Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

April, 2018

Monday, April 02, 2018 - Evening Program
The Politics of Movie and TV Endings: A Screenwriter’s Perspective
David E. Tolchinsky P'20

What does the ending of a movie or television tell you about the politics of the storyteller, the intended audience, or the time period in which it was produced? Using diverse movie and television clips, screenwriter and Northwestern University department of radio-tv-film chairman David Tolchinsky P'20 will discuss how endings change not just based on the needs of a story, but also the prevailing zeitgeist. He will also discuss contemporary trends in endings and how to interpret their deeper meanings. Finally, he will reflect on the importance for authors to protect what they believe to be the right ending, even if unpopular.

 

David E. Tolchinsky P'20 is a screenwriter/playwright/director and the chair of Northwestern University's Department of Radio-TV-Film and Founder/Director of Northwestern's MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage.

Tolchinsky's work often centers on teen subcultures, psychological horror, mental illness, and the figure of the psychiatrist. Increasingly, he’s been interested in health and illness in the modern world, especially illnesses that are not easily explainable. He has been commissioned by such studios as Touchstone/Disney, MGM, Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures, USA Networks, among others, to write feature screenplays. 

He was  the recipient of a 2014 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Literature (Poetry, Prose, Scriptworks) and was voted Best Director for the New York production of his play, an adaptation of his essay, Where's the Rest of Me?  Recently, he co-curated Sick by Seven (seven plays/films about mental illness) at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago, wrote and co-produced The Coming of Age, which received a Silver Medal from the Los Angeles Film Review, and he was number 7 on New City's Film 50 2017: Chicago Screen Gems. Currently, he is directing a psychological thriller, Cassandra, about the memory recovery movement in the '90s, and is working on a play about the rogue 1940’s psychologist Wilhelm Reich.  

Tolchinsky received his undergraduate degree from Yale College and an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.   

Photo credit: Joe Mazza/Bravelux.com

Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - Evening Program
America's Role in a Changing World
William J. Burns

After years of war and international instability, Americans feel a profound sense of insecurity and fatigue about engagement with the world. Baffled and battered by the dislocating forces of globalization, Americans wonder whether we can—and whether we even should—continue to play a leadership role on an endlessly complicated international landscape. Ambassador William J. Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former deputy secretary of state, will draw on his 33 years as an American diplomat to describe how he sees a changing world and America’s role in it, and why American diplomacy is in many ways more important and relevant than ever before.

Ambassador William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States. Burns retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after a thirty-three-year diplomatic career. He holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, career ambassador, and is only the second serving career diplomat in history to become deputy secretary of state.

Prior to his tenure as deputy secretary, Burns served from 2008 to 2011 as under secretary for political affairs. He was ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from 2001 to 2005, and ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001. His other posts in the Foreign Service include: executive secretary of the State Department and special assistant to former secretaries of state Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; minister-counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Moscow; acting director and principal deputy director of the State Department’s policy planning staff; and special assistant to the president and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns speaks Russian, Arabic, and French, and he has been the recipient of three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and a number of Department of State awards, including three Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, two Distinguished Honor Awards, the 2006 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Ambassadorial Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the 2005 Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking, and the James Clement Dunn Award for exemplary performance at the mid-career level. He has also received the highest civilian honors from the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community. In 2013, Foreign Policy named him “Diplomat of the Year”.

Burns earned a bachelor’s in history from LaSalle University and master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. He is a recipient of four honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ambassador Burns is the author of Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt, 1955-1981 (State University of New York Press, 1985). In 1994, he was named to Time magazine’s list of the “50 Most Promising American Leaders Under Age 40” and to its list of “100 Young Global Leaders.”

Ambassador Burns' Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at CMC.

Thursday, April 05, 2018 - Evening Program
HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship
Nadine Strossen

We live in an era in which offensive speech is on the rise. Given its potential for harm, should this speech be banned? Nadine Strossen, professor of law at NYU School of Law and former president of the ACLU, dispels the many misunderstandings that have clouded the perpetual debates about "hate speech vs. free speech." She argues that an expansive approach to the First Amendment is most effective at promoting democracy, equality, and societal harmony and that anti-hate speech laws are not effective in reducing the feared harms, and worse yet, are likely counterproductive by giving enforcement officials the power to suppress vital expression and target minority viewpoints. The solution, maintains Strossen, instead is to promote equality and societal harmony through vibrant "counterspeech."

