Recordings of Convocations

Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, convocation audio files are archived separately from video files. View the audio archives.

  • Created 16 May 2008; Published 11 June 2008
    Convocation: Spirituals, Hymns & Gospel Music

    Robert Morris, founder and artistic director of the St. Paul based Leigh Morris Chorale, and Anthony Leach, founder and director of the Penn State University choir, Essence of Joy, presented "The Relationship Between Song and Singing in the African American Sacred Music Traditions." This lecture-demonstration of concepts, performance practices and styles, and musical genres featured vocal solo artists from throughout the United States with members of the Leigh Morris Chorale and the Carleton College Choir. This convocation was part of "Spirituals, Hymns & Gospel Music," a week-long celebration of African-American sacred music.

  • Created 9 May 2008; Published 11 June 2008
    Convocation: Thomas Schelling

    Thomas Schelling is an economist and distinguished professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. His expertise is in the areas of foreign affairs, national security, nuclear strategy, and arms control. He won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." His book, The Strategy of Conflict, pioneered the study of bargaining and strategic behavior and is considered one of the hundred books that have been most influential in the West since 1945. His economic theories about war were extended in "Arms and Influence." The title of his presentation was "Can We Manage the Greenhouse Problem?"

  • Created 2 May 2008; Published 12 May 2008
    Convocation: Vijay Prashad

    Dr. Vijay Prashad, a professor in South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, is committed to intellectual extremism: nothing is forbidden to think about, everything is open to investigation. He is the author of twelve books, including two chosen by the Village Voice as books of the year: Karma of Brown Folk and Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting. His most recent books are The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World and Dispatches from Latin America: Experiments Against Neoliberalism. Dr. Prashad serves on the board of the Center for Third World Organizing, United For a Fair Economy, and the National Priorities Project. His convocation address examined Asian Americans, the Iraq War, and the upcoming election. With reference to Hawaii-born First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq, the title of Dr. Prashad's presentation was "Watada's Election: Asian Americans and These Asian Wars."

  • Created 25 April 2008; Published 2 May 2008
    Convocation: David Hilliard
    David Hilliard, a founding member and Chief of Staff of the Black Panther Party, is an incomparable authority on the life, legacy, and intellectual history of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton. In delivering his convocation address, "This Side of Glory: The Story of the Black Panther Party," Hilliard told the crowd at Skinner Memorial Chapel that young people in the 1960s were attracted to the Black Panther Party, not because of the military bravado, but because of the deeper community service initiatives the party modeled. “We were not terrorists or crazy militants,” Hilliard said in his convocation address. “I can testify to our movement; the community loved us because we were public servants.”
  • Created 18 April 2008; Published 2 May 2008
    Convocation: Gao Hong and Friends
    World-renowned Chinese pipa player, composer, and Carleton faculty member Gao Hong, along with musicians from from India, Japan and China, presented a special convocation titled “Asian Fusion: A Celebration of Diversity.” Sitarist Shubhendra Rao, a leading disciple of Ravi Shankar, taiko drum master Kenny Endo, and Indian veena player and vocalist Nirmala Rajasekar joined Gao for a rousing cross-cultural presentation in Carleton’s Concert Hall. The convocation performance focused on the work of each individual artist, emphasizing their different cultural backgrounds and musical customs as well as the collaborative process in which the musicians came together in concert that fused these varying traditions.
  • Created 11 April 2008; Published 18 April 2008
    Convocation: Jane Hamilton ’79

    “This, you see, is how it is in the culture at large now: the drool of a baby who has been on TV is more compelling than a writer of smutty thrillers,” said novelist Jane Hamilton in her humorous and thought-provoking convocation address, titled “Slouching Toward Television: A Novelist's Foray into the Realm of TV.” In reflecting on her early inspiration for writing novels, Hamilton says she overheard a professor say she would write a novel one day. Although she had only written two short stories for the professor's class, overhearing the conversation gave her a measure of confidence. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, A Map of the World, was an international bestseller, adapted for film, and was also an Oprah's Book Club selection. Her third novel, The Short History of a Prince, received the Publishers Weekly Best Book award. Hamilton lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin.

  • Created 4 April 2008; Published 14 April 2008
    Convocation: Irshad Manji

    The New York Times has dubbed Irshad Manji "Osama Bin Laden's worst nightmare." She takes that as a compliment. Manji is the best-selling author of "The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith," which has been published internationally, including in Pakistan, Turkey, India and Lebanon. She also travels the globe to lecture about the liberal reformation of Islam. Currently, Manji is a Senior Fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy. She writes columns that are distributed worldwide by the New York Times Syndicate and is also making a feature film about Islam that will showcase ideas such as "ijtihad," Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. The title of her convocation address was "The Future of Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith."


    At the request of the presenter, this convocation presentation is not available. For more information about Irshad Manji's presentations and projects, see her website www.irshadmanji.com.

