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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 27, 2007

UI Lecture Series schedule includes Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Daniel Ellsberg

Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Watergate whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg are among the speakers headlining the annual University of Iowa Lecture Series for 2007-08, sponsored by the UI Lecture Committee.

Also coming to the UI as part of the series are authors Jeff Chang and Joshua Wolf-Shenk, artist/illustrator Marjane Satrapi, and journalist Laurie Garrett. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the Brookings Institution will co-sponsor the Energy and National Security Forum.

All events are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

This year's speakers include:

-- Jeff Chang, Monday, Aug. 27 at Shambaugh Auditorium. In his book "Can't Stop Won't Stop," Chang uses hip-hop as a way to explore the cultural, social and political history of late 20th-century America.

-- Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge. Kennedy's speech "Our Environmental Destiny," is the centerpiece of a month of environmentally focused programming on the UI campus and in the Iowa City community. Kennedy, an environmental attorney and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, has defended several of the environmental causes by initiating a series of successful legal actions. He is the author of the bestseller "Crimes Against Nature," published in 2004.

-- Energy and National Security Forum, Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the IMU Main Lounge. Co-sponsored by the Brookings Institution, this event is one of its Opportunity '08 policy forums to be held in Washington, D.C. and in the four early primary states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The session is designed to discuss the pressing issues of concern to voters.

--Joshua Wolf Shenk, Monday, Nov. 5 at Macbride Auditorium. Shenk is the author of "Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness." Based on seven years of research on Lincoln and the medical, intellectual, and political culture around him, "Lincoln's Melancholy" reflects Shenk's longstanding interests in mental health, psychology and spirituality in contemporary life.

--Daniel Ellsberg, Monday, Jan. 23 at Hancher Auditorium. In 1971, Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in the Vietnam War, through the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. This leak lead to felony charges against Ellsberg, which were later dropped. Since the end of the war, Ellsberg has been a writer, lecturer and activist. In addition to his book, "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers," he is the author of "Risk, Ambiguity, and Decision."

--Marjane Satrapi, Sunday, April 6 in the IMU Main Lounge. Satrapi is a best-selling artist and illustrator of "Persepolis," a graphic novel and memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

--Laurie Garrett, date and location to be announced. Garrett, the senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a leading authority on healthcare and disease prevention, and an advocate for a more forceful response to threats to human health. She is a bestselling author and journalist who is the only person to have won all three of the Big "P" awards of journalism: the Peabody, the Polk and the Pulitzer.

For more than 30 years, the Lecture Committee has brought some of the world's great thinkers to the UI campus. Speakers have included an impressive roster of national and international figures in science, politics, business, human rights, law, and the arts. The UI Lecture Committee is a Presidential Charter Committee whose membership consists of students, faculty, and staff. The series is funded through student fees with select lectures supported in part by the F. Wendell Miller Fund. The Lecture Committee also offers opportunities for co-sponsorship for campus departments and organizations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Office of Student Life at 319-335-3059.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: University Lecture Committee, 319-335-3407,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,

OTHER INFORMATION:; Release on Jeff Chang lecture: