Featured Events

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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Waging Peace:
Practical Approaches to a Violent World

Arun Gandhi, James Gilligan, Frances Moore Lappé, and Michael Nagler with Mark Gonnerman

Saturday, August 14, 2004 | 10:00 – 5:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

At the beginning of a new century marked already by war and seemingly intractable conflicts, it is more important than ever to listen to thinkers and leaders with historical knowledge, cultivated insight, and practical approaches to peace. We have invited four such people to Stanford for a symposium on ways and means to improve our prospects for a less threatening future at home and abroad.

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American Media and the Culture of Fear

James Bettinger, Barry Glassner, Jay Harris and Paul Saffo

Friday, July 23, 2004 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Are mainstream news media creating an irrational climate of fear? Does 'the news' reflect your personal experience? Are Americans afraid of the wrong things? Join futurist Paul Saffo (moderator), sociologist Barry Glassner, publisher Jay Harris, and journalist Jim Bettinger to discuss the credibility of current reporting.
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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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True Colors:
Myth, Meaning, and the American Flag

Carolyn Marvin with Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

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

In 1989, a University of Pennsylvania professor, Carolyn Marvin, stood in front of her free speech class and, without speaking, set fire to an American flag. This dramatic gesture was intended to illustrate freedom of expression and provoke critical examination of a basic American right. In response to the fierce criticism she received for her action, Professor Marvin began a decade of research into the history, myth, and magic of our nation’s flag. Why, she asks, is the flag omnipresent in American culture at so many levels and for so many people? How does it function in the context of an American civil religion? What is the relation of the flag to nationhood?
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