Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Current Semester Schedule

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.

Monday, January 28, 2019 - 5:30pm
Will the real Dr. Martin Luther King please stand up?
Timothy W. Wright III '77
As we celebrate a national holiday commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Timothy Wright III ’77, lawyer, public servant, theologian, and activist asks who, really, do we celebrate? Is it the gentle Dr. King of “I have a dream” where he saw black kids, white kids, and brown kids walking hand in hand. Or was it the Dr. King, who in the same speech, admonished the unspeakable horrors of police brutality inflicted on black people? Or will we celebrate the Dr. King whom Dr. James Cone calls America’s greatest theologian, asserting, “If theology is a disciplined endeavor to interpret the meaning of the gospel for the present time, and if the gospel is God’s liberation of the poor from bondage, then I would claim that no one has articulated the Christian message of freedom more effectively, prophetically, and creatively in America than Martin Luther King, Jr.” Will the real Dr. King please stand up!

Timothy W. Wright III '77 was born and raised in the City of Compton and attended Compton High School. As student body president, Wright served as student representative to the Compton Unified School Board of Trustees. A varsity football player, he served as "Helm's Hall of Fame" scholar-athlete in his senior year before attending Claremont Men’s College.

As the first in his family to attend college, Wright points to the inspiration of Dr. King Jr. as his greatest and seminal inspiration for attending college and law school. Wright strove to become an asset to the campaign for human rights and justice that Dr. King would come to symbolize.

At Claremont Mens’ College, Wright researched and wrote his senior thesis entitled, "Indicators of Underdevelopment: A Case Study of the Angolan Economy." During law school, as a student activist in the anti-apartheid movement, Wright worked with the United Nations on legal matters pertaining to the independence of several African countries. As a lawyer, Wright participated in the constitutional negotiations in Cape Town, South Africa, that led to the release of Nelson Mandela. Wright also served as a legal participant with the U.N. Council for Namibia and as an international election monitor for South Africa's first free elections where he was assigned to monitor the elections in the Western Cape teaming with Nigerian President Obasanjo of Nigeria and New York Mayor David Dinkins.

Wright served as special counsel and director of intergovernmental affairs for former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and was commissioner of the department of economic development for the City of Chicago under two administrations. Wright has also served as President Bill Clinton’s first director of domestic policy and in various capacities in the administrations of Presidents Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. He also served as chief of staff for Congressman Bobby L. Rush.

Wright was a director for the Southern African Economic Development Fund along with Ambassador Andrew Young and was a director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. He has also served as chairman of the Sub-Saharan African Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

In January 2010, Wright was one of the winners in Politico magazine’s second annual “Reed Awards,” which are presented to “political and public affairs professionals at the top of their game,” according to the magazine. Wright was an award recipient in the special category, “Best Bare-Knuckled Street Fight Victory,” for his work, as Illinois senator Roland Burris’ lead attorney, in getting the U.S. Senate to allow Burris to obtain his appointed U.S. Senate seat.

Wright received a dual degree both in political science and economics from Claremont Mens’ College in 1977; a Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law in 1983; a Masters of Divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary in May 2018; he is currently studying for his Doctorate in Ministry Degree. He is a member of the Prophetic Leader Cohort at McCormick Theological Seminary, specializing in Liberation Ecclesiology, faith-based community economic development in urban communities.

Mr. Wright will deliver the 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Lecture.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 5:30pm
Identity and Citizenship
Mark Lilla
In an age of identity consciousness, Mark Lilla, professor of humanities at Columbia University and author of “The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics” explores what has happened to the idea of equal citizenship and whether it again serve as a foundation of liberal politics.

Mark Lilla was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1956, and was educated at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. After holding professorships at New York University and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, he joined Columbia University in 2007 as professor of the humanities. He has been awarded fellowships by the Russell Sage Foundation, the Institut d’Etudes Avancées (Paris), the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and the American Academy in Rome. In 1995 he was inducted into the French Order of Academic Palms.

Lilla is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and publications worldwide. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lectures widely and has delivered the Weizmann Memorial Lecture in Israel and the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford University. In 2015, Overseas Press Club of America awarded him its prize for Best Commentary on International News in Any Medium.

Professor Lilla’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center at CMC.

Photo credit: Christophe Dellory

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 5:30pm
Black Silent Majority: Race, Class, and the Politics of Punishment
Michael J. Fortner
Michael Fortner, assistant professor of political science at City University of New York’s Graduate Center and author of “Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment” will address the rise of crime and drug addiction in African American communities in the post-Civil Rights era and discuss the role the black middle class played in the development of mass incarceration.  

Michael Javen Fortner is assistant professor of political science at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. He received a B.A. in political science and African American studies from Emory University, and a M.A. in government and a Ph.D. in government and social policy from Harvard University.

Fortner is the author of “Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment” (Harvard University Press, 2015), a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and winner of the New York Academy of History’s 2016 Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York History. With Amy Bridges, he co-edited Urban Citizenship and American Democracy (SUNY Press, 2016).

He has also been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Dissent magazine, and his research has been covered in major media outlets, such as the New Yorker, New York Magazine, the Daily Beast, Time, WNYC and NPR.

Fortner is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Urban History and Urban Affairs Review.

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 5:30pm
Negotiating Change: What We Can Learn from Complex International Negotiations
Wendy R. Sherman
Wendy Sherman, former U.S. under-secretary of state for political affairs and the successful lead negotiator for the multilateral, complex deal with Iran, reveals strategies and tactics from her years of high-level international diplomacy that can help achieve successful outcomes in business negotiations in a global economy, international relations, and the global marketplace.

Wendy R. Sherman is senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group and former under-secretary of State for political affairs. She teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School as a professor of the Practice in Public Leadership and director of the School’s Center for Public Leadership. Sherman serves on the boards of the International Crisis Group and the Atlantic Council and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group. Sherman led the U.S. negotiating team that reached agreement on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran for which, among other diplomatic accomplishments, she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Barack Obama.  

