Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum with Professor Claudia Rankine

December 7, 2021

The much-anticipated 34th annual Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum on Faith, Ethics and Global Society was held on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. The Chaplaincy welcomed award-winning poet and author Claudia Rankine as keynote speaker. Professor Rankine recently joined the New York University Creative Writing Program after serving as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. She is the author of six collections of poetry, three plays and numerous video collaborations. Among her many awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry and the Poets & Writers' Jackson Poetry Prize.

In the 50-minute Forum keynote, Professor Rankine shared how she selected the images and developed the concepts for her book, Citizen: What It Means to Be an American Citizen in 'Post-racial' Society. Her discussion of this creative process helped us all re-examine our own social location and understanding of citizenship. Rankine's keynote was followed by a 20-minute question and answer session, and her thoughtful responses prompted meaningful dialogue about the role each of us plays in effecting change in our world. A reception was held after the Forum in the Booth Lobby of the Modlin Center for the Arts. Professor Rankine attentively spoke with the many students, faculty, and staff who gathered to secure a signed copy of her book.

Because of COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, the Forum had a limited in-person capacity that included only faculty, staff and students. Around 150 on-campus guests gathered in Camp Concert Hall, and one-hundred seventeen alumni, friends and community members joined the event via live stream. A highlight of the evening was having many faculty in attendance with their students who had read Rankine's book Citizen in their courses.

We are grateful to the Weinstein and Rosenthal families for their generosity in funding the Forum, to the many partners who made it possible, and to Claudia Rankine for her insightful lecture. We look forward to the 35th annual Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum on Monday, October 3, 2022.