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Civil Rights: In the Day, Today, and Tomorrow

Each year, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Athenaeum invites a speaker to address students on the topic of the past, present, and future of civil rights in America. This year’s speaker is an iconic leader in the struggle for racial equality, and his example shines through over forty years of leadership and service. From his role as founder and communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 to his current position as Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Julian Bond has lived on the cutting edge of social change.

Bond’s involvement with the civil rights movement began with his involvement in SNCC, the famous sit-in and anti-segregation organization that he began while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Since that time, he has tirelessly advanced the cause of civil rights in politics, journalism, and literature. Bond was elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives and, overcoming the recalcitrance of members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War, he took his seat after three re-elections and a Supreme Court decision in his favor. His role as a public voice and advocate for equality and justice ranges from commentator on America’s Black Forum, the oldest black-owned television show in syndication; narrator of the Academy Award-winning documentary A Time for Justice; commentator on The Today Show; and author of the nationally syndicated newspaper column “Viewpoint.” Bond is the author of A Time to Speak, A Time to Act (1972), and his essays and poetry have been featured in numerous publications.

Since 1998, Bond has served as Chairman of the Board of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States, and his sense of activism is undiminished. In 2002, he received the National Freedom Award. Bond also currently serves as President Emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is a Distinguished Professor at American University in Washington, DC and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His passion for and knowledge of the American civil rights movement is unparalleled, and we are excited and deeply honored to have him with us.

Meeting the U.S. Energy Challenges

As U.S. energy challenges mount, the public and political debate continues to demonstrate disturbing misunderstandings of both the problems and potential solutions. The U.S. faces three distinct energy challenges: maintaining low energy costs in order to benefit the economy, controlling greenhouse gases and other environmental damage from energy use, and reducing the geopolitical consequences of dependence on crude oil. Though some policies help to address all three challenges, often tackling one of these problems exacerbates the others. Severin Borenstein will discuss the logic and fallacies behind government energy policies, from taxes (implicit or explicit) on greenhouse gas emissions, to tax incentives for domestic oil exploration, to support for energy efficiency improvements or basic energy science research. The energy challenges that the U.S. faces are serious, but by adhering to a few basic economic principles, the cost of meeting these challenges can be kept manageable.
Severin Borenstein is E.T. Grether Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Haas School of Business and Director of the University of California Energy Institute. He is also an affiliated professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at U.C. Berkeley. He received his A.B. from U.C. Berkeley in 1978 and Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1983. His research focuses on business competion, strategy, and regulation. He has published extensively on the airline, oil and gasoline, and electricity markets, as well as on insurance, e-commerce, mining, natural gas and other industries. Borenstein was a member of the Governing Board of the California Power Exchange from 1997 until 2003 and served on the California Attorney General's gasoline price taskforce in 1999-2000. During 1999-2002, he was co-director of NBER's research project on e-commerce. Most recently, his research hasfocused on the evolving airline industry, real-time retail electricity pricing, and the economics of renewable energy and climate change.

The Future of California after the Bubble

An internationally recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, Joel Kotkin is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The City: A Global History, (Random House/Modern Library 2006). Published in China, Spain, Great Britain and the British Commonwealth, editions in Japanese and Korean are planned for later this year.

Kotkin is also author of the widely best-selling title, The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape (Random House, 2000). Currently he is writing a book on the American future for Penguin Publishing which will look at how the nation will evolve in the next four decades.
Kotkin is Presidential Fellow at the Roger C. Hobbs Institute at Chapman University in Orange, California. He is a highly respected speaker and futurist and consults for many leading economic development organizations, private companies, regions and cities.
Mr. Kotkin wrote the monthly "Grass Roots Business" column in The New York Times' Sunday Money & Business section for nearly three years. He served as West Coast editor for Inc. Magazine for five years and continues to contribute to the publication. His work also appears in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Weekly Standard, The American and The Wall Street Journal.

Joel Kotkin’s visit to CMC is jointly sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

Global Warming: Is It Our Responsibility?

How do we address the issue of global warming? Is the environment a public or private good? Do we have a moral obligation to protect the planet? Is nuclear power a viable alternative to coal power? Who should enforce environmental policy?

Such questions will receive direct attention from CMC faculty members in a panel discussion on global warming. Each will come from a different discipline — economics, philosophy, science, and government — but the professors will share a common goal: fostering discussion among students on what is, in fact, one of their most pressing concerns.

Professor of economics S. Brock Blomberg will present a formal political economy perspective on global warming. With specialties in macroeconomics and international economics, Blomberg will explore the climate change in a broad scope and consider the economic costs of a solution.

