Tag: Speakers

Vegetarian Advocate Speaks at Lawrence University

Pamela Rice, founder and president of the New York City-based VivaVegie Society, discusses reasons for adopting a meatless diet in an address at Lawrence University.

Rice presents “101 Reasons I’m a Vegetarian” Saturday, May 13 at 4 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 202. The event is free and open to the public.

The address is based on Rice’s 2005 book of the same name, in which she details arguments against eating meat from a variety of human health, animal welfare, economic and environmental perspectives. The topics she covers range from animal conditions on factory farms to high incidences of colon cancer and other diseases.

Rice’s book is an expanded version of a self-published pamphlet she began producing and distributing on New York City streets in 1991. The pamphlet has been updated six times since its first printing, with estimates of nearly 200,000 copies in circulation. In addition to directing the VivaVegie Society, Rice is the editor of the organization’s newsletter, The VivaVine, and oversees the Vegetarian Center, a first-of its-kind clearinghouse for information on the vegetarian lifestyle.

Rice’s appearance is sponsored by the LU Vegetarians and Vegans, a student organization that promotes campus awareness and understanding of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle for moral, environmental, ethical and health reasons.

LU Author Discusses Life of Missionary Doctor in Lawrence University Main Hall Forum

The life and work of Dr. Asahel Grant, among the first Americans to live in the Middle East, will be the focus of a Lawrence University Main Hall Forum.

Author Gordon Taylor, a 1965 Lawrence graduate, presents the slide-illustrated lecture “Dr. Grant and the Christian Tribes of Kurdistan, 1835-44” Wednesday, May 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Main Hall, Room 201. The event is free and open to the public.

Taylor will discuss the extraordinary life of Dr. Grant, his mountain milieu and the Kurds and Nestorian Christians among whom he labored. The presentation will include slides of period engravings, contemporary satellite images as well as Gordon’s own photographs of the area.

Grant, a country doctor from upstate New York, and his wife, Judith, set sail from Boston in 1835 to “heal the sick and save the world.” They wound up in Urmia, a town in northwest Iran, where they spent the next eight years among the Nestorian Christians who lived there and in the mountains of Hakkari, across the border in Turkish Kurdistan.

During his stay, Grant experienced a danger-filled life, traversing deserts and glaciers, tending the sick and breaking bread with thieves and murderers. On numerous occasions he narrowly escaped death from drowning, disease and assassination. Within five years he had lost his wife and two daughters to disease. When he died in 1844 at the age of 36, Grant had become a local legend among Muslims, Christians and Jews, who still spoke of him with reverence decades after his death. He is buried in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Taylor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Lawrence, taught English in Turkey following his graduation. His experiences in Hakkari, the remotest province of southeast Turkey, eventually lead him to write a book about the life of Dr. Grant. The result, “Fever and Thirst: A Missionary Doctor Amid the Christian Tribes of Kurdistan” was published last November.

In the course of conducting research for the book, Taylor discovered Grant’s great-great granddaughter, Phoebe Grant, is a 1977 Lawrence graduate.

Former Death Row Inmate Discusses the U.S. Justice System at Lawrence University

One-time death-row inmate Ron Keine discusses the death penalty and the American justice system in an address at Lawrence University.

Keine presents “A Question of Justice” Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

In 1973, while on a motorcycle trip from California to Michigan, Keine and three companions were arrested in Oklahoma for a robbery and charged with the murder of a University of New Mexico student. The body of 26-year-old William Velten was discovered in the foothills outside Albuqurque. He had been shot in the head through his mouth and his chest was slashed with a knife.

Keine and his companions were later convicted largely based on the testimony of a maid from an Albuquerque motel who told police that she saw the bikers torture and kill Velten in a room at the motel. By state law, an automatic death penalty for first-degree murder was imposed. That law was later found to be unconstitutional.

Keine spent 22 months in a 6-by-9-foot cell on death row before another person, Kerry Rodney Lee, who had undergone a religious conversion, came forward and confessed to the Velten murder in 1975, leading police to the murder weapon.

