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Headlines at Hopkins
News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

August 31, 2007
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

The 2007 MSE Symposium at Johns Hopkins University
Controversial Pundit Christopher Hitchens To Kick Off
Annual Speaker Series

Author, journalist and literary critic Christopher Hitchens will lead off the annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at The Johns Hopkins University. His talk will take place in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the university's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St., in Baltimore. Admission is free. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. A reception in the Clipper Room follows the event.

Hitchens, a pundit whose nonfiction often courts controversy, is the first of seven speakers and events in this year's symposium, "Renewing American Culture," which will look to national figures to discuss the basic fabric of American ideals. Established in 1967 to honor the university's eighth president, the annual MSE Symposium is an undergraduate-run lecture series, free and open to the public, that brings to campus renowned speakers with a variety of perspectives on issues of national importance. The symposium has drawn a roster of luminaries that includes 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, Ben Stein, Howard Zinn and Michael Moore.

The symposium is managed entirely by undergraduates. This year's co-chairs are Jon Bernhardt, a junior majoring in international relations from Boca Raton, Fla.; Jonathan Colllins, a senior majoring in general engineering from Sparta, N.J.; and Nora Krinitsky, a junior majoring in history from Libertyville, Ill. 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 include booking auditoriums; arranging for hotels, dinners, and receptions for the guests; securing the sound system; and publicizing the series.

Hitchens leads off the series. A regular guest on politically themed cable TV shows like The Daily Show and Real Time with Bill Maher, Hitchens newest book, a New York Times bestseller, is God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. His other titles include The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice; a book about President Clinton's family titled No One Left To Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family; A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq; and The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favorite Fetish . The Wall Street Journal recently noted that Hitchens is "well-known in media and political circles an erudite raconteur and essayist." He has written columns for Vanity Fair, The Nation and Slate, and he contributes to the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times Book Review and the Atlantic Monthly, among many other publications. A bio from his speakers bureau is online at www.greatertalent.com/speakers/speakers.php?speakerid=61 0 and a bio from his publisher is online at /www.twelvepublishing.net/books/god_not_great.asp .

The coming weeks will bring other prominent guests from various fields to the Homewood campus. The following lectures are at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall unless noted. High-resolution digital photos of several of the speakers are available by e-mailing acl@jhu.edu:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 26. David Simon, creator of HBO's The Wire and a former reporter at the Baltimore Sun.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 10. Martin O'Malley, governor of Maryland.

  • Friday, Oct. 12. Actor Danny Glover.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 17. Rory Kennedy.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 23. Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Co-sponsored by Free Fall Baltimore, www.freefallbaltimore.com.

  • Friday, Nov. 2. The Capitol Steps.

  • Each lecture lasts approximately 45 minutes and is followed by a question-and-answer period and a reception where guests mingle with members of the audience.

    While admission to all the events is free, a seat near the stage at all events can be secured with the purchase of a $50 season pass. To purchase a season pass, send a check payable to Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, along with a note including the donor's name and the name of person you are reserving seat for to Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, Mattin Center, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.

    For more information, the general public and the media may contact the MSE Symposium publicity chair Jonathan Collins at 201-602-0307. The media may also contact Amy Lunday in the Office of News and Information, 443-287-9960 or acl@jhu.edu. The MSE Symposium Web site is www.jhu.edu/mse.

    Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/
       Information on automatic e-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

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