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A Developmental Approach to Work with Prisoners' Children
MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010

The SOURCE group at CMC, sponsored in part through the Kravis Leadership Institute, has provided many opportunities for students to get involved in local non-profit organizations. One such organization is the Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents, which has conducted more than 60 educational, family reunification and therapeutic projects serving children of criminal offenders and their families using a developmental, relationship-based approach to practice.

Dr. Denise Johnston is the founding director of the Center and a leading national authority on children of criminal offenders. In 2002, she implemented the first Early Head Start program to be conducted in a jail in the United States. In collaboration with the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, she designed and directed the Mother-Child Reunification Program [MCRP] in California prisons. This comprehensive program of prison-based mother-child services included a leadership institute for imprisoned mothers and California’s first prison nursery.

As principal investigator, Dr. Johnston has completed 15 major research projects for the Center, including the first longitudinal investigation of the children of criminal offenders, begun in 1991 in Southeast Los Angeles County, and the landmark “Jailed Mothers” (1991), “Children of Criminal Offenders & Foster Care” (2000), and “Children of Criminal Offenders in the Community” (2001) studies.

Dr. Johnston is the editor of the first American text on incarcerated parents and their children and the forthcoming Working with Children of Criminal Offenders & Their Families: A Handbook for Practitioners. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated with highest honors from Mills College and received her doctorate from Stanford University School of Medicine.

How We Did — or Did Not — Get Health Care Reform

Undoubtedly the most controversial domestic legislation in 2009, health care reform today is still flux. So what is the state of comprehensive reform now, which Congress at the time of this writing had slated to pass through the parliamentary procedure of reconciliation? What will the final law look like and how will it affect the health care of the American people? To answer these questions and dispel some myths, Dr. Drew Altman, the President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation will join us.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is one of the nation’s largest and most well respected organizations devoted to health research. An independent, private philanthropy, it has no connection whatsoever with the HMO Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. Dr. Altman led a complete overhaul of the organization starting in 1999, which is credited with establishing the Foundation as a leader in health policy.

Altman is a former Commissioner of the Department of Human Services for the state of New Jersey under Governor Tom Kean (1986-1989). As Commissioner, he developed nationally recognized initiatives in welfare reform, school-based youth services, programs for the homeless, and Medicaid managed care. Prior to joining the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1990, Dr. Altman was director of the Health and Human Services program at the Pew Charitable Trusts. He was a vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation from 1981 to 1986, where he led the development of the Foundation’s programs in HIV/AIDS, health services for the homeless, and health care financing. He served in a senior position in the Health Care Financing Administration in the Carter administration.

Dr. Altman received his B.A. from Brandeis University and Masters in political science from Brown University. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, did his post-doctoral work at the Harvard School of Public Health, and taught at MIT before moving on to public service.

Drew Altman’s Athenaeum lecture is in coordination with Professor Fred Lynch's Government 105 class, Organization of Health Care and Public Policy.

The Tipping Point: How Do Humanistic Studies Count?

Angus Fletcher is an Orphic seer, a curious universal scholar of Renaissance vintage, a fusion of the best traits of Northrop Frye and Kenneth Burke, his true peers.... His new book on Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, Milton and so much more is a marvelous demonstration that cosmology, rhetoric and psychology are not three entities but one. Here they fuse together with the magus Fletcher performing his superb critical alchemy.
-Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon (1995)

Claremont McKenna College has the distinct privilege of hosting Angus Fletcher as the Podlich Fellow for spring semester 2010 and writer in residence at the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Angus Fletcher is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School at the City University of New York. His research interests include theory of literature, comparative literature, allegory, the literature of nature, Edmund Spenser, and postmodernisms. Professor Fletcher is the author of several works, including Allegory: The Theory of a Symbolic Mode (1964); Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare (2007); A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination (2006); The Transcendental Masque: An Essay on Milton’s Comus (1972); Colors of the Mind: Conjectures on Thinking in Literature (1991); and The Prophetic Moment: An Essay on Spenser (1971). In 2005 he was awarded the Truman Capote Prize in Literary Criticism, recognizing his A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination (2006). Professor Fletcher also is the recipient of a 2007 Senior Fellowship from the Endowment of the Humanities.

A previous Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, Professor Fletcher was the recipient of a 2007 Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2008-2009 he was the Getty Professor at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

In this first of two lectures Professor Fletcher will revisit Sir Charles Snow's 1959 pronouncements on "The Two Cultures" and will discuss a zone of interest shared by the Arts and Sciences, the practice of counting.

