• Marian Miner Cook
    Athenaeum

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

  • Marian Miner Cook
    Athenaeum

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

  • Marian Miner Cook
    Athenaeum

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

Unique in U.S. higher education, the Athenaeum brings today’s leading scholars and activists, innovators and entrepreneurs, politicians and poets, scientists and musicians to engage our community in an intimate and relaxed setting. A complete, current list of open events is available.

The Athenaeum has a mobile app for Apple and Android devices, enabling you to see what's coming up at the Ath and quickly add events to your mobile calendar. Download the iPhone and iPad version or the Google Play version for Android phones.

Coming Up at the Ath

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - Lunch Program
Ancient DNA, Evolution, and Domestication
Greger Larson '96
A canine DNA researcher—by way of a CMC education in environment, economics, and politics—Greger Larson will discuss how next generation DNA sequencing techniques are revolutionizing our understanding of human evolution and animal domestication, with a particular focus on the ancient ties between humans and dogs.

After graduating from CMC in 1996, Greger Larson spent a year in Central Asia on a Watson Fellowship before starting a job in the environmental consulting industry in Azerbaijan. Subsisting on a literary diet of Stephen J. Gould’s writings, he worked and wandered the deserts of Turkmenistan over the next three years.

Ultimately concluding that “evolution was cooler than oil,” Larson pursued his masters in archeology at Oxford University, continued further studies in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, and completed his Ph.D. in zoology at Oxford in 2006.

Larson is currently a professor at Oxford University where he uses ancient DNA to address a wide variety of questions about evolution, migration, and domestication. He also directs the Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network, also at Oxford University.

(He says that he rarely wonders what his salary would be had he stuck to oil.)

This event is closed.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - Special Program
Dinner Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest (2nd Night)
Under the Lights
Under the Lights is proud to present Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People. An exciting, wild comedy that takes you through false identities, marriage proposals, babies in handbags, and countless cucumber sandwiches, the play is a satire of the Victorian period, when intricate, unspoken codes of behavior governed everything from communication to sexuality. Despite the passage of time, the play’s witty dialogue and timeless satire make it a perennial favorite. 

Directed by Cassie Lewis ’17, cast members include Anoush Baghdassarian '17, Evan Boyer '19, Julien Chien '17, Namrata Dev '19, Micaela Ferguson '17, Henry Minervini '19, Victor Panyarskiy '20, and Anthony Sidhom '17. 

This event is closed.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - Special Program
Dinner Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest (3rd Night)
Under the Lights
Under the Lights is proud to present Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People. An exciting, wild comedy that takes you through false identities, marriage proposals, babies in handbags, and countless cucumber sandwiches, the play is a satire of the Victorian period, when intricate, unspoken codes of behavior governed everything from communication to sexuality. Despite the passage of time, the play’s witty dialogue and timeless satire make it a perennial favorite. 

Directed by Cassie Lewis ’17, cast members include Anoush Baghdassarian '17, Evan Boyer '19, Julien Chien '17, Namrata Dev '19, Micaela Ferguson '17, Henry Minervini '19, Victor Panyarskiy '20, and Anthony Sidhom '17. 

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges.
Monday, April 03, 2017 - Evening Program
The Environment of Childhood Poverty
Gary W. Evans
Most would agree that poverty is bad for children; less clear is why. Gary Evans' work suggests that one reason for the adverse developmental implications of childhood poverty is exposure to an accumulation of physical (e.g., substandard housing, chaos) and psychosocial (e.g., instability, turmoil) risk factors—with devastating long term impact.

Gary W. Evans is the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology in the departments of design & environmental analysis and human development at Cornell University. An environmental and developmental psychologist, he is interested in how physical environment affects human health and well being in particular among children. His specific areas of expertise include the environment of childhood poverty, children's environments, cumulative risk and child development, environmental stressors, and the development of children's environmental attitudes and behaviors. 

Evans is the author of over 300 scholarly articles and chapters plus five books. He was a core member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, the board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academy of Sciences, and the board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Center for Disease Control. Evans is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and received a Docteur Honoris Causa from Stockholm University. Celebrated as an award winning teacher, he has taught and lectured in over 50 countries.

