Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Open Events

Welcome to the registration page for the fall 2018 season of the Athenaeum.

​Please note that this registration page is the only recognized mechanism for signing up for meals associated with Athenaeum events. Alternative registrations provided by third parties (such as Eventbrite) are not managed or controlled by the College, and unfortunately such registrations cannot be honored to allow dining with us in advance of the talk. 

Events generally open for registration on a rolling basis every two weeks over the course of the semester. The CMC community has priority for dinner reservations. Space permitting, when meal spots are available for members of the other Claremont Colleges, a note is added to the event listing and registration is open for all others. 

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, the registration is currently closed either because the event is full or the reservation window has passed. Please check back later or contact the Ath at

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 p.m.; dinner is served at 6 p.m; and the talk begins at 6:45 p.m. Reservations are required for all meals.

An explanation of the reservation process and a list of frequently asked questions is available. Additional questions may also be directed to the Ath at

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 11:45am
The Supreme Court and Beyond: What's Next in the Legal World?
Judge Andrew Gordon ’84, Jerome Haig ’84 P'22, Greg Koltun ’84 P'21, and Judge Suzanne Segal ’82 P'18, panelists
With recent groundbreaking decisions at the Supreme Court, turmoil in the confirmation process, sea change in the composition of the Court, there is much to discuss about the Supreme Court and other important legal matters marching toward the Court. A distinguished panel of CMC alumni—U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Gordon ’84, defense attorney Jerome Haig ’84 P'22, litigation partner Greg Koltun ‘84 P'21, and United States Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal ’82 P'18—will discuss these and other important issues in the American legal landscape.

Judge Andrew Gordon ’84 was appointed as a judge of United States District Court for Nevada in 2013. Before that, he was a partner at McDonald Carano Wilson LLP, where his practice focused on commercial litigation and he served as a private arbitrator and mediator. Gordon studied political science at CMC and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Jerome Haig ’84 P'22 is a private practice defense attorney and a long-time senior trial lawyer in the public defender’s office. He specializes in complex felonies in state and federal court. Haig studied mathematics and political science at CMC and received his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles. 

Greg Koltun ’84 P'21 is a litigation partner at Morrison Foerster, with a particular focus on complex commercial litigation and antitrust matters. He has experience litigating cases in state and federal courts and before arbitration tribunals throughout the country in a variety of industries and fields. Koltun studied economics at CMC and received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Judge Suzanne Segal ’82 P'18 was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in California in 2002. Before that, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney, Civil Division, and Chief of Civil Appeals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Segal studied history and political science at CMC and received her J.D. from Cornell Law School.


The window for making meal reservations has passed. Contact the Athenaeum to inquire whether spaces are available.
Monday, October 15, 2018 - 5:30pm
What Can the Romans Do For Us?
Emma Dench
What did it mean to be Roman in the ancient world, why did it matter in antiquity, and how might the study of the Roman empire benefit the modern world? Emma Dench, professor of ancient and modern history and of the classics and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University will explore some of the ways in which groups and individuals in the Roman empire imagined and acted out what it was to be Roman and what Roman power meant to them and extend the conversation to modern citizenship.

Born in York, England, Emma Dench grew up near Stratford-Upon-Avon, and studied at Wadham College, Oxford and at St. Hugh's College, Oxford earning a DPhil in ancient history in 1993. Before taking up a joint appointment in the departments of the classics and of history at Harvard in January 2007, she taught classics and ancient history at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has been a Craven Fellow at the University of Oxford, a Rome Scholar and a Hugh Last Fellow at the British School of Rome, a Cotton Fellow, a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and a visiting professor of the classics and of history at Harvard, and a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellow.

Dench is the author of From Barbarians to New Men: Greek, Roman, and Modern Perceptions of Peoples from the Central Apennines (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995) and Romulus' Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian (Oxford University Press, 2005). She is currently completing Imperialism and Culture in the Roman World for the Cambridge University Press series Key Themes in Ancient History. Other current projects include a study of the retrospective writing of the Roman Republican past in classical antiquity.

