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, September 17, 2018 - 5:30pm
Art as Transformation: Using Photography for Social Change
LaToya Ruby Frazier
A 2015 MacArthur Genius Award recipient, Latoya Ruby Frazier will discuss how she has used photography to visually capture the consequences of postindustrial decline for disenfranchised communities and illustrate how photography can promote dialogue about historical change and social responsibility. Drawing from her book The Notion of Family as well as from works of art by Frederick Douglass, August Sander, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Langston Hughes, she relates her conscious approach to photography, opens up more authentic ways to talk about family, inheritance, and place, and celebrates the inspirational, transformative power of images.

LaToya Ruby Frazier is a photographer and video artist who uses visual autobiographies to capture social inequality and historical change in the postindustrial age. Informed by documentary practices from the turn of the last century, Frazier explores identities of place, race, and family in work that is a hybrid of self-portraiture and social narrative. It was the crumbling landscape of her own home town, Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once-thriving steel town, that forms the backdrop of her images and—capturing the attention of the McArthur Foundation—make manifest both the environmental and infrastructural decay caused by postindustrial decline and the lives of those who continue—largely by necessity—to live amongst it.

Frazier received a B.F.A. from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. She held artist residencies at the Lower Manhattan Culture Council and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin before assuming her current position as assistant professor in the department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Frazier’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. The Notion of Family, Frazier’s first book, was published in 2014.

Ms. Frazier's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the President's Leadership Fund.

Photo: Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 5:30pm
The AI Delusion
Gary Smith
Arguably the computer revolution may be even more life-changing than the industrial revolution, and indeed many fear that super-intelligent machines will protect themselves by enslaving or even eliminating humans. Gary Smith, professor of economics at Pomona College argues that the real danger however is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think computers are smarter than us and therefore trust computers to make important decisions for us.  

Gary Smith is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics at Pomona College. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and was an assistant professor there for seven years. He has won two teaching awards and written (or co-authored) more than eighty academic papers and thirteen books. His Standard Deviation: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics was a London Times Book of the Week and debunks a variety of dubious and misleading statistical practices. His most recent book, The AI Delusion, extols the value of human judgement in a world where big decisions are more and more frequently left to computers. His statistical and financial research has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, WYNC, WBBR Bloomberg Radio, Motley Fool, Scientific American, Forbes, MarketWatch, MoneyCentral.msn, NewsWeek and BusinessWeek.

Smith’s research interests lie in financial markets, especially the stock market, and the application of statistical analysis to finance and sports.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 5:30pm
Black Professionals in a 'Post-Racial' Era
Adia Harvey Wingfield
With technological advances, declining support for labor, and increasing income inequality, work has changed dramatically over the past half century. Adia Harvey Wingfield, professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, will examine specifically how blacks in professional jobs navigate work in this new economy. 

Adia Harvey Wingfield is professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research examines racial and gender inequality in professional occupations. A graduate of Spelman College, Wingfield earned both her masters and doctorate in sociology from Johns Hopkins University.

Wingfield has lectured internationally on her research and she has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Social Problems, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Gender & Society, and American Behavioral Scientist. She is currently serving as president of Sociologists for Women in Society, a national organization that encourages feminist sociology in research, teaching, and activism. Wingfield is a regular contributor to Inside Higher Ed, The Atlantic, and other popular outlets. Her most recent book is the award-winning No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men's Work. She is the recipient of the 2018 Public Understanding of Sociology award from the American Sociological Association. 

Professor Wingfield’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute for Work and Family.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 5:30pm
Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion
Paul Bloom
Empathy, generally viewed as a universally desired trait, is actually one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society maintains Yale University professor of psychology Paul Bloom. A capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to narrow human prejudices, Bloom will argue that we are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on empathy, but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion.

Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and is considered one of Yale’s most-renowned teachers, known for both his award-winning lectures to large audiences — as in his 500-person course "Introduction to Psychology" — and his more intimate seminars, such as his first-year class on the seven deadly sins.

Bloom is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author or editor of seven books, including his most recent book, Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, in which he argues that empathy is a bad thing—that it makes the world worse. While we've been taught that putting yourself in another's shoes cultivates compassion, it actually blinds you to the long-term consequences of your actions.

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

Photo Credit: Sigrid Estrada

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 5:30pm
An Evening of Poetry with Richard Blanco
Richard Blanco
Whether speaking as the Cuban Blanco or the American Richard, the homebody or the world traveler, the shy boy or the openly gay man, the civil engineer or the civic-minded poet, presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco’s writings possess a story-rich quality that illuminates the human spirit. His work asks those universal questions we all ask ourselves on our own journeys: Where am I from? Where do I belong? Who am I in this world?


Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. His inaugural poem “One Today” was later published as a children’s book.

Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry: How to Love a Country, City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of the Lambda Literary Prize.

His latest book, Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.

Mr. Blanco’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse, the Chicano-Latino Student Affairs, and the CARE Center.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 5:30pm
The Future and Past of Conservatism
Jonah Goldberg
As contradictory as it may sound, Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute believes that the conservative movement is constantly changing. Maintaining that the Bush years changed conservatism in profound ways, mostly for the worse, he will examine how Trump's presidency will further these changes. What does the future of conservatism look like? And does conservatism’s failure necessarily mean liberalism’s success?

Jonah Goldberg is a fellow and Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute, where he writes about political and cultural issues. He is concurrently a senior editor at National Review. A bestselling author, he writes a nationally syndicated column that appears regularly in more than 100 newspapers across the United States. He is also a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a member of the board of contributors to USA Today, a Fox News contributor, and a regular member of the Fox News All-Stars panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, "The Tyranny of Clichés” (Sentinel HC, 2012) and “Liberal Fascism” (Doubleday, 2008).

The founding editor of National Review Online, Goldberg is the recipient of many awards. He was named by The Atlantic magazine as one of the top 50 political commentators in America. In 2011, he was chosen as the Robert J. Novak Journalist of the Year at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 5:30pm
"Frankenstein" and the Anxieties of Modernity
Jerrald E. Hogle
  Jerrald E. Hogle, professor emeritus and University Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Arizona, is an expert in English Romantic literature, literary and cultural theory, and the many different forms of the Gothic. His talk will show how many deep-seated cultural quandaries about the coming of the modern world—anxieties very much still with us—are symbolized in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, particularly in the Creature who has be come its most lasting image.

Jerrold E. Hogle, won the Howard Mumford Jones Thesis Prize at Harvard University from where he received his Ph.D. After teaching in the English department at the University of Arizona for 44 years, he is now professor emeritus and University Distinguished Professor at Arizona. The winner of Guggenheim, Mellon, and other fellowships for research including the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Keats—Shelley Association of America, he has published extensively on English Romantic literature, literary and cultural theory, and the many different forms of the Gothic.

His books include, among others, Shelley’s Process from the Oxford University Press, The Undergrounds of The Phantom of the Opera from Palgrave Macmillan, and The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction from the Cambridge University Press, which has recently been succeeded by a follow-up volume, The Cambridge Companion to the Modern Gothic. A dedicated public servant to the University of Arizona, he has served in many diverse administrative roles at the university while also earning multiple teaching awards for his classroom work, advising, and mentoring of students, both undergraduate and graduate.

Currently, Hogle is a Reader at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, and just completed co-chairing a conference on the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's <em>Frankenstein</em>.

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

Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 5:30pm
Live From the Dumpster Fire: The Challenges of Journalism in the Trump Era
Tina Nguyen '11
In an era of dwindling resources and increasing hostility towards the press, how does one cover a president and administration obsessed with alternative facts and dramatic twists, a populist base that will follow no matter what, and an internet easily manipulated by foreign influences and fake news memes? Tina Nguyen ’11, who follows Trump for Vanity Fair's Hive, will reflect on how the 2016 election fundamentally shook up journalism, the challenges the media faces in covering politics in an era of extreme polarization and uncertain truth, and her own personal, quasi-bizarre experiences in the trenches of reporting on fake news.

Tina Nguyen ‘11 is a staff reporter at The Hive, Vanity Fair's news vertical covering the power players of Silicon Valley, Washington, and Wall Street. She covers American politics, the conservative movement, and the media.

Prior to Vanity Fair, Nguyen worked at Mediaite, The Daily Caller, and The Braiser, where she was nominated for a James Beard Award. Nguyen graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2011, with an honors degree in government. While at CMC, she was the news editor for the Claremont Independent, a fellow at the Salvatori Center, and occasional cartoonist/columnist for The Forum.

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

Monday, October 1, 2018 - 5:30pm
Mistreated: Why We think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong
Robert Pearl
The U.S. healthcare system ranks 37 in the world in outcomes, uses technology from the last century and causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from medical error. Yet we believe it is the best in the world. Robert Pearl, professor at both Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Medical School, will explain this contradiction and offer a road map for the future, based on four powerful pillars.

