Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

April, 2019

Monday, April 01, 2019 - Special Program
Dinner Theater: Nooses Off
Written by Don Zolidis; performed by Under the Lights

An amateur theater company's whodunit hurtles towards opening night—but the real mystery is whether the cast and crew can get this disaster to curtain call. It won't be easy when the costume designer is bent on revenge, the actors are wrapped up in a revolving door of showmances, one suitcase plays the role of nine, and the playwright won't admit that "And Then There Were None" might owe a little something to Agatha Christie. The best seat in the house is backstage on opening night in this full-throttled homage to Michael Frayn's classic comedy.

Directed by Max Fine '21 and assistant directed by Nandini Mittal ’22, the cast includes Henry Minervini '19, Namrata Dev ’19, Timothy Song '19, Jake Hudson-Humphrey '19, Jahnavi Kocha CMC'19, Brian Luna ’19, Bryan Williams '21, Claudia Taylor '21, Mimi Thompson '21, Shanil Verjee '21, Salomé Lefort '21, Abelino Fernandez Leger '22, Matthew Hines '22, Katherine Mayer SCR'19 and McKayla Cox SCR'21.

Monday, April 01, 2019 - Evening Program
Poetry Reading and Reflections with Kay Ryan
Kay Ryan

United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Kay Ryan will read some of her award-winning poetry and share personal reflections.

Kay Ryan is a United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning poet. Her collections of poetry include most recently the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Best Of It, New and Selected Poems” (Grove Press, 2010); "The Niagara River" (2005); "Say Uncle" (2000); "Elephant Rocks" (1996); and "Flamingo Watching" (1994). Her most recent book of poems, “Erratic Facts”, was published by Grove Press in October 2015.

About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: “Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today’s literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost.”

Ryan’s awards include a MacArthur “Genius” Award; The National Humanities Medal awarded by President Obama in 2012; the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Ingram Merrill Award. In 2017 she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters and in 2006 was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, she was appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

Ms. Ryan’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies in collaboration with the poetry colloquium of the department of literature.

Photo credit: Christina Koci Hernandez


Food for Thought: Podcast with Kay Ryan

Tuesday, April 02, 2019 - Special Program
Dinner Theater: Nooses Off
Written by Don Zolidis; performed by Under the Lights

An amateur theater company's whodunit hurtles towards opening night—but the real mystery is whether the cast and crew can get this disaster to curtain call. It won't be easy when the costume designer is bent on revenge, the actors are wrapped up in a revolving door of showmances, one suitcase plays the role of nine, and the playwright won't admit that "And Then There Were None" might owe a little something to Agatha Christie. The best seat in the house is backstage on opening night in this full-throttled homage to Michael Frayn's classic comedy.

Directed by Max Fine '21 and assistant directed by Nandini Mittal ’22, the cast includes Henry Minervini '19, Namrata Dev ’19, Timothy Song '19, Jake Hudson-Humphrey '19, Jahnavi Kocha CMC'19, Brian Luna ’19, Bryan Williams '21, Claudia Taylor '21, Mimi Thompson '21, Shanil Verjee '21, Salomé Lefort '21, Abelino Fernandez Leger '22, Matthew Hines '22, Katherine Mayer SCR'19 and McKayla Cox SCR'21.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - Special Program
Dinner Theater: Nooses Off
Written by Don Zolidis; performed by Under the Lights

An amateur theater company's whodunit hurtles towards opening night—but the real mystery is whether the cast and crew can get this disaster to curtain call. It won't be easy when the costume designer is bent on revenge, the actors are wrapped up in a revolving door of showmances, one suitcase plays the role of nine, and the playwright won't admit that "And Then There Were None" might owe a little something to Agatha Christie. The best seat in the house is backstage on opening night in this full-throttled homage to Michael Frayn's classic comedy.

Directed by Max Fine '21 and assistant directed by Nandini Mittal ’22, the cast includes Henry Minervini '19, Namrata Dev ’19, Timothy Song '19, Jake Hudson-Humphrey '19, Jahnavi Kocha CMC'19, Brian Luna ’19, Bryan Williams '21, Claudia Taylor '21, Mimi Thompson '21, Shanil Verjee '21, Salomé Lefort '21, Abelino Fernandez Leger '22, Matthew Hines '22, Katherine Mayer SCR'19 and McKayla Cox SCR'21.