Prior to her service at the Department of State, she was vice chair and founding partner of the Albright Stonebridge Group, counselor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, special advisor to President Bill Clinton, policy coordinator on North Korea, and assistant secretary for legislative affairs under Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Early in her career, she managed Senator Barbara Mikulski’s successful campaign for the U.S Senate and served as director of EMILY’S list. She served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, was chair of the board of directors of Oxfam America and served on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Board and Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism. 

Sherman is the author of “Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power and Persistence” published by Public Affairs, September 2018.

Ambassador Sherman will deliver the Spring 2019 lecture for the Res Publica Society Speaker Series.

Friday, February 1, 2019 - 11:45am
Green Careers: How a Liberal Arts Education Prepared me for a Career in Renewable Energy
Carolyn Campbell '11
Carolyn Campbell ‘11, the renewable energy manager at Facebook, will reflect on her experience working in renewable energy and climate mitigation consulting and leveraging her renewable energy background to help Facebook reduce its carbon footprint. She will highlight new advances in the industry, while reflecting on how her liberal arts degree has gotten her to where she is today.

Carolyn Campbell ’11 is a member of Facebook's Global Energy Team. In this role, she is responsible for sourcing renewable energy to power the company's U.S. data centers. Prior to joining Facebook, Campbell specialized in power purchase agreements (PPAs), most recently in advising companies on clean energy purchases as part of 3Degrees' Energy & Climate Practice and previously in marketing power for Recurrent Energy, a utility-scale solar project developer. She started her in career as a market research analyst for Greentech Media's solar research division. 

Campbell received a Bachelor of Arts in Environment, Economics, & Politics from Claremont McKenna College in 2011. She also served as student manager at the Robert's Environmental Center.

Ms. Campbell’s Athenaeum presentation is the keynote address for the 2019 Green Careers Conference sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center. 

Monday, February 4, 2019 - 5:30pm
Counterculture Faith
Erick Erickson
Erick Erickson, editor of The Resurgent and conservative commentator, will explore how people of faith navigate the waters of American politics that increasingly call on those of faith to make sacrifices and to compromise their beliefs to advance a political agenda.

Noted a one of the most influential conservatives in America, Erick Erickson is the editor of The Resurgent, a Fox News Contributor, and host of his own radio program on the nation's most listened to news/talk station, WSB Radio out of Atlanta. Erickson is also working on his Master of Divinity Degree at Reformed Theology Seminary. He is frequently read and cited by leaders of both political parties.

In his latest book, “Before You Wake”, Erickson leaves politics behind and addresses his near-death experience during the height of the 2016 campaign season. Writing letters to his children, he focuses on what they and others should know about faith, family, and friendship, in addition to all his family's favorite recipes. Erickson regularly travels the world speaking on American politics, faith issues, and the intersection of faith and politics in America today. In addition to speaking, Erickson occasionally preaches drawing on his seminary education. Erickson is also the author of “You Will Be Made to Care,” a book about rising Christian persecution in America.

For six years, Erickson practiced law focused on corporate transactions and estates, with side focuses in both election law and indigent criminal defense. For three years Erick was a political commentator for CNN and was editor of RedState.com for more than a decade prior to starting The Resurgent.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 5:30pm
Is ISIS Over?"
Mark Juergensmeyer
Mark Juergensmeyer, professor of sociology and global studies, at U.C. Santa Barbara, will give an illustrated analysis of the rise of ISIS and its current state of regional and global influence, based on site visits to the region, interviews, and surveillance of jihadi chat rooms online. 

Mark Juergensmeyer is distinguished professor of sociology and global studies, and affiliate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the founding director of global studies and the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.

He is a pioneer in the global studies field, focusing on global religion, religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics. He has published more than three hundred articles and twenty books, including the revised and expanded fourth edition of the award-winning “Terror in the Mind of God” (University of California Press, 2017), and his co-edited “Oxford Handbook of Global Studies” (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Professor Juergensmeyer's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Kutten Lectureship in Religious Studies at CMC.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 5:30pm
Serial: Murder Case of State vs. Adnan Syed
Rabia Chaudry
Made immensely popular through the global phenomenon of the podcast Serial, this case examined the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of Adnan Syed. Rabia Chaudry, who took Syed’s case to Serial producer and host, has been Adnan’s public advocate and friend for the past 17 years and has now written “Adnan’s Story” in collaboration with Adnan, documenting the twists and turns of this dramatic story.

Rabia Chaudry is an attorney, podcaster, and recent Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where she researched the intersection of religion and violent extremism. She is the co-host and co-producer of the hit criminal justice podcast “Undisclosed,” with nearly 250 million downloads, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, “Adnan’s Story.”  She is also the co-producer and co-host of the weekly podcast “The 45th,” which examines the politics and policies of the Trump administration.

Prior to her work with USIP, Chaudry served as an International Security Fellow at the New America Foundation (NAF), where she led a countering violent extremism (CVE) community project in partnership with Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Her work at NAF focused on the empowerment of American Muslim communities in social media advocacy. Chaudry also is the founder of the Safe Nation Collaborative, a CVE training firm. Safe Nation Collaborative worked on two fronts: providing CVE and cultural competency training to law enforcement, correctional, and homeland security officials, and providing national security and CVE training to Muslim communities and institutions.

Chaudry is a fellow of the Truman National Security Project, a fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, a fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, a member of the national Muslim-Jewish Advisory Committee, and a member of the Vanguard Board of the Aspen Institute’s Society of Fellows.  She is a frequent writer and public speaker on issues of social and criminal justice, faith and gender, and national security.

She is the recipient of the Truman National Security Project’s 2015 Harry S. Truman Award for Communications & Media Influence, a 2015 Carnegie Corporation Great Immigrant, and the recipient of the 2015 Healing & Hope award by the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.

Chaudry received her Juris Doctorate from the George Mason School of Law and practiced immigration and civil rights law for over a decade before moving into the CVE policy sphere.

Ms. Chaudry’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Public Writing and Discourse and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, both at CMC.

