Resources for:

    Lecture Series

    Lecture Series

    About L&S

    Quick Links

    Dean's Blog

    Dean's Blog

    View more posts »

    2013 - 2014 Contemporary Issues Lecture Series

    The College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is once again offering the Contemporary Issues Lecture Series.

    "We strive to bring in speakers that will discuss contemporary issues in a provocative way to create an academic discussion that begins before the speaker arrives and continues after he or she has left," said Susan Johnson, associate professor of political science and lecture series committee chairperson. Faculty across campus have embraced the series and students are encouraged to attend the lectures.

    All lectures will be in the Young Auditorium at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Contact Susan Johnson ( or 472-4766) for further information.

    Fall 2013

    Michael Cohen
    "Clear and Present Safety: America Has Never Been Safer"
    Monday, October 7, 2013
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium
    Michael Cohen is a writer and commentator on American politics and U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Live from the Campaign Trail: The Greatest Presidential Campaign Speeches of the 20th Century and How They Shaped Modern America, as well as a columnist for the Guardian newspaper.  He served in the U.S. Department of State as chief speechwriter for U.S. Representative to the United Nations Bill Richardson. He has worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the American Security Project and was chief speechwriter for Senator Chris Dodd.  Cohen is also an adjunct lecturer in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

    Gustavo Arellano
    "Taco USA"
    Monday, October 28, 2013
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium
    Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, author of Orange County: A Personal History, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America and ¡Ask a Mexican!, and lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes "¡Ask a Mexican!," a nationally syndicated column. Arellano is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club's 2007 President's Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his "exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic."

    Susan Freinkel
    "PLASTIC: A Toxic Love Story"
    Monday, December 2, 2013
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium
    Susan Freinkel is an award winning author who writes and speaks about the intersection of science, culture, and the environment, and the difficult issues that arise from humans' seemingly ceaseless effort to control the natural world.  In her acclaimed book, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, Freinkel explores one of the most transformative inventions of the 20th century. Freinkel was awarded an Alicia Patterson Fellowship in 2005, which allowed her to conduct much of the research for American Chestnut. That book won a 2008 National Outdoor Book Award.

    Spring 2014

    Tom Philpott
    "Back to the Future of Agriculture: Steps Toward a Robust Food-Economy and a Sustainable Society"
    Monday, February 17, 2014
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium
    Tom Philpott is the cofounder of Maverick Farms, a center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. Philpott currently writes the "Food for Thought" blog at Mother Jones.  He was formerly a columnist and editor for the online environmental site Grist and his work on food politics has appeared in Newsweek, Gastronomica, and the Guardian.  Philpott serves of the board of directors of the Boston-based Chef's Collaborative, a nationwide group that seeks to push the restaurant business in more sustainable directions; and on the board of advisers at the Austin, Texas-based Sustainable Food Center.

    Ruha Benjamin
    "Race Unplugged: Beyond Racial Sound Bytes of Pundits, Politicians, and Pop Culture"
    Monday, March 10, 2014
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium
    Ruha Benjamin, author of People's Science, is a professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Boston University. Her book examines ethnoracial, gender, class, and disability politics as a constitutive feature of stem cell research. Benjamin's broader teaching and research interests include race-ethnicity, gender, class, citizenship, and diaspora.  She has received grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, UC Berkeley Townsend Center for the Humanities and UC Berkeley Center for Race & Gender.

    Chris Paine
    "How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Plug In an Electric Car?"
    Monday, April 21, 2014
    7 p.m. Young Auditorium
    Chris Paine is a filmmaker and entrepreneur who tours worldwide as an advocate for the adoption of electric vehicles and sustainable methods of transportation while reducing dependency on fossil fuels.  He directed the documentaries "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and "Revenge of the Electric Car".  He cofounded in the wake of the 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and is also a board member of Friends of the Earth and the Black Rock Arts Foundation.  Chris has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, Democracy Now, and Science Friday on NPR.


    College of Letters & Sciences
    Laurentide Hall 4100
    University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    800 W. Main Street
    Whitewater, WI 53190-1790


    Office of the Dean
    Phone: (262) 472-1621

    Follow Us