Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Current Semester Schedule

Until further notice, all Ath events will be held via Zoom webinar. All guests must be registered for each event.

Events will open on a weekly basis. CMC students, faculty, and staff will receive a weekly email with Zoom registration links. 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. 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.

Monday, January 25, 2021 - 5:00pm
Where Opportunity Happens: How Neighborhoods Affect Social Mobility
Raj Chetty
Using the powerful lens of data and economics, Professor Raj Chetty will lay the intellectual, theoretical, and statistical groundwork to evaluate whether the American Dream still remains attainable today. A MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant awardee and one of the most esteemed public economists in the world, Chetty will draw on his data-rich, nationwide research to illustrate how a residential zip code–where a child grows up–is more predictive of social mobility and economic fate than any other national metric. With each street in the United States mapped onto his “Opportunity Atlas,” Chetty’s research foretells which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty, determines where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and even suggests targeted solutions to help more children and families.

 Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Using extensive administrative databases drawn from tax and social security records in the United States, Chetty’s research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on topics ranging from tax policy and unemployment insurance to education and affordable housing has been widely cited in academia, media outlets, and Congressional testimony.

In 2012, Chetty received a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for his rigorous theoretical and empirical studies in public economics illuminating the then-emerging field of behavioral public finance. His initial work focused on resolving inconsistencies in earlier theories of specific questions in public finance, such as how dividend tax cuts affect corporate behavior and how unemployment insurance affects job-seeking behavior. He has also designed empirical tests to gauge the impact of sales taxes on consumer demand in retail settings. Chetty has also explored a range of other questions, such as the effect of tax policy on how much people work, the extent to which tax deductions for retirement savings stimulate individual savings, and key aspects of early childhood education. By asking simple, penetrating questions, analyzing extensive data sets, and developing rigorous empirical tests, Chetty’s findings in applied economics illuminate key policy issues of our time.

Chetty received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003 and is one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard’s history. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, he was a professor at U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University. Chetty has received numerous awards for his research, including the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant and the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 5:00pm
The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Peniel E. Joseph
To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: Self-defense versus nonviolence, Black power versus civil rights, the sword versus the shield. The struggle for Black freedom is wrought with the same contrasts. While nonviolent direct action is remembered as an unassailable part of American democracy, the movement's militancy is either vilified or erased outright. In this Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture, Peniel E. Joseph, the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, upends these misconceptions and reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm X. and Dr. King, but also of the movement and era they came to define.

Peniel E. Joseph holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founding director of the LBJ School's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. His career focus has been on "Black Power Studies," which encompasses interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women's and ethnic studies, and political science.

Prior to joining the UT faculty, Joseph was a professor at Tufts University, where he founded the school's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy affect people's lives.

In addition to being a frequent commentator on issues of race, democracy, and civil rights, Joseph is the author of numerous books. His most recent book "The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr." was named a Time 100 Must-Read books of 2020, the Financial Times's Best Political Books of 2020, the Guardian's Best Books of 2020, a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2020, PEN America Biography Long List, and a New York Times Book review Editor's Pick. He is also the author of the award-winning books "Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America" and "Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama." His book "Stokely: A Life" has been called the definitive biography of Stokely Carmichael, the man who popularized the phrase "black power." Included among Joseph's other book credits is the editing of "The Black Power Movement: Rethinking" the "Civil Rights-Black Power Era" and "Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level."

Professor Joseph will deliver the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Lecture.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 5:00pm
American Democracy in Crisis
Hilary Appel, Lily Geismer, and George Thomas, panelists
For the very first time in American history, the peaceful transfer of power was tested and compromised. Urged on by a sitting president who falsely claimed massive election fraud, a violent mob seized the Capitol Building in an effort to stop the counting of electoral votes. While the insurrection was unsuccessful, millions of Americans continue to believe that the election was stolen. Equally gravely, according to some surveys, one in six Americans do not think it is important to have a democratic form of government. Like never before, American democracy is under tremendous pressure from within. To help put recent events in historical and comparative perspective, a panel of CMC professors, Hilary Appel, Lily Geismer, and George Thomas, will lead a discussion of the challenges and prospects for American democracy going forward.

