Recordings of Convocations
- Created 10 October 2008; Published 23 October 2008Convocation: Joseph Melrose
Joseph Melrose, who served three decades in the Foreign Service, is the former U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, where he helped broker a peace treaty. After leaving Sierra Leone in 2001, he was Task Force Coordinator for the post-September 11 task force with the Department of State, and later was a Senior Consultant on Counterterrorism for the Office of the Secretary of State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He has also served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly for the State Department. As the president of the National Model United Nations board of directors, he oversees programs for more than 3,400 student delegates. Examining the legacy of former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, one of the signers of the United Nations charter, Melrose's presentation was titled "US Role in the UN: From Stassen to the 21st Century."
- Created 3 October 2008; Published 23 October 2008Convocation: Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson has served as an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 1994, where he has earned respect for his hard work and superb legal decision-making. Previously, he was Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals (1992-1994). The author of many important decisions, including the leading case on bail, Justice Anderson has been a leader on improving racial fairness in Minnesota’s justice system. As a strong advocate for an impartial, nonpartisan judiciary, Justice Anderson believes it is critical that we keep partisan politics out of the courtroom. He reaches out to communities across the state, explaining our court system, inspiring public service, and promoting public confidence in our judicial system. Focusing on the freedoms that have permitted our nation to flourish and the judiciary’s role in protecting those freedoms, Anderson’s presentation was titled "Freedom is NOT Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose."
- Created 26 September 2008; Published 17 October 2008Convocation: James Watson
James Watson, professor of anthropology at Harvard University, is an ethnographer who has spent over 30 years working in south China, primarily in villages. His research has focused on Chinese emigrants to London, ancestor worship and popular religion, family life and village organization, food systems, and the emergence of a post-socialist culture in the People's Republic of China. In recent years Professor Watson has worked with graduate students in Harvard’s Department of Anthropology to investigate the impact of transnational food industries and genetically modified food in East Asia, Europe, and Russia. Focusing on changing patterns of food consumption and provisioning in south China and exploring transformations that have occurred in the Chinese family during the past century, Watson's presentation was titled "A Cultural Biography Of Meat (In South China): Globalization, Modernization, and Family Transformations."
- Created 15 September 2008; Published 17 October 2008Opening Convocation: Deborah Bial
Deborah Bial, president and founder of The Posse Foundation, was the featured speaker at Carleton’s opening convocation for the 2008-09 school year, with an address titled “Make It Happen: The Importance of Transformative Leadership.” The Posse Foundation is a youth leadership development and college access program that identifies, recruits, and trains youth leaders from urban public high schools and sends these groups as teams, or “posses,” to top colleges and universities around the country.
- Created 30 May 2008; Published 11 June 2008Honors Convocation: Diethelm Prowe
The Honors Convocation is held each year on the last Friday of spring term to recognize faculty and students for their accomplishments and their service to the community. This year's address will be delivered by Diethelm Prowe, Laird Bell Professor of History. The title of Professor Prowe's address is "Carls Born 1945-1989: Twentieth Century Perspectives."
In addition to the full program in audio and video, the audio version has also been broken out into the following parts:
- Part 1: Salutatory, President's welcome, and the announcement of the ACRL award with response
- Part 2: Announcments of the Endowed Chairs recipients
- Part 3: Recognition of Honor Students
- Part 4: The Convocation Address with introduction, plus the Alma Mater and Valedictory
- Created 23 May 2008; Published 11 June 2008Convocation: Ann Cooper
Chef Ann Cooper is a renegade lunch lady. She works to transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms for students—one school lunch at a time. Cooper is at the forefront of the movement to transform the National School Lunch Program into one that places greater emphasis on the health of students than the financial health of a select few agribusiness corporations. Her lunch menus emphasize regional, organic, fresh foods, and nutritional education, helping students build a connection between their personal health and where their food comes from. The title of her presentation was "Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children."
- Created 16 May 2008; Published 11 June 2008Convocation: 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 2008Convocation: 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 2008Convocation: 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 2008Convocation: David HilliardDavid 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 2008Convocation: Gao Hong and FriendsWorld-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 2008Convocation: 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 2008Convocation: 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 2008Convocation: 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 2008Convocation: 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."