This week at Georgetown: electoral consequences, racial consciousness, the future of America on the global stage, and more.

Monday, November 16

Reflections of the Presidential and Congressional Elections & Implications for Racial and Gender Justice (12-1 p.m.)

“The 2020 Presidential and Congressional Elections hailed as the most important elections in American history with over 150 million voters casting their ballots, swept Joe Biden as President elect and Kamala Harris as the first ever woman Vice President elect into office.”

Exposing Caste Discrimination in the United States (12 – 1 p.m.)

“Phillip Martin’s multi-part series for The World, “Caste Discrimination in the USA,” explores how the caste system has followed many migrants from India, Nepal, and elsewhere in South Asia to the United States. Caste discrimination impacts thousands of people living in North America, who have no legal recourse to address inherent bigotries and harsh realities that define everyday life for Dalits, or “untouchables.” This series hones in on grassroots and parliamentary efforts in the United Kingdom and Canada to establish legal protections for South Asian expats, migrants, and descendants who face caste discriminations in the diaspora, and lessons applicable to the United States. This project is led by Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a contributing reporter for PRI’s The World (a co-production of WGBH, the BBC, and PRI which he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995).”

The Outlook for Free Speech in America after the 2020 Election (4 – 5:15 p.m.)

“Will the Roberts Court, with its strengthened conservative majority, enhance or weaken free speech rights in the years ahead? Or will the Supreme Court focus instead on religious exemptions? Will the Biden administration be steadfast in defending free expression in all its forms? And what role will Congress play in the drama? Join this conversation with Ronald Collins and Nadine Strossen, two of America’s leading First Amendment experts, moderated by Sanford J. Ungar, director of Georgetown’s Free Speech Project. “

Tuesday, November 17

Bridging the Atlantic – Ireland and the US (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

“At a time of significant political and economic upheavals there is much to consider in the relations between the two nations, including how they will develop in the wake of Brexit and of the November elections in the US.This online symposium provides an opportunity to reflect on key dimensions of Ireland-US relations at this time. Three panel discussions will involve representatives of the US Congress, policymakers, scholars and journalists.”

#Papuanlivesmatter: Youth Political Movements and Black Consciousness in West Papua (10 – 11:30 a.m.)

“While global Black political movements have long shaped Papuan identities, the new movement under #Papuanlivesmatter shows how digital media have played a powerful role in the spread of anti-racism protests and how Blackness has been understood and articulated, not only in relation to white supremacy but also to postcolonial claims of multiculturalism in Asian societies. This presentation will discuss the specific context in which the protest under #Papuanlivesmatter emerged and its relationship with global #BlackLivesMatter movements. This presentation also will talk about the idea of Blackness in West Papua that stems not only from the influence of and conversation with American Black political movements and African Black movements (i.e. Négritude and South Africa’s Black consciousness movement), but also the Black Pacific experience under the Asian “[post]colonialism.””

Georgetown Security Studies Review Issue Launch (12 p.m. – 1 p.m.) 

“Join the Georgetown Security Studies Review to celebrate the latest edition of the journal! Authors from the most recent Review and the GSSR’s Summer Series on Racism and Security will be discussing their work. We will then open the floor for collective discussion and Q&A with the authors and editors of the GSSR.”

Alliance Politics in the Wake of the 2020 Election (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.)

“Please join the Mortara Center for the Annual Lepgold Book Prize Award and Lecture. Winning authors Marina E. Henke and Paul Poast will discuss their books Constructing Allied Cooperation: Diplomacy, Payments, and Power in Multilateral Military Coalitions and Arguing about Alliances: The Art of Agreement in Military-Pact Negotiations within the context of the results of the 2020 election. The event will be moderated by Professor Andrew Bennett in conversation with Professor Abe Newman”

Who’ll lead the Golden 20s? Europe, the United States, and Sustainable Development in the Next Decade (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.) 

“This lecture will talk about transatlantic differences on climate change and sustainable development, how these play out socially, economically, and environmentally, and opportunities for future realignment.” This will be a virtual discussion with Alexander Ochs, the founder and CEO of SD Strategies. He has also worked at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the Worldwatch Institute, Center for Clean Air Policy, and the universities of Princeton, CUNY, GWU, and JHU.

Black Womxn Activists, Voters and Politicians (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.) 

“Black womxn have always been at the forefront of all fights for equality and justice. From abolition and feminist movements, to voting and civil rights, to fighting mass incarceration and more recently with the Movement for Black lives.

As the results of the 2020 Presidential election are being confirmed, we can appreciate the crucial role Black womxn played in mobilizing voters and ensuring that more people exercise their fundamental right. And yet, although being some of the most politically engaged citizens, Black womxn continue to face overlapping discriminations, misogynoir and unique challenges. Join us for a conversation on Black womxn’s past and current political participation and representation, and explore possibilities for Black feminist futures.”

The U.S. on the Global Stage: 2021 and Beyond (4 – 5:15 p.m.)

“In November 2019, the School of Foreign Service gathered three of the school’s most distinguished experts on international relations for a conversation about diplomacy in the 21st century. One year after the Centennial celebration, SFS has invited them back to discuss America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the 2020 election and in the midst of a global health crisis. The event will feature:

  • Dr. Madeleine Albright (P’87, P’94, H’99); Former U.S. Secretary of State; Mortara Endowed Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy
  • General George Casey Jr. (SFS’70); 36th Chief of Staff, United States Army
  • Mr. George Tenet (SFS’76, H’03, P’10); Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Dr. Joel Hellman; Dean, Walsh School of Foreign Service (Moderator)”

China’s Global Promotion of Buddhism (7 – 8 p.m.)

“Under President Xi Jinping, the state religious system has become increasingly implicated in efforts to support the growing political and economic power of China abroad by adding religious overtones to China’s existing portfolio of cultural and linguistic diplomacy. Projecting Chinese Buddhism as soft and sharp—that is, state-controlled and targeted—power ultimately seeks to influence the societies and politics of Buddhist-majority countries, Western states, and Asian competitors to China.

Yoshiko Ashiwa and David L. Wank, professors at Hitotsubashi University and Sophia University respectively, will discuss the enduring efficacy of Beijing’s promotion of Chinese Buddhism in countries of strategic interest and whether such efforts can remain sufficiently differentiated from perceived political interference from China.” 

Wednesday, November 18

Solidarity with Belarus (10 – 11:30 a.m.) 

“What are Belarusians’ current expectations towards Lukashenko’s regime and Coordination Council? Is there any role for the EU and the U.S. to play in resolving the political gridlock in Belarus, and, if so, how would Russia respond? What lessons can other, former Soviet Union countries learn from the situation?

The Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University invite you to join us for a virtual discussion with leading authorities on Wednesday, November 18th between 10:00 – 11.30 am ET to better understand the internal and external context of the situation in Belarus.”

Journey Across the World: How I Got to a US Courtroom (12 – 1:30 p.m.)

“Sonya Rao left India when she was just five years old, traveling by herself across the world by plane without speaking a word of English. As a child and young adult, she struggled with—and often rebelled against—her Indian heritage while trying to assimilate into her new home in America. Sonya will discuss her life experiences that led to her becoming a lawyer—and living her legal dreams as a civil rights attorney, a prosecutor, and then a representative of whistleblowers.”

Keynote Address | The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom (12:15 – 1:30 p.m.)

“What we are witnessing in the post-9/11 era is a type and degree of profiling and targeting of Muslims that more closely resembles racial discrimination historically experienced by African American, Native American, and Asian American communities (of all faiths).  Hence Muslims are being treated as a race, and more specifically a suspect race, rather than as a religious minority to be protected from persecution.  For that reason, government officials and members of the public—who may attest their belief in religious freedom—do not view targeting Muslims in national security and immigration practices as a threat to religious freedom.  In this preview to her forthcoming book, Professor Sahar Aziz explores this paradox–how a religious minority could be so overtly discriminated against in a country that privileges religious freedom legally and normatively.  The answers illuminate both racial contours of religious freedom in American law and society.”

Thursday, November 19

A Touch of Green Amid the Grey? The German Greens and Europe – Between Rejection and Reformulation (12 – 1:15 p.m.) 

“The presentation deals with the formation of the West German greens in a European context, as well as their perspectives and perceptions of Europe. Firstly we will shed light on the importance of international, transnational and European influences in the founding process of the German greens. Secondly the different positions of them towards Europe will be outlined. What were their perspectives on the institutional Europe in Brussels? And how did their own utopias for a ‘different Europe’ look like?”

Virtual Event with Ken Burns on “Consequential Elections” (4 – 5:30 p.m.)

“Exploring historical American elections during challenging periods of war, economic depression, and global conflicts and how the national election reflects the concerns and interests of the electorate.”

Friday, November 20

Global Challenges Symposium: Refugees and Migration (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.)

“The Global Challenges Symposium is a weekly discussion open to graduate students in the SFS about how the COVID pandemic is impacting the world order. Weekly discussions will be led by an SFS faculty member about the week’s recorded interviews. These will take place every Friday from 12:30-1:30pm. The video for the November 20, “Refugees and Migration,” discussion will be released on Tuesday, November 17.”


Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Deputy Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, Co-Chair for the Global Politics and Security Concentration

Kelly Clements, Deputy High Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency

Katherine Donato, Donald G. Herzberg Chair in International Migration; is Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University

Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration