If after the weekend you find yourself prematurely recovered from the turkey (or, OK, tofu) torpor, and you care to get a little perspective on the warring factions within your family, or if you’re feeling complacent and guilty for your relative prosperity, Davis offers a free double-whammy of sobering how-the-world-works lectures.

On Tuesday the 29th, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Bookstore Special Events Room, 169 Memorial Union, Maimul Khan discusses his book Human Rights in the Muslim World: Fundamentalism, Constitutionalism, and International Politics. Kahn is well qualified, from scholarship and from personal experience, to address how democratic principles and human rights have or have not been obtained in other places; in 1988, his advocacy against corruption at the University of Dhaka in his native Bangladesh prompted severe government-sanctioned persecution, and his later installation at the UC Davis School of Law was facilitated by the United States’ Scholars at Risk program. His book’s title is as timely as it is self-explanantory.

Likewise, on Wednesday, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the same location, Miroslav Nincic discusses his new book, Renegade Regimes: Confronting Deviant Behavior in World Politics. If you’ve considered sanctions, military actions or cultural domineering as a means of contending with your in-laws’ worsening hostility, you’re likely to gain a sense of solidarity, let alone humility, from studying America’s grapples with terrorism, proliferating weapons of mass destruction, human-rights violations and other affronts to international law and human decency.

Thanksgiving, the theory goes, is a formal expression of gratitude for the abundance of our various harvests. Its lore also commemorates cooperation between disparate cultures. Remembering what the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims were able to work out in the 17th century couldn’t hurt as we chart a course in the 21st.