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 11:45am
A Foreigner and a Stranger: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Woman Writer in 20th-Century France
Susan Rubin Suleiman
Irène Nénirovsky was a Russian Jewish immigrant to France who achieved a brilliant career as a novelist during the 1930s but was deported as a “foreign Jew” in 1942 and died in Auschwitz. Like many deported "foreign Jews" in France during the war, she was forgotten for many years. Her two daughters, who survived the war as hidden children, were instrumental in reviving their mother’s name when they grew to adulthood. Némirovky became famous in 2004, when her posthumous book "Suite Française" was published and became an international bestseller. Susan Rubin Suleiman, professor of French literature and comparative literature at Harvard University and author of "The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th Century France," will discuss Némirovsky’s life and works in the context of modern European history and literature.

Susan Rubin Suleiman was born in Budapest and emigrated to the U.S. as a child with her parents. She has been a professor of French literature and comparative literature at Harvard University since 1981. Her books include “Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre” (1983); “Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde” (1990); “Crises of Memory and the Second World War” (2006); and the mémoire “Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook” (1996). Her latest book is “The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th Century France” (2016).

Suleiman has won many honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute, and the Central European University. In 1990, she received the Radcliffe Medal for Distinguished Achievement, and in 1992 she was decorated by the French Government as an Officer of the Order of Academic Palms (Palmes Académiques).  In April 2018 she was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur.

Professor Suleiman’s talk is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College and the French Studies Department at Scripps College.

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 5:30pm
Apollo in the Age of Aquarius: How Grassroots Politics Grounded the Space Race
Neil Maher
Neil Maher, professor of environmental and political history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, will explore the interrelationship between the space race to the moon and the grassroots struggles of the 1960s era, including, in particular, those of the civil rights, environmental, and feminist movements.

Neil M. Maher is a professor of history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University at Newark, where he teaches American environmental and political history. He has published articles in many academic journals including Social History, Environmental History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and most recently, Modern American History. His first book, “Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement” (Oxford University Press, 2008), received the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for the best monograph in conservation history.

Maher’s most recent book, “Apollo in the Age of Aquarius” (Harvard University Press, 2017), examines the interrelationship between the space race and the grassroots political struggles of the 1960s era, including the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, environmental, feminist, counterculture, and conservative movements. The book was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2017) and a Bloomberg View Must Read Book (2017), and recently received the Eugene M. Emme best book award from the American Astronautical Society (2017).

Professor Maher will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2019 Lerner Lectureship Fund in 1960’s Culture lecture.

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 5:30pm
Mathematics and Culture: Geometry and Everything Else
Judith V. Grabiner
Geometric ideas are used in many cultures, both to give order to the cosmos and to build bridges, military emplacements, and houses of worship. In the West, geometry had an especially amazing trajectory. Euclid’s geometry for many centuries was the epitome of certainty: It trained the mind, drew the soul from the ephemeral to the real, described art and architecture, upheld the natural and social order, supported Newtonian science and embodied Leibniz’s Principle of Sufficient Reason. Yet it had a tragic flaw. Mathematicians, ancient and Enlightenment, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, worked in vain to fix things. The ideal blew up in everyone’s faces in the nineteenth century, producing new ideas of space, destroying the unchallengeable authority of mathematics, revolutionizing art, making relativity physics possible, and helping create modernism. Judith Grabiner, professor of mathematics at Pitzer College, will show how. 

Judith V. Grabiner, the Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professor Emerita of Mathematics at Pitzer College, is a mathematician and historian of mathematics. Her main interest is of mathematics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Grabiner majored in mathematics at the University of Chicago and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard. She taught at Harvard, U. C. Santa Barbara, Cal State L. A., Cal State Dominguez Hills, UCLA, the University of Leeds in England, before settling in at Pitzer College in 1985 where she taught for 31 years.

A Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, Grabiner has won many awards including the Mathematical Association of America's Haimo Award for College or University teaching, the Beckenbach prize for the best book published by the MAA, Allendoerfer Award on three occasions for the best article in the Mathematics Magazine, Lester Ford Award on four occasions for best article in the American Mathematical Monthly, among others.

Grabiner is most proud of being able to teach mathematics to students who start out actually disliking the subject and, though retired, she continues to serve as a math resource tutor for the Claremont After-School Programs

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 5:30pm
How a Civil War Era Law Changed the Way We Eat
Heidi Zoerb '95
Legislation passed during the height of the Civil War established a network of public universities focused on "agriculture and mechanic arts." As Heidi Zoerb '95 of the Univerisity of Wisconsin will argue, these universities not only shaped higher education in the U.S., they also created a backbone for an agricultural research and development system that still drives our economy—and our diets—today.

Heidi Zoerb '95 is the associate dean for external relations and advancement in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Wisconsin. She oversees the college’s external relations efforts, leads the CALS communications team, works with the university’s foundation to advance the college’s development priorities, and advises the dean on matters related to the college’s public image and relationships with stakeholders.

Zoerb holds an undergraduate degree in government and literature from Claremont McKenna College and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 5:30pm
Why is Rama Still (All) Around?
Philip Lutgendorf
Why has the ancient tale of Rama, Sita, and their companions remained (so to speak) a “bestseller” in the realm of South Asian popular narrative for more than two millennia, and why does it continue to have traction in the rapidly changing India of the early 21st century? Philip Lutgendorf, professor of Hindi and modern Indian studies at the University of Iowa, will explore four dimensions of the epic story that have long resonated in the cultural imagination of the subcontinent, emphasizing both their positive appeal and accommodation of a surprising diversity of viewpoints, as well as their deployment as ideological sites of debate, controversy, and conflict. It will also consider whether and why the traditional multi-vocality of the Rama narrative is under threat in India today.

Philip Lutgendorf retired in 2018 as professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies in the University of Iowa’s Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature, where he had taught since 1985.

His book on the performance of the Hindi Ramayana, "The Life of a Text" (1991) won the A. K. Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for research on the popular Hindu deity Hanuman, which appeared as "Hanuman’s Tale, The Messages of a Divine Monkey" (2007). His interests include epic performance traditions, folklore, and popular culture. He is presently translating the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas, in seven dual-language volumes, for the Murty Classical Library of India.

He maintains a website devoted to Hindi popular cinema, a.k.a. “Bollywood” (http://www.uiowa.edu/indiancinema/ ). His research on the cultural history of “chai” was supported by a Fulbright-Hays Senior Overseas Research Fellowship (2010-11). He served from 2010-2018 as President of the American Institute of Indian Studies and continues to chair its board of trustees.

