Lunch Speakers Series

Each of the lunchtime seminars runs from 12 to 2 pm.  They begin with a lunch, from 12 to 12:30, before the speaker delivers his summary wisdom.  We leave plenty of time for questions and disputes. The lunchtime events are scheduled for Knafel 354, located at 1737 Cambridge Street (CGIS North), unless otherwise noted. We will send Evites for each lunch seminar about two weeks in advance. Please RSVP to Andy Zwick(Executive Director) so that we know how much to order for lunch.

Videos of past seminars are available on YouTube.


March 7, 2014:  John P. Walters, on “Addiction and American Democracy.”  John Walters is the former director of the White House National Drug Control Policy in the G. W. Bush administration, 2001-9—the Drug Czar.  He is now Executive Vice President of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D. C.  Previously he served in the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds an M. A. from the University of Toronto.

March 14, 2014:  Charles Murray, on “The Bell Curve Revisited.” Charles Murray is a Fellow at the American Enterprise Association, and the author of famous and influential books, among them, Losing Ground (1984), The Bell Curve; Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994, with Richard Herrnstein), and most recently, Coming Apart:  the State of White America,1960-2010 (2013).  He declares himself a libertarian, has written for many journals, and has received the Irving Kristol award from AEI and the Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation.  He is Harvard ’65 and received a PhD in political science from M. I. T. in 1974.  He is also the author of several “Murray’s laws” of social behavior.  

March 28, 2014:  Colleen Sheehan, on “The Education of Jane Austen’s Emma.” Colleen Sheehan is Professor of Political Science at Villanova University, where she is director of the Matthew J. Ryan Project for the Study of Free Institutions.  Her special field is the American Founding, and she is the author of James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government (2009), and co-editor of Friends of the Constitution; Writings of The “Other” Federalists (2006).  She graduated from Eisenhower College and holds a PhD from Claremont Graduate University. She is an avid and penetrating reader of Jane Austen’s novels.

April 25, 2014:  Morton Keller, on “The Rise and Stall of the Modern American State.”  Mickey Keller is Professor Emeritus of History at Brandeis and the author of several notable books in 19th and 20th century American history:  Regulating a New Society; Public Policy and Social Change in America, 1900-1933 (1994); Regulating a New Economy in America; Economic Change and Public Policy, 1900-1933 (1990); The New Deal; What Was It? (1963).  He is also the author, with Phyllis Keller, of Making Harvard Modern; The Rise of America’s University (2001).

May 9, 2014:  Ramesh Ponnuru, on “The Future of the Republican Party.”  Ramesh Ponnuru is a columnist, a senior editor of The National Review, a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a conservative pundit who has published in many top newspapers and magazines that either honor or tolerate him.  He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in  1995 and is the author of The Party of Death:  The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life (2006).



September 27, 2013:  Morris Fiorina, on the present political situation in the U.S.

October 18, 2013:  Jonathan Last, on his new book, What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, the demographic problem faced by liberal democracy in the West. 

October 25, 2013:   Christopher DeMuth, “The Bucks Start Here,” on the growth of executive government as connected to the growth of national debt. 

November 1, 2013:   Jean Yarbrough, on her new book Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. 

November 15, 2013:   Wilfred McClay, on “The Strange Persistence of Guilt in a Post-Religious Age.”  



October 12, 2012 Sohrab Ahmari, on the situation in Iran.

October 19, 2012: Lorraine Clark, on the Jane Austen novel Mansfield Park.

October 26, 2012: Irwin Stelzer, on the American economy and the election.

November 2, 2012:  Paul A. Cantor, on Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra. 

November 9, 2012:  Michael W. McConnell, on current events at the Supreme Court.  

November 16, 2012: James Piereson, on his forthcoming study of John Maynard Keynes.  

November 30, 2012:  Jim Manzi, on the use and abuse of social science.  



February 3, 2012:  Steven Pinker, on his new book concerning violence, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined(2011).

March 2, 2012:  Jay Cost, on the presidential campaign this year.

March 23, 2012:  Adam Schulman, on “The Discovery of Entropy” and its implications for our understanding and the relationship between philosophy and science.  

April 13, 2012:  Heather Mac Donald, on criticisms of American universities.