Robert Pearl, M.D., is the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group (1999-2017), the nation’s largest medical group, and former president of The Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (2009-2017). In these roles, he led 9,000 physicians, 35,000 staff, and was responsible for the nationally recognized medical care of 4 million Kaiser Permanente members on the west and east coasts.

Recently named one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 most influential physician leaders, Pearl is an advocate for the power of integrated, prepaid, technologically advanced and physician-led healthcare delivery.

He serves as a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on strategy and leadership, and lectures on information technology and healthcare policy.

In 2017 he authored “Mistreated: Why We think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong” a Washington Post bestseller that offers a road map for transforming American healthcare. All proceeds from the book benefit Doctors Without Borders.

As a regular contributor to Forbes, Pearl covers the business of healthcare and the culture of medicine. He has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNBC, NPR, and in TIME, USA Today and Bloomberg News. He has published more than 100 articles in various medical journals and contributed to numerous books. He is a frequent keynote speaker at healthcare and medical technology conferences, Pearl has address the Commonwealth Club, the World Healthcare Congress, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Quality Forum.

Board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Pearl received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University. From 2012 to 2017, Pearl served as chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), which includes the nation’s largest and best multispecialty medical groups, and participated in the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 5:30pm
Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust
Jeffrey S. Kopstein
Why do pogroms occur in some localities and not in others? Jeffrey S. Kopstein, professor and chair of political science at University of California, Irvine examines a particularly brutal wave of violence that occurred across hundreds of predominantly Polish and Ukrainian communities in the aftermath of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and notes that while some communities erupted in anti-Jewish violence, most others remained quiescent. 

Jeffrey S. Kopstein is professor and chair of political science at University of California, Irvine. His books include The Politics of Economic Decline in East Germany, 1945–1989 and Growing Apart?: America and Europe in the 21st Century. His newest book, co-authored with Jason Wittenberg​, Intimate Violence is a novel social-scientific explanation of ethnic violence and the Holocaust. It locates the roots of violence in efforts to maintain Polish and Ukrainian dominance rather than in anti-Semitic hatred or revenge for communism. In doing so, it cuts through painful debates about relative victim-hood that are driven more by metaphysical beliefs in Jewish culpability than empirical evidence of perpetrators and victims. Along with his co-author, Kopstein concludes that pogroms were difficult to start, and local conditions in most places prevented their outbreak despite general anti-Semitism and the collapse of the central state. In fact, fewer than 10 percent of communities saw pogroms in 1941, and most ordinary gentiles never attacked Jews.Kopstein and Wittenberg shed new light on the sources of mass ethnic violence and the ways in which such gruesome acts might be avoided.

Professor Kopstein's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at CMC.

Monday, October 8, 2018 - 5:30pm
Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky is dean and the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at Berkeley Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He will deliver the 2018 Salvatori Center’s Lofgren Lecture on American Constitutionalism. More information about his talk will be forthcoming.

Erwin Chemerinsky is dean and the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at Berkeley Law at the University of California, Berkeley.  

Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science.  Before that he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. He also has taught at DePaul College of Law and UCLA Law School.  He teaches Constitutional Law, First Amendment Law, Federal Courts, Criminal Procedure, and Appellate Litigation.

He is the author of ten books, including The Case Against the Supreme Court, published by Viking in 2014, and two books published by Yale University Press in 2017, Closing the Courthouse Doors: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable and Free Speech on Campus (with Howard Gillman). He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He writes a weekly column for the Sacramento Bee, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court. 

In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In January 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States. He received his B.S. from Northwestern University in 1975 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School  in 1978.

Dean Chemerinsky will deliver the 2018 Salvatori Center’s Lofgren Lecture on American Constitutionalism.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 5:30pm
Developing a Passion for Mathematics
Mark Huber
Ask a mathematician about what mathematics is and they will use words like beauty and creativity. Ask a student about what mathematics is and they will have a very different view. Mathematics, asserts CMC mathematics professor Mark Huber, can be a living subject that brings out passion, but it is important to use the right tools and perspectives to make that happen.

Mark Huber is the Fletcher Jones Foundation Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and George R. Roberts Fellow. He joined the faculty community at Claremont McKenna College in 2009. 