At Harvard, Dench has been the recipient of a Harvard College Professorship for 2010–15 (recognizing "outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching, mentoring and advising"), a Marquand Award for Excellent Advising and Counseling, and an Everett Mendelsohn Award for Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students. In 2015–16, she also co- taught (with Frances Frei) an elective MBA course "All Roads Lead to Rome: Leadership Lessons from Antiquity," at the Harvard Business School. 

Photo credit: Kathleen Dooher

The window for making meal reservations has passed. Contact the Athenaeum to inquire whether spaces are available.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 11:45am
Educate, Empower, and Engage
Cristina Garcia
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia of California's 58th Assembly District is on a mission to educate, empower, and engage her constituents and her colleagues in the Legislature, particularly when it comes to her three legislative priorities: women's issues, ethics and good government, and socio-economic & environmental access.

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, representing California's 58th Assembly District has served in the state Assembly since first being elected in 2012. She represents the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera, and Norwalk. A dynamic community organizer and civic activist, she represents a new generation of leaders in the California State Legislature.

Cristina lives in the in the Southeast Los Angeles community of Bell Gardens, where she was raised and attended local public schools. She went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Pomona College, a master's degree and a secondary teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University, and is presently a doctoral candidate at USC.

Assemblymember Garcia's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute for Work and Family.

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 5:30pm
Left, Right, and Libertarian in America
David Boaz
Libertarianism, the philosophy of personal and economic freedom, has deep roots in American history and Western civilization. Today, with socialism, protectionism, white nationalism, even fascism, back in style, libertarianism, claims David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, speaks for the liberalism that formed the modern world: free markets, free trade, free speech, tolerance, and equal rights. And with left and right both moving to polarized extremes, can libertarianism speak for the broad center of American politics: peaceful and tolerant people who have no interest in raising taxes, telling their neighbors who they can marry, or policing the world?

David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader.

Boaz is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. He is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. The earlier edition of The Libertarian Mind, titled Libertarianism: A Primer, was described by the Los Angeles Times as “a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas.” His other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.

Boaz's articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate, and he wrote the entry on libertarianism for Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNN’s Crossfire, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, The McLaughlin Group, Stossel, The Independents, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media.

Mr. Boaz's Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the President's Leadership Fund.


Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 5:30pm
America’s New Best Friend? Understanding India’s Rise, Beyond the Hype
Joshua T. White
The United States’ relationship with India has been radically re-imagined over the last twenty years. Yet it remains fraught with mutual disappointments, and a lingering anxiety in Washington that New Delhi may never move beyond its cautious “nonalignment.” Joshua White, associate professor at Johns Hopkins and former senior advisor for South Asia in the Obama White House and at the Pentagon, will discuss the future of the U.S.-India partnership in the age of Trump—and beyond.

Joshua White is associate professor of the Practice of South Asia Studies and fellow at the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asia Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a nonresident fellow in the foreign policy program at The Brookings Institution. He previously served at the White House as senior advisor & director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, where he focused on issues pertaining to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Indian subcontinent, and led efforts to integrate U.S. government policy planning across South and East Asia. 

Involved in many policy intensive positions in and out of the government including the Pentagon, White has spent extensive time in Asia, and has written on a wide range of issues including defense policy, electoral politics, Islamic movements, and nuclear deterrence. He has held short-term visiting research fellowships at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan’s National Defence University, and the Institute for Defence and Strategic Analyses in Delhi; testified before Congress; and served on U.S.-sponsored election observer delegations to both Pakistan and Bangladesh.

He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College with a double major in history and mathematics and received his Ph.D. with distinction from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Professor White’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Keck Institute for Strategic and International Studies.

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 5:30pm
Sustainability Approaches to Environmental Justice and Social Power
Julie Sze
Sustainability and social justice remain elusive though inexorably linked and, across the world, unsustainable practices and social inequities exacerbate one another. Julie Sze, professor of American Studies at U.C. Davis, will discuss how social justice and sustainability connect, what sustainability actually means, and how to achieve it with justice. By placing social justice and interdisciplinary approaches at the center of efforts for a more sustainable world, Sze argues that sustainability can help to shape better and more robust solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Julie Sze is a professor of American Studies at UC Davis. She is also the founding director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis’ John Muir Institute for the Environment. Sze's research investigates environmental justice and environmental inequality; culture and environment; race, gender and power; and urban/community health and activism 

Sze has published two books and over 45 journal articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics, primarily in the fields of environmental studies and the environmental humanities, geography, and public policy. She works in collaboration with environmental scientists, engineers, social scientists, humanists and community-based organizers on a wide range of research projects in California, New York, and China.

