October 2, 00

Vol. 16 , No. 02   

This House Supports Negative Political Advertising
DAN PAWSON '03, moderator

Contemporary political practitioners use issue, image, and negative advertisements to influence voters. An increasing proportion of campaign advertising involves negative or "attack" commercials- targeted information that is negative in either tone or substance. This form of political advertising is controversial and the subject of spirited public discourse. Does it produce a more informed or cynical electorate?

The Claremont Colleges Debate Union is pleased to sponsor critical examination of this issue in a faculty-alumni-student parliamentary debate on the topic This House Supports Negative Political Advertising.

Based loosely on the historic deliberations of the British House of Commons, parliamentary debate is lively, witty, and audience-oriented. In addition to insightful argumentation, humor, passion, and persuasiveness are important elements in parliamentary debating. The debates are usually engaging and entertaining, with cheers, jeers, and clever heckles from the audience as a welcome part of the form.

Mark Blitz is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy and current chair of the government department. Blitz earned his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Former associate director for the U.S. Information Agency, Professor Blitz joined CMC's faculty in 1996.

Ryan Nayar is the top senior debater at Claremont McKenna College. He and his partner are ranked in the top ten in the United States. Ryan will represent the Debate Union at the 2001 World Universities Championship, Glasgow University.

Rhonda Carter, a junior at Claremont McKenna College, is an award-winning competitive debater and featured performer in broadcast and public debates and roundtable discussions. She is scheduled to participate in an inaugural series of intercontinental debates via Internet streaming.

Bahrain Seyedin-Noor, Pomona '96 and Harvard Law School '99, is a former member of the Debate Union, currently practicing law in the Bay Area. He was an outstanding intercollegiate competitor, placing third in the national.

The Debate Union, under the direction of John Meany, is the largest and most successful intercollegiate debate program, ranking in the top ten in parliamentary debating in the nation for seven consecutive years, the top ten at the World Universities Championship, and winning national championships and top ten rankings in three additional competitive debate formats.

To Be Completely, Absolutely, and Irreversibly Bilingual

Chilean playwright, novelist, and essayist Ariel Dorfman is called "one of the greatest living Latin American novelists" by Newsweek. His first novel Moros en la costa (published in English as Hard Rain in 1990) came out just as Pinochet came to power and led to Dorfman's exile. Dorfman spent these ten years in Europe and the U.S. writing fiction that addressed the coup in Chile. Among other things, his works tackle the issues surrounding the search for political and cultural identity and reflect his dedication to human rights.

Dorfman's novels include Widows (1983), The Last Song of Manuel Sendero (1986), Mascara (1988), Hard Rain (1990), and Konfidenz (1995). He is also a world-renowned playwright whose play "Death and the Maiden" (1992) won numerous awards and was made into a Roman Polanski film. "Widows" (1983) won a New American Plays Award from the Kennedy Center and "Reader," (1995) another of his plays, received the Roger L. Stevens Award, also from the Kennedy Center.

In 1988 Dorfman published his memoir, Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey. Here readers can learn of Dorfman's own experience and struggle through the beauty of his own prose. He published a book of poetry entitled Last Waltz in Santiago and Other Poems of Exile and Disappearance (1988), and contributes regularly to The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation and The Village Voice. Dorfman's works have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Ariel Dorfman is the Distinguished Research Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University. Join us at the Athenaeum for the opportunity to spend an evening with this influential writer.

Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

Two hundred and fifty years ago in Leipzig, Germany, a 65-year-old organist and composer, blinded by unsuccessful eye surgery, succumbed to a stroke. Considered by some of his contemporaries to be out-of-date because of his adherence to older musical forms (his son the composer Carl Philip Emanuel Bach nick-named him the "old wig") few would ever have guessed that Johann Sebastian Bach would one day be regarded by many as the greatest composer in the history of western music. To commemorate the anniversary of Bach's death, music groups all over the world are performing his compositions in greater numbers than ever before. In fact, the Los Angeles Times declared that this year will be "the biggest classical music anniversary that any of us will [ever] live to experience."

To ensure that CMC students do not miss out on this landmark occasion the Athenaeum has scheduled two concerts devoted to the works of J.S. Bach. The first of these concerts features pieces for harpsichord and violin with guest artists Elizabeth Blumenstock and Elaine Thornburgh. The Con Gioia Early Music Ensemble will perform at the Athenaeum in February.

