A Star-Studded Symposium
James Carville, Bill Clinton
campaign strategist, opens the MSE Symposium.
James Carville leads off speaker series focused on American
One of the city's highest profile speaker series
— Johns Hopkins' annual Milton S.
Eisenhower Symposium — gets under way this week
on the Homewood campus when author and political pundit
James Carville takes a look at "The State of American
Carville is the first of six speakers in this year's
symposium, American Mass Media: Redefining the Democratic
Landscape, which will look at the role the media plays
today in various aspects of society. Also scheduled are
Kate Michelman, Dick Morris, Frank Newport, Neal Baer and
A series of free lectures during which prominent
guests address a single issue, the MSE Symposium typically
draws thousands of people. Past luminaries include Nelson
Mandela, Aaron Copland, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Spike
Lee, Charlton Heston, Carl Bernstein, George McGovern,
Eugene McCarthy, Russell Simmons, Bob Woodward, Patricia
Ireland, Wesley Clark, Isaac Asimov, Antonin Scalia and
Two of this year's speakers — Carville and
Morris — each masterminded a presidential campaign
for Bill Clinton, Carville in 1992 and Morris in 1996.
Carville, known for his colorful debating style (and
marriage to Republican strategist Mary Matalin), is a
political commentator on CNN, where he formerly co-hosted
Crossfire and now holds down the liberal left in debates on
Inside Politics. His lecture will be on Thursday, Sept.
Morris, who appears as a commentator for Fox News and
writes a weekly column for The New York Post, was Clinton's
political consultant for 20 years and has masterminded
winning campaigns for more than 30 senators and governors.
His latest book, Rewriting History, is a rebuttal to
Hillary Clinton's Living History. Morris' talk, "Public
Interest in Alternative Media," is set for Tuesday, Oct.
Scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2, is Frank Newport,
editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, who says he's been
fascinated as long as he can remember by human behavior.
After receiving a doctorate in sociology, Newport taught
college and was a radio talk show host before entering the
world of market and public opinion research. Today he uses
survey research as a methodical tool for studying humans,
and he appears frequently on CNN and other media outlets to
explain what's on the minds of Americans, and why it's
important. Newport will address "Polling and Politics."
Neal Baer, a former educator, editor, longtime writer
for ER, executive producer and writer of Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit and, since 1996, a Harvard-educated
physician, will add another perspective to the ongoing
discussion. He'll take the stage on Tuesday, Nov. 15,
talking about "Medicine and Hollywood."
Kate Michelman, who headed NARAL Pro-Choice America
for 18 years, will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 5, on "Building
Grassroots Campaigns." Called one of America's 200 Women
Legends by Vanity Fair, Michelman first honed her
organizing skills in the civil rights movement. NARAL,
which she joined in 1985, has been described by Fortune as
"one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."
On. Nov. 29, civil rights activist and author Phyllis
Schlafly will talk on "Feminism vs. Conservatism."
Schlafly, named one of the 100 most important women of the
century by Ladies Home Journal, became a leader of the
conservative movement after the publication of her 1964
book, A Choice Not an Echo, and has been a leader of the
pro-family movement since 1972, when she started a national
volunteer organization now called Eagle Forum.
Also part of the symposium are a workshop on broadcast
journalism led by Jennifer Gilbert, co-anchor of Fox 45
Evening News, and a debate between the College Republicans
and the College Democrats. The workshop will be at 7 p.m.
on Tuesday, Oct. 11, location TBA. The debate is at 8 p.m.
on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Levering's Arellano Theater.
Since the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium was
established in 1967 to honor the university's eighth
president, it has been entirely organized and managed by
undergraduates. This year's co-chairs are seniors Emilie
Adams, a political science major from Potomac, Md.; William
Ares, a psychology major from Malverne, N.Y.; and Garvey
Rene, an economics major from Miami.
The student chairs are responsible for securing the
speakers, which means going through agents — and
sometimes going around agents — and convincing
national figures to speak at Johns Hopkins for a fraction
of their customary fees. The chairs receive some funding
from Student Council and raise the balance from university
departments, corporations and foundations. They are also
responsible for everything else, a daunting array of tasks
that includes booking auditoriums; arranging for hotels,
dinners and receptions for the guests; securing the sound
system; and publicizing the series.
All talks are at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall. Each lecture
lasts approximately 45 minutes and is followed by a
question-and-answer session. The speaker also attends a
post-lecture reception open to the audience.
'American Mass Media: Redefining the Democratic
The 2005 Milton S. Eisenhower
The following lectures are at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall
Auditorium, Homewood campus; doors open at 6:30 p.m. A
reception follows upstairs in the Clipper Room. For more
information, contact the MSE Symposium office at
Thursday, Sept. 22
"The State of American Politics"
James Carville, author and political pundit
Wednesday, Oct. 5
"Building Grassroots Campaigns"
Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice
Tuesday, Oct. 18
"Public Interest in Alternative Media"
Dick Morris, Fox News commentator and New York
Wednesday, Nov. 2
"Polling and Politics"
Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup
Tuesday, Nov. 15
"Medicine and Hollywood"
Neal Baer, executive producer of Law & Order:
Tuesday, Nov. 29
"Feminism vs. Conservatism"
Phyllis Schlafly, civil rights activist/author
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