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Feb. 21 Panel: Ken Burns, Christopher Benfey, and Eve Blau

Ken BurnsThe spring 2012 Hampshire College Presidential Lecture Series continues on Tuesday, February 21, with a panel discussion at 4 p.m. in Franklin Patterson Hall (MLH).

“Rethinking the Human Prospect: A Panel on History, Art, and the Humanities” will feature Ken Burns 71F, Christopher Benfey, and Eve Blau. The event is free and the public is invited.

Hampshire graduate Ken Burns has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed documentary films ever made. Christopher Benfey is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English and acting dean of faculty at Mount Holyoke College. Eve Blau is adjunct professor of the history of urban form at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Hampshire is hosting a series of public talks by innovative thinkers and leaders in diverse fields throughout the spring semester. National experts, including college alumni, will lecture on trends in higher education and topics such as technology, sustainability, the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Through this Presidential Lecture Series and other events on campus, Hampshire is examining challenges facing the world today and the College’s role in producing innovative thinkers and leaders for the future. These events will also build toward the April 27 inauguration of President Jonathan Lash, which is being built around the theme “Educating for Change: Critical Thinking in a Critical Time.” That day’s events will feature speeches by President Lash and by former U.S. vice president Al Gore.

Other Presidential Lecture Series speakers include:

March 7, 7:30 p.m., Main Lecture Hall (Franklin Patterson) — Edward Humes 75F, Pulitzer prize-winning writer and author of 11 nonfiction books. His latest book is Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution.

March 13, 7:30 p.m., Main Stage (Emily Dickinson Hall) — Staged reading with David Budbill, freelance writer, lecturer, children's book author, poet and playwright.

April 16, 4 p.m., Franklin Patterson Hall – Andrew Ross, professor in New York University's department of social and cultural analysis, delivers the fifth annual Eric N. Schocket Memorial Lecture, "Democracy, Occupy, and Debt-Financed Education."

Hampshire graduate Josh Goldman, founder and CEO of Australis Aquaculture, spoke February 6. Cornell University professor Hod Lipson lectured February 7 on “Science and Art in a Post-Singularity Age.”

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