Sze has received a number of grants for her individual research, from the UC Humanities Institute, the American Studies Association, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW)​. As founding director of the Environmental Justice Institute, she received two large grants to support the project from the Ford Foundation and smaller grants related to specific research projects which have had public policy impact in the State of California.

Professor Sze's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by CMC's Crown Special Events Fund, CMC's Women and Gender Leadership Fund, CMC's Roberts Environmental Center, Pitzer's Robert Redford Conservancy, and Pomona's Office of Sustainability. 

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 11:45am
Half Past Trump: The 2018 Midterm Elections
Jack Pitney
John J. Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, will offer an overview of the 2018 congressional and state elections and will consider the prospects for a shift in party balance in Congress, and the possible impact on public policy in 2018 and beyond.    

John J. Pitney, Jr. is Roy P. Crocker Professor of American History and Politics at Claremont McKenna College where he teaches courses on Congress, interest groups, political parties, and mass media. A leading expert on the structure and practice of American politics, Pitney is a widely published author or co-author of six books on American politics, including The Art of Political Warfare (2001) and The Politics of Autism: Navigating The Contested Spectrum (2015). He is currently writing a book on the 1988 presidential campaign. In addition to his books, Pitney has published numerous scholarly articles and short essays, and is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines. He is routinely featured on NPR and other television and radio programs. 

Pitney has not only shaped the study of government at Claremont McKenna College for nearly 30 years, he has also helped shape government itself through his many roles, including as the acting director for the Research Department of the Republican National Committee (1990-1991) and as the Senior Domestic Policy Analyst for the US House Republican Research Committee, among other important appointments. 

Pitney holds a B.A. in political science from Union College, where he was co-valedictorian, and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He received the CMC Presidential Award in 2013 and was named one of the 300 best professors in the United States by the Princeton Review in 2012. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 5:30pm
From Buckley to Trump: Making American Conservatism Great Again
Charles Kesler
Bill Buckley and his magazine, National Review, helped to invent the modern American conservative movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Charles Kesler, professor of government at CMC, will discuss how Buckley managed to turn a small intellectual movement of traditionalists, libertarians, and anti-Communists into the dominating spirit of the Republican Party, and of mainstream American politics, in the 1980s and beyond. He will also address whether the rise of Donald Trump signals the end of Buckley’s and Reagan’s conservative movement, or its evolution into a new form for a new day.  

Charles Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at CMC, and for almost two decades served as director of the College's Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. He is the editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. In 2017, he was named to the POLITICO 50, Politico magazine’s annual list of the fifty most influential “dreamers, doers, and thinkers who are reshaping American politics.”  In May, Kesler was awarded a 2018 Bradley Prize by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. His edition of The Federalist Papers is the best-selling one in the country. His most recent book is I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Future of American Liberalism.


This event is full. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact the Athenaeum.
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 5:30pm
Fascist Politics
Jason Stanley
Fascism has a definite historical and conceptual structure that belies its use as a mere pejorative. Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale University and author of "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them" will discuss what is fascist politics, why, across time and place, is it so attractive, and who are its victims.

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the department of philosophy at Rutgers University. He has also been a professor at the University of Michigan (2000-4) and Cornell University (1995-2000). He earned his Ph.D in 1995 from the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, and he received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1990.

Stanley has two forthcoming books: How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (Penguin Random House, September 11, 2018) and The Politics of Language, co-authored with David Beaver (Princeton University Press, 2019).

Stanley has four previously published books including Knowledge and Practical Interests published in 2005 by Oxford University Press won the 2007 American Philosophical Association book prize and How Propaganda Works, published by Princeton University Press in May, 2015, was the winner of the 2016 PROSE award for the subject area of philosophy.

Professor Stanley's Athenaeum presentation is the 2018 Golo Mann Lecture and is sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.


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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.