Nury Turkel is an attorney, author, foreign policy expert, and advocate with nearly two decades of experience working in the intersection of law, business, government, and the human rights community. As a rights advocate, he has led efforts to raise the profile of the Uyghur cause, previously as the president of the Uyghur American Association and now as Chair of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, which he co-founded in 2003. In May 2020, he was appointed by Congress as a Commissioner at the U.S. Commissioner on International Religious Freedom, where he served as Chair. In 2020, he was in TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World List and in 2021, he was listed as one of Fortune's 50 Greatest Leaders. In June 2021, he received the inaugural Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty. Last September, he was awarded the “Global Soul Award” by Jewish World Watch. He is currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he works on US foreign policy and national security issues. He is also a Senior Advisor at Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue. In July 2023, Notre Dame Law School appointed him as a Senior Legal Fellow. He holds Juris Doctor and a Master of Arts in International Relations degrees from American University.
Turkel's Athenaeum visit is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights and the CMC Chapter of The Alexander Hamilton Society, a national organization that seeks to identify, educate, and launch young men and women into foreign policy and national security careers.
Current Semester Schedule
Cameron Quijada SC '25 will moderate the debate between Audrey Strevey PO '25 and Yui Kurosawa '26. Kurosawa, Quijada, and Strevey are all Claremont Colleges Debate Union Fellows who lead a wide range of programming including public debates, civic events, and professional communication and leadership training. They are also hosts of the Debate Union podcast, Uncommon Ground, featuring innovative public policy analysis. Kurosawa is one of the top public performers for the Debate Union, participating in panel discussions, presidential debate commentary, and public debates. Quijada was the champion of the largest debate event in the Southwest in 2022. This year, Strevey won the national Social Justice Championship on oceans policy sponsored by the University of Miami.
The Claremont Colleges Debate Union is a 5C program centered at Claremont McKenna College, and is among the largest and most successful college debating societies in the nation.
Juliana Fillies will be discussing Ezelino da Costa’s (counter-)photography. Born in a northeastern Brazilian province in 1889, da Costa is one of the few Black photographers of the beginning of the twentieth century we know of, and his pictures show how a Black family in post-abolitionist Brazil wanted to be seen. Professor Fillies was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In Germany, she studied Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. She has a binational Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Cologne, Germany, and the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Juliana has a second Ph.D. in Spanish Literature awarded by Arizona State University.
She has published several articles on Latin American Literature, Afro-Latin American history, and politics of representation. She is especially interested in understanding how stereotypes were constructed through visual and literary texts. Her current research project explores the representation of Afro-Latin Americans in 19th and early 20th-century photography. In this project, she discusses how photography contributed to creating stereotypes about Black individuals and illustrates how Afro-Latin Americans appropriated the medium to create a counter-discourse.
Norman Valencia will be discussing "the case of Brasília." Brazil's capital, Brasília, is a city with a unique history in the Americas. Throughout his election campaign in 1955, President Juscelino Kubitschek promised to build, in the next four years, a new capital for the country. His objective was to create a new economic and political in Brazil's central high savannah, an important step in the unification of what was, at the time, a deeply fragmented country. For this, he contacted two important architects and urban planners: Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa. Both of them shared a unique idea: to make Brazil a more egalitarian society through architecture. Professor Valencia will explain how Brasília's architecture was meant to produce important social and political changes, both in the city and in the country, as well as some of the triumphs and some of the shortcomings of their project.
Norman Valencia is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. His work focuses on comparative approaches between Brazil and the rest of Latin America, with an emphasis on Colombia. His recent book (in collaboration with Claudia Montilla), El manglar de la memoria. Ensayos críticos sobre la obra de Tomás González, earned the award for Best Edited Volume of 2021 by the Colombian Studies Association.
Dr. Gabby Salazar is a conservation photographer and an environmental social scientist who has traveled the world documenting a wide range of subjects with her camera. In 2021, she was recognized by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) as the Emerging Photographer of the Year and in 2004 she was named BBC Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
She holds a PhD from the University of Florida's School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences, where she studied visual framing and the influence of environmental images on people's attitudes and behaviors. She also holds an MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College London and a B.A. in Science and Technology Studies from Brown University.
