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From the Director’s Desk

The Kluge Center held a flurry of events in the last week of September, including a discussion with Jonathan Haidt of his book, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” the Symposium “Becoming Interplanetary,” hosted by the NASA/Library of Congress Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology, Lucianne Walkowicz, and a dynamic discussion of the politics and culture of Star Wars. [see left]. In addition, Haidt met with several Members of Congress for breakfast to discuss  changes on college campuses due to the influx of Generation Z students.

Earlier in the month, the Kluge Center awarded historian and outgoing president of Harvard University Drew Gilpin Faust the Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. Faust was honored at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building, attended by embassy officials, higher education leaders, Members of Congress, and many others. Faust’s speech on the challenges facing higher education and, more specifically, the humanities was pertinent and compelling. It can be viewed here, starting at 18:00.

October and beyond at the Kluge Center
This Thursday, October 4, outgoing Kluge Staff Fellow, Alan Gevinson, will be screening Hospital (1970), Frederick Wiseman’s Emmy award-winning documentary on New York City’s Metropolitan Hospital. The film goes behind the scenes of an overburdened institution, offering an unblinking look at the various roles the general hospital plays in modern society. Gevinson, the Library of Congress project director of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, has been immersed in a year-long research project, exploring the value of documentaries as sources for historical knowledge. The event begins at 5:30pm with a reception outside of Pickford Auditorium on the third floor of the Madison Building, followed by a discussion of the film at 6:30, and the screening of the one-hour documentary at 7:00.

On October 11, the Kluge Center, in conjunction with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and the Center for Women in Politics, both at American University, will present a panel discussion on the Dynamics of the 2018 Midterm Elections. This will take place in room 119 of the Jefferson Building at 4pm, with a reception to follow. The panelists include elections scholar David Barker of American University, Elaine Kamarck of the Brookings Institution, and Sara (Taylor) Fagen, former Political Director of the George W. Bush White House. The discussion will center on the factors that drive midterm elections and what might be distinctive about this year’s cycle.

On October 16, Library of Congress Chair in U.S.-Russia Relations James Goldgeier, will host a 6:30 pm panel discussion on Russia and the U.S. Elections. This event is reserved for congressional staff. It will feature Alina Polyakova of the Brookings Institutions, Thomas Rid from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Carla Anne Robbins of the Council on Foreign Relations.

On November 1, Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations Ivan Krastev will moderate a panel: “Liberalism, Foreign Policy, and the Emerging International Order.” The event will feature Thomas Bagger, Director of Foreign Policy in the Office of the Federal President of Germany, Sandra Breka, Senior Vice President of Robert Bosch Stiftung, Rosa Brooks, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Sir Robert Francis Cooper, a British diplomat currently serving as a Special Advisor at the European Commission, and Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of “Russia in Global Affairs.” The event will take place in room 119 of the Jefferson Building from 12:00 – 2:00pm.

We hope to see you at one of our events.

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