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.


September 12, 2014:  Jed Rubenfeld, on the problem of sexual consent.  Jed Rubenfeld is a Professor at Yale Law School, the author of a recent article that he will discuss: “The Riddle of Rape-by-Deception and the Myth of Sexual Autonomy” (122 Yale Law Journal 1372 [2013]).  He is Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law at Yale, a graduate of Princeton (1980) and the Harvard Law School (1986), and the author of Freedom and Time: A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government (2001) and Revolution by Judiciary: The Structure of American Constitutional Law (2005) as well as of two best-selling crime novels.  He is, one cannot help noting, the husband of Amy Chua, the famous Tiger Mother of Yale, with whom he has co-authored The Triple Package (2014).

September 19, 2014:  Russ Muirhead ’88, on The Constitution and Political Parties.  
J. Russell Muirhead is Robert Clemens Associate Professor of Democracy and Politics at Dartmouth College, a Rhodes Scholar (1990) as well as a Harvard graduate and a Harvard PhD in Government (1997).  He is the author of Just Work (2004) and the just published The Promise of Party in A Polarized Age (2014).  His talk is sponsored by the Jack Miller Center as part of Harvard’s celebration of Constitution Day (two days earlier).

September 26, 2014:  Rebecca Goldstein, on her new book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away 
Rebecca Goldstein is an essayist and a novelist, her most recent novel being 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, and a professor of philosophy, author of Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (2005) and Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (2006).  She graduated from Barnard (1972), received a PhD in philosophy from Princeton, and a MacArthur genius grant in 1996.

October 17, 2014:  Charles Lane ’83, TBA.  
Charles Lane is on the editorial board for The Washington Post and is a regular guest on the Fox News Channel.  He was formerly a foreign correspondent for Newsweek at its Berlin bureau and the editor of The New Republic (1997-99), and he is the author of The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction (2008).

October 24 2014:  Christopher Caldwell ’83, on The Endless 1960’s: The Roots of Today’s Unrest.  
Chris Caldwell is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a regular commentator in The Financial Times, and contributor to other significant newspapers and magazines who either honor or tolerate him.  He is the author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West (2009).

October 31, 2014:  Francis Fukuyama, on his new book, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy.  
He is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, and the author of several important books. Among them are Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995); Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (2002); The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order (1999); America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy (2006), and most notably The End of History and the Last Man (1992).  The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution (2011) is a companion volume to his latest book.  He is a graduate of Cornell (1974) and holds a PhD in Government from Harvard (1981).

November 14, 2014:  R. Shep Melnick ’73, on Regulation of Campus Sexual Misconduct by the Office of Civil Rights.  He is the Tip O’Neill Professor of American Politics at Boston College and co-chair of the Program on Constitutional Government.  Before moving to Boston College he taught at Harvard and Brandeis.  He is the author of Regulation and the Courts: The Case of the Clean Air Act (1983) and Between the Lines: Interpreting Welfare Rights (1994).  He graduated from Harvard and has a PhD in Government from Harvard (1980).

December 5, 2014:  Peter Schuck, on his new book, Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better He is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus of Law at the Yale Law School.  He is the author of Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples (2006); Meditations of a Militant Moderate: Cool Views on Hot Topics (2005), and co-editor with James Q. Wilson of Understanding America (2009).  Before joining the Yale faculty he practiced law in Washington and New York and was an official at the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  He holds a B. A. from Cornell (1962), a J. D. from the Harvard Law School (1965), and an M. A. in Government from Harvard (1969).



March 7, 2014:  John P. Walters, on “Addiction and American Democracy.”  

March 14, 2014:  Charles Murray, on “The Bell Curve Revisited.”   

March 28, 2014:  Colleen Sheehan, on “The Education of Jane Austen’s Emma.” 

April 25, 2014:  Morton Keller, on “The Rise and Stall of the Modern American State.”  

May 9, 2014:  Ramesh Ponnuru, on “The Future of the Republican Party.”  



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.