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    Marian Miner Cook

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

Welcome to The Athenaeum

COVID-19 Update:

Dear Friends,

Integral to our CMC community, the Ath— with its social warmth, table conversation, delicious meals, and engaging dialogue—is hard to replicate, especially at this difficult moment in history.

The Athenaeum remains committed to thought-provoking speaker programming during this period of physical separation. Though it will be virtual and streamlined, we hope to keep our programming vibrant and interesting. Most weeks, we will feature two evening Ath events. Generally, events will begin at 5 pm PDT. The 2020-21 Ath Fellows will introduce the program; speakers will make opening comments and segue into a conversation with the Fellows, podcast team members, faculty, or other moderator(s). There will be about 15 minutes for question and answer before the program concludes at 6 pm. The Fall 2020 schedule will be posted shortly.

We hope you stay connected and follow us on our Instagram and at Facebook.

See you soon, stay safe and healthy.

Warm regards,

Priya Junnar

All Fall 2020 events will be held via Zoom webinar. All guests must be registered for each event.

CMC students, faculty, and staff can register using the sign-up links below. This will generate a confirmation email that requires a Zoom registration. You are not registered for the event until you complete this additional step. Once you have completed this registration, you will receive a unique registration link via email from Zoom. Please keep this link handy, or add to your calendar, as you will need it to log into the event.

CMC alumni and families are welcome to all fall programming! Please refer to your weekly email from Alumni & Parent Engagement, which is sent each Sunday. The email will contain a direct link to sign up for available programming via Zoom. Alumni and families are not able to register via the Athenaeum website. Once you have registered, you will receive a unique registration link via email from Zoom. Please keep this link handy, or add to your calendar, as you will need it to log into the event.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - Evening Program
The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Cupcakes to Anxiety to Smartphones, the Mechanisms Underlying How Mindfulness Helps Change Habits
Jud Brewer
We are creatures of habit. Driven by biological processes set up to help us survive, our minds are constantly craving experiences and substances—from smartphones to romance to alcohol—and this craving leads to habit formation. Using examples from his clinical experience and laboratory research, Jud Brewer, associate professor at Brown University's Mindfulness Center will explore the behavioral and mental processes that foster craving and consequent habit formation, the impact these have on individual and societal health, and how we can “hack” our own neurobiological reward circuitry using practices such as mindfulness, to foster greater health and wellbeing.

Jud Brewer, M.D. Ph.D., is an associate professor and the director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health; he also serves as a research affiliate at MIT.

A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed clinically proven app-based mindfulness trainings including to help people quit smoking, stop overeating, and reduce anxiety. He is the author of “The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love–Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits.”

Brewer is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery,” having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his own scientific research therein. He has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. He has trained U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, the New York Times, Time magazine, Forbes, BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, Businessweek and others. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, among others.

Dr. Brewer founded MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - Evening Program
Why It's OK Not To Vote
Katherine Mangu-Ward
Voting is widely thought to be one of the most important things a person can do. But Katherine Mangu-Ward, Editor in Chief of Reason magazine, will argue that the reasons people give for why they vote (and why everyone else should too) are flawed, unconvincing, and sometimes even dangerous. Conceding that there are some good reasons for some people to vote some of the time, Mangu-Ward contends that there are many more bad reasons to vote, and the bad ones are more popular.

Katherine Mangu-Ward is Editor in Chief of Reason, the magazine of “free minds and free markets.” She started as Reason intern in 2000 and has worked at The Weekly Standard and The New York Times. Mangu-Ward is a graduate of Yale University, where she received a B.A. in philosophy and political science.

At Reason, she leads a publication that covers issues important to libertarian values. Her writing has included commentary on the ethics of (non-)voting, job automation, and plastic bag bans. She is a co-host of “The Reason Roundtable” podcast.

Mangu-Ward’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and numerous other publications. She is a frequent commentator on radio and television networks such as National Public Radio, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. She is a Future Tense Fellow at New America.

Ms. Mangu-Ward's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored with funding from the Open Academy at CMC.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.
Monday, October 05, 2020 - Evening Program
The Misinformation Age
Cailin O'Connor
Misinformation is rampant. Cailin O’Connor, associate professor of logic and philosophy of science at the University of California, Irvine, will address how the social aspects of human learning contribute to what some are calling an "infodemic." Aspects of how humans decide who to trust, and who to conform with, crucially contribute to patterns of information sharing and enable propagandists in both politics and industry to use these facts about human relationships to influence public belief and public behavior.  