Monday, April 03, 2017 - Evening Program
Czeslaw Milosz and T.S. Eliot: On Literature, Past and Future
Peter Dale Scott
After years of studying and writing about the two poets Czeslaw Milosz and T.S. Eliot, award-winning poet Peter Dale Scott provides a trenchant assessment of their work as part of a new study on Milosz. 

Czeslaw Milosz and T.S. Eliot were two of the most luminous figures of 20th century poetry. Milosz, who was inspired by Eliot’s work (he translated “The Waste Land” into Polish during World War II), developed his own response to the atrocities and despair of the modern world and toward literary and cultural traditions, often in contradiction to Eliot’s.  After years of studying and writing about the two poets, Peter Dale Scott provides a trenchant assessment of their work as part of a new study on Milosz.

In the 1960’s Peter Dale Scott was a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, having previously served as a Canadian diplomat to Poland. At Berkeley he met Milosz, a colleague in the Slavic Languages department and poet then known mostly for his book about totalitarianism,The Captive Mind, and for his courses on Dostoevsky. Scott and Milosz collaborated on a landmark English translation of the selected poems of Zbigniew Herbert and eventually on stunning, witty English versions of Milosz’s own poems. Milosz went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

A poet himself, Peter Dale Scott has published numerous volumes of poetry, most notably the three volumes of his trilogy Seculum: Coming to Jakarta: A Poem About Terror (1989), Listening to the Candle: A Poem on Impulse (1992), and Minding the Darkness: A Poem for the Year 2000 (2000). In addition he has published Crossing Borders: Selected Shorter Poems (1994, published in Canada as Murmur of the Stars), Mosaic Orpheus (2009), and Tilting Point (2012). In November 2002 he was awarded the Lannan Poetry Award.

An anti-war speaker during the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, he was a co-founder of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at UC Berkeley, and of the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA).

His poetry has dealt with both his experience and his research, the latter of which has centered on U.S. covert operations, their impact on democracy at home and abroad, and their relations to the John F. Kennedy assassination and the global drug traffic. The poet-critic Robert Hass, who has served as U.S. Poet Laureate,  wrote that "Coming to Jakarta is the most important political poem to appear in the English language in a very long time."

Peter Dale’s Scott’s lecture is sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - Lunch Program
Policy Options to Foster Smarter, Person-Centered Care for High-Need, High-Cost Medicare Patients
Matthew McKearn
Matthew McKearn will discuss the Bipartisan Policy Center's work on developing recommendations to improve value in the U.S. health care system, especially as it pertains to the high-need, high-cost Medicare patients.

Medicare regulations and payment rules can erect barriers to evidence-based care designs to address non-clinical needs, which are particularly important for individuals with chronic conditions and functional or cognitive impairments. Matthew McKearn, the associate director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Health Project, will discuss BPC's work on developing recommendations to improve value in the U.S. health care system. BPC is working on policy ideas to finance long-term services and supports that have the potential to address non-clinical needs and avoid expensive hospital stays and other avoidable care episodes. BPC has partnered with CMC's Policy Lab to work in this policy area, focusing on proposals for lowering costs and improving services for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

Prior to joining BPC, McKearn served as the director of the office of legislative affairs and budget for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the Department of Health and Human Services. He also worked at the Office of Management and Budget where he was a senior analyst. His issue areas included long-term care hospitals and post-acute care, hospice, Medigap, rural Medicare payments, delivery system reform, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - Evening Program
Senior Thesis Showcase
CMC Seniors
The senior thesis requirement at CMC is challenging and rewarding and seniors endeavor to produce innovative, thoughtful, comprehensive, and well written work. In this inaugural Senior Thesis Showcase, eight seniors across the disciplines will present 5 to 7-minute synopses of their capstone project. Come hear about their research, motivation, and findings, as well as their overall thesis journey. Most importantly come support and celebrate CMC peers!
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 - Evening Program
The Biology of Good and Evil
Robert Sapolsky
Robert Sapolsky, professor of biology, neurosurgery, and neurology at Stanford University, wonders why do we do the things we do and digs deep in the history of our species and its genetic inheritance to posit answers.

