Public Life in a Wired World

Lawrence Lessig and Pamela Samuelson with Geoffrey Nunberg

Monday, May 5, 2003 | 7:30 – 5:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Has the internet expanded democracy, or has it accelerated the privatization of ideas? How does it affect institutions that mediate public life such as newspapers, libraries, and universities? How do we ensure that a wired world has the healthy public discourse it requires?
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Talking Right and Left:
The Language of American Politics

Deborah Tannen and Geoffrey Nunberg with Alan Acosta

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In recent decades, political debates have often come down to struggles for control of the language: leftist agenda and right-wing conspiracy, fair and balanced and media bias, choice and life, diversity and preferences, class warfare and corporate welfare, support the troops and quagmire. How does language shape and reinforce our political perceptions? Are linguistic divisions more marked in American political life than they used to be? Does one side have a dominant linguistic position? Two linguists well known for their writing about the language of public life assess the state of political language and ask where it is headed.
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Democracy and Dissent

Lewis Lapham with Pamela Karlan

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 | 7:30 – 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In his new book, Gag Rule: On the Stifling of Dissent and Democracy, Harper's Magazine editor Lewis Lapham offers a short tour of political dissent in American history and shows that voices of protest have never been so locked out of the mainstream political conversation as they are now. As a result, he argues, we face a crisis of democracy as serious as any in our history. Hear one of America's most important voices of protest discuss his urgent new polemic about the stifling of the American public's capacity for meaningful dissent at the hands of a government and media increasingly beholden to our country's wealthy few.
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Democracy Matters:
An Evening with Cornel West

Cornel West

Thursday, September 30, 2004 | 7:30 -9:30pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Cornel West, the Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion at Princeton University, discuss themes and ideas from his latest book, Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism. The usual format for the Aurora Forum is on-stage conversation that opens to audience participation. Tonight we break precedent by inviting Dr. West to present a lecture followed by a question-and-answer period. As always, our intention is to inspire conversation, and we hope you will share insights generated by this discussion with members of your family, neighbors, and colleagues.
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A Post-Election Town Hall Meeting

Larry Diamond, David Dill and John McManus with Amy Goodman

Thursday, November 4, 2004 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Please join our post-election Town Hall Meeting. We begin with forty-five minutes of on-stage conversation between Amy Goodman, Larry Diamond, David Dill and John McManus before opening up the microphones for audience questions and comments.
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Democracy and the Middle East:
Prospects and Problems

Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani with Erik Jensen

Thursday, April 20, 2006 | 7:30 - 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In his recent book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, Professor Larry Diamond identifies four key elements of democracy: "choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; active citizen participation in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; and the rule of law, in which the regulations and procedures apply equally to all citizens." What are the prospects and problems for implementing these principles throughout the Middle East? Professor Diamond will discuss this and other questions with Dr. Abbas Milani, co-director of the Hoover Institution's Iran Democracy Project and director of Stanford's new Iranian Studies Program.
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Education for Citizenship Series
Responsible Freedom: Liberal Arts Education and the College Idea

Martha Nussbaum and Andrew Delbanco with Debra Satz

Thursday, March 5, 2009 | 7:30 – 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Universities eloquently proclaim the advantages of education for creating responsible citizens, but their rhetoric is often better than the outcome. All too often, little attention is paid to what education is for and what it should consist of. What should today's students know in preparation for common citizenship in a pluralistic world? What is the role of the humanities in that preparation? Join us for a conversation with two leading public intellectuals about the role of liberal education in promoting civic virtue, as well as about its uncertain future in a complex and technologically demanding world.
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Only Connect:
Reinvigorating American Public Education

Rudy Crew, Madeline Levine and Denise Pope with Deborah Stipek

Saturday, November 15, 2008 | 1:00 – 3:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

What are the prospects for public education in America today? What conditions have brought about epidemic rates of depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse among both affluent and underprivileged youth? What does leaving no child behind really mean? Join us for a constructive conversation with four leading educators who are addressing current problems and revitalizing our nation’s most important social institution: our public schools.
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A Conversation with Naomi Klein:
Disaster Capitalism and the Rise of Democratic Reconstruction

Naomi Klein with Terry Karl

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | 7:30 - 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In her latest book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, journalist Naomi Klein exposes the strategies of powerful people who cash in on chaos and exploit catastrophe to remake our world in their image. But this is not the whole story: popular renewal and repair movements are gaining the strength not only to take back state power but to change the power structures of the state. Join us for a conversation that presents a new paradigm for understanding global politics and celebrates those who continue to work for justice against great odds.
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