Doris Duke Center, Sarah P. Duke Gardens—With the federal government still in deadlock over how to handle the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., communities across North Carolina are faced with an ethical question—who belongs here, and who doesn't?
North Carolina's percentage growth rate in immigrant populations—both legal and illegal—is the highest in the country, and it's quickly changing the economy, culture and racial balance of the state. Lacking federal guidance, local governments have experimented with immigration policy, meaning different rules could apply to immigrants in Carrboro than in Vance County or even Chapel Hill.
"The culture is changing in some places, and some people welcome it and others don't," says Noah Pickus director of Duke University's Kenan Institute for Ethics.
Pickus will lead panel discussions of the ethics at stake as communities sort through competing claims about human rights, social order, economics and what it means to be an American citizen. A range of academics and policy experts, including journalist Tamar Jacoby and local activist and leader John Herrera, will participate in three consecutive panels. The panels cover the collapse of federal reform and the future of amnesty and guest workers, the state and local response in the wake of that collapse and the assimilation of immigrants. —Juliana Hanson"On the Border of Order: Contemporary U.S. Immigration Principles and Policies" is today from noon to 5 p.m. at the Doris Duke Center in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. The event is free and open to the public. For more info, call 660-3033 or visit kenan.ethics.duke.edu/calendar.asp#symposium.
Regulator Bookshop—How many times do we read praise of depression? Not often, right? In Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy. Wake Forest University professor Eric Wilson takes an unusual viewpoint: He asks why Americans pursue happiness so urgently, and pop pills and read self-help books. Wilson argues melancholia is the entry to an emancipated culture—no depression, then no Hemingway, Dickinson or Van Gogh. Discard your useless happiness and head for a better world. Wilson discusses and signs copies of his book at at 7 p.m. Visit www.regbook.com for more. —Bruna Zacka