November 11, 2013

Vol. 29 , No. 05   

Perception: Origins of Mind

Claremont McKenna College is privileged to host Tyler Burge as the 2013-2014 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. Dr. Burge is professor of philosophy at UCLA, where he has taught since 1971. He is the author of numerous articles in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, epistemology, philosophy of language and logic, and history of philosophy, and his most recent book is Origins of Objectivity (2010). He has published the first two of several projected volumes of essays: Truth, Thought, Reason: Essays on Frege (2005) and Foundations of Mind: Philosophical Essays, Volume 2 (2207). Two books of essays on his work, with replies, are Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge (2003) and Meaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and Mind (2003). A third, Cognition Through Understanding, was published in spring 2013.

Professor Burge is a former president of the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as of the British Academy, and a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Institut International de Philosophie. He has given the Locke Lectures at Oxford, the Dewey Lectures at Columbia, and the Nicod Lectures in Paris.

Ger Mandolin Orchestra
AVNER YONAI, founder
MIKE MARSHALL, musical director


Mandolin orchestras were once the most popular form of community music making in Jewish life. The mandolin — a strummed string instrument similar to a four stringed guitar — was once common across Jewish communities in Europe and immigrant communities in the United States. World War II destroyed most of the European communities where mandolin orchestras were popular. The Ger Mandolin Orchestra is a memorial project of reviving the Jewish Mandolin Orchestra that was active in Gora Kalwaria, Poland between 1920 to 1930. Most of its members died in the Holocaust.

When Avner Yonai searched to discover his family roots in Poland, he came across a picture of his family playing in a pre-WWII Jewish mandolin orchestra. The photograph inspired Yonai to create a contemporary version of this musical group as a memorial to his own family and the orchestra members who perished in the Holocaust. Under the direction of Grammy award winner Mike Marshall, the Ger Mandolin Orchestra was formed. This renowned group of international musicians features authentic instruments and scores, and authentically re-creates this once quintessential Jewish musical form.

This concert is the culmination of the Athenaeum’s semester long series on Jewish renewal in Poland, supported with funding from several individuals and groups, including Hillel of The Claremont Colleges, and is a rare and wonderful musical experience not to be missed.

Encounter 2013
BRUCE FULTON, translator
LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m.; PROGRAM 12:00 p.m.

Authors Kim In-suk and Kang Yong-suk and translator Bruce Fulton will appear at several American universities in November 2013 for a series of bilingual readings and discussions. The tour begins at Stanford University and also includes literary events at Claremont McKenna College, the University of Wisconsin, and Brigham Young University, and in New York City. During these visits the American reading public will have the opportunity to meet two of contemporary Korea’s most prominent fiction writers, hear samples of their works read in Korean and in English translation, engage in a dialog with the writers, and purchase copies of the authors’ works in translation.

Kim In-suk was born in 1963 in Seoul and studied journalism at Yonsei University. A published writer at the age of 19, she issued her first story collection, Bloodline, in 1983, and her first novel, Flowers of Fire, in 1985. She is the recipient of the 2003 Yi Sang Literature Prize for “Sea and Butterfly,” (2003) and the 2005 Hanguk ilbo Literature Prize for The Long Road (2010), one of the very few Korean fictional works involving the Korean diasporic experience in Australia. Today, building on a three-decade career in letters, she is one of Korea’s senior writers, but an author whose literary sensibility and wide-ranging world view belie her age. Her most recent works are the story collection So Long, Elena (2009), for which she received the 2009 Tongin Literature Prize; the historical novel Sohyon (2010); and the novel Could You Lose Your Mind? (2011), which conflates natural and human disaster. She is represented in English in Koreana; the novella The Long Road, the anthology Reading Korea: 12 Contemporary Stories (2008), and in an ASIA Bilingual Edition of her story “Stab" (2013).