As a National Geographic Explorer, a Past President of the North American Nature Photography Association, and an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Gabby collaborates with scientists and environmental organizations to help them tell their stories. She is the co-author of the book No Boundaries: 25 Women Explorers and Scientists Share Adventures, Inspiration, and Advice, which was published by National Geographic Kids Books.
Salazar's Athenaeum visit is co-sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center and the Women in Leadership Alliance (WLA).
Shanna Rose is the Alice Tweed Tuohy Associate Professor of Management and Government at CMC. Her areas of expertise include American politics, federalism, and public policy. She holds a BA in economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University. Prior to joining CMC in 2014, she taught at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Professor Rose is the author of Financing Medicaid: Federalism and the Growth of America’s Health Care Safety Net (University of Michigan Press, 2013) and coauthor of Responsive States: Federalism and American Public Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2019), as well as two dozen journal articles, book chapters, and other publications. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the politics of minimum wage policy in the United States, with support from a research grant from the Center for the Study of Federalism.
Professor Rose teaches courses on public policy analysis, empirical methods, and state and local politics and policy. She is the founding director of CMC’s public policy major, one of the College’s fastest growing majors. Professor Rose has earned several college-wide awards including CMC’s Roy P. Crocker Award for Service, Professor of the Year at NYU-Wagner, and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Student Teaching at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Satyan L. Devadoss is currently the Fletcher Jones professor of applied mathematics and professor of computer science at the University of San Diego. An inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society and recipient of teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America, his thoughts have appeared in venues such as NPR, the Times of London, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He was faculty at Williams for nearly 15 years, holding visiting positions at Ohio State, Harvey Mudd, MSRI, Université Nice, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.
Motivated by the world around us, much of his endeavor revolves around shapes and the ways they can deform and evolve. He is most interested in mathematics one can touch, for we are humans, and the physical world matters. Conveying ideas with clarity, beauty, and simplicity is as important to Devadoss as the discovery of the ideas themselves, resulting in invited presentations from research universities, international centers, and design spaces (Pixar, Google, LucasFilm).
Nicholas Buccola is a Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College. His teaching and research are in the area of American political thought. He is the author of The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America and The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass: In Pursuit of American Liberty. He is the editor of The Essential Douglass: Writings and Speeches and Abraham Lincoln and Liberal Democracy. His scholarly essays have appeared in a wide range of academic journals, including The Review of Politics and American Political Thought. His public intellectual work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Dissent. He is currently completing a monograph on the idea of freedom in the civil rights and conservative movements, and co-editing The Princeton History of American Political Thought.
George Thomas is Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions and Director of the Salvatori Center. His research and teaching focus broadly on American constitutionalism. He is the author of The (Un)Written Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2021), The Founders and the Idea of a National University: Constituting the American Mind (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and The Madisonian Constitution (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). In addition to numerous scholarly articles, his work also has appeared in The Atlantic, The Bulwark, and the Washington Post. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library, and is the recipient of the Alexander George Award from the American Political Science Association.
Susan McWilliams Barndt is a professor of politics at Pomona College, where she has won the Wig Award for Excellence in Teaching three times. She is an elected member of the governing council of the American Political Science Association and Vice President of the APSA's American Political Thought section. McWilliams has authored and edited several books, including The American Road Trip and American Political Thought (Lexington, 2018) and A Political Companion to James Baldwin (Kentucky, 2017). Her writing has been published widely, including in The American Conservative, Boston Review, Bust, The City, Front Porch Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Nation, Perspectives on Political Science, Political Science Quarterly, The Review of Politics, Southern California Quarterly and The Star-Ledger. McWilliams is the co-editor (with Jeremy Bailey, University of Oklahoma) of the American Political Thought book series at the University Press of Kansas and a past editor of the peer-reviewed journal American Political Thought. For her work, McWilliams has received recognitions including the Graves Award in the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.
