The 234th Commencement
Newsman Howard Fineman, Sopranos writers headline forums
Brown will present its 32nd annual Commencement Forums on Saturday, May 25, 2002, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, May 26, at 4 p.m. The 17 sessions, all free and open to the public, will feature leaders in the fields of international affairs, science, medicine, arts and entertainment.
Note a change: The Ogden Lecture by former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, originally scheduled for Saturday at 2:15 p.m., will be presented Sunday, May 26, at 4 p.m. in Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Newsweek political correspondent Howard
Fineman, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies, former U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata and the award-winning writers for The
Sopranos are among the speakers headlining Brown University’s
32nd annual Commencement Forums Saturday, May 25, 2002.
An integral part of the University’s Commencement/Reunion Weekend, the
Commencement Forums draw upon the knowledge, talent and expertise of Brown
alumni, faculty, parents and special guests to consider timely social, political
and personal issues. An outgrowth of the campus teach-ins of the early 1970s,
the forums offer a window on the intellectual world of Brown. This year’s
speakers will share lessons learned in the arenas of science, medicine,
international affairs, the arts and entertainment.
Seventeen forums will be offered on May 25, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing
throughout the day in various locations on campus. Each session will last 60 to
90 minutes and will include time for questions from the audience. All forums are
free and open to the public on a space-available basis.
Editors: Times and locations are subject to change. For the latest
information, contact the News Service at (401) 863-2476 or visit the Web site
(www.brown.edu/news) for updates.
Persons with special needs who plan to attend should contact the University
at least 24 hours in advance by calling University Events at (401) 863-2474
during business hours or Brown Police and Security at (401) 863-3322 after
The 2002 Commencement Forums
Saturday, May 25
- Imagining Brown: How a Picture Became the Icon of the
University Curator Robert Emlen will present “Imagining Brown: How
a Picture Became the Icon of the Campus” in the lower level of the
Salomon Center for Teaching on The College Green. Emlen will discuss how Brown
has been pictured throughout its history – and how the first renderings of
a place persist in our imaginations long after the original scene has evolved.
- Conversations with Godfather: Behind the Scenes of “The
Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, the Emmy-, Golden Globe- and
Peabody Award-winning writers/executive producers of HBO’s hit series
The Sopranos, will present “Conversations with Godfather: Behind
the Scenes of The Sopranos” in the upper level of the Salomon
Center for Teaching. Using behind-the-scenes footage, the pair will take us from
story meetings to script revisions to finished product.
- The Truth About Aging
Mark E. Williams, the Ward K. Ensminger Distinguished Professor of
Geriatrics at the University of Virginia, will present a commencement forum
titled “The Truth About Aging” in the Starr Auditorium of MacMillan
Hall, 167 Thayer St. Williams will examine recent research, discuss the
promotion of better health care and independence for seniors, and offer the
truth behind the myths about aging.
- The Orwell Files
More than 50 years after his death, George Orwell’s satires of
totalitarianism are still chilling, relevant and widely read. Seton Hall
University Professor of History Dan Leab and Dan Siegel,
proprietor of Providence’s M&S Rare Books and M&S Press, will
present “The Orwell Files” in the John Hay Library’s Lownes
Room. Siegel and Leab, both major contributors to Brown’s Orwell
collection, will reflect on the author’s life and the process of
collecting books and manuscripts.
- Nanotechnology: Building a Big Future from Small Things
Charles Lieber, the Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry at Harvard
University, will present “Nanotechnology: Building a Big Future from Small
Things” in the lower level of the Salomon Center for Teaching. Lieber will
introduce the exploding world of nanoscience and offer an overview of some of
the ways nanotechnology may revolutionize our world.
- Beyond the Burqua: The Future of Women in Afghanistan
Associate Professor of Anthropology William Beeman, Visiting Watson
Institute Scholar Eleanor Doumato and Afghan expatriate Fatima Gailani
will present “Beyond the Burqua: The Future of Women in
Afghanistan” in Starr Auditorium in MacMillan Hall. The panel, moderated
by Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Rogaia Abusharaf,
will examine how centuries of diverse traditions are likely to shape the future
for Afghan women.
- George W. Bush and the September 11 Effect
Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek and
news analyst for NBC News, will present “George W. Bush and the September
11 Effect” in the upper level of the Salomon Center for Teaching. Fineman
will offer his assessment of Bush as president, politician and leader in a world
of unprecedented change.
- Declarations of Independence: The American Revolution and the History
of the Book
Professor Wil Verhoeven, director of the American studies program at the
Netherlands’ University of Groningen and Brown’s first Charles H.
