Marian Miner Cook

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 27, 2020 - 5:30pm
Constitutionalizing Black Inequality
Devon Carbado
Brown v. Board of Education is one of the most celebrated cases in United States constitutional history. In the popular imagination, the case marks a dichotomy between a “then”—a moment in which the Supreme Court constitutionalized Black inequality—and a “now”—a moment in which that inequality is no longer constitutionally sanctioned. In this Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture, Devon Carbado, professor of law at UCLA’s School of Law, will disrupt this dichotomy. With specificity, he will highlight some ways in which the Supreme Court continues to constitutionalize Black inequality and argue that Black lives still do not matter in the domain of constitutionally legitimate forms of state violence.

Devon W. Carbado is the Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law where he teaches constitutional criminal procedure, constitutional law, critical race theory, and criminal adjudication. He also formerly served as UCLA’s associate vice chancellor of BruinX for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Carbado has won numerous teaching awards, including being elected Professor of the Year by the UCLA School of Law classes of 2000 and 2006; he received the Law School's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003 and the University's Distinguished Teaching Award, the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching in 2007. In 2005, Carbado was an inaugural recipient of the Fletcher Foundation Fellowship, which is awarded to scholars whose work furthers the goals of Brown v. Board of Education. In 2018, he was named an inaugural recipient of the Atlantic Philanthropies Fellowship for Racial Equity.

Carbado writes in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure, implicit bias, constitutional law, and critical race theory. His scholarship appears in law reviews at UCLA, Berkeley, Harvard, Michigan, Cornell, and Yale, among others. He is the author of "Acting White? Rethinking Race in “Post-Racial” America" (Oxford University Press) (with Mitu Gulati) and the editor of several volumes, including "Race Law Stories" (Foundation Press) (with Rachel Moran), "The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives" (Beacon Press) (with Donald Weise), and "Time on Two Crosses: The Collective Writings of Bayard Rustin" (Cleis Press) (with Donald Weise). He is currently working on a series of articles on affirmative action and a book on race, law, and police violence.A board member of the African American Policy Forum, Carbado was the Shikes Fellow in Civil Liberties and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in 2012.

Carbado graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994. At Harvard, he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Black Letter Law Journal, a member of the Board of Student Advisors, and winner of the Northeast Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. Carbado joined the UCLA School of Law faculty in 1997. He served as vice dean for faculty and research 2006-07 and again in 2009-10. 

Professor Carbado will deliver the 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Lecture.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 5:30pm
The #MeToo Movement: The Legacy of Black Women's Testimonials
Allyson Hobbs
Allyson Hobbs, director of African and African American Studies at Stanford and an associate professor of history at Stanford University, will explore themes from her upcoming book on the history of Black women's testimonials in the wake of the the #MeToo movement.

Allyson Hobbs is the director of African and African American Studies at Stanford and an associate professor of history at Stanford University where she teaches American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth-century American history and culture. She has won numerous teaching awards, including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, the Graves Award in the Humanities, and the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award. She was honored by the Silicon Valley branch of the NAACP with a Freedom Fighter Award. She served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2017. 

She is also a contributing writer for The New Yorker and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The, The Guardian, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

Hobbs’s first book, "A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life," published by Harvard University Press in 2014, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. It won the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history, among other accolades.

She is now at work on two books—one a history of Black women’s testimonials of sexual violence in the wake of #MeToo, expanding upon her article for The New Yorker, "One Year of #MeToo: The Legacy of Black Women’s Testimonies"; and "Far From Sanctuary: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights," which explores the violence, humiliation, and indignities that Black motorists experienced on the road during the pre-Civil Rights era, at a time when the open road in an automobile symbolized the American dream. 

Hobbs graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned her Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford.

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 5:30pm
Living Machines: How the Next Tech Revolution Will Change Our Lives
Susan Hockfield
A century ago, discoveries in physics came together with engineering to produce an array of revolutionizing new technologies which changed the world and the human experience. Today, says Susan Hockfield, former president of MIT and world-renowned neuroscientist, we are on the cusp of a new convergence where discoveries in biology are converging with engineering to produce an array of almost inconceivable next-generation technologies with the potential to be as paradigm shifting as the twentieth century’s wonders: Virus-built batteries. Protein-based water filters. Mind-reading bionic limbs. Cancer-detecting nanoparticles. Computer-engineered crops. Together they highlight the promise of the technology revolution of the twenty-first century which might just enable us to overcome our greatest humanitarian, medical, and environmental challenges.

A neuroscientist by training, Susan Hockfield is the first woman to lead MIT and is the author of the "The Age of Living Machines," which speaks to the technological-biological revolution known as “convergence.” In the 20th century, technologies such as aircraft, the telephone, and the Internet changed our world—to the point where life today is inconceivable without them. In the 21st century, Hockfield says, radical new “convergence” technologies will play a similar role to reshape every facet of our world. “Living Machines,” like virus-built batteries, big-data designed food crops, mind-reading bionic limbs, and countless other inventions are only a few of the practical developments she discusses. With an eye towards how they will affect various industries, from energy, to manufacturing, to health care, to agriculture, to virtually anything, Hockfield provides a first glance into the shape of the world to come.

Hockfield’s ground-breaking career has spanned America’s most prestigious schools. At Yale, she was professor of neurobiology; she subsequently served as the dean of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and then as Yale’s provost before moving on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as MIT's 16th president from December 2004 through June 2012, the first woman and the first life scientist to lead the institute.

Hockfield has also held the Marie Curie Visiting Professorship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has served as a U.S. Science Envoy to Turkey with the U.S. Department of State, and served as the inaugural co-chair of the White House-led Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a task force of government, industry, and academic leaders. Currently, she is a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and professor of neuroscience at MIT.

President Hockfield’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the President’s Leadership Fund.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 5:30pm
How to Think About The Development of Democracy Today
Sheri Berman
It is hard to be an optimist about democracy today. Indeed, many believe that democracy is in crisis, if not inevitable decline, and that "illiberal" democracies like Hungary or some form of authoritarianism, as exists in Russia or China, is the wave of the future. Sheri Berman, professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University, asserts that assessing the current state of democracy requires looking beyond our immediate situation and thinking carefully about how democracy has historically developed. By reviewing democracy's backstory, particularly in Europe, Berman will pull out some lessons to better understand what is going on in the world today.

Sheri Berman is professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research interests include the development of democracy and dictatorship, European politics, populism, and fascism, and the history of the left. She is author of books on European social democracy and the fate of democracy during the interwar years, social democracy and fascism in 19th and 20th century Europe. Her latest book is "Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day."  In addition to scholarly work on these and other subjects, she has published in a wide variety of non-scholarly publications including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, VOX, The Guardian and Dissent.  

Professor Berman’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies and the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World, both at CMC.

Friday, January 31, 2020 - 11:45am
Green Careers Conference Keynote
Hudson Moore '06
Hudson Moore ‘06, global director of metal procurement & sustainability at Anheuser-Busch InBev, will talk about the global brewer's ambitious 2025 global sustainability pillars: Smart Agriculture, Water Stewardship, Circular Packaging, Climate Action.

Hudson Moore ‘06 is global director of metal procurement & sustainability at Anheuser-Busch InBev, a leading global brewer with a portfolio of over 500 beer brands, including Budweiser, Michelob ULTRA, and Stella Artois. In 2018, AB InBev launched its ambitious 2025 global sustainability pillars: Smart Agriculture, Water Stewardship, Circular Packaging, Climate Action.

A 2006 graduate of Claremont McKenna College where he studied history, Hudson grew up in San Diego. His interest in the global beer industry began at CMC when he joined the Ben Franklin Society, CMC’s home brewing club. After starting his career in financial services, Hudson earned his MBA at Duke University and joined Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2012. In his eight years with the company, he has held various roles in sustainable sourcing and sales strategy, located in the U.S. and Belgium. In his current role, Hudson and his team are responsible for developing and executing the global sustainable sourcing strategy for aluminum cansheet, with a focus on achieving key 2025 sustainability targets of 70% recycled content in cans and 25% carbon footprint reduction.

