October 19, 05
Vol. 21 , No. 03
Speaking Truth to Power and Its Consequences
JOSEPH WILSON IV
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2005
When Joseph Wilson IV went to the African nation of Niger in 2002 at the behest of the CIA to investigate intelligence claims that Iraq was actively seeking to purchase uranium, he had no idea that he would he stepping into a web of political and personal intrigue that would develop into one of the biggest scandals of the Bush Administration. Wilson's mission concluded in his belief that the intelligence was unfounded, and he reported his findings to the CIA upon his return: but when President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address nonetheless made reference to Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium in Niger, Wilson felt obligated to go public with his experiences. In retaliation, sources in the Bush Administration leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as an employee of the CIA, effectively ending her undercover career. Since then Wilson has devoted himself to exposing the sordid governmental practices that led to the suppression of his conclusions from Niger and the illegal revelation of his wife's identity.
Joseph Wilson IV has had a long and distinguished career in the service of the United States. His official career in the diplomatic corps extended over two decades, beginning in 1976 and ending in 1998: during that time he was stationed at some of the most important diplomatic positions on the international stage, including a stint as Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. embassy in Iraq from 1988 to 1991. Since his retirement in 1998 he has led JC Wilson International Ventures Corp., a company focused on international business development.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2005
LUNCH- 11:45 a.m., LECTURE- 12:15 p.m.
A generation after the end of the Vietnam War, most older Americans — and even those who did not live through the Vietnam era — still view Vietnam through the lens of that conflict.
The normalization of the relations between the United States and Vietnam prompted some rethinking of how Americans should view Vietnam. When President Clinton visited Vietnam in November 2000, Senator John Kerry said Clinton's visit "will take place against the backdrop of the past, but it will — and should — focus on the future — and the new relationship that Vietnam and the United States are building. In the American consciousness, Vietnam is finally not just a war, but a country."
Yet it is still difficult for most older Americans to avoid looking at Vietnam with the war in mind. This talk will attempt to examine how looking at Vietnam's contemporary realities on their own terms, stripping away the historical baggage of the war, might contribute to a better understanding of that country's current situation. If we did look at Vietnam as a country, not a war, how would it affect the questions we ask and the answers to those questions? Yet, finally, in America there is no getting around the fact that most people are interested in the subject because it is inextricably linked to our own past. Thus we will conclude with some observations on what we have learned about the Vietnam War in recent years that may affect our understanding of this turbulent episode in the latter half of the past century.
Dr. David Elliott is H. Russell Smith Professor of Government and International Relations at Pomona College. He has maintained a long personal and professional association with Vietnam, including his military service (1963-65), participation in the Rand Corporation research project (1965-67), doctoral research in Vietnam (1971-72), and several visits to that country after its unification. Upon completion of his doctoral degree at Cornell University, Professor Elliott taught at Cornell for a year and then moved to Pomona College in 1977. Among his many scholarly publications is a two-volume book on the Vietnamese revolution entitled The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta (published in 2002). His lecture is sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.
'We the People' and Our Architecture
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2005
In Allen Greenherg's mind, the link between architectural design and political theory is as clear and meaningful as the aesthetic beauty of the design itself. Greenberg believes that America's architectural tradition and political beliefs share a deep connection, and that the architectural patterns of the nation's history provide important clues as to the goals and values of Americans throughout the history of the United States. In architecture, he sees a noble and marvelous expression of the democratic ideals at the very heart of American society.
Allen Greenberg was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and received his formal training in classical and Gothic architecture from the University of Witwatersrand. After receiving a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University in 1965, he worked for two years for the City of New Haven's Redevelopment Agency. He has also served as an Architectural Consultant to the Chief Justice of the state of Connecticut from 1967 to 1979, and during this period he was proud to become an official citizen of the United States.
In his long and distinguished career, Greenberg has taught at Yale University's School of Architecture and School of Law, as well as the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University's Division of Historic Preservation. He has written several books on traditional architecture and design, including George Washington, Architect, which was released in 1999. His latest book, Architecture of Democracy: The Founding Fathers' Vision for America, is due out in 2006.
Allan Greenberg's Athenaeum lecture is sponsored by the Salvatori Center.
Japan's History Problem: The Legacies of World War II for Japan 's Role in Asia and the World
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2005
BAUER FORUM, 7:00 p.m.
Sixty years have passed since the Japanese defeat in 1945, yet Japanese relations with Asia and its efforts to define a role in the world remain plagued by memories of World War II. While many Japanese maintain the pacifism of the early postwar years, a growing number of new nationalists would like Japan to become a "normal nation" — one that need not apologize for its wartime behavior nor be constitutionally constrained from using its military power. Sheldon Garon explains the historical circumstances under which early postwar Japan became a "special nation," as well as the recent changes behind the new nationalism and strained relations with its East Asian neighbors. He will also discuss the differences in how Germany and Japan have confronted war memory, in addition to the role of U.S.-Japanese relations in this process of forgetting.