Kang Yong-suk was born in 1966 in Ch’unch’on, Kangwon Province, and studied creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Since her debut in 1998 she has issued half a dozen story collections and novels and garnered several literary awards, including the 2006 Hanguk ilbo Literature Prize for her first novel, Rina, and the 2011 Kim Yu-jong Literature Prize. In 2009 she took part in the University of Iowa International Writing Program. Her 2011 story collection The Night He Lifts Weights, honored with a Book-of-the-Year award from the Korean Library Association, is strongly colored by urban noir, the stories set in locales within and without Korea. She is represented in English translation in Azalea 4.

Bruce Fulton is the co-translator, with Ju-Chan Fulton, of numerous volumes of modern Korean fiction, including the award-winning women’s anthologies Words of Farewell: Stories by Korean Women Writers (Seal Press, 1989) and Wayfarer: New Writing by Korean Women (Women in Translation, 1997), and with Marshall R. Pihl, Land of Exile: Contemporary Korean Fiction, rev. and exp. ed. (M.E. Sharpe, 2007). The Fultons’ most recent translations are River of Fire: Stories by O Chonghui (Columbia University Press, 2012) and How in Heaven’s Name: A Novel of World War II by Cho Chongnae (MerwinAsia 2012). The Fultons have received several awards and fellowships for their translations, including a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, the first ever given for a translation from the Korean; and a residency at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, the first ever awarded to translators from any Asian language. Bruce Fulton is the inaugural holder of the Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia.

Ask a Mexican!

Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, a popular alternative weekly newspaper in Orange County, author of Orange County: A Personal History (2010) and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (2013), and a lecturer in the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton.

He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answer questions about America’s largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States. In 2006 and 2008, it won the award for Best Column from the Association of Alternative Weeklies. Scribner Press published the column in book form in May 2007.

Arellano is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2007 President’s Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his “exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic.”

Gustavo Arellano’s visit to CMC is sponsored by the Center for Writing and Public Discourse.

Edward Snowden – Traitor or Hero? – Debating Privacy, Whistleblowing and National Security in the Context of NSA Surveillance Programs

Edward Snowden’s massive leak of classified NSA documents continues to damage the credibility and reputation of the United States around the world. The initial headlines when Snowden first released these documents were harmful, but as journalists continue to sift through the data the situation has become increasingly embarrassing for the United States. Most recently, the leak exposed that the NSA was monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, and has apparently hacked into the fiber-optic cables for Yahoo’s and Google’s overseas servers enabling them to copy emails and other information.

The NSA claims that all information they collect is for the purpose of stopping terrorists at home and abroad, but many believe that Snowden’s leak is evidence that the scope of their operation is excessive and unconstitutional. Depending on which side you believe, Snowden is either a traitor or a populist hero. In what is sure to be an enlightening evening, the award-winning Claremont Colleges Debate Union will be attacking this question from both sides.

North Korea and the World, a Complicated Relationship
LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m.; PROGRAM 12:00 p.m.

North Korea is often portrayed in our media as the most isolated country on the planet, a peculiar leftover of the Cold War stuck in another time and disconnected from the rest of the world. This image is at best only partially true. The policy of the North Korean government, from the time of its founding in 1948 to the present day, has never been to keep the country totally cut off from the outside world. Rather, North Korea has practiced a selective engagement based on the regime’s perception of its own interest, driven by the twin goals of self-determination and avoidance of dependency on outside forces. North Korea’s “isolation” has been over-determined by its history: the perceived shortcomings of traditional Korean subservience to China; the memory of colonial exploitation by Japan; and North Korea’s experience in the Cold War not just resisting the US but also navigating the conflict between the Soviet Union and China, Pyongyang’s main allies. Finally, in the post-Cold War period North Korea has tried to adapt to changing circumstances, including limited attempts at economic reform and opening, while avoiding any potential threat to the security and stability of the regime. For North Korea, the benefits of economic, cultural, and other exchanges with the outside world are secondary to the defense of its national sovereignty and maintenance of its political system. Only by understanding how North Korea came to this point historically, can we understand how North Korea can and will engage with the outside world – and how we on the outside can best engage with North Korea.