 

Nadine Strossen is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. She has written, taught, and advocated extensively in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties, including through frequent media interviews. From 1991 through 2008, she served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization. Strossen is currently a member of the ACLU’s National Advisory Council, as well as the advisory boards of EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center), FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), and Heterodox Academy. When she stepped down as ACLU President in 2008, three Supreme Court Justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and David Souter) participated in her farewell and tribute luncheon.

Strossen is also a prolific author. Her latest book, HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship, will be published in 2018. Her first two books are Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women’s Rights and Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In addition, Strossen has written dozens of articles and book chapters.

Strossen is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

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

 

Monday, April 09, 2018 - Evening Program
We Move As a Group: Uniting the Genders in the Fight Against Rape Culture
Alice Sebold

Alice Sebold, best selling author and memoirist, was raped while a student at Syracuse University and subsequently successfully prosecuted her assailant. She will draw from that personal experience to speak to the idea that it is not just the victims of sexual assault—found in every gender, ethnicity, age group, and social class—that suffer in a world where sex crimes are increasingly common place, but all of us. Though not shying away from the grim realities of the present, Sebold's goal is to provide hope by working to dismantle the antiquated and destructive divisions that still exist among us and to inspire a more open dialogue.

Despite its dark subjects of rape, child murder, and the dissolution of families, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones was one of the best-reviewed novels of the '00s. The book, which was later adapted for cinema, quickly became an unprecedented international bestseller, with translations in over 45 languages and American sales alone of over five million copies. Three months after the publication of The Lovely Bones, Sebold’s 1999 memoir Lucky, an account of her rape at the age of 18 and the trial that followed, also rose to number one on The New York Times bestseller list. 

The Almost Moon, Sebold's 2007 controversial second novel, another #1 bestseller, generated more critical discord—both laudatory and negative—as Sebold plunged into taboo territories of matricide, mental illness, and profound ambivalence about mother/daughter relationships.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Sebold grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended Syracuse University as well as the University of Houston and UC Irvine. She has contributed to numerous anthologies and edited The Best American Short Stories 2009

Ms. Sebold's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

Photo credit: Becky Sapp

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Evening Program
The Psychology of Family Law
Eve Brank

Eve Brank, associate professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, will highlight issues that are important in family law and similarly important in psychology to encourage an appreciation and desire for more psychological research to transform and understand family law.

Eve Brank is an associate professor of psychology and courtesy professor of law at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she is the director of the Center on Children, Families, and the Law. She teaches classes on psychology and law, elder law, and the psychology of family law. Her research primarily focuses on the way the law intervenes (and sometimes interferes) in family and personal decision making. In particular, she studies the public support, implementation, and effectiveness of parental responsibility laws within the context of the juvenile justice system and the legal requirements of elder care giving. Dr. Brank also studies issues related to decision making in the context of government searches and plea negotiations. 

Brank received her J.D. (2000) and Ph.D (2001) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Law-Psychology Program. She joined the UNL faculty in 2008 and is part of the law/psychology and social programs. Prior to joining the Nebraska faculty, Dr. Brank was on the faculty in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of Florida. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - Evening Program
How to make the outdoors radically accessible to all?
Grace Anderson

With the record numbers of people from varying demographics and backgrounds finding ways to connect to the outdoors, Grace Anderson, outdoor educator at GirlVentures and National Outdoor Leadership Schools, will discuss how to diminish the onerous systems that promote exclusivity in outdoor spaces.

Grace Anderson is an outdoor educator and a freelancer for outdoor non-profits and business. Anderson, who currently calls Lander, Wyoming, home discovered the awe of nature on a college spring break trip with the Student Conservation Association to Joshua Tree National Park. Since then she’s been chasing wide-open spaces from Patagonia to the Yukon Territories to Wyoming.

