Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and bestselling author Thomas Friedman will be com- ing to campus Feb. 28 as part of the Roy and Margaret Shilling Lecture Series.
The Shilling Lecture Series brings in well-known figures from a variety of fields to speak at Southwestern.
Friedman currently writes a column in the “New York Times” on foreign affairs and has au- thored five best-selling books that discuss issues ranging from globalization to the environment. Friedman has also been part of six documentaries.
“As for the Friedman Shilling lecture itself, we have asked him to focus his talk on the problem of income inequality in the U.S.,” Dr. Shannon Mariotti, assistant professor of political science and faculty advisor for pre-lecture events, said.
Friedman’s lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with two students, Katherine Tanner and Isidoro Ramirez, who have been reading his book “That Used to be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back”.
The pair will ask a set of previously agreed upon questions relating to the text, which will be one of the major focuses of his lecture.
The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. and is open to students, faculty and the public at large. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance online.
Prior to Friedman’s visit, lecture coordinators have pre- pared pre-lecture activities that will be available to students leading up to the event. Most of the activities are centered around encouraging student interest and engagement.
“Our goal in these events is to make them as student-focused as possible and we’ve tried to plan events that both involve and work to the benefit of S.U. students,” Mariotti said.
Currently, Mariotti is running a blog with students from her Contemporary Democratic Theory and Introduction to Political Theory classes. The students read Friedman’s articles from the “New York Times” and engage in a discussion on them, familiarizing themselves with Friedman’s work before his visit.
“Being able to take part in a continuous and evolving conversation is fantastic and having students that aren’t a part of our Contemporary Democratic Theory class participate is also a really unique experience,” Emi Anderson, a student of Mariotti’s, said. “It just shows how much interest there is on campus.”
Anderson emphasizes the importance of responding to Friedman’s writings.
“As a political science major, having Friedman come to speak is one of the most exciting things that could happen,” Anderson said. “Whether you agree with his view points or not, being engaged in the process of conversation and discussion is a valuable experience.”
Looking beyond Friedman’s own works, there will also be a screening of the film “The Flaw” onFeb.8 at 4 p.m.in Olin Room 110.
“‘The Flaw’ analyzes the causes of the housing collapse and the financial crisis of 2008, including ideological factors contributing to the crisis,”Mariotti said.
The final activity prior to Friedman’s lecture will be an interdisciplinary alumni forum.
“We have planned a planel of some incredibly impressive SU alumni who have gone on to do important work in the international arena,” Mariotti said.
The alumni forum will take place Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Olin Room 105.
Participating alumni include Maggie Hawthorne, Farhana Mahmood Qazi and Tim Trevino, whose collective experiences range from serving as a political analyst for the US government to working as a Program Officer with the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Global Health.
Together they will provide a wide-ranging perspective on a variety of global issues and concerns.
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