Learning about America from Starbucks

Over the last five years, Bryant Simon has visited more than 450 Starbucks in 11 different countries around the world to find out why overpaying for coffee has become the norm. What he discovered, and what he will talk about in his presentation at Claremont McKenna, is that Starbucks thrived by selling us the things we wanted and desired and that this had little to do with coffee, and everything to do with status, retail therapy, community, and politics. Starbucks, as he shows, sold us back our desires, desires created by broad changes in American life and thinking over last twenty years. The stories Simon uncovered on his caffeinated journey are not always uplifting or comforting. Looking closely at our latté lives produces a somewhat unflattering portrait of us – a growing nation of citizen consumers – and of our favorite coffee dispenser – Starbucks.
Bryant Simon is professor of History and the Director of American Studies at Temple University. He is the author of four books and collections, including Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America (2004) and Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks (2009).
Check out his fabulous blog at


Dinner Theater
The Dining Room by A.R. Gurney
DINNER 6:00 p.m., PERFORMANCE 6:45 p.m.

Each spring, the Athenaeum hosts a production by Under the Lights, CMC’s student-run theater group. This year, UTL will perform The Dining Room, written by A.R. Gurney in 1981.

The play takes place in a typical dining room of a well-to-do household, and explores the lives of the families that have inhabited it over the years. It consists of eighteen independent scenes: some funny, some rueful, and some poignant. Throughout, the actors take on a range of characters: from small children to stern grandfathers to teenagers drinking when their parents are away. The scenes coalesce to tell a story about upper class American life, rich with humor and humanity.

The all-student cast features Nico Brancolini ’11, Chloe Cotton ’12, Shamil Hargovan ’10, Will Kahn ’12, Bri Riggio ’10, Julia Starr ’12, Max Sterling ’10, Caroline Taylor ’10, and Andie Wheatley ’13. Cory Davia ’10 directs.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see your friends and classmates perform!

What to do about Banks and Mortgages
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010
LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m., LECTURE 12:00 p.m.

Former partner, Goldman Sachs & Co. Sponsored by the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance.

Poetic Wisdom and the Barbarism of Civilization
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010

“Amid gloomy forecasts of the decline of the humanities and the death of poetry, Angus Fletcher, a wise and dedicated literary voice, sounds a note of powerful, tempered optimism. He lays out a fresh approach to American poetry at large, the first in several decades, expounding a defense of the art that will resonate well into the new century”
-from the publisher’s review of A New Theory for American Poetry (2006)

In his second Athenaeum lectures, Professor Fletcher will discuss the common belief in cycles of history, shared by many religious believers and by unbelievers like the poet James Joyce. In the context of Giambattista Vico's revolutionary treatise on history, The New Science, the lecture will suggest that today Americans need to develop what might be called "historical imagination."

Russia’s Search for a New Foreign Policy

Russia is facing a double challenge: learning to live in a post-soviet and a post-modern world. Russia has given up its superpower role, but has not yet found its place in the complex and rapidly shifting 21st century global order. Geography and history have left Russia peripheral to both Europe and Asia, and it is not clear if Russia's political leaders have either the capacity or the will to come up with a strategy to overcome this marginalization. Russia's domestic political order has always been closely tied to its role in the international system, so uncertainty over Russian foreign policy reinforces doubts about its internal political model. Simplistic notions of Russia as a recidivist empire, or a nascent market democracy, do not match this complex reality.

Peter Rutland is the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. He has a B.A. from Oxford and a D. Phil from the University of York. He is the author of The Myth of the Plan (1984) and The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union (1992) and editor of half-dozen books, including Business and the State in Russia (2001). He has been a visiting professor at the European University of St. Petersburg and Sophia University in Tokyo. He is currently completing a book entitled Moscow Rules: The Politics of the Post-Soviet States.

Dr. Rutland’s visit to CMC is sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.

Arab Media Today

Joumana Nammour is one of the most popular news anchors at Al Jazeera Satellite Television Channel. She joined Al Jazeera in 1998, and she has become one of the leading program hosts and anchors at the 24-hour news channel. During the past twelve years, Ms. Nammour has interviewed numerous heads of state, prime ministers, senior government officials, and leading political figures in the Arab World and internationally. She has also covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Ms. Nammour has her own daily political talk show, called "Behind the News," which focuses on current and political events and leading international news stories. "Behind the News" is one of the most widely watched political news and public affairs programs in the Arab World, and Ms. Nammour received an award in 2008 for being the first Arab woman to host a regular political talk show. The award was presented to her at the “Women and Global Leaders Forum” meeting in Dubai.

Nammour began her career in Lebanon as a news reporter and then presenter on Lebanese television channel NTV. She also worked as a producer and anchor on Lebanon's Future TV, where she launched the Arab World's first daily morning news program in the 1990's, called "The World this Morning." The program was very popular, and it became the most watched morning show in Lebanon. Ms. Nammour earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology and sociology in Lebanon. She is married and has two children, and she resides in Doha, Qatar.

Launched in 1996, Al Jazeera Satellite Channel quickly became one of the largest and most viewed Middle Eastern news channels, and the first channel in the region to offer news coverage 24 hours a day. The station's headquarters is based in Doha, Qatar, and today Al Jazeera Network has more than fifty bureaus around the world with 180 employees. More than one thousand journalists, directors, producers, and administrative staff work at the Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha. The station is viewed throughout the Middle East and internationally, and has some 75 million viewers.

Joumana Nammour’s visit to campus is sponsored by the Arabic Studies program at CMC and the Athenaeum.

No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

As the former Governor of Massachusetts and Presidential candidate in 2008, Mitt Romney needs little introduction to CMC students. Romney is a widely recognized leader in the Republican party and has distinguished himself as a successful politician-entrepreneur. In his address at the Athenaeum, Romney will offer his solutions to the challenges facing America today.

Romney first earned his leadership credentials as Vice President with the management consulting firm Bain & Company. He then went onto found Bain Capital, one of the nation’s most successful venture capital and investment firms. Prior to 2002 he left the private sector to become President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympic Games. In this role he directed an incredible turnaround of the Olympics, at one point saddled with $379 million in debt. Romney stayed in the public sector, running successfully as a Republican governor of Massachusetts in 2002. During his administration, he managed to balance the budget and even implement universal health-care reform. In the 2006 election cycle, he raised $27 million for GOP state legislator elections as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Since then, he has become a political force to be reckoned with, amassing large amounts of popular support in the 2008 Republican primary and since then as a luminary in the party. He just recently published his new book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness (2010).

Governor Romney received his B.A., with Highest Honors, from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

The Pacesetters Fellowship Program is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of alumni from the classes of 1948, 1949, and 1950 — the Pacesetters. Governor Mitt Romney is CMC’s eleventh Pacesetter Fellow.

Gender, Source Country Characteristics, and Labor Market Assimilation among Immigrants
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010
LUNCH 12:30 p.m. LECTURE 1:00 p.m.
Francine D. Blau is Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Labor Economics at Cornell University. She is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Studies/Ifo Institute in Munich, Germany and of IZA in Bonn, Germany.

Before coming to Cornell, she was for many years on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and her B.S. from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

Professor Blau has served as President of the Society of Labor Economists and the Labor and Employment Relations Association (formerly the Industrial Relations Research Association), Vice President of the American Economic Association (AEA), President of the Midwest Economics Association, and Chair of the AEA Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession. She is a fellow of the Society of Labor Economics, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Labor and Employment Relations Association, and was the 2001 recipient of the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession for furthering the status of women in the economics profession. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Labor Economics and the Editorial Advisory Board of The Annals, and is an Associate Editor of Labour Economics; she was formerly an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics, on the Board of Editors of the American Economic Review, on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Blau has written extensively on gender issues, wage inequality, immigration, and international comparisons of labor market outcomes. She has published articles in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Economica, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and other major journals. She is the author of Equal Pay in the Office (1977) and, with Lawrence Kahn, of At Home and Abroad: U.S. Labor Market Performance in International Perspective (2002)(recipient of the Richard A. Lester Prize for the outstanding book in labor economics and industrial relations for 2002) and the editor, with David Grusky and Mary Brinton of The Declining Significance of Gender? (2006), and with Ronald Ehrenberg of Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace (2000). She is also coauthor, with Marianne Ferber and Anne Winkler, of The Economics of Women, Men, and Work ( 1986) currently in its 6th edition.

Francine Blau’s lecture at the Athenaeum is sponsored by the Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children.


  • It is the policy of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum that no lecture, appearance or performance by any speaker or performer at the Athenaeum is to be videotaped, audiotaped, or otherwise recorded and/or broadcast without the prior written permission of the relevant speaker, performer, or other authorized owner of the intellectual property rights to the event.

  • Anyone requesting permission to record an event is required to submit an “Event Recording Request Form” to Bonnie Snortum, the Director of the Athenaeum, at least 48 hours in advance of the relevant event.

  • It is understood that the speaker, the performer, the Athenaeum, and any other event sponsor, as appropriate, reserve all intellectual property rights for each Athenaeum event.

  • If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Bonnie Snortum at or at (909) 607-4180.


  • The Athenaeum serves as a gathering place where ideas, inquiry, and fellowship bring students, faculty, staff, other scholars, and nationally prominent speakers together.

  • Attendance at any event may be limited to persons associated with CMC, to the people who signed up for the dinner, or to the maximum number of people allowed by fire regulations.

  • On some occasions the speaker may address the group in another forum or the College may set up a video feed to handle an overflow crowd. All programs at the Athenaeum are filmed. Individuals attending should understand that their image might appear on the videotape.

  • House rules and common courtesy prohibit disruptive actions inside the building during an Athenaeum sponsored program.

  • Time allowing, there will be a period set aside for questions. Students will have priority during this portion of the program.

  • Guests are expected to dress appropriately in all dining rooms. Shorts, jeans, and t-shirts are not acceptable at dinner; more casual attire is acceptable for lunch and tea. No bare feet at any time.