President’s Forum to Host Brison – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

President’s Forum to Host Brison

An expert on sexual violence, Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dartmouth College Dr. Susan Brison will join the Colleges’ ongoing dialogue about enhancing a culture of respect as she visits HWS as the next guest of the President’s Forum Series. The forum will take place beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9 in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center.  

Through her scholarly articles and lectures, Brison has brought greater philosophical attention to the topics of rape, domestic violence, hate speech and pornography. A prominent voice in the anti-rape movement for nearly 25 years, she has raised public awareness of gender-based violence through international talks, radio and television interviews, and articles in The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, and other newspapers, magazines, and blogs. She is the author of “Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self,” called a “wise and extremely moving reflection” by The Nation, which shares Brison’s personal narrative of recovery and philosophical exploration of trauma. At Dartmouth, Brison also teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

“As the Hobart and William Smith community works together to enhance a culture of respect on campus, I am pleased to welcome Susan Brison to this important and continuing dialogue,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “A leading scholar in her field, Professor Brison brings an astute and varied perspective at the intersection of philosophy, women’s studies and ethics. I am grateful for the engagement and insight of the HWS Sexual Violence Taskforce, which recommended that Professor Brison join the conversation taking place at Hobart and William Smith. She joins us at an important moment in the Colleges’ history.”

The President’s Forum Series event featuring Brison is part of a broader, campus-wide dialogue about respect and fostering positive change at the Colleges. At Convocation in September, Gearan introduced the Culture of Respect initiative and recently announced the accompanying steering committee co-chaired by Professor Emeritus of Economics Pat McGuire L.H.D.’12 and Mara O’Laughlin ’66, L.H.D.’13. The steering committee is focusing on ideas in five key areas: safety and wellness, campus facilities, history and heritage, dialogue across differences and the curriculum.

A member of the Dartmouth faculty since 1985, Brison has held visiting positions at Tufts University, New York University, and Princeton University. She has been a Mellon Fellow at New York University and is a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.

Brison is the co-editor of Contemporary Perspectives on Constitutional Interpretation (Westview, 1993), and has published articles in The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Al Jazeera America, The Huffington Post, and other newspapers, magazines and blogs. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in philosophy from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

The President’s Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000 by President Mark D. Gearan, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty and staff of the Colleges, as well as with interested community members. The most recent guests of the series were political strategists Mary Matalin P’17 and James Carville L.H.D. ’13, P’17.