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Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks

Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, but that system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it. The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology. If we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright­­—to promote progress, for the benefit of the public­­—then we must make changes in the other direction.

Presenter: Richard Stallman
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 • 7:00 pm
Meese Auditorium, Art Building, SOU Campus

For a Free Digital Society

Activities directed at ``including’’ more people in the use of digital technology are predicated on the assumption that such inclusion is invariably a good thing. It appears so, when judged solely by immediate practical convenience. However, if we also judge in terms of human rights, whether digital inclusion is good or bad depends on what kind of digital world we are to be included in. If we wish to work towards digital inclusion as a goal, it behooves us to make sure it is the good kind.

Presenter: Richard Stallman
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 • 3:30 pm
Science 118, Science Building, SOU Campus

Theatre: Civil and Uncivil

Often seen as a progressive art form today, theatre has a rich history of communicating cultural values and reflecting public life. This lecture will explore the many functions of theatre as both an expression of cultural civility and as the uncivil messenger of theoppressed. The discussion will include classicism as a vehicle of religious and cultural dogma, modernism as a culturally oppositional art form, and postmodern theatre as an attempt to observe and reflect in a consciously subjective world.

Presenter: Dr. Eric Levin, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, SOU
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 • 7:00 pm
Meese Auditorium, Art Building, SOU Campus

Civility, Religion and Politics

In the United States, it is not an exaggeration to say that there has been an uneasy relation between religion and politics from the founding to the twenty-first century. Public discourse about this subject is contentious and sometimes less than civil. Presidential election seasons seem to spotlight the topic, whether it is John Kennedy’s Catholicism or Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. This discussion aims to clarify some thorny issues that muddle the debate and provide a forum for a civil conversation between religion and politics in our culture.

Presenter: Ted Bennion, Multi-stake Public Affairs Director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the southern Oregon region
Thursday, April 19, 2012 • 7:00 pm
Meese Room, Hannon Library, SOU Campus

Going Global: Developing Empathy in Young Readers through Global Literature

Global literature transports readers to places they might never visit otherwise, to moments in history they can experience vicariously. Reading and interacting with global literature connects young people intellectually, imaginatively, and emotionally with multidimensionalcharacters and events. For young readers, emotional engagement infiction and non-fiction sparks curiosity and lights the flame of consciousness that leads to empathy for others.

Presenters: SOU Professors Charlotte Hadella and Steve Thorpe, who co-teach a course for English and Education majors in Teaching Global Perspectives through Children’s Literature
Thursday, May 3, 2012 • 7:00 pm
Meese Auditorium, Art Building, SOU Campus

The Sources of American Conduct Co-sponsored by The Frank J. Van Dyke Endowed Lecture Series

In 1947, George Kennan published a famous article called “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” In the article he tried to explain why the Soviets did what they did in the world, while suggesting a US response. This lecture will try to do something comparable for the United States in the present moment, emphasizing (as Kennan did) ideology and “circumstances,” i. e., geopolitics, along with a third factor that Kennan did not include, namely entrenched habit.

Presenter: Dr. Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations vand History at Boston University
Thursday, May 17, 2012 • 7 pm
Music Recital Hall, Music Building, SOU Campus



Winter Term 2012 Events in the Civility Series

Southern Oregon University begins discussion of this year’s campus theme, “Civility,” with the visit of Judge John Jones, our featured speaker for this term, on October 13-14. Judge Jones, was appointeda federal judge by President George W. Bush. In 2005, he presided over the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, after which he held that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design within a public school science curriculum. In 2007 Judge Jones and the Kitzmiller case were featured in the two-hour Nova special "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," televised nationally by PBS. In May 2006 Judge Jones was named by Time Magazine as one of its Time 100, the one hundred most influential people in the world. For topics and times for Judge Jones' lectures, see below, or click here.


Celebrating Dissent and Nonviolent Civil Protest: Exploring the Role of Nonviolent Action and Civil Disobedience in the Emergence of Civility

When civil order alienates citizenry, civil unrest and social change movements tend to emerge to challenge it. These movements also use social media, news media, and popular appeal to their advantage. Power struggles are most visible between civilians and law enforcement. The rules of engagement change over time, as society and its struggles change. In this community dialog, panelists will explore these topics from diverse perspectives.

