Transformative Conversations

The Transformative Conversations@Brown Project strives to provide opportunities and 
spaces to engage respectfully and thoughtfully with each other across our differences. President 
Paxson framed this initiative, “...each and every year at Brown is a “lively experiment,” in which 
we bring together individuals from a diversity of backgrounds who are all dedicated to learning 
from each other. In this process of learning, we may often disagree with one another, but we also 
influence and sometimes change each other’s points of view.”

Please consider joining this critical work. The Transformative Conversations website is 
a place for gathering and sharing the content of this work. The potential impact of this project 
depends on the contributions of many individuals across the breadth of the Brown community. 
Please contact with any questions or other inquiries about 
the Transformative Conversations@Brown Project.

Our hope is that this project will keep us in conversations that matter.

Courses | Events | Lectures

Race, Accountability, Allyship at Brown. Wednesday, October 15, 2014 6:00pm-7:30pmThis teach-in, supported by the Transformative Conversations Project, focuses on white privilege and racial justice on Brown's campus. The panelists include Professor Dawn King, Dr. Margaret Klawunn, Professor Kenneth Miller, Dean Maud Mandel, Professor Barrett Hazeltine, Professor Michael Kennedy, and Professor Richard Bungiro. "Race, Accountability, and Allyship" will be co-moderated by Shane Lloyd and Dean Gail Cohee.

The Development and Governance Seminar is a cross-disciplinary speaker series based at the Watson Institute for International Studies. The seminar seeks to bring a diverse range of scholars to Brown to present innovative research and thinking on the challenges of national and global transformation in the 21st century. The seminar draws on a core group of faculty in the Development and Governance research programs at the Institute and a large community of graduate students at Brown. The seminar is jointly directed by José Itzigsohn, Patrick Heller, and Richard Locke.

  • Sep 29, 2014: Antonio Carlos de Souza Lima ─ Indigenous Peoples and the Nation-State in Brazil, 20th/21st Century: From Tutelage to Participation 12 p.m.   McKinney Conference Room
  • Oct 22, 2014: Nasser Yassin ─ Arab Civil Society Actors and Policy-Making in Times of Uncertainty: What Follows the Arab Spring? 5 p.m.   McKinney Conference Room
  • Nov 5, 2014: Tania Murray Li ─ Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier5 p.m.   McKinney Conference Room

De Sidere 7, Monday, October 6 at 5:00 p.m. An ensemble videocontemplation by Lata Mani & Nicholas Grandi | Film screening and discussion with feminist historian, Lata Mani Robert Center Petteruti Lounge

Academic Freedom and the First Amendment, Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Robert Post, Dean of the Yale Law School, will discuss the relationship between academic freedom and the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court has long postulated the existence of such a relationship, but its decisions have been inconsistent and untheorized. As a consequence, the legal doctrine of academic freedom is notoriously chaotic and undeveloped. Dean Post will explore possible paths for explaining and clarifying this doctrine.

GTMO Public Memory exhibit, with images and documents that challenge, complicate & reveal hidden histories of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The exhibit was co-curated between Brown & 11 other universities across the US. In PVD, the exhibit will also feature newsletters written by GTMO detainees + work of artists Mary Beth Meehan, Chris Sims & students at the International Charter School in Pawtucket.“Bringing  Guantánamo Home,” a series of events throughout Sept. 2014 examining Guantánamo and issues relating to its past, present, and future. For more information, visit: and

Moral Voices is a student run, social action group dedicated to education, conversation, and engagement around a relevant moral issue each year. This year we will be organizing around gun violence.  Our first panel event will focus on structural violence and include academic researchers, law enforcement officers, and professional activists to discuss urban crime, gang crime, policy options, history of gun violence, and community organization. This event will be held on October 23rd and will be followed by a lunch discussion for panel attendees to encourage conversation about the panel. 

The Israel-Hamas Gaza War:  A New Approach to Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict with panelists Shai Feldman, Director, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University and Khalil Shikaki, Senior Fellow, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University on November 12 at 7pm in Brown University's Carmichael Auditorium (BERT 130) at 85 Waterman Street.

The CRLT Players are visiting Brown University Wednesday November 19th with their acclaimed production of “7 into 15” on November 19thAs a nationally renowned touring theatre company housed in the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, the Players use a variety of performance modes and facilitation strategies toward a goal of fostering a University culture and learning environment in which diverse students and instructors can excel. 7 into 15” is a high-energy, interactive performance that uses theatrical representations of a range of issues common in academic life and institutional climate to spark dialogue amongst faculty, students, and academic administrators. 

  • 12 – 1:30 pm: Graduate Student Mentoring performance for Brown faculty and graduate students.
  • 4 – 5:30 pm: All campus performance for Brown faculty, students, staff and administrators

  • Time's Up: Love, Friendship and Transformation Across the Fourth Dimension
  • Youth Arts Day: Imagining Brown + Providence in 2034
  • My Name is Rachel Corrie 
  • Wrestling Jerusalem
  • The Freedom Project
  • The Bacchae,  presented in conjunction with The Roger B. Henkle Memorial Lecture, Fallible Recognition: The Politics of Kinship in the Bacchae presented by Judith Butler. Tuesday, October 14 at 12:30pm.

The Sparks Innovation series is a student-led initiative aimed at developing a community around the concepts of social innovation, design thinking and systems change. Bringing together student ventures, designers, researchers as well as professionals and alumni, the series creates a platform to showcase current activity to students interested in exploring the field.

Middle Eastern Studies Events

Public Safety Initiatives
  • Officer/Student Dialogue and follow-up sessions
  • Community Policing Initiatives
  • Panel Discussion with TWC & PPD: police-citizen encounters
  • DPS Integrity and Transparency
  • Brochure for student rights and responsibilities
  • Citizen Complaints and Stop Data
  • Officer Training


Past Events

Ferguson Teach-In, September 9 @ 5:30, Salomon 101, Sponsored by CSREA

Why Gaza Matters: The War and its Consequences: Teach-in on Gaza with Brown Faculty, September 10, 2014, MacMillan 117

The Literary Arts Department, along with Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature, and the Creative Arts Council, is hosting Panic Cure: Poetry from Spain in the 21st Century, a two-day festival of contemporary poetry (bilingual) on the evenings of Sept 19 and 20. It's rare to be able to bring four significant writers at once from across the sea. It's compelling to see what they are writing, this first generation tocome of age after Franco.


  • September 15, 6:00: Opening Reception: "The Way of Strategy" Perry and Marty Granoff Center for Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street
  • September 17, 5:30pm: Artist Lecture with Christopher Sims, Nightingale-Brown House, Lecture Room, 357 Benefit St.  
  • September 18, 5:00pm: Gallery Night Providence Reception, Paff AuditoriumURI Feinstein Providence Campus, 80 Washington St.
  • September 22, 7:00pm: Guantánamo Teach-In, The UndergroundStephen Robert '62 Campus Center
  • September 25, 7:00pm: Panel Discussion: Who is a Refugee? What Makes a Refuge?, URI Feinstein Providence Campus First Floor Gallery 80 Washington St.

Course: Françoise Hamlin, Introduction to Africana Studies

Course: Sa'ed Adel Atshan, Cultures of the Contemporary Middle East