 

Thursday, April 04, 2019 - Evening Program
A War Against Poor People: Dirty War, Narcotics and the Cold War Roots of Mexico's Contemporary Drug Violence
Alexander Aviña

Alexander Aviña, associate professor of history at Arizona State University, will trace the origins of Mexico's contemporary drug violence—more than 250,000 people killed since 2006—to the use of state violence and terror against rebellious communities and insurgent groups during the 1970s. This '70s “Dirty War” spawned a network of political and military officials that, having eliminated revolutionary challenges to the Mexican state, proved key in the formation of a booming drug industry by the 1980s and 90s.

Alexander Aviña is an associate professor of Latin American history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. He previously taught at Florida State University. His book, "Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside" (Oxford University Press, 2014), was awarded the Maria Elena Martínez Book Prize in Mexican History for 2015 by the Conference on Latin American History. He has also published articles in the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research and the NACLA Report on the Americas.  

His current research project explores the links between the political economy of narcotics, drug wars, and state violence in 1960s and '70s Mexico.


Food for Thought: Podcast with Alex Avina

Monday, April 08, 2019 - Lunch Program
Could a 'Populist Internationale’ Redefine Europe’s Place in the 21st Century?
Maya Kandel

The upcoming elections for the European Parliament (EP) will have major strategic and historic implications. Maya Kandel, French historian, scholar, and researcher at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, says that framing the elections as a fight between progressives and populists (or globalists and nationalists) is too simplistic. Instead, there are competing forces to contend with which are trying to redefine the European Union: From the transatlantic populist dialog on the political right to internal political arguments over nationalism and populist reform, from Russia seeking to undermine democratic governance to China seeking to extend its economic reach, the post-war European project is on the defensive, and Europe’s answer to the rise of populism will likely determine the future of liberal democracy.

Maya Kandel is a French historian, associate researcher at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, specializing in U.S. foreign policy and defense issues, U.S. Congress and transatlantic relations. Since 2017 she has led United States and Transatlantic Issues at the Policy Planning Staff of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. From 2011 to 2016, she was the program director and senior researcher on the United States at the French Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM).

A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Kandel has written extensively on these subjects for academic as well as general public publications. Her work has also focused on U.S. policy and strategy on the African continent, and in particular U.S.-French military cooperation. Her latest book, a history of the U.S. relation to the world, was published in April 2018 by Perrin Editions (Paris).


View Video: YouTube with Maya Kandel

Monday, April 08, 2019 - Evening Program
The Road to Gender Justice in the Era of Resistance
Fatima Goss Graves

How can the movement for gender justice build for the long haul during a period of resistance? Fatima Goss Graves, long-time civil and gender rights activist and president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, will explore how—even in the midst of defending core rights—we can use smart advocacy to achieve law, policy, and culture change. Whether it’s working on fueling workplace diversity, ending sexual harassment, or securing new funding for child care, she will discuss the myriad of ways in which to build the future we want and deserve.

Fatima Goss Graves, who has served in numerous roles at National Women’s Law Center (“NWLC”) for more than a decade, has spent her career fighting to advance opportunities for women and girls. She has a distinguished track record working across a broad set of issues central to women’s lives, including income security, health and reproductive rights, education access, and workplace fairness. Goss Graves is among the co-founders of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.

Prior to becoming president at NWLC, Goss Graves served as the Center’s senior vice president for program, where she led the organization’s broad program agenda to advance progress and eliminate barriers in employment, education, health and reproductive rights and lift women and families out of poverty. Prior to that, as the Center’s vice president for education and employment, she led the Center’s anti-discrimination initiatives, including work to promote equal pay, combat harassment and sexual assault at work and at school, and advance equal access to education programs, with a particular focus on outcomes for women and girls of color.

Goss Graves has authored many articles, including “A Victory for Women’s Health Advocates”, National Law Journal (2016) and “We Must Deal with K-12 Sexual Assault”, National Law Journal (2015), and reports, including “Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity” (2014), “Reality Check: Seventeen Million Reasons Low-Wage Workers Need Strong Protections from Harassment” (2014), and “50 Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay” (2013).

Goss Graves received her B.A. from UCLA in 1998 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001. She began her career as a litigator at the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP after clerking for the Honorable Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She currently serves as an advisor on the American Law Institute Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus and was on the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace and a Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow.

She is widely recognized for her effectiveness in the complex public policy arena at both the state and federal levels, regularly testifies before Congress and federal agencies, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and other public education forums. Goss Graves appears often in print and on air as a legal expert on issues core to women’s lives, including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.

Food for Thought: Podcast with Fatima Goss Graves

Tuesday, April 09, 2019 - Evening Program
Beyond the 'Now:' Epistemic Oppression and the So-Called "Common Sense" of Incarceration
Kristie Lynn Dotson

Kristie Dotson, professor of philosophy at both Carleton College and Michigan State University, will explore how in situations that call for accountability for serious wrongdoings, one can find oneself trapped in a “now” that follows from ineffective carceral imaginations, insufficient structural options for accountability, and inadequate lexicons of permissibility.