(Parents Dining)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 5:30pm
An Evening with Symone Sanders
Symone D. Sanders
The national press secretary for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Symone Sanders offers practical advice for engaging in meaningful policy reforms. Drawing on her experience on the national stage to provide analysis on political and social issues, she challenges the conventional wisdom that strong communities are only defined by what we have in common. Instead, she outlines the way our differences contribute to effective social movements.

Symone D. Sanders is a strategist, communications consultant, CNN political commentator and served as a spring 2018 Resident Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School. Sanders rose to prominence during her tenure as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Only 25 at the time, Sanders demonstrated a command of the issues earning her a place in history as the youngest presidential press secretary on record and a spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 16 young Americans shaping the 2016 election.

However, Sanders was not new to presidential politics. When she was 16, she introduced former President Bill Clinton at a luncheon in Omaha, Nebraska. Following her remarks, President Clinton said, “Symone spoke so well I really hate to follow her.” President Clinton went on to write about Sanders in his book, “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.”

Sanders has been featured on NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, BET, TV One and CNN. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, the New Yorker, ESSENCE Magazine and ELLE.

Sanders is currently principal of the 360 Group, LLC. where she provides strategic communications guidance to organizations, businesses, individuals, campaigns and candidates and helps clients find sound solutions to tough political and social problems. Sanders has also been selected to serve as one of USC Dornsife's 2019 Fellows.

Monday, February 18, 2019 - 5:30pm
Make I Contact. Portraiture & (Me)mory
Kim Sajet
It has been suggested that in today’s surveillance culture, anonymity is impossible. Moreover, privacy is a fallacy and conformity a lie. Just as every person’s face—like DNA or a thumbprint—is unique, portraiture makes everyone traceable. The truth of course is far more complex, asserts Kim Sajet, director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Portraiture has historically served political agendas and projected societal aspirations that are often about “fitting in.” Rather than serving as a true record of individuality, portraiture has always been about interpretation and manipulation.

Kim Sajet, director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, will discuss how portraiture has also always been about the melding the humanities with the sciences. A heathy spirit of inquiry into the history of innovation posits portraiture as a model for talking about politics, religion, philosophy, psychology, geography, and of course great design. Always political in nature, a historical portrait cannot illustrate the “truth” of someone’s appearance, let alone their accomplishments. Particularly in terms of selfie-culture and the endless forms of narcissism it promotes, all portraiture empowers individuals to attain a broad knowledge of the wider world as well as a healthy dose of skepticism about their surroundings. To paraphrase Picasso, “portraiture is a lie that illustrates the truth.”

 As the first woman to serve as director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Kim Sajet (pronounced Say-et) has been exploring new ways to place personal experience and creativity at the center of learning and civic awareness. Not just a place to see famous Americans, the museum explores identity as a social construct that has been shaped in equal measure by opportunity and ability, prejudice and fear. By taking a cross-disciplinary approach that merges the traditional forms of painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking with poetry, installation art, video and performance, Sajet aims to bring history alive.

Ms. Sajet is the featured speaker for CMC’s 2019 Family Weekend.

Photo credit: Wenndy Concannan

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 5:30pm
Food Evolution Revolution: The Cutting Edge Fusion of Archaeology, Anthropology, and the Modern Kitchen
William Schindler
Understanding the role that technology played in our 3.4 million-year-old dietary past is essential in learning to rethink food and eat like humans again, asserts William Schindler, associate professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and co-star of the National Geographic series, The Great Human Race. Biologically speaking, humans and human nutritional needs remain relatively unchanged over the centuries; yet our cultural needs have seismically shifted and our expectations of taste, smell, texture, and presentation have significantly changed the way we think about food. By fusing lessons from our dietary past with modern culinary techniques, Schindler believes we can create (and live with) a food system that is meaningful, accessible, relevant and delectable!

William Schindler is an experimental archaeologist and primitive technologist. His research and teaching revolve around a comprehensive understanding of prehistoric technologies including lithic (stone tool) technologies, prehistoric ceramic technologies, projectile technologies, hunting, foraging, hide working, fiber technologies and all aspects of prehistoric food acquisition, processing, storage, and consumption. 

 An advocate of traditional foodways, Schindler is constantly seeking new ways to incorporate lessons learned from his research into modern diets. His outlook on food has revolutionized the way in which he and his family eat and he attributes much of the health his wife and three children enjoy to the hunted, gathered, and fermented foods that comprise a significant portion of their diets.

The recipient of multiple awards and featured in many television and media outlets, Schindler is equally at home in the middle of the forest armed with a hand-made bow stalking a deer or in a college classroom delivering a lecture to a group of students. Schindler lives what he teaches and teaches what he lives.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 5:30pm
China’s Changing Wartime Past and How It Will Affect the Future: History, Memory And Politics in China Today
Rana Mitter
Beijing’s policies continue to dominate the news in the Asia-Pacific region. Will China and Japan clash in the seas of East Asia? Will China be able to implement social welfare policies to calm dissent and social unrest? Why did it take so long for China to become a major power? One unexpected but crucial story that helps illuminate these different questions is the wrenching history of China’s experience during World War II, in the epic war against Japan from 1937 to 1945, when over 14 million Chinese died and some 80 million became refugees. Rana Mitter, professor of history and politics of modern China at Oxford University, will outline how and why the battered China of wartime became today’s superpower-in-the-making and explore the impact of the memory of that war to effectuate domestic and international politics in present day China.

Rana Mitter is director of the University China Centre at the University of Oxford, where he is a professor of the history and politics of modern China.

He is the author of several books, including the award-winning “A Bitter Revolution: China’s Struggle with the Modern World” (Oxford, 2004). His most recent book “Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II” was named as a 2013 Book of the Year in the Financial Times and the Economist, won the 2014 Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, and was a finalist for the Bernard Schwartz prize of the Asia Society of New York.

In the UK he is a regular presenter of the arts and ideas program Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3. He comments regularly on contemporary Chinese politics and society in media around the world and has spoken at forums including the World Economic Forum at Davos. His reviews and essays have appeared in newspapers including the Financial Times, International New York Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Caijing, and South China Morning Post. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2015.

