William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellows

Academic Year 2017-2018

Fall 2017: Achill Schürmann

Achill Schürmann is a professor of mathematics at one of Europe's oldest universities in Rostock. His research and teaching lie at the intersection of classical topics like algebra and geometry and modern applications of computational mathematics. He has held positions at Peking University (Bejing), University of Magdeburg (Germany), University of Bordeaux (France), and TU Delft (Netherlands), among others.

Among his areas of interest and research are polyhedra, geometrical objects in space, and generalizing the notion of a polygon in the plane. The properties of polyhedra were studied by the ancient Greek mathematicians and philosophers, and include the famous Platonic solids—tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, named for the numbers of their faces. In modern day mathematics, polyhedra are studied for their beautiful geometry, as well as for their numerous applications in the digital age. Professor Schürmann’s Athenaeum lecture, “Symmetric Polyhedra—From Platon to Modern Computational Mathematics,” was complemented by an introductory half-semester course at CMC on the mathematical theory of polyhedra and its applications in economics and social choice theory.

Spring 2018: Garry Brewer

Garry Brewer is a professor emeritus of political science at Yale University. He has served as the Director of the Yale Environment Management Center, the founder of the Corporate Environmental Management Program and the Frederick A. Erb Environmental Management Institute at the University of Michigan, and the King Carl Gustaf XVI Professor of Environmental Sciences and Management.

Professor Brewer’s areas of research interest include economic development theory, development administration, and the roles of NGOs and the military in developing countries. While on campus, he conducted workshops under the auspices of the Roberts Environmental Center (REC) on energy, forests, oceans, and career development for students aspiring to environmental protection careers. He also co-presided over the REC’s Green Careers Conference and developed a training program syllabus for the World Bank’s “Open Learning Campus” in collaboration with Professor Ascher.

Academic Year 2016-2017

Fall 2016: Bruce Hoffman and John Prendergast

Bruce Hoffman is a professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where he is also the director of both the Center for Security Studies and of the Security Studies Masters of Arts Degree Program. He has been studying terrorism and insurgency for nearly four decades. Appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve as a commissioner on the Independent Commission to Review the FBI’s Post-9/11 Response to Terrorism and Radicalization, Professor Hoffman was a lead author of the commission’s final report.

Author of Inside Terrorism (2006), Hoffman’s most recent books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden’s Death (2014), and Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (2015), which is based on newly available documents from the British, Israeli, and U.S. Archives. During his time on campus, he taught a course on “Terrorism and Counterterrorism” and gave two lectures at the Athenaeum titled “Does Terrorism Work?” and “Is Winter Coming? The Enduring Threats from ISS and al-Qaeda and the Necessary Countermeasures.” He also participated in a lecture and discussion with Professor of Literature Robert von Hallberg on “The Enduring Relevance and Importance of the Film, Zero Dark Thirty,” hosted by the Claremont International Relations Society and the Gould Center.

John Prendergast is the founding director of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also the co-founder of the Sentry, a new investigative initiative focused on dismantling the networks financing conflict and atrocities. Prendergast has worked for the Clinton administration, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. During his time in the US state department, Prendergast was an instrumental part of a team that mediated, and ended, the 1998-2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the deadliest war in the world at the time.

Since then, Prendergast has made it his mission to combat mass atrocities in Africa. His latest book, Unlikely Brothers: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption (2012), is a dual memoir co-authored with his first little brother in the Big Brother program—a program in which he has been involved for over 25 years. His previous two books were co-authored with Don Cheadle, Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond (2007), a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year, and The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes (2010). In the Fall semester, he participated in film, panel, and classroom discussions and presented many talks on the topic of human rights, including his Athenaeum lecture titled, “New Approaches to Countering War and Atrocities in Africa.”

Academic Year 2015-2016

Spring 2016: John Prenderdast and Amos N. Guiora

John Prendergast is the founding director of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also the co-founder of the Sentry, a new investigative initiative focused on dismantling the networks financing conflict and atrocities. Prendergast has worked for the Clinton administration, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. During his time in the US state department, Prendergast was an instrumental part of a team that mediated, and ended, the 1998-2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the deadliest war in the world at the time.

Since then, Prendergast has made it his mission to combat mass atrocities in Africa. His latest book, Unlikely Brothers: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption (2012), is a dual memoir co-authored with his first little brother in the Big Brother program—a program in which he has been involved for over 25 years. His previous two books were co-authored with Don Cheadle, Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond (2007), a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year, and The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes (2010). In the Spring semester, he taught several seminars; participated in film, panel, and classroom discussions; and presented lectures, including his Athenaeum talk “Good News Stories from Africa: How Hollywood and the Media Get It Wrong.”

Amos N. Guiora is professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and director of the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy. Professor Guiora teaches and develops courses and labs on the legal and policy aspects of counterterrorism. Before joining Case in 2004, Guiora served for 19 years in the Israel Defense Forces Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Lt. Col. Ret.).

He held a number of senior command positions, including Commander of the IDF School of Military Law, Judge Advocate for the Navy and Home Front Command, and the Legal Advisor to the Gaza Strip. During his military service, Guiora was involved in many important legal and policy-making issues, including the capture of the PLO weapons ship Karine A, implementation of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, and Safe Passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. As an expert commentator, he is frequently interviewed and quoted and has been published in the national and international media, including CNN, The Washington Post, PBS, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, BBC, C-Span, The Christian Science Monitor, Fox TV, the New York Daily News, KQV Newsradio Pittsburgh, and Minnesota Public Radio. During his time on campus, he lectured and participated in classroom discussions on topics in counterterrorism.

