February 5, 01

Vol. 16 , No. 06   

What is Happening in Indonesia?

Indonesia is often in the news these days. Unfortunately, it is largely to report on negative developments: the violence in East Timor, separatist movements in Aceh and Irian Jaya, and demonstrations and bombings in Takarta. Such events are very much part of daily life in Indonesia today. But they also reflect a more fundamental shift that is taking place in Indonesian society, from an authoritarian Jakarta-based regime to a more open and decentralized democracy. For most Indonesians, there is no turning back. But it will also take time to build the institutions needed to support a more just and fair society. How far has Indonesia come?

And what lies ahead for the country with the fourth largest population in the world? Mark Baird, the World Bank's Country Director in Jakarta, will share with us his views on the current challenges facing Indonesia. He is well placed to do so, having closely followed events in Indonesia since 1984 and having lived in Jakarta during 1986-89 and again since 1999. As well as managing the World Bank program and advising the government of Indonesia, Baird is a frequent speaker and writer on economic developments in Indonesia.

Baird, a New Zealand citizen, graduated from the University of Canterbury with an M.A. (Hons) in Economics. During a 26-year career with the World Bank, he has worked as a country economist on India, Tanzania, Uganda, and Indonesia. Prior to his current assignment, Baird was Vice President of Strategy and Resource Management for the World Bank in Washington DC. He has also worked for the New Zealand Treasury, most recently as Economic Adviser from 1989-91. Mark Baird is also the father of CMC students Sarah '01 and Katie '04, and is the first speaker in the Athenaeum series featuring parents of CMC seniors.

The West Chooses Quantification

In The Measure of Reality, Alfred Crosby writes that Europeans of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance were ".... not the crudest and not the kindest imperialists, not the earliest and not the latest. They were unique in the degree of their success. They may retain that distinction forever, because it is unlikely that one division of the world's inhabitants will ever again enjoy such extreme advantages over all the rest." Crosby attributes those advantages in no small degree to the emergence of "a new model of reality" and a "utilization of habits of thought that would in time enable [Europeans] to advance swiftly in science and technology and, in the meantime, gave them decisively important administrative, commercial, navigational, industrial, and military skills."

In his Athenaeum lecture, the second of four in the Gould Center-sponsored series "How the West Grew Rich," Professor Crosby will discuss the epochal shift from the ancient qualitative mode to the modern quantitative one, and how that new mentalite made possible not only some extraordinaly scientific and technological advances, but also the bureaucracies and business practices by which the West learned to create, marshal, and manage its wealth.

Alfred Crosby, an internationally recognized specialist in the study of comparative cultures, is the author of many books and articles on a broad range of topics. For his Epidemic and Peace, 1918 (1976) he was awarded the Medical Writers' Association Award for Best Book on a Medical Subject for Laymen; his Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (1986) brought him the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Those and other of his books, which include The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequence of 1492 (1973) and The Measure of Reality: Quantification in Western Europe, 1250-1600 (1997), have been translated into as many as twelve languages. Crosby is Emeritus Professor of History and American Studies at Washington State University and the University of Texas.

Reading From His Poetry

Robert Pinsky, three-time Poet Laureate of the United States (1997-2000) and winner of a Pulitzer Prize believes that poetry is more alive in American culture than most Americans are willing to believe. "Oddly," he says, "poetry is probably more to the center of culture and more to the fringe of university English departments."

In order to discover how Americans feel about poetry and the poets who write it, Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project. The purpose of the Project is to create a video archive of ordinary- and above all, non-poet- Americans reading selections from their favorite poems. Much to Pinsky's surprise and delight, the Project has received over 12,000 entries since its inception in 1997.

Pinsky's books of poetry include An Explanation of America (1980), History of My Heart (1984), his Pulitzer Prize-winning work, The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 (1996), and his latest collection, Jersey Rain (2000). His critical works, Poetry and the World (1988) and The Situation of Poetry (1978), have helped define the traditions and complexities of modern poetry.

Pinsky's translation of Dante's Inferno, The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation (1996), has been hailed by critics as one of the most powerful modern verse translations in print and appeared on the bestseller lists of the Boston Globe and New York Newsday. Pinsky has also collaborated with Czeslaw Milosz in the translation of some of the 1980 Nobel Laureate's most important poems.

A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Pinsky has taught at Berkeley, Wellesley, and now at Boston University. He is also a regular guest commentator on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. He is the editor of the literary magazine Slate and is currently at work editing the Norton Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry.

Please join us to hear one of America's most important literary voices.