Cailin O’Connor is a philosopher of science and applied mathematician specializing in models of social interaction. She is an associate professor of logic and philosophy of science and a member of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science at the University of California, Irvine. O’Connor’s specialties include the philosophy of science, game theory and evolutionary game theory, and agent based modeling.

She is co-administering the NSF Grant Consensus, Democracy, and the Public Understanding of Science. Her book "The Misinformation Age," co-authored with James Owen Weatherall, was published in 2019 with Yale Press, and her book "The Origins of Unfairness" was also published in 2019 with Oxford University Press.

Professor O'Connor's Athenaeum's presentation is co-sponsored with funding from the Open Academy at CMC.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.
Wednesday, October 07, 2020 - Evening Program
Monumental Debates: Academic Perspectives on Global Movements to Topple Historical Monuments
Ana Lucia Araujo, Daniela Blei, and Cynthia Culver Prescott, panelists
This summer, protesters throughout the United States and around the globe demanded the removal of statues memorializing historical figures such as Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Experts who study the meaning behind memorials offer a discussion on why people took to the streets to argue for or against the preservation of certain historical monuments. Drawing from research on the public memory of the Atlantic slave trade, Pioneer Mother monuments, and Nazi monuments after WWII, panelists Ana Lucia Araujo, professor of history at Howard University, Cynthia Culver Prescott, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota, and writer and editor Daniela Blei provide an engaged discussion of present battles over the past. 

Ana Lucia Araujo is a full professor of history at the historically black Howard University in Washington D.C. She has authored seven books, including “Slavery in the Age of Memory: Engaging the Past” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), “Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), “Brazil Through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics” (University of New Mexico Press, 2015), “Shadows of the Slave Past: Heritage, Memory, and Slavery” (Routledge, 2014), and “Public Memory of Slavery: Victims and Perpetrators in the South Atlantic” (Cambria Press, 2010). She has also edited or coedited five books and published dozens of refereed articles in journals and chapters in edited books on topics related to the history and memory of slavery. In 2017, she joined the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project. She also serves on the board of editors of the American Historical Review (the journal of the American Historical Association) and the editorial board of the British journal Slavery and Abolition. In addition, she is a member of the executive board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide Diaspora (ASWAD), the editorial review board of the African Studies Review, and the board of the blog Black Perspectives maintained by the African American Intellectual History Society. 

Cynthia Culver Prescott, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota, is a historian of gender in the American West and the author of "Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory" (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), which won the 2020 Gita Chaudhuri Prize. She is also building a companion website for this book, Pioneer Monuments in the American West, that features interactive maps and timelines, and provides images and information about the 200 monuments included in her study. 

Daniela Blei is a writer and editor based in San Francisco. She is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, The Smithsonian Magazine, and New York Magazine among other magazines and newspapers. Blei holds a Ph.D. in German history from Stanford University. Her recent research on Nazi and Communist Monuments in post-World War II Berlin has appeared in both German and English-language publications.

Sarah Sarzynski and Tamara Venit-Shelton, professors of history at Claremont McKenna College will moderate the panel.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.
Monday, October 12, 2020 - Evening Program
An Evening of Poetry with Henri Cole
Henri Cole
Henri Cole, award winning poet and professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College, reads from his newest collection of poems, BLIZZARD.

Henri Cole, the Josephine Olp Weeks Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College, was born in Fukuoka, Japan. He has published ten collections of poetry, including "Middle Earth," a finalist for the Pulitzer, and received many awards for his work, including the Jackson Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Berlin Prize, the Rome Prize, the Lenore Marshall Award, and the Medal in Poetry from American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Cole was inducted in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2017. He has also published a memoir, Orphic Paris.  His most recent book is Blizzard, was published in summer 2020 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - Evening Program
Half of Oklahoma Is Now Indian Country: What Does That Mean for Criminal Justice There?
Cary Aspinwall
Cary Aspinwall, a Dallas-based staff writer for The Marshall Project, has reported extensively on the impact of the criminal justice system on minorities, women and children in Oklahoma, Texas and rural America. She will discuss the impact of the recent McGirt v Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling, as well as the history and legacy of how the criminal justice system has affected tribal citizens in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