Huber’s specialty is computational probability. He enjoys developing new algorithms for drawing random variates from complex distributions quickly, which has applications in statistics, machine learning, numerical integration, and physics. Huber’s unique background in mathematics, computing, and statistics allows him to work in a variety of areas. Outside of the classroom, he has served as chair of the CMC Mathematical Sciences since 2016. Huber also serves as associate editor for the Journal of American Statistical Association Reviews and editor of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. He regularly participates as a guest lecture at conferences and institutions around the world, and his research has appeared in such journals as Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability, the Journal of Applied Probability, and the Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science among others.

Huber earned a B.S. degree from Harvey Mudd College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.

Professor Huber’s Athenaeum presentation celebrates his installation ceremony as the Fletcher Jones Foundation Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and George R. Roberts Fellow at CMC.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 5:30pm
Ted K. Scheinman
Ted K. Scheinman
Ted K. Scheinman, author of Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan, will discuss the prevalence of literary cliques, how are literary cults are formed, and how they can be surprising forces for good. He will also address best practices for reporting rigorously and fairly on subcultures and the merging of archival research and in-person reporting.  

Ted Scheinman is senior editor at Pacific Standard magazine, where he directs special projects and climate coverage. Among other duties, he reported from the United Nations climate summits in Paris and Marrakech in 2015 and 2016. A graduate of Yale University, with an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he is the author of Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan' (2018), and his essays and reporting have appeared in the Atlantic, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times, the Oxford American, the Paris Review, Playboy, Slate, and elsewhere. He is also a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Mr. Scheinman’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse at CMC.

Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 5:30pm
How to walk 2000 miles
Liz Thomas '07
With a mix of storytelling, how-to tips, and gear show-and-tell, record-holding hiker and award-winning author Liz Thomas ’07 shares lessons from 17,000 miles in the mountains. Honoring the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act, she explores the legacy and the future of trails, conservation, and outdoor recreation in America.

Liz Thomas ’07 is a professional hiker, adventure conservationist, and outdoor writer who held the women’s unsupported speed record on the 2,181-mile long Appalachian Trail. A guest editor and regular contributor to Backpacker Magazine, Thomas has been featured on Good Morning America and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Yahoo!News, Men's Journal, Women's Health, Outside, among other publications. Her book Long Trails: Mastering the Art of the Thru-Hike received the 2017 National Outdoor Book Award for Best Instructional book. Thomas serves as the vice president of the American Long Distance Hiking Association and ambassador to American Hiking Society. A former staff writer at Wirecutter/New York Times, Thomas is a currently editor in chief at Treeline Review, an outdoor web magazine and is writing a guidebook to Southern California waterfall hikes.

A 2007 graduate of Claremont McKenna College where she majored in EEP (Environment, Economics, and Politics), Thomas holds a masters in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where she held a Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship for her research on trails, conservation, and trail-side communities.

Since graduating from CMC, Thomas has hiked over 17,000 miles on more than 20 long distance hiking paths around the world!

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: Kathleen Dooher

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 5:30pm
America’s New Best Friend? Understanding India’s Rise, Beyond the Hype
Joshua White
The United States’ relationship with India has been radically reimagined over the last twenty years. Yet it remains fraught with mutual disappointments, and a lingering anxiety in Washington that New Delhi may never move beyond its cautious “nonalignment.” Joshua White, associate professor at Johns Hopkins who previously served as senior advisor for South Asia in the Obama White House and at the Pentagon, will discuss the future of the U.S.-India partnership in the age of Trump—and beyond.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 5:30pm
Fascist Politics
Jason Stanley
Fascism has a definite historical and conceptual structure that belies its use as a mere pejorative. Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale University and author of "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them" will discuss what is fascist politics, why, across time and place, is it so attractive, and who are its victims.

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 29, 2018 - 5:30pm
Monkeys, Monsters, and Minstrels in Rise and Dawn of the Planet of The Apes
Susana Loza
Susan Loza, associate professor of critical race, gender, and media studies at Hampshire College, examines how the resurrected Apes franchise simultaneously reactivates fears about miscegenation, degeneration, mutation, and subjugation while mystifying the historical roots of white supremacist fantasies.

Susana Loza teaches cultural studies, critical race theory, film and media studies, popular music, feminist theory, and ethnic studies at Hampshire College in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Her most recent book, Speculative Imperialisms: Monstrosity and Masquerade in Postracial Times, explores the resurgence of ethnic simulation in science fiction and fantasy in a putatively post-colonial era. Her next project, Settler Colonial Gothic, excavates the (settler) colonial ideologies and gothic elements of contemporary US horror television and film.