Watts Visiting Professor in the History of the Book, will present a forum titled
“Declarations of Independence: The American Revolution and the History of
the Book” in the John Carter Brown Library on The College Green. Citing
Benjamin Franklin, Charles Brockden Brown and Hocquet Caritat, Verhoeven will
examine the revolutionary emergence and cultural impact of the book in early
- Voltaire’s Monkey Business: The Art of Illustrating a
Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library, will present
“Voltaire’s Monkey Business: The Art of Illustrating a
Classic” in Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall. Using Voltaire’s
Candide, LeClerc will demonstrate how this celebrated text has inspired
illustrators for more than 200 years – and how choosing the illustrations
of Paul Klee, Norman Rockwell or another artist can affect a reader’s
appreciation of the story.
- The Genesis of Waterplace Park
William Warner, architect of Waterplace Park and the Providence
Riverwalk, will discuss “The Genesis of Waterplace Park” in the main
auditorium of the List Art Center, 64 College St. Warner is currently working on
plans to relocate Interstate 195, which will revive another 45 acres of downtown
waterfront. Will the stunning results of Providence’s urban renewal
efforts to date continue to serve as inspiration for future projects?
- Mind Moving Matter
Professor of Neuroscience John Donoghue, M.D./Ph.D. candidate Mijail
D. Serruya and research assistant Maryam Saleh will present
“Mind Moving Matter” in the lower level of the Salomon Center for
Teaching. Donoghue, Serruya and colleagues have led breakthrough research on how
our brains send complex instructions to our bodies, including a recent study
that enabled monkeys to move cursors on a computer screen solely by thought. The
pair will discuss how their findings may ultimately have major implications for
- Play Memory Play
A panel of theater professionals will present “Play Memory Play,” an
examination of how personal memories inspire the creative process and shape our
response to the arts, in Leeds Theatre, 77 Waterman St. This forum is part of a
series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of Sock and Buskin theater at
Brown. Panelists include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald
Margulies and actors Andrew Borba, Kate Hampton, Marin
Hinkle and Peter Jacobson. Dramaturg Laurence Maslon,
professor of theater at New York University, will serve as moderator.
- Sauber Lecture: The Neglected Disease: Accident and Injury in the
Charles N. Mock, M.D., trauma surgeon and epidemiologist at the
University of Washington, will present “The Neglected Disease: Accident
and Injury in the Developing World” in room 106 of Smith-Buonnano Hall.
Due to a lack of emergency rescue workers, traffic accidents are becoming one of
the most frequent – and preventable – causes of death in developing
nations; Mock will discuss efforts to implement first-aid training, ambulance
service and other lifesaving strategies. This forum is the seventh annual Ruth
B. Sauber Distinguished Medical Alumni Lecture.
- The Romance of the Real
Award-winning Albert Maysles – director of Salesman,
Gimme Shelter and the Oscar-nominated Lalee’s Kin –
will present “The Romance of the Real,” an examination of
‘direct cinema,’ a distinctly American form of cinema verité
that he pioneered. This forum will be offered in the upper level of the Salomon
Center for Teaching.
- Do Words Still Matter?
Filmmaker Oren Jacoby of Storyville Films and Professor Emeritus of
Modern Culture and Media Robert Scholes will present “Do Words
Still Matter?” in Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall. The pair will consider
how, in this era of blockbuster thrillers, the world maintains its fascination
with the ultimate wordsmith, William Shakespeare, looking at some popular film
interpretations of such characters as Hamlet.
- Freezing Terrorist Finances: Lessons from U.N. Sanctions
Professor of Political Science Thomas Biersteker, Watson Institute Senior
Fellow Sue Eckert, Watson Institute research assistant Aaron
Halegua, Harvard graduate student Natalie Reid and political science
graduate student Peter Romaniuk will present “Freezing Terrorist
Finances: Lessons from U.N. Sanctions” in the lower level of the Salomon
Center for Teaching. The panel will assess current anti-terrorism measures in
light of past experience.
Sunday, May 26
- Ogden Memorial Lecture: From Human Security to State Security
Former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata will
give a Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lecture on International Affairs –
titled “From Human Security to State Security” – in Starr Auditorium of MacMillan Hall. Drawing from her U.N. experience
working on behalf of millions of people forced from their homes in the midst of
violence, Ogata will discuss how a new regime of human security may ultimately
strengthen state security.
(Please note the new date, time and place. Ogata’s presentation was originally scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Saturday in the Salomon Center for Teaching.)