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Speaker Series

Diversity in the Heartland

Every year, MacMurray College seeks to bring speakers from across the across the world to visit campus to give voice to a range of different topics, with themes varying from year to year. The theme for the 2013-14 academic year is "Diversity in the Heartland."

All events are held at 7:30 p.m. in Thoresen Recital Hall at the Putnam/Springer Center.

Interpreting services are available and should be requested 72 hours prior to an event. Contact Disability Support Services via email or call 217-479-7123.

For further information about each event, contact the MacMurray College Public Relations Office via email or call 217-479-7027.

"For Farm and Home: Women's Leadership and the Future of Agriculture in the Midwest"
Thursday, September 5

Jenny Barker Devine, assistant professor of history, Illinois College

Women now own half of all Midwestern farm land, and the future of agriculture is in their hands. What can history tell us about where we're headed?

"Making a Home in a Company Town — Beardstown"
Wednesday, October 2

Faranak Miraftab, professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

In Beardstown, IL, a multinational corporation recruited Hispanic and African workers to a small town in the rural Midwest that was previously all-white. In her forthcoming book, Dr. Miraftab explores how the workers and their families tried to make a new home in this heartland company town.

"Voting Rights in Illinois"
Thursday, November 7

A panel of voting rights advocates and lawyers will provide a brief overview of the history of voting rights in the state and discuss the problems facing accessible voting with a focus on racial disparities in Central Illinois.

"Hot Legislative Topics in Rural Health Care"
Thursday, December 5

Margaret Vaughn, executive director and head of government relations, Illinois Rural Health Association

Ms. Vaughn will provide an overview of issues facing rural health providers and how they are trying to address them at the Statehouse.

"How Can You Stand to Defend Those People? - Ethical Issues in Criminal Law"
Thursday, March 6

Theresa Nelson, Cook County assistant public defender, Felony Trial Division

Public Defender Theresa Nelson, a 2001 MacMurray graduate and 2004 graduate of DePaul University College of Law, will talk about how lawyers in the criminal justice system navigate some of the ethical issues they face on a day-to-day basis. Among the topics she will discuss are ethical obligations lawyers have to their clients and to the court and some ways lawyers deal with representing difficult clients.

"The Vaccine Debate in Modern America"
Wednesday, April 2

Mark A. Largent, historian of science, Michigan State University

Despite assurances, parents continue to be haunted by anxieties about vaccines. Dr. Largent, the author of the recent book Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America will talk about why vaccines induce so much anxiety and debate among parents of young children.