Loza received her B.A. degrees in political science and psychology from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research interests include the social construction of race and sex in speculative media; power, privilege and cultural appropriation; gender and ethnic performativity in digital spaces; the politics of sampling and remixing; colonial cosplay in steampunk; the activist potential of social media; and the post-racial turn in popular culture. 

A prolific writer, Loza’s writings include Vampires, Queers, and Other Monsters: Against the Homonormativity of True Blood, Hashtag Feminism, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other #FemFuture, Samples of the Past: Performative Nostalgia, Illicit Sounds, and Cultural Transformation in Latin House Music, Sampling (Hetero)sexuality: Diva-ness and Discipline in Electronic Dance Music, and Orientalism and Film Noir: Subjective Sins and Othered Desires.”

Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 5:30pm
Free Speech and Liberal Education
Peter Berkowitz
Many on campus today suppose that free speech interferes with education by creating a hostile environment that exposes students to harmful opinions and hateful ideas. Peter Berkowitz, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, will argue that free speech—even and sometimes especially when objectionable and disagreeable notions are put forward—is indispensable to a liberal education worthy of the name and that free speech is not free unless all students and faculty—regardless of race, gender, or class—are able to express their thoughts and try out arguments without fear of formal punishment or social ostracism.

A winner of the Bradley Prize in 2017, Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where he is a member of the Military History/Contemporary Conflict Working Group. In addition, he serves as dean of students for the Hertog Political Studies Program and for The Public Interest Fellowship and teaches for the Tikvah Fund in the United States and in Israel. 

He studies and writes about, among other things, constitutional government, conservatism and progressivism in the United States, liberal education, national security and law, and Middle East politics.

A prolific writer and editor of books, articles, essays, and reviews, he is the author of, among many other publications, Constitutional Conservatism: Liberty, Self-Government, and Political Moderation (Hoover Institution Press, 2013); Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War (Hoover Institution Press, 2012); Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism (Princeton University Press, 1999); and Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist (Harvard University Press, 1995). He is also a contributor at RealClearPolitics.

In addition to teaching regularly in the United States and Israel, Berkowitz has led seminars on the principles of freedom and the American constitutional tradition for students from Burma at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and for Korean students at Underwood International College at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

Berkowitz taught constitutional law and jurisprudence at George Mason University School of Law from 1999 to 2006, and political philosophy in the department of government at Harvard University from 1990 to 1999.

He holds a JD and a PhD in political science from Yale University, an MA in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College.

Professor Berkowitz is the featured speaker for the formal dedication of the Eggert Dining Room at the Athenaeum.

Photo credit: Anne Mandelbaum

Monday, November 5, 2018 - 5:30pm
Are Women’s Rights Human Rights?
Valerie Sperling
Women in Russia and Turkey face pervasive discrimination. Only a small percentage dare to challenge their mistreatment in court. Facing domestic police and judges who often refuse to recognize discrimination, a tiny minority of activists have exhausted their domestic appeals and then turned to their last hope: the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Valerie Sperling, professor political science at Clark University, will explore the obstacles that confront those who try to use domestic and international law to fight gender discrimination in Russia and Turkey, and will shed light on the factors that make legal victories possible both at home and abroad.

Valerie Sperling teaches a variety of courses in comparative politics, including Russian politics; revolution and political violence; mass murder and genocide under communism; transitions to democracy; globalization and democracy; and introduction to women’s studies. Her research interests include globalization and accountability, social movements, gender politics, patriotism and militarism, and state-building in the post-communist region.

Among several other publications, Sperling's most recent book, Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia (Oxford University Press) won the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies' Davis Center Book Prize for the "outstanding monograph on Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe in anthropology, political science, sociology or geography," as well as the Association for Women in Slavic Studies' Heldt Prize for the "Best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies." Sex, Politics and Putin was also included in Top 10 books on Russia for 2014.

Sperling is a graduate of Yale College; she subsequently received her M.A. from Georgetown, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997

Professor Sperling’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at CMC.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 5:30pm
India's Realignment: A Rising Power in a Changing World
Dhruva Jaishankar
Now the world's fifth largest economy, India will soon be the largest country by population. Dhruva Jaishankar, fellow in foreign policy studies with Brookings India and the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, will discuss how this rising power will interact with and shape a world in flux.

Dhruva Jaishankar is a fellow in foreign policy studies at Brookings India in New Delhi and the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. He is also a non-resident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Australia. His research examines India’s role in the international system and the effects of global developments on India’s politics, economics, and society, with a particular focus on India’s relations with the United States, the Indo-Pacific, and Europe. 