Mr. Hudson’s Athenaeum presentation is the keynote address for the 2020 Green Careers Conference sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center. 

Monday, February 3, 2020 - 5:30pm
Poetry Reading, Reflections, and Conversation: An Evening with Robert Hass and Brenda Hillman
Robert Hass and Brenda Hillman
Celebrated poets Robert Hass and Brenda Hillman will read their works and share their personal reflections.  

Robert Hass is a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force, whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native Northern California. In his tenure as United States Poet Laureate, Robert Hass spent two years battling American illiteracy, armed with the mantra, “imagination makes communities.” He crisscrossed the country speaking at Rotary Club meetings, raising money to organize conferences such as “Watershed,” which brought together noted novelists, poets, and storytellers to talk about writing, nature, and community. When he is talking about poetry itself, Hass is both spontaneous and original, offering poetic insights that cannot be found in any textbook.

A prolific poet, Hass’s books of poetry include “The Apple Trees at Olema,” and “Time and Materials.” Awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, twice the National Book Critics’ Circle Award (in 1984 and 1997), the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1973, and the 2014 Wallace Stevens Award, Robert Hass is a professor of English at UC Berkeley.

(Excerpted from The University of Arizona’s Poetry Center’s website.)

One of contemporary American poetry’s most eclectic and formally innovative writers, Brenda Hillman is known for poems that draw on elements of found texts and document, personal meditation, observation, and literary theory. Often described as “sensuous” and “luminescent,” Hillman’s poetry investigates and pushes at the possibilities of form and voice, while remaining grounded in topics such as geology, the environment, politics, family, and spirituality. In an interview with Sarah Rosenthal, Hillman described her own understanding of form: “It is the artist’s job to make form. Not even to make it, but to allow it. Allow form. And all artists have a different relationship to it, and a different philosophy of it … I think that when you are trying to open up a territory—in this case I was working with a desire to open the lyric—you have to be greedy, in that you want more than you can do. And you’re always bound to fail.” Praising Hillman’s deft handling of form and subject, Marjorie Welish wrote, “Each poem … creates its own experimental configuration, within which the phrase swerves and discombobulates sense, as several registers of subject complicate the sampling of experiences and also as the experimental format throws the lyric into symbolic disarray one moment and naturalist scrutiny the next. And even more: she writes as if the lyric poem had a political calling.”

Born in 1951 in Tucson, Arizona, Hillman earned degrees at Pomona College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The author of over 10 books of poetry, she has received numerous awards for her work including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, as well as a Pushcart Prize and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her collection Bright Existence (1993) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Loose Sugar (1997) a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. She co-translated Ashur Etwebi’s Poems from Above the Hill (2011), Jeongrye Choi’s Instances (2011), and Ana Cristina Cesar’s At Your Feet (2018); and edited or coedited several volumes, including The Pocket Emily Dickinson (2009). A professor of creative writing, she holds the Olivia Filippi Chair in Poetry at St. Mary’s College, in Moraga, California. (Excerpted from the Poetry Foundation website.)

Photo credits: Hass photo—Shoey Sindel; Hillman photo: University of Arizona Poetry Center


Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 5:30pm
The Work of Viet Thanh Nguyen: Refugee Stories & American Greatness
Viet Thanh Nguyen
In a conversational format, Viet Than Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, "The Sympathizer," will explore questions of immigration, identity, love, family, and the American dream.

Viet Than Nguyen and his family came to the United States as refugees during the Vietnam War in 1975. As he grew up in America, he began to notice that most movies and books about the war focused on Americans while the Vietnamese remained silenced. Inspired by this lack of representation, he began to write about the war from a Vietnamese perspective, globally reimagining what we thought we knew about the conflict. The New York Times says that his novel, "The Sympathizer," which won the Pulitzer Prize among other awards, “fills a void…giving voice to the previously voiceless while it compels the rest of us to look at the events of forty years ago in a new light.”

Nguyen’s book "Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War" was a finalist for the National Book Award. Author Ari Kelman praises Nothing Ever Dies saying it, “provides the fullest and best explanation of how the Vietnam War has become so deeply inscribed into national memory.” His collection of short stories, "The Refugees," explores questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. In 2018, Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is "The Displaced," a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee.

Nguyen was the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. The MacArthur foundation noted that his work “not only offers insight into the experiences of refugees past and present, but also poses profound questions about how we might more accurately and conscientiously portray victims and adversaries of other wars.”

Nguyen is a University Professor, Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He also works as a cultural critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times.

Professor Nguyen’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse at CMC.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 5:30pm
Honor and Integrity: A Life in Public Service
John Brennan
John O. Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will offer reflections on his more than 33 years of public service working for six U.S. Presidents. He will talk about the challenges, opportunities, and ethical dilemmas he encountered while dealing with complex national security issues involving terrorism, covert action, counterintelligence, relationships with foreign intelligence services, and cybersecurity.  

A leading expert in national security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism, John O. Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) from March 2013 to January 2017. As director, he was responsible for intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships with foreign intelligence services.

Brennan began his 25-year tenure at the CIA in 1980. Fluent in Arabic, Brennan specialized in Middle Eastern affairs and counterterrorism. Over the years, he served in multiple capacities, including as the agency’s intelligence briefer to President Clinton, CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, chief of staff to then-director George Tenet, and deputy executive director. In 2003, he led a multi-agency effort to establish what would become the National Counterterrorism Center and served as its founding director. After retiring from the CIA in 2005, Brennan worked in the private sector for three years.

Brennan returned to public service in 2009 and served as assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. In this capacity, he advised President Obama on counterterrorism strategy and helped coordinate the U.S. government’s approach to homeland security, counterterrorism, cyberattacks, natural disasters, and pandemics.

Brennan graduated from Fordham University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. In his junior year, he studied abroad at the American University in Cairo concentrating on Arabic language studies. He subsequently attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received a master’s degree in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies in 1980.

Brennan currently is a Distinguished Fellow at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, a senior intelligence and national security analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and a consultant/advisor to a variety of private sector companies.

Mr. Brennan will deliver the Spring 2020 Lecture for the Res Publica Society Speaker Series.

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 5:30pm
The Limits of Lessons
Jennifer Grossman
Jennifer Grossman, CEO of The Atlas Society, believes that facts alone are no match for the seductive moral appeal of socialism, which will fail as many times as it is pursued. She will make the case that the argument against the "social justice" version of fairness requires instead a moral case for fairness premised on the inviolability of individual rights, the virtues of independence, reason, and achievement, and the ethics of benevolent self-interest. Grounded in Ayn Rand's vision, she believes these tenets are more relevant than ever in a culture where envy, resentment, victimhood, and entitlement are on the rise—and being stoked and leveraged by politicians to increase government power in perpetuity.

Jennifer Anju Grossman, a former senior vice-president at Dole Food Company, has served as CEO of the Atlas Society since March 1, 2016. She has spent much of her career trying to help people to live freer, healthier lives. She launched the Dole Nutrition Institute—a research and education organization—at the behest of Dole Chairman David H. Murdock. She continued this agenda as Health Editor of Laura Ingraham's new lifestyle site, LifeZette. Previously Grossman served as director of education at the Cato Institute, and worked closely with the late philanthropist Theodore J. Forstmann to launch the Children's Scholarship Fund. A speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush, Grossman has written for both national and local publications.

She believes that "the principles of Objectivism, the philosophy rooted in reality, reason, and individualism, has never been more needed — nor more neglected,” and that “this is the perfect moment to help the public rediscover the moral vision of Ayn Rand."



Monday, February 10, 2020 - 5:30pm
How and Why Public Schools are (Still) Divided by Race
Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times investigative journalist, MacArthur Award recipient, and lead-writer for The 1619 Project, has written extensively on the history of racism, school re-segregation, and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders. Her deeply personal account, which became the basis of a New York Times feature piece, of her own experience as a parent in New York City's public school system shows that school segregation is not an isolated phenomenon but rather a defining factor of most cities across the country.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative reporter who covers civil rights and racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine. Hannah-Jones got hooked on journalism when she joined her high school newspaper and began writing about students, who just like her, were bused across town as part of a voluntary school desegregation program.

