Important Information Regarding the Spring Semester

Friday Forums

Millsaps College Friday Forums

All Forum events are free and open to the public.

Unless otherwise indicated, forums are held at 
1pm in 
Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Room 215


Upcoming Programs

Friday, September 29, 2017

On Being Sane in an Insane Place: The Rosenhan Experiment in the Laboratory of Roman Comedy

Dr. Michael Fontaine

Come and see how the Romans did psychology!  In the ancient comedy, “The Menaechmus Brothers,” twins, separated at birth, are repeatedly mistaken for each other, resulting in numerous armchair diagnoses of insanity.  In this talk, Dr. Michael Fontaine will use the Rosenhan experiment of 1973 to delve into ancient notions of clinical insanity and its implications for modern psychological diagnoses.

Contact: David Yates

Friday, October 13, 2017

Reflections on Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Dr. Katharine Wilkinson

The full range and impact of climate solutions have not been explained in a way that bridges the divide between urgency and agency. Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, Senior Writer, will reflect on her contributions to Project Drawdown, an organization that facilitates a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders, and activists to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social, and environmental impact over the next thirty years. The preliminary suggestions of Project Drawdown were published earlier this year in Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

Contact: Kenneth Townsend

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dr. Andrew Paxman

In the city of Puebla there lived an American who made himself into the richest man in Mexico. Driven by a steely desire to prove himself--first to his wife's family, then to Mexican elites--William O. Jenkins rose from humble origins in Tennessee to build a business empire in a country energized by industrialization and revolutionary change. In Jenkins of Mexico, Andrew Paxman presents the first biography of this larger-than-life personality. When the decade-long Mexican Revolution broke out in 1910, Jenkins preyed on patrician property owners and bought up substantial real estate. He suffered a scare with a firing squad and then a kidnapping by rebels, an episode that almost triggered a US invasion. After the war he owned textile mills and the country's second-largest bank, developed Mexico's most productive sugar plantation, and helped finance the rise of a major political family, the Ávila Camachos. During the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s-50s, he lorded over the film industry with his movie theater monopoly and key role in production. Reputed as an exploiter of workers, a puppetmaster of politicians, and Mexico's wealthiest industrialist, Jenkins was the gringo that Mexicans loved to loathe. After his wife's death, he embraced philanthropy and willed his entire fortune to a foundation named for her, which co-founded two prestigious universities and funded projects to improve the lives of the poor in his adopted country. Using interviews with Jenkins' descendants, family papers, and archives in Puebla, Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Washington, Jenkins of Mexico tells a contradictory tale of entrepreneurship and monopoly, fearless individualism and coz y deals with power-brokers, embrace of US-style capitalism and political anti-Americanism, and Mexico's transformation from semi-feudal society to emerging economic power.

Contact: Eric Griffin

Friday, October 27, 2017

Recital Hall (Note location change)

Citizen: Reflections on the Humanities and Civic Life

Claudia Rankine

2016 MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine will read from her acclaimed work Citizen, which was the 2016 summer reading assignment for first-year Millsaps students. Rankine will sign copies of her books beforehand, beginning at 12:20pm. A reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Contact: Michael Pickard

Friday, November 3, 2017

Arts & Humanities Symposium

Student Presenters

Millsaps students whose research papers have been judged the best in the arts and humanities will present their work in fifteen-minute talks, with a question-and-answer period to follow. These students are semi-finalists competing for the prizes of best presentation and best research paper of the year in arts and humanities. 

Topics will be diverse and intriguing. Titles will be announced in mid-October once the semi-finalists have been chosen.

Contact: Jason Rosenberg

Friday, November 10, 2017

Education Funding in Mississippi: What to Look for in the 2018 Legislative Session

Local Non-Profit Leaders and State Legislators

Education funding in Mississippi is likely to be one of the most important, and contentious, issues of the 2018 legislative session. Millsaps College is proud to host on November 10 a conversation to help the public better understand what to expect in the months ahead. The program will feature a diverse set of perspectives, including State Senator David Blount; Grant Callen, Founder and President of Empower Mississippi; Sanford Johnson, Deputy Director of Mississippi First; and Nancy Loome, Executive Director of the Parents’ Campaign.

Contact: Kenneth Townsend

Friday, December 1, 2017

Writing the World Whole: The Nature Writer’s Task

Susan Cerulean

Part memoir, part observation, part meditation--Susan Cerulean’s books and essays chronicle the relationship between humans and the Earth in the 21st century. Her most recent book, Coming to Pass: Florida’s Coastal Islands in a Gulf of Change (University of Georgia Press, 2015) was awarded the Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction.

Contact: Steve Smith





For archive videos of previous Friday Forums, visit our YouTube channel.

For more information about the Forums, please contact
Kenneth Townsend,, 601.974.1061