Miss Blumenstock is one of America's preeminent Baroque violinists, having played at numerous festivals, both as an ensemble performer with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and as a soloist, as she did at the Mostly Mozart Festival. She has also recorded a number of CDs.

Elaine Thornburgh studied harpsichord and fortepiano with the great Gustav Leonhardt and Malcolm Bilson. Her recordings include a highly praised disk of sonatas by Dornenico Scarlatti. Miss Blumenstock and Thornburgh performed along with Judith Nelson as the Jefferson Chamber Players at the Athenaeum just last year.

Thornburgh and Blumenstock will perform three violin and harpsichord sonatas (No. VI in G Major, No. V in F Minor, and No. II in A Major); the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue for solo harpsichord; and the d minor partita for solo violin, all written during Bach's chamber music period between 1717 and 1723. These pieces present a great variety of different compositional techniques, all designed to entertain and intrigue both the Bach enthusiast and amateur listener.

The Reagan Legacy

Veteran journalist and Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon will be the first of five speakers in the Fall 2000 series "Freedom, Power, and Persuasion: New Directions in Political Journalism in the 21st Century." The series, sponsored by the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies and directed by Professor P. Edward Haley of CMC's Department of Government, will also feature presentations by Richard Reeves, Amy Wilentz, Bob Shacochis, and Paul Duke.

George Will has called Lou Cannon "a reporter's reporter" and "the best guide we have as to how Ronald Reagan became who he is and what he is." The Washington Post's Bob Woodward describes Cannon as "a great reporter [who] knows more about California politics than just about anyone." Cannon, who has forged a long and distinguished career in journalism as a correspondent for the San Jose Mercury, The Sacramento Bee, and The Washington Post, is the author of several books, including Ronnie And Jesse: A Political Odyssey (1969), Reporting: An Inside View (1977), Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD (1998), and President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime (1991).

Reagan, Cannon asserted in a recent interview, continues to play an important political role in contemporary American politics, especially in this year's presidential campaign. "After Ronald Reagan," remarked Cannon, "the Republicans really never had a leader close to [his] dimension. And you can look them [the GOP candidates] now: Bush's tax plan is like Reagan's, McCain's sense of humor is like Reagan's- but it doesn't all add up to Ronald Reagan . . . they want to find another Ronald Reagan . . . they haven't found him yet."

Investing: Past, Present, and Future

What will the stock market look like in years to come? What investment strategies suit what people? How can you make the best financial decisions for your future? Marshall Acuff is a senior vice president and managing director of Salomon Smith Barney Inc. responsible for equity strategy as a member of the firm's Investment Policy Committee. As chief portfolio strategist at Salomon Smith Barney, Acuff's the perfect person to help answer these and many other financial questions.

Acuff joined Salomon Smith Barney in 1966. He is a graduate of William and Mary College, where he is former Rector of the Board of Visitors. A graduate of the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration, Acuff has participated in advanced seminars at Harvard and Princeton Universities. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Sweet Briar College and is Chair, Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities. He is also a former director of the New York Society of Security Analysts, and is a thirteen-time winner of Institutional Investor magazine's All America Team.

Besides his post at Salomon Smith Barney, Marshall Acuff has written many articles for Forbes, as well as Nikkei (Japan Economic Journal) and the Handelsblatt (Germany's business and financial daily). Acuff is a prolific public speaker, and has discoursed on many subjects including the Internet and the future of the stock market. In his Athenaeum address Marshall Acuff will share his over 30 years of investment experience and knowledge with the CMC community.

The Dying Road to a Nation

In 1974 poet, essayist, editor, storyteller, and playwright Cherrie Moraga showed poet Judy Grahn some other poems. After looking at them Grahn advised her "to do what nobody else can do, which is to write exactly from your own voice, the voices you heard growing up." As evident in her works, this is exactly what Cherrie Moraga has done.

Speaking from experience as a Chicano feminist lesbian Moraga has given a voice to issues such as sexism and homophobia in Chicano culture and addressed the urgent need for a feminism of color. As the daughter of a Mexican mother and an Anglo father, she writes about the phenomenon of being treated as "other" in America, even though she is native born.