Now in his late 50s, Keine is the only one of the four men wrongfully convicted who is still alive. After being released from prison, Keine returned to his home state of Michigan, got involved in business and at one point served as chairman of the local Republican Party.

Keine’s appearance is sponsored by Students for Leftist Action.

Terri Schiavo’s Brother Discusses his Sister’s Life, Death in Lawrence University Address

The younger brother of Terri Schiavo, whose medical condition launched a lengthy legal battle that captured national attention and generated congressional hearings, discusses his sister’s life in an address at Lawrence University.

Bobby Schindler presents “The Truth About Terri Schiavo: What the Media Didn’t Tell You” Tuesday, April 18 at 4:30 p.m. in Youngchild Hall, Room 121. The event is free and open to the public.

Schindler will discuss his sister’s life, the struggle his family endured in their attempt to save her life, the secular media’s misrepresentations surrounding Schiavo’s life and death as well as the danger and the frequent misdiagnoses of persistent vegetative state. Schiavo, who suffered severe brain damage as the result of a heart attack in her Florida home in 1990, died at the age of 41 on March 31, 2005 after a feeding tube had been removed two weeks earlier.

Shortly after his sister’s death, Schindler began working full time for the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. The organization, initially founded to help save her life, now provides support to families and persons with disabilities in situations similar to Schiavo’s.

Following her heart attack, Schiavo spent 10 weeks in a coma and was later diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state with little chance of recovery. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, asked the courts in 1998 to remove a gastric feeding tube from his wife, touching off a long and contentious legal fight between Michael Schiavo and Terri’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler.

Both the state government of Florida and the U.S. Congress eventually became involved in the case. On four different occasions, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions to review it.

“Satanic Verses” Author Salman Rushdie Speaks at Lawrence University April 20

Celebrated British author Salman Rushdie, whose 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” generated a firestorm of controversy among Islamic fundamentalists, explores the freedom of expression, religion and their relationship to modern society Thursday, April 20 at Lawrence University as part of the college’s convocation series.

Rushdie presents ”A Morning with Salman Rushdie” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Ave., Appleton. He also will conduct a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m. in Youngchild Hall, Room 121. Both events are free and open to the public.

Rushdie, 58, has established himself as one of the most successful novelists of his generation in part for his thought-provoking examinations of the world’s changing sociopolitical landscape. Hailed as an “author to watch” by literary critic David Wilson after his first novel, 1975’s “Grimus,” Rushdie has written eight novels and a half dozen other works, including the award-wining children’s fairy tale “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” and a collection of short stories entitled “East, West.”

He is arguably best known for “The Satanic Verses,” a complex narrative that has been compared to “A Thousand and One Nights” for its multiple stories-within-a-story approach. Honored with the U.K.’s Whitbread Novel Award and named a finalist for the prestigious Booker McConnell Prize, “The Satanic Verses” was banned in Rushdie’s native India before it was published. It was subsequently deemed sacrilegious by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni, who issued a “fatwa” — death sentence — against Rushdie in 1989. A reward of nearly $3 million was offered by fundamentalist Muslim groups to have Rushdie killed. The Iranian government eased the fatwa in 1998, although some Islamic groups claim that a fatwa cannot be canceled.

Rushdie’s 1995 novel, “The Moor’s Last Sigh,” another Booker McConnell Prize finalist, took a satirical look at the politics of India and earned a fate similar to “The Satanic Verses.” It, too, was banned by the Indian government.

His follow-up to “Grimus,” 1981’s “Midnight’s Children, won both the Booker McConnell Prize for fiction and the Union Literary Award. His more recent works include “Step Across This Line: Collected Non-Fiction, 1992-2002,” a series of essays, some of which explore his own reaction to the fatwa, as well as reactions of the media and various governments and the novel “Shalimar the Clown,” which was published by Random House last September.

Born in Mumbai (Bombay), India and educated at King’s College at the University of Cambridge, where he earned a degree in history, Rushdie has been recognized with numerous international literary awards. In addition to the Booker Award, the most prestigious award available to British novelists, he’s also been honored with France’s Prix du Leilleur Livre Etranger, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, Italy’s Natova Prize, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature and the London International Writers’ Award.

