Speaker Roundup: January-February 2010

Politics pervades the late fall lineup

  • Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy under President George W. Bush, spoke on October 27 at Duke Law School. Feith, widely considered one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, discussed his time in the Pentagon, defending the Bush administration's conduct of the "war on terrorism."
  • Vera Lengsfeld, a former leader of the East German opposition movement and a veteran politician, gave a talk at the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences on November 2. One of the most recognizable leaders of the East German anti-communist movement, she served four terms in the German parliament. She reflected on her experiences when the Berlin Wall fell.
  • Michael Sandel, a professor of government at Harvard University and author of the new book Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?, spoke at the Sanford School of Public Policy on November 3. He challenged his audience to wrestle with scenarios built on ethically charged issues including abortion, same-sex marriage, and handicapped access.
  • Isaac Herzog, the Israeli minister of welfare and social services, visited Duke on November 4, speaking at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Herzog, who is the son of former Israeli President Chaim Herzog, spoke about the Israeli political environment and about making peace with Islamic countries.
  • Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, spoke on November 9 in Page Auditorium. His topic was America's grand strategy in a globalized world. Zakaria warned that a dysfunctional political environment, a weak educational system, and insufficient research investments could threaten America's standing.
  • James Cuno, director of the Art Institute of Chicago, spoke at the Nasher Museum of Art on November 13. He discussed the role of the world's major museums in making cultural artifacts available to large audiences and in heading off efforts to appropriate those artifacts for political gain.

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