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 11:45am
The Oath and the Office: A Guide to The Constitution for Future Presidents
Corey Brettschneider
In "The Oath and the Office," professor of political science at Brown University Corey Brettschneider offers a new, yet historically grounded, ideal of a limited presidency. He argues that the oath of office creates an independent moral and legal obligation for the president to promote the Constitution’s values­­­—and only exercise power within the Constitution’s limits. Using history and case law, Brettschneider applies a “value-based” lens to understand the core powers and limits of the office, as well as how the ideals of Bill of Rights bind the president and posits that citizens are the ultimate limit on presidential power, offering a number of ways the people can stop a rogue president.

Corey Brettschneider is professor of political science at Brown University, where he teaches constitutional law and politics. He has also been a visiting professor at Fordham Law School, University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School.

Brettschneider will draw from his recent book, “The Oath and The Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents” which has garnered significant national attention and which Kirkus calls “vital reading for all Americans,” as a jumping off point to reflect on the presidency in an age of deep controversy. While President Trump generates plenty of controversies worthy of study, this lecture—like the book—will use these salient contemporary issues for deeper reflection about the president’s constitutional role.

His recent writing has appeared in the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post and he  is frequently interviewed about constitutional issues on BBC, Sirius XM, and MSNBC. He is also the author of two books about constitutional law and civil liberties and numerous articles that appear in top academic journals and law reviews. His constitutional law casebook is widely used in classrooms throughout the United States.

Brettschneider holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Professor Brettshneider’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center at CMC.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 5:30pm
Churchill and Education
Larry Arnn
afforded by new technology, however, came the great horrors of modern warfare. How would Churchill preserve the noble but realistic understanding of human nature that was being obscured by the triumphs of modern science? The answer, he thought, was to promote a wide and liberal education—an education he himself discovered and came to love as a young man. Churchill believed that the ordinary people who bear the heavy responsibilities of family, work, and citizenship ought to be possessed of high knowledge, including knowledge of the past, for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their country. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College believes that Churchill’s understanding of education can help us to live our own lives, cope with our own problems, and serve the cause of our own country as it appears today.

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, where he is also a professor of politics and history. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. He also studied at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill.

From 1985 to 2000, he served as president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. In 1996, he was the founding chairman of the California Civil Rights Initiative, which prohibited racial preferences in state hiring, contracting, and admissions. Arnn is on the board of directors of The Heritage Foundation, the Henry Salvatori Center of Claremont McKenna College, the Philadelphia Society, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Claremont Institute. He served on the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors for two years, for which he earned the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 2015, he received the Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Dr. Arnn is the author of three books: “Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education”; “The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It”; and “Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.”

President Arn’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center at CMC.

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 5:30pm
Readings and Reflections: An Evening with Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Award winning writer, essayist, poet, and novelist Joyce Carol Oates will read from her works, including her newest works, and share personal reflections.

Joyce Carol Oates has penned bestselling novels, critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, as well as essays, plays, poetry, a memoir, "A Widow's Story", and an unlikely bestseller, "On Boxing". Her remarkable literary industry - which includes work as an editor and anthologist - spans forms, themes, topics and genres. Writing in The Nation, critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. said, "A future archeologist equipped only with her oeuvre could easily piece together the whole of postwar America." In 2010, reflecting the widespread esteem in which her work is held, President Barack Obama awarded Oates the National Humanities Medal.

Best known for her fiction, Oates' novels include "them", which won the National Book Award; "Blonde", a bold reimagining of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe; "The Falls", which won the France's Prix Femina; "The Gravedigger’s Daughter" and "Little Bird of Heaven", each set in upstate New York; and "We Were the Mulvaneys", which follows the disintegration of an American family and which became a bestseller after being selected by Oprah's Book Club. In 2019 she will release a novel, "My Life as a Rat" (Ecco Press, June 4, 2019), and a children’s book "The New Kitten" (HarperCollins, June 25, 2019).

Since 1963, forty of Oates’s books have been included on the New York Times list of notable books of the year. Among her many honors are two O. Henry Prizes and two Bram Stoker Awards, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, World Fantasy Award, and M. L. Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2009, Oates was given the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Book Critics Circle. In 2012, she was awarded both the Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement and the PEN Center USA Award for Lifetime Achievement. In March 2014 she was awarded the Poets & Writers Distinguished Lifetime Award, and in 2017 the Bilbao BBK Ja! Prize.

Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and since 1978, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ms. Oates’ will deliver the 2019 Quinones Lecture housed at the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' at CMC.

Photo credit: Dustin Cohen

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 5:30pm
The Volume of Small Voices: How Consumers Forced Agriculture to Change Antibiotic Use
Maryn McKenna
In the early 1950s, farmers began adding small doses of antibiotics to the diets of livestock. The drugs caused animals to put on weight more quickly and protected them against diseases, laying the foundation for modern intensive meat production. But they also fostered the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria that has become a profound human health threat. Maryn McKenna, independent journalist specializing in public health, global health, and food policy, will recount how reversing that mistake not only took decades of research and policy maneuvering, but the power of consumer coalitions to force the meat industry to change its practices.

Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist and author who specializes in public health, global health and food policy. She is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and the author of the 2017 bestseller “Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats” (National Geographic Books, Sept. 2017), which received the 2018 Science in Society Award, making her a two-time winner of that accolade.  Big Chicken was named a Best Book of 2017 by Amazon, Science News, Smithsonian Magazine, Civil Eats, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Toronto Globe and Mail; an Essential Science Read by WIRED; and a 2018 Book All Georgians Should Read. Her 2015 TED Talk, "What do we do when antibiotics don't work anymore?", has been viewed more than 1.6 million times and translated into 33 languages.

McKenna has reported from epidemics and disasters, and farms and food production sites, on most of the continents, including a field hospital in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, a Thai village erased by the Indian Ocean tsunami, a bird-testing unit on the front lines of West Nile virus, an Arctic graveyard of the victims of the 1918 flu, an AIDS treatment center in Yunnan, a polio-eradication team in India, breweries in France, a “Matrix for chickens” in the Netherlands, and Midwestern farms devastated by the 2015 epidemic of avian flu.