Professor Garon's book, The State and Labor in Modern Japan (1987), won the American Historical Association's 1988 John K. Fairbank Award for the best book in East Asian history. His second book, Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (1997), analyzes the modern Japanese state's remarkable success at mobilizing its people to act in the interests of prosperity and stability. Garon's project, Fashioning Cultures of Thrift: Promoting Saving in Japan and the World (2001), is a comparative history of several nations' efforts to encourage saving among their citizens. Together with Patricia Maclachlan, he has edited the forthcoming volume, The Ambivalent Consumer (2006), which examines discontents with American-style consumer culture in Asia and Europe.
The lecture will he presented at 7:00 p.m. in Bauer Forum. For more information please contact the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, 621-8213 or 607-4225.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2005
FILM SHOWING, 6:00 p.m.
When civil war broke out in El Salvador in the early 1980s, Oscar Torres, like all Salvadorenos, feared stray bullets. As an 11 year old boy, though, he faced a graver threat: conscription.
Innocent Voices (2004) is the graphic true story of Torres's struggle to dodge the government's routine youth roundups and bear the harrowing alternative — fighting for the guerilla movement, Farahunclo Marti parer la Liberation National.
This intimate, gripping portrayal of war and childhood resonates not only with the history of El Salvador but also with the estimated hundred of thousands of children currently involved in armed conflict worldwide.
Now 33 and a resident of Los Angeles, Torres co-wrote the screenplay with director Luis Mandoki. Scheduled to open in the U.S. on October 14th Innocent Voices has already received awards for best picture at international film festivals in Seattle, Berlin, and Toronto. Last year it was Mexico's entry to the Academy Awards.
The reception and dinner will be altered slightly in order to accommodate the showing of the film: the reception will begin at 5:00 p.m.. dinner at 5:30. with the film beginning at 6:00. Following the film, Oscar Torres will be interviewed by CMC Professor Gaston Espinosa and take questions from the audience.
Oscar Torres's visit to campus and the CMC screening of Innocent Voices are jointly sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, the Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center, and the Athenaeum.
Judge and Jury: American Tort Law on Trial
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2005
When a woman successfully sued McDonalds after spilling hot coffee on herself, many Americans concluded that the nation was at the mercy of a "litigation explosion." But how much of the proliferation of frivolous lawsuits has to do with frivolous individuals and how much is institutionalized in our system of civil justice?
In the first of the Athenaeum Economics and the Law series, Professor Eric Helland will analyze the tort system — the body of law that prevents and punishes accidents. He will discuss three of the key players — juries, judges, and lawyers — and examine the social costs of class action lawsuits, medical malpractice insurance, workers' compensation, and punitive damages. Professor Helland will also compare the possibilities for reforming the tort system through award caps, federalization, or outright abandonment.
Eric Helland has taught in the economics department at CMC since 1998. He is also a senior economist at the RAND Corporation's Institute for Civil Justice. In 2003, he was a senior economist at the President's Council of Economic Advisers following a year as the John M. Olin Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Washington University.
Illusions of Memory
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2005
Elizabeth Loftus is one of the world's foremost experts in the study of repressed memory, as well as the practical consequences such repression can have on eyewitness testimony and the successful application of the law. She is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine, where she is a member of the Departments of Psychology & Social Behavior, Law & Society, and Criminology. She also holds an appointment in the Department of Cognitive Sciences, and serves as a Fellow of the Center of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. In addition to her academic position she is a prolific and highly accomplished author, having published over 20 books and 400 scientific articles throughout her distinguished career, including Eyewitness Testimony (1979), which was awarded the National Media Award from the American Psychological Foundation.
Loftus' research, concentrating on human memory with a specific focus towards the dangers of flawed memories in the criminal justice system, has earned her great recognition and countless awards, including the 1995 Distinguished Contribution to Basic and Applied Scientific Psychology Award from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and the 2001 Williams James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. Her lecture at the Athenaeum will detail the power of imagination and suggestion in the formation of personal memory, as well as the fascinating effects these forces can have on long-term thought and future behavior. She will also discuss the legal ramifications of flawed memories and false beliefs as they relate to the role of the witness in modern legal systems.
The Poet in Nature
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2005
Over the course of a career that has spanned five decades, W.S. Merwin has become one of the most influential poets in America. His deep personal beliefs, profound love for language, and constant ability to renew and reinvent his poetic persona have led to widespread recognition among both literary and popular circles. His first published work, A Mask for Janus, came in 1952 as a part of the Yale Younger Poets Award, which was chosen by W.H. Auden. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for The Carrier of Ladders (1970), a book of poems, and his career would eventually include poetry, prose, translations, essays, and a personal memoir Summer Doorways, published in September 2005.
In 1999, Merwin was named Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress along with poets Rita Dove and Louise Gluck. Besides the Pulitzer Prize he is also the recipient of the Tanning Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, as well as the beneficiary of the prestigious Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2005 he was honored as laureate of the Struga Poetry Evenings Festival in Macedonia, and in the process he received the Golden Wreath Award, a prominent award in international poetry.
Merwin finds much of his motivation in the natural world, and his deeply held environmentalist and pacifist beliefs seamlessly blend together to discover the relationship between nature and the language of mankind. His lecture at the Athenaeum will delve into these personal beliefs that shape the writings of one of America's premier literary minds.
