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Villanova University’s Lepage Center Launches “Turning Points in History” Event Series

VILLANOVA, Pa. –  The Albert Lepage Center for History in Public Interest at Villanova University will kick off its 2021 – 2022 event series about “Turning Points in History” on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. on Zoom with a keynote address by Dipesh Chakrabarty, PhD.

A globally influential historian and a critical contributor to the fields of postcolonial theory and subaltern studies, Dr. Chakrabarty will discuss his recent book, Climate Change and the Human Condition: The Climate of History in a Planetary Age (The University of Chicago Press, 2021), and explore what a “turning point” in history really is. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Elizabeth Kolsky, PhD, associate professor of History and director of the Lepage Center.

Dr. Chakrabarty is the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at The University of Chicago. He is a founding member of the editorial collective Subaltern Studies, a consulting editor of Critical Inquiry, and a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Public Culture. He is the author of numerous scholarly books and publications including The Climate of History in a Planetary Age (2021), The Crises of Civilization: Explorations in Global and Planetary Histories (2018), Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2008) and Subaltern Studies IX (1996).

“The Turning Points in History series is an exciting and timely program that will place contemporary global crises and moments of transition in historical perspective to deepen public understanding of the world around us,” says Dr. Kolsky. “We are honored and delighted that internationally renowned scholar Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty will kick off the series with a keynote address about climate change as a critical turning point in history.”

Founded in 2017 and housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Lepage Center is a multifaceted resource for students, teachers, industry, journalists and elected officials that draws upon the past to impart lessons for today’s world. The Center engages the public, policymakers, scholars, teachers and students from history and other fields through academic programs, research, publications and events.

Other events in the series this fall include:

“Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change”

Sept. 22, 2021, 6 – 7:30 p.m.  

Indigenous peoples around the world are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. How have Indigenous scholars’ historical and cultural perspectives contributed to conversations about climate change? How do Indigenous perspectives powerfully shape national and international climate justice movements?


  • Clint Carroll, PhD, associate professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Elizabeth Hoover, PhD, associate professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley
  • Daniel Wildcat, PhD, professor and Director of the Environmental Research Studies Center, Haskell Indian Nations University


“White Supremacy and Classical Athens: A Turning Point?”

Oct. 6, 2021, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

White supremacist groups often fetishize ancient Sparta, but how and why are they also drawing on classical Athens? Are we witnessing a “turning point” in how white supremacists use ancient Greek societies as historical models?


  • Curtis Dozier, PhD, assistant professor of Greek and Roman Studies, Vassar College, and Director of Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics
  • Rebecca Futo Kennedy, PhD, associate professor of Classical Studies, Denison University
  • Jackie Murray, PhD, associate professor of Classics and African American and Africana Studies in the Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department, University of Kentucky

Moderator: Eliza Gettel, PhD, Albert R. Lepage Assistant Professor of History, Villanova University


“Global Histories of White Supremacy”

Oct. 27, 2021, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

As the world watched in shock, white supremacists stormed the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. Was this a “turning point” in history?


  • Kathleen Belew, PhD, assistant professor of US History and the College, University of Chicago
  • Duncan Bell, PhD, professor of Political Thought and International Relations, University of Cambridge
  • Mae Ngai, PhD, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University

Moderator: Vincent Lloyd, PhD, associate professor, Theology and Religious Studies; director, Africana Studies Program, and director, Center for Political Theology, Villanova University


“Migrations Across Central America”

Nov. 3, 2021, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

How do histories of migratory movements and policies in Central America shape the current immigration crisis?  


  • Leisy Abrego, PhD, professor and chair, Chicana/o and Central American Studies, UCLA
  • Jason De León, PhD, professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies and Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project, UCLA
  • Amelia Frank Vitale, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer, Latin American Studies, Princeton University

Moderator: Raúl Diego Rivera Hernández, PhD, associate professor, Romance Languages and Literatures, and director, Latin American Studies Villanova University


“WWI and the Making of Modern Diasporas”

Nov. 17, 2021, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

The aftermath of WWI was a turning point in the modern history of involuntary migration, mass displacement and global diasporas.


  • Emily Baughan, PhD, lecturer, 19th/20th Century British History, University of Sheffield
  • Reena Goldthree, PhD, assistant professor, African American Studies, Princeton University
  • Ronald Suny, PhD, William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

Moderator: Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of History, Villanova University 

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.