Armstrong is The Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences in the Department of History and former Director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University. A historian of contemporary North and South Korea, Professor Armstrong is the author, editor or co-editor of five books, including most recently Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950 – 1992 (Cornell University Press, 2013) and The Koreas (Routledge: second edition, 2014). Professor Armstrong holds a B.A. in Chinese Studies from Yale University, an M.A. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago. He has taught at Princeton, the University of Washington in Seattle, and Seoul National University, and has been a member of the Columbia faculty in 1996.

Charles Armstrong’s Athenaeum lecture is co-sponsored by the department of history at CMC.

The Eichmann Trial: Its Impact After 50 Years

Deborah Lipstadt is an American historian and author on the Holocaust and Jewish history. Her books include, Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (1993), Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (1994), The Eichmann Trial (2011), and History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (2006).

On September 5th 1996, David Irving, an English writer and Holocaust denier, sued Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books on the charge of libel in her book, Denying the Holocaust. In this book, Lipstadt identified Irving as a Holocaust denier and described his manipulation and distortion of historical documents. Irving claimed that Lipstadt could not call him a Holocaust denier when there was no Holocaust to deny. The subsequent trial in a British court validated the historical truth of Hitler’s genocide of six million European Jews during World War II. At the time of the verdict in favor of Lipstadt, the Daily Telegraph described the trial as having "done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations."

Following the trial, Lipstadt published the book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving, which documents the story of the courtroom confrontation. In reviewing the book, Publisher’s Weekly concludes that, “No one who cares about historical truth, freedom of speech or the Holocaust will avoid a sense of triumph from Gray's decision — or a sense of dismay that British libel laws allowed such intimidation by Irving of a historian and a publisher in the first place.”

Presently, Lipstadt is the Dorot professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She received her B.A. from City College of New York (1969) and her M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) from Brandeis University.

The Voting Rights Act after Shelby County v. Holder
KEN MILLER, moderator
LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m.; PROGRAM 12:00 p.m.

In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. CMC Associate Professor of Government Ken Miller will moderate a discussion between Bruce Cain and Marguerite Leoni, two leading experts on the Voting Rights Act, on the history of the Act, the issues decided in this case, and the consequences of the court’s ruling for elections in the United States. Sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

Bruce E. Cain is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He received a B.A. from Bowdoin College (1970), a B Phil. from Oxford University (1972) as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1976). He previously taught at Caltech and U.C. Berkeley, where he served as Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies 1990-2007. He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and U.C. Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000).

Marguerite Leoni is a partner at Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP, specializing in law and civil litigation relating to elections, redistricting and voting rights questions, school district reorganization law, campaign, government and initiative/referendum law including appellate practice and extraordinary writ proceedings. Ms. Leoni is a nationally renowned redistricting and voting rights expert with expertise in administrative preclearance practice under Section 5 of the Federal Voting Rights Act and Section 5 enforcement litigation. Ms. Leoni graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Ms. Leoni has been a guest lecturer on the Voting Rights Act at Hastings College of the Law and has spoken at numerous forums concerning voting rights and election issues.

A Concert Celebrating the Benjamin Britten Centenary

Benjamin Britten is one of the most important classical composers of the past century. Born in 1913 in Lowestoft, England, Britten began composing music at the age of seven. His genius was soon recognized, and from 1922 on he devoted his life to composing. By the time he was 14, Britten had composed 534 pieces. Although most famous for his brilliant compositions, Britten is also known for living a remarkable life. He was a conscientious objector during World War II and incorporated anti-war themes into his music. Britten was also an establishment figure of Britain’s musical elite while living as an openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal.