GEORGE SWANER '06
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2005
Continuing a tradition in celebrating Halloween, the Athenaeum will host a special dinner with entertainment provided by magician George Swaner.
A native of La Canada, CA, George Swaner was first introduced to magic through his dad. He began learning and performing magic at the young age of eight.
Now in his fourth year wowing the CMC community, George performs close up style magic with coins and playing cards. He is a member of and performer at the Magic Castle, an exclusive club in Hollywood and home to the Academy of Magical Arts. He has also performed for organizations such as the Rotary Club and Habitat for Humanity.
At CMC, George is a psychology and French dual major. He also plays on the CMS men's soccer team.
After George's show at the Athenaeum, the Halloween festivities will continue with palm and tarot card readings by Psychic Linda in Frazee Game Room.
Let's Talk About 'Segregation'
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2005
How fully has America overcome the bitter legacy of centuries of racial injustice? And more specifically, is the society still "segregated"? Stephan Thernstrom will look racial clustering in neighborhoods and schools, and ask whether black residential concentrations today are radically different from those of Jews, Koreans, and other groups. Abigail Thernstrom will explore current public policy, with a special emphasis on the role of the federal government in deliberately separating black and Hispanic voters into their own electoral districts--reinforcing notions of racially distinct values--and the consequences of doing so.
Abigail Thernstrom is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York, a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, and a vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Government, Harvard University, in 1975.
Stephan Thernstrom is the Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard University where he teaches American social history. He graduated with highest honors from Northwestern University in 1956, and was awarded the Ph.D. by Harvard in 1962. He held appointments as assistant professor at Harvard, associate professor at Brandeis University, and professor at UCLA before returning to Harvard as a professor in 1973. In 1978-1979 he was the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University and Professorial Fellow at Trinity College.
The Thernstroms are the co-authors of America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible (1997)(Simon & Schuster), which the New York Times Book Review, in its annual end-of-the-year issue, named as one of the notable books of 1997. Their latest book, No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2003. They are also the editors of a Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity (1997).
Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom's Athenaeum presentation is sponsored by the Salvatori Center at Claremont McKenna College.
America's Perlious Path in the Middle East
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2005
As the importance of the Middle East grows almost on a daily basis, and as the United States becomes more and more involved in the intricacies and dangers of Middle Eastern politics, it is becoming clear that the basic Western understanding of the cultural and political forces of the region is sorely lacking. How did today's Middle East come into being, and what influence did western powers have in shaping the political and economic realities of the region? Where are the forces of nationalism strongest in the Middle East, and what effect does this have on Middle Eastern politics? What are the prospects for democratic growth among the many authoritarian governments in the region, and what kind of democracy might emerge from such radical change?
Professor Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, is internationally recognized as one of today's premier experts in both the formation of and the present developments within the Middle East. He is the author or co-editor of a number of books analyzing the complexities of the Middle East, including Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1998); The Origins of Arab Nationralism (1991); and, most recently, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004).
Professor Khalidi's talk is the second in the series Islam: Past and Present, a year long series at the Athenaeum focusing upon the confluence between historical forces of the Middle East and their implications for the present day.
World Poverty: Explanations and Responsibilities
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2005
We citizens of the affluent countries tend to discuss our obligations toward the distant needy in terms of donations and transfers, assistance and redistribution: "How much of our wealth, if any, should we give away to the hungry abroad?" According to philosopher, Thomas Pogge, this way of conceiving the problem is a serious moral error, and a very costly one for the global poor. It depends on the false belief — widespread in the rich countries — that the causes of the persistence of severe poverty are wholly indigenous to the countries in which it occurs. Pogge agrees that there are indeed national and local factors that contribute to persistent poverty in developing countries. But global institutional rules also play an important role in its reproduction, in part by sustaining the national and local factors that affluent Westerners most like to blame for the problem. Since these rules are shaped by our governments, in our name, we hear moral responsibility not merely by assisting the distant poor too little, but also, and more significantly, by harming them too much.
Since receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard, Thomas Pogge has been teaching moral and political philosophy and Kant at Columbia University. His recent publications include Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right, edited, Oxford forthcoming: World Poverty and Human Rights, Polity 2002; and with Sanjay Reddy "How Not to Count the Poor," in Anand and Stiglitz, eds.: Measuring Global Poverty, Oxford forthcoming.
Pogge is editor for social and political philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science, and is currently Professorial Research Fellow at the ANU Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.
The Madrigal Feast
A Special Notice to the CMC Community
The Madrigal dinner is back! The Twenty-third 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, December 1 and Tuesday, December 6. 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 31. 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 to people.
CMC students with meal card $15.00 per person
CMC students without meal card $20.00 per person
CMC faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $30.00 per person
Claremont Colleges students with meal card $20.00 per person
Claremont Colleges students without meal card $30.00 per person
Claremont Colleges faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $35.00 per person
Community persons $40.00 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 time at the Twenty-third Annual Madrigal Feast at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.