Her plays "Shadow of a Man" (1988) and "Watsonville: Circle in the Dirt/Some Place Not Here" (1995) both won the Fund for New American Play Award and her play "Heroes and Saints" earned the Pen West Award for Drama in 1992. Her two most recent books include a collection of poems and essays entitled The Last Generation: Prose and Poetry (1993) and a memoir, Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood (1997). Cherrie Moraga received the National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Playwrights Fellowship and is the Artist-in-Residence in the departments of drama and Spanish & Portuguese at Stanford University.

Moraga notes, "No one ever said to me, you should be a writer someday. But I went ahead and did it anyway." Her dedication to Chicano and lesbian issues has shown her to be a writer with an original voice unwilling to sacrifice her identity to fit in with traditional literary norms. As Moraga herself puts it, with technology taking over the world, she is one of the "last generation put on this planet to remember and record." Moraga appears at the Athenaeum as the second part of the series Crossing Borders.

What the People Know: Freedom and the Press

Richard Reeves, syndicated columnist, documentary film producer, and author of eleven books, will be the second in a series of five speakers participating in the series, "Freedom, Power, and Persuasion: New Directions in Political Journalism in the 21st Century."

The series is sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies. Long a fixture in American political journalism, Reeves has garnered many accolades and awards as well as the respect, esteem, and trust of his colleagues and readers. Formerly chief political correspondent for The New York Times, he has for the past 20 years written a twice-weekly syndicated column which appears in more than 160 newspapers across the United States. Among his bestselling books, which continue to engage and enlighten millions, us. American Journey: Traveling with Tocqueville in Search of Democracy in America (1982); The Reagan Detour: A Ford, Not a Lincoln (1975); and President Kennedy: Profile of Power (1993), which was Time magazine's selection as Best Non-Fiction Book of 1993. His career achievement earned him, in 1998, the Carey McWilliams Award of the American Political Science Association for "significant contributions to the understanding of American politics."

Reeves has also made several highly successful ventures into the electronic media, winning all of television's major documentary awards, including an Emmy for "Lights, Camera . . . Politics!" (1980) the Columbia-DuPont Award for "Struggle for Birmingham" (1984), and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for "Red Star Over Khyber" (1984). Since 1992 Reeves has taught political science at UCLA and journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC.

Scenes from Shakespeare

It is common knowledge that all-male casts originally performed William Shakespeare's plays. Now the tables have turned, thanks to the internationally recognized Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company (LAWSC), a nonprofit organization whose ongoing mission has been "to bring women's voices onto the stage and into the world, and to provide positive role models for women and girls...[and]to continue to create critically acclaimed, award-winning productions that transcend gender and race." Since 1993, they have staged seven major productions including Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, Richard III, Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing. These productions have won international acclaim, and have been featured on CNN and TNN.

Beside their stage productions, LAWSC has instituted an Outreach Program for high school and college-age women, and have made it a point to have girls act alongside adult actresses during their performances. LAWSC also has produced a series of gala evenings featuring some of the most inspiring actresses in Hollywood. Special guests have included such luminaries as Lynn Redgrave, Rue McClanahan, Sharon Gless, Susan Ruttan, Gates McFadden, Linda Hopkins, Denise Crosby and Kathy Bates, all appearing in scenes from Shakespeare with LAWSC's core company members.

Lisa Wolpe, Artistic Director of LAWSC, is on the faculty of Shakespeare & Company, Shakespeare Sedona and Southwick Studios in Boston, and currently teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Eyewitness Misidentification: Psychological Contributions to Understanding, Predicting, and Controlling Eyewitness Error

Why are innocent suspects so often convicted? According to Gary L. Wells, an internationally recognized scholar in scientific psychology, there is increasingly compelling evidence that eyewitness mistakes account for the criminal conviction of more innocent suspects than all other causes combined. To support his claim he points to both the development of forensic DNA technology in the 1990s and psychological experiments since the 1970s. These discoveries suggest that eyewitness testimony is at once highly persuasive to jurors and prone to error. Especially problematic is the influence that criminal investigators can have on the testimony of eyewitness during police lineups. The person who administers a lineup can influence the eyewitness by his reactions, creating false certainty that further strains the relationships between eyewitness accuracy and eyewitness certainty.

