University Lectures’ sixth season reflects a diversity of topics and interests
University Lectures’ sixth season reflects a diversity of topics and interestsJuly 24, 2006Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Now entering its sixth season, the University Lectures continues its tradition of bringing the most influential artists, intellectuals and newsmakers to the Syracuse University campus. For the 2006-07 season, the University Lectures has invited six distinguished and inspiring speakers on a variety of topics including politics, music, religious studies and environmental activism.
“For five years now, the University Lectures has introduced our students and the Syracuse community to some of today’s most interesting and important personalities,” says Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “This year’s roster of speakers builds on that tradition, allowing our students to experience intellectual and artistic excellence in a variety of venues, reflecting the cultural and intellectual diversity available everyday on our campus.”
Each of this season’s speakers — profiled below — exemplifies excellence in his or her area of expertise. The University Lectures invites you to experience first hand these remarkable individuals as they share their wisdom and passion for their professions with the entire University community.
THE UNIVERSITY LECTURES 2006-07
Al Gore, 45th vice president of the United States: “An Inconvenient Truth,”Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Landmark Theatre in downtown Syracuse. Tickets are required and available at the Landmark ticket office.
Al Gore began his political career in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976. As vice president, he was a key player in the Clinton White House on a wide range of issues. His career as an environmentalist includes pioneering efforts to protect the Earth’s ozone layer and to eliminate toxic waste from the environment. His passion for protecting the environment is evident in his best-selling book, “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit” (Plume, 1992). Gore’s role as a leading emissary on the dangers of global warming has been reinforced by his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” released May 24. In the film, Gore — a powerful and effective speaker — makes an urgent and compelling case for responsible environmental policy based on solid scientific evidence.
The Gore lecture is co-sponsored by the Syracuse University Student Association, University Union Speakers, and University Lectures.
Ned Kahn, sculptor: “Turbulent Architecture,” Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
Artists use their creativity to reveal the world in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Artist Ned Kahn’s work focuses on the physical world. From the harmonies of randomness to the dynamics of the Earth’s crust, Kahn uses scientific principles to create mesmerizing works of art. For the past 16 years, Kahn has been creating interactive sculptures inspired by everything from wind and waves to comets, black holes and galaxies. Created using simple materials such as water, sand and air, Kahn’s artworks are not just celebrations of nature, they are inspired by fluid dynamics and other aspects of science. Considered one of the most successful artists and exhibit builders in the country, Kahn has had major commissions all over the world and in 2004 was the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award.
Wangari Maathai, environmentalist: “Sustainable Development, Democracy and Peace: A Critical Link,” Oct. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
In 2004, Dr. Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, acknowledging her contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace. This recognition stemmed from her work on community empowerment and environmental conservation. As a member of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK), she introduced the idea of engaging ordinary Kenyans to plant trees. She developed this idea into a broad-based, grassroots organization called the Green Belt Movement (GBM), which mobilizes women’s groups to plant trees to conserve the environment, while at the same time empowering them to improve the quality of their own lives. Through GBM, Maathai has helped women plant more than 30 million trees on farms and in school and church compounds across Kenya.
Khaled Abou El Fadl, Islamic scholar: “Can We Be Beautiful in an Ugly World? The Great Theft and the Muslim Imperative,” Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
Considered by some to be the most important and influential Islamic thinker in the modern age, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is an accomplished Islamic jurist and scholar. A professor at the UCLA School of Law, Abou El Fadl is an expert on Islamic law, immigration, human rights, and international and national security law. As both a world-renowned expert in Islamic law and an American lawyer, Abou El Fadl brings a unique perspective to the current state of issues facing Islam in the West. Abou El Fadl is a staunch advocate for and defender of women’s rights, the subject of many of his writings. As a critical and powerful voice against puritan and Wahhabi Islam today, he appears regularly in national and international media, including CNN, NBC, PBS, NPR and Voice of America.
Norman Ornstein, political analyst: “Governing in an Era of Tribal Politics: The Twilight of the Bush Administration and the Election Ahead,” March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and an election analyst for CBS News. Ornstein writes a weekly column called “Congress Inside Out” for the Roll Call newspaper. He also has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and other major publications. Ornstein frequently appears on news and public affairs programs, including “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” “Nightline” and “Charlie Rose.” Ornstein also dabbles in comedy and has worked with Al Franken since 1992, when he served as Comedy Central’s pollster and commentator covering that year’s conventions and election. Ornstein’s latest book, “The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track,” co-authored by Thomas E. Mann, will be published shortly by Oxford University Press.
Midori, classical violinist: “An Evening With Midori in Conversation With Daniel Hege,” April 12, 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
Midori is an accomplished classical violinist who has performed recital appearances with many of the world’s major orchestras. While in Syracuse — in addition to performing with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra — Midori will conduct a master class for local violin students. Her University Lectures presentation will include a performance and a conversation with Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Director Daniel Hege. Beyond her music, Midori is known for having founded five outreach organizations to address an issue she believes to be of crucial and ever-growing importance — access to music for all. Her first organization, Midori & Friends, was started in 1992 in response to serious cutbacks in music education in New York City schools.
The University Lectures
University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to Syracuse University some of the world’s finest academicians, architects, designers, writers, business and media experts, and statesmen. The series is supported by the generosity of Robert B. Menschel, a 1951 graduate of Syracuse University. More information about University Lectures is available at http://provost.syr.edu/lectures/current.asp.
The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker or for additional information about the University Lectures, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs, 443-2941, email@example.com.