Panelists: SOU Professors Jonathan Lange (Communication), Lee Ayers (Criminology & Criminal Justice), and Steven Jessup (Environmental Studies).
Thursday, January 12, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Meese Room, SOU Hannon Library


Gang-related Crime Trends in Southern Oregon and Prospects for Hope

In 1996, a gang-related homicide shocked Southern Oregon into the realization that Southern Oregon is not immune to gang-related crime. In 2009, shortly after a second gang-related homicide, several agencies joined together to establish the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team or MADGE. The area has seen a large influx of the California-based gangs, Norteños and Sureños, along with a small yet growing Juggalo gang population as well. With an increasing level of gang-related criminal activity in Jackson County, MADGE gang investigators will discuss current trends, law enforcement's concerns, and opportunities and approaches to alleviate gang activity.

Presenters: Sgt. Kevin Walruff, Medford Police Department; Officer Ian McDonald, Medford Police Department; SOU Associate Professors of Criminology, Brett Johnson and Lee Ayers.
January 19, 7:00 p.m.,  SOU/RCC Higher Education Center, Medford, Presentation Room (132)


Civility, Competition, and Communication

Global competition, emerging technologies, and increased communication have dramatically changed the way business is done. Business civility defines the standards of behavior expected in employee/employer interactions and consumer/investor dealings. Three SOU School of Business professors examine the social responsibilities and ethics occurring within businesses today.  External accountability to the world community and internal responsibilities will be debated. These dual, and sometimes opposing, obligations to people will be scrutinized as the business community considers how to civilly compete and communicate. 

Panelists: John Bowling, PhD, Organizational Consultant and SOU Master in Management coordinator; Steve Schein, MA, CPA, and founder of ResortQuest International, Inc;  and Cynthia Scherr, MBA, MTS, and Principal, Scherr Management Consulting.
Wednesday, February 15, 5:30 p.m., Meese Room of the Hannon Library, Reception to follow in Central Hall


HOT COFFEE: Is justice being served?

Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman put it on one of his Top Ten lists. More than 15 years later, the McDonald’s coffee case continues to be cited as a prime example of how citizens use “frivolous” lawsuits to take unfair advantage of America’s legal system. But is that an accurate portrayal of the facts? First-time filmmaker and former public interest lawyer Susan Saladoff uses the infamous legal battle that began with a spilled cup of coffee to investigate what’s behind America’s zeal for tort reform. By following four people whose lives were devastated by the attacks on our courts, this thought-provoking documentary challenges the assumptions Americans hold about “jackpot justice.” 

SUSAN SALADOFF (Producer, Director) spent 25 years practicing law in the civil justice system, representing injured victims of individual and corporate negligence. She stopped practicing law in 2009 to make the documentary HOT COFFEE.
Tuesday, February 21, 6:00 p.m.   Meese Auditorium, Art Building, SOU Campus


Civility on Campus

Civility has become an important topic of discussion on many college campuses. Some even refer to a “crisis of incivility” in our American universities, as our cultural diversity and new media at times divide rather than unite us. The current tone of public discourse and incivility on occasion permeate our own campus.  In this panel discussion, a group of SOU students, faculty, and administrators will discuss issues of civility and incivility at Southern Oregon University.

Moderator: SOU Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble.  Panelists: Provost James Klein; Dean of Students Laura O’Bryon; Communication Professor Jody Waters; Communication Professor Alena Ruggerio,
Wednesday, February 29  3:30 - 5:00 p.m.  SOU Student Union 319



Fall Term 2011 Events in the Civility Series

From Scopes to Kitzmiller — Civility and Incivility at the Intersection of Science, Religion, and the Law

Judge John E Jones III, US District Judge, Pennsylvania
Thursday, October 13, 2011 • 7 pm
Music Recital Hall, Music Building, SOU Campus

History of the national debate in America over the teaching of evolution in public schools, beginning with the watershed case of Tennessee v. John Scopes in 1925 has been tumultuous. In this lecture, US District Judge Jones will trade this history and discuss his central role in the controversy stemming from the case over which he presided in 2006, Kitzmiller v. Dover, described as Scopes II by some legal commentators, that dealt with an attempt to teach an alternative to evolution in a public school science class in Pennsylvania. In the eighty years between these two cases a constant and at times uncivil public discourse has occurred over what constitutes good science versus what is religious in nature, as well as the proper interpretation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Judge Jones will describe some of the leading personalities in this debate, the development of the law over nearly nine decades, and explain why this controversy continues to be such a compelling flash point nationally.

