COVID-19 Safety Information

Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee

2022/2023 Academic Year Theme: Work

We live in a world not only organized around work but also marked by its permanent crisis. Philosophically speaking, work is not simply something a person does for a living, often – though not always - for a wage. It is also an activity that is intimately tied to one’s innermost sense of self, a vehicle for self-expression that may help realize life’s purpose. Furthermore, work has a history too: for most U.S. Americans for instance, it would have meant agricultural labor in the 19thcentury, large-scale manufacture for much of the 20th century, occupation in the service industry since the 1970s, and, most recently and further accelerated by the COVD-19 pandemic, a proliferation of “gig jobs” and “microwork,” informalized types of labor with few protections and little job security. As it recognizes that work is also heavily racialized and gendered, the Cultural & Intellectual Climate Committee has selected the topic of “work” as its umbrella rubric for the academic year 2022-2023.

Our Common Read

Davarian Baldwin's In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities Are Plundering Our Cities is our campus common read for this academic year. This book examines the often-parasitic relationship between universities and their urban environments but also look at alternatives that rebuild communities and renew a sense of common purpose.  

“Insightful, compelling, and timely. This book lays the groundwork for the role of universities in creating equitable and just cities.” 

―Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

Fall Events

October 11, 2022 at 5 p.m., Old Main, Brown Auditorium

Shalini Kantayya

Shalini Kantayya, is a filmmaker, and acclaimed documentarian, known for her award-winning documentary film Coded Bias (available on Netflix). In her talk, she will explore the biases inherent in technology, and A.I., disrupting the assumption that A.I., science, and technology are inherently neutral and objective. She will also shed light on key questions about racial and gender bias in tech, data privacy, and human rights while revealing uncomfortable truths about how these systems evolve—and how they adversely impact marginalized communities, especially through law enforcement. Link:

October 25, 2022, at 4:30-6:00 pm Colloquium room, Old Main

Joshua M. Myers

Joshua M. Myers is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University. He will deliver a talk titled “Cedric Robinson and the Precepts of Black Studies”, which explores the question of Black Studies and the manifold concerns of the discipline. Myers’s talk is based on his forthcoming book titled Of Black Study, and also on his recent intellectual biography of Cedric Robinson, one of the towering radical intellectuals of African descent of the last 50 years. Link:

November 3, 2022, at 5 p.m., Dowd Gallery, Dowd Fine Arts Center, Room 106

Distinguished Voices in Literature: Gina Nutt

Gina Nutt is the author of the essay collection Night Rooms (Two Dollar Radio). She earned her MFA from Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Forever Mag, Joyland, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Nutt will give a reading and discussion of her essay collection, which navigates the intimate and necessary work of reflecting on trauma, loss, identity and survival. Link:

November 30, 2022, at 4 p.m., Fireplace Lounge, Corey Union

Distinguished Voices in Literature: Dr. Asilia Franklin-Phipps

Dr. Franklin-Phipps is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at SUNY New Paltz. She will deliver the Van Burd Memorial lecture for Fall 2022, drawing on a capacious range of disciplinary practices (including sociology of education, critical theory, literary studies, and writing studies) to explore the work of race education in English and art classrooms and in teacher education programs.


The Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC) is an all-campus committee of faculty and staff appointed by the Provost. Each year members of the Committee choose a theme to frame a year-long series of lectures, discussions, film screenings, and art exhibitions. This theme is meant to promote cultural life on campus and help the campus and Cortland community engage in discussions connected to issues relevant to today's world.

If you are a member of SUNY Cortland's faculty or staff and would like to participate in the CICC, please contact Nikolay Karkov or Szilvia Kadas, the committee's co-chairs. If you are member of the student body or the Cortland community and have a suggestion for a speaker or event, please feel free to contact us as well.

Nikolay Karkov:

Szilvia Kadas: