Featured Events

The American Soul:
Founding Ideals and the American Dream

Jacob Needleman and Scotty McLennan

Monday, January 26, 2004 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In his recent book, The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders, Jacob Needleman writes: America is … a philosophical identity composed of ideas of freedom, liberty, independent thought, independent conscience, self-reliance, hard work, justice. That is both the weakness and strength of America. To love America is not to love one’s roots&mdashit is to love the flower that has not yet blossomed, the fruit as yet unripened. In order to deepen our conversation about the American story, Needleman urges attention to iconic figures such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman, who remind us of founding ideals which may inspire our actions today. We must, he says, remythologize the idea of America. But how?
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An Evening with Thomas Jefferson

Clay S. Jenkinson with Jack Rakove

Monday, December 15, 2003 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Clay S. Jenkinson began presenting Thomas Jefferson in character in 1984 and has since made presentations in nearly every state to thousands of gatherings, including school children, supreme court justices, and a gala celebration of the 250th anniversary of Jefferson's birth at a White House event hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Jenkinson is a Rhodes and Danforth scholar and winner of one of the first five National Endowment of the Humanities' highest honor: the Charles Frankel Prize (now called The National Humanities Medal).
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The American Presidency:
Character and Crisis

Michael Beschloss and David Kennedy with Michael Krasny

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 | 7:30 – 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In the past half-century, the question of character has loomed large in discussions of the American presidency. Does a person lacking integrity also lack the moral capital true leadership requires? Must the president be someone we can hold up as a model to our children? Why has presidential character become a major public concern?
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Your Body on the Line?

Julia Butterfly Hill with Rebecca Solnit

Monday, June 2, 2003 | 7:30 - 9:00 | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

In December 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill, then age 23, climbed up “Luna,” a thousand-year-old redwood in Humboldt County, California, and did not touch ground for two years. Her dangerous and inspiring action protected this ancient redwood and the trees around it. Would you put your body on the line for something you believe in? What might each of us do to protect and celebrate the wild world that is our home? Join us as Bay Area writer Rebecca Solnit discusses these and other questions with Julia Butterfly Hill.
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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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