Prior to joining the Times, Hannah-Jones worked as an investigative reporter at ProPublica in New York City, where she spent three years chronicling the way official policy created and maintains segration in housing and schools. Before that, she reported for the largest daily newspaper in the Pacific Northwest, The Oregonian, in Portland, Oregon, where she covered numerous beats, including demographics, the census, and county government. She started her journalism career covering the majority-black Durham Public Schools for The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A 2017 MacArthur Award recipient for her work in “reshaping national conversations around education reform,” Hannah-Jones received her B.A. from Notre Dame and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina.

Ms. Hannah-Jones will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2020 Golo Mann Lecture.  

Photo credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 11:45am
Challenged Grounds
Minsuk Cho
The recent challenges confronted by Minsuk Cho and his practice Mass Studies arrive through the many external forces and urban ecologies at play – mainly that of culture and nature. Whether it be within the political, environmental, or social context of the city, its history and future, independent and symbiotic approaches and the crossing of stimuli become the impetus of the various architectural approaches for a series of projects currently in progress. The diverse ‘grounds’ being examined range in scale, use, and context.

Minsuk Cho founded the Seoul-based firm Mass Studies in 2003. He has been committed to the discourse of architecture through socio-cultural and urban research, and mostly built works, which have been recognized globally. Representative works include the Pixel House, Missing Matrix, Bundle Matrix, Shanghai Expo 2010: Korea Pavilion, Daum Space.1, Tea Stone/Innisfree, Southcape, Dome-ino, the Daejeon University Student Dormitory. Current in-progress projects include the new Seoul Cinematheque (Montage 4:5), the Danginri Cultural Space (Danginri Podium and Promenade), and the Yang-dong District Main Street (Sowol Forest) and the recently selected design for the Yeonhui Public Housing Complex. Active beyond his practice, he co-curated the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, and was the commissioner and co-curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, which was awarded the Gold Lion for Best National Participation. In late 2014, PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, held their first ever architecture exhibition, highlighting his works in a solo exhibition titled "Before/After: Mass Studies Does Architecture." Cho is an active lecturer and speaker at symposiums worldwide.

Mr. Cho's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Hive of the 5Cs and EnviroLab Asia.

Photo credit: Nina Ahn

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 5:30pm
The False Promise of Single Payer Health Care
Saly Pipes
Sally C. Pipes, president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute, will discuss the dire long-term repercussions of the single payer health care system, or “Medicare for All,” advocated by Bernie Sanders and others. With the U.S. government as the sole provider of healthcare, all private coverage banned, and healthcare extended to illegal immigrants, costs would quickly outpace funding, and similarly to Canada and Britain, lead to long wait periods, paucity of medical professionals, and rationing of medical care. Pipes instead will present a market-based alternative to Medicare for All where all Americans have access to affordable care.  

Sally C. Pipes is president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank founded in 1979. Prior to becoming president of PRI in 1991, she was assistant director of the Fraser Institute, based in Vancouver, Canada.

An expert on health care and health care reform, she has been featured in multiple national media outlets and publications. A regular commentator on the shortcomings of Medicare For All, Pipes writes a bi-weekly health care column for and for the Washington Examiner’s blog “Beltway Confidential.” In 2018 alone, she published over 300 health care op-eds, many of which were reprinted and retweeted.

Pipes’ views on health care also appeared in a special report of the world’s 30 leading health care experts published by entitled, “Solutions: Health Care” and in Steve Forbes’ latest book How Capitalism Can Save Us. A seasoned and gifted debater, Pipes been invited to many high-level discussions and debates about healthcare reform where she eloquently argues against single payer type of systems.

Pipes served as one of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s four health care advisors in his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. She was featured in Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” and has participated in prominent public forums, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the Senate HELP Committee, and in the California, Maine, and Oregon legislatures.

Author of several books on health care, Encounter Books will publish her next book False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All in early 2020. Pipes serves on multiple boards, including BRI, a Federalist Society-type organization for medical students across America, which she founded in 2008.

Recipient of an honorary Ph.D. from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy in 2018, she also received the Roe Award at the 2004 annual meeting of State Policy Network. The award is a tribute to an individual in the state public policy movement who has a passion for liberty, a willingness to work for it, and noteworthy achievement in turning dreams into realities. Human Events named her one of the Top 10 Women in the Conservative Movement in America, among other national accolades.

Ms. Pipes, a former Canadian, became an American citizen in 2006 and is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international society of economists.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 5:30pm
Reading and Reflections: An Evening with Dwayne Betts
Dwayne Betts
Incarcerated at the age of 16 and sentenced to nine years in a maximum-security prison, Reginald "Dwayne" Betts transformed himself into a critically acclaimed writer, poet, and graduate of Yale Law School. Reading his work and reflecting on his journey, Betts will talk about his experience, detailing his trek from incarceration to Yale Law School and the role that grit, perseverance, and literature played in his success.

A widely-requested speaker, Reginald "Dwayne" Betts has given lectures on topics ranging from mass incarceration to contemporary poetry and the intersection of literature and advocacy. Betts has given commencement speeches at Quinnipiac University and Warren Wilson College and has lectured widely at universities and conferences, including Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the University of Maryland, the Beyond the Bench conference, and a wide range of organizations across the country.

His work in public defense, his years of advocacy, and Betts’s own experiences as a teenager in maximum security prisons uniquely position him to speak to the failures of the current criminal justice system and present encouraging ideas for change. That work prompted President Barack Obama to appoint Betts to the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and more recently for Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut to appoint him to the Criminal Justice Commission, the state body responsible for hiring prosecutors in Connecticut.

Named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2018 NEA Fellow, Betts poetry has been long praised. His writing has generated national attention and earned him a Soros Justice Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Ruth Lily Fellowship, an NAACP Image Award, and New America Fellowship. Betts has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and the Washington Post, as well as being interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air, The Travis Smiley Show and several other national shows. He holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland; an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College, where he was a Holden Fellow; and, a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was awarded the Israel H. Perez Prize for best student note or comment appearing in the Yale Law Journal. He is a Ph. D. in Law candidate at Yale and as a Liman Fellow, he spent a year representing clients in the New Haven Public Defender’s Office.

Mr. Betts’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, both at CMC. The program is also a part of the Justice Education Initiative at The Claremont Colleges.

Photo credit: Mamadi Doumbouya

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 11:45am
Rethinking Territorial Autonomy
Shane Barter
Shane Barter, professor at Soka University of America and author of several studies related to secessionist conflicts, examines the complex, underappreciated politics of territorial autonomy. Territorial autonomy provides special powers to subnational governments representing minorities. Found in several political hotspots—Hong Kong, Tibet, Scotland, Catalonia, Quebec, Papua, Kashmir—it represents compromise between incorporation and independence. However, autonomous regions tend to be centralized and oppress local ethnic minorities, suggesting a need to rethink territorial autonomy.

Shane Barter is associate professor at Soka University of America.  Earning his PhD from the University of British Columbia, he has worked for Forum-Asia, the Carter Center, European Union, and Canadian Government, the latter including observing the Summer 2019 Ukrainian elections.  Dr. Barter's research focuses on Southeast Asian politics, namely armed conflicts in Indonesia.  He has authored books on civil strategies in civil war, the Pacific Basin, and internal migration, as well as published articles related to separatism, post-conflict elections, civilians in war, and more.  He has just completed a visiting scholar position at Australian National University, part of a research project on territorial autonomy.

Professor Barter's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by CIRS, the Claremont International Relations Society.

