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Koch Chair fall lecture to feature Syracuse University professor

Dr. Margaret Susan Thompson, an associate professor of history and political science at Syracuse University, presents the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture fall 2010 lecture at 7:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, at Room 204, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, College of Saint Benedict (CSB), St. Joseph.

Thompson will speak on "Memory and Resistance: Catholic Sisters and the Politics of Memory." Her speech is free and open to the public.

Her speech touches on the complex process of exploring the politics of memory by Catholic sisters, which involves negotiating the experience of living as "other" within the structural and spiritual context of a male-dominated church. Raising issues of feminist activism and resistance to patriarchy, Thompson will speak about how women religious have demonstrated that memory can be a tool of resistance as well as a source of inspiration.

Thompson has a doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has published on topics in the field of American history, government and politics, religion and women's history. She is the author of The Spider Web: Congress and Lobbying in the Age of Grant (1985), and has a forthcoming book entitled, The Yoke of Grace: American Nuns and Social Change, 1808-1917: A History of Catholic Sisters in the United States.

The Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture was established at CSB in 2002 with a gift from former CSB Board of Trustees member Barbara "Babs" Gray Koch and her husband, David Koch of Wayzata, Minn.

The intention of the Koch Chair is to provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, and the general public, to gain an enriched understanding of the heritage of Catholic thought that has shaped not only the faith tradition of CSB and SJU but also the pursuit of knowledge across disciplines. The Koch Chair sponsors a lecture series and other events aimed at engaging members of the campus community in dialogue on Catholic thought in relationship to a variety of current issues.