From The Director

The great writer and social commentator H. G. Wells once stated that “democracy’s ceremonial, its feast, its great function, is the election.”

Given all the shortcomings in the current system, many may find that hard to believe. But these contests are critically important for shaping public policy and the character of our nation.

That is why I’m so pleased to announce a three-semester program of curricular, cocurricular, and scholarly initiatives aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of elections in the United States. Elements of the program will confront a diverse set of topics — from the theoretical to the applied — and will integrate a variety of platforms, including special topic classes, a wide-ranging lecture series, sponsored research, and field trips. The primary aim of the program is to offer our students unique opportunities to better understand the strengths and limitations of elections and to provide residents of Maine and beyond new information and thoughtful commentary on the 2016 election. Indeed, if you have suggestions for additional programs, please feel to pass along your ideas.

Finally, allow me to express my most sincere gratitude to the Goldfarb Center staff and many others across campus who worked very hard on the 2015 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Convocation. There was a concerted effort to enhance the significance and the reach of the event and, by all accounts, significant strides were made. But these changes took countless hours of planning and teamwork, for which I am very appreciative.

Best regards,

Daniel M. Shea

2015 Lovejoy Convocation Honors Immersive Journalist, Author Katherine Boo

President David Greene presents investigative journalist Katherine Boo with an honorary degree at the 2015 Lovejoy Convocation Oct. 5.

In a powerful multidisciplinary and multimedia talk about the plight of the trans-global poor in an era when the 100 richest people in the world own more than the 3 billion poorest, journalist Katherine Boo demonstrated her mastery of storytelling, empathy, and deep analysis in the 2015 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Convocation address Oct. 5.

The New Yorker writer, former newspaper reporter, and bestselling author spoke and answered questions in a packed Lorimer Chapel after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree from President David A. Greene, who called her “one of the greatest practitioners of immersion journalism.” She was lauded for her meticulous research on income inequality in the United States and India, as well as for courage in reporting in the tradition of Elijah Lovejoy, a Colby graduate who became America’s first martyr to freedom of the press when he was shot in 1837 defending his newspaper against a pro-slavery mob.
Monday afternoon students and community members filled Ostrove Auditorium to capacity for a Goldfarb Center panel discussion titled “Division and Despair: Reporting on America’s Income Inequality” (full audio available) with Wendi Thomas of the Memphis Flyer, Kathleen Kingsbury of the Boston Globe, and Mike Baker of the Seattle Times talking about their award-winning investigations of the topic in a conversation moderated by Associate Professor of Government Walter Hatch.
You can read the entire story here. For more information about the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Convocation, please click here.

Students Confront Journalism in the Digital World

University of Toledo Lecturer of Law Fritz Byers leads a dynamic and interactive session on legal standards in the digital age as part of the Goldfarb Center’s student journalism conference Oct. 4.

How has technology changed journalism? Students from 10 colleges from across New England and two local high schools explored this question and more Oct. 4 at the Goldfarb Center’s third annual day-long student journalism conference, this year titled “Digital First? How Technology and Multi-Platform Journalism are Disrupting and Reinventing Journalism “.

Award-winning journalist Andy Carvin, founder and editor-in-chief, was the keynote speaker. In his thought-provoking address, Carvin shared the path-breaking methods he used to engage sources using social media to cover the Arab Spring, for which he made TIME magazine’s annual TIME 100 list in 2011.
Other sessions explored various aspects of reporting in today’s digital world, including understanding legal standards, the proper use of data, and reporting on Twitter and other social media platforms. The event concluded with a networking social with journalists from across the state, hosted by Caitlin Burchill ’12, a news anchor for WABI TV5 in Bangor, Maine.
“Each year the conference inspires me in a different way and challenges me to think about my own reporting skills,” said Xueing Chen, editor-in-chief of the Wellesley student newspaper, The Wellesley News.
The Goldfarb Center’s annual conference for student journalists, held in the fall, offers college newspaper editors, reporters, advisors, and those interested in a career in journalism an opportunity to learn about issues relating to journalism on college campuses. For more information about the student journalism conference, please click here.

Goldfarb Center Announces Call for Grant Applications, New Engaged Scholarship Opportunities

The Goldfarb Center recently announced fall 2015 grant opportunities with increased funding opportunities through its Engaged Scholarship Initiative. The new program will support the study of multifaceted and interdisciplinary public policy questions by a broad range of participants — from community stakeholders and industry experts to Colby students, faculty, and alumni — in inclusive networks.
Engaged scholarship promotes critical thinking, a deeper understanding of causal relationships, and an appreciation for context, and it helps students foster a sense of efficacy. Goldfarb research grants are now included in this program and may cover research expenses, travel costs, visiting speakers and scholars, publications, and other activities associated with building these inclusive networks. In addition, we offer the possibility of funding a summer student research assistant. The center seeks to establish a set of policy anchors in the initiative to allow for close attention to particular topics over a longer period of time. Proposals for new policy anchors are welcome.
Grant applications are due Oct. 30. Learn more about the Engaged Scholarship Initiative in the feature story of the center’s annual magazine. For more information about grant opportunities currently available, please click here or contact Associate Director Gail Carlson at

Upcoming Events

Please be sure to visit the Goldfarb Center’s website and like our Facebook page for the latest event information.

Genetically-Modified Foods: Perils and Promises

2015 William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate
Nov. 18 | 7 p.m. | Diamond Building, Ostrove Auditorium

Stephen Moose, Ph.D., Professor of Crop Sciences, University of IllinoisJudith Chambers, Ph.D., Director, Program for Biosafety Systems, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Washington, D.C.

Jonathan R. Latham, Ph.D., Cofounder and Executive Director, Bioscience Resource Project; Editor of Independent Science News
Jodi Koberinski, 2015 Oak Human Rights Fellow, Colby College
Moderated by Gail Carlson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies; Associate Director, Goldfarb Center
The 2015 Cotter Debate will focus on broad-ranging issues associated with the development of genetically-modified foods. New technologies may offer the promise of better foods, including nutrient-enriched rice and potatoes that can be fried without producing the carcinogen acrylamide. Many feel that genetically-modified crops are needed to feed the world’s ever-growing population. But concerns about the adoption of these technologies without public vetting and comprehensive and independent risk assessment are widespread. Unease about the heavy use of Monsanto’s Roundup-ready crops in the United States increased this spring when the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide, glyphosate, a probable human carcinogen. Just this summer Congress debated a right-to-know GMO labeling bill, Scotland banned genetically-modified crops, and Pope Francis issued an encyclical urging caution on the use of GMOs. Click here for more information about the Cotter Debate.
Personal Branding Workshop
Women at Work Leadership Series
Nov. 5 | Noon | Location TBA
Cosponsored with the Colby Career Center
With hundreds of applicants for nearly every job posting, standing out from the crowd is essential, and that starts with your personal brand. How you present yourself on paper, online, and in person can make a huge impact on potential employers and, when it’s done well, can get you the job. This workshop will discuss personal branding strategies for written materials, online profiles and websites, as well as in-person interactions with potential employers. Click here to RSVP. This workshop is offered as part of the Women at Work Leadership Series, which provides Colby students and the campus community with an opportunity to learn about important issues confronting women in today’s society, particularly relating to the workplace.

Polarization and the Politics of Personal Responsibility

Mark Brewer, Professor and Interim Department Chair of Political Science, University of Maine
Nov. 5 | 4 p.m. | Diamond 141
Contemporary American politics is highly polarized, and it is increasingly clear that this polarization exists at both the elite and mass levels. Social issues are presented by some as the driver of polarization, while others point to economic inequality and class divisions. Still others single out divisions surrounding race and ethnicity, or gender, or religion as the underlying source of the deep political divide. All of these are relevant in American politics, and they represent significant cleavages within the American polity. Building on his recent book, Mark Brewer will argue that disagreement over a much more fundamental matter lies at the foundation of the polarization that marks American politics in the early 21st century.

Theater of War

Performance and Panel Discussion
Nov. 15 | 2 p.m. | Page Commons
Cosponsored with the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Department of Theater and Dance, and the Colby Health Center
Theater of War presents dramatic readings of Sophocles’s Ajax — a Greek tragedy about the suicide of a great, respected warrior — to diverse military and civilian audiences in order to engage communities in powerful town hall discussions about the visible and invisible wounds of war. The presentations are intended to foster understanding and compassion

while mobilizing citizens and resources to help improve the lives of service members, veterans, their families, and people in their communities. Brief comments from a community panel will follow readings, and then the floor will be opened for a lively audience discussion.

Women in Politics
Facilitated Discussion
Nov. 17 | Noon | Fairchild Room, Dana
J. Cherie Strachan, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Central Michigan University
Join us for a discussion about women in politics and take a look at the political landscape for women in 2016. Through facilitated discussion groups and workshops, the Women at Work Leadership Series provides Colby students and the campus community with an opportunity to learn about important issues confronting women in today’s society, particularly relating to the workplace. Click here to RSVP to this session.

The Nasty News on Incivility and Intransigence: How Political Information Makes Americans Rude and Stubborn
J. Cherie Strachan, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Central Michigan University
Michael Wolf, Associate Professor of Political Science, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)
Nov. 17 | 7 p.m. | Diamond 122
American politics has become increasingly polarized over the past two decades. This trend emerged as a result of elite electoral and campaign strategies.  Now, however, polarization is embraced by average citizens and reinforced by their preferred sources of political information. Hence without dramatic change, rude politics is difficult to disrupt — and likely to characterize American politics for the foreseeable future.
Artist Tim Clorius

Nov. 30 | 6 p.m. | Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, Parker-Reed Room
Cosponsored with the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Art Department, and the Colby College Museum of Art
Under the name “Subone,” Clorius was the first artist in Maine to pursue a professional career as a spray painter, labeling himself an “aerosol artist” to emphasize his interest in spray painting fine-art-oriented works that range from abstraction to realism, yet remain resolutely what he calls “graffitiesque.” In 2002 he founded S.U.B.O.N.E Workshops, which stands for Supplying Urban Beautification Offering New Experiences, and began to work with students. The workshops, led by Clorius and his friend and fellow artist Andrew Coffin, undertake projects with youth and students throughout the state focusing on the advocacy of the potential that aerosol art possesses as an educational tool. Clorius was born and raised in Heidelberg, Germany. He received his education in fine arts and painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine, where he currently lives.