April 07, 86

Vol. 01 , No. 11   


Classes end one month from today, Thus, the Athenaeum season also draws toward its close, and this issue of The Fortnightly is the last for the 1985-86 academic year. Many stimulating events remain on this semester's calendar, but before noting them several words of thanks and one of regret are in order.

Success at the Athenaeum depends upon student leadership. Keith Barth and Rhonda Hollinberger have worked with distinction to ensure good service by the Athenaeum's accomplished waitresses and waiters. Kathey Beres, Dana Keenum, Diane McRae, and Sheri Sheets made the afternoon teas go smoothly. Mike Bollenbacher and his audio-visual crews capably handled all that was asked of them. As Athenaeum student fellows, Laura May and Cindy Wayne cared for countless details with imagination and precision. They deserve CMC's gratitude, one and all.

As for the word of regret: one never anticipates entirely what a phone call to the Athenaeum will bring. Recently, an incident involved a caller who said that Sydney Schanberg and Dith Pran-their story is told in the Academy Award-winning film, The Killing Fields (1984) -must cancel their April 16-17 Athenaeum visit. Therefore, the year ends without their participation. Fortunately, chances are good that both of them can come to CMC in the autumn.

On the whole, regrets have been few at the Athenaeum this year, and certainly there should be none about the programs concluding this semester. On Wednesday, April 9, Jacqueline Pery, commander of the French Legion of Honor, speaks about her experiences in the French underground during World War II. That same evening the departments of philosophy and history meet for discussion in the popular series, "Philosophy and the Disciplines."

On Monday, April 14, Barry Spanjaard, the only American civilian imprisoned in Hitler's concentration camps in Holland and Germany, speaks about that experience. In cooperation with McAlister Center, the Athenaeum sponsors the appearance of noted author Lawrence Kushner on Tuesday, April 15. An expert on Jewish mysticism, he has written the widely read Honey from the Rock: Visions of Jewish Mystical Renewal (1983) and The River of Light: Spirituality, Judaism and the Evolution Of Consciousness (1981). Although Sydney Schanberg and Dith Pran will not be with us in April, a video-cassette, screening of The Killing Fields (1984) on Thursday, April 10, remains scheduled.

Looking toward the second half of the month, on Thursday, April 17, Leon Litwack, professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, presents "To Look for America," a multi-media glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s. Following Professor Litwack's presentation in McKenna Auditorium at 4:00 p.m., there is a reception and dinner at the Athenaeum, beginning at 5:30.

On Monday, April 21, Malcolm McKenna, the Frick Curator, department of vertebrate paleontology, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, delivers the annual David Edgar French Lecture in Bauer Forum. At 4:30 p.m. Dr. McKenna discusses "Molecular vs. Morphological Phylogeny," and at 8:00 p.m. his topic is "Biogeography: A Nineteenth-century Science Awakens." Between lectures there is an opportunity to have dinner with the speaker at 6:00 p.m. at the Athenaeum.

From Monday, April 28, through Wednesday, April 30, Yehoshafat Harkabi, Hexter Professor of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and former chief of intelligence for the Israeli Defense Forces, will be in residence at the Athenaeum as the 1986 Keck Lecturer on International Understanding. Finally, those who will still be at CMC on Friday afternoon, May 16, are cordially invited to attend the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, to be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Athenaeum's Arthur R. Adams Court.

Note, too, that "The Wednesday Lunch" continues through May 7. The WordsWorth Society and the Women's Forum also have regularly scheduled events until the end of the term; and the farewell Sunday Brunch occurs May 4. There also will be a pre-finals "Blues Brothers Party" on Wednesday, April 23. For further information about that event, regularly scheduled weekly meetings, and the special programs described above, see the Calendar and Feast and Festival sections. Then use, the Reservations coupons so that you will have, no regrets about missing the good times in the last weeks ahead.


This Fortnightly is scheduled for distribution one week before senior theses are due, mine included, and just over one month before graduation. Consequently, many of us have been thinking a lot about beginnings and endings, introductions and conclusions, and the quality of the content in the middle. Seniors lounging at Mt. Baldy Lodge or the Hi Brow can be heard reminiscing about freshman orientation, while underclassmen agonize over housing possibilities and the declaration of their majors. At the Athenaeum we've been reviewing this year's programming and looking at the blank calendar for 1986-87, wondering how to fill it.

In response to the question, What kinds of events could the Athenaeum add that would interest you?, many students last spring suggested that "cultural" events particularly relevant to student interests would be desirable, It is fitting, then, that the year at the Athenaeum is framed by events appealing to the musical interests of Claremont McKenna's students. On September 11, 1985, Robert Hilburn, music critic for the Los Angeles Times, kicked off the Athenaeum season with a lively discussion of Springsteen; bands such as the Beat Farmers, REM, and The Psychedelic Furs; and trends within the American pop music scene. On April 23, 1986, the Athenaeum will host The Regular Guys (formerly the Frankie S. Band) to close its season with the musical party of the year. The band's Chicago "jump blues" and rendition of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" would make, Louis Armstrong and Muddy Waters smile with pride.

Thanks to much hard work by our director and members of the faculty, CMC's emphasis on public affairs was reflected in several outstanding symposia. The events featured in-depth discussion of the South African apartheid system, the status and future of Japanese-American trade relations, policy issues regarding child abuse, and the economics of a free enterprise system. Perhaps the highlight of the year was the Athenaeum's recent symposium on presidential politics and party realignment. Healthy, bi-partisan debate over the political machinery used to elect our president resounded within the (literally) smoke-filled rooms of the Athenaeum. College Democrats and Republicans learned that even the big-time pols could agree on analyses that crossed partisan lines.