Britten’s centenary is being celebrated with a concert performed by Charles Kamm (tenor), Gayle Blankenburg (piano), and Rachel Vetter Huang (violin) of the Scripps College Department of Music.

This program will include: On This Island (1937) - for tenor and piano; Suite (1935) - for violin and piano; Realizations by Britten of songs by Henry Purcell - for tenor and piano; Folk Song Arrangements - for tenor and piano.

GRAMMY U Off the Record: Music Business 101
LUNCHEON 11:30 am; PROGRAM 12:00 p.m.

It’s one thing to break in to music - it’s another to sustain a career in it. GRAMMY U has assembled a panel of industry pros that have done just that. Their years of expertise and experience will provide you an inside scoop of how they how they began in the industry and contributed to award winning hits.

Mindi Abair is a singer, songwriter, and noted American smooth jazz saxophonist. She has recorded or toured with numerous well-known personalities and artists including but not limited to: Backstreet Boys, Duran Duran, Adam Sandler, and Josh Groban. In 2008, Abair signed to Concord Records and released her first 50/50 saxophone/vocal album “Stars,” which features Abair’s characteristic lively and aggressive fusion of jazz, soul, and pop. The Jazz Times writes of Abair, “Captivating...a distinctive sound and memorable melodies. Let’s put it this way….Abair’s one Apple commercial away from superstardom.”

Marcy Kraft is a festival specialist who works for Live Nation. Live Nation is the world’s largest live entertainment company. The larger company contains both Ticketmaster and Live Nation Concerts, entertainment market leaders in their respective domains. is one of the world’s top five ecommerce sites, with a database of over 119 million fans. Whereas, Live Nation Concerts produces 22,000 live shows annually for more than 2,300 artists.

Cheryl Pawelski is a three-time GRAMMY-nominated producer who works at Omnivore Recordings. Before Omnivore, she was a Vice President at Rhino Entertainment and the Vice President of Catalog Development at Concord Music Group. She has either produced or overseen hundreds of recording, reissues, and boxed sets for may well known artists including but not limited to: Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, Rod Stewart, and Bette Midler. She is currently the Vice President of the Board of Governors for the Los Angeles Chapter of The Recording Academy.

Tremaine "Six7" Williams is a recording engineer with a total of five GRAMMY nominations in the past five years and the winner of the Contemporary R&B GRAMMY in 2011 for his work on Usher’s Raymond v Raymond (2010). He has also cooperated with acclaimed artists like 50 Cent, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson and Boyz II Men.

GRAMMY U is a unique and fast-growing community of full-time college students primarily between the ages of 17 and 25, who are pursuing a career in the recording industry. The Recording Academy created GRAMMY U to help prepare college students for their careers in the music industry through networking, educational programs, and performance opportunities. GRAMMY U is designed to enhance students' current academic curriculum with access to recording industry professionals to give an "out of classroom" perspective on the recording industry. For GRAMMY U coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit and social networks: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Is Peace Possible Between Israel and the Palestinians?

Gershon Baskin was the initiator and the person responsible for the secret back channel between Israel and the Hamas that successfully negotiated the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilead Schalit. His book on the secret negotiations was published in Hebrew in June 2013 and in English in October 2013 (The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas – Toby Press)

From 1988 – 2011, Dr. Baskin was the Israeli Co-Director and founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) - a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think and “do” tank located in Jerusalem. Since January 2012 he is the Co-Chairman of IPCRI’s Board of Directors. He initiated the founding of IPCRI in 1988 following ten years of work in the field of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel, in Interns for Peace where he lived for two years in the Israeli-Palestinian village of Kufr Qara, the Ministry of Education and as Executive Director of the Institute for Education for Jewish-Arab Coexistence (established by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister’s Office at Baskin’s initiative).

During the Premiership of the late Yitzhak Rabin, he served as an advisor on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a secret team of intelligence officers established by Mr. Rabin. Dr. Baskin was a member of the Jerusalem Experts Committee established by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office during the Final Status Negotiations in 2000-2001.

