The Core 100 program invites students and faculty from the College to join us for our weekly lecture series. Each week, all of the first-year students participate in lecture-discussions with about 400 of their classmates. We have space in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Williamson Theatre to accommodate individual guests and can have as many as two additional classes at each of the lectures. No permission is needed for classes to attend, but please notify Donna Scimeca (718.982.3405) if you plan to bring a class.

The lectures are 50 minutes and are all in the Williamson Theatre. They meet on the following days/times: Wednesdays at 1:25pm and 3:35pm; on Thursdays at 8:00am, 10:10am, 4:40pm, and 6:30pm; and on Saturdays at 10:10am.

The focus of the Core Lecture Series, this semester, will be to directly link the program’s curriculum to current events.

The Lecture Series Schedule for the Week of Oct. 2, 2017:

Wednesday, Oct. 4:

-1:25pm: “The First Amendment,” presented by George Sanchez

As our news headlines have recently been filled with references to free speech and free expression regarding the protests of NFL football players, this week, we will discuss the First Amendment, what it protects, and what it limits.


George Sanchez is a Professor and Chairperson of the Performing and Creative Arts Department at CSI. This is his seventh year of teaching Core 100.

-3:35pm: “The Divided States of America,” presented by William Fallon

Following the placement of the 14th Amendment in a historical context, this lecture will provide an overview of the impact that this amendment has had on U.S. society following the Civil War. The lecture will then look at the contentious and complex issue of racism existing in the U.S. today. The contemporary Black Lives Matter movement will be utilized as an example of a modern-day racial justice crusade that is attempting to create awareness regarding racism and that is also trying to bridge the ever-widening divide we face as a society in this country.

William Fallon is an Adjunct Professor in CSI’s Core program. He received his MA in History from CSI in 2013. Professor Fallon’s focus is 20th-Century U.S. History and Foreign Policy.


Thursday, Oct. 5:


-8:00am: “#TakeAKnee and the 18th Century: The Enlightenment Origins of Race, Nationalism, and Public Debate,” presented by John Dixon


How is our present related to the past? This lecture draws connections between the #TakeAKnee protests of 2016–2017 and 18th-Century attitudes toward race, national identity, and public debate. It also asks if social media and new digital technologies make us more or less informed, democratic, connected, and empathetic.


John Dixon is an Assistant Professor of History at the College of Staten Island and the author of The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York (Cornell University Press, 2016).


-10:10am: “Fudging Civil Liberties,” presented by Rosemary McCall


We can define civil liberties as our individual freedoms and the personal guarantees of these freedoms. The federal government cannot abridge or alienate these either by judicial interpretation or by law. However, situations like those at Charlottesville, VA and at Berkeley, CA present complex problems. Today’s lecture will consider aspects of the boundaries of assembly and free speech and other freedoms, public opinion, and the government’s role in limiting and policing these liberties.


Rosemary McCall received her BS degree from Brooklyn College, graduating cum laude, with Honors in Geology. She earned her MS at the University of South Carolina.  She was a successful exploration geologist and consultant before graduating from the National Law Center at George Washington University. Prof. McCall then utilized her scientific and legal skills to consult, lecture, and represent clients. Currently Professor McCall pursues her passions as an educator and cantankerous scriptwriter.


-4:40pm and 6:30pm: “India and China,” presented by Michael Matthews


This lecture will discusses the cultural differences between China, India, and the United States. It will also examine their increasing international importance. Finally, this lecture will include a discussion of Anja Manuel’s book This Brave New World, in which the author makes many recommendations on how President Trump should deal with these countries and our role in Eastern Asia.


Michael Matthews earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s of Arts degrees at Brooklyn College/CUNY. He also has a Master in Business Administration (Finance) from Fordham University.


Saturday, Oct. 7:

-10:10am: “Abolitionists and The Underground Railroad: Escape from the Bonds,” presented by John Comfort


This lecture will discuss major abolitionists, the Underground Railroad, and the issues that faced slaves when considering escape. Where would they go? What will become of their families? Also included in this lecture will be a discussion of the impact of the Fugitive Slave Act on the Underground Railroad. The lecture will also ask students to consider if they would assist runaway slaves and will segue into a discussion as to whether the students would assist undocumented people.


John Comfort earned his MA in History from the College of Staten Island in 2003 and has taught classes at CSI in the Core Program and also the American Studies Program since 2006.