“You did this in the belief that you would avoid giving an account of your life, but I maintain quite the opposite will happen to you. There will be more people to test you. . . They will be more difficult to deal with as they will be younger. . .”

— Socrates to the City of Athens after he is sentenced to death for corrupting the youth by encouraging them to ask questions (Apology, 39c)

Welcome to the Forum. Each year, for a month, the campus turns its attention to a social issue. We choose a topic, and invite scholars to present opposing points of view, but in the end, the students have the last word.

Theme: Race

Racism is repugnant. But, before we can reject racism, we need an account of race. What does it mean to say that someone is black or white? Are we referring to biological features, social institutions or some combination of the two? Are races real or just an illusion? Does the meaning ‘race’ affect how we think of racial equality? This year, the Forum discusses race.

Our first speaker is philosopher Ron Mallon of the University of Utah. Dr. Mallon’s research focuses on naturalistic understandings of culture and the mind. In his presentation he will argue that we cannot have a univocal, social constructionist account of race.

Our second speaker is sociologist Charles Gallagher of Georgia State University. Dr. Gallagher specializes in race relations, urban studies, and inequality. His presentation will focus on race as a socially constructed phenomena.

After our speakers visit, keep your eyes on the Conglomerate. Four Centenary students will publish their responses to Gallagher and Mallon’s arguments in the February 6, 2004 edition. Soon afterwards, we will meet to discuss our speakers’ theories and these responses.

— Michelle Wolkomir, Christopher Ciocchetti and Karin Breuer


  • Dr. Ron Mallon, Philosophy, University of Utah
    • January 27, 2004: 7-9p, Kilpatrick Auditorium
  • Dr. Charles Gallagher, Sociology, Georgia State University
    • January 29, 2004: 7-9p, Kilpatrick Auditorium
  • Student Response
    • 4 responses published in the February 6, 2004 edition of the Conglomerate
    • February 10, 2004: 7-9p, Kilpatrick Auditorium