Leadership, Liberal Arts, and the Common Good
Panel 1: Reimagining Civil Discourse
American political and civic discourse has become more and more rancorous. The divisions among people, parties, and ideologies have seemingly thrown up barriers against respectful listening, seeking common ground, respect for persons, and the ability even to agree to disagree. How should we reimagine our polity and the arenas in which civil discourse might take place with the result that the barriers fall and the great chasms of anger and disrespect are bridged? What role should liberal arts education and the leaders it produces play in shaping a new reality?
Robin Wagner-Pacifici is the Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Sociology. Her work analyzes society's response to violent events, including armed standoffs and events identified as terrorist in nature—the language with which these events are described by the media, the government, and the public and what that language reveals about changing conceptions of terrorism. Wagner-Pacifici is the author of The Art of Surrender: Decomposing Sovereignty at Conflict's End as well as Theorizing the Standoff: Contingency in Action. Two earlier books, Discourse and Destruction: The City of Philadelphia versus MOVE and The Moro Morality Play: Terrorism as Social Drama focused, respectively on the 1985 MOVE disaster in Philadelphia and the kidnapping and murder of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades in 1978. Wagner-Pacifici holds a B.A. in comparative literature from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Christopher Edley '73 is dean and professor of law at the University of California–Berkeley School of Law Boalt Hall. Prior to that, he served as a professor at Harvard Law School. His academic work is primarily in the areas of civil rights and administrative law. Edley was co-founder of the Harvard Civil Rights Project. His publications include Not All Black and White: Affirmative Action, Race and American Values, and Administrative Law: Rethinking Judicial Control of Bureaucracy. He holds a B.A. with high honors in mathematics from Swarthmore and a J.D. and Ph.D. in public administration from Harvard University.
Andrew Perrin '93 is associate professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina. His research interests focus on democratic citizenship in the United States—the cultural and social underpinnings of democracy: what do people need to know, be, and do to make democracy work? He is the author of Citizen Speak: The Democratic Imagination in American Life (University of Chicago Press, 2006). He holds a B.A. with highest honors in sociology and anthropology from Swarthmore and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California–Berkeley.
William Saletan '87 is Slate magazine's national correspondent. He writes about science, technology, politics, and society. He is the author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War (2004), which argues that pro-choice and pro-life activists have lost the abortion debate to a third constituency: libertarian conservatives. He holds a B.A. with highest honors in philosophy from Swarthmore.
Panel 2: Sustainable Living
What role should Swarthmore College and liberal arts education play in producing the leadership that will help develop and shape policy - and how can the College as an institution model practices - that will strengthen the will of the nation and the world to forge pathways to sustainable living that might ultimately save the planet and all of mankind?
Carr Everbach is professor of engineering and co-chair of the Sustainability Committee at Swarthmore. His research interests include acoustics, biomedical ultrasound, environmental engineering, and sustainability. Everbach holds a B.A. in the Division of Applied Sciences at Harvard University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Yale University.
Anne Renee Kapuscinski '76 is the inaugural Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Sustainability Science at Dartmouth College. Previously, she was a professor of fisheries and conservation biology at the University of Minnesota and the founding director of the university's Institute for Social, Economic, and Ecological Sustainability. Her awards include a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation and a USDA Honor Award in Environmental Protection. She holds a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore and an M.S. and Ph.D. in fisheries from Oregon State University.
Christopher Laszlo '80 is co-founder and managing partner of Sustainable Value Partners, a management consulting firm helping Fortune 500 companies create business value through integrating sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Previously, Laszlo was an executive at Lafarge, a world leader in building materials. He is a visiting professor at Case Western Weatherhead School of Management and at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business as well as a visiting scholar at INSEAD. He is the author of several books; most recently, Sustainable Value: How Leading Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good (Stanford University Press U.S.A. and Greenleaf Publishing UK, 2008). He holds a B.A. with honors in economics from Swarthmore, an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Paris.
Matthew Jacob St. Clair '97 is the first sustainability manager for the University of California’s Office of the President, leading sustainability efforts across the 10-campus UC system since 2004. He has delivered lectures at numerous universities, been an invited keynote speaker at several regional and national conferences, and has advised the U.S. House of Representatives on the formation of an Office of Sustainability for the U.S. Capitol. Prior to his position at the University of California, he worked on international campaigns for Friends of the Earth Czech Republic and on renewable energy policy research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He holds a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore and an M.A. in environmental policy from the University of California–Berkeley. He is a LEED accredited professional.