January 2019 Lecture Series


All lectures are from 10:00-11:00 AM and will be held in the Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Room A on the First Floor.

Reservations Required

Due to limited seating, reservations through Eventbrite are required to attend lectures.

Member Reservations: We e-mail the registration link to current members at 8:30 AM on the Tuesday preceding the next week’s lectures.

Non-Member Reservations: We e-mail the registration link to non-members at 8:30 AM on the Wednesday preceding the next week’s lectures. The registration link is also placed at that time on the website (below).

Each registrant may reserve one seat. Your name must be on the list of registrants to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to guarantee your seat.


TUESDAY January 8, 2019—Marvin Kalb
Enemy of the People

President Trump’s description of the press as the enemy of the people was a familiar tactic for 20th Century despots such as Benito Mussolini and Mao Zedong. Kalb argues that demeaning the press, which he experienced when he was branded a nattering nabob of negativism in the Nixon administration, undermines one of the fundamental pillars of democracy.  

Marvin Kalb was the last newsman recruited by Edward Murrow to join CBS news.  He spent 30 years as a commentator and analyst for CBS and NBC, where he was chief diplomatic correspondent and host of Meet the Press.  He was founding director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University and is now a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and the author of 16 books. 

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-enemy-of-the-people-tickets-53816744331

THURSDAY January 10, 2019—Justin Jacobs
China’s War on Terrorism 

For more than half a century, China publicly celebrated the culture of the 12 million Uyghurs in its northwestern provinces as evidence of China’s tolerant and progressive leadership. In 2001, Jacobs says, the lives of these Muslim people changed. As the U.S. began to fight its “global war on terrorism” China conducted its own parallel war on fomenters of “East Turkestan independence,” a war that has largely escaped international scrutiny. 

Justin Jacobs is an associate professor of history at American University.  A historian of modern China, his research concerns the northwestern Chinese borderlands, comparative Eurasian empires and the historical politics of archaeological expeditions. He is the author of Indiana Jones in History:  From Pompeii to the Moon and Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State and is currently completing his next book, The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures.

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-chinas-war-on-terrorism-tickets-53816986054

TUESDAY January 15, 2019—Pamela O. Long
Infrastructure in the Eternal City

Devastating floods occurred like clockwork, major bridges were unstable, and great ancient treasures were sinking into the marshy flood plain as authorities fought over who should pay for repairs. Sound familiar? What did the Romans do almost 150 years after the Popes returned from exile in Avignon and successive pontiffs, cardinals and nobles jockeyed to outdo each other with fabulous building projects? The story of the building and engineering of 16th Century Rome has modern resonance, involving technological disruption, greed, ambition and gridlock. 

Pamela O. Long is a MacArthur “Genius Award” Fellowship recipient who is an independent scholar of late medieval and early modern Europe and of the history of science and technology. She is the author of Openness, Secrecy, Authorship, Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissance, among other publications. Her latest book, on which the talk will be based, is Engineering the Eternal City: Infrastructure, Topography, and the Culture of Knowledge in Late Sixteenth-Century Rome (Chicago, 2018). She has taught at Princeton and Johns Hopkins, among other universities as a visiting professor.  

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-infrastructure-in-the-eternal-city-tickets-53818043216

THURSDAY January 17, 2019—George Derek Musgrove
Chocolate City

When 250,000 protesters headed home after the March on Washington in 1963, about 10 percent of them were already home.  As D.C. residents, they were natives of a city that was a symbol of democracy that had no representation in Congress, no voting rights, and was governed by three men appointed by the president. The history of D.C., documented in monumental scope by two college professors, marches from the Nacostine (rendered in English as Anacostia) Indians to the census of 2014. It is a riveting story in which race is the central fault line.    

George Derek Musgrove is an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  He is an authority on post World War II United States history with an emphasis on African American politics. He is the author, with Chris Myers Asch, of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital. He is working on a project on the black nationalist resurgence and the changing nature of black protest in the post-civil rights period.

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-chocolate-city-tickets-53819021141

TUESDAY January 22, 2019—Theodore C. Lutz
METRO at the Creation

When the first official METRO trip set off from the Rhode Island Station for Farragut North in 1976, Ted Lutz was 31 years old. Six months later he was General Manager. As the region reveled in the good will and optimism surrounding the architecturally- acclaimed and scandal- free system, the seeds of METRO’s latter-day troubles were already rooted in regional competition, transportation disputes and a lack of dependable funding.  

Theodore C. Lutz was METRO’s second general manager and was the Bureau of the Budget/OMB examiner for D.C., head of the Urban Mass Transit Authority, and the leader of Metro throughout negotiations over the “formula”—who pays what. After running the Metro for three years, Lutz became vice president of The Washington Post, from which he retired in 2006.

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-metro-at-the-creation-tickets-53822406266

THURSDAY January 24, 2019—Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Life and Times

How did the United States go from “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” to “Make America Great Again “and “America First”? Townsend, oldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, talks about the Kennedy family, its legacy, and the state of the Democratic Party. 

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the former two-term lieutenant governor of Maryland. She ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives in 1984 and for governor of Maryland in 2002. Townsend holds a law degree and is the author of Failing America’s Faithful: How today’s Churches are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way. She is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-life-and-times-tickets-53822678079

TUESDAY January 29, 2019—David Jonathan Cohen
Eighty Years of “Adult Development”

In 1938, with the Great Depression still gripping much of the nation and Adolf Hitler named TIME’s Man of the Year, Harvard University launched a long-term study of 268 Harvard sophomores to establish a baseline for medicine to provide maximally healthy human development. President John F. Kennedy was one of the original cohort, and so was Washington Post Editor Benjamin C. Bradlee. What does the study tell us about health, longevity, life satisfaction, and our roles for our families? 

David Jonathan Cohen is working on a book about life choices that draws on the study and his interview with its director. He was executive director of a coalition of national unions that represented professional and technical people and has written for many publications, including The Washington Post and Harvard Magazine.

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-eighty-years-of-adult-development-tickets-53823078276

THURSDAY January 31, 2019—Liza Mundy
Code Girls

Nearly 10,000 young women cracked the codes of Germany, land and sea, during World War II. Sworn to secrecy, their exploits were nearly lost to history as they kept their vows for decades. They conducted the meticulous work of code breaking, about 200 of them working across from the main American University campus. Their contributions to cryptanalysis helped secure the Allied victory in an extraordinary study of courage, service and scientific accomplishment. 

Liza Mundy is the New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II, and also The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family and Michelle: A Biography. She is a former reporter at The Washington Post and has written for The Atlantic, TIME, the New Republic, Slate, Mother Jones and the Guardian, among many other publications. 

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olli-at-au-code-girls-tickets-53823161525

OLLI does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed by the speakers in its series.

We thank the Lecture Committee and all those who suggested and contacted speakers:
Paul Brown, Martha Cutts, Lesley Diaz (Staff Liaison), Chuck Edson,
Judith Havemann (Chair), Lynne Heneson, Jeanne Kent, Mary Moore, Stan Newman, Diane Renfroe,
Richard Ringell, Steve Sherman, Delbert Spurlock, and Ray Squitieri.