  • Created 22 February 2008; Published 28 February 2008
    Convocation: Edith Widder

    Edith Widder is a biologist, deep-sea explorer, and specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms). Her convocation address on “New Technologies to Discover Our World,” combined her expertise in deep-sea research and technological innovation with her commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of degradation to the world's marine environments. In 2005, Widder co-founded the Ocean Research Conservation Association (ORCA), which strives to develop high-tech sensory equipment to evaluate the health and preservation of marine ecosystems. “We are destroying the oceans faster than we can discover what’s in them,” she warns. “A lot of people are totally unaware of what’s going on in our oceans. We need to educate them to avert a crisis, and I’d like to be part of the solution.”

  • Created 15 February 2008; Published 25 February 2008
    Convocation: Josh Meltzer ’95

    Staff photographer with The Roanoke Times, Josh Meltzer ’95 is an award-winning photojournalist who in 2006 won the National Press Photographers Association Photojournalist of the Year award. His photographs are intimate, compassionate portraits that tell the stories of the people they feature. Covering a wide array of subjects, his work captures raw emotion and real human expression, helping viewers to understand complicated issues. Meltzer is passionate about the potential for great community journalism and credits his liberal arts education at Carleton with giving him an edge. "You learn how to learn, to study, to research, to write. And you get a good background in religion, politics, culture. You need to learn about the people you’re photographing and figure out how to tell a story with a camera." The title of his presentation was "Visual Storytelling."

  • Created 8 February 2008; Published 15 February 2008
    Convocation: J. Drake Hamilton

    J. Drake Hamilton, a leader in climate change policymaking and education, present a convocation address titled “Global Warming Solutions and Economic Opportunities.” Hamilton serves as the Science Policy Director for Fresh Energy, a St. Paul-based non-profit organization working to establish energy independence. She is known for her ability to communicate global warming solutions, and for bringing integrity, environmental stewardship, and a courageous passion for progress to her work. Fresh Energy's efforts focus on clean energy, energy efficiency, transportation policy, global warming solutions and energy justice. In an effort to promote a modern, innovative energy system for the 21st century, the organization provides research, advocacy and innovative policy models while engaging citizens to take action on the energy issues.

  • Created 1 February 2008; Published 4 February 2008
    Convocation: Freeman Hrabowski

    At age 13, Freeman Hrabowski was arrested for participating in the children’s crusade to protest the jailing of Martin Luther King Jr. In college, he was the only black student at the University of Illinois. He went on to earn a PhD, co-author two books, become president of a university, and appear in a Spike Lee film. Currently the president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County and an authority on minority participation and performance in science and math education, Hrabowski's convocation address was titled “Leadership and the Role of Liberal Arts Colleges in Promoting High Achievement among Minorities.”

  • Created 25 January 2008; Published 4 February 2008
    Convocation: Robert McLaughlin
    Robert McLaughlin served a seven year prison sentence for a 1979 murder he did not commit. He was convicted based solely on the testimony of a 15-year-old eyewitness, despite a complete lack of physical evidence and a solid alibi backed up by four others. McLaughlin is not alone in his exoneration following unjust imprisonment. Over 200 people, at least ten of whom were on death row, have been exonerated in recent years. Since his release, McLaughlin has been outspoken about his experience, and now serves on the board of the Innocence Project of Minnesota (IPMN) as an advocate for others who remain in prison following false conviction. IPMN provides investigative and legal assistance to inmates, promotes substantive legal reforms to prevent future wrongful convictions, and works to raise public awareness about the prevalence and causes of wrongful conviction.
  • Created 18 January 2008; Published 28 January 2008
    Convocation: Judy Richardson

    Documentary filmmaker and Civil Rights activist Judy Richardson was the educational director behind the acclaimed PBS documentary film series “Eyes on the Prize.” Winner of the Peabody Award as well as several Emmys, the series presented a stunning picture of the fight to end segregation in America. Lauded by critics, historians and educators, the series combined archival footage and contemporary interviews with participants (including Richardson) in the struggle for and against Civil Rights, presenting a multi-faceted portrait of the movement. Richardson has spent a lifetime fighting for social justice and remains one of the most informative and moving voices on the African-American experience. The title of her presentation was "Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement."

  • Created 11 January 2008; Published 15 January 2008
    Convocation: Mark Seeley

    Mark Seeley is a professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota, where he has worked since 1978. He has done weekly commentary for Minnesota Public Radio since 1992. His extension educational programs relate weather/climate impacts to Minnesota agriculture, transportation, energy, tourism, and natural resources, and he has received several awards for his work with the deployment of living snow fences. Seeley edited a successful series of children's books called the Amazing Science Series and recently authored The Minnesota Weather Almanac, a 200-year history of Minnesota weather. The title of his presentation was "Climate Change in Minnesota: Evidence and Implications."

  • Created 4 January 2008; Published 15 January 2008
    Convocation: Jane Brody

    New York Times personal health columnist and best-selling author Jane Brody helped the Carleton community kick start their new year's resolutions with a special convocation address titled "Taking Charge of Your Health." Brody's widely read and quoted column, which appears in The Times' Science Times section and in scores of other newspapers around the country, earned her the title of "High Priestess of Health" from Time Magazine. She is also the author of several best-selling books, has written countless magazine articles and is a frequent lecturer on health and nutrition topics.

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