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 5:30pm
A Nuclear Deal, if You Can Keep It – Lessons Learned from Iran and North Korea Diplomacy
Richard Johnson ‘01
As North Korea expands its nuclear and missile programs, while increasing tensions threaten to unwind the historic deal that restricted Iran’s nuclear activities, what are the chances diplomacy can make a comeback to prevent a new proliferation crisis?  Richard Johnson ’01, senior director for fuel cycle and verification at Nuclear Threat Initiative, draws on his experiences as a diplomat at the negotiating table with both Pyongyang and Tehran to explore why past nuclear agreements have faltered and how to succeed in future talks.

Richard Johnson ‘01 is senior director for fuel cycle and verification at the Nuclear Threat Initiative ("NTI"). Previously, he served as the deputy lead coordinator (acting) for Iran Nuclear Implementation at the U.S. Department of State, having also served as assistant coordinator for Iran Nuclear Issues. Prior to working at the Department of State, Johnson was director for nonproliferation at the National Security Council in the Obama Administration.

Johnson held numerous positions at the Department of State, including as special assistant to Secretary Hillary Clinton's special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control and as nonproliferation officer for the Office of Korean Affairs, as well as a posting to the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

Johnson has been involved deeply in Iran and North Korea nuclear issues, including as a member of the U.S. delegations to the JCPOA Joint Commission and the Six-Party Talks. On assignment to the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, Johnson was a U.S. nuclear disablement monitor at the Yongbyon nuclear facility in the DPRK. 

He also previously served as senior legislative aide and field representative for California Assembly member Carol Liu. He graduated as valedictorian from Claremont McKenna College and later earned his master’s degree at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Johnson is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a Presidential Management Fellow, as well as a one-time Jeopardy champion.

Monday, February 17, 2020 - 5:30pm
When Machines can be Judge, Jury and Executioner: AI and Justice
Katherine Forrest P'22
Can artificial intelligence dispense real justice? Today, AI is used in policing, criminal investigations, at trial, by judges in sentencing, and in targeting terrorists. But what are the inherent risks and potential benefits of delegating justice to machines? What theory of justice are we teaching the machines to use? And who, if anyone, has chosen that theory? The Honorable (fmr.) Katherine Forrest P’22, a lawyer, former U.S. District judge, and technology writer, explores these complex issues and urges a national conversation on AI, justice, and liberty.

Katherine B. Forrest P '22 is a partner in Cravath’s litigation department. She most recently served as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York and was the former deputy assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Over the course of her career, Forrest has been regarded as a leader in legal issues relating to technology, including the digital environment, big data, and artificial intelligence. She regularly speaks on these topics and has a forthcoming book on artificial intelligence and justice issues. Forrest is a regular technology columnist for the New York Law Journal (“NYLJ”), and recently authored a chapter on emerging issues in copyright law and artificial intelligence in The Law of Artificial Intelligence and Smart Machines.

Forrest received a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from NYU School of Law where she co-teaches a course on Quantitative Methods and the Law.

Ms. Forrest is the featured speaker for CMC’s 2020 Family Weekend.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 5:30pm
Allah and Yahweh: Alike or Different?
Jack Miles
God is the central figure in two classic scriptures, the Qur’an and the Bible, each authoritative for hundreds of millions of people. Proceeding not as a theologian but only as a literary critic, and requiring only the willing and temporary suspension of disbelief, Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize winning author, MacArthur Fellow, and professor of English and religious studies at UCI, compares iconic episodes and characters—Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others—in the two scriptures and explores objectively how the stories are told and the characters characterized, up to and including the divine character.

Jack Miles, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine, has written on religion, politics, and culture for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The World Post and many other publications. His book “God: A Biography” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996. “The Norton Anthology of World Religions,” of which he was general editor, was published in 2014 in hardcover and in 2015 in a six-volume paperback edition. A MacArthur Fellow during the years 2003-2007, he is most recently the author of “God in the Qur’an” (2018) and “Religion As We Know It: An Origin Story” (2019).

Professor Jack Miles's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by funding from the Open Academy at CMC.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 5:30pm
An Evening with Vijay Seshadri
Vijay Seshadri
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri will read and reflect on his work.

Poet, essayist, and critic Vijay Seshadri was born in India and came to the United States at the age of five. He earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Columbia University.

Seshadri is the author of "Wild Kingdom" (1996); "The Long Meadow" (2003), which won the James Laughlin Award; and "3 Sections" (2013), which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The Pulitzer committee described the book as “a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.”

Seshadri has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NEA, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has worked as an editor at the New Yorker and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, where he currently directs the graduate non-fiction writing program.

(Source: The Poetry Foundation website)

Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan


Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 5:30pm
True Memories and Other Falsehoods
Debra K. Tolchinsky P '20
Debra K. Tolchinsky’s P'22 in-process documentary examines false memory and false internalized belief within criminal justice: an eyewitness misidentifies their assailant, a detective elicits a false but incriminating statement, and a suspect becomes convinced they committed a violent crime that they did not commit. Springboarding off her project, Tolchinsky, a documentarian and associate professor in the department of Radio-TV-Film at Northwestern University, will discuss how memory and belief can become contaminated in the process of a criminal investigation. She will also share her related New York Times Op-Doc, Contaminated Memories, and touch upon the ways documentary film itself acts as a contaminant.

Debra Tolchinsky is a documentary director/producer, as well as an associate professor at Northwestern University. Tolchinsky was the founding director of Northwestern's MFA in documentary media and is currently the associate chair of the department of Radio-TV-Film. Tolchinsky received an AB from USC's School of Cinematic Arts and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her films have screened nationally and internationally at venues such as the Sundance Film Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center, The Chicago International Film Festival, FIPAdoc, The Italy Innocence Project, and the Supreme Court Institute. In 2017, Tolchinsky garnered an Alice B. Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Fellowship; in 2018, she won a Kartemquin Partner Program Sage Fund grant, and in 2019 she was included on NewCity's Film 50: Chicago's Screen Gems. Most recently, the New York Times released her short documentary, Contaminated Memories, via Op-Docs. Tolchinsky's in-process feature, True Memories and Other Falsehoods, is currently in development with Kartemquin Films.

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 5:30pm
OK, Google. What Can Liberal Arts Do for Tech?
Tina Daniels '93 and Varun Puri '16
From CMC to Google: Two perspectives. What role does a liberal arts education play, if any, at a tech company like Google? Tina Daniels '93 and Varun Puri '16, both at Google, draw on their vastly different experiences to bust myths about what life on the inside is like. Join them as they ask each other the big questions on topics ranging from moonshot thinking and leadership lessons to free massages and unlimited food.

Tina Daniels ‘93 is director of agency business development, measurement, and analytics for Google. She is a member of the CMC Board of Trustees, the Kravis Leadership Institute Advisory Board, and the Women’s Prison Association & Home in NYC. An economics and government major at CMC, Daniels was editor-in-chief of The Forum, New Student Orientation Chair, and played tennis for CMS. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Varun Puri ‘16 leads Africa operations for the Free Space Optical Communication project at X, formerly known as Google[X]. The project uses invisible, eye-safe lasers to bring high speed broadband internet to unconnected regions of the world. Prior to this, Puri worked on special projects for the Alphabet leadership team. At CMC, he was part of the debate and mock trial clubs, a Robert Day scholar, class of 2016 student commencement speaker and a struggling inner tube water polo player. Puri majored in economics and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 5:30pm
"You're a WHAT Advisor?"  The Trials and Tribulations of One of the U.S. Military's First Gender Advisors
Samantha Turner
Samantha Turner, the U.S. European Command gender advisor, will explain exactly what she does and why the U.S. Department of Defense is making gender advising a priority for the 21st century “thinking force.” From the good, the bad, and the weird of helping to change the mindset of those who run the department, Turner will relay lessons and adventures in teaching creative thinking to some of the toughest customers, all in an effort to further women’s equality.

Samantha Turner leads the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) program at U.S. European Command, and is a go-to practitioner of diversity and inclusion for the department of defense. Turner has served in advisory positions to senior officials in the U.S. government and NATO on WPS policy and strategy in foreign policy. She also serves as an executive coach to diplomats, development experts, and senior defense officials focusing on how leading inclusively, specifically with an intersectional lens, can benefit everyone.