CMC students had much to think about this year. Elie Wiesel posed questions to us about responsibility and the ethics of writing. The PBS series on war forced us to question human nature and the future of our planet. William Least Heat Moon reminded us of American diversity, while British scholars James Burke and Anthony Stevens helped us to explore how the universe, or at least our knowledge of it, has changed.

We refreshed ourselves after such exhausting thought with Bach, and art, and Japanese drumming, and Viennese dancing. We played "Trivial Pursuit," watched soap operas, consumed billions of Athenaeum bars, cheered on the Stags with refreshments from the Stag's Leap Vineyards, and, in quantities that only a college student could consume, we drank that delicious coffee.

The Athenaeum has received some feedback suggesting that the xeroxed Athenews was simpler and, thus, easier to read. Apparently a few of you missed Sunday brunches because you didn't spot them in The Fortnightly. Granted, the format of a publication can always be improved, but I propose that as the Athenaeum augments its programming, there will inevitably be more to read and more decisions to make.

The fact that we've received this feedback, however, is an excellent sign. The Athenaeum exists for the students at Claremont McKenna College, and while the director can speculate about what will be interesting, and the fellows can throw in their suggestions, it must be the continued input from students that keeps the Athenaeum alive and growing. What would you like to learn about at the Athenaeum? Who would you like to meet? Is there an entre served that you absolutely can't stand? Is there a dessert that makes you moan in ecstasy? Maybe most important: is there an event you'd like to organize? Let us know. Or, rather, let the new Athenaeum fellow know.


On April 1-4, 1985, the Athenaeum hosted a major Symposium about the Nuremberg trials, which brought Nazi war criminals to justice after World War II. As an American counsel for the prosecution at Nuremberg, Whitney R. Harris prepared successful cases against Ernst Kaltenbrunner, chief of the Reich Central Security Office, and the Gestapo. Now a prominent attorney in St. Louis, Mr. Harris was a significant participant in last year's symposium.

After being here, Mr. and Mrs. Harris made a generous gift to the Athenaeum. Aware of their concern for human rights, we are using it to underwrite this April's presentations by Jacqueline Pery and Barry Spanjaard and to support next autumn's visit by Sydney Schanberg and Dith Pran. We thank Whitney and Jane Harris very much for their friendship and continuing interest in the Athenaeum's programs.


Final exams approach, and so may the "blues." Tests won't vanish, but beat back the doldrums by attending the Athenaeum's "Blues Brothers Party" on Wednesday evening, April 23. Following a 6:00 p.m. dinner, The Regular Guys (formerly the Frankie S. Band) provides the music.

The band, which began in Claremont, plays what its members term "jump blues" and always has the crowd wanting to get up and dance. Their song, "There Ain't Enough Room Here to Boogie," will not apply to the Athenaeum on April 23, when there will be plenty of space to "twist and shout." Warm up for this night of fun by viewing The Blues Brothers (1980) on the Athenaeum VCR at 3:00 p.m., or cool off at the repeat showing after The Regular Guys' finale. Reservations will be limited, so sign up early.

Similar advice applies to the Athenaeum's farewell brunch, which occurs at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 4.

A Digest of Forthcoming Athenaeum-sponsored Events

April 9, 1986 "The Wednesday Lunch," 12:00 noon

April 9, 1986 "An Evening with Jacqueline Pery," reception, 5:30 p.m., with dinner and program following

April 9, 1986 "Philosophy and the Disciplines," 6:00 p.m., dinner and discussion with CMC`s departments of philosophy and history

April 10, 1986 WordsWorth Society luncheon, 12:00 noon

April 10, 1986 Screening of The Killing Fields (1984) following 6:00 p.m. dinner

April 14, 1986 "An Evening with Barry Spanjaard," reception, 5:30 p.m., with dinner and program following

April 15, 1986 "An Evening with Lawrence Kushner,," reception, 5:30 p.m., with dinner and program following

April 16, 1986 "The Wednesday Lunch," 12:00 noon

April 17, 1986 "To Look for America," with Leon Litwack, presentation, 4:00 p.m. in McKenna Auditorium; reception, 5:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum, with dinner following

April 17, 1986 Women's Forum dinner, 6:00 p.m., with discussion of the Equal Rights Amendment (Note that this program is postponed from April 3)

April 21, 1986 Dinner with Malcolm McKenna, 6:00 p.m., between two lectures in Bauer Forum at 4:30 and 8:00 p.m.

April 23, 1986 "The Wednesday Lunch," 12:00 noon

April 23, 1986 dinner, 6:00 p.m., with "Blues Brothers Party" music by The Regular Guys; showings of The Blues Brothers (1980) at 3:00 p.m. and again after entertainment

April 24, 1986 WordsWorth Society luncheon, 12:00 noon

April 28-30, 1986 Yehoshafat Harkabi in residence at the Athenaeum

April 30, 1986 "The Wednesday Lunch," 12:00 noon

May 4, 1986 Sunday Brunch, 11:00 a.m.

May 7, 1986 "The Wednesday Lunch," 12:00 noon

May 16, 1986 Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, 4:00 p.m.