In 2004, Rushdie was the named the president of The PEN American Center in New York City, the largest of the 141 centers of International PEN, the world’s oldest human rights organization and the oldest international literary organization.

U.S. State Department Intelligence Officer Discusses North Korea in Lawrence University International Studies Address

Against a backdrop of rising tensions and distrust between the United States and North Korea, fueled largely by North Korea’s ongoing nuclear weapons program, a U.S. intelligence officer offers an analytical peek inside the strange and secretive East Asian country in the final installment of Lawrence University’s four-part international studies lecture series “Pariah States and Policy Responses.”

John Merrill, chief of the U.S. State Department’s Northeast Asia Division of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, presents “Reading North Korea” Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

In his talk, Merrill will address the proposition that despite North Korea’s feisty, independent and highly nationalistic nature, the regime of Kim Jong-Il, in its own strange way, actually does want to establish a better relationship with the United States and pursue limited economic reform — so long as it believes it can do so without endangering its own social stability or national security.

Through an examination of North Korean’s history, culture and perceived national interests, Merrill will outline the complicated challenges the United States, others in the region and the international community as a whole face in dealing with North Korea and ending its nuclear program.

Merrill has written widely on foreign policy issues and is the author of numerous journal articles and three books, including 1989’s “Korea: The Peninsular Origins of the War,” in which he examines the local backdrop of the war, including large-scale civil unrest, insurgency and border clashes before the North Korean attack in June, 1950.

Appointed chief of the State Department’s Northeast Asia Division, Bureau of Intelligence and Research in 2000, Merrill also holds a professorial lecturer position at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In addition, he has taught or held research positions at Georgetown University, George Washington University, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Lafayette College, Korea University in Seoul and the University of Delaware.

Merrill has been the recipient of many awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States Dissertation Award and the Director of Central Intelligence Exceptional Analyst Award.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston University, a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Delaware.

The “Pariah States and Policy Responses” lecture series is sponsored by the Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies. Named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.

Origins of Ancient Asia Minor Settlers Discussed in Archaeology Lecture at Lawrence University

Yasar Ersoy, assistant professor of archeaology at Turkey’s Bilkent University, will discuss the latest research regarding the origins of the 1st millenium B.C. Ionian settlements of western Asia Minor Monday, April 3 in an Archaeological Institute of America address at Lawrence University.

Ersoy presents the slide-illustrated lecture “Early Iron Age Archaeology and Culture of the Eastern Aegean” at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public and includes an informal reception with the speaker following the address.

While previous scholarship suggested the settlements along the western coast of what is now modern Turkey were founded by people from the Athens area of southern Greece, Ersoy says new material evidence points to immigrants more likely arriving from central and northern Greece and even from Troy in northwest Asia Minor.

His presentation will focus on recent archeaological investigations in the ancient cities of Clazomenae, which is near the present-day city of Izmir, Turkey, Ephesos, an important commercial center on the mouth of the Cayster River, considered by scholars to be among the most beautiful cities of the ancient world and Troy, the legendary gateway between Europe and Asia that enjoyed a 4,000-year existence.

A specialist in the Aegean Bronze Age and Greek art and archaeology, Ersoy taught at Ege University in Izmir before joining the faculty at Bilkent in 1997. He is the assistant director of excavations at Clazomenae and is currently working on the stratigraphy and artifactual assemblages of industrial districts of Archaic Clazomenae.

He earned a master’s and doctorate degree in classical archaeology from Bryn Mawr College in 1993.

NYU Philosopher Examines the “Immaterial Soul” in Two Lawrence University Talks

Noted contemporary philosopher and New York University professor Peter Unger will discuss the concept of the immaterial soul in a pair of addresses during a two-day visit to Lawrence University.

Unger presents “Why We Really May Be Immaterial Souls” Wednesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. On Thursday, April 6 Unger will deliver the address “How Immaterial Souls Can Have Free Will” at 4:30 p.m. in Main Hall, Room 201. Both events are free and open to the public.

