Week’s lectures discuss past, present, future

This week’s lectures will focus on topics ranging from ancient civilizations to nanotechnology. Today, Jared Diamond will discuss effects of the environment on the decline of civilizations and Dennis Roberts will speak about leadership in the 21st century. Tuesday, Julia Sweig will speak about American foreign policy. Thursday, Lauren Berlant will discuss economics and youthful fantasies of “the good life.” Friday, Ronald Sandler will speak on nanotechnology and the environment.

Title: “Collapse”

The Basics: Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor of geography at UCLA, will give a lecture on the main themes of his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed. Diamond will speak about the influence of environmental factors on the fall of civilizations. A pre-lecture book signing will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the McKenna Room in the University Center.

When: Today at 4:30 p.m.

Where: McConomy Auditorium, University Center

Title: “Deeper Learning in Leadership”

The Basics: Dennis Roberts, associate vice president of student affairs at Miami University of Ohio, will discuss steps to improve leadership in the 21st century. Roberts will discuss aspects of his forthcoming book, titled Deeper Learning in Leadership, which explores the emergence of leadership initiatives on college campuses in the last 30 years and how education can be utilized to enhance leadership.

When: Today at 7 p.m.

Where: McConomy Auditorium, University Center

Title: “Friendly Fire: Losing Friends, Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century”

The Basics: Julia E. Sweig, director of the Latin America Studies program at the Council on Foreign Affairs, will discuss current opinions of American foreign policy. Her book, Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground, was awarded the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award for best book of 2003.

When: Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Title: “Capitalism, Compassion, and the Children: Post Fordist Affect in the Rosetta and La Promesse”

The Basics: Lauren Berlant, professor of English and director of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project at the University of Chicago, will speak about contemporary regimes of global capital and youthful fantasies about “the good life.” The lecture will examine the effect of the economy on idealistic notions of the “good life” as they evolve over generations. Berlant will provide examples from the films of Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardienne.

When: Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Breed Hall, Margaret Morrison 103

Title: “Nanotechnology and Environmental Ethics and Environmental Justice”

The Basics: Ronald Sandler, assistant professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, will discuss the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. He will touch upon issues involving environmental, health, and safety concerns as well as the promotion of nanotechnologies, environmental ethics, and the importance of education and outreach efforts.

When: Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A