Political Theory Project

‘Guns in America’ lectures to probe violence

March 11, 2013  |  Media Contact: Courtney Coelho |  401-863-7287
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“Guns in America,” a Janus Lecture Series sponsored by the Office of the President at Brown University and the Political Theory Project, will bring national scholars and other experts to campus to discuss the drivers and social effects of gun violence. Three lectures — March 14, March 21, and April 9, 2013, in MacMillan Hall, Room 117 — are free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Office of the President at Brown University and the Political Theory Project present a Janus Lecture Series on “Guns in America.” The discussions will take place on March 14, March 21, and April 9, 2013. All events are free and open to the public and will take place in MacMillan Hall, Room 117. 

Designed to analyze the drivers and social effects of gun violence, each discussion will bring in scholars and other experts to tackle a different aspect of the gun violence conversation, including mental health, gun-control policies and the legacy of gun culture in America.

More information on the lecture series is available online: www.brown.edu/Departments/Political_Theory_Project.

March 14: “Reducing Crime”
3:30 p.m. MacMillan Hall, Room 117

Speakers: Carl Bogus, professor of law at Roger Williams University School of Law and author of The Second Amendment in Law and History: Historians and Constitutional Scholars on the Right to Bear Arms; John Lott, scholar and author of More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns; Steven Lippmann, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, University of Louisville

The discussion will examine policies aimed at reducing gun-related crimes and the effect guns and crime have on communities, particularly in urban areas.

March 21: “Cultural Legacy”
4 p.m. MacMillan Hall, Room 117

Speakers: Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation; Cheryl Olson, co-director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media, author of Grand Theft Childhood;; Craig Whitney, a New York Times editor and author of Living With Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment

The panel will discuss the legacy of gun culture in America and whether it is an inextricable component of American identity and also look at the role guns and violence in popular media have in precipitating crime.

April 9: “Mental Health”
4 p.m. MacMillan Hall, Room 117

Speakers: Richard Alan Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College; Doris Fuller, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center; and Jeffrey Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University School of Medicine.

The discussion will address questions of gun ownership restrictions based on mental health, mental health treatment, and how society might treat and manage mentally ill persons in order to prevent outbursts such as Sandy Hook.

The Political Theory Project

The mission of the Political Theory Project is to invigorate and deepen the discussion of political issues at Brown University, across the academy, and in the world beyond. The project creates an intellectual space at Brown where students of good faith and diverse viewpoints can gather to debate one another freely and passionately about the most pressing political problems of our day.

The Janus Forum is the student arm of the Political Theory Project, which seeks to inspire open-minded debate on relevant social, political, and economic issues. Janus Lectures bring together two or more speakers with differing opinions on contemporary topics. The speakers each present for 25 minutes and then engage the audience members in a 45-minute question and answer session. Lecture topics are chosen by the Janus Steering Committee with members from Brown’s major political student groups. In addition to the lecture series, the Janus Forum organizes a number of political events, including Janus Conversations, Open Seminar Luncheons, and Town Hall Meetings. Their mission is to promote critical thinking and discourse by exposing students to a variety of perspectives regarding controversial social and political issues.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.