March 23, 98

Vol. 13 , No. 08   

Mexico After the National Elections of '97: Neither Heaven nor Hell

In the presidential elections of 1988, Mexican voters, probably the majority, gave notice that they would no longer accept the power and alleged abuses of the long-dominant political party, PRI, by voting against it. The PRI candidate, Carlos Salinas, was declared victor, but charges of fraud in the tabulating of votes were strong and widely based. Shocking events in 1994-a rebellion in Chiapas, the assassination of the PRI presidential candidate, the beginning of another financial crisis (several had occurred in the 70s and 80s)-set the scene for renewed demands for democratic elections and elimination of alleged abuses by PRI.

Elections in 1997 saw large numbers of PRI congressional candidates defeated and a member of a new party, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of PRD (the Democratic Revolutionary Party), was elected as mayor of the Federal District (Mexico City). Many analysts think that from his highly important office, Cardenas will be launched into the presidency in the year 2000.

Dr. Dresser's talk will analyze the 1997 elections as a starting point for examining the main trends shaping Mexican politics and society today, including the demise of PRI, the renaissance of the Mexican left, the new role of the media, the empowerment of Congress, and the Chiapas crisis.

Denise Dresser is a professor of political science at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) and has also taught at Georgetown University. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University. Dr. Dresser has been a visiting research fellow at the center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego; and a senior visiting fellow at the Inter-American dialogue in Washington, D.C.

Dresser is the author of Neopopulist Solutions to Neoliberal Problems: Mexico 's National Solidarity Problem (1992) and of numerous articles on Mexican politics and U.S.-Mexico relations. She writes a political column for the Mexican newspaper Reforma and is the host of the political talk show Entre Versiones on Mexican television. She is also a regular contributor to the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times and The Globe and Mail.

Please join the Athenaeum and the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies for this lecture on vital events in Mexico.

Extraterrestrial Environments: Pluto Explorer Project

In 1991, as one of a series of U.S. postage stamps commemorating planetary exploration, the stamp for Pluto carried the legend "Not yet explored." Robert L. Staehle, a JPL aeronautical engineer, quickly convinced NASA administrator Daniel Goldin that the stamp provided a perfect challenge to implement Goldin's "cheaper, faster, better" agenda for future NASA missions and promptly became manager of the Pluto Fast Flyby (now Pluto-Kuiper Express) preproject.

In the ensuing years Staehle has also become manager of the Europa Orbiter and Solar Probe preprojects, and the three are officially know as "Ice and Fire." They constitute a multimission approach to explore the hottest, coldest, and hardest-to- reach regions of our solar system. Pluto-Kuiper Express will complete the reconnaissance of the known planets in our solar system, with a possible extension to the newly-discovered Kuiper Disk. Solar Probe will penetrate deeply our nearest star's atmosphere to measure the birth of solar wind and image solar phenomena.

Europa, fourth largest satellite of Jupiter, has gained the rank of one of the highest priority targets for a outer solar system exploration mission. If liquid water were to exist on Europa, it would not be unreasonable to speculate on the existence of life there, perhaps occurring near undersea volcanic vents just as life on earth has been discovered at great ocean depths, beyond the penetration of sunlight, thriving on upwelling chemical nutrients from the interior of the planet. The Europa Orbiter will look for a global subsurface liquid water ocean. If the ocean exists, science measurements will identify locations where the ocean may be accessible to future missions to search for evidence of life.

Staehle's lecture, enhanced by slides, will describe the missions and the extreme environmental conditions encountered en route and at the destinations. This is the second lecture on extraterrestrial environments sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center.

Dying To Be Thin

Carolyn Costin has developed an effective program for treating eating disorders, the complexity and intensity of which highlights the tremendous grip of anorexia and bulimia upon its victims. Her center, named Monte Nido (mountain nest), is located in the foothills of Malibu, California, abutting a state park and the Pacific Ocean. Her staff, recovered anorexics and bulimics; as Costin is, treats only a select group of six patients at a time, monitoring at all times their behavior. The staff assigns eating buddies to ensure proper eating habits and schedules frequent group sessions to encourage patients to discuss their feelings as they work to regain a healthy self-identity.