Hilary Appel is the Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. Appel has published numerous books and articles on the politics of economic reform in Russia and Eastern Europe in leading scholarly journals like World Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Post-Soviet Affairs, East European Politics and Societies, and others.

Lily Geismer, associate professor of history at Claremont McKenna College, focuses her research and teaching on 20th century political and urban history in the United States, especially liberalism. She is currently working on a book project entitled "Doing Good: The Democrats and Neoliberalism from the War on Poverty to the Clinton Foundation," which explores the Democratic Party’s promotion of market-based solutions to problems of social inequality. 

George Thomas is the Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions at Claremont McKenna College and director of the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World. He is the author of “The Founders and the Idea of a National University: Constituting the American Mind,” “The Madisonian Constitution,” and co-author of the two volume “American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes,” as well of numerous scholarly articles.

This panel discussion is sponsored by the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at CMC.

Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 5:00pm
How American Journalism Created and Sustained National Myths
Graham Lee Brewer
Graham Lee Brewer, associate editor for Indigenous affairs at High Country News and a member of the Cherokee Nation, will discuss how the long-time, intentional misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples in legacy media historically has helped solidify stereotypes and myth pillars of Indigenous communities, as well as shape the country's perceptions of what it means to be Native. Photo credit: Dylan Johnson

Graham Lee Brewer is an associate editor for Indigenous affairs at High Country News (“HCN”) and a regular contributor to NPR and the New York Times. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Brewer's work in recent years has focused on representative and placed-based reporting on Indigenous communities. He helped build HCN's Indigenous affairs desk, which has been recognized with multiple awards for its coverage of Indian Country, and his work has appeared in The Guardian, the Marshall Project, BuzzFeed and Teen Vogue. Brewer also serves on the board of directors for the Native American Journalists Association, where he has helped create reporting guides and workshops on how to ethically and responsibly write about and for Indigenous communities.

Photo credit: Dylan Johnson

Monday, February 8, 2021 - 5:00pm
Does A Rising Tide Lift All Boats? Racial and Distributional Aspects of Economic Freedom
Gary A. Hoover
The commonplace saying "a rising tide lifts all boats" is associated with the idea that an improved economy will benefit all participants. Popularized in the ‘60s, the aphorism has also been used in recent years to highlight economic inequality. Gary A. Hoover, professor of economics and executive director of the Murphy Institute at Tulane University, will discuss the economists’ definition of “Economic Freedom,” and its impact on the income gap between Black and White households. He will also analyze how banking deregulation, an example of “Economic Freedom,” has impacted income inequality.

Gary A. Hoover is professor of economics and executive director of the Murphy Institute at Tulane University. Before joining Tulane in 2021, he served as professor and department chair of economics at the University of Oklahoma where he was also honored for his professional and scholarly work and for his teaching and mentoring skills.

Before Oklahoma, Hoover spent 16 years at the University of Alabama where he was the William White McDonald Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow and the James I. Harrison Family Endowed Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow from 2002-2004. He also served as the assistant dean for faculty and graduate student development in the Culverhouse College of Business Administration from 2005-2014 at Alabama.

Hoover is a member, and co-chair, of the American Economics Association’s Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession. This group was established in 1968 to increase the representation of minorities in the economics profession, primarily by broadening opportunities for the training of underrepresented minorities.

Hoover is the current and founding editor of the Journal of Economics, Race and Policy, which examines the intersection of local and global issues concerning economic conditions, race, ethnicity and gender, and policy prescriptions that address economic disparities. He served as the vice president of the Southern Economic Association from 2018-2020. He has been a fellow at CESifo Group Munich since 2010 and is a member of the Western Economic Association and American Economic Association.

