Spring series reflects depth and breadth of programs at WUSTL

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Ann Coulter and Susan Sontag headline spring series

The spring 2004 Washington University Assembly Series lectures will begin with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and scholar, David Levering Lewis. Lewis will be the keynote speaker for the annual Chancellor’s Fellowship Conference lecture.

The lecture will be held at 11 a.m., Wed,, Jan. 28 in Graham Chapel. He will also participate in a panel discussion from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Ann Whitney Olin Women’s Building Lounge, located just north of Graham Chapel. The lecture and panel discussion are both free and open to the public.

Lewis is the Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for each volume of his two-part biography on William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, an activist, historian, scholar, sociologist, and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The first volume is titled W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919; the second is W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963.

In addition to the scholarly work on Du Bois, Lewis has written several critically-acclaimed books, including King: A Biography, Prisoners of Honor: The Dreyfus Affair, When Harlem was in Vogue, The Race to Fashoda: European Colonialism and African Resistance in the Scramble for Africa, and The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader. In addition, he has authored many reviews and articles.

In 2002 he was named a Fellow in both the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University in 1956, a master’s degree in U.S. history from Columbia University in 1958 and a doctoral degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1962.

The annual Chancellor’s Fellowship Conference is part of the Chancellor’s Fellowship Program for African-Americans, established to encourage African-Americans of high academic promise to prepare for careers in higher education. For more information on the conference, call 314-935-6821.

Information on the rest of the spring Assembly Series events follows. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Continuing the University’s major initiative on the environment is a colloquium on childhood lead poisoning on Tues., Feb. 3. The morning session will begin at 9 a.m. in Clopton Auditorium, Wohl Clinic Building on the Medical Campus with a talk by Herbert Needleman. A professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh and a leading advocate against lead poisoning, Needleman will present both historical context and recent findings related to the effects of environmental lead exposure on children. The afternoon session will examine the gap between academic research and public policy with Needlemen being joined by David E. Jacobs, director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control; and Neil T. Leifer, an attorney specializing in lead poisoning litigation. The panel will be held at 2 p.m. in the Bryan Cave Courtroom, Anheuser-Busch Hall.

Yale University law professor Amy L. Chua will present the lecture on Wed, Feb. 4, also in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom in Anheuser-Busch Hall. Chua’s new book offers a compelling theory that establishing free markets in developing countries does more harm than good. Her talk bears the same title as her book, How Exporting Free Markets and Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.

On Wed., Feb. 11, Anglo-American constitutional and legal scholar Michael Les Benedict will give a talk on “The People Themselves: The Constitutional Responsibility of the American People.” Benedict has published a number of scholarly works and teaches history at the Moritz School of Law at Ohio State University.

St. Louis’s Rabbi Susan Talve will give the Rabbi Ferdinand Isserman Lecture at 4 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 12. Talve has been widely recognized for the impact she is making in the community by forging partnerships and emphasizing programs that promote social justice.

Eminent physicist Charles Falco has applied his scientific knowledge to artist David Hockney’s theory that as early as the 15th Century master artists such as van Eyck and Bellini were using optical aids to help them paint. His findings will be detailed in his presentation, “The Science of Optics; The History of Art,” at 3 p.m. Mon., Feb. 16 in Steinberg Hall Auditorium. Falco holds the Chair of Condensed Matter Physics and is a professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona. Falco is also an expert in motorcycles, and will present a talk on “The Art of the Motorcycle” later that evening. More information on that program will be forthcoming.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has devoted his career to protecting the environment and has used his legal expertise to stop polluters. He also serves as attorney for the National Resources Defense Council and as president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He teaches at Pace University and supervises its Environmental Litigation Clinic. He will talk about “Our Environmental Destiny” will be held at 11 a.m. Wed., Feb. 25. (Seating may be limited for the public.)

The Environmental Initiative Colloquium on Thurs., Feb. 26 will focus on “Plant Sciences: The Environment and Sustainability.” The panel discussion will begin at 2 p.m. in the Laboratory Science Building, Room 300, where four eminent scientists will discuss topics ranging from phytoremediation, the inorganic carbon cycle, carbon sesquestration, the impact of genetically modified crops on the environment, and sustainability. They are: Aaron Kaplan, professor of plant sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ganesh Kishore, vice president of technology, DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition; Francois M.M. Morel, professor of geosciences, Princeton University; and Jerald L. Schnoor, engineering chair and co-director of the Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa.