She received the 2014 Leadership Award from the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and the 2013 Byron H. Waksman Award for Excellence in the Public Communication of Life Sciences. Her piece for Modern Farmer on the beyond-organic farm White Oak Pastures received a first-place award from the Association of Food Journalists, and her essay for the Food and Environment Reporting Network, "Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future," was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Media Award and has been republished in Russian, Norwegian and French. She also shared the 2015 AH Boerma Award from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as one of the writers for National Geographic’s food-writing site The Plate, part of the magazine’s year-long Future of Food project.

She is one of the stars of the 2014 documentary Resistance, has presented at the United Nations, U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control about the need to curb antibiotic misuse in medicine and agriculture, and is a frequent public speaker and radio, podcast and television guest. She is also the Journalism Advisor to the Logan Science Journalism Program at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, a member of the program committee for the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists in Lausanne, and a five-term member of the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Her earlier books are Superbug (Free Press/Simon & Schuster 2010), on the international epidemic of drug-resistant staph in hospitals, families and farms, which won the 2013 June Roth Memorial Book Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the 2011 Science in Society Award given by the National Association of Science Writers; and Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service(Free Press/S&S 2004), the first history of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, for which she embedded with the corps for a year. BEATING BACK THE DEVIL was named one of the Top Science Books of 2004 by Amazon.com and an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association.

As a newspaper reporter, she worked for 10 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was the only US journalist assigned to full-time coverage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She reported from the Indian Ocean tsunami and from Hurricane Katrina, as well as from Southeast Asia, India, Africa and the Arctic, and embedded with CDC teams on Capitol Hill during the 2001 anthrax attacks and with a World Health Organization polio-eradication team in India.

Previously, she worked for the Boston Herald, where stories she co-wrote on illnesses among veterans of the first Persian Gulf War led to the first Congressional hearings on Gulf War Syndrome, and at the Cincinnati Enquirer, where her stories on the association between local cancer clusters and contamination escaping a federal nuclear weapons plant contributed to a successful nuclear-harm lawsuit by residents. She was also previously a staff member at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy of the University of Minnesota.

In 2013-14, she was the inaugural Project Fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at MIT. She also has been an Ochberg Fellow of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University; a Media Fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; and a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She has also served short fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland. In 2006, she was an inaugural Health Journalism Fellow of the East-West Center in Honolulu and subsequently taught other journalists in its programs in Asia. She has been a journalist in residence at the University of Florida, University of Wisconsin, and Texas A&M University, adjunct faculty at the University of Georgia, and faculty at the Santa Fe Science Writing Seminar. In 2018, she was a Poynter Journalism Fellow at Yale.

She is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, has a master’s degree with highest honors from Northwestern University, and is the recipient of numerous journalism awards.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 5:30pm
The Cultivation of Compassionate Reasoning as a New Approach to Conflict Resolution, Genocide Prevention, and Human Rights Training
Marc Gopin
Compassionate reasoning offers a new approach to address the cognitive and emotive foundations for progress in conflict management, genocide prevention, and the evolution of human rights. Using illustrative experiences in contemporary Syria, Marc Gopin, director at George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution will discuss the roles of religious people, especially women, and the demonstrated importance of cognitive and emotive approaches to alliance building and recovery  He will explain why some cutting-edge work in neuroscience and cognitive psychology can be helpful in intervention, in coping with major catastrophes, and with life inside police states; he will also explore relevance to current challenges of destructive conflict in the United States.

Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and founder and director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC). Gopin has trained thousands of people worldwide in conflict resolution strategies for complex conflicts, and has consulted on conflicts inside major companies, as well as between adversaries in destructive conflicts domestically and globally. He has published seven books, and has appeared on global media outlets, such as CNN and the Jim Lehrer News Hour, and has published in the International Herald Tribune among others. His book “Healing the Heart of Conflict: Eight Crucial Steps to Making Peace with Yourself and with Others,” has become the basis of conflict resolution training in several countries.

A frequent speaker at universities, corporations, and other institutions, he was the recipient of the 2008 Andrew Thomas Peacebuilder Award from the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA), and his book, “Holy War, Holy Peace,” was cited as one of four noteworthy books of 2002 chosen by the Christian Science Monitor.

Gopin received his Ph.D. in ethics from Brandeis University in 1993.

Professor Gopin’s Athenaeum lecture is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights.

 

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 5:30pm
A New Cold War? China-US Friction in a New Era
Jamil Anderlini
Sino-US relations have fundamentally changed under Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump. Jamil Anderlini, The Financial Times’ Asia editor, will explore where things are headed and what it all means for Asia and the world.

Jamil Anderlini was appointed the Financial Times’ (FT) Asia editor in 2015.  He oversees the FT’s coverage of the Asia region from Afghanistan to Antarctica, including China, India, Indonesia and Japan.

In addition to directing the work of regional correspondents and overseeing the editing and commissioning team in Hong Kong, Anderlini is an award-winning journalist. He is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese. After a decade and a half working as an editor and journalist in China, he has cultivated a deep knowledge of the political and economic situation in that country. He regularly contributes commentary for other media, including CNN, BBC, CNBC, ABC and Al-Jazeera.

Anderlini joined the FT in 2007 and worked as Beijing correspondent and deputy Beijing bureau chief before he was named Beijing bureau chief in 2011, with overall responsible for FT’s China coverage. He has won numerous reporting prizes, both individually and as part of FT teams.

In 2010, he was named Journalist of the Year at the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Editorial Excellence Awards and won the Best Digital Award at the Amnesty International Media Awards. Other prizes include a UK Foreign Press Association Award in 2008, several individual SOPA awards, including best feature of the year 2017, and the inaugural Jones-Mauthner Award in 2012, which recognizes outstanding reporting of international affairs by a young reporter at the Financial Times. In 2013, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and short-listed for both Foreign Reporter of the Year at the Press Awards in the UK and also the Orwell Prize, the UK's most prestigious prize for political writing.

Anderlini was awarded a certificate of completion for the Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century Programme, April 2016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education. In November 2018, he was invited to Yale University as a Poynter Fellow and Cowles Visitor to participate in public conversations with professors and Yale president Peter Salovey. He is a member of the advisory board for the Edward R Murrow Center for a Digital World at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Prior to joining the FT, he was Beijing business correspondent for the South China Morning Post for two years. Before that, he was chief editor of the China Economic Review.

