Sunday, March 1, 2009

Figures of Speech (and Finance?)

What do acclaimed animals rights activist and author Gary Francione, our own Provost Chris Eisgruber and gay, Palestinian fashion designer Rami Kashou have in common? Probably nothing, which just goes to show you what an eclectic bunch we get here at Princeton. Here’s a sampling of this week’s lecture buffet:

“Animals as Persons” on Tuesday March 3, 6:00 in the Whitman Common Room – In a dinner discussion sponsored by the Princeton Bioethics Forum, Gary L. Francione, a professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark, will ruminate on the tricky issues of animal rights activism. One of the founders and pioneering forces in the abolitionist school of animal rights activism, Francione rejects the idea of animals as property and promotes veganism as a rejection of the use of all animal products. Drawing from his latest book, Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation (2008), Francione will discuss his theories on cheese omelets, the ethics of turkey sandwiches, and his views on Peter Singer. He will be aided in his attempt to convert you to veganism with catered vegan Indian food. Go for the vegan fixings; stay because you’re wondering what kind of thinker finds Peter Singer too moderate in his demands .

“Town Hall Meeting on the Financial Outlook of the University” on Wednesday March 4, 3:00 in McCosh 10 – In a “town hall” style meeting popularized by the presidential elections (and centuries of use before that, probably), University representatives will provide audience members with an overview of Princeton’s financial situation and projections for the next fiscal year. A panel including Provost Chris Eisgruber, Executive VP Mark Burstein, VP of Finance and Treasurer Carolyn Ainslie and VP of Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley will also discuss the University’s long-term plans, followed by a Q and A session. Go because the University’s financial situation matters, no matter who you and how you are affiliated with Princeton; stay because, seriously, this is kind of a big deal.

“Rami Kashou: From Ramallah to Project Runway and Beyond” on Thursday March 5, 4:30 in Feinberg CafĂ©, Center for Jewish Life – This is definitely the funky, fun outlier lecture for the week. If you watch Project Runway (which I’m not ashamed to admit I do – or did back in the days when I had time to watch TV), you know that Rami Kashou is a young Palestinian fashion designer who gained fame on the hit Broadway show for his elegant forms and beautiful fabric draping. In a talk sponsored by the CJL, LGBT, and Pride Alliance, Kashou will discuss his childhood in Israel, immigration, his personal fashion style, and more. Go because he sounds like a fascinating personality; stay because you still think he should have won the fourth season of Project Runway.