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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Aug. 25, 2006

Comedy, tragedy are part of fall lectures lineup

by Diana Pounds

Pithy populist Jim Hightower, funny guys from Comedy Central and a filmmaker who documented the happy and unhappy endings for animals stranded in New Orleans are among speakers who will share their ideas on campus this fall.

More than two dozen speakers will come to campus in the next few months as part of the university lectures series. Here's a sampler of some of the talks and events in the lectures lineup. The complete list of lectures is at

'Be an agitator'

"Be an agitator," Jim Hightower says. "The agitator is the center post in the washing machine that gets the dirt out." The Texas populist, writer and national radio commentator will drop in on several Iowa universities and community colleges on a tour on behalf of Iowans for Sensible Priorities. (The "Sensible" project's goal is to force presidential candidates to tell voters how they'd divvy up the federal pie.) Hightower will be on central campus at noon Thursday, Sept. 7.

Funny... and free

Three Comedy Central denizens will lighten the mood in Stephens Auditorium Friday, Sept. 8, at the traditional comedy kickoff for the school year. Christian Finnegan, currently on VH1's hit series Best Week Ever will take the stage with Kyle Grooms of the New York stand-up circuit, and John Mulaney, whose credits include Def Comedy Jam and Chappelle's Show. The event begins at 8 p.m. and admission is free.

Girls fight back

After a sorority sister was murdered in 2001 in Charleston, Ill., Erin Weed founded a cutting-edge women's self-defense studio -- Girls Fight Back. Weed will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18.

Katrina animal rescues

In the graphic documentary Dark Water Rising, filmmaker Mike Shiley tells what happened to more than 50,000 dogs and cats stranded in New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. The film airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, and Shiley will be on campus at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, to talk about its making. Both events are in the Memorial Union.

Otero on national security

Col. Evelio Otero, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a top-level member of Gen. Tommy Franks' staff, will return to Iowa State, where he majored in journalism and political science in the early '80s. Otero will give a military perspective on coalition-building and U.S. national security policy in an Oct. 11 talk at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

Presidential Lecture

ISU landscape professor Mira Engler will give the fall University Presidential Lecture. Engler wrote Designing America's Waste Landscapes, a thought-provoking look at the history of waste and the marginalized sites that hold our garbage. She will speak at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

Erin Week

Erin Weed


ISU Lectures Program's full fall lineup