Judicial Opinions and Civil Discourse: Is it Judicial Activism or Simply a Decision I Don’t Like?

Judge John E Jones III, US District Judge, Pennsylvania
Friday, October 14, 2011 • 4 pm
Rogue River Room, Stevenson Union, SOU Campus

In 2006 Judge John Jones presided over a case that garnered international focus, Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which he ruled that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in a ninth grade science class at a public school in Pennsylvania. Given Judge Jones’ background as a Republican, many leading pundits in the media expected a different ruling. As a result, the sometimes savage treatment Judge Jones received from several conservative commentators after his decision informed him greatly about the misconceptions the public harbors about the judiciary in America today. Judge Jones will discuss how judges actually decide cases, including the role of legal precedent, and why the Framers of our Constitution designed the Third Branch of government as they did. He will also touch on the need for reaching civics more effectively in schools. In his opinion, inadequate civics classes have led to a poorly informed citizenry who are whipsawed by commentators bent on creating controversy rather than engaging in rational discourse.

Fostering Civility in Youth

Thursday, October 27, 2011 • 7pm
Meese Room, Hannon Library (LIB 305), SOU Campus

Fostering civility is an important goal for positive youth development. Civility in youth is associated with qualities and values such as prosocial attitudes and behaviors, sensitivity to the needs and perspectives of others, and a general sense of personal responsibility for the welfare of the greater community. In this panel presentation, we will discuss developmental and contextual factors influencing civility, how schools and universities can promote and strengthen civility among youth, and the role of civility in terms of mental health and optimal youth development.

Panelists include Doug Smith, Department of Psychology, Southern Oregon University, Oanh Tran, Department of Educational Psychology, California State University, and Victor Chang and Matt Vogel, Student Health and Wellness Center, Southern Oregon University

Difficult dialogues: Cultivating civility and mutual understanding at-home and abroad

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • 7pm
Meese Room, Hannon Library (LIB 305), SOU Campus

Is civility an end-in-itself or a means to some broader goal or goals? What difference might this make to how we go about cultivating that quality among students or citizens? Drawing upon research from Northern Ireland and South Africa, this presentation examines educational efforts to help students listen to and learn from those whom they have been conditioned to distrust, demean or even dehumanize. Particular attention will be given to exploring the risks that students encounter in confronting claims and perspectives that challenge their own deeply held assumptions and to unearthing strategies for circumventing or mitigating those risks. The applicability of those strategies within other contexts both in and outside of the classroom will be discussed.

Presenters: John King, PhD, Assistant Professor of Education, and Margaret Perrow, PhD, Assistant Professor of English and Writing

Civility, Democracy, and Conflict

Thursday, November 17, 2011 • 7pm
Meese Auditorium of the Center for the Visual Arts, SOU Campus

Examining the relationships between civility, democracy and conflict, the panel will first identify and explore specific acts of both civility and incivility, particularly how they function in American discourse. The history of civility in our country—in Congress and elsewhere--is then investigated, with perhaps some surprising results. The panel ends its presentation by probing the felt deterioration of civility in contemporary politics, and the potential affects such a decline may have on the United States’ continuing experiments with participative democracy and attempts to resolve conflict in a collaborative and productive manner. An interactive question and answer session closes the evening.

Presenters include Edwin Battistella, Ph.D., author, linguist and faculty member in the English and Writing Program at SOU; Jeffrey M. LaLande, Ph.D., author and historian, United States Forest Service (ret.), and Jon Lange, Ph.D., faculty member, Department of Communication and Coordinator, Conflict Resolution Certificate Program, SOU.