Hoover’s papers have been published in the American Economic Review P&P, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Public Choice, Journal of Economic Literature, International Tax and Public Finance, Journal of Conflict Resolution and the European Journal of Political Economy.

Hoover received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1993. He earned both his master’s (1995) and PhD (1998) in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

(Adapted from the Tulane University website.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 5:00pm
Climate Change on the Roof of the World
Aurora C. Elmore
To learn more about the highest reaches of the world, Aurora Elmore, Ph.D., geologist, climate change expert, and Senior Program Manager of Science and Innovation at the National Geographic Society, recently managed the most comprehensive scientific expedition to Mt. Everest, sending a team of 34 multidisciplinary scientists to the world's highest mountain to collect glaciological and meteorological data by installing the highest weather stations in the world. Elmore will share what the data collected on the expedition tells us about how climate changes are playing out on the highest point on Earth.

Aurora Elmore is a geologist and climate change expert who received her Ph.D. in geology with a focus on oceanic chemistry and deep-sea circulation. She then worked as a researcher at several American and British universities before coming to National Geographic, where she is now Senior Program Manager of Science and Innovation. She recently oversaw the 2019 National Geographic and Rolex Everest Expedition, the most comprehensive scientific expedition to Mt. Everest.

Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 5:00pm
After the 2020 Election, What's Next for American Democracy?
Richard L. Hasen
Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert in election law, will address the question, "After the 2020 Election, What's Next for American Democracy?" He will consider how the election system and American democracy fared in the unprecedented 2020 election, and what steps need to be taken to assure peaceful transitions of power and election results accepted by American citizens across the political spectrum.

Professor Richard L. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, writing as well in the areas of legislation and statutory interpretation, remedies, and torts. He is co-author of leading casebooks in election law and remedies. He served in 2020 as a CNN Election Law Analyst.

From 2001-2010, he served (with Dan Lowenstein) as founding co-editor of the quarterly peer-reviewed publication, Election Law Journal. He is the author of over 100 articles on election law issues, published in numerous journals including the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review and Supreme Court Review. He was elected to The American Law Institute in 2009 and serves as Reporter (with Professor Douglas Laycock) on the ALI’s law reform project: Restatement (Third) of Torts: Remedies. He also is an adviser on the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Concluding Provisions.

Hasen holds a B.A. degree (with highest honors) from UC Berkeley, and a J.D., M.A., and Ph.D. (Political Science) from UCLA. After law school, Hasen clerked for the Honorable David R. Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and then worked as a civil appellate lawyer in private practice.

Professor Hasen's Athenaeum presentation is sponsored by the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at CMC.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 5:00pm
Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist
Eli Saslow
Eli Saslow’s latest book, "Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist," charts the rise of white nationalism through the experiences of one person who, ultimately, abandoned everything he had been rasied to believe. Born out of a Washington Post feature “The White Flight of Derek Black,” Rising Out of Hatred tells the story of how the one-time heir to America’s white nationalist movement came to question the ideology he helped spread. Derek Black might be termed white nationalist royalty: But when Derek chose to attend a tiny liberal arts college, his ideological foundations began to crack. Photo credit: Joanna Ceciliani

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for The Washington Post, Eli Saslow, who has been called “one of the great young journalists in America,” reveals the human stories behind the most divisive issues of our time. From racism and poverty to addiction and school shootings, Saslow’s work uncovers the manifold impacts of major national issues on individuals and families. 

Saslow is a longtime staff writer for The Washington Post, where he was initially a sportswriter. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign as well as President Obama’s life in the White House. Four of his stories have been anthologized in Best American Sportswriting, and he is an occasional contributor to ESPN The Magazine. 

Saslow speaks on the role of journalism in highlighting social and public health issues, the craft of longform journalism, the human impacts of public policy, and the importance of civility and radical inclusion. He was the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor of Journalism at the University of Montana, and he has spoken at Princeton, Syracuse University, UNC Wilmington, UVA, Northwestern, USC, and elsewhere. In 2011, Saslow cofounded Press Pass Mentors, a writing-focused nonprofit for underrepresented high school students in the Washington, DC area

A graduate of Syracuse University, Saslow is the winner of a George Polk Award, a PEN Literary Award, a James Beard Award, and other honors.

