February 17, 87

Vol. 02 , No. 08   

Symposium: Americans Abroad

About this time last year the United States experienced first-hand the phenomenon of international terrorism. There were armed bobbies in London's Heathrow Airport; an escalating military confrontation with Libya in the Gulf of Sidra; bombings of American-frequented spots in Munich and Paris; American hostages taken in Lebanon. However, this year the political buzz word is "competitiveness." Trade regulations regarding protectionism, export controls, and Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. receive increasing media attention. The place and image of Americans abroad have become a topic of concern for travelers and a puzzle for government and business leaders.

During the last week of February, the Athenaeum hosts a variety of speakers, American and foreign, to discuss related issues now confronting the U.S. The spring symposium, "Americans Abroad," focuses on the problems and prospects for Americans overseas. Tuesday, February 24, Ambassador Louis Fields, Jr. opens the series with a discussion concerning domestic and international terrorism and its implications for U.S. policy. A top expert in the country on the subject, Ambassador Fields has been consultant and legal adviser on terrorism to the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations. Appointed by President Reagan in 1981 as U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, he has since attended various terrorism conferences worldwide and has offered testimony in a landmark case involving terrorism and extradition.

Wednesday evening Col. Harry Summers, Jr. addresses the problem of military strategies for the U.S. in the late 1980s. His latest book, Vietnam War Almanac (1985), was voted one of the outstanding source books for 1985 by the American Library Association. A combat infantry veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars who was recently elected to the Council on Foreign Relations, Colonel Summers now acts as senior military analyst for U.S. News and World Report.

In a different vein, visiting Professor Tamas Ungvari discusses the images conveyed by American citizens abroad, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Soviet bloc countries. Born in Budapest, Hungary, professor Ungvari is director of the Hungarian School of Art and Drama. A scholar familiar with German philosophy and 20th century European thought, Ungvari is a translator of many American plays, including works by Miller, Williams,. Hellman, and Pinter.

Joining Ungvari is Professor Peter Freese, one of the foremost American studies scholars in Europe today. Now teaching at the University in Paderborn, West Germany, Professor Freese has written numerous articles and books on American literature and culture. Last year he hosted the bi-national German-American conference on "Religion and Philosophy in the U.S.A." His presentation, entitled "Innocents Abroad versus Coca-Cola Conquistadores," concerns the "love-hate relationship" between Germany and America. Professors Freese and Ungvari should provide fascinating insights into foreign perceptions of American culture.

Wrapping up the symposium, Rupert Pennant-Rea, editor of The Economist, discusses America and the world economy. Regularly assigned to the World Bank since 1980 to edit its "World Development Report," he has, examined the opportunities and risks involved with the deregulation of financial markets around the world. Other topics of interest include the broadening gulf of misunderstanding between Europe and America on several issues, including terrorism, nuclear weapons, and economic policy. Pennant-Rea explores why this gulf has developed, and the striking contrast between it and the generally favorable attitude of Europeans towards the American people.

Symposium participants will be in the library Wednesday and Thursday, February 25 and 26 for informal conversation during teatime, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Use the coupons to sign up for any or all of these symposium events.

Domestic and International Terrorism
Tuesday, February 24, 1987

Ambassador Louis Fields, Jr., "Terrorism, International and Domestic," 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner, 7:00 p.m. program.

The Ugly American: A Distorted Image
Wednesday, February 25, 1987 11:30 a.m.

Professor Tamas Ungvari, "The Ugly American: A Distorted Image," discussion at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m.

Military Strategies for the United States in the Late 1980s
Wednesday, February 25, 1987

Col. Harry Summers, Jr., "Military Strategies for the United States in the Late-1980s," 5:30 p.m reception and dinner, 7:00 p.m. lecture.

Innocents Abroad Versus Coco-Cola Conquistadores
Thursday, February 26, 1987 11:30 a.m.

Professor Peter Freese, "Innocents Abroad versus Coca-Cola Conquistadores," discussion at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m.

America and the World Economy
Thursday, February 26, 1987

Rupert Pennant-Rea, "America and the World Economy," 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner, 7:00 p.m. program.

Jelly Roll Jazz Society: Night in New Orleans
JAKE PORTER, conductor and saxophone
Friday, February 27, 1987 6:30 p.m.

On Friday, February 27, the Athenaeum celebrates its first "Night in New Orleans." Terri and her crew are busy preparing an array of cajun delicacies, and the Jelly Roll Jazz Society will be on hand to provide Dixieland sounds for dancing. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.


The Athenaeum presents its next Sunday Brunch the morning of March 1. Use the coupon in this issue to sign up, and please be reminded that this occasion, like other Athenaeum events, calls for appropriate attire.

When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough
Wednesday, March 4, 1987 Bauer Lecture Hall

Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, bestselling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People (1981), speaks on Wednesday, March 4, at 7:00 p.m. in Bauer Lecture Hall. A reception and dinner, beginning at 5:30 p.m. precedes his talk.

Kushner's lecture, also the title of his second book, When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough (1987), explores the important question, "How do we give to our lives a sense of meaning and purpose so that the world will be different for our having passed through it?"


Applications for Athenaeum student fellow are now being accepted. We seek applicants who are enthusiastic, creative, and have excellent research, writing, and communication skills. The fellows' greatest responsibilities are planning Athenaeum events and producing The Fortnightly. Other duties include attending Athenaeum Advisory Committee meetings and weekly staff meetings.

In addition, the student fellows' tasks include distributing flyers, decorating the showcase in the Athenaeum lobby, attending Athenaeum-sponsored events as often as possible, and meeting speakers at the airport. Time devoted to this position varies between five and 15 hours per week.

In addition to a stipend, the rewards of the position are numerous. The opportunity to meet fascinating people and to handle managerial problems provides pleasure and challenge.

Applications are available in the Athenaeum office and must be returned no later than April 1. We will contact applicants shortly thereafter to inform them of possible interviews. For further questions please contact Carolyn McFerran or Robert Urstein at x8244.