Costin has been a specialist in the field of eating disorders since 1979. In addition to operating her intensive retreat in Malibu, Costin operates the Eating Disorder Center of California.

Aside from treating patients, Costin speaks on the topic of eating disorders throughout the United States and appears on radio and television. Her most recent books are The Eating Disorder Source Book: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Eating Disorders (1996), and Your Dieting Daughter... Is She Starving for Attention? (1996), both of which are currently available in bookstores. Costin is coauthor of Anorexia and Bulimia: A Nutritional Approach to the Deadly Eating Disorder (1997), a small monograph on nutritional aspects of treatment, and author of the body-image chapter in Sexual Abuse and Eating Disorders (1996) edited by Mark Schwartz and Leigh Cohn.

Costin will be discussing the extent of these diseases in the student population of America's colleges and universities, the keys to recognizing these diseases, and her work in educating those who are at risk, and treating those who struggle with anorexia and bulimia. This lecture is sponsored in conjunction with the Monsour Counseling Center of The Claremont Colleges.

The Challenge of Leadership in the Public Sector

With a reputation for candor and independence, Gloria Molina is best known for her strong, issue-oriented style and her commitment to community empowerment. Noted for her tenacious, effective leadership in the fight against siting a prison in East Los Angeles, Molina has a legislative history of standing up for the average citizen against insurmountable odds. She has been listed in several magazines, including Time and Working Woman, as a "rising star" and "someone to watch."

Molina was first elected to office in 1982 as State Assemblywoman for the 56th District, where she introduced bills aimed at protecting consumers from unfair bank charges, insurance redlining, and utility company rip-offs, as well as legislation that protected tuition-free community colleges and the safety of children. In 1987 she was elected to the Los Angeles City Council where she served as the Councilwoman for the First District until 1991. On the Council she initiated new forms of city development, new laws to protect citizens from toxins, an after-school child care program, and a sewer lifeline rate for senior citizens. In February 1991 she was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the First Supervisorial District. Since that election, Molina has earned a reputation as a "watchdog" for taxpayer dollars. She is the first Latina to be elected to the California State Legislature, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors.

Ms. Molina has also been a leader in the areas of crimefighting and public safety. She has, among many other initiatives, organized over 40 neighborhood watch organizations in the District and instituted a tough, nationally- recognized curfew enforcement program. She serves as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and has received an appointment by President Clinton to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs and an appointment by the United States Trade Representative to the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee.

Repression and Resistance in Latin America

Pablo Pozzi is truly a world scholar. Having studied and taught in the United States, Mexico, Spain, and Argentina (which he calls home), Pozzi brings a unique perspective to the history and challenges of the Americas. Pozzi received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Much of his scholarship has focused on guerrilla and labor resistance movements. In his Athenaeum talk he will discuss the use of repression, common to Latin American governments in the past several decades, and the many forms of social, physical, and political resistance. He will address the question of what the resistance movements have accomplished. He will also talk about the current political situation and explore the prospects for a democratic future.

Pozzi teaches at the University of Buenos Aires and serves as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Palermo. He also coordinates the academic component of American University's Buenos Aires Semester Program. He has authored several books, including Crisis y Recomposicion de la Clase Obrera Argentina (1982-1993) [Crisis and Recomposition of the Argentine Working Class (1982-1993) (1994)], La Oposicion Obrera a la Dictadura (1976-1982) [Labor Opposition to Dictatorship (1976-1982) (1988)], and Social Conflict and Crisis in the United States (1945-1993) (1994).

Conversation with the Writer and Director of Bronte: Bringing the Classics to Life in Film

William Luce is probably best known for his plays and especially for the one-man/woman shows that he writes. The most famous of these, The Belle of Amherst (1976), about Emily Dickinson, has won many awards including a Tony for Best Actress to Julie Harris. He recently collaborated with director Delbert Mann to produce Bronte (1989), a one-woman show about the novelist Charlotte Bronte. The show exemplifies some of the recurring problems in filmmaking including adapting stage productions to film. This traditional problem becomes further complicated when the stage show only includes one character. Mann had previously directed a production of Jane Eyre (1970) for television.