Academic Year 2014-2015

Fall 2014: Mary Weatherford and August Kleinzahler

Mary Weatherford is an increasingly well-known artist represented by some of the top galleries in Los Angeles and New York. She combines paintings on canvas with neon designs and often creates murals for specific locations, demonstrating a remarkable ability to overlap deep, sultry colors in abstract paintings that radiate light, energy and movement. Critics praise the acclaimed artist for her achievements in layering vinyl-based acrylic paint known as Flashe, and for her distinctive use of deliberately draped neon lighting tubes that further electrify her symphonic, colored landscapes. Her work “The Claremont Mural,” painted specifically for the College, is now hanging in the Athenaeum, where she was present and spoke to the audience at the installation dinner.

August Kleinzahler is a prize-winning poet and essayist who has taught at Brown and Stanford as well as at CMC. Critics frequently have remarked on the sharp, chiseled quality of his verse a quality of concreteness influenced, perhaps, by Kleinzahler's own years as a laborer in Alaska before he picked up a teaching credential and his poetry career began to flourish. His poetry has earned the respect of considerable figures in contemporary poetry today and his other distinctions include a Griffin Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. During his time on campus, he met with students and faculty and performed a reading/lecture of his work at the Athenaeum in addition to teaching two courses—one on the interactions of European writers, directors, musicians, and artists with Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, and one on advanced creative essay and prose writing.

Academic Year 2013-2014

Fall 2013: William Deresiewicz and August Kleinzahler

William Deresiewicz is a much sought-after speaker, essayist, and author of articles on higher education, literary criticism and leadership. One of his most famous pieces is entitled “Solitude and Leadership,” originally a lecture delivered at West Point, which has been widely disseminated on the Internet. During his time at Claremont McKenna College, Professor Deresiewicz met with groups of students and faculty across various disciplines and was generally available on campus throughout the month of November. He also spoke at the Athenaeum in November in a talk titled “What is College For? A Defense of the Liberal Arts.”

August Kleinzahler is a prize-winning poet and essayist, based in San Francisco, who has taught at CMC before. He spent the entire semester as a writer in residence at CMC, teaching two literature courses and meeting with faculty and students. He also spoke at the Athenaeum in a talk titled “August Kleinzahler Reads from the Hotel Oneida.” Kleinzahler is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Berlin Prize.

Spring 2014: Mary Gaitskill, Daniel Mendelsohn, Volker Stanzel, and Mary Weatherford

Mary Gaitskill is a novelist, short-story writer, and essayist whose work has been published in such magazines as The New Yorker, Esquire, and Harper’s. She has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was National Book Award Finalist, among other honors. She taught creative writing and literature and spoke at the Athenaeum during “An Evening with the Author.”

Daniel Mendelsohn, a Professor of Humanities at Bard College, is one of America’s most distinguished classicists as well as the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for his memoir entitled The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, which deals with the author’s attempt to uncover the mystery and tragedy of his family members who perished in the Holocaust. Professor Mendelsohn was in residence in February, meeting with faculty and students from literature, history, government, and religious studies. He spoke at the Athenaeum in a talk titled “An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic.”

Volker Stanzel, who was German Ambassador to Japan through the end of October 2013, spent the Spring semester at CMC as a visiting scholar at the Keck Center and taught a course on East Asian security. Mary Weatherford is an artist represented by distinguished galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Many of her works are related to the evocation of a sense of place. At CMC, she painted “The Claremont Mural” and was artist in residence, allowing students to understand the visual arts from the perspective of a practicing artist.

Mary Weatherford is an artist represented by distinguished galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Many of her works are related to the evocation of a sense of place. At CMC, she painted “The Claremont Mural” and was artist in residence, allowing students to understand the visual arts from the perspective of a practicing artist.

Academic Year 2012-2013 (no visitors)
Academic Year 2011-2012

Spring 2012: Richard N. Boyd and Ian Frazier

Academic Year 2010-2011

Fall 2010: Matthew Crawford, Charles Calomiris, and Rohini Somanathan

Academic Year 2009-2010

Spring 2010: Abdourahman Waberi and Angus S. Fletcher

Academic Year 2008-2009

Fall 2008: Leonard V. Smith
Spring 2009: Pierre Hassner

Academic Year 2007-2008

Spring 2008: Daniel C. Kurtzer and William B. Quandt

Academic Year 2006-2007

Spring 2007: Jerry Fowler

Academic Year 2005-2006 (no visitors)
Academic year 2004-2005

Spring 2005: Joanna Zach-Ronda and Adam Michnik

Academic Year 2003-2004

Spring 2004: William A. Darity, Jr. and Lee J. Alston

Academic Year 2002-2003

Spring 2003: Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D.

Academic Year 2001-2002

Spring 2002: Leszek Kolakowski

Academic Year 2000-2001

Fall 2000: Michael Ghiselin
Spring 2001: David Hull, Richard Lewontin, and Dame Gillian Beer

Academic Year 1999-2000

Fall 1999: Alan Wolfe and Nelson Polsby
Spring 2000: Ernesto Cortes and John Lewis Gaddis

Academic Year 1998-1999

Fall 1998: David McCullough
Spring 1999: Sir Michael Howard and James M. McPherson