Professor of philosophy Alex Rajczi will discuss the ethical issues involved with the environment. Racjzi, having published several papers on philosophy and public affairs, will present a rational approach to the problem of climate change.

Professor of chemistry Kathleen Purvis-Roberts will talk about the scientific indications of global warming. As air quality, nuclear radiation, and public health have been concentrations within her research, Purvis-Roberts will use environmental science to argue for a solution.

Professor of government William Christian will discuss the political aspect of global warming. As an environmental lawyer who has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and the oil industry, Christian will bring his experience with public policy to the discussion.

The panel discussion at CMC is part of Focus the Nation, the nationwide educational initiative for focused discussion on the topic of global warming. On January 30-31, 2008, over 1,000 colleges and universities will participate in a Focus the Nation symposium, ranging from teach-ins to meetings with members of Congress. Eban Goodstein, founder of Focus the Nation, will speak at the Athenaeum on Tuesday, April 22, Earth Day 2008.

The event is sponsored by the Environmental Crusaders, a CMC student organization. The Environmental Crusaders organized the Campus Climate Challenge at CMC during the fall semester, a competition between the Claremont Colleges to reduce student energy usage. The Environmental Crusaders hope to continue and strengthen environmental activism at CMC.

Human Rights in Russia

The violation of human rights is one of the growing problems in the Russian Federation since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For several years, human rights have become more restricted in the name of Russian security. With terrorist events, like the hostage crisis at the Moscow theatre in 2002 and the Beslan school shooting in 2004, the government has greatly curtailed fundamental human rights and freedoms. The Russian government uses the rise of extremist political organizations as an excuse for shutting down organizations and taking control over mass media in the name of keeping the peace. At the same time the government uses anti-extremist legislation to pressure human rights activists and the political opposition as well. In Russia today, the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience are under attack. Dr. Dubrovsky will touch upon several abuses against human rights activists to demonstrate the manipulation of “anti-extremist legislation.” He will also discuss the implications of emerging racist tendencies in Russia, especially towards “non-Slavonic people” (such as citizens from the Caucasus), and the government’s passivity in dealing with or quelling anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the country.

Dmitry Dubrovsky is an associate professor of International Relations, Political Science, and Human Rights at Smolny College in St. Petersburg. He is also the Executive Director of the Ethnic Studies Program at European University and the Chair of the Department of Modern Ethnography at the Russian Museum of Ethnography, both in St. Petersburg. For the last six months, Dubrovsky has been the Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Dubrovsky's lecture is sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.

The Birds and the Bees and the GNP

Of the many forms of global change that have generated controversy of late on talk shows and op-ed pages, one that has rarely produced heated discussion or generated sensational headlines is the "pollinator crisis" - the widespread decline in the number and viability of animal species that transport pollen and thereby facilitate reproduction in the vast majority of the planet's flowering plants. Although it lacks marquee appeal, pollinator decline is one form of global change that has real potential for profoundly altering the shape and structure of the terrestrial world. Over 3/4 of all flowering plants, including more than 100 crop plants in the U.S., rely on animal pollinators to survive and reproduce. Over the past decade, evidence pointing to a pollinator crisis has accumulated and the public has begun to take notice. The National Research Council tackled this issue at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Geological Survey and commissioned a committee to assess the status of pollinators in North America. The conclusions reached by the committee and presented in their report provide compelling evidence that America's birds, bats, bees, and butterflies can no longer be taken for granted and that pollination is not a free and limitless ecosystem service.

May Berenbaum graduated summa cum laude, with a B.S. degree and honors in biology, from Yale University in 1975; she attended graduate school at Cornell University and received a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology in 1980. Since 1980, she has been a member of the faculty of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has served as head of the department since 1992. In addition to her research, she is devoted to teaching and to fostering scientific literacy; she is the recipient of the 1996 Entomological Society of America North Central Branch Distinguished Teaching Award and has authored numerous magazine articles, as well as three books about insects for the general public. She has also gained some measure of fame as the organizer of the Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois, an annual celebration of Hollywood's entomological excesses.

Berenbaum's lecture at the Athenaeum is sponsored by the David E. French Lectureship Fund.

For God and Country

As the War on Terror continues and the controversy over the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay mounts, it has become increasingly difficult to ascertain the truth about American treatment of its detained enemy combatants. The Athenaeum is thus proud to welcome Chaplain James Yee, a former U.S. Army Captain who served as the Muslim Chaplain at Guantánamo Bay and has since become a vocal critic of the U.S. government’s policy there. At Guantánamo, he ministered to the prisoners at the camp, and was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his outstanding performance. Nevertheless, Yee has since come out alleging serious mistreatment of the prisoners and arguing that most of the detainees have little or no intelligence value.

