Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

September, 2017

Tuesday, September 05, 2017 - Special Program
Class of 2021 Dinner (1)
Mary Gaitskill

Visiting professor of literature and acclaimed author Mary Gaitskill will address first-year student class in an exploration of literature as related to expression and social critique and will discuss the importance of writing and thinking with courage and honesty.  (All Class of 2021 students are automatically signed up for one of the two evenings based on WOA groups. The following WOA groups are scheduled for Tuesday, September 5: Alpine 1, Alpine 2, AR 2, AR 3, AR 4, Carpinteria, Doheny, Emma Wood, and El Capitan.)

Mary Gaitskill, visiting professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College is "among the most eloquent and perceptive of contemporary fiction writers," says The New York Times. She is the author of several novels including Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1998) and Veronica (2006), which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2005, as well as the story collections Don’t Cry (2010), Bad Behavior: Stories (1988), and Because They Wanted To (1998), which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner in 1998.

Her story Secretary was the basis for the feature film of the same name. The film received the Special Jury Prize and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2002, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction; in 2010 she received a New York Public Library Cullman Center research grant.

A University of Michigan graduate, she has taught at U.C. Berkeley, the University of Houston, Claremont McKenna College, New York University, The New School, Brown University, and Syracuse University and she was the Writer-In-Residence at Hobart College William Smith College.

Her most recent novel,The Mare, was on the “Best Books of the Year" lists for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

NOTE: Both on September 5 and 6, the reception will begin at 5:30 pm in Flamson Plaza, dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, and the talk will begin at 6:45 pm. If you cannot attend and need to cancel, please contact the Athenaeum by email or phone (909-621-8244) by 9:00 am the day of the event.

Photo credit: Derek Shapton

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 - Special Program
Class of 2021 Dinner (2)
Mary Gaitskill

Visiting professor of literature and acclaimed author Mary Gaitskill will address first-year student class in an exploration of literature as related to expression and social critique and will discuss the importance of writing and thinking with courage and honesty. (ll Class of 2021 students are automatically signed up for one of the two evenings based on WOA groups. The following WOA groups are scheduled for Wednesday, September 6: Idyllwild, Los Angeles, Leo Carillo, Ronald McDonald, San Clemente, San Diego, and San Onofre.) 

Mary Gaitskill, visiting professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College is "among the most eloquent and perceptive of contemporary fiction writers," says The New York Times. She is the author of several novels including Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1998) and Veronica (2006), which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2005, as well as the story collections Don’t Cry (2010), Bad Behavior: Stories (1988), and Because They Wanted To (1998), which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner in 1998.

Her story Secretary was the basis for the feature film of the same name. The film received the Special Jury Prize and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2002, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction; in 2010 she received a New York Public Library Cullman Center research grant.

A University of Michigan graduate, she has taught at U.C. Berkeley, the University of Houston, Claremont McKenna College, New York University, The New School, Brown University, and Syracuse University and she was the Writer-In-Residence at Hobart College William Smith College.

Her most recent novel,The Mare, was on the “Best Books of the Year" lists for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

NOTE: Both on September 5 and 6, the reception will begin at 5:30 pm in Flamson Plaza, dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, and the talk will begin at 6:45 pm. If you cannot attend and need to cancel, please contact the Athenaeum by email or phone (909-621-8244) by 9:00 am the day of the event.

Photo credit: Derek Shapton

Thursday, September 07, 2017 - Special Program
Sophomore Class Dinner: Expanding Your Story
Sharon Basso, facilitator

As you return to campus, no longer a new student, but perhaps not completely decided about your next three years at CMC, what new things will you try this year? What will you focus your energies on? Will you study abroad next year, or even this spring? What about internships? From determining your major to exploring opportunities away from CMC, how do those decisions shape who you are and where you want to go after CMC? Faculty and staff will be seated with you at dinner to help guide a discussion as you and your classmates consider some of these topics.

All attendees will receive a special class gift from the Dean of Students office. This event is for current sophomores only. Sophomores must sign up to attend this dinner. Space is limited, so don’t miss out!

