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American Studies program sponsors Books and Coffee Series

The Penn State Berks American Studies program is continuing their Books and Coffee Series this semester. These sessions include informal talks on books related to the American experience. All talks are held from 1:00–2:15 p.m. and are open to students, faculty, and staff of the college. Coffee and beverages will be served, and participants are encouraged to bring their lunch.

Dr. Brenda Russell, Associate Professor of Psychology and Applied Psychology program coordinator, will discuss Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, described as an analysis of gender oppression, including sex trafficking, forced prostitution, maternal mortality, and rape, on Monday, March 21, 2011 in the Janssen Conference Center. Greg Mortensen, author of Three Cups of Tea, writes, “It vividly illustrates how women have turned despair into prosperity and bravely nurtured hope to cultivate a bright future.”

Dr. Thomas Lynn, Associate Professor of English and program coordinator for Letter, Arts, and Sciences, will discuss Anthony Lewis's Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment on Friday, April 1, in the Janssen Conference Center. A law professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning ex-New York Times columnist, Lewis explores First Amendment legal quagmires, including libel law, privacy issues, the media’s shielding of confidential sources, obscenity, and hate speech. His story is about the advancement of freedom by the likes of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Louis Brandeis, and others whose bold judicial decisions have shaped the country. The result is a stirring account of America's evolving idea of liberty.
 
Finally, Dr. Edwin Murillo, Assistant Professor of Spanish, will discuss Raul Ramos y Sanchez's debut novel America Libre, a story of racial conflict and oppression set in the Los Angeles of the future, on Monday, April 18, in room 145 of the Thun Library. James Rollins, bestselling author of The Last Oracle, writes, “This debut novel is fast-paced and powerfully written–a story that not only entertains but challenges readers to examine their beliefs.”

For more information on the American Studies Books and Coffee Series, contact Dr. Ray Mazurek, Associate Professor of English and Co-coordinator of American Studies, at 610-396-6176 or via e-mail at RAM2@psu.edu.

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