As a U.S. Army reservist, she serves as a civil military liaison officer and gender advisor specializing in infrastructure assessment, WASH, and the operationalization of the women, peace, and security agenda within the military. She earned a certificate in entrepreneurial leadership and innovation from Stanford Graduate School of Business and is an alumna of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Turner spends time speaking internationally, coaching woman veterans in transition, and hiking in the Alps in her free time.

Ms. Turner's Athenaeum presentation is part of the Women in Security series at the Athenaeum this spring.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 5:30pm
The Privileged Poor
Anthony Jack
Elite colleges are accepting diverse and disadvantaged students more than ever before—but to Anthony Jack, assistant professor education at Harvard University, access does not equal acceptance. Author of "The Privileged Poor," Jack—once a low-income, first-generation college student himself—examines how class and culture shape how undergraduates navigate college by exploring the “experiential core of college life,” those too often overlooked moments between getting in and graduating. Contrasting the experiences of the "Privileged Poor" and the "Doubly Poor," he studies how poor students are often failed by the top schools that admit them and shares what schools can do to truly level the playing field.

Anthony Jack, sociologist and assistant professor of education at Harvard University, is transforming the way we address diversity and inclusion in education. His new book, "The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students," reframes the conversation surrounding poverty and higher education. In it, he explains the paths of two uniquely segregated groups. First, the “privileged poor”: students from low-income, diverse backgrounds who attended elite prep or boarding school before attending college. The second are what Jack calls the “doubly disadvantaged”—students who arrive from underprivileged backgrounds without prep or boarding school to soften their college transition. Although both groups come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the privileged poor have more cultural capital to navigate and succeed—in the college environment and beyond.

“It’s one thing to graduate with a degree from an elite institution, and another thing to graduate with the social capital to activate that degree,”Jack explains. In many ways, rather than close the wealth gap, campus culture at elite schools further alienate poor students by making them feel like they don’t belong. To challenge these deeply ingrained social, cultural, and economic disparities on campus, he argues that we must first begin to question what we take for granted. Jack reveals how organizations—from administrators and association organizers, to educators and student activists—can ask the right questions and bridge the gap.

A 2007 graduate of Amherst College, Jack is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and assistant professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Recently, he wrote a feature for The New York Times Magazine’s Education Issue, based off his book and life experience as a low-income college student. His research has been cited by The New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, The National Review, The Washington Post, American RadioWorks, WBUR, and MPR. His book "The Privileged Poor," was named the 2018 recipient of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize by Harvard University Press.

Professor Jack's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by funding from the Open Academy at CMC.

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 5:30pm
Isaiah Berlin and Leo Strauss:  The Best of Frenemies
Steven B. Smith
Isaiah Berlin and Leo Strauss are generally regarded as holding opposite poles of modern political philosophy. Focusing on their critique of social science, the importance of creative statecraft, and the centrality of political judgment, Steve Smith, professor of political science and of philosophy at Yale, will argue that despite obvious differences there is more common ground than often appears and that, most importantly, each man defended the importance, if not the centrality, of liberty as a cherished human good.

Steven B. Smith is the Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science and professor of philosophy at Yale University where he has taught since 1984. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has served as director of graduate studies in political science, director of the Special Program in the Humanities, and acting chair of Judaic Studies, and from 1996-2011 served as the head of college for Yale’s Branford College. He is also the co-director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Representative Institutions that focuses on the theory and practice of representative government in the Anglo-American world.

His research has focused on the history of political philosophy with special attention to the problem of the ancients and moderns, the relation of religion and politics, and theories of representative government.

His best-known publications include "Hegel’s Critique of Liberalism" (1989), "Spinoza, Liberalism, and Jewish Identity" (1997), "Spinoza’s Book of Life" (2003), "Reading Leo Strauss" (2006), and "The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss" (2009), "Political Philosophy" (2012), and "Modernity and its Discontents" (2016). Most recently, he has co-edited with Joshua Cherniss "The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah Berlin" (2018) and is working on a new book entitled "In Defense of Patriotism."

Smith has received several academic awards and prizes including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize given by Phi Beta Kappa, but is most proud of receiving the Lex Hixon ‘63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences in 2009.

Professor Smith's will deliver the kick-off lecture for the conference on Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty" sponsored by the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at CMC.

Monday, March 2, 2020 - 5:30pm
From Unlearning Liberty to "Coddling:" The Surprising Connection between Campus Free speech & Mental Health
Greg Lukianoff
Since 2001, Greg Lukianoff, now president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (“FIRE”) has been defending students and faculty across the political spectrum who have come under fire for their speech. After dealing with a personal serious depressive episode, Lukianoff came to realize that not only are young people today being taught the wrong lessons about free speech, but also the mental habits of the anxious and depressed. As he explored the issue further, he realized that these bad lessons had serious repercussions for everything from freedom of speech and mental health on campus to the health of democracy itself. Thus, in collaboration with NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt, Lukianoff explored this idea and its many serious down-stream repercussions in their collaboration work, “The Coddling of the American Mind.”   

Greg Lukianoff is an attorney, New York Times best-selling author, and the President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate,” “Freedom From Speech,” and FIRE’s “Guide to Free Speech on Campus.” Most recently, he co-authored “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” with Jonathan Haidt. This New York Times best-seller expands on their September 2015 Atlantic cover story of the same name. Lukianoff is also an executive producer of Can We Take a Joke?, a feature-length documentary that explores the collision between comedy, censorship, and outrage culture, both on and off campus.

Lukianoff has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. He frequently appears on TV shows and radio programs, including the CBS Evening News, The Today Show, and NPR. In 2008, he became the first-ever recipient of the Playboy Foundation’s Freedom of Expression Award, and he has testified before both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives about free speech issues on America’s college campuses.

Mr. Lukianoff’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored with funding from CMC's Open Academy.

Photo credit: Pushnik Photography

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 5:30pm
Celebrating Writing and Writers at CMC: An Evening with the 2019 Appel Fellows
2019 Appel Fellows
The 2019-20 Appel Fellows, recipients of summer funding to engage in independent writing projects, read some of their work—journal entries, zines, short stories, documentaries, podcasts, and travel narratives to —and reflect on their experiences.

Funded by Joel Appel ‘87, the Appel Fellowship provides first-year students with funding to engage in independent writing projects including:

Axel Ahdritz (’22): A song album and journal inspired by the refugee population in Jordan and Germany.

T.J. Askew (’22): A series of essays inspired by travels along the Pacific Crest Trail to Fairbanks Alaska and based upon the experiences of Chris McCandless.

Raj Bhutoria (’22): Articles that examine the intersection of family history and national identity in India.

Alex Futterman (’22): Essays based on interviews held with extreme athletes in Chile, Peru, and New Zealand.

Maria Gutierrez-Vera (’22): Vignettes - inspired by the work of Sandra Cisneros - that capture the experiences of the author’s grandmother.

Madelyn Kwun (’22): A children's book that introduces young readers to Asian-American history and culture, based on travels through South Korea. Madison Menard (’22): A photojournalism series that represents the culture of "historic soccer" in rival Italian provinces.

Marisa Mestichella (’22): A documentary and "how-to" guide to street performance, based on travels to New York, New Orleans, and Nashville.

Serena Myjer (’22): Essays inspired by the work of John Muir created while the author walks the John Muir Trail.

Robin Peterson (’22): A short story collection that represents the experiences of refugees in Jordan.

Daenerys Pineda (’22): A series of short stories depicting heritage sites in Northern California.

Courtney Reed (’22): A documentary that represents the history of the hair industry in Atlanta, China, and India.

Toluwani Roberts (’22): A zine featuring essayettes, poetry, and interviews related to the expression of spirituality and the natural world in Equador.

Dorcas Saka (’22): Short stories that represent the experiences of Muslim communities in Chicago, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Arizona.