Gershon Baskin holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs from University of Greenwich. His dissertation was on Sovereignty and Territory in the Future of Jerusalem, parts of which were published as a book Jerusalem of Peace: Sovereingty and Territory in Jerusalem's Future (1994).

He is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum, a member of the Board of ALLMEP – the Alliance for Middle East Peace, a member of the Editorial Board of the Palestinian Israeli Journal, and a member of the Board of One Voice. Dr. Baskin is also a member of the Israeli Council for Peace and Security. He was a founding chairman of the progressive Synagogue Kehilat Kol Haneshama in Jerusalem where he served as Chairman for three years.

He has a regular column in The Jerusalem Post newspaper and was for two years a radio host on All for Peace Radio. Dr. Baskin has now also begun writing a bi-weekly opinion piece on the Palestinian new web site Ma’an News. Dr. Baskin has been awarded the Histadrut Prize for Peace in 1996, the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute Peace Prize in 2004, the Tribute of Honor and Courage from the World Movement for Democracy in 2004 and the Search for Common Ground Journalist Award for Middle East Journalism in 2005 and 2007 as well as the Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana. Dr. Baskin speaks Hebrew, English and Arabic.

Since January 2012 Dr. Baskin is working to develop renewable energy projects around the Middle East focusing on Palestine and Egypt. He is also a consultant to the USAID supported TRADE PROJECT run by Deloitte Consulting aimed at reducing the costs of Palestinian trade in the West Bank and Gaza. Dr. Baskin’s talk is sponsored by the Center for Human Rights Leadership at Claremont McKenna College.

The Way We Used to Be: Dreams of Americana in Verse

Ricardo Quinones P'89 is CMC’s Josephine Olp Weeks Chair emeritus, professor emeritus of literature and founding director and board life member of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies. He is a prolific writer with works spanning literary criticism and poetry.

He will be joined this evening by CMC Associate Director of Development Todd Mandel and Richard Sogliuzzo who will read selections from his latest books, A Sorting of the Ways: New and Selected Poems (2011) and Shanksville (2012). Mr. Sogliuzzo has taught drama at SUNY, Albany, and at the University of Texas, Austin, and has acted professionally, as has Mr. Mandel. Together their reading will bring out the dramatic voice in verse.


  • The Athenaeum serves as a gathering place where ideas, inquiry, and fellowship bring students, faculty, staff, other scholars, and nationally prominent speakers together.

  • Attendance at any event may be limited to persons associated with CMC, to the people who signed up for the dinner, or to the maximum number of people allowed by fire regulations.

  • On some occasions the speaker may address the group in another forum or the College may set up a video feed to handle an overflow crowd. All programs at the Athenaeum are filmed. Individuals attending should understand that their image might appear on the videotape.

  • House rules and common courtesy prohibit disruptive actions inside the building during an Athenaeum sponsored program.

  • Time allowing, there will be a period set aside for questions. Students will have priority during this portion of the program.

  • Guests are expected to dress appropriately in all dining rooms. Shorts, jeans, and t-shirts are not acceptable at dinner; more casual attire is acceptable for lunch and tea. No bare feet at any time.


  • It is the policy of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum that no lecture, appearance or performance by any speaker or performer at the Athenaeum is to be videotaped, audiotaped, or otherwise recorded and/or broadcast without the prior written permission of the relevant speaker, performer, or other authorized owner of the intellectual property rights to the event.

  • Anyone requesting permission to record an event is required to submit an “Event Recording Request Form” to Bonnie Snortum, the Director of the Athenaeum, at least 48 hours in advance of the relevant event.

  • It is understood that the speaker, the performer, the Athenaeum, and any other event sponsor, as appropriate, reserve all intellectual property rights for each Athenaeum event.

  • If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Bonnie Snortum at or at (909) 607-4180.