He is the author of the e-book “The Bo Xilai Scandal”, published by Penguin and Financial Times in 2012.

Monday, March 4, 2019 - 5:30pm
Who's the Fairest of Them All? The Truth About Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America
Stephen Moore
Stephen Moore, economic policy analyst at CNN and economic advisor to candidate Donald Trump, will explore what it means for our economic system and our economic results to be "fair." Does it mean that everyone has a fair shot? Does it mean that everyone gets the same amount? Does it mean the government can assert the authority to forcibly take from the successful and give to the poor? Is government supposed to be Robin Hood determining who gets what? Or should the market decide that?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Stephen Moore served as a senior economic advisor to candidate Donald Trump, with a focus on tax reform, regulatory reform, and energy policy. In addition to his current role at 32 Advisors, Moore is a heritage visiting senior fellow and a senior economic analyst at CNN; he has more than thirty years of experience as an economist and thinker on the impact of government on business.

Moore previously wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal and was a member of its editorial board. During his career, Moore has served as a senior economist at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, and as a senior economics fellow at the Cato Institute, where he published dozens of studies on federal and state fiscal policy. He advised the National Economic Commission in 1987 and served as a research director for President Reagan's Commission on Privatization.

Monday, March 4, 2019 - 5:30pm
Poetry Reading and Reflections with Carl Phillips
Poet and author Carl Phillips, professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, will read some of his award-winning poetry and share personal reflections.

Carl Phillips is the author of 14 books of poetry, most recently “Wild Is the Wind” (FSG, 2018), and “Reconnaissance” (FSG, 2015), winner of the PEN USA Award and the Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of two books of prose: “The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination” (Graywolf, 2014) and “Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry” (Graywolf, 2004), and he is the translator of Sophocles’ Philoctetes (Oxford, 2004). A four-time finalist for the National Book Award, his honors include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Professor Phillips Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies in collaboration with the poetry colloquium of the department of literature.

(Parents Dining)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 5:30pm
Finding the Good: Reclaiming and Reframing Rwanda
Carl Wilkens
The only American to remain in Kigali, Rwanda throughout the 1994 genocide, Carl Wilkens ventured out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire and worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. Working with Rwandan colleagues, they helped save the lives of hundreds. His harrowing yet hopeful journey weaves together stories of tremendous risk and fierce compassion in the midst of senseless slaughter and promotes how to “enter the world of the Other.”

Carl Wilkens' storytelling does not stop with Rwanda’s tragic history, but moves forward to the powerful and inspiring recovery process. Among the many lessons he shares from his experience is the transformative belief that we don’t have to be defined by what we lost or our worst choices. We can be defined by what we do with what remains - what we do next after terrible choices and how to “enter the world of the Other.”

In 2011, Wilkens completed a book detailing those days titled “I’m Not Leaving.” A 40-minute documentary by the same title has since been released. Each year he returns to Rwanda with students and educators to see for themselves how people are working together to rebuild their country and rebuild trust.

Through his not-for-profit, World Outside my Shoes, Wilkens facilitates meaningful conversations under the broad umbrella of learning to live together and to inspire and equip people to stand up against genocide, racism, and intolerance.

Mr. Wilkens’ Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at CMC.

Monday, March 11, 2019 - 5:30pm
The Outcast Majority: International Development in Today's Youth-Dominated World
Marc Sommers
How can economic development actors succeed in a youth-dominated world? Marc Sommers, an internationally recognized youth and conflict expert, draws from his book, "The Outcast Majority: War, Development, and Youth in Africa," to suggest an effective way forward.

Marc Sommers is an internationally recognized youth and conflict expert. He also has expertise on gender, peacebuilding, governance, security, CVE, urbanization, inclusion, education, refugee and development issues. He has written nine books and received four book awards, and has provided strategic advice and policy analysis, and conducted research, assessments and evaluations in 22 war-affected countries (16 in Africa). 

Sommers has consulted for donor agencies, NGOs, UN agencies, and policy institutes over the past 25 years, taught for many years at The Fletcher School at Tufts University and was a Fellow at the US Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 

Sommers is a member of the UN’s Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security. He draws his expertise from extensive experiences in Central & East Africa, West Africa's Mano River region, South Sudan & Kosovo.

His book, "The Outcast Majority: War, Development, and Youth in Africa," received the 2017 Jackie Kirk Award and Honorable Mention for the 2016 Senior Book Prize (American Ethnological Society). It ends with a framework for reforming development practice.

His earlier book, "Stuck: Rwandan Youth and the Struggle for Adulthood," received Honorable Mention for the 2013 Ogot Book Prize and "Fear in Bongoland: Burundi Refugees in Urban Tanzania" received the 2003 Margaret Mead Award. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 5:30pm
Shelving Justice: The National Problem of Untested Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs)
Rebecca Campbell
Sexual assault kits (SAKs; also termed “rape kits”) contain biological evidence that can be tested for DNA to assist in the investigation and prosecution of criminal sexual assaults. However, in jurisdictions throughout the United States, police have not been submitting rape kits for DNA testing and instead they are put in storage, untested and forgotten for years, sometimes decades. In this talk, Rebecca Campbell, professor of psychology at Michigan State University, will review the scope of this problem in the United States and examine the underlying reasons why this problem is occurring in so many communities. She will also present empirical data from Detroit and other U.S. cities on the root causes of the problem and suggest strategies for testing previously unsubmitted SAKs.

Rebecca Campbell is a professor of psychology at Michigan State University. She holds a Ph.D. in community psychology with a concentration in statistics, also from Michigan State University. For the past 25 years, she has been conducting community-based research on violence against women and children, with an emphasis on sexual assault. Campbell’s research examines how contact with the legal and medical systems affects adult, adolescent, and pediatric victims’ psychological and physical health.

Most recently, she was the lead researcher for the National Institute of Justice-funded Detroit Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project, which was a four-year multidisciplinary study of Detroit’s untested rape kits. Campbell also conducts training for law enforcement and multidisciplinary practitioners in civilian, military, and campus community settings on the neurobiology of trauma.

