In collaboration with a group of students who articulated a strong desire to be in conversation with their peers about major social and institutional topics, we’ve developed a new, institution-wide public forum. Lingua Franca’s goal is to provide students, staff, and faculty with a consistent, structured, and inclusive forum for exploring important social topics that impact life at Bates. Forum topics will be determined by polling the entire community.

Our goal is to retain ultimate flexibility with regard to our format for each Lingua Franca forum in order to foster effective conversations between peers. For instance, we imagine that some discussion topics will benefit from initial framing by a panel of experts in the field, and so we may host a short panel prior to breaking into small group discussions. In other circumstances, the forum may be best-suited to only small group discussion. We believe this kind of programming flexibility will allow us to best serve the community and ensure that Lingua Franca remains vital, intellectually stimulating, and a forum in which difference of opinion is nurtured, explored, and valued.


Part 1 of 3 What Is Citizenship?

Where did the concept come from? And how do contemporary notions of citizenship vary around the world?

This session considers the origins of citizenship including the rights and responsibilities of states to citizens and citizens to states.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 7-8:30 pm in Muskie

Part 2 of 3 Citizenship: Who is Included? Who is Excluded? Why? 

Many criteria, such as birth status, race, ethnicity, gender, economic markers, sexual orientation, health status, and language have been used to determine citizenship. This session asks how we understand citizenship in our lives and national ideals. Are there circumstances under which the rights and benefits of citizenship should be limited or rescinded?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7-8:30 pm in Commons 221/222

Part 3 of 3 Citizenship and Daily Life: When Values and Policies Collide

What are the challenges students and institutions of higher education face when citizenship is contested?

This session considers what Bates and its community members can and should do when citizenship rights are restricted.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7-8:30 pm in Commons 221/222

The 2019 Lingua Franca Program is Co-sponsored by the offices of Global Education, Campus Life, and Intercultural Education (OIE), the programs of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies, and the department of Politics; as well as the Harward Center, the Multifaith Chaplaincy, and the following student clubs: Caribbean Students Association, Latinos Unidos, College Democrats, and the Environmental Coalition.