Three renowned scientists will participate in the next Environmental Initiative Colloquium on “Research in Aerosols and Air Quality: Impact on Nanotechnology to Global Climate” at 3 p.m. Tues., March 2, also in the Laboratory Science Building, Room 300. Subjects explored in this program include wide-ranging applications of aerosol science engineering, the health effects of fine particles, and the role of aerosols and their effect on global climatology. The experts are: Sheldon K. Friedlander, professor of chemical engineering at the University of California-Los Angeles; Jonathan Samet, chair and professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University; and John H. Seinfeld, professor of chemical engineering, California Institute of Technology.

Conservative political analyst and best selling author Ann Coulter will present her views on “Liberal Lies about the American Right” at 11 a.m. Wed., March 3. All three of her books have been immensely popular and have topped the New York Times bestseller lists. Coulter is also the legal correspondent for Human Events, writes a syndicated column, and is a regular guest on news talk shows. (Seating may be limited for the public.)

The lecture scheduled for March 17 will be announced at a later date.

“The D/evolution of Love: The Origins of Elegy,” is the topic of W. Ralph Johnson’s presentation at 4 p.m. Thurs., March 18. The location is still to be determined. Johnson, the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor of Classics and Comparative Studies Emeritus at the University of Chicago, is a distinguished classical scholar and the author of several books, including Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil’s Aeneid, and Momentary Monsters: Lucan and his Heroes.

Covering the broad terrain of modern culture, Susan Sontag has produced many highly-regarded and influential literary works, both in fiction and nonfiction. Her recent collection of essays, Regarding the Pain of Others, will also serve as the title of her talk at 11 a.m. Wed., March 24 in Graham Chapel.

On Tues., March 30, the Environmental Initiative Colloquium will feature a keynote address by architect William McDonough, a pioneer in the development of creating ecologically, socially and economically intelligent buildings. His talk, titled “Ecology, Equity, Environment and Education,” will be held at 1 p.m. in Steinberg Hall Auditorium, but the colloquium will run throughout the day offering discussions by architects, landscape architects, university facility administrators, engineering firms and sustainable practice consultants. Presenters include: Mark Rylander, William McDonough and Parners; Keith McPeters, Laurie Olin Associates; Alastair Guthrie, Arup Associates; and Mark Rosenbaum, Energysmith Environmental Design Consultants, The discussion featuring these experts will run from 3 – 5 p.m. and will be moderated by Elizabeth Meyer, associate professor of alndscape architecutre, University of Virginia. Respondents will be Victoria Siranni, chief facilities officer at MIT, and Washington University facility administrators.

The lectures scheduled for Wed., March 31 and Thurs., April 8 will be announced at a later date.

Chemistry and poetry are not worlds apart, according to Nobel laureate and writer Roald Hoffman. He will give a talk on “One Culture, or the Commonalities and Differences between the Arts and the Sciences,” at 4 p.m. on Tues., April 13 in Graham Chapel.

When Azar Nafisi was terminated from the University of Tehran for not wearing the veil, she took her literary knowledge underground and taught a hand-selected group of students about the value of Western texts. The result of that experience forms the centerpiece of her memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran, which is also the title of her talk at 11 a.m. Wed., April 14 in Graham Chapel.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton will moderate the Environmental Initiative Colloquium on Wed., April 21 at 2 p.m. in Whitaker Hall Auditorium. Panelists for the “Educational Practices and the Environment” discussion are: Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University; David H. Marks, professor of engineering systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Michael B. McElroy, professor of environmental studies at Harvard University; and Franklin M. Orr Jr., professor of petroleum engineering at Stanford University.

TIAA-CREF, one of the largest and most respected financial service providers in the world, is providing generous support for the 2004 spring Assembly Series to help Washington University bring an outstanding array of speakers to the campus during its sesquicentennial celebration.

For more information on Assembly Series programs, check the website at http://wupa.wustl.edu/assembly or call 314-935-5285. In addition, information on the Environmental Initiative Colloquia is available at the Sesquicentennial website: http://150.wustl.edu/environment.html.