World Affairs Luncheon Seminars

sponsored by Munley Law

Munley Law: Choose Carefully


All seminars are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Buffet Lunch is served. 
Luncheon Seminar Fees: $30 per per person 

Friday, February 2

Religion, Democracy, and Election Cycles

How have certain religious beliefs contributed to the destabilization and polarization of elections around the world? Prof. Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania will discuss how religious beliefs destabilize democratic election cycles and what this could mean for democratic elections in 2024.

Anthea Butler, Ph.D, Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought, and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. A sought-after commentator, Professor Butler is an op-ed contributor for MSNBC. Her articles have been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, and The Guardian.

Brennan Hall, Rose Room, 509 • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Friday, February 9

Rethinking Local Journalism in Scranton

As Scranton's newspaper is taken over by a notorious hedge fund that is not known to invest in innovation, we will discuss alternative strategies for local information and civic engagement, brainstorming ways that the University might collaborate with the community to better inform local public discourse. There are many new models of journalism -- Engagement Journalism, Solutions Journalism, Reparative Journalism, and so on -- which can inform the discussion, along with examples of what is being done in other cities.

Jeff Jarvis, Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York, and creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly

The DeNaples Center, 4th Floor, 407A • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Loren ShoenbergFriday, March 1

The Lincoln/Armstrong Connection: From Gettysburg to New Orleans

Gary Wills, in his masterful Lincoln at Gettysburg, makes the case that Lincoln redefined our system of government with that one short speech. This story finds an instructive parallel in Louis Armstrong's streamlining of New Orleans polyphony, melodic paraphrase, the grand gesture of opera, and the blues, into a musical discipline that merged improvisation and composition. Both Lincoln and Armstrong made profound statements while at the same time subtly redefining the basic principles of their mediums. Like those who considered Lincoln a country boy ill-equipped for the presidency, there are those who still define Armstrong as nothing more than a noble savage. Jazz music, in all of its current glory, is the most eloquent refutation of that solecism.

Loren Schoenberg, Senior Scholar of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, faculty at Juilliard, and has also taught at the Manhattan School of Music and the New School.

Brennan Hall, Rose Room, 509 • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please visit Performance Music's website at for details on a complimentary performance with Loren and The University of Scranton Jazz Ensemble.

Wednesday, March 6

Political Reforms to Combat Extremism

The political culture in the United States has become toxic and tribalistic in recent years. Among other consequences, the political process has become dysfunctional, with Congress rarely able to legislate on significant issues of the day. This talk will address institutional and policy reforms to the political and election process that could help push back against polarization and extremism. The talk will also address threats to the integrity of the 2024 election and what is being done to address those threats.

Richard Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, one of the nation's leading scholars of constitutional law and a specialist in legal issues concerning democracy, former law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, and an appointee on President Biden's Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Brennan Hall, Rose Room, 509 • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Prof. Pildes will be joining us via Zoom. Attendees can attend via Zoom for $10 or in person with a lunch for $30. Only in-person attendees will be able to participate in the question-and-answer portion of the seminar.

Monday, March 25

All the Beauty in the World: A Portrait of the MET Museum

In his book, All the Beauty in the World, Patrick Bringley offers a unique and captivating perspective, drawing from his experiences during a decade-long tenure as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His memoir is not only a collection of fascinating stories set against the backdrop of one of the world's most renowned museums, but it also delves into the transformative power of art and its profound impact on both observers and caretakers alike. The book has garnered high praise from prestigious publications, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Financial Times, and the Sunday Times (London), celebrated for its insightful reflections and eloquent portrayal of the interplay between life and art.

Patrick Bringley, author and former New Yorker staffer, spent a decade as a museum guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before writing his memoir. 

Brennan Hall, Rose Room, 509 • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday, April 5

The World in Disarray

With two wars, one in Ukraine and one in the Middle East, plus tensions over Taiwan simmering, the international community is in a precarious state. A triumvirate of troublemakers - Russia, Iran, and North Korea - is intent on exploiting any fissures in the West, especially in the United States, as it prepares for a presidential election. China, meanwhile, watches closely, gauging its next move. Jill Dougherty analyzes the threat to the United States in this five-player chess game, a contest with serious consequences.

Jill Dougherty, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute Advisory Council.

The DeNaples Center, 4th Floor, 407A • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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