Saul O Sidore Lecture Series

Named for humanitarian and New Hampshire businessman Saul O Sidore, the Sidore Lecture Series was established in 1979 by PSU and the Sidore Memorial Foundation. The series brings a variety of speakers to campus to address critical issues and events in politics, society, and culture, topics that reflect Sidore’s interests.

All Sidore lectures are free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. A reception follows each lecture. Lectures are presented in the Smith Recital Hall in the Silver Center for the Arts, unless otherwise noted.

Digital versions of the Spring 2021 Series are also available here.

Spring 2022 Series

Recovery and Renewal

The Spring Sidore Lecture Series focuses on how New Hampshire recovers and renews in the wake of social disruptions and widespread trauma. Lectures will explore past experiences and current efforts to understand how we heal as individuals and communities.

All lectures are held in person unless otherwise specified. Webinar registration is posted below for those who choose to join online.

Tuesday, April 19, 7 p.m. | Smith Recital Hall and Online

Reverberations: Making Prolonged Change

Moderator: Gene Martin
Panelists: Shantel Palacio, Ronelle Tshiela, Hon. Jackie K. Weatherspoon

Social disruptions and widespread trauma have created reverberations that have inspired a new generation of changemakers throughout society. For this lecture, we will gather a group of leaders for a panel discussion to share their individual journeys and the steps they see for making a prolonged difference in their greater communities. These leaders will provide a roadmap for others who are passionate about addressing critical issues and events in politics, society, and culture.

The Honorable Jacquelyne K. Weatherspoon has served as a seconded person with Diplomatic Status at the US State Dept and with UNDP, UNIFEM, and UN Women as a Senior International Election Officer. Jackie has also served as a Technical Advisor with Club de Madrid, Former Heads of State on issues of Women, Leadership, Peace, and Security in the Greater Horn of Africa. At home, she was elected to three terms as a NH State Representative. She recently completed her political appointment with the US Civil Rights Commission, State Advisory Committee. Jackie is a mediator and trainer for the Harvard Law School’s Program On Negotiation. She joyfully supports the Working Group on Girls through her organization, Decisions In Democracy International.

Ronelle Tshiela is co-founder of Black Lives Matter Manchester and a first-year student at UNH School of Law. In the Summer of 2020, she was appointed to serve as a commissioner on Governor Chris Sununu’s state-level Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency. She was also recently named to the New Hampshire 200 by the NH Business Review, who credited the honored individuals as those who have made “the greatest impact on the state’s economy, business climate, and quality of life.”

Shantel Palacio is the Principal Advisor at Urbane Advisory and a consulting partner at the Perception Institute. She consults on education policy and on implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Her community work and research have been featured across several mediums including NPR, GQ Japan Magazine, West’s Education Law Reporter, The Gotham Film and Media Institute, and citations in Harvard’s IOP. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of New Hampshire.

Wednesday, January 26, 7 p.m. | Online Only

Reclamation: Creating Equitable Communities Through Collaborative Innovation 

Fiona McEnany ’18

The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a devastating blow to New Hampshire with more than 200,000 cases—almost 15% of our population. By December 2021, hospitals—particularly in rural areas—were at, or nearing, capacity. Early in the pandemic, the state experienced job loss at more than twice the rate of the Great Recession and to date has lost more than 27,000 jobs. New Hampshire continues to address catastrophic losses and stresses to systems while simultaneously healing and rebuilding. Protracted crises compel us to evaluate current systems, identify challenges, and to return to and improve the rudimentary foundations of societal structures. McEnany will discuss how the intersections of our individual roles as scientists, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and more can create opportunities to reconfigure our systems to increase equity, and how it is our societal responsibility to contribute to equity-driven innovation.

Fall 2021 Series


We are currently living through multiple interconnected crises. The Fall 2021 Sidore speakers will help us understand their origins and potential responses. 

Tuesday, November 2, 7 p.m. | Smith Recital Hall

Teaching to Trauma

Niki Tulk, Ph.D.

