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

Aug. 24, 2007

Presidential candidates likely to supplement full semester of Lectures Program events

by Anne Krapfl

Comedy, culture and - in an autumn preceding the Iowa caucuses - politics are part of what's planned this semester for Iowa State's lecture series. A collaboration between the Office of the Provost and the Government of the Student Body, the series brings to campus each year a broad lineup of lectures, political debates, academic forums, musical and dance performances and entertainment such as film and comedy. All "lectures" are free and open to the public.

While no one has confirmed a speaking date yet, Lectures Program director Pat Miller said all of the presidential candidates have been invited to speak as part of the university's presidential caucus series.

"At this point, they're all saying they want to, and before the end of the semester we'll have most of the candidates come through the university," she said. "We didn't use to start this series so early."

Iowa State has sponsored the presidential caucus series since 1987.

RESCHEDULED: Comedy opener

John Oliver, a regular writer and correspondent on the Emmy Award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the cable channel Comedy Central, comes to campus for the traditional back-to-school comedy kickoff Friday, Sept. 7. Oliver received the "Breakout Award" at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen last winter. Originally scheduled for September 7, 2007, his ISU show will be rescheduled.

Class that's largely a lecture series

The Lectures Program again has worked with faculty members Jim Bernard (mechanical engineering) and Mark Rectanus (German studies) to offer "Technology, Globalization and Culture." It's a 400-level course that features leading professionals from business, industry, cultural institutions and academia who discuss globalization's impact on the present and future. The lecture series to prepare students to become leaders typically meets Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. or Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the Howe Hall auditorium. Guest presenters on the list this fall include Caterpillar vice president Jim Waters; Jeffrey Cole, director of the World Internet Project; writer Lisa Margonelli, whose Oil on the Brain: Travels in the World of Petroleum was published in February; and University of Michigan president emeritus James Duderstadt.

Suggestive language for $400

Iowa State will observe Banned Book Week Sept. 24 with a Jeopardy!-style contest of local, literate panelists. They'll be asked questions about banned books and their authors. The Greenlee School's Barbara Mack will moderate; panel members include Ames Tribune editor Dave Kraemer, Iowa Public Radio host Katherine Perkins, English associate professor Fern Kupfer, film reviewer and Meredith Co. editor Steve Sullivan, associate provost Susan Carlson and English professor emeritus Dale Ross.

Book author and famous son

Social justice advocate Robert Ellsberg visits campus Oct. 1 to talk about saints. Ellsberg is the publisher and editor-in-chief at Orbis Books, the publishing arm of the Maryknoll Society. He is a former managing editor of the Catholic Worker newspaper, and has authored many books. Ellsberg's father, Daniel, released the "Pentagon Papers," a top-secret history of the country's involvement in Vietnam, to The New York Times and other newspapers in 1971.

Hilton chair

Economist and urban studies theorist Richard Florida is the College of Human Sciences' 2007-08 Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair. He is a professor of business and creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He wrote the 2002 bestseller The Rise of the Creative Class and, more recently, The Flight of the Creative Class, which examines the global competition for creative talent. Florida's ideas on a "creative class," commercial innovation and regional economic development have been featured in ad campaigns and are being used to change the way regions and nations transform their economies. His Sept. 19 lecture on his creative class theory begins at 8 p.m. at Stephens.

Presidential lecture

University Professor of political science and radio personality "Dr. Politics" Steffen Schmidt will present the fall 2007 Presidential University Lecture Oct. 8. His talk, "More Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail," will look at the American process of selecting a president, particularly the role and influence of the Iowa caucuses.

Details of all Lectures Program events are online.

John Oliver

John Oliver


From politics to comedy, this year's lineup of lectures features something for everyone.

Details of all Lectures Program events are online.