The reception will begin at 5:30 pm in Flamson Plaza, dinner will be served at 6:00 pm and will include facilitated table discussions with faculty and staff.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - Evening Program
The Rubin Report: An Evening of Free Speech with Dave Rubin
Dave Rubin

Host of The Rubin Report, Dave Rubin, is known for his political satire and commentary channeled through his stand-up comedy skills and chatty conversational style. A self-identified classical liberal, he tackles many topics including political correctness, free speech, politics, mass media, religion, foreign affairs, and the ideological split between liberalism and progressivism.

Dave Rubin is a talk show host, comedian, and TV personality. He is the host of The Rubin Report, a talk show about ideas and free speech, known for its open and direct approach—often deemed politically incorrect—to discussing complex issues and current events. Based on its unconventional style, the show has garnered a sizeable fan base from across the world.

Passionate and outspoken about the ideological split between liberals and the progressive movement, Rubin has been influential in popularizing the phrase "Regressive Left." A self-labeled former progressive, he identifies with classical liberalism and feels strongly about building a new center in the political landscape. 

Rubin was formerly an on-air host at The Young Turks Network, and prior to that was co-host of The Six Pack on SiriusXM satellite radio, also one of the top comedy podcasts on iTunes. His television credits include Comedy Central, Fox News, HLN, CNN, and PBS. He has defended LGBT rights on The O'Reilly Factor and debated Mike Huckabee on this topic.Rubin's comedy and commentary has been highlighted in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, and he has been nominated by L.A. Weekly for Funniest Twitter. 
 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - Evening Program
How Do You Evaluate and Encourage Start-ups?
Steven N. Kaplan

Steven N. Kaplan, professor of finance and entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, will talk about the framework he uses to evaluate start-ups and his related research on venture capital. Using this singular approach has helped spawn over one hundred companies and created over $4 billion in market value from companies including GrubHub and Braintree/Venmo.

Steven N. Kaplan is the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Thomas Cole Distinguished Visiting Professor Chair at the University of Chicago Law School. He is also the faculty director of the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Kaplan is one of the world’s foremost researchers on private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent, and income inequality. His papers on private equity and venture capital are the standard references in the field. His findings and opinions regularly appear in the business media. Kaplan also serves as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

Kaplan teaches advanced MBA, law, and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and private equity, corporate financial management, corporate governance, and wealth management. His course in entrepreneurial finance and private equity is consistently among the most popular at Chicago Booth and he is consistently ranked as one of the top teachers of entrepreneurship in the country. Kaplan has been awarded the Phoenix Award four times and the Arthur Kelly Prize twice for exhibiting exceptional dedication to his students outside of the classroom. 

Co-founder of the entrepreneurship program at Booth, he helped start Booth’s business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge (NVC). The NVC has spawned over one hundred companies which collectively have raised over $500 million from investors and have created over $4 billion in market value. Companies include GrubHub (market cap $3+ billion), Braintree/Venmo (sold to eBay for $800 million), Base CRM, Bump (sold to Google), MedSpeed, Rise Interactive, and Simple Mills. NVC was rated the top university accelerator program in the U.S. as well as one of the top eight accelerators of any kind in the U.S. in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Kaplan also helped start Hyde Park Angels which was named one of the top ten angel groups in the U.S. He serves on the boards of Morningstar (MORN) and Zayo Group (ZAYO). He also serves on the advisory boards of Correlation Ventures, Global eProcure, NextGen Growth Partners, Uptake and Vistria Group.

Kaplan earned his Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University and received his AB, summa cum laude, in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard College.

Professor Kaplan’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Financial Economics Institute (FEI) and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), both at CMC.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - Evening Program
Compassion and Confession
Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison, novelist and essayist, wonders about the moral complexities of writing other peoples’ lives. She will discuss her experiences writing about a variety of subjects, including long distance runners, prison inmates, whale fanatics, and medical patients—and the various ways she has purposefully and explicitly introduced subjectivity into these accounts of others’ lives. 

Born in Washington DC, Leslie Jamison grew up in Los Angeles. Since then, she has lived in Iowa, Nicaragua, New Haven, and New York. And she has worked as a baker, an office temp, an innkeeper, a tutor, and a medical actor. Worlds that are still in her and inform her writings.

She ponders: What does it mean to confess the self—in all its quandaries and questions—inside a piece of reportage? How does a piece work differently when it includes reported material alongside deeply personal reflections—when we sense the reporter as a deeply emotional presence with a story. And what obligations might a writer might feel towards her subjects—the interplay between guilt and the affection, between care and skepticism. 

Author of the novel, The Gin Closet, and a collection of essays, The Empathy Exams, her work has appeared in Harper's, Oxford American, A Public Space, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Believer. She is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review, and an assistant professor at Columbia University.

Ms. Jamison’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse (CWPD) at CMC.

Photo credit: Michael Stenerson

Monday, September 18, 2017 - Evening Program
The Constitution as a Coup Against Public Opinion
Michael Klarman

Michael Klarman, professor of law at Harvard University, will discuss the ways in which the U.S. Constitution was a more nationalizing and democracy-constraining document than most Americans anticipated; explain why the Philadelphia Convention did what it did; and how the Federalists managed to convince the country to ratify a constitution that constrained populist influence on the national government.

Michael J. Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1983, and his D. Phil. in legal history from the University of Oxford in 1988, where he was a Marshall Scholar. After law school, Klarman clerked for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987 and served there until 2008 as the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History.

Klarman’s most recent book, The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the US Constitution (2016), was a finalist for both the George Washington Book Prize and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. His first book, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (2004), received the 2005 Bancroft Prize in History. He is also the author of From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage​ (2012), Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement (2007), and Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History (2002), which is part of Oxford University Press’s Inalienable Rights series. 

Klarman has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, which are primarily in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional history. In 2009, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Professor Klarman will deliver the 2017 Salvatori Center’s Lofgren Lecture on American Constitutionalism. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - Evening Program
Why Buddhism is True
Robert Wright

Robert Wright, award-winning writer and teacher, draws on evolutionary psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for spiritual life in a secular age and explores the role of Buddhist philosophy in leading the way.

Robert Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of The Evolution of God, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Nonzero; The Moral Animal; and Three Scientists and Their Gods, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton, where he also created the popular online course “Buddhism and Modern Psychology.”

In 2009, Foreign Policy named him one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers alongside Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. He has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Time, Slate, and The New Republic.

Mr. Wright’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Photo credit: Barry Munger

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - Evening Program
New Media Models for Civic Engagement: From Marconi to Snapchat
Tracy Westen

From Marconi and AM radio to email, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, each new medium has changed the nature of politics and civic engagement. Yet in many ways our political knowledge and civic participation has decreased. Tracy Westen, founder and director of the Center Governmental Studies, will talk about why this has happened, and how can we revitalize our democracy through new media models of civic engagement.

 

Tracy Westen founded and directed the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) and taught communications law and policy at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and UCLA Law School for over 30 years. He created four Blue Ribbon Commissions; built award-winning model websites to enhance civic education including The Democracy Network, Video Voter, California Channel, Digital Democracy and PolicyArchive.org; litigated test cases on media in the federal courts; and authored or edited over 75 books and reports on media, democracy and judicial reforms. He was deputy director for consumer protection at the Federal Trade Commission and legal assistant to an FCC Commissioner.

He received degrees with high honors from U.C. Berkeley Law School (J.D.), University of Oxford (M.A.) and Pomona College (B.A.).

Professor Westen's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - Evening Program
The Paradox of Choice
Barry Schwartz

Built into the DNA of the U.S. and other western societies is the conviction that freedom of choice is good, and more choice is always better than less. But Barry Schwartz, emeritus professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and visiting professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, argues the opposite, making the case that the abundance of choice in western societies is actually making us miserable. 

Barry Schwartz’s research and writings address morality, decision-making, and the complex relationships between science and society and are applicable to not only individuals but diverse industries and organizations. A prolific author and speaker, Schwartz has published a dozen books and over 200 articles in scientific, professional, and academic publications. A frequent guest on television and radio, Schwartz has also spoken at TED multiple times. His TED talks have been viewed by over 12 million times.

Schwartz’s 2004 book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less was named one of the top business books of that year by both Business Week and Forbes Magazine. It has since been translated into twenty-five languages. Schwartz’s also wrote Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, with colleague Ken Sharpe. Most recently, Schwartz published Why We Work.

Schwartz is emeritus professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and is currently a visiting professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

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