Marian Miner Cook
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC
Welcome to The Athenaeum
Welcome to Athenaeum and the fall 2018 speaker program.
Unique in American higher education, the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum (the “Ath”) is a signature program of Claremont McKenna College. Four nights a week during the school year, the Ath brings scholars, public figures, thought leaders, artists, and innovators to engage with the CMC and Claremont College community in the Eggert Dining Room. In addition, the Ath also hosts lunch speakers, roundtables, and smaller presentations in its two auxiliary dining rooms.
For decades, the Ath has hosted a spectrum of luminaries with expertise and insight on a wide range of topics, both historical and contemporary. In the Ath’s intimate yet stimulating setting, students, faculty, staff, and other community members gather to hear the speaker, pose questions, and also to build community and exchange ideas over a shared meal.
At the core of the Ath is a longstanding commitment to student growth and learning. Central to the Ath are its two student Fellows, selected annually to host, introduce, and moderate discussion with the featured speaker. Priority is given to students in attendance during the question-and-answer session following every presentation. Moreover, speakers often take extra time to visit a class, meet with student interest groups, or give an interview to the student press and podcast team.
We look forward to seeing you at the Ath.
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.
Tony Mecia is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard. Previously, he spent more than a decade as a business reporter and editor at the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. He is a graduate of Duke University and has a master’s in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mr. Mecia will be the first speaker in a series on the public policy implications of marijuana legalization sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.
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).
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 "Frankenstein."
Professor Hogle’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.
Jolly L.L.B. tells the story of a small-town lawyer, Jolly, who files a public interest litigation against a rich young man who seems to have gotten away with murder. Defending the young man is Tejinder Rajpal, the most prominent advocate of the city, able to reduce Jolly to dust in the court. Yet, Jolly works hard, gathers evidence, and—learns to argue. In charge of the proceedings is Justice Tripathi, a curious, familiar mix of self-aggrandizement, idiosyncrasy, and—commitment to justice.
For those new to Bollywood, Jolly L.L.B. offers an introduction to the genre without the stereotypical slapstick, violence, and melodrama.
For those familiar with the genre, Jolly L.L.B. offers solid direction, casting, script, comedy, and a serious plot line.
Movie screening will begin promptly at 5:30 pm.
(Parents Dining Room)
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.
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 10,000 physicians, 38,000 staff and was responsible for the nationally recognized medical care of 5 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.
Pearl 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 health care 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 roadmap for transforming American healthcare. All proceeds from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.
As a regular contributor to Forbes, Pearl covers the business of healthcare and the culture of medicine. He’s the host of a new podcast called “Fixing Healthcare,” which debuted in the iTunes top 100 list of science and medicine programs. 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 addressed 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.
Joël Dubois received masters and doctorate degrees in Comparative Religion from the Harvard Divinity School. The book documenting his research in South India, Hidden Lives of Brahman, was published in 2013 by State University of New York Press. He is currently a professor of Asian religions and cultures at California State University in Sacramento, California.
Professor Dubois' Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Kutten Lectureship in Religious Studies at CMC.
(Parents Dining Room)
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.
Eduardo Garcia represents California's 56th Assembly District, which includes cities and unincorporated communities in eastern Riverside County and Imperial County. Elected in 2014, Garcia is the current chair of Water, Parks and Wildlife. In this capacity he oversees some of the state’s most pressing issues, such as drought conditions, and the implementation of the multi-billion dollar Proposition 1, Water Bond passed by voters in 2014. He also serves on the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Communications and Conveyance, Governmental Organization and Utilities and Energy.
In March of 2015 Garcia was appointed to chair the Select Committee on Renewable Energy Development and Restoration of the Salton Sea to examine the opportunities and challenges surrounding development of renewable energy projects and the implementation of environmental restoration plans of the Salton Sea area.
A graduate of local public schools, Garcia attended Coachella Valley High School and the University of California, Riverside. He also completed the "Senior Executives in State and Local Government" Public Administration program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and earned a master’s Degree from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development.
A life-long resident of the Coachella Valley, Garcia was first elected to the Coachella City Council in November 2004. In 2006, at the age of 29, he became Coachella's first elected Mayor.
Follow the Athenaeum
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.