Kristie Dotson is currently the Cowling Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Carleton College and associate professor of philosophy at Michigan State University. She researches in epistemology, metaphilosophy, and feminist philosophy (particularly Black feminisms). Specifically, Dotson works on how knowledge-related concerns play a role in maintaining and obscuring oppression. She has published numerous journals articles and is working currently on a monograph tentatively entitled, Varieties of Epistemic Oppression, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019 - Evening Program
Reflections on Work, Servitude, and Slavery in Medieval India
Donald Davis, Jr.

Donald Davis, professor in the department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, examines how a thirteenth-century Sanskrit legal text conceptualizes slavery, servitude, and work. Rather than draw a sharp distinction between slaves and workers, this text views everyone from slaves and contract laborers to students, apprentices, and even managers as servants with limited freedom. The way this text categorizes the world of work provokes us to rethink whether contemporary discourses have surpassed or merely suppressed continuing experiences of work as a loss of freedom.

Donald Davis has been teaching at U.T. Austin since 2013, having worked previously at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, and Bucknell University. His primary research concerns the interaction of law and religion in medieval India. From one side, he looks at the historical evidence for law and legal practice in inscriptions, temple archives, and other dated documents as a way to contextualize the law in earlier periods of Indian history. From the other side, he studies the Dharmaśāstra tradition as a system of religious law and jurisprudence, apart from historical questions.

His book, “The Spirit of Hindu Law” (2010), provides a conceptual overview of the Hindu perspective on law and how it can relate to modern questions of policy, ethics, and religion. He has a continuing interest in Malayalam language and literature, and published “The Train that Had Wings” (2005), a collection of translated short stories by the Malayalam writer M. Mukundan. 

Most recently, Davis published “The Dharma of Business: Commercial Law in Medieval India”  (Penguin, 2017), a study of commerce-related titles of law in medieval Hindu law texts and is a co-editor (with Patrick Olivelle) of a volume for the Oxford History of Hinduism entitled “Hindu Law: A New History of Dharmaśāstra” (OUP, 2018). 

His current research broadens his interest in the practice of Hindu law in historical perspective, using materials beyond the Dharmaśāstra texts and from many parts of medieval India. At the same time, he is beginning work on a translation of the Mitākṣarā of Vijñāneśvara, a twelfth-century commentary and compendium on dharma.

(Parents Dining Room)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - Lunch Program
Living History: Three Decades of Researching and Restituting Nazi Looted Art
Jonathan Petropoulos

Jonathan Petropoulos, the John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College, will discuss his forthcoming book on the biography of one of history's biggest art plunderers, focusing on three areas: first, the scholarly field, where he will recount how researchers have addressed the “unfinished business” of World War II; second, the practical application of his scholarship, including how he has served as an expert witness in restitution litigation;  and third, the personal dimensions of his research, including the ethical challenges of interviewing former perpetrators to write the history and achieve some measure of justice.

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History and the chair of the department of history at Claremont McKenna College. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University (1990), where he also had an appointment as a lecturer in history and history & literature. He began working on the subject of Nazi art looting and restitution in 1983, when he commenced graduate work in history and art history. 

He is the author of “Art as Politics in the Third Reich” (University of North Carolina Press, 1996); “The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany” (Oxford University Press, 2000); “Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany” (Oxford University Press, 2006); “Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany” (Yale University Press, 2014). He has edited a number of other works and has helped organize art exhibitions, including Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, which opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991.

From 1998 to 2000, he served as research director for Art and Cultural Property on the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, where he helped draft the report, Restitution and Plunder: The U.S. and Holocaust Victims’ Assets (2001). In this capacity, he supervised a staff of researchers who combed archives in the United States and Europe in order to understand better how representatives of the U.S. government (including the Armed Forces) handled the assets of Holocaust victims both during and after the war. He also provided expert testimony to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport in the U.K. House of Commons and to the Banking and Finance Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  He has also participated in a number of international conferences on the subject of Nazi art looting and Allied restitution, including the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets in 1998, and the Vilnius International Forum on Holocaust-Era Looted Cultural Assets in 2000.                                         

Petropoulos has served as an expert witness in a number of cases where Holocaust victims have tried to recover lost and stolen artworks. This includes Altmann v. Austria, which involved six paintings by Gustav Klimt claimed by Maria Altmann and other family members (five were returned).

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