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Fall season of signature lectures spotlights explorers, authors, trailblazers


October 04, 2010

Autumn traditionally marks the new lineup for TV shows, theatrical offerings, movies and football matchups. At Arizona State University, the fall season signals a time for signature lectures, which are open to the public and often free. 

This fall, ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences brings to campus an array of authors, explorers, trailblazers, scholars and big thinkers, covering topics across the humanities and sciences. Many are internationally known, some are prominent local figures, and quite a few names will be recognizable to the public: Kerry Kennedy, Steven Pinker, Lonnie Bunch, Peter Singer, Eliza Griswold. 

Among the distinguished speakers coming to Tempe this fall are an internationally known human rights activist, the scientific principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers mission, the first Latina to head the Arizona ACLU, and the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

“The caliber and variety of lecturers who come to ASU provide an enriching experience for our students and an opportunity for the community at large to enjoy informative, inspirational or thought-provoking presentations,” said Quentin Wheeler, ASU vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Most lectures take place on ASU’s Tempe campus, though some are at community venues. Many are free and all are open to the public. 

“There’s practically something for everyone. And, since nearly all the lectures are free, it’s an especially good bargain in these economic times,” said Rebecca Albrecht, director of special events for the college. 

Certain signature lecture series, such as the Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture, have been around for years. Since its establishment in 1993, the popular Marshall lectures have featured renowned journalists, producers, scientists, authors and historians, including Robin Wright, Jon Meacham, Seymour Hersh, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Robert Kennedy Jr. This month, eight years after her brother took the stage, human- and women’s-rights advocate and author Kerry Kennedy will deliver her lecture, titled “Speak Truth to Power.” The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in Katzin Music Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus. 

Other lectures will make their debut this fall, including the National Lecture Series. Lonnie Bunch – historian, author, curator, educator and founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture – will deliver the lecture “The Challenge of Creating a National Museum” on Dec. 1. 

Other signature lectures this fall season include: 

“From Mendelssohn to the Holocaust” on Oct. 7, featuring Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, the Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at ASU. 

“Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet” on Oct. 7, featuring Steve Squyres, the scientific principal investigator for the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers mission and a participant in numerous other planetary spaceflight missions. 

“Seeking Justice in Arizona: The (ill) State of Civil Liberties in Arizona” on Oct. 7, featuring Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director and the first Latina to lead the ACLU of Arizona. 

“Mapping Indigenous Futures: Creating a Native Voice in Higher Education” on Oct. 7 by Kathryn Shanley, Native American studies expert and professor of indigenous literature at the University of Montana. 

“The Great Debate: Can Science Tell Us Right from Wrong?” on Nov. 7 at ASU Gammage, featuring Steven Pinker, Simon Blackburn, Peter Singer, Patricia Smith Churchland, Sam Harris and Lawrence Krauss. This is a ticketed event, with prices ranging from $8.50 to $13.50. 

For details on these and others in the fall season of signature lectures at ASU, visit http://clas.asu.edu/fallseason or call 480-965-0051. Parking information is online at http://asu.edu/map

 

Written by Maria Polletta (maria.polletta@asu.edu).

MEDIA CONTACT
Carol Hughes, carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences