Previous Programs from the 2015-2016 Academic Year

Previous Programs from 2015-2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Luncheon, Chicago Club
Lecture by Richard Rosengarten, PhD, Dean, Divinity School
"Styles of Catholicism: Flannery O'Connor, Frida Kahlo, and Simone Weil"

This talk will pursue a rarely hypothesized linkage—between style and religion—via the works of three women: Frida Kahlo, Flannery O’Connor, and Simone Weil. Iconically accomplished in their respective art forms (the self-portrait, the short story, the essay), we shall consider common facts of their biographies (e.g., gender, illness both as source of art and harbinger of death) and their respective recourses to, and conceptions of, the tragic that emerge as their work develops. Each developed a distinctive style that referenced the Roman Catholic tradition (even as Rome did not reference them), so we shall ask what light, if any, these remarkable artists shed on Catholicism between the Vatican Councils I and II.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Luncheon, Chicago Club
Lecture by Rosanna Warren, The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Professor
"Graffiti: A Poetry Reading"

What makes poetry work? And what is the poet's process when creating a new work of art? Join nationally lauded poet Rosanna Warren as she explores her own writing process, reads some of her award-winning original work, and explicates her poetry in this interactive program.


Thursday, April 21, 2016
Dinner, Arts Club of Chicago
Lecture by Daniel Diermeier, PhD, Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy and Emmett Dedmon Professor of Public Administration

Reputation has moved to the top of the agenda for many CEOs and boards. What used to be a "nice to have" is now increasingly considered a core asset that needs to be protected and actively managed. Reputational damage can hurt a company in many ways. New (especially user-generated) media and increased globalization have accelerated this trend. In this session we will introduce new approaches to reputation management that add rigor to a notoriously vague and undefined area. We will first discuss effective strategies to management reputational crises and to interact with NGOs, interest groups, and the media. We will then discuss the essential elements for creating a reputation management capability and how to integrate such a capability with business practices and corporate strategy.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Luncheon, Casino
Lecture by Phil Bohlman, PhD, Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College
"The Chicago Center for Global Music Research: Rescuing Jewish Music in the Crisis of the Twentieth Century"

Is there really such a thing as Jewish music? And how does it survive as a practice of worship or cultural expression even in the face of the many brutal aesthetic and political challenges of modernity? Jewish music both survived in isolation and transformed the nations in which it lived, according to Professor Philip Bohlman. When Jews and Jewish musicians entered modernity, authenticity became an ideal to be supplanted by the reality of complex traditions. Join Professor Bohlman as he traces the modernist impulse in Jewish music from cabaret through film and beyond, via restoring voices to those silenced by prejudice, violence, and genocide.


Thursday, January 28, 2016
Annual Dinner
"Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower"

Four Seasons Interview with Robert Zimmer, PhD, University President and Henry Paulson, PhD, Chairman of the Paulson Institute and Distinguished Service Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy.

As China has emerged as the world's second largest economy over the last 20 years, so too has American anxiety increased over how to approach the nation's newest partner and rival. Enter Henry Paulson, the former Goldman Sachs CEO, U.S. Treasury secretary, and current leader of the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago.

As head of Goldman Sachs, Paulson had a pivotal role in opening up China to private enterprise. Then, as Treasury secretary, he created the Strategic Economic Dialogue with what is now the world's second-largest economy. He negotiated with China on needed economic reforms, while safeguarding the teetering U.S. financial system.

Today Paulson leads efforts to advance sustainable growth in the United States and China through the Paulson Institute, what he refers to as a "think and do" tank, offering pragmatic solutions to the economic challenges in the relationship between the two countries.

In conversation with Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, Paulson will share his unique insights into American relations with the newest global superpower, as well as thoughtful solutions to approaching China on an economic level given the many political and enviromental challenges in one of the nation's most important global partnerships.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Luncheon, Casino
Lecture by Wendy Freedman, PhD, John and Marion Sullivan University Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
"The Quest to Build the World's Largest Telescope"

For the last twelve years, Professor Wendy Freedman has led a project to build the Giant Magellan Telescope. This telescope will allow us to see the first starlight in the universe and perhaps to detect life on other worlds. It will be located in the Andes Mountains in Chile. Professor Freedman will describe the quest to undertake this project, the international consortium involved in the effort, and progress to date. She will also describe some of her own research on the expansion of the universe using the Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes on Earth.  


Monday, November 16, 2015
Dinner, Casino
Interview with Hugo F. Sonnenschein, PhD, Adam Smith Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Former President of the University of Chicago and Richard H. Thaler, PhD, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Behavioral Science, Director, Center for Decision Research
"Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics"

Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Our lived experiences, however, tell us otherwise: real people are often error-prone individuals rather than Spock-like automatons. Whether buying concert tickets or applying for a mortgage, we all make decisions that deviate from assumed rationality standards. We misbehavre, and our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make smarter decisions in our personal lives, our businesses, and our governments. In conversation with former University of Chicago President Hugo Sonnenschein, Professor Thaler will discuss the intersection of economics and psychology and offer innovative strategies to approach an increasingly complex world.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Lunch, University Club
Lecture by Gil Stein, PhD, Director of the Oriental Institute
"A Nation Stays Alive When Its Culture Stays Alive: Chicago’s Response to Archaeological Heritage At Risk"

The world’s archaeological heritage is a priceless, nonrenewable resource and is at greater risk now than at any other time in human history.  While looting and armed conflict grab the headlines and have taken a significant toll in the Middle East, agricultural and urban development also present serious threats. 

Throughout its history, the Oriental Institute has been deeply committed to preservation efforts which have included salvage missions in Egypt to its current work on the first-ever inventory of the holdings of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul.  Oriental Institute Director Gil Stein will the unique role that the Oriental Institute plays in responding to and preventing these “archaeological earthquakes.”  Building on its longstanding commitment to preserving cultural heritage, the Oriental Institute has launched the Chicago Center for Archaeological Heritage Preservation.  Leveraging the Institute’s vast experience working in the Middle East, the Center will use new technologies and the expertise of its scholars to Oriental Institute Director to systematically map, catalog and monitor at-risk archaeological sites in the Middle East.


Monday, September 28, 2015 
Lunch, Chicago Club
Discovery Science and Human Health: What's at Stake?

What is basic medical research, why is it important, and is it at risk?

Join researchers from an array of biomedical disciplines to explore these questions- and to learn how their quest for knowledge is laying the groundwork for advancing the health and future well-being of humankind.

Introductory remarks by Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Exective Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dean, Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine, Richard T. Crane Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine

Moderated by Melina Hale, PhD, Dean for Faculty Affairs, William Rainey Harper Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College

Panelists: Sarah Cobey, PhD, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolution; Allan Drummond, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and Vincent Lynch, PhD, Assistant Professor, Human Genetics