• Marian Miner Cook

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

  • Marian Miner Cook

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

  • Marian Miner Cook

    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

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Lunch Program
Racial Hierarchies and the Historical Process: A Panel Discussion
Daniel Livesay, Sarah Sarzynski, and Tamara Venit-Shelton, panelists
CMC history professors Tamara Venit-Shelton, Daniel Livesay, and Sarah Sarzynski will discuss the strategies they have used to document and analyze racism, racial hierarchies, and the experiences of under-represented groups. The discussion is intended to help students deepen their understanding of the historical process and identify new strategies as they engage in archival research and historical analysis. 

Daniel Livesay, assistant professor of history, focuses his research on slavery in the Colonial Americas, free people of color in the Atlantic world, and the intersections between ideas of race and family in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; slavery and aging in North America and the Caribbean. He is the author of Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race West Indians in Britain and The Atlantic Family, 1733-1833, forthcoming from University of North Carolina Press. He is currently at work on a new project that explores slavery and aging in North America.

Sarah Sarzynski, assistant professor of history, research focus examines modern Brazilian cultural and political history, popular culture and film, the Amazon, the Cold War, social movements, memory and oral history, regionalism and regional identities in Brazil related to poverty, religion, race and gender. She is currently completing a book entitled Revolution in the Terra do Sol: The Cold War in Brazil, which will be published by Stanford University Press.

Tamara Venit Shelton, associate professor of history, focuses on the social history of the American West, with a particular interest in race, labor, and environment. She is the author of A Squatter’s Republic: Land and the Politics of Monopoly, 1850-1900, published by University of California Press. She is currently working on a book project about Chinese doctors in the United States between 1850 and 1945.

This event is closed.
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Evening Program
Art Thinking or Inventing Point B in any area of life
Amy Whitaker
Whether making sense of your career or the future of the geopolitical world order, Amy Whitaker asserts that art thinking is a way of creating space to focus on big messy questions, whether you can answer them or not.

Amy Whitaker is a writer, artist, and teacher who works at the intersection of creativity, business, and everyday life and is the author of Art Thinking, a “manifesto and a love story” for how creativity and business go together. A graduate of Williams College, she holds an MBA from Yale University and an MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. She is an assistant professor at NYU in Visual Arts Administration.

Whitaker has worked for museums including the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate as well as for international financial institutions. She teaches and lectures widely. Her first book, Museum Legs, was selected as the common summer reading assignment for the first year class at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) in 2010.

The premise of her most recent book, Art Thinking, is that if you are making a work of art in any field, you aren't going from a known point A to a known point B, but rather inventing point B. That process is exploratory and open-ended—and therefore sometimes at odds with the cultural pressures to succeed economically and professionally. The independent thinking behind inventing point B is closely tied to robustness of democratic exchange, to the values of a liberal arts education, and to interdisciplinary approaches to addressing the great problems of our day.

Professor Whitaker's Athenaeum talk is sponsored by the Mellon Creativity Roundtable, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI), and the Center for Writing and Public Discourse (CWPD).

This event is closed.
Friday, February 24, 2017 - Lunch Program
Choose Success: The Four Keys to Self-Leadership
Victoria Halsey
The 2017 Women's Leadership Workshop (WLW) keynote speaker, Victoria Halsey is an inspirational speaker, trainer, author, and instructional designer whose unique blend of energy, intellect, and passion engages and motivates individuals to increase personal and organizational performance.

As vice-president of applied learning for The Ken Blanchard Companies, Dr. Victoria Halsey builds leadership capacity using an inside-out approach focused on situational leadership to help individuals understand themselves so they can be effective leaders.

Halsey is the author of Brilliance by Design, an instructional design strategy with a learner-focused model. She is a co-author of The Hamster Revolution and The Hamster Revolution for Meetings. In addition, she is a co-author of Ken Blanchard’s Leading at a Higher Level, an all-inclusive reference of Blanchard leadership philosophies and teachings.

Halsey received a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Davis; a master’s degree in educational administration from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from University of San Diego.

Ms. Halsey's  2017 Women's Leadership Workshop talk at the Athenaeum is co-sponsored by RDS, KLI, and the Berger Institute. 

To register for this special half-day program WLW program, please use the WLW 2017 registration form.

Monday, February 27, 2017 - Evening Program
Arabic Classical Traditions in the History of the Exact Sciences
Nader El-Bizri
Nader El-Bizri will examine some principal aspects of the Arabic classical traditions in the history of the exact sciences, while also addressing the subsequent transmission and reception of Arabic science within the European medieval and Renaissance circles of scholarship. 

Nader El-Bizri is a professor of philosophy and director of the Civilization Studies Program at the American University of Beirut. He also serves on editorial boards of journals and book series, and is the general editor of the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity series published by Oxford University Press. He has also acted as a consultant to the Science Museum in London, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York/Berlin, and has contributed to BBC radio/TV cultural programs. He received various awards including the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences Prize in 2014.

He will focus on the adaptive assimilation and expansion of the various branches of the ancient Greek sources in scientific knowledge within the Arabic intellectual milieu.

Professor El-Bizri's Athenaeum lecture is facilitated by a Mellon Global Fellowship grant.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017 - Evening Program
The State Against Blacks
Jason Riley
Have well-intentioned government efforts—starting with the Great Society—helped the black underclass? Jason Riley will assess the track record of these programs and argue that, more often than not, these efforts have been counterproductive and widened racial disparities in income, education, employment and other areas, and will also discuss how blacks fared in the Obama era.

Jason Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and a commentator for Fox News. After joining the Journal in 1994, he was named a senior editorial writer in 2000 and a member of the editorial board in 2005. Riley writes opinion pieces on politics, economics, education, immigration, and race. A frequent public speaker, he is a longtime commentator for Fox News.

Riley is the author of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders (2008), which argues for a more free-market-oriented U.S. immigration policy; and Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed (2014), which discusses the track record of government efforts to help the black underclass. He has also worked for USA Today and the Buffalo News. Riley holds a B.A. in English from SUNY-Buffalo.

Mr. Riley's Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

(Source: Manhattan Institute Website)

Thursday, March 02, 2017 - Evening Program
Against the Loveless World: To Be Raced in America
Anaya Mathis
Does our collective American history assign race to some groups, Blacks, Latinos, people of color of various extractions, while assigning a kind of racial neutrality to whiteness? Using James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, and her own novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Anaya Mathis will raise and answer questions about how notions of being raced and un-raced manifest historically and contemporarily; and how they impact every aspect of the American experience, from the intimacy of our hearts and minds to the law that govern us.  

Ayana Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a recipient of the 2014-15 New York Public Library's Cullman Center Fellowship. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, her first novel, was a New York Times Bestseller, a 2013 New York Times Notable Book of the Year, an NPR Best Books of 2013, and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the second selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. Mathis taught creative writing at The Writer's Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph's College, Brooklyn. She is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Ms. Mathis' Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse.

Photo credit: Elena Seibert

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)


Follow the Athenaeum


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.