• Student at the Athenaeum

    Marian Miner Cook
    Athenaeum

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

Welcome to The Athenaeum

Welcome to Athenaeum and the fall 2019 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.

You may register online for open events.

We look forward to seeing you at the Ath.

Priya Junnar
Director

Thursday, November 21, 2019 - Evening Program
The Other Rama: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Parashurama
Brian Collins
Brian Collins, Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy at Ohio University, will discuss the reception history of the myth cycle of Parashurama, or "Rama with the Axe," an incarnation of the Hindu high god Vishnu best known for decapitating his mother and killing twenty-one generations of warriors to avenge his father's death.

Brian Collins is department chair and associate professor of Classics and World Religions at Ohio University. His publications include The Head Beneath the Altar: Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice (Michigan State University Press, 2014), The Other Rāma: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Paraśurāma (Forthcoming from SUNY), and the co-edited volume Bollywood Horrors: Religion, Violence and Cinematic Fears in India (forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic).

Professor Collins's Athenaeum lecture is sponsored by the Kutten Lectureship in Religious Studies at CMC.

(Parents Dining Room)

The window for making meal reservations has passed. Contact the Athenaeum to inquire whether spaces are available.
Thursday, November 21, 2019 - Evening Program
Theatre in the Round: CHECK PLEASE
Under the Lights
Dating can be hard. Especially when your date happens to be a raging kleptomaniac, or your grandmother's bridge partner, or a mime. Check Please follows a series of blind dinner dates that couldn't get any worse—until they do. Could there possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel? Based on a play by Jonathan Rand, CMC's Under the Lights will perform this one-act play in the round.

Directed by Brian Luna '20, the cast includes Diya Courty-Stephens '23 as Pearl & Louis, Sadie Fisher '20 as Melanie, Matthew Hines '22 -as Brandon & Mark, Max Jackman '23 as Tod, Hannah Lak SC '23 as Linda & Mimi, Drew Liptrot PC '22 as Guy, Nandini Mittal '22 as Mary & Sophie, and Alessia Zanobini '23 as Girl. The tech crew includes Amari Huang '23, Grace Soleil Lyde SC' 23.

This special production will be performed on two consecutive nights. Seating is limited to 90 people, in the round, around the stage. 

The window for making meal reservations has passed. Contact the Athenaeum to inquire whether spaces are available.
Friday, November 22, 2019 - Lunch Program
Can Russian-American Relations Be Fixed? Lessons from History
Ivan Kurilla
The accusation that Russia seeks to undermine American democracy has captured a lot of attention lately. But according to Ivan Kurilla, professor of international relations at European University in St. Petersburg and author of the book “Frenemies”, this story is not new. There are many examples in the history of this bilateral relationship that reflect a mutual distrust and the suspicion of interference and disrespect of each others values and interests. “Frenemies” for decades, Kurilla will demonstrate how both countries are constantly reinventing images of each other, and mainly using them to fight their domestic battles and to advance a specific political agenda at home.  

Ivan Kurilla, Doctor of Sciences, is professor of international relations at European University in St. Petersburg. Kurilla’s major research area is the history of U.S. – Russian relations; he has also conducted research on the problems in the use of history, historical memory, historical politics, and role of historians in contemporary Russia.

Kurilla has authored five books including most recently History: Past in the Present (EU Press, 2017) and Frenemies: History of Opinions, Fantasies, Contacts, Mutual (Mis)understanding between Russia and the USA (NLO, 2018). He has also published numerous articles in leading Russian and international journals, including Journal of American History, Nationalities Papers, Demokratizatsiya, Journal of the Cold War Studies, and Problems of Post-Communism. 

Professor Kurilla’s Athenaeum presentation is sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at CMC.

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Friday, November 22, 2019 - Evening Program
Theatre in the Round: CHECK PLEASE
Under the Lights
Dating can be hard. Especially when your date happens to be a raging kleptomaniac, or your grandmother's bridge partner, or a mime. Check Please follows a series of blind dinner dates that couldn't get any worse—until they do. Could there possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel? Based on a play by Jonathan Rand, CMC's Under the Lights will perform this one-act play in the round. 

Directed by Brian Luna '20, the cast includes Diya Courty-Stephens '23 as Pearl & Louis, Sadie Fisher '20 as Melanie, Matthew Hines '22 -as Brandon & Mark, Max Jackman '23 as Tod, Hannah Lak SC '23 as Linda & Mimi, Drew Liptrot PC '22 as Guy, Nandini Mittal '22 as Mary & Sophie, and Alessia Zanobini '23 as Girl. The tech crew includes Amari Huang '23, Grace Soleil Lyde SC' 23.

This special production will be performed on two consecutive nights. Seating is limited to 90 people, in the round, around the stage. 

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Monday, December 02, 2019 - Evening Program
Poetry Reading and Reflections with Forrest Gander
Forrest Gander
Forrest Gander, poet and writer, will read some of his works and share personal reflections.

Forrest Gander is a writer, translator, and editor of several anthologies of writing from Spain and Mexico. Be With, Gander’s most recent collection, won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and was long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award. His 2011 poetry collection Core Samples from the World was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books include two novels, As A Friend and The Trace; the poetry collections Be WithEye Against Eye, Torn Awake, Science & Steepleflower; and the essay collection Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory & Transcendence. Gander’s essays have appeared in The Nation, The Boston Review, and the New York Times Book Review. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim, Howard, United States Artists, and Whiting Foundations.

 

Meal reservations now open to everyone in the Claremont Colleges
Thursday, December 12, 2019 - Evening Program
Holiday Concert 2019
Claremont Treble Singers; Charles W. Kamm, conductor
The Claremont Treble Singers will perform "A Ceremony of Carols" in which 20th century British composer Benjamin Britten sets medieval and renaissance carols for harp and choir. The Claremont Treble Singers, an ensemble of the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps College, is a high-voiced ensemble of about 20 students.  It is led by conductor Charles W. Kamm, associate professor of music at Scripps College and director of choirs for the Joint Music Program.  Harpist Laura Griffin-Casey accompanies the choir.

The Claremont Treble Singers will perform "A Ceremony of Carols" in which 20th century British composer Benjamin Britten sets medieval and renaissance carols for harp and choir. The Claremont Treble Singers, an ensemble of the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps College, is a high-voiced ensemble of about 20 students.  It is led by conductor Charles W. Kamm, associate professor of music at Scripps College and director of choirs for the Joint Music Program.  Harpist Laura Griffin-Casey accompanies the choir.

Preceding the concert will be a short performance by elementary school aged children from local schools in partnership with CMC club Music Mania.

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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.

The Athenaeum facilitates dynamic interactions and dialogue that underscore
the essence of a liberal arts education.