Jaishankar was previously a Transatlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund (GMF) in Washington DC from 2012 until 2016, where he managed the India Trilateral Forum, a regular policy dialogue involving participants from India, Europe, and the United States. From 2009 to 2012, he was a program officer for Asia with GMF. Prior to that, he worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution in Washington and as a news writer and reporter for CNN-IBN television in New Delhi. In 2015-2016, he was a visiting fellow with the South Asia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He has been a David Rockefeller Fellow with the Trilateral Commission and an IISS-SAIS Merrill Center Young Strategist.

Jaishankar holds a bachelor's degree in history and classics from Macalester College, and a master's degree in security studies from Georgetown University.

Mr. Jaishankar’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Keck Institute for International and Strategic Studies at CMC.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 5:30pm
The Political Argument Today
George F. Will
A foremost political commentator and columnist, George F. Will presents penetrating and incisive commentary on the Washington political scene, offering a glimpse into what the future holds for public affairs, public policy and American society.

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will is one of the country’s most widely read political columnist, as well as a foremost conservative voice. His popular twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate reaches nearly 475 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe. He is a prolific author with books ranging from The Woven Figure: Conservatism and America’s Fabric to Bunts to One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation. An avid baseball pan, in 1990, Will published Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball, which topped The New York Times best-seller list for two months. His latest book, A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred, was released March 25, 2014. Will currently serves as a contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.

Mr. Will is the Fall 2018 speaker for the Res Publica Society Speaker Series.

Monday, November 12, 2018 - 5:30pm
Transatlantic Ties in the Age of Trump
Karen Erika Donfried
Europe has long been home to the most important allies of the United States. Yet President Trump has said NATO is “obsolete” and the European Union was “set up to take advantage of the United States.” Karen Erika Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., will discuss whether transatlantic cooperation can survive Donald Trump.  

Karen Donfried is president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening transatlantic cooperation through policy analysis, fellowships for next generation leaders, and support for civil society. Headquartered in Washington, DC, GMF has seven offices in Europe.

Before assuming her current role in April 2014, Donfried was the special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. In that capacity, she was the president’s principal advisor on Europe and led the interagency process on the development and implementation of the president’s European policies. Prior to the White House, Donfried served as the national intelligence officer (NIO) for Europe on the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community’s center for strategic thinking. As NIO, she directed and drafted strategic analysis to advance senior policymakers’ understanding of Europe.

Donfried first joined GMF in 2001 after having served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service. From 2003 to 2005, she was responsible for the Europe portfolio on the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff. She returned to GMF from 2005 to 2010, first as senior director of policy programs and then as executive vice president.

Donfried is a member of the board of trustees of Wesleyan University, her undergraduate alma mater. She serves as a senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany.  From 2014 to 2016, Donfried served as vice chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the United States; in 2017, she became a member of WEF’s Europe Policy Group. Donfried is a member of the team of external advisors to the president of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. She was a member of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board from 2015 to 2017.

Donfried has a Ph.D. and MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Magister from the University of Munich, Germany. She holds a bachelor’s in government and German from Wesleyan University. She received the Cross of the Order of Merit from the German Government in 2011, became an officer of the Order of the Crown of Belgium in 2010, and received a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2005 for her contribution to revitalizing the transatlantic partnership.

President Donfried's Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Keck Institute for International and Strategic Studies at CMC.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 5:30pm
The Marshall Plan and the Dawn of the Cold War
Benn Steil
In the wake of World War II, with Britain’s empire collapsing and Stalin’s on the rise, U.S. officials under new secretary of state George C. Marshall set out to reconstruct western Europe as a bulwark against communist authoritarianism. In the process, as Benn Steil, senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, will examine, they would drive the creation of NATO, the European Union, and a Western identity that continues to shape world events.

Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is the author, most recently, of The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War and The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order.

Steil is also the founding editor of International Finance, a scholarly economics journal; lead writer of the Council’s Geo-Graphics economics blog; and creator of four web-based interactives tracking Global Monetary Policy, Global Imbalances, Sovereign Risk, and Central Bank Currency Swaps. Prior to joining the Council in 1999, he was director of the International Economics Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. He came to the Institute in 1992 from a Lloyd’s of London Tercentenary Research Fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he received his MPhil and DPhil (PhD) in economics. He also holds a BSc in economics summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Steil will deliver the 2018-19 Lecture in Diplomacy and International Security in Honor of George F. Kennan.


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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.