Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series

The history of the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series

Mary L SeifertMary L. Seifert's rich family history with Clarion University can be traced to 1907 with the enrollment of her mother, Sabina Mooney-Seifert, and her uncle, Charles A. Mooney. From 1909 to 1912, her grandfather, John A. Mooney, served as a trustee for the Clarion Normal School. Shortly after her mother’s and uncle's graduations in 1909, their two younger siblings, Thomas W. and John A., were to follow family tradition by attending Clarion. Two of Seifert's uncles became medical doctors after furthering their education at the University of Michigan. To date at least 18 members of her extended family have graduated from Clarion.

Seifert loved music and the arts. As an investment in young people, she chose to endow a culture and lecture series at Clarion University to ignite the passion for learning that she encouraged. Through that endowment, the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series Endowment of the Clarion University Foundation, Inc., was established to provide the Clarion University community with cultural experiences that inspire learning through thoughtful discussions.

More about Mary Seifert can be found here.

In honor of Mary Seifert Clarion University holds an annual series of events tied to a particular cultural theme. The theme of the 2016-17 Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series is "The United States of Gender." Events will focus on various issues surrounding men, women and transgender people. All Seifert Series events are free and open to the public.

Seifert Series Events

Insights and Experiences Panel Discussion, Sept. 6 - 7 p.m. Hart Chapel

Panelists will discuss their perspectives on attending the Republican and Democratic National Conventions (students); perspectives inspired by their academic disciplines (faculty); and reflections on their experiences as candidates and/or elected officials (local politicians).

Panelists are:

Kara Sorenson, RNC student attendee

Lizzie Williams, DNC student attendee

Dr. Kathleen Welsch, English Department

Dr. Kathleen McIntyre, History and Women & Gender Studies Depts.

Kerith Strano Taylor, candidate for the U.S. House (D)

State Rep. Donna Oberlander (R)

The audience is encouraged to participate in a question and answer period.

Winter's Bone Movie Poster

"Winter's Bone," Sept. 13 - 7 p.m. Suites on Main North Theater

"Her family home in danger of being repossessed after her meth-cooking dad skips bail and disappears, Ozark teen Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) breaks the local code of conduct by confronting her kin about their conspiracy of silence. Should she fail to track her father down, Ree Dolly, her younger siblings, and their disabled mother will soon be rendered homeless. Author: Jason Buchanan" –

Attendees are encouraged to stay after the movie for a discussion of the themes relevant to this year's series.



"Trapped," Oct. 11 - 7 p.m. Suites on Main North TheaterTrapped Movie Poster

What remains of a woman's right to choose? Since 2010, 288 laws regulating abortion providers have been passed by state legislatures. As the U.S. Supreme Court decides in 2016 whether individual states may essentially outlaw abortion (Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt), "Trapped" follows clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of the battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.

Attendees are encouraged to stay after the movie for a discussion of the themes relevant to this year's series.




Carlos Andrés Gómez, Reimagining Modern Manhood, Oct. 18 - 7 p.m. Gemmell Multipurpose Room

Carlos Gomez pictureAward-winning poet, actor, speaker and writer from New York City. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is the author of the coming-of-age memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood. Like many men in our society, Gómez grew up believing that he should be ready to fight at all times, treat women as objects and close off his emotional self. It wasn't until he discovered acting that he began to realize the true cost of squelching one's emotions and how aggression dominates everything that young males are taught. Plummeting graduation and employment rates and dire teen suicide statistics show that young males in our society are at a crisis point. Gómez seeks to reverse these alarming trends by sharing lessons about life, love, and vulnerability. Gómez urges men of all ages to break society's rules of male conformity and reconsider not just what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a good man.

Please be advised, this performance deals with adult themes and uses adult language.

This event is sponsored by Clarion University's Interfraternity Council.

Sarah Jaffee, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, Nov. 7 - 7 p.m. Gemmell Multipurpose Room

Sarah Jaffe picture

Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. She is the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt (Nation Books 2016).

Her work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, the Week, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and many other publications.

This event is part of Clarion University's Equity Week celebration.



Rebecca Traister, Big Girls Don't Cry, Nov. 10 - 7 p.m. Gemmell Multipurpose Room

Rebecca Traister picture

Rebecca Traister is a senior writer at, where she has covered women in media, politics and entertainment since 2003. She covered, with much attention and acclaim, the 2008 campaign from a feminist (and personal) perspective. She received a huge response to her pieces on Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, the media's coverage of the candidates, and the role of women within the media. Her book Big Girls Don't Cry is the result. It makes sense of this moment in American history, in which women broke barriers and changed the country's narrative in completely unexpected ways.

This event is part of Clarion University's Equity Week celebration.


"Chi-Raq," Nov. 15 - 7 p.m. Suites on Main North Theater

A gang leader's girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) is called to action after a child is killed by a stray bullet. She convinces Chi Raq postera group of women to help put an end to the violence in Chicago's South Side by taking a vow of abstinence, which will only end when their men decide to bring peace to the city. Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Hudson and Angela Bassett co-star in Spike Lee's adaptation of Aristophanes' play, "Lysistrata." Author: Erin Demers

Attendees are encouraged to stay after the movie for a discussion of the themes relevant to this year's series.

Last Updated 10/10/16