Delbert Mann's many film awards include an Academy Award for the direction of Marty (1954) (which also received an Academy Award for Best Picture) and three Emmy nominations for Our Town (1955), Breaking Up (1977), and All Quiet on the Western Front (1979). His All Quiet on the Western Front won a Golden Globe for the Best Film for Television. Additionally, he has won five Directors Guild nominations and has directed more than 100 live television shows. Both David Niven and Wendy Hiller won Academy Awards for his film Separate Tables (1958). His television specials include Jane Eyre (1970), All Quiet on the Western Front (1979), All the Way Home (1981), Bronte (1989), and The Last Days of Patton (1986), the latter two with William Luce.

William Luce's new Broadway hit Barrymore (1997) stars Christopher Plummer as the legendary John Barrymore. Plummer won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Actor in the role. Luce's first Broadway and London hit was The Belle of Amherst. Luce's Broadway play Lucifer's Child (1993) reunited him with Harris in a drama about Isak Dinesen. Harris received a Tony nomination as Best Actress for this performance. Luce was a Writers Guild Award nominee for two CBS movies: The Last Days of Patton (1986), starring George C. Scott and Eva Marie Saint, directed by Delbert Mann; and the Emmy-nominated The Woman He Loved (1988). Luce's new play Nijinsky, directed by John Tillinger, will premier at Parco in 1998.

CMC literature professor Michael Riley, author of Conversations with Ann Rice (1996), will moderate the discussion. There will be a screening of Bronte on Monday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Mary Pickford Auditorium to which everyone is cordially invited.

Recovered Memory: The Freud Connection

In 1993 Frederick Crews wrote an acid review of some recent books on Sigmund Freud that set off a furious national debate on the value of Freud's work and led to Time magazine's cover asking "Is Freud Dead?" "The Unknown Freud" drew attention not only to what Crews sees as Freud's intellectual bankruptcy but to his personal dishonesty, as well. Readers of The New York Review of Books, where it was published, were enthralled for months by the seemingly endless string of angry and argumentative replies by Freud's defenders, all met with cool agility by Crews. Not long afterward Crews repeated the performance with an attack on the recovered memory movement, and the two essays, along with the many responses they generated, were published together as The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in Dispute (1995).

For four decades Frederick Crews has been one of the most prominent critics on the American literary scene. He is the author of eleven books, has edited six collections of essays, and his reviews have appeared in virtually every major literary journal. His bestselling book The Pooh Perplex: A Freshman Casebook (1965) is still the reigning satire of academic literary criticism. An intense engagement with Freud has been the central motif of his career and he remains the most trenchant and visible opponent of the views about memory and the human mind that were presented to us by Freud.

Frederick Crews is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.

Corporate Environmental Ethics

As a self-described knee-jerk liberal, Gerald Secundy has spent the majority of his career working for one of the world's largest oil companies. While many would suppose that a liberal environmentalist would be uncomfortable with such employment, Secundy saw his move from an environmental lawyer for the Justice Department to an environmental lawyer for the Atlantic Richfield Company as a great opportunity. He saw this move as a chance to work from the inside, to bring change to a corporation and industry that had just begun to confront the environmental movement.

Over his years at Los Angeles-based ARCO, Secundy served in a number of positions. He has been Manager of Investor Relations, Manager of Long Range Planning, and Assistant Treasurer of Atlantic Richfield Company. In 1994 he was appointed Vice President, External Affairs and Environmental Health & Safety for ARCO Products Company. At the end of this past year, Secundy retired from ARCO.

After his graduation from Phillips Academy (Andover), Harvard College, and Columbia Law School, Secundy began a lifelong commitment to giving back to society, starting with service in the Peace Corps as director of a youth center in Cusco, Peru. During his career at ARCO Secundy actively sought to promote dialogue between environmentalists and corporations, including membership on the board of directors for the California Council for the Environmental & Economic Balance (CCEEB).

Gerald Secundy is the second speaker in the Athenaeum series Corporate Environmental Leadership sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center.


Application forms for the position of Athenaeum Fellow for the 1998-99 academic year will be available in the Athenaeum office on Monday, March 9. Completed applications must be returned by Friday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m.

Students desiring to be considered for the following year (1999-00) but who will be away from campus during the next year's selection process may submit their application now in order to be considered for the future position.