Photo credit: Joanna Ceciliani

Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 5:00pm
INCLUSIFY: How to Build More Inclusive Teams
Stefanie Johnson ‘00
Based on her bestselling book, “INCLUSIFY,” Stefanie Johnson ‘00, associate professor of management at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, will explore what leaders can do to build inclusion by digging into two most basic human needs: to be unique and to belong. From practical strategies to creating actionable steps, Johnson will offer insights to help organizations and leaders increase inclusion from increasing transparency, improving selection, and creating more equitable promotion practices. She will also address some of the unique challenges and opportunities that Covid-19 has created for inclusion and belonging.

Stefanie K. Johnson ’00, Ph.D., is an author, professor, and keynote speaker who studies the intersection of leadership and diversity. As an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, Johnson teaches undergraduate and graduate students focused on leadership and inclusion.

Her new book, “Inclusify: Harnessing the Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams,” shares the surprising ways leaders can undermine inclusion and provides actionable ways that leaders can pivot to build more inclusive teams.

Johnson is a member of the MG 100 Coaches and was selected for the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar List, comprising 30 international management scholars whose work will shape the future of how organizations are managed and led. She has extensive consulting experience and has created and delivered leadership development training with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. She has received $3,800,000 in external grant funding to study leadership and create leadership development programs. Her safety leadership course was adopted by the OSHA 30 and taken by 70,000 students in its first two years. She is an active researcher and has published 60 journal articles and book chapters in outlets Journal of Applied Psychology and The Academy of Management Journal.

Johnson is also a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and an in-demand keynote speaker. She has presented her work at over 170 meetings around the world including at the White House for a 2016 summit on diversity in corporate America on National Equal Pay Day. Media outlets featuring her work include: Forbes, The Economist, Newsweek, Time, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, HuffPost, Washington Post, Quartz, Discover, CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC. She has also appeared on Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, and CNN International.

Johnson holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Rice University and is a Cum Laude graduate in psychology, with honors, from Claremont McKenna College.

Professor Johnson’s Athenaeum presentation is sponsored by the Kravis Leadership Institute at CMC.

(Text adapted from

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 5:00pm
The GOP After Trump: What's Next for American Politics
Richard Lowry
A respected and well-known conservative voice, Richard Lowry is the editor of National Review. Author of "The Case for Nationalism: How it Made Us Powerful, United and Free," he will address the cross currents within the Republican Party and what the party should learn from and reject about former President Donald J. Trump.

A respected and well-known conservative voice, Richard Lowry, editor of National Review, brings his analysis and opinions to political discussion through his writing and commentary. Lowry became editor of National Review in 1999 when he was selected by William F. Buckley, Jr. to lead the magazine.

Lowry writes for Politico, and often appears on such public affairs programs as Meet the Press. He is a regular panelist on the NPR’s program Left, Right & Center. He is the author of “Lincoln Unbound,” “The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free,” and “Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years,” a New York Times bestseller.


Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 5:00pm
Epidemic Contagions, Quarantines, and Curves: A Historical Look from our Current Crisis
Timothy G. Fehler
Timothy Fehler, the William E. Leverette, Jr., Professor of History at Furman University, will present a series of vignettes from historical epidemics of the past four centuries. From their impact on individual lives to broader community and governmental action, experiences from the midst of epidemics offer glimpses both of fortitude and despair, public health measures and private acts of compassion, homemade cures and mathematical models.

Timothy Fehler, the William E. Leverette, Jr., Professor of History at Furman University, joined Furman’s history department in 1995, and for six years he also directed Furman’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Internships. His research has focused particularly on questions of poverty and social welfare as well as religious persecution and co-existence in early modern Europe. During more than two decades of teaching at Furman, Fehler has directed several study away programs in Europe and the Mediterranean, most recently the semester-long program in Central Europe entitled “Repression, Resistance, and Remembrance.” His research also takes him to the archives in and around northern Germany where he has spent considerable time.