Despite Chaplain Yee’s exemplary service, he was later arrested in September 2003 and charged with sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage, and failure to obey a general order. After an intensive government investigation, during which Chaplain Yee was held in solitary confinement in a Naval brig for 76 days, the charges against him were dropped, with Major General Geoffrey Miller claiming that “national security concerns” prevented the release of the evidence against him. He then resigned from the Army and received an Honorable Discharge as well as a special commendation for “exceptionally meritorious service.”

Yee, a Chinese American who graduated from West Point in 1990 before converting to Islam, has appeared on national and international news programs, ranging from The O’Reilly Factor to Al-Jazeera’s From Washington, and is the author of For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire (2005), an account of his experiences at Guantánamo Bay and his struggle to clear his name and earn an apology from the U.S. Military. Yee also holds a master’s degree in International Relations and a Certificate of Islamic Studies, earned during his years in the Army for intensive study of the Arabic language and Islamic society and culture.

Chaplain James Yee’s lecture is cosponsored by the CMC Dean of Students, the Muslim Student Association, and the Athenaeum.

Is the 'Age of Reagan' Over?
LUNCH 11:30 a.m. LECTURE 12:00 p.m.

The time has come to look back on the Reagan experience and survey its successes, failures, and unresolved arguments — to discover the lasting meaning of Reagan-style conservatism. For all of his victories (and defeats), the transformation of America under Reagan was inconclusive, incomplete. Arguments over the Reagan “revolution” persist, partly because they are proxies for the political arguments of today.

Steven Hayward is the author, most recently, of Greatness: Reagan, Churchill, and the Making of Extraordinary Leaders (2005). His The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980 (2001), is the first of a projected two-volume life and times of the former president. Reviewers hailed the first volume as the best, most incisive of the existing commentaries of the Regan years.

He has written extensively on presidents and statesmanship, including Churchill on Leadership: Executive Success in the Face of Adversity (1997). His work has appeared in National Review, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and the Claremont Review of Books.

Hayward is a senior fellow of the Pacific Research Institute, and the F. K.Weyerhaeuser of the American Enterprise Institute.

Hayward's lecture is sponsored by the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World.

Shi’ism and Constitutionalism in Iran

Over the course of the past century, the question of constitutional rights has been widely discussed in political and legal debates in Iran, representing a unique trend in the Muslim world. This talk will examine a number of fundamental debates over the concept of rights in early twentieth-century Iran as reflected in the Constitution of 1906, which later resulted in the evolution of civil law. Iranian legal reforms in the twentieth century would not have been possible without such a constitutional framework. The Iranian Constitutional Laws of 1906-07 drew on modern Western traditions as well as Islamic and customary law. From a political point of view the Constitution called for the transformation of an absolutist state into a constitutional government, and thus a transformation of subjects into citizens with recognized rights and responsibilities. However, in the realm of legal theory there was a more explicit tension on whether it would be possible to synthesize different legal paradigms. By drawing on a wide range of primary source material this talk will examine the intellectual dimension of Iran’s constitutional movement with the concept of rights at its core, and the interplay between Shi’ism and constitutionalism. Profesor Gheissari’s talk is presented in conjunction with Arash Khazeni’s course “The Middle East: From the Ottomans to the Present.”

Ali Gheissari is professor of history at the University of San Diego. He studied at the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Tehran University, and at St. Antony's College, Oxford, and has held visiting appointments at Tehran University, Oxford University, UCLA and Brown University. He has written extensively in both English and Persian on the intellectual and political history of modern Iran. Selected publications of his work include: Iranian Intellectuals in the Twentieth Century (University of Texas Press, 1998 and 2007); Democracy in Iran (co-author, Oxford University Press, 2006); Persian translation of Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Ethics (with Hamid Enayat, 1991); “Truth and Method in Modern Iranian Historiography and Social Sciences” (Critique, 1995); “Despots of the World Unite! Satire in the Iranian Constitutional Press” (Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 2005); “Merchants without Borders: Trade, Travel, and a Revolution in late Qajar Iran” (in R. Farmanfarmaian, ed., War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications Past and Present, Routledge, 2008). He is also on the Editorial Board of Iran Studies series, published by E. J. Brill. His current research is on the evolution of the civil law and the shaping of Iran’s Judiciary in historical perspective.