In 2015, Campbell received the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award.

Monday, March 25, 2019 - 5:30pm
Self-Portrait in Black and White
Thomas Chatterton Williams
A reckoning with the way we choose to see and define ourselves, Thomas Williams’ forthcoming book “Self- Portrait in Black and White” is the story of one American family’s multi-generational transformation from what is called black to what is assumed to be white. A writer and national fellow at the New America, Williams will discuss how he spent his whole life believing the all-American dictum that a single drop of “black blood” makes a person black. This was so fundamental to his self-conception that he never rigorously reflected on its spurious foundations—but the shock of his experience as the black father of two extremely white-looking children in Paris has led him to question these long-held beliefs; it’s not that he believes that he is no longer black or that his daughter is white, but believes that these categories cannot adequately capture his family or anyone else for that matter.

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of “Losing My Cool” and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's and the London Review of Books. He is a 2019 New America Fellow and the recipient of a Berlin Prize. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 5:30pm
Early Sikh Art: The Symbiosis of Painting and Poetry
Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
Nikky Singh, professor of religious studies at Colby College, will explore how early Sikh art 1) illuminates the Sikh sacred text, 2) amplifies Sikh theological precepts, and 3) expresses an existential mode of being Here and Now.  

Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh is the head of the department of religious studies at Colby College, and holds the Crawford Family Professor Chair. Her interests focus on Asian religions, feminist issues, and sacred art and poetry.

Singh has published extensively in the field of Sikh studies. A prolific writer, her books include “Of Sacred and Secular Desire: An Anthology of Lyrical Writings from the Punjab,” “Sikhism: An Introduction,” and “Cosmic Symphony,” among many others. She has authored almost 100 articles and book chapters and given more than 250 lectures nationally and internationally. She has been featured on television and radio in America, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, India, and Bangladesh. She has served on the editorial board of several journals including the History of Religions, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Sikh Formations.

Singh came to America to attend a girls’ prep school in Virginia, got her B.A. from Wellesley College, M.A. from University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. from Temple University.

Professor Singh’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Sikh Studies Fund.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 5:30pm
Hailing César Film Screening and Talk with Eduardo Chávez: Exploring Cesar Chávez's Legacy
Eduardo Chávez
Eduardo Chavez, grandson of legendary civil rights activist César Chávez, screens his film "Hailing César," in which he takes a journey to understand the legacy of his grandfather and what it means today. The film addresses themes of labor rights, Latino empowerment, activism and social justice.

Scion of two revolutionary families, Eduardo Chávez  is the grandson of both the legendary civil rights activist Cesar Chávez (on his father’s side) and the Cuban revolutionary Max Lesnik (on his mother’s side). Chávez  attended Loyola Marymount University on a golf scholarship and played professional golf following college. He is currently a working actor in Los Angeles. His goal is to bring depth to the portrayal of Latino characters in film, television and other media.  He is the co-founder of Latindia Studios.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 5:30pm
Are Initial Coin Offerings Here to Stay?
David Yermack
David Yermack, Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation and chairman of the finance department at New York University’s Stern School of Business, will  describe the growth of initial coin offerings (ICOs), a new channel of entrepreneurial finance that has grown rapidly to become a competitor of venture capital as a source of startup finance and will explore the origins of ICOs, look at original research into their success factors, and examine the evolving regulatory problems that ICOs have created.

David Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation and chairman of the finance department at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1994.  He is also an adjunct professor of law at the NYU School of Law, director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business, and a research associate of the NBER Law and Economics program. 

In 2014 Yermack began teaching a full semester course at NYU on digital currency and blockchains with Geoffrey Miller, professor of law at NYU. The course was the first in the world on this topic taught at a major research university, and now draws more than 200 students annually.

Yermack has presented his FinTech research at numerous international universities and regulatory bodies including the United Nations, Bank for International Settlements, OECD, U.S. Treasury, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, and the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Professor Yermack’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), the Lowe Institute of Political Economy, and Financial Economics Institute (FEI), all at CMC.

Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 5:30pm
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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 5:30pm
The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World
Robert Kagan
For seven decades, American leadership has kept at bay the jungle of great power conflict, nationalism and tribalism, and spheres of influence. Drawing from his latest book, "The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World,” Robert Kagan, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will reflect on what comes next for the United States.

Robert Kagan is the Stephen & Barbara Friedman Senior Fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy in the foreign policy program at Brookings. He is a contributing columnist at The Washington Post. A prolific writer, his newest book is “The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World” (Knopf, 2018).  His previous book was The New York Times bestseller, “The World America Made” (Knopf, 2012).

For his writings, Politico Magazine named Kagan one of the “Politico 50” in 2016, the “thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016.” His most recent pieces include “The Twilight of the Liberal World Order” in “Brookings Big Ideas for America” and “Backing into World War III” in Foreign Policy.

He served in the State Department from 1984 to 1988 as a member of the policy planning staff, as principal speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and as deputy for policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.

He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and holds a doctorate in American history from American University.

Mr. Kagan’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Keck Center for International & Strategic Studies at CMC.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 5:30pm
"We already Have what we need": Films and installations of Cauleen Smith
Cauleen Smith
Cauleen Smith, an interdisciplinary artist who blends the traditional visual art world with film-based practices, will discuss her touring exhibition “Give It Or Leave It” and explore models in which utopian social models of radical generosity and hospitality were successfully enacted in the United States: Alice Coltrane’s Gai Anatam Ashram, Simon Rodia’s Watt’s Rowers, Noah Purifoy’s Desert Museum, and the Combahee River Collective. Named for a decisive historical moment, they serve are foundations for films and installations which invite contemplation on the power of generous and liberatory spaces. 

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of activism in service of ecstatic social space and contemplation.

On the faculty at California Institute of the Arts in the Art Program, Smith received a B.A. in creative arts from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A from the School of Theater Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Smith is the recipient of the following awards: Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film /Video, Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Chicago Expo Artadia Award, and Rauschenberg Residency, Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts in Film and Video 2016, United States Artists Award 2017. She was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Ellsworth Kelly Award.

Professor Smith’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

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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.