Podlich Distinguished Fellow

Deconstructing Darwin

David Hull is one of the leading philosophers of science of our time and the founder of the contemporary philosophy of biology. His philosophical insights into evolutionary theory have led him to the bold view that the principles of biology also apply to developments in history and to the history of science in particular. While studying the cultural history of science, Hull has argued convincingly against views that science and its findings are mere social constructions. Nevertheless, he has shown the ways that science itself can and should be studied scientifically, avoiding the blinders of "great men" accounts of historical development. How does Darwin himself appear under scrutiny of Hull's philosophy of cultural evolution? The Dressler Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University, Hull is the author of numerous books including Science and Selection (Cambridge, 2001), Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science (1988) and Darwin and his Critics: The Reception of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by the Scientific Community (1973) (both from the University of Chicago Press), and The Philosophy of Biology (Oxford 1998). He has been president of the both the Philosophy of Science Association and the Society of Systematic Zoology. Professor Hull will be in residence at Claremont McKenna College until February 17 as a Podlich Distinguished Fellow. This year's Podlich program focuses on the implications of Darwin and evolution. The other fellows this year include Professors Michael Ghiselin of the California Academy of Sciences and Richard Lewontin of Harvard University (both also in residence in February) and Professor Dame Gillian Beer of Cambridge University (in residence in late March and April).

Russia's Stalled Transition

Ten years ago the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The new, post-Soviet Russia has borne out some of the hopes that were afoot a decade ago about a smooth "transition" from dictatorship to democracy and from a command economy to a market economy. But many hopes have not been fulfilled, and the accession to power of a new president, Vladimir Putin, has raised fears that Russia may revert to previous authoritarian ways.

Professor Timothy Colton will evaluate the new Russia's progress from several points of view, including those of the Russian people themselves, and assess the prospects for progress toward a liberal society and politics.

Professor Colton received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the Director of the Davis Center for Russian Studies (formerly Russian Research Center) at Harvard, and is the Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies at Harvard University.

Professor Colton is the author of several books including Transitional Citizens: Voters and What Influences Them in the New Russia (2000); Moscow: Governing the Socialist Metropolis (1996) (winner of award for best scholarly book in government and political science by the Association of American Publishers); and editor of Patterns in Post- Soviet Leadership (1995).

The Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies and the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum are pleased to co-sponsor Professor Colton's visit to Claremont McKenna College.

Podlich Distinguished Fellow


Biologists and geneticists have been making great claims for the Human Genome Project to answer many if not all the mysteries of human life. Richard Lewontin, the Alexander Agassiz Research Professor of Biology at Harvard University and one of the leading geneticists of our time, has vigorously challenged these claims and attempted to show precisely what biology and evolutionary theory can and cannot explain. Attacking reductive misconceptions of genetic determinism, Lewontin has underscored the complex interractions of gene, organism, and environment in the development of life.

A brilliant scientist and writer, Lewontin has been called by Clifford Geertz "the Voltaire of the Age of the Absolute Gene." And Stephen Jay Gould has said "Lewontin is simply the smartest man I have ever met. His knowledge and broad humanistic perspective. . .give us the precious gift of access to his insights, his warnings, and his distinctive view of life." Lewontin's recent books include The Triple Helix (Harvard University Press 2000) and It Ain't Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions (2000). He is also the author of The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change (1974), Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA (1992), and The Dialectical Biologist (1985) (with Richard Levins). Professor Lewontin will be in residence at Claremont McKenna College until February 24th as a Podlich Distinguished Fellow. This year's other Podlich Fellows discussing the implications of "Darwin and Evolution" include Professors Michael Ghiselin of the California Academy of Sciences and David Hull of Northwestern University (also in residence in February) and Professor Dame Gillian Beer of Cambridge Univesity (in late March and April).

An Evening with Jennifer Warnes
SKIP EDWARDS, keyboard
LEE SPAH, drums
HANI NASSEN, percussion

If you want to hear what woman is thinking, if you want to hear what a woman sounds like today, listen to Jennifer Warnes.

-Leonard Cohen

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than spending an evening with Jennifer Warnes, contemporary pop and country singer/songwriter who "sings with a voice unlike any other-one of the purest in popular music."

Jennifer Warnes first received public notice when she became a regular on the television show "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" in 1967. In 1968 she played in the original cast of the Los Angeles production of the musical Hair. Warnes achieved perhaps her greatest critical success with "Famous Blue Raincoat," her 1986 tribute to Canadian poet, Leonard Cohen. This album remains a favorite among audiophiles and fans, who also remember Warnes for her string of hit movie themes.

