MCLA To Offer Lectures, Presentations on Education as Part of Its Annual Leadership Academy & CAGS Programming


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - In association with its Leadership Academy and Certified of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) program held on campus each summer, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces a number of events and lectures, all of which are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, July 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, MCLA's Leadership Academy will present a "play on history" by the late Howard Zinn, titled "Marx in Soho." This presentation is an introduction to Marx's life, his analysis of society, and his passion for radical change. Its premise is that Karl Marx has agitated with the authorities of the afterlife for a chance to clear his name.

Through a bureaucratic error, though, Marx is sent to Soho in New York, rather than his old stomping ground in London, to make his case.

Zinn is best known for his book, "A Peoples History of the United States." Through "Marx in Soho," he also introduces us to Marx's wife, Jenny, his children, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, and a host of other characters.

On Sunday, July 13, from 8 to 10 a.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, educator Brian Jones will present a lecture on "Racism and Segregation in Public Education Today."

Sixty years after the Supreme Court decision that ruled segregated schools unconstitutional, public education in the United States is profoundly segregated by race and by class, according to Jones.

This lecture will discuss the legacy of the tremendous battles waged to desegregate the schools, how the victories against segregation were reversed, and what lessons we might learn for today's struggle for educational and social justice.

Jones taught elementary grades for nine years in New York City's public schools, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in urban education at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He co-narrated the film, "The Inconvenient Truth behind Waiting for Superman," and has contributed to the book "Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation."

An African American actor and activist, Jones has been performed this one-man show across the country since 1999.

On Saturday, July 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, M. Francyne Huckaby, an associate professor of curriculum studies and director of the Center for Public Education at Texas Christian University, will present "Public Education: Voice, Activism and Uprising."

"Public Education:  Voice, Activism and Uprising" weaves together the theoretical and the practical, the historical and the present, the audiovisual and textual to explore and understand how communities are organizing and uprising for public education.

While addressing national phenomena, the presentation more closely follows the activism of key teacher, parent, and community organizations in Chicago, New York and Houston as they make their voices public in the struggle against the international neoliberal privatization of public education.

"Public Education:  Voice, Activism and Uprising" witnesses parents, educators, students, academics and community members collective actions against the dismantling of U.S. public education.

By following organizations, documenting their actions, and interviewing their activists, Huckaby explores acts of participatory democracy to reclaim the role of the public in public education.

Huckaby's scholarship and pedagogy merge academic knowledge with attentiveness to tacit knowledge formed by culture, context, and current realities to explore and create spaces for anti-oppressive discourses and practices. 

Her current research and filmmaking focuses on community resistance to neoliberal privatization of education. Her honors include the TCU Deans' Teaching Award, TCU Mortar Board Preferred Professor, Straight for Equality from PFLAG, and Outstanding Dissertation from AERA Qualitative Research SIG.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Huckabylived and worked with six South Foré villages in Papua New Guinea.

On Tuesday, July 22, from 8 to 10 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, Sut Jhally, professor of Communication at UMASS-Amherst and founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation (MEF, will present a lecture, "Tough Guise: Masculinity and the Cultures of Violence."

This lecture looks at the way in which "normal" definitions of masculinity position violence, intimidation and threat as key components of modern manhood. Also examined are ways to live outside of these constraining stories, so that boys have a chance of becoming "better men."

Jhally is one of the world's leading scholars to look at the role played by advertising and popular culture in the processes of social control and identity construction. The author of numerous books and articles on media, including "The Codes of Advertising" and "Enlightened Racism," Jhally also is an award-winning teacher and  a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Massachusetts, where the student newspaper has also voted him "Best Professor."

Born in Kenya, raised in England, educated in graduate studies in Canada, he currently lives in Northampton, Mass.

For more information about these events and MCLA's Leadership Academy and CAGS program, go to .