Robert Sapolsky is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, a professor of biology, neurosurgery, and neurology at Stanford University, and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya. In 2008, National Geographic and PBS aired an hour-long special on stress featuring Sapolsky and his research on the subject. In addition to A Primate’s Memoir, which won the 2001 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award in nonfiction, Sapolsky has written three other books, including The Trouble with TestosteroneWhy Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, and Monkeyluv and Other Essays on our Lives as Animals. Sapolsky was awarded Rockefeller University’s Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 2008. His articles have appeared in publications such as Discover and The New Yorker, and he writes a biweekly column for the Wall Street Journal entitled “Mind & Matter.”

His newest book entitled: Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst will be published in May 2017 by Penguin Press.

Professor Sapolsky's Athenaeum talk is part of the Science and Skepticism series co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

(Source: Steven Barclay Agency Website)

Photo Credit: Thompson McClellan Photography

This event is full. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact the Athenaeum.
Thursday, April 06, 2017 - Evening Program
The War on Police
Heather Mac Donald
The Black Lives Matter movement holds that the U.S. is experiencing an epidemic of racially-driven police shootings, and that policing is shot through with systemic bias. Contending that the central Black Lives Matter narrative is not just false but dangerous, Heather Mac Donald will explore the data on policing, crime, and race and argue that policing today is driven by crime, not race, and that the movement has caused officers to back off of proactive policing in high crime areas, leading to the largest spike in homicides in nearly 50 years, disproportionately affecting blacks.  

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and The New Criterion. Mac Donald's newest book, The War on Cops (2016), warns that raced-based attacks on the criminal-justice system, from the White House on down, are eroding the authority of law and putting lives at risk.

A lawyer by training, Mac Donald clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was an attorney-advisor in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a volunteer with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She has testified before numerous U.S. House and Senate Committees. In 1998, Mac Donald was appointed to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s task force on the City University of New York. In 2004, she received the Civilian Valor Award from the New Jersey State Law Enforcement Officers. In 2008, Mac Donald received the Integrity in Journalism Award from the New York State Shields, as well as the Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration from the Center for Immigration Studies. In 2012, she received the Quill & Badge Award for Excellence in Communication from the International Union of Police Associations. In 2016, she received the Excellence in Media Award from the National Police Defense Foundation's State Troopers Coalition.

A frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, and other TV and radio programs, Mac Donald holds a B.A. in English from Yale University, graduating with a Mellon Fellowship to Cambridge University, where she earned an M.A. in English; she also studied in Italy through a Clare College study grant. She holds a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

Ms. Mac Donald's Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by The Rose Institute of State and Local Government and the Salvatori Center.

(Source: Manhattan Institute Website)

Other Events and Announcements

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 11:45am
A Moderated Conversation with Neel Kashkari
Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari took office as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on Jan. 1, 2016. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Ninth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington. In addition to his responsibilities as a monetary policymaker, Kashkari oversees all operations of the bank, including supervision and regulation, and payments services.

Kashkari began his career as an aerospace engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he developed technology for NASA space science missions. Following graduate school, he joined Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, where he helped technology companies raise capital and pursue strategic transactions.

From 2006 to 2009, Kashkari served in several senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2008, he was confirmed as assistant secretary of the Treasury. In this role, he oversaw the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) during the financial crisis. Kashkari received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor for distinguished service.

Following his tenure in Washington, Kashkari returned to California in 2009 and joined PIMCO as managing director and member of the executive office. He left the firm in 2013 to explore returning to public service.

In January 2014, Kashkari was a gubernatorial candidate in the state of California, running on a platform focused on economic opportunity.

Kashkari earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

(Source: The Minneapolis Fed's Website)

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Unless otherwise noted, lunch begins at 11:45 a.m.; speaker presentations begin at 12:15 p.m.
Evening receptions begin at 5:30 p.m.; dinner is served at 6 p.m.; speaker presentations begin at 6:45 p.m.

The Athenaeum facilitates dynamic interactions and dialogue that underscore
the essence of a liberal arts education.