Wells's expertise on eyewitness testimony has led to national media attention in newspapers such as The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. He has made appearances describing his work on CBS's 48 Hours and NBC's Today Show. He is also author of over 100 articles and two books. The prestigious National Science Foundation has funded his research on eyewitness testimony and his findings have been incorporated into both psychology and law textbooks. He has served as an expert in criminal cases throughout the United States and Canada including testimony in the Oklahoma City bombing trial.

Wells received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1977 and currently is Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University. He appears at the Athenaeum as part of the series Psychology and Law.

Note from the Director

In ancient Greece, the word Athenaeum referred to buildings dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and in particular to a temple in Athens where poets, philosophers, and orators gathered to read and discuss their work. The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is a culmination of the vision of founding trustee Donald McKenna, who wished for a congenial place on campus where students and faculty would have the opportunity to come together to share ideas, debate issues, and build friendships.

It is my wish that the Athenaeum will provide such a place for you and enhance your life at CMC. Every Monday through Thursday during the semester we offer programs chosen to appeal to a broad range of interests. This fall the Athenaeum will host a series of lectures on Freedom, Power, and Persuasion presented by some of the most prominent political journalists of our time. Other themes include Psychology and Law, End of Life Issues, Crossing Borders, Faculty Ideas in Progress, as well as concerts by classical and jazz musicians. You will be entertained by the Capitol Steps and treated to a performance of scenes from plays by Shakespeare.

Each weekday afternoon between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. you may drop by Parents Library for coffee, tea, juice, and homemade goodies fresh from our kitchen. The Fortnightly will appear in your mailbox every two weeks. I urge you to read it- these are opportunities not to be missed. You may also find Athenaeum news on the Internet www.claremontmckenna.edu/mmca. A buffet dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. By arriving in time for the 5:30 p.m. reception you will have an opportunity to meet the guest speaker, socialize with friends, or chat with your professor. Reservations are required for dinner, but the programs that begin at 6:45 p.m. are open to all.

Welcome to the Athenaeum!


Monday, October 23
Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), "Reflections on the Korean War" (12:15 p.m.)

Monday, October 23
Randall Kennedy, professor of law, Harvard University, author of Race, Crime, and the Law (1997)

Tuesday, October 24
Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Representative to the United Nations, "Year 2000: Global Issues"

Wednesday, October 25
Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of One True Thing (1994) and Black and Blue (1998), "Human Agenda in Health Care"

Thursday, October 26
Greg Bothun, professor of physics, University of Oregon, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, "The New Cosmology: Einstein's Biggest Blunder Undone"

Wednesday, November 1
Amy Wilentz, essayist and author of The Rainy Season: Hati since Duvalier (1989), editor and translator of Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide's In the Parish of the Poor (1990)

Thursday, November 2
Timothy Quill, M.D., professor of medicine and psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine, author of A Midwife Through the Dying Process (1996) and Death and Dignity (1993), "Physican-Assisted Death: Progress or Peril?"

The Madrigal Feast
A Special Notice to the CMC Community

The Madrigal dinner is back! The Eighteenth Annual Madrigal Feast returns to the Athenaeum featuring the Concert Choir of The Claremont Colleges and the medieval cuisine of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

There are two dates still open: Thursday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 5. Due to the popularity of the Madrigal, you are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Seating is on a first-come basis. The CMC community-students, faculty, and staff-will get a preferential sign-up period through October 18. After that all other Claremont Colleges students may sign up.

Use the reservation coupon to sign up and be sure to include your payment and meal card number when turning in your reservation at the Athenaeum office. If you wish to sit with a group, please turn in a list of all names and meal card numbers with your payment. We have a limited number of tables that can seat 8 or 10 people.

CMC students with meal card $10.00 per person

CMC students without meal card $13.00 per person

CMC faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $15.00 per person

Claremont Colleges students with meal card $13.00 per person

Claremont Colleges students without meal card $20.00 per person

Claremont Colleges faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $25.00 per person

Community persons $32.50 per person

Seating for each Madrigal Feast will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. and concluding around 9:00 p.m. after the concert following each meal. All guests to the feast are expected to remain for the concert.

Where you sit at the Madrigal is entirely dependent upon when your paid reservation is received. Get a group of friends to sign up to sit together so that you may all have an unforgettable rime at the Eighteenth Annual Madrigal Feast at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.