Sixty one percent of adults in the US have suffered at least one traumatic childhood experience, 81% women report being sexually assaulted, 67.8% of children in the US are traumatized by 16 years old. And this was before COVID. Given the extent to which trauma affects every element of society, devising a practice-based set of recommendations for performing trauma-related material and also teaching students is both an urgent and productive challenge for those who wish to express, and perhaps even begin to mend, the broken spirit of the world through art and pedagogy. This talk will address how, through centralizing trauma experience as normative—the order of things rather than a “disorder”— and by understanding the way our brains and bodies work together to keep ourselves safe and heal, we can create a paradigm shift in the arts (and society) that might assist in creating spaces that cultivate acknowledgement and healing without sacrificing commitment to truth-telling.

Dr. Tulk is an Australian experimental theatre-maker, performer/improviser, writer, poet and performance studies scholar, and currently Teaching Faculty in Theatre at Plymouth State University. Her research explores a feminist, embodied and ethical poetics around the performance of trauma experience, and her book, Performing the Wound: Practicing a Feminist Theatre of Becoming will published by Routledge, U.K. in 2022. Her full length poetry book, O, won the 2021 Driftwood Full Length Poetry Prize and will be published by Driftwood Press in 2022. She is currently completing an advanced Trauma Certificate with the Trauma Research Foundation in Boston, and her pedagogy combines somatic, trauma-informed methodologies and a focus on utilizing the imagination to facilitate enhanced creativity and healing. Niki holds two separate doctorates from the University of Colorado Boulder: in Theatre and Performance Studies; and in Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance. She has a Masters of Education from the University of Georgia in Language and Literacy, and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School, NYC.

Tuesday, October 12, 7 p.m. | Smith Recital Hall

American Conspiracy Theories

Joseph E. Uscinski, Ph.D.

Professor Uscinski will discuss the popularity and trends in conspiracy theories over time. Using a wealth of survey evidence, he will show that many of the popular claims about conspiracy theories are false, or unsupported. Uscinski will also discuss the causes and consequences of conspiracy theories in both our politics and our daily lives.

Dr. Joseph E. Uscinski is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami. He studies public opinion and mass media with a focus on conspiracy theories and related misinformation. His research has appeared in Journal of PoliticsPolitical Research Quarterly, and Critical Review among other scholarly outlets. His first book, The People’s News: Media, Politics, and the Demands of Capitalism (New York University Press, 2014) addresses how audience demands drive news content. His second book, American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford University Press, 2014) coauthored with Joseph Parent, examines why people believe in conspiracy theories. Dr. Uscinski received his doctorate from the University of Arizona, his master’s from the University of New Hampshire, and his bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State. We are proud to welcome him home to PSU.  

Friday, September 24, 7 p.m. | Smith Recital Hall

Before Anti-Autism: Cow Mania and the Vaccination Debates

Travis Chi Wing Lau, Ph.D.

This talk will turn to the late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth century debates over Edward Jenner’s campaigns to nationalize vaccination in Britain. Well before Andrew Wakefield’s retracted article in the Lancet claiming the MMR vaccine caused autism, opponents of Jenner’s vaccination like Benjamin Moseley and William Rowley decried vaccination as a violent, dangerous procedure that would corrupt the vaccinated, especially children, by reducing them to a bovine state. Lau makes the case that much of the current anti-autism bent of contemporary anti-vaccination discourse draws its rhetoric and affective strategies from long-standing ableist anxieties surrounding “cow mania,” a condition associated with the violation of species boundaries and with class tensions.

Travis Chi Wing Lau (he/him/his) is assistant professor of English at Kenyon College. His research and teaching focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, health humanities, and disability studies. Alongside his scholarship, Lau frequently writes for venues of public scholarship like Synapsis: A Journal of Health Humanities, Public Books, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. His poetry has appeared in Barren Magazine, Wordgathering, Glass, South Carolina Review, Foglifter, andthe New Engagement, as well as in two chapbooks, The Bone Setter (Damaged Goods Press, 2019) and Paring (Finishing Line Press, 2020). []