Sobechukwu Uwajeh (’22): A podcast series that examines the impact gentrification has had upon people of color in Chicago and New York.

Kyril Van Schendel (’22): A documentary film based on the author's experiences distance running in the South West U.S.

Laura Vences (’22): A zine that explores the connections between immigration, labor, and the Latinx community in several U.S. cities.

Kimberly Zamora-Delgado (’22): A collection of stories based on interviews with park rangers and visitors at National Parks on the west coast of the U.S.

Alison Marouk-Coe & Shania Sharna (’22): An experiment in immersive empathy based on travels to locations - such as Mumbai and Beijing - that are significant to the authors.

Note: Some Fellows are not pictured.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 5:30pm
An American Summer: Emerging from the Gun Violence of Our Cities
Alex Kotlowitz
In "An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago," journalist and author Alex Kotlowitz returns a generation later to the scene of this 1991 book, “There Are No Children Here” and to some of Chicago’s most turbulent neighborhoods to offer a spellbinding collection of intimate profiles of people and communities touched by gun violence. Known for his immersive, deeply textured reporting, Kotlowitz investigates the impact of this violence on the spirit of individuals and community.

For forty years, Alex Kotlowitz has been telling stories from the heart of America, deeply intimate tales of struggle and perseverance. He is the author of four books, including his most recent, “An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago.” His other books include the national bestseller “There Are No Children Here,” which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. It received the Helen B. Bernstein Award and was adapted as a television movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey. It was selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year along with his second book, “The Other Side of the River” which also received The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. His book on Chicago, “Never a City So Real,” was recently released in paperback.  

While Alex’s home is print, he has also worked in film and radio. His documentary, The Interrupters, a collaboration with Steve James, premiered at Sundance in January 2011 and aired as a two-hour special on PBS’s FRONTLINE. It was cited as one of the best films of the year by The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly and The LA Times. For the film, Alex received an Emmy, a Cinema Eye Award and an Independent Spirit Award.

A former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, Alex’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and on This American Life. His stories, which one reviewer wrote “inform the heart”, have also appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Chicago Tribune, Slate and The Washington Post, as well as on PBS (Frontline, the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour and Media Matters) and on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. His play, An Unobstructed View, written with Amy Drozdowska, premiered in Chicago in June 2005.

In 2016, Alex worked with inmates at Illinois’ Stateville prison on essays about their cells. The stories which ran on The New Yorker’s website and on The New Yorker’s Radio Hour became the basis for the podcast Written Inside. NPR’s Lauren Ober, who picked it as one of the top ten podcasts of the year, wrote: “It’s an intimate look at life behind bars that will likely change the way you think about incarceration.”

Alex has been honored in all three mediums, including two Peabodys, two Columbia duPonts, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the George Polk Award. He’s also the recipient of eight honorary degrees, the John LaFarge Memorial Award for Interracial Justice given by New York’s Catholic Interracial Council and the 2019 Harold Washington Literary Award.

Alex regularly gives lectures and talks around the country. He’s been a writer-in-residence at the University of Chicago, a visiting professor for seven years at the University of Notre Dame, a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College and a Distinguished Visitor at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He’s on faculty at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism where he’s been teaching since 1999.

Alex grew up in New York City and attended Wesleyan University. After a year-long stint on a cattle ranch, he took his first journalism job at a small alternative weekly in Lansing, Michigan.   

Mr. Kotlowitz's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

(Source: Alex Kotlowitz website)

Photo credit: Kathy Richland

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 5:30pm
Fighting on Two Fronts: The Hello Girls and America's First Women Soldiers
Elizabeth Cobbs
In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps recruited 223 women at General Jack Pershing’s request. They were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard. While suffragettes picketed the White House for the vote, the “Hello Girls” ran battlefield communications in France. Cobbs reveals the challenges they faced in a war where male soldiers wooed, mocked, and ultimately celebrated them. When the veterans sailed home, the Army discharged them without benefits. They began a sixty-year battle that a handful carried to triumph in 1979.

Elizabeth Cobbs is a prize-winning historian, novelist, and documentary filmmaker. She is the author of eight books, including "The Hello Girls: America’ First Women Soldiers" from Harvard Press and the New York Times’ bestseller, "The Hamilton Affair." Her most recent book is "The Tubman Command," a novel on the Civil War military service of Harriet Tubman. Cobbs has won four literary prizes and four film prizes, and written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Jerusalem Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, and Reuters. She previously served on the State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee and jury for the Pulitzer Prize. Cobbs holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair in American History at Texas A&M and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

Professor Cobbs's Athenaeum presentation is part of the Women in Security series at the Athenaeum this spring.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 5:30pm
Revisiting the “Dark Ages” of Arabic Literature
Hilary Kilpatrick
The conventional account of Arabic literature in the 16th through 18th centuries is that it was repetitive, unoriginal, lacking vitality. Only in the 19th century, thanks to contacts with the West, did the spiral of continuous decline end. This account, which has no scholarly basis, has been refuted in recent research. Hilary Kilpatrick, scholar of Ottoman Arabic literature, will present some original “Dark Ages” texts in their social context.

Hilary Kilpatrick received her DPhil from Oxford for a thesis on the Egyptian novel up to 1970. She has taught at universities in the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland and is now an independent scholar living in Lausanne. She has published a study of al-Isbahani’s Book of Songs (10th century) and many articles on modern, classical and most recently Ottoman Arabic literature. She has edited a volume on Arabic literature and music, co-edited with Glenda Abramson Religious Perspectives in Modern Muslim and Jewish Literatures, and co-edited and translated with Gerald J. Toomer  the letters of the Syrian copyist Niqūlāwus al-Ḥalabī to two 17th century Orientalists. She is a co-founder (1991) of the Swiss Society for Middle Eastern Studies.

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 5:30pm
Title Forthcoming: Ruth Gilmore
Ruth Gilmore

Ruth Wilson Gilmore serves as a professor of geography in the doctoral program in earth and environmental sciences and as associate director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics. Her wide-ranging research interests include revolution and reform, environments and movements, prisons, urban–rural continuities, and the African diaspora. From 2010 to 2011, she was president of the American Studies Association (ASA), the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.
Gilmore was already known as an activist and an intellectual when she came to the Graduate Center from the University of Southern California in Fall 2010. In her first book, "Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California" (2007), which ASA recognized with its Lora Romero First Book Award, she examined how political and economic forces produced California’s prison boom. In the 2012 DVD “Visions of Abolition: From Critical Resistance to a New Way of Life,” Gilmore joins other scholars to examine the prison system and the history of the prison abolition movement. Her work is widely anthologized, including in the groundbreaking essay compilation "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex" (2007; pbk., 2009).
In 2012, the ASA honored Gilmore with its Angela Davis Award for Public Scholarship, an award that recognizes scholars who have applied or used their scholarship for the “public good.” Gilmore lectures widely and works regularly with community groups and grassroots organizations and is known for the broad accessibility of her research. She holds a Ph.D. in economic geography and social theory from Rutgers University.

Professor Gilmore's Athenaeum presentation is part of the Justice Education Initiative at The Claremont Colleges.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 5:30pm
Why Psychiatry Gave up on Freud and Embraced the Brain: What Really Happened and What Really Happened Next
Anne Harrington
In the 1980s, American psychiatry underwent a rapid pivot away from previously dominant psychoanalytic and social science perspectives and instead embraced an approach focused on drugs, biology, and the brain. The standard understanding is that this happened because, after years of wandering lost in a Freudian desert, the field had finally gained some fundamental new biological understandings of mental illness. Anne Harrington, professor of the history of science, director of undergraduate studies, and faculty dean at Harvard University, refutes that standard understanding and instead urges the search for a new and better understanding of what really happened in the 1980s, not least because choices then have directly shaped the world of mental health care with which we all live today.  