In his first address, Unger will challenge the position held by most contemporary philosophers who believe the concept of a soul is incoherent. He will present the argument that people are more than “just our bodies” and are, in fact, immaterial souls.

Unger’s second talk will address the question of whether people are really free to make choices in their daily lives or if outside forces such as genetic inheritance or environmental factors determine who they are. Building on his first address, Unger will make the case that as immaterial souls, people do have their own free will.

A scholar whose research interests encompass metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and philosophy of mind, Unger has written five books, including “Identity, Consciousness and Value” and “Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence.” His latest tome, “All the Power in the World,” published in December, 2005 by Oxford University Press, is a 670-page “philosophical journey into the nature of reality” that attempts to answer difficult human questions about people and the world.

Unger began his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin in 1965 and has taught in the philosophy department at NYU since 1971. He earned bachelor’s degree at Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. at Oxford University. He was named the recipient of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973.

His appearances are sponsored by the Stevens Lectureship in the Humanities. Established in 1967 by 1906 Lawrence graduates David H. Stevens and his wife, Ruth Davis Stevens, the lectureship brings prominent speakers to campus for public talks in the humanities.

Incompatibility of Morality, Religion Focus of Lawrence University Address

Author and objectivist philosopher Andrew Bernstein challenges the conventional belief that morality can only be based in religious faith in an address at Lawrence University.

Bernstein presents “Religion vs. Morality” Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. in Riverview Lounge of the Lawrence Memorial Union. The event is free and open to the public.

The purpose of morality is widely viewed as a guide to human life on earth and that without a God no principles of right and wrong can exist. Bernstein counters that wisdom by suggesting religion is incapable of providing a basis for morality, arguing that human conduct requires a code of secularism, rationality, egoism and freedom. According to Bernstein, religious faith actually clashes with every principle of a proper moral code and as a result can only lead to hell on earth.

A senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute, Bernstein is the author of several books, including “The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire,” and the 2002 novel “Heart of a Pagan.” He has taught philosophy at Marymount College, Hunter College, Long Island University and has held adjunct professor of philosophy positions at Pace University and at the State University of New York at Purchase. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at City University of New York.

Noted Chinese Economist Delivers Pair of Addresses in Visit to Lawrence University

Leslie Young, the executive director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business and professor of finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, will deliver a pair of economic addresses during a visit to Lawrence University.

Young presents “The Optimal God: Religion and the Institutional Foundations of Capitalism,” Wednesday Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 2 at 4:30 p.m., Young will present “China and India in the World Economy.” Both presentations will be held in Lawrence’s Science Hall, Room 102 and are free and open to the public.

In his opening address, Young will compare and contrast the Western and Eastern models of political economy that developed from the influences of Christianity and Islam. According to Young, politics and religion overlapped in the West because the Church competed for resources. Religion, in turn, became the bridge over which law came to limit politics. Under Islam, law emerged from religion as a control on personal behavior, leaving politics as a separate entity that was able to oppress the economy with no restrictions on tyranny and expropriation.

Young’s second talk will focus on the medium and long-term effects of the growth of China and India on the world economy. In tracing the balance of payment problems between the United States and China to their demographic structures, he will explain why China’s growing impact on the global environment could ultimately harm its own economic development.

A native of Guangzhou, China, Young’s research interests focus on international trade, political economy and corporate governance. He has served as a consultant to the governments of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand and has been a long-time member of the editorial board of the American Economic Review, the leading academic journal in economics.

Young, who earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Oxford University by the age of 20, spent nine years on the faculty at the University of Texas as the V.F. Neuhaus Professor of Finance and Professor of Economics. He also has taught at the University of Canterbury in New Zeeland and held visiting professorships at the Australian National University in Canberra as well as at M.I.T. and the University of California, Berkeley.

He is the author of the book “Black Hole Tariffs and Endogenous Redistribution Theory” and co-editor of “The Hong Kong Securities Industry” and “China’s Financial Markets.”

Young’s appearance is sponsored by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee and the Henry Luce Foundation Program in the Political Economy of East Asia.