Mae Ngai

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Speaker
Mae Ngai
Lecture date
March 28th, 2023
Time
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Title
The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

Mae Ngai is the Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in the histories of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and the Chinese diaspora. Her latest book, The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics, was winner of the 2022 Bancroft Prize. This distinguished history of the Chinese diaspora and global capitalism chronicles how a feverish alchemy of race and money brought Chinese people to the West and reshaped the nineteenth century. Drawing on ten years of research across five continents, Ngai narrates the story of the thousands of Chinese who left their homeland in pursuit of gold and how they formed communities and organizations to help navigate their perilous new world.

Ngai is author of the award-winning book Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America. Ngai has written on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, the Nation, and Dissent. Before becoming a historian, Ngai was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, New York, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. She is currently writing Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea (under contract with Princeton University Press). Ngai lives in New York City, New York, and Accokeek, Maryland.

Douglas Brinkley

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Speaker
Douglas Brinkley
Lecture date
April 18th, 2023
Time
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Title
Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and a professor of history at Rice University, the CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards, museums, colleges, and historical societies. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley as their official U.S. Presidential Historian.

In his most recent book, Silent Spring Revolution, Brinkley chronicles the rise of environmental activism during the Long Sixties, telling a highly charged story of an indomitable generation of activists who combated environmental destruction under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. In a fast-evolving era when the nation is witnessing new types of environmental crises due to climate change and resource exhaustion, Brinkley’s meticulously researched and deftly written book reminds readers of the passionate grassroots work that still needs to be done.

His book American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race was a New York Times bestseller. In addition, Cronkite won the Sperber Prize while The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He has received a Grammy Award for Presidential Suite and seven honorary doctorates in American Studies. His two-volume annotated The Nixon Tapes recently won the Arthur S. Link — Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He is a member of the Century Association, Council of Foreign Relations, and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.

Peniel E. Joseph

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Speaker
Peniel E. Joseph
Lecture date
May 23rd, 2023
Time
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Title
The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century

Peniel E. Joseph is Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, and in history at the College of Liberal Arts. As a professor at Tufts University, he founded the first CSRD to promote engaged scholarship on race and democracy’s impact on global citizens. He earned a B.A. from SUNY at Stony Brook and a Ph.D. from Temple University.

In Joseph’s latest book, The Third Reconstruction, he offers a powerful and personal new interpretation of recent history. The racial reckoning that unfolded in 2020, he argues, marked the climax of a Third Reconstruction: a new struggle for citizenship and dignity for Black Americans, just as momentous as the movements that arose after the Civil War and during the civil rights era. Joseph draws revealing connections and insights across centuries as he traces this Third Reconstruction from the election of Barack Obama to the rise of Black Lives Matter to the failed assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Joseph’s work has appeared in the New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. He has also commentated on National Public Radio, The Colbert ReportPBS, and MSNBC, and has authored several award-winning books. He recently published The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X. and Martin Luther King Jr. 

Nina Totenberg

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Speaker
Nina Totenberg
Lecture date
February 2nd, 2023
Time
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Title
Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships

Nina Totenberg shines a light on the inner workings of the nation’s highest court and helps audiences understand the impact of headline-making judicial cases on America’s future. One of the country’s most respected journalists and a doyenne of the Supreme Court, Totenberg is National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. With more than forty years’ experience at NPR, her reports are regularly featured on NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Totenberg has won every major journalism award in broadcasting and holds the distinction of being the first radio journalist to have won the National Press Foundation’s “Broadcaster of the Year” award. Referred to as “the crème de la crème” of NPR by Newsweek, Totenberg shares her seasoned reflections on the Supreme Court, top legal issues affecting everyday Americans, and the important cases being considered by the court. In-depth and wildly thought-provoking, her deep experience and nuanced perspective provides audiences insight into today’s judicial headlines like no one else can.

A tribute and testament to her nearly fifty-year friendship with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Totenberg’s memoir, Dinners With Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September 2022.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

A headshot of the speaker, Doris Kearns Goodwin
Speaker
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Lecture date
Originally aired: October 18th, 2022
Time
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Title
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and President Lyndon B. Johnson

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and bestselling author. Goodwin’s career as an author was inspired when, as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard, she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Goodwin worked with President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in writing his memoirs. She later wrote her first book, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, which became a national bestseller. It was re-released in 2019 with a new foreword highlighting Johnson’s accomplishments in domestic affairs that have stood the test of time.

She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln served as the basis for Steven Spielberg’s hit film Lincoln and was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American History, and the Lincoln Leadership Prize. Her latest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, was published in September 2018 to critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller.

Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is frequently seen in documentaries and on news and cable networks. In 2020, she served as the executive producer for History Channel’s six-hour, three-night miniseries event, Washington. Goodwin recently founded Pastimes Productions with Beth Laski to develop and produce film, television, and digital projects.

Goodwin lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room in 1979 and is a devoted fan of the World Series–winning team.