Fall 2021 University Forum Series set to begin Sept. 14

Published 4:31 pm Monday, August 23, 2021

An award winning-writer key in sparking the #MeToo movement, a historian whose research earned wide praise for its deep dive into the story of race relations in Hattiesburg, and a renowned science journalist offering answers on how to address climate change make up the fall 2021 University of Southern Mississippi (USM) University Forum speaker schedule.

Jodi Kantor, a best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the New York Times, kicks off the series Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. with an online presentation. With the exception of Kantor’s presentation, all fall 2021 Forum events will be live and in-person at Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus, although attendance may be limited as required by USM’s COVID-19 protocols. Live streams of events will also be available. For more details and last-minute updates, visit www.usm.edu/forum.

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Kantor’s work with colleague Meghan Twohey to uncover the story of allegations of sexual abuse against prominent film producer Harvey Weinstein fueled a new and powerful stand against sexual harassment globally and is the basis for their book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement that is also the basis for a pending film.

“This fall’s Forum programming explores American’s struggles—past and present and future—to overcome the nation’s most bitter challenges,” said Dr. Andrew Haley, director of University Forum and professor of history. “Our guest speakers illuminate those challenges for our audiences, whether they are about race, sexual discrimination or our climate crisis, and give us hope for a better way forward.”

The remaining fall 2021 University Forum schedule is as follows:


Tuesday, Oct. 12 – Dr. William Sturkey, a former visiting professor in the USM History program faculty who is now an associate professor at the University of North Carolina, will present for University Forum Oct 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium. Dr. Sturkey is author of Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White, a sweeping biracial history of Hattiesburg during the Jim Crow era. In 2020 it won the Zócalo Public Square Book Prize.

Tuesday, Nov. 2 – David Wallace-Wells is a is a science journalist and a New York Times bestselling-author whose writing focuses on climate change, the impact it will have on our lives, and what we can do to mitigate the crisis. His book, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, was named one of the best books of 2019 by The New York Times, GQ, the New Yorker, and Time magazine. He will present for University Forum Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium.


University Forum is presented by the USM Honors College. For questions about University Forum, email forum@usm.edu or visit https://www.usm.edu/honors/about-university-forum.php.