This discussion is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center's Lofgren Program on American Constitutionalism.
Tamara J. Walker is an historian and Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Barnard College whose research primarily focuses on slavery and its legacies in Latin America. She is the author of Exquisite Slaves: Race, Clothing, and Status in Colonial Lima (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and is currently working on two new scholarly projects, one on slavery and piracy in the Southern Pacific and the other on blackness in Latin American visual culture. Her latest book, Beyond the Shores: A History of African Americans Abroad, was published by Crown in June 2023.
Dr. Walker's visit to the Athenaeum is co-sponsored by the History Department and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.
Michael E. O’Hanlon is a senior fellow and director of research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy. He directs the Strobe Talbott Center on Security, Strategy and Technology, as well as the Defense Industrial Base working group, and is the inaugural holder of the Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy. He co-directs the Africa Security Initiative as well. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia, Georgetown, and George Washington universities, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He also serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board at the U.S. Department of Defense. O’Hanlon was a member of the external advisory board at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011-12. O’Hanlon’s latest book, Military History for the Modern Strategist: America’s Major Wars Since 1861 (Brookings and Rowman & Littlefield, 2023) was published in January 2023.
Dr. O'Hanlon will deliver the 2023-24 Lecture in Diplomacy and International Security in Honor of George F. Kennan.
Jamel Velji is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Claremont McKenna College. His work lies at the intersection between Islamic Studies and Religious Studies and is particularly concerned with the ways in which narratives, rituals, and symbols can effect social transformations. He has written extensively on various aspects of apocalypticism, and his book An Apocalyptic History of the Early Fatimid Empire was the inaugural volume of Edinburgh University Press’s series on Islamic Eschatology and Apocalypticism. His current research examines the Islamic history of coffee, and how that history becomes retold in various European and American contexts.
Velji holds A Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Islamic Studies from McGill University, and a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College. His work has been funded by numerous fellowships, including a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, two fellowships from the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada, a Josephine de Kármán Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Institute of Ismaili Studies.
Carribean Fragoza is a fiction and nonfiction writer from South El Monte, CA. Her collection of stories Eat the Mouth That Feeds You was published in 2021 by City Lights and was a finalist for a 2022 PEN Award. Her co-edited compilation of essays, East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte was published by Rutgers University Press and her collection of essays Writing Home: New Terrains of California is forthcoming with Angel City Press. She has published in Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times, Zyzzyva, Alta, BOMB, Huizache, KCET, the Los Angeles Review of Books, ArtNews, and Aperture Magazine. She is the Prose Editor at Huizache Magazine and Creative Nonfiction and Poetry Editor at Boom California, a journal of UC Press. Fragoza is the founder and co-director of South El Monte Arts Posse, an interdisciplinary arts collective. She is a 2023 Whiting Literary Award recipient.
Ms. Fragoza's visit to the Athenaeum is co-sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse at CMC.
What Happens When The Bots Get Smarter? Philosophical and Social Challenges for the Future of Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Susan Schneider is the William F. Dietrich Professor of Philosophy at Florida Atlantic University. She writes about the nature of the self and mind, especially from the vantage point of philosophy, AI, cognitive science, and astrobiology. Within philosophy, she has explored the computational nature of the brain in her academic book, The Language of Thought: A New Direction. More recently, she defened an anti-materialist position about the fundamental nature of mind. In her new book, Artificial You: AI and the Future of the Mind, she brings these topics together in an accessible way, discussing the philosophical implications of AI and, in particular, the enterprise of "mind design."
Dr. Schneider has met with members of Congress to give presentations of AI and on topics such as data privacy, algorithmic bias, technological unemployment, autonomous weapons, and more. She recently completed a three year project with NASA on the future of intelligence. She appears frequently on television shows on PBS and The History Channel and has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, and the Financial Times, among other venues. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers University.
Dr. Schneider's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.
As a PPE major (CMC '02), Van Pelt loved writing, but never imagined she would write fiction. After graduation, she went into consulting, a career in which she flourished for nearly a decade. When a cross-country move brought an opportunity to press pause on that career, she realized she missed writing and decided to try fiction.
Born and raised in Tacoma, WA, Van Pelt graduated cum laude from Claremont McKenna College, where she studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES is her first novel. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Drew Van Pelt (CMC '02), and their two children.
Van Pelt is a member of the Board of Advisors of CMC's Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, which co-sponsors her visit to the Athenaeum. Van Pelt is also the first speaker in the Athenaeum's 40th Anniversary Series, which celebrates the achievements of CMC alumni from across the years and invites them to return home to Claremont.
Linda M. Perkins is University Professor and Director of Applied Gender Studies at the Claremont Graduate University. Her area of research is on the History of Black Women's Higher Education. She has a forthcoming book in the Spring - For the Good of the Race: Black Women: The History of Black Women's Higher Education from the Antebellum Era to the 1960s (forthcoming, University of Illinois Press). Perkins is President-Elect of the History of Education Society and serves on the Board of the International Center for Research on Women, where she also serves as Chair of the Board of their Africa Center and a member of the Board of their Asia Center. Perkins is also a member of Ms. Magazine's Scholars' Board.
Carmen Rios is the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and former Managing Digital Editor for the magazine. She is a feminist writer, broadcaster and community-builder whose pieces on queerness, gender, race and class have been published by BuzzFeed, Bust, CityLab, DAME, ElixHER, Everyday Feminism, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic, the National Women’s History Museum, SIGNS and the Women’s Media Center; and she produced and hosted the popular feminist podcasts POPAGANDA, with Bitch Media, and THE BOSSY SHOW.
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is the Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Ms. and a regular contributor whose work appears in the 50 Years of Ms. collection. She is also a lawyer, advocate and frequent writer on issues of gender, feminism and politics. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, TIME, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, NPR, PBS, and NowThis, among others. Jen is the author of the book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity and is executive director of the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center at NYU Law.
Diana Selig is a scholar of twentieth-century U.S. history and is currently the faculty advisor for Gender and Sexuality Studies at Claremont McKenna College. She teaches courses on race and inequality, gender, American schools, women’s political history, and LGBTQ history. She received the Claremont Colleges diversity and inclusion award in teaching and twice received the Queer Resource Center faculty award for her support of LGBTQ students. Professor Selig is author of the book Americans All: The Cultural Gifts Movement (Harvard University Press), which tells the story of early efforts at multicultural education in the United States.
This event is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights and the Women and Leadership Alliance at Claremont McKenna College.
Constance Baker Motley (1921 - 2005) was a pioneering civil rights activist, and the first Black woman to argue before the US Supreme Court, winning nine of the ten landmark civil rights cases she argued. As a key member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), she wrote the original complaint in Brown v. Board of Education. She is also the subject of the highly praised new biography, Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality (2022), by Harvard law professor and Dean of the Radcliffe Institute Tomiko Brown-Nagin.
Joel Motley, producer of this film, began his career in investment banking at Lazard Freres & Co. He then became a Managing Director of Carmona Motley Inc., providing financial advice to municipalities around the United States. He then founded Public Capital Advisors LLC which provided advice to emerging market governments on infrastructure finance in China, Colombia and Kazakhstan.
Prior to investment banking, Mr. Motley served as an aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, serving as chief of the Senator’s staff in New York City and surrounding counties. Mr. Motley joined the Senate staff after five years of corporate law practice which he began at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
He has served as a director of the Oppenheimer Funds board, and he was Chairman of the New York board when Oppenheimer Funds merged into Invesco Funds. Mr. Motley now serves as a director of Invesco Mutual Funds, and is Chairman of the Board of the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
Mr. Motley is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is Chairman Emeritus of the board of Human Rights Watch. He serves on the boards of the Greenwall Foundation, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and Historic Hudson Valley.
Born in New York City, Mr. Motley graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received his JD from Harvard Law School.