In April of 1980, Jennifer's recording of "It Goes Like It Goes," from the film Norma Rae (1979), was awarded the "Best Original Song" prize at the annual Acadmey Awards presentation. It would be the first of four Oscar- nominated movie themes for Warnes, all but one of which would take the award. Her other Oscar awards include "Up Where We Belong," with Joe Cocker, from 1982's An Officer and a Gentleman; and "The Time of My Life," with Bill Medley, from 1987's Dirty Dancing. In addition to her three Academy Awards, Warnes has collected a pair of Grammys and a dozen chart hits, including three number ones and three top ten singles.

Warnes' successful career began early. She was offered her first recording contract at the age of seven (her father turned it down), and made her professional debut two years later when, wrapped in an American flag and accompanied by three hundred accordions, she sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at LA's Shrine Auditorium. By age fourteen, Jennifer was a member of Actors Equity and, after high school, was offered an opera scholarship to Immaculate Heart College. She opted instead to pursue a less conventional singing career.

Jennifer Warnes is busy these days putting finishing touches on her newest album. Please join the Athenaeum for a concert of acoustic music that will include the familiar as well as original songs from her new album.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hollywood

The year 1937 found F. Scott Fitzgerald destitute, drunk, and physically and creatively dissipated. Heavily in debt and despondent over a stormy marriage and the failing health of his wife Zelda, Fitzgerald approached his agent, Harold Ober, about writing for the movies. Ober came through with a six-month contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer at $1,000 a week. That summer, Fitzgerald set out for Hollywood, leaving behind Zelda, who had been committed to a sanitarium in 1936, and his daughter Scottie, for whom Fitzgerald's agent and Mrs. Ober had become surrogate parents. The windfall of the MGM deal enabled Fitzgerald to pay off most of his financial debts, but the writer never could meet what he saw to be his more important obligations. His efforts to aid in his wife's convalescence failed miserably, and horrific guilt over having squandered his talent troubled him for the remainder of his tragically short life. Fitzgerald died at age 44, believing himself a failure.

In his Athenaeum lecture, Barry Menikoff will discuss the travails and excesses of Fitzgerald's sojourn in Hollywood-his tentative efforts as a screenwriter, his tumultuous romance with movie columnist Sheilah Graham, and the genesis of his novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, still incomplete when the author succumbed to a heart attack in Graham's apartment in December, 1940.

Barry Menikoff, Professor of English at the University of Hawaii, has written extensively on English and American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. His recently published critical edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped; Or the Lad with the Silver Button (2001) is the first ever to be based on Stevenson's original manuscript. Menikoff is currently a Mayers Fellow at the Huntington Library.


Monday, February 19, 2001
Steven Pinker, professor of cognitive science, MIT, "How the Mind Works: Words and Rules"

Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Robert Goldich '71, Library of Congress, "Civil/Military Relations" (12:15 pm)

Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Ray Drummond '68, jazz bassist, "Celebrating Mingus"

Wednesday, February 21, 2001
Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University, author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality and In Defense of Natural Law (1995), "Civil Liberties and Public Morality"

Thursday, February 22, 2001
Ralph Rossum, professor of government, Claremont McKenna College, "Federalism and the I7th Amendment"

Monday, February 26, 2001
Michael T. Ghiselin, senior research fellow, California Academy of Sciences, MacArthur Prize Fellow, "Darwin's Ancestors and Descendants" (Podlich Distinguished Visitor)

Tuesday, February 27, 2001
John Wooden, former men's head basketball coach, UCLA, author of They Call Me Coach (1972) (recipient of the Kravis Leadership Award), Mary Pickford Auditorium (7:00 pm)

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Interact Theater Company, a performance of Antigone (1944) by Jean Anouilh

Thursday, March 1, 2001
Mary Rose O'Reilly, author of The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Budhist Shepherd (2000), "Women and Spirituality"


The Athenaeum serves as a gathering place where ideas, inquiry, and fellowship bring students, faculty, staff, other scholars, and nationally prominent speakers together. Attendance at any event may be limited to persons associated with CMC, to the people who signed up for dinner, or to the maximum number of people allowed by fire regulations. On some occasions the speaker may address the group in another forum or the College may set up a video feed to handle an overflow crowd. House rules and common courtesy prohibit disruptive actions during an Athenaeum-sponsored address-no shouting, no signs, and no banners inside the building. The College has invited the guest speaker to address the audience-we ask that those who attend an Athenaeum-sponsored function come to hear what the speaker has to say. Time allowing, there will be a period set aside for questions. Students will have priority during this portion of the program. The Athenaeum has a dress code for all dinners. Please dress in an appropriate manner: no shorts; no jeans; no t-shirts.