With distinguished speakers visiting the Athenaeum Monday through Thursday to share their ideas with students, choosing talks to attend can provide a difficult challenge. While there is no limit to the number of Ath events we can sign up for, busy schedules and homework typically limit our attendance. This preview is meant to guide you through the fall Athenaeum calendar, which Ath Fellow Henrietta Toivanen ’17 describes as “a very diverse and engaging speaker lineup,” as it features a combination of entrepreneurs, writers, politicians, performers and two art panels led by artists, curators and art historians.

If you’re into social change and human rights…

Monday, October 26 — Susan Sered: “Incarceration by Any Other Name: The Unholy Alliance of Religion, Therapeutic Culture and the State”

A professor of sociology at Suffolk University in Boston, Sered is a senior researcher at Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights. Her research currently follows a group of women imprisoned in Massachusetts. She hopes to understand how incarceration affects the developmental processes of these women.

Monday, November 16 — Emilie M. Hafner-Burton: “Making Human Rights a Reality”

The director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at UCSD, Hafner-Burton authored the book, “Making Human Rights a Reality.” Her work considers how we can improve human rights protections and international and regional trade policy.

If you want to learn about the media…

Tuesday, October 13 — Kyle Thiermann: “Surfing for Change”

As a professional surfer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and environmental activist, Kyle Thiermann founded Surfing for Change at age 18. Through Surfing for Change, Thiermann travels the world creating short documentaries about environmental and social issues. He has been honored with the Brower Youth Award, the American Clean Skies Award, the Blue Vision Youth Award, and the Surfrider’s Pro Surfer Environmental Achievement Award.

Tuesday, October 27 — Yossi Klein Halevi: “The Future of Israeli Democracy”

An American-born Israeli author and journalist, Halevi wrote “Like Dreamers: The Story of Israeli Paratroopers who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” The book tells the stories of seven 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem and restored Jewish sovereignty and features photos and maps. Halevi also founded the now-inoperative Israeli-Palestinian Media Forum, which connected Israeli and Palestinian journalists.

Thursday, November 12 — Karen Rosenfelt ’80: “The Lonely Life of Hollywood”

Executive producer of “Twilight” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” Rosenfelt also has producer credits for “The Book Thief” “Yogi Bear” and “Marley & Me.” Rosenfelt was also listed on Complex’s 10 Female Movie Producers You Need to Know, along with Drew Barrymore and Diablo Cody.

If you’re interested in politics…

Wednesday, October 15 — Kris Perry and Sandy Stier: “Marriage Equality at the U.S Supreme Court”

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier challenged California’s ban on same-sex marriage as the the lead plaintiffs in the 2013 Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry. The couple will discuss their legal and personal journey toward their June 2015 marriage.

Wednesday, November 11 — Susan Shirk

Chair of the 21st Century China Program at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, Shirk examines US-China relations and Chinese politics. She previously served as the deputy assistant secretary of state from 1997 to 2000. She also founded the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, an unofficial assembly for dialogues about security issues.

If you want to appreciate the arts…

Thursday, September 24 — Olivia Gatwood and Megan Falley: “Speak Like a Girl: An Evening of Spoken Word”

Olivia Gatwood and Megan Falley created “Speak Like a Girl” to teach students about gender inequality through hilarious and inspirational spoken word poetry performances. They urge audiences to consider issues of sexual assault, body image and rape culture through their words.

Thursday, October 8 — Henri Cole: A Poetry Reading

Cole is teaching a writer’s workshop in poetry this semester through the Literature department at CMC. He has published nine collections of poetry and has received several awards for his work, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and the Lenore Marshall Award. He recently published Nothing to Declare in March.


If these suggestions have piqued your interest, you can take a look at the complete Fall Athenaeum schedule on the Ath’s website.