Anne Harrington is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science, director of undergraduate studies, and faculty dean (head of house) of Pforzheimer House at Harvard University, an undergraduate residential community of 375 undergraduates. She has written widely in the history of psychiatry, brain science, and medical practice, and is the author of four books, including "Reenchanted Science," "The Cure Within," and, most recently, “Mind Fixers: Psychiatry's Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness (2019). Her courses are some of the most popular at Harvard University.

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 5:30pm
Reading and Reflection: An Evening of Poetry with Jane Hirshfield
Jane Hirshfield
Described by The Washington Post as belonging “among the modern masters” and by The New York Times as “passionate and radiant,” award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield work ranges from the political, ecological, and scientific to the metaphysical, personal, and passionate.

Author of nine poetry books including “The Beauty,” long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award; “Given Sugar, Given Salt,” a finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award; and “After,” short-listed for England’s T.S. Eliot Award, Hirshfield’s ninth poetry collection will be “Ledger” (Knopf, March 10, 2020).   

Hirshfield’s other honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University’s Translation Center Award; The California Book Award, Northern California Book Reviewers Award, and the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, Poetry, and ten editions of The Best American Poetry. 

In fall 2004, Jane Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets, an honor formerly held by such poets as Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop. In 2012, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In March 2019 she was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hirshfield has taught at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University, Bennington College, and elsewhere. Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages and set by numerous composers, including John Adams and Philip Glass; her TED-ED animated introduction to metaphor has received over 875,000 views. An intimate and profound master of her art, her frequent appearances at universities, writers’ conferences and festivals in this country and abroad are highly acclaimed. 

Photo credit: Curt Richter

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 11:45am
The Mad Historian: The Mission and Responsibilities of History Makers in a Fractured World
Albert L. Park
Global political, economic, social, and environmental upheavals since the early 2000s have proven that the 21st Century will be full of volatility and uncertainty. People are seeking systems of knowledge and practice to make sense of changes and help guide them through the everyday happenings at the local, national, and global levels. Professor Albert Park, the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at Claremont McKenna College, will speak to the pivotal role history can play in this milieu and how historians should approach the past by being “mad” in order to engage the fractured present. 

Albert L. Park is the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at Claremont McKenna College. As a historian of modern Korea and East Asia, his current research project focuses on the roots of environmentalism in modern Korean history and its relationship to locality and local autonomy. His book project is tentatively titled "Imagining Nature and the Creation of Environmental Movements in Modern Korea." He is the author of "Building a Heaven on Earth: Religion, Activism and Protest in Japanese Occupied Korea" and is the co-editor of "Encountering Modernity: Christianity and East Asia."

Park is the co-founder of EnviroLab Asia—a Henry Luce Foundation-funded initiative at the Claremont Colleges that researches environmental issues in Asia through a cross-disciplinary lens. He is the co-founder and co-editor of "Environments of East Asia"—a Cornell University Press, multidisciplinary book series that covers environmental issues and questions of East Asia. He also serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Asian Studies. 

Park is the recipient of four Fulbright Fellowships for Research, an Abe Fellowship (Social Science Research Council and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership), and fellowships from the Korea Foundation and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. 

A native of Chicago, he received his B.A. with honors from Northwestern University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.  

Professor Park's Athenaeum presentation celebrates his installation ceremony as the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at Claremont McKenna College.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 5:30pm
Supreme Court Matters: A Discussion of this Term's Landmark Cases
Kimberly West-Faulcon and Eugene Volokh, in conversation
In a conversational format, Kimberly West-Faulcon and Eugene Volokh, professors of law at Loyola School of Law and UCLA School of Law respectively, will discuss some of the landmark cases in the Supreme Court docket this term with particular attention to likely outcomes and impact.

Kimberly West-Faulcon is a professor of law and holds the James P. Bradley Chair in Constitutional Law at Loyola Law School where she teaches constitutional law and advanced topics in constitutional law. Her research and writings explore the constitutional and civil rights law implications of theories of human intelligence and the psychometric properties of standardized tests. Her academic articles and legal commentary appear regularly in highly regarded law journals and publications around the nation. West-Faulcon has also filed solo-authored amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court based on her scholarly expertise and insights. 

West-Faulcon’s scholarship and teaching are grounded in her early career as a constitutional law litigator and her experience as the Western Regional Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Featured in the Los Angeles Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance “Freedom’s Sisters” Exhibit as a “Southern California Freedom’s Sister” in 2011, West-Faulcon’s significant legal accomplishments led to her selection as a “Rising Star Lawyer Under 40” by Los Angeles Magazine and her three-time selection as a “Southern California Super Lawyer”. 

A graduate of Yale Law School, West-Faulcon was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Stephen R. Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She obtained her undergraduate degree Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University, where she graduated summa cum laude, receiving numerous academic honors including the Duke University Faculty Scholar Award and the University Rankin Award for Constitutional Law. 

Eugene Volokh is professor of law at UCLA Law School where he teaches First Amendment law and a First Amendment amicus brief clinic; he has also often taught criminal law, copyright law, tort law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. In addition to his academic work, he has also filed briefs in about 75 appellate cases throughout the country, has argued in over 20 federal and state appellate cases, and has filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Volokh is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (6th ed. 2016) and Academic Legal Writing (5th ed. 2016), as well as over 75 widely published and frequently cited law review articles. He is a member of The American Law Institute; a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel; the founder and co-author of The Volokh Conspiracy, a Weblog that was hosted by the Washington Post and is now at Reason Magazine; and an academic affiliate for the Mayer Brown LLP law firm.

A graduate of UCLA Law School, he clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

This Athenaeum event is co-sponsored with funding from the Open Academy at CMC.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 5:30pm
Putting the “Science” into Data Science
Jay Cordes
When people talk about skills that are important for data science, the focus tends to be primarily on technical skills, like statistics and computer programming. Often overlooked is the importance of the scientific mindset. Being a critical thinker is essential to interpreting data and to avoiding the traps of analysis on auto-pilot, which can lead—and has led—to catastrophic failure. Jay Cordes, Pomona mathematics major turned data scientist and co-author of “The 9 Pitfalls of Data Science,” asserts that maintaining a skeptical mindset will keep you vigilant for the “silent evidence of failures” that distorts statistical significance. For data science to work, you need to think and work like a scientist.

Jay Cordes is a data scientist who co-authored the book "The 9 Pitfalls of Data Science" with Pomona economist Gary Smith to help guide future data scientists away from the common pitfalls he saw in the corporate world. He earned a degree in mathematics from Pomona College and more recently received a Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) degree from UC Berkeley. Cordes hopes to improve the public's ability to distinguish truth from nonsense.

Monday, April 6, 2020 - 5:30pm
Title Forthcoming: Martin Baron
Martin Baron
Martin “Marty” Baron has been executive editor of The Washington Post since January 2, 2013. He oversees The Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists. Previously he was editor of the The Boston Globe which won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”  

Martin “Marty” Baron became executive editor of The Washington Post on January 2, 2013. He oversees The Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists.

Newsrooms under his leadership have won 15 Pulitzer Prizes, including seven at The Washington Post. The Post, during his tenure, has won four times for national reporting, and once each for investigative reporting, explanatory reporting and public service, the latter in recognition of revelations of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency.

Previously, Baron was editor of The Boston Globe. During his 11 ½ years there, The Globe won six Pulitzer prizes—for public service, explanatory journalism, national reporting and criticism. The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to the Globe in 2003 for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”

Prior to the Globe, he held top editing positions at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. Under his leadership, the Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Coverage in 2001 for its coverage of the raid to recover Elián González, the Cuban boy at the center of a fierce immigration and custody dispute.

Others honors include Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation (2004), the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media (2017), the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Award (2017), and the Award for Public Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government (2016). In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from George Washington University, George Mason University, and his alma mater, Lehigh University.

Baron graduated from Lehigh University in 1976 with both BA and MBA degrees.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 5:30pm
Title Forthcoming: Saidiya Hartman
Saidiya Hartman
Saidiya Hartman, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, is a scholar of African American literature and cultural history. Her works—which include "Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America," "Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route" and, most recently, "Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval"—explore the afterlife of slavery in modern American society.

Saidiya Hartman, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, is a scholar of African American literature and cultural history. Her works—which include "Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America," "Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route" and, most recently, "Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval"—explore the afterlife of slavery in modern American society.

According to the MacArthur citation, through her research and writing, Hartman bears "witness to lives, traumas and fleeting moments of beauty that historical archives have omitted or obscured," and "weaves findings from her meticulous historical research into narratives that retrieve from oblivion stories of nameless and sparsely documented historical actors, such as female captives on slave ships and the inhabitants of slums at the turn of the twentieth century."

Hartman received a BA (1984) from Wesleyan University and a PhD (1992) from Yale University. She was a professor in the department of English and African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (1992–2006), prior to joining the faculty of Columbia University, where she is currently a professor in the department of English and comparative literature. She is the former director of the Institute for Research on Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University and was a Whitney Oates Fellow at Princeton University (2002), a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library (2016–2017), and a Critical Inquiry Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2018). In addition to her books, she has published articles in journals such as South Atlantic Quarterly, Brick, Small Axe, Callaloo, The New Yorker and The Paris Review. 

Professor Hartman will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2020 Quinones Lecture.

Photo credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 4:45pm
Sex Ratios, Brideprice, Polygyny: The Link to Conflict and Instability
Valerie Hudson
Does undermining the security of women undermine the security of the nation-states in which they live? Micro- and macro-analysis says yes, but ofttimes the causal mechanisms underlying that linkage are left vague. Valerie Hudson, professor of international relations and and director of Program on Women, Peace and Security at Texas A & M, will offer three case studies—abnormal and contrived sex ratios favoring males, brideprice, and polygyny—that show how the subordination and oppression of women produces instability for the nation-state and consequences for international relations.

Valerie M. Hudson is professor and holds the George H.W. Bush Chair in the department of international affairs at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where she directs the Program on Women, Peace, and Security. Her research includes foreign policy analysis, security studies, gender and international relations, and methodology. Hudson is one of the principal investigators of The WomanStats Project which includes the largest compilation of data on the status of women in the world today. Winner of numerous teaching awards and recipient of a National Science Foundation research grant and a Minerva Initiative grant, she was recently named a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis by the International Studies Association. She is the author/co-author of “Sex and World Peace,” “The Hillary Doctrine,” Foreign Policy Analysis,” “Bare Branches,” and (forthcoming) “The First Political Order: Sex, Governance, and National Security.”

Professor Hudson is the 2020 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and her Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at CMC. Her lecture is also part of the Women in Security series at the Athenaeum this spring.

Monday, April 20, 2020 - 5:30pm
Climate Change: Potential Psychological Consequences
Gary Evans
One key element in motivating both attitude and behavioral change regarding global climate change (“GCC”) is increasing awareness of the physical and mental health impacts of GCC. Over the past decade there has been an explosion of scholarship on the likely physical health impacts of GCC, but little is known about the psychological health implications of phenomenon. Gary Evans, environmental and developmental psychologist at Cornell University, will lay out some preliminary ideas about how GCC might be expected to impact human behavior, paying particular attention to elevated temperatures, diminished air quality, and increased severity and volatility of natural disasters.

Gary W. Evans is the Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology in the departments of design & environmental analysis and human development at Cornell University. An environmental and developmental psychologist, he is interested in how physical environment affects human health and well-being in particular among children. His specific areas of expertise include the environment of childhood poverty, children's environments, cumulative risk and child development, environmental stressors, and the development of children's environmental attitudes and behaviors. 

Evans is the author of over 300 scholarly articles and chapters plus five books. He was a core member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, on the board of Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academy of Sciences, and on the board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Center for Disease Control. Evans is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and received a Docteur Honoris Causa from Stockholm University. Celebrated as an award-winning teacher, he has taught and lectured in over 50 countries.

Professor Evans's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute and the Roberts Environmental Center, both at CMC.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 5:30pm
Title Forthcoming: Thomas Cahill
Thomas Cahill
Thomas Cahill, celebrated author many books on "hinge moments in history," is best known for taking on a broad scope of complex history and distilling it into an accessible, illuminating and entertaining narrative. His lively, engaging writing animates cultures that existed up to five millennia ago, revealing the lives of his principal characters with insight and joy. He writes history, not in its usual terms of war and atrocity, but by inviting his audience into an ancient world to commune with some of the most influential people who ever lived and to understand their contribution to the our world. 

A lifelong scholar, Thomas Cahill has studied with some of America’s most distinguished literary and biblical scholars. Born in New York City to Irish-American parents and raised in the Bronx, he was educated by Jesuits and studied ancient Greek and Latin. He continued his study of Greek and Latin literature, as well as medieval philosophy, scripture and theology, at Fordham University, where he completed both a B.A. in classical literature and philosophy, and a pontifical degree in philosophy. He went on to complete his M.F.A. in film and dramatic literature at Columbia University. He studied scripture at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, and also spent two years as a Visiting Scholar at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he studied Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible in preparation for writing The Gifts of the Jews. He also reads French, Italian, and German. In 1999, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Alfred University in New York.

Thomas Cahill has taught at Queens College, Fordham University, and Seton Hall University, served as the North American education correspondent for the Times of London, and was for many years a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Prior to retiring to write full-time, he was Director of Religious Publishing at Doubleday for six years. Cahill has addressed the U.S. Congress on the Judeo-Christian roots of moral responsibility in American Politics. 

Mr. Cahill will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2020 Lerner Lecture.   

Photo credit: Robin Holland

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 5:30pm
Fourth Annual Senior Thesis Showcase
Senior Students
Our seniors have studied it all and more. Applying everything they have learned in class and in the field, seniors put their hearts and minds into their senior capstone project. Come hear about their research, motivation, and findings, as well as their overall thesis journey. Most importantly come support and celebrate CMC peers and students! 

The senior thesis requirement at CMC is challenging and rewarding and seniors endeavor to produce innovative, thoughtful, comprehensive, and well written work. In this fourth annual Senior Thesis Showcase, a as-yet-not-identified group of eight to nine seniors, will present 5 to 7-minute synopses of their capstone project. Come hear about their research, motivation, and findings, as well as their overall thesis journey. Most importantly come support and celebrate your CMC peers! 

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 5:30pm
The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey's Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924
Benny Morris
Between 1894 and 1924, three waves of violence swept across Anatolia, targeting the region’s Christian minorities, who had previously accounted for 20 percent of the population. By 1924, the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had been reduced to 2 percent. Most historians have treated these waves as distinct, isolated events, and successive Turkish governments presented them as an unfortunate sequence of accidents. Benny Morris’s "The Thirty-Year Genocide" is the first account to show that the three were actually part of a single, continuing, and intentional effort to wipe out Anatolia’s Christian population.

enny Morris is one of Israel’s leading historians and public intellectuals. He was born in Israel in 1948 and was educated at the Hebrew University (BA) and Cambridge University (Ph.D.). He served in the IDF in infantry and paratroops. He was a journalist at The Jerusalem Post from 1978 to 1990 and was professor of Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University from 1997 to 2017. From 2015 to 2018, he was visiting Israel studies professor at Georgetown University. He has also taught as a visiting professor at Harvard University, Munich University, the University of Maryland and Dartmouth College, and was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Morris has published ten books on Middle East and European history, with a focus on the Arab-Zionist conflict. His books include “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem” (Cambridge University Press); “1948, A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” (Yale University Press); and “Righteous Victims, A History of the Arab-Zionist Conflict, 1882-1999” (Knopf).   His most recent book, co-authored with Prof. Dror Ze’evi, is “The Thirty-Year Genocide, Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924” (Harvard University Press), published in April 2019.  He is currently working on a biography of the (Jewish) master spy, Sidney Reilly.  In addition to his books, he has also published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Guardian, Corriere della Sera, Liberation, Die Welt, and Haaretz. 

Benny Morris’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights and the Department of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies Sequence at CMC.

(Source: book publicity)


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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.