As an undergraduate, Fehler studied math and history at Baylor University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Renaissance and Reformation history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 5:00pm
Can the Republican Party be Saved?
Oren Cass, Mona Charen, and John Wood, Jr., panelists; Jon Shields, moderator
In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, a second impeachment of Trump, and losing control of the House, Senate, and White House, what will become of the Republican Party? Will it be convulsed from within for its soul? Will it become even more gripped by prejudice and conspiracy theory? Or can it transform into a multi-ethnic party of the working class? Leading a panel discussion on the future of the Republican Party, Jon Shields, professor of government at CMC, will be joined by Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass and former domestic policy advisor for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Mona Charen, journalist and policy editor at The Bulwark and former speech writer for Nancy Reagan, and John Wood, Jr., national ambassador for Braver Angels and former vice chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County. 

Oren Cass is the executive director of American Compass, whose mission is to restore an economic orthodoxy that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity. From 2015 to 2019, Cass was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where his work on strengthening the labor market addressed issues ranging from the social safety net and environmental regulation to trade and immigration to education and organized labor. Prior to his time at the Manhattan Institute, Cass held roles as the domestic policy director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012, as an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and as a management consultant in Bain & Company’s Boston and New Delhi offices.

Mona Charen is a columnist, journalist, political commentator, and writer. She often writes about foreign policy, terrorism, politics, poverty, family structure, public morality, and culture. Charen wrote for National Review magazine, where she was an editorial assistant starting in 1979. Later she joined the staff of First Lady Nancy Reagan as a speechwriter. She subsequently worked on President Ronald Reagan's staff, in the White House Office of Public Liaison and in the Office of Communications. She currently is the policy editor of The Bulwark, a nationally syndicated columnist, and host of The Bulwark’s Beg to Differ podcast. 

John Wood Jr. is a national ambassador for Braver Angels, whose mission it is reduce American political polarization and to promote productive conversation across ideological lines. A former vice-chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, Wood is a musical artist and a respected writer and speaker on subjects including racial and political reconciliation. In 2014, Wood ran against Maxine Waters for her seat in California's 43rd Congressional District.

Jon Shields, associate professor of government at CMC, will moderate the conversation.

This panel discussion is sponsored by the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at CMC.

Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 5:00pm
Reframing Sex Positivity in a Socially Isolated World
Kelly Neff
The anxiety, uncertainty and cancel-culture that has emerged in response to the pandemic has led to a resurgence of sex negative attitudes valuing judgement and fear over autonomy and self-expression. Kelly Neff, Ph.D., author of “Sex Positive,” explores how sex positivity can help us heal from the devastating effects of social isolation and loneliness brought on by this past year, and how we can cultivate resilience and positive attitudes even when our sexual needs and desires may have shifted dramatically or been put on hold indefinitely.

Kelly Neff, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, author, professor, futurist, and talk-radio personality who brings to the transformational media world her unique focus on the intersection of psychology, consciousness, and human sexuality. 

An academically trained research psychologist, she received her B.A. (2004) in Psychology magna sum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University and her M.A. (2006) and Ph.D. (2010) in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University.
Committed to exploring the leading edge of psychology and technology, she wrote her first book, “Teaching Psychology Online in 2013,” and followed it up with articles on sex, consciousness, psychology, and futurism that have been read and shared tens of millions of times. Her hit show Lucid Planet Radio has attracted expert guests across the sciences, popular culture, and esoteric traditions and has been streamed to hundreds of thousands of listeners since it premiered in 2015. 

Neff’s newest effort, “Sex Positive” (2020), seeks to empower sexual freedom, inspire healing, and improve people’s relationships by fusing cutting-edge scientific findings with Eastern philosophies and her own insights. 


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