Previously as the program manager for Sierra Club Outdoors’ Inspiring Connections Outdoors Program, she worked to connect communities with limited access to the outdoors. She currently works mostly in the field for National Outdoor Leadership Schools (NOLS) getting young people of color into the great outdoors and GirlVentures to empower adolescent girls to develop and express their strengths through outdoor adventure programs.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - Evening Program
Human Rights Abuses and the Role of US Policy in the Middle East
Sarah Leah Whitson

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), will provide an analysis of current developments in the Middle East and how they tie into US foreign policy. Based on HRW's work in the region, her talk will focus primarily on the conflicts in the region in which the US is currently involved.  

Showcasing her current work in the Middle East, Sarah Leah Whitson will discuss the region and the role of US foreign policy and will highlight the particular ways in which these modern day conflict situations tie directly to Armenian Genocide remembrance. 

Whitson is the executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division and oversees the work of the division in 19 countries, with staff located in 10 countries. She has led dozens of advocacy and investigative missions throughout the region, focusing on issues of armed conflict, accountability, legal reform, migrant workers, and political rights. She has published widely on human rights issues in the Middle East in international and regional media, including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, and CNN. She appears regularly on Al-Jazeera, BBC, NPR, and CNN. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Whitson worked in New York for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Whitson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She speaks Armenian and Arabic.

Whitson graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. 

Ms. Whitson will deliver the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights’ Fourth Annual Lecture on Armenian Studies.

 

Monday, April 16, 2018 - Evening Program
Thomas Crow - Title Forthcoming
Thomas Crow

Thomas Crow is the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art, and Associate Provost for the Arts at New York University. An art historian and art critic, he has served as the director of the Getty Research Institute, professor of art history at the University of Southern California, the Robert Lehman Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, and professor and chair in the history of art at the University of Sussex. He is best known for his influential writing on the role of art in modern society and culture.

Thomas Crow is the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art, and Associate Provost for the Arts at New York University. An art historian and art critic, he has served as the director of the Getty Research Institute, professor of art history at the University of Southern California, the Robert Lehman Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, and professor and chair in the history of art at the University of Sussex. He is best known for his influential writing on the role of art in modern society and culture.

Professor Crow's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - Evening Program
Supreme Court Matters
Panel Discussion

The Supreme Court matters: Think Brown, Miranda, Roe v Wade, Bush v Gore, Citizens United, and Hodges (on marriage equality), and more.

What will it be in 2018? How will the Supreme Court adjudicate voting rights in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case? What body of law will control the decision in the Colorado baker case: religious freedom, marriage equality, freedom of speech, or something else? How do search and seizure protections apply to cell phone data? What will happen, if anything, in the area of executive power and immigration? And what impact will the appointment of Associate Justice Gorsuch have on the mix of these cases?

A moderated panel of Supreme Court experts will focus on the key cases, including those argued but not yet decided, to predict both outcome and impact. To prepare, we will provide in advance a primer of case histories, the oral arguments, and related precedents.

Details will be forthcoming.

The Supreme Court matters: Think Brown, Miranda, Roe v Wade, Bush v Gore, Citizens United, and Hodges (on marriage equality), and more.

What will it be in 2018? How will the Supreme Court adjudicate voting rights in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case? What body of law will control the decision in the Colorado baker case: religious freedom, marriage equality, freedom of speech, or something else? How do search and seizure protections apply to cell phone data? What will happen, if anything, in the area of executive power and immigration? And what impact will the appointment of Associate Justice Gorsuch have on the mix of these cases?

A moderated panel of Supreme Court experts will focus on the key cases, including those argued but not yet decided, to predict both outcome and impact. To prepare, we will provide in advance a primer of case histories, the oral arguments, and related precedents.

Details of cases and panelists will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - Evening Program
International Law is More American than Partisan (or it used to be)
Barbara Koremenos

Participating in international law is an act of sovereignty, not a relinquishment of it. Barbara Koremenos, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, will argue that across the areas of economics, security, the environment, and human rights, when we are not at the table, our interests are not served.

Barbara Koremenos, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Koremenos has published in both political science and law journals, including American Political Science Review, International Organization, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Legal Studies, and Law and Contemporary Problems. Koremenos received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her research—the first such winner to study international law.

In her new book, The Continent of International Law: Explaining Agreement Design (Cambridge University Press 2016), Koremenos demonstrates theoretically and empirically how international law’s detailed design provisions help states cooperate despite harsh international political realities. 

Professor Koremenos' Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at CMC.

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