Cary Aspinwall is a Dallas-based staff writer for The Marshall Project. Previously, she was an investigative reporter at The Dallas Morning News, where she reported on the impact of the criminal justice system on women and children, and deaths in police custody. She won the Gerald Loeb Award for reporting on a Texas company's history of deadly natural gas explosions and is a past Pulitzer finalist for her work exposing flaws in Oklahoma's execution process. She is a co-founder of The Frontier, a nonprofit devoted to investigative journalism in Oklahoma.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.
Thursday, October 15, 2020 - Evening Program
The 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the Future of Gender Equality
Elizabeth Beaumont PO '93 and Elizabeth Wydra '98
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified 100 years ago in 1920. The text of the amendment prohibited denying the right to vote “on account of sex.” With the amendment, the voting population of the United States effectively doubled. But was the 19th Amendment about more than the right to vote? What other changes in the constitutional order did the 19th Amendment bring about? How does the 19th Amendment relate to gender equality? How did it relate to civil liberties more generally? Did the 19th Amendment change how we think of politics and the public sphere? In conversation with CMC's Diana Selig, Elizabeth Beaumont PO '93 and Elizabeth Wydra '98, will look back over the 100 years since its ratification and reflect on how we should think about gender equality in American democracy.

Elizabeth Wydra ’98 is president of the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC). From 2008-2016, she served as CAC’s chief counsel. Throughout her tenure she has filed more than 200 briefs on behalf of CAC and clients, which include preeminent constitutional scholars and historians, state and local government organizations, groups such as the League of Women Voters and the AARP, and members of Congress.

Wydra has also argued several important cases in the federal courts of appeals on a range of issues, including immigration law, habeas corpus, and sovereign immunity. She joined CAC from private practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco, where she was an attorney working with former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan in the firm’s Supreme Court/appellate practice. Previously, Wydra was a supervising attorney and teaching fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center appellate litigation clinic, a law clerk for Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and a lawyer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, a law firm in Washington.

Wydra has appeared as a legal expert on multiple television and radio stations and has been frequently quoted in the print media. Her writings have also appeared in many print and online outlets and on numerous political and legal blogs, such as Huffington Post, SCOTUSblog, and ACSblog. She has also published in the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Syracuse Law Review, The Cato Institute’s Supreme Court Review, and the Yale Journal of International Law.

Wyrda received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.

Elizabeth Beaumont PO '93 is an associate professor of politics and director of Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on constitutionalism and democracy, as well as civic engagement and education. She is particularly interested in problems of unequal citizenship, the relation between citizenship, democracy, and education, and how civic actors seek to shape rights, law, and political power and policy. Beaumont teaches and advises students in the areas of public law and legal studies, political theory, and American political and constitutional development.

Her book, “The Civic Constitution: Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path Toward Constitutional Democracy” (Oxford University Press, 2014), focuses on the role of several major civic groups and social movements in shaping American constitutional creation and change. She examines groups such as 18th century revolutionaries, anti-Federalists, abolitionists, and woman suffragists as "civic founders" who profoundly influenced the Constitution's text, allocations of power, definitions of citizenship, and the meanings of rights. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications, including The Journal of Politics, Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, the Stanford Law Review, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center.

From 2000-2005, Beaumont was a research scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where she helped lead the foundation's work on civic education and engagement, including serving as co-principal investigator and director of the national Political Engagement Project. These interdisciplinary, multi-method research projects are the basis of two co-authored books: “Educating for Democracy” (Wiley 2007) and “Educating Citizens” (Jossey-Bass 2003). The books are resource texts for the American Democracy Project, an AASCU partnership including more than 240 state college campuses, and helped inform the national report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future (National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, 2012). Her current research project is titled: Unruly Citizens and the Rule of Law: Civic Dissent, Disobedience, and Protest.

Beaumont is a graduate of Pomona College; she earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Diana Selig, Kingsley Croul Professor of History and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College, will moderate the conversation.

Ms. Wydra and Professor Beaumont’s Athenaeum conversation is sponsored by the Salvatori Center’s Lofgren Program in American Constitutionalism.

When this event is open for registration, the CMC community—including parents and alumni—will receive a Zoom registration link via email. Events open on a rolling basis throughout the semester.

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