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Lobene Lecture Scheduled for November 4


The School of Arts and Sciences will host the 2013 Lobene Lecture on Monday, November 4, featuring Jane Addams biographer, Louise W. Knight. The lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Golisano Gateway Midlevel.

In her lecture, Knight will discuss Addams’s role, in partnership with other settlement house leaders, in shaping the nation’s social welfare system. In the early 20th century, there were few protections or supports at the state level, and none at the federal level. It was Addams and others who lobbied for, with mixed success, the minimum wage, minimum hours, mothers’ pensions (the first social security legislation), the end of child labor, and industrial safety regulations. And it was in these early decades, between 1900 and 1915, that the nation had its first debate over national health care insurance, thanks to the arguments put forward by progressives like Addams. Her arguments for why the government should take on expanded roles are as important as her political activism. Knight will share Addams’s ideas about our shared civic responsibilities and the role of the government in a democracy in protecting the vulnerable and consider their implications for our public policy debates today.

Knight is an author, lecturer, and historian who has written two biographies of Addams. In 2005, she published “Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy” (University of Chicago Press, 2005), about Addams' formative years. Her second book, “Jane Addams: Spirit In Action” (W.W. Norton, 2010), is the first full life biography of Addams in 37 years. Knight’s work has been published in the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Nation website, Huffington, the Chicago Tribune, and the Women's Media Center website. She lectures often at universities, including Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, and Wellesley College, as well as speaks to organizations ranging from chapters of the American Association of University Women, to the League of Women Voters, to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In her lectures, book talks, and other writings, she explores the connections between early and current progressive civic action.

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