Japan’s Foreign Policy: Between the Pacific Ocean and the Asian Continent
LUNCH 11:30 a.m., LECTURE 12:00 p.m.
Ambassador Kazuhiko Togo from Japan will address the two major strategic issues for Japan’s foreign policy: how to maintain and strengthen its ties with the United States across the Pacific Ocean, and how to manage and overcome relations with the Asian Continent, notably those with China and Korea. The lecture will begin with a succinct historical perspective on what happened in 1945 and its lasting impacts. Ambassador Togo will then analyze how and why the alliance with the United States was strengthened steadily in the last six decades. He will conclude with an analysis of Japan’s Asian policy, how and why it went through such a difficulty, but now faces a real crossroads.
Ambassador Togo is a visiting professor at Temple University, Tokyo. After graduating from Tokyo University in Japan, he joined Japan's Foreign Ministry in 1968, worked extensively on Soviet/Russian affairs, as well as on Europe, America, international law and economics. He served as Ambassador of Japan to the Netherlands before retiring in 2002. In 1995 he began teaching at universities in Moscow and Tokyo, and after retirement taught at Leiden, Princeton, Tansui (Taiwan), Santa Barbara and Seoul. His recent publications include Japan's Foreign Policy 1945-2003: The Quest For A Proactive Policy (2005) and The Inside Story of the Negotiations on the Northern Territory: Five Lost Windows of Opportunity (2007) (in Japanese). His edited works include Russian Strategic Thought toward Asia (2006) and Japanese Strategic Thought toward Asia (2007).
The Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies is pleased to host Ambassador Togo’s visit to CMC as a Freeman Foundation Visiting Professor in Asian Affairs.

A Long Way Gone: A Story of Hope and Redemption

Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone on November 23, 1980. When he was 11, Ishmael’s life, along with the lives of millions of other Sierra Leoneans, was derailed by the outbreak of a brutal civil war. After his parents and two brothers were killed, Ishmael was recruited to fight as a child soldier. He was 13. He fought for more than two years before he was removed from the army by UNICEF and placed in a rehabilitation home in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. After completing rehabilitation in late 1996, Ishmael won a competition to attend a conference at the United Nations to talk about the devastating effects of war on children in his country. It was there that he met his new mother, Laura Simms, a professional storyteller who lives in New York. Ishmael returned to Sierra Leone and continued speaking about his experiences to help bring international attention to the issue of child soldiering and war affected children.

In 1998 Ishmael came to live with his American family in New York City. He completed high school at the United Nations International School, and subsequently went on to Oberlin College in Ohio. Throughout his high school and undergraduate education, Ishmael continued his advocacy work to bring attention to the plight of child soldiers and children affected by war around the world, speaking on numerous occasions on behalf of UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Secretary General’s Office for Children and Armed Conflict, at the United Nations General Assembly. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Committee and his visit to CMC is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights and the Athenaeum.

In A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007), Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By 13, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.

The Future of Securities Fraud Litigation

Accountability, Competition and Collusion: The Dilemma of the Securities Class Action
LUNCH 12:00 p.m., LECTURE 12:30 p.m., PANEL 1:30 p.m.

John C. Coffee, the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming conference on The Future of Securities Fraud Litigation. This conference, sponsored by the Financial Economics Institute and RAND Corporation, will bring together leading scholars in finance and law, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the future of securities fraud litigation. In Professor Coffee’s presentation, he will be discussing how to introduce competition into the world of securities class actions, and the costs of doing so.

John Coffee began his career as a corporate lawyer with Cravath, Swaine & Moore and spent four years as a professor at Georgetown University Law Center before joining the Columbia Law School faculty in 1980. He has served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School (2001), Stanford University Law School (1988), the University of Virginia Law School (1978), and the University of Michigan Law School (1979).
Professor Coffee is currently a reporter for the American Bar Association for its Model Standards on Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures and for the American Law Institute's Principles of Corporate Governance. During his career he has served on the Economic Advisory Board to NASDAQ, the Legal Advisory Board to the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), and the Legal Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange.
Professor Coffee received a B.A. from Amherst, an LL.B. from Yale, and an LL.M. (in taxation) from New York University. His principal interests are corporations, securities regulation, class actions, criminal law, and white-collar crime. He has also been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States."

Following Professor Coffee’s address, the conference will continue at the Athenaeum at 1:30 p.m. with a practitioner panel discussing, “Current Issues in Securities Fraud Litigation.” The panel will discuss, from various perspectives, cutting edge issues related to the future of securities fraud litigation. Panelists include plaintiff and defendant attorneys, a D&O insurer, economic experts, and an SEC-affiliated economist. The participants are:


Perry Lerner'65, Managing Director, CP Wealth Advisors, LLC


Vincent Cappucci, Partner, Entwistle and Cappucci

Brad Cornell, Senior Consultant, CRA International and California Institute of Technology

Larry Fine, Senior Vice President, AIG

Eric Landau, Partner and National Chair, Securities Litigation Group, McDermott Will and Emery

David Tabak, Senior Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting