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.
Here is a list of open events at the Ath. If no sign up button appears under the event, it is because the event is no longer accepting reservations.
Unless otherwise noted, lunch begins at 11:45 a.m.; speaker presentations begin at 12:15 p.m. Evening programs typically begin with a reception at 5:30 pm; dinner is served at 6 p.m; and the talk begins at 6:45 p.m. Reservations are required for the meals.
Unless otherwise noted, the talk itself is free and open to all, and no reservations are required to attend the talk only. Seating for only the talk itself is on a first-come basis.
Please click "Sign Up" under individual events to sign up for open events. If there is no button showing, registration is currently closed, but please check back later. When meal reservations are opened to members of the other Claremont Colleges, a note will be added to the event listing. An explanation of the reservation process and a list of frequently asked questions is available. Questions may also be directed to the Ath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
Maria A. Trujillo ’01 serves as the Human Trafficking Program Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs. In this role, Trujillo coordinates the efforts of the Colorado Human Trafficking Council that was legislatively established by the Colorado General Assembly. Trujillo joined the division in December 2014 after spending the previous six years in Houston as the executive director of the non-profit organization, United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT), whose mission is to prevent and confront human trafficking by raising public awareness, training front-line professionals and empowering the community to take action. Prior to her time at UAHT, Trujillo lived in Washington, DC where she worked for the international development organization, Health Volunteers Overseas.
Trujillo has served as a speaker and expert technical advisor on the issue of human trafficking at the national, state and local levels, including at the White House. She has also been recognized for her work combating human trafficking as a “Circles of Change” honoree by Building Bridges for Peace (2012) and a “Table Talk” honoree by the University of Houston’s Friends of Women’s Studies (2015).
Trujillo graduated with an IR major from Claremont McKenna College in 2001. She obtained her master’s degree in International Communications from American University.
Ms. Trujillo’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights.
Rolena Adorno is the Sterling Professor of Spanish at Yale Univerrsity. Born and raised on a farm in Iowa, she began her study of Spanish-language literatures as an undergraduate at the University of Iowa and then as a Fulbright Scholar to Madrid, Spain. With a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, Adorno has taught (in Spanish) very popular courses in Latin American literature and culture of the modern and earlier periods, and she is committed to the encouragement of Spanish-language studies for non-native and heritage speakers. A recipient of the Modern Language Association’s Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement, she is the first awardee whose work focuses on Hispanic literary and cultural studies.
Adorno's research is devoted to Latin American literature of the Spanish colonial period. Seemingly esoteric, this field of study raises issues pertinent to those faced today. Her books, The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative, Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, and Colonial Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction, explore the uneasy encounters between Spanish and Amerindian cultures, the debates about the rights of conquest and colonization, the emergence of literary voices (those of Amerindian as well as European heritage), and the resonance of the Spanish colonial heritage in Latin American literature today.
Appointed by President Obama in 2009, she serves on the National Council on the Humanities (NEH). She is an honorary professor at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Cary Davidson '75 practices political, election, and nonprofit organization law. He represents corporations, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, ballot measure campaigns, candidates and lobbyists, assisting them in complying with the various local, state and federal laws regulating campaigns and lobbying. Davidson has represented or served on the boards of many LGBT organizations, including Equality California, Access Now for Gay & Lesbian Equality, Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Davidson has served as president of the California Political Attorneys' Association; president of Equality California and Equality California Institute; president of the Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association; president of Congregation Kol Ami; and chair of the Board of Overseers of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He has received several awards for his civic and community involvement including the Harvey Milk Legacy Award from Christopher Street West (Los Angeles Pride); the Jack L. Stark Award from Claremont McKenna College; the Lifetime Achievement Award and State Farm Good Neighbor Award from Equality California; the Allan Tebbetts Award from the California Political Attorneys Association; and the Guardian of Justice Award from Congregation Kol Ami.
Davidson graduated in 1975 from CMC and received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1978.
Firoozeh Dumas was born in Abadan, Iran and moved to Whittier, California at the age of seven.
Dumas grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life. In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Firoozeh decided to write her stories as a gift for her children. Random House published these stories in 2003. Funny in Farsi was on the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award in 2004 and a finalist in 2005 for an Audie Award for best audio book. (She lost to Bob Dylan.) She was also a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor, the first Middle Eastern woman ever to receive this honor. (She lost that one to Jon Stewart.)
In 2008, Dumas published a second set of stories, Laughing Without an Accent, which also became a New York Times bestseller. In 2016, she published her first book of middle grade fiction, It Ain’t so Awful, Falafel and received high praise from readers of all ages.
Dumas has also written for the New York Times, Gourmet Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets and has also been a commentator on National Public Radio. She has spoken at hundreds of schools, conferences and festivals. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and that everyone’s story counts.
Ms. Dumas' Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored with the Friends of Claremont Library.
Photo Credit: Francois Dumas
Tariq al-Jamil is associate professor of religion and chair of the department of religion at Swarthmore College. He is also coordinator of Swarthmore's Islamic Studies Program. al-Jamil is an expert on medieval Islamic social history and law, with a particular focus on Shi'ism. He has conducted research on Sunni-Shi'i relations and addresses issues related to the academic study of Islam and the social history of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. His published works and research interests include: Islam and inter-communal violence, pre-modern religious identity, religious dissimulation, the transmission of knowledge in Islam, and women in Islamic jurisprudence. He is the author of Power and Knowledge in Medieval Islam (I.B. Tauris 2017). Al-Jamil received his B.A. from Oberlin College, M.T.S. from Harvard University, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri '94 is professor of religion and humanities at Reed College. GhaneaBassiri focuses on Islamic social and intellectual history in the classical and modern periods, Islam in America, material dimensions of religion, and religious diversity in US history. He is the author of A History of Islam in America (Cambridge 2010). In 2006 he was named a Carnegie Scholar and in 2012 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. GhaneaBassiri received his B.A. From Claremont McKenna College in 1994, and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Professors Tariq al-Jamil and Kambiz GhaneaBassiri's Athenaeum conversation is co-sponsored by the Kutten Lectureship in Religious Studies at CMC.
Imam Adeel J. Zeb is a Muslim chaplain, interfaith scholar, and frequent speaker. He currently serves as a co-University Chaplain at the Claremont Colleges. Before coming to Claremont in 2016, he was the Muslim Chaplain/Director of Muslim Life at Duke University. He has also served as the Muslim Chaplain/Imam at Wesleyan University, Trinity College, and American University, among others. Zeb is the president elect of the National Association of College and University Chaplains.
He has given Friday khutbah (sermons) on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, and mosques nationally. He has been featured on media including CNN, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and the Huffington Post over a 10-year span. He was a participant in the International Higher Education Interfaith Leadership Forum and has completed the prestigious fellowship for the Study of Auschwitz and Preventive Ethics and has certifications in conflict management, interfaith conflict management, and mediation from the United States Institute for Peace.
Zeb holds degrees from Baylor University in business administration and Arees University in traditional Islamic studies, a master's degree in Islamic chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary, and in tajweed and Qur'anic recitation from the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury, 2015), for which he traveled across the United States.
Dreamland was selected as one of the Best books of 2015 by Amazon.com, Slate.com, the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Entertainment Weekly, Audible, and in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business by Nobel economics laureate Professor Angus Deaton of Princeton University.
Quinones’ previous two highly acclaimed books grew from his 10 years living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994-2004).
Quinones, whose father Ricardo Quinones taught literature at CMC for many years, is formerly a reporter with the L.A. Times, where he worked for 10 years (2004-2014). He is a veteran reporter on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, the border.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez is a Los Angeles-based social documentary maker, multimedia journalist, and doctoral student at the University of California at Los Angeles. His stories and research have been featured by NPR, CNN, BBC, Fusion, Los Angeles Times, Remezcla, and UNIVISION. His latest academic project will be featured in a forthcoming book titled, Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas.
James Strock, an independent entrepreneur and reformer in business, government, and politics, is a frequent speaker 21st century leadership, servant leadership, and presidential leadership. A student of presidential leadership, his first book, Reagan on Leadership: Executive Lessons from the Great Communicator was published in a commemorative edition for the Reagan Centennial. Strock is also the author of Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership. Both books are widely used in business and not-for profit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, and the military. Strock is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Leadership (Goethals and Sorenson, eds.), and wrote the articles on Winston S. Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and Theodore Roosevelt.
In addition to extensive business and legal experience, he has served in senior positions in both federal and state governments. From 1991-97, Strock served in Governor Pete Wilson’s cabinet as California’s founding secretary for environmental protection. Following confirmation by the California State Senate, he led the Cal/EPA, an organization comprising 4,000 employees, achieving worldwide environmental, energy and economic impact. During this time, he also served on the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee to the U.S. Trade Representative. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed Strock to serve as assistant administrator for enforcement (chief law enforcement officer) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he led a major expansion and reorganization of the national program, while driving civil and criminal enforcement to record levels.
Strock is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Charles Joseph Bonaparte Scholarship) and Harvard Law School where he was a teaching fellow for Professor Richard Neustadt’s course on presidential leadership.
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.