Nationally renowned urban planner, exhibition designer, and author Sherry Kafka Wagner will present “What the Best College Students Do: Reading, Writing, Creating. A Personal Account” on Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Higgins Hall, room 300. Wagner is the author of the novel, Hannah Jackson, which won the Friends of American Writers Award in Chicago and the Texas Writers Roundup award. Her play, The Man Who Loved God, is included in the collection Best Short Plays of 1968. She also penned two children’s books: Big Enough and I Need a Friend. Her life story is one of the vignettes in the acclaimed book by Ken Bain, What the Best College Students Do. Since the late 1960s, Wagner has been involved in urban design and exhibitions, working extensively with museums, aquariums, and visitor centers throughout the world.She is perhaps most known as one of the co-creators of the “River Walk” system in San Antonio, Texas. She recently donated her extensive private library of 3,700 volumes to the Hotel Emma in San Antonio, to serve as a house library for guests and interested readers. Sponsor: Heinz Bluhm Memorial Lecture Series.Co-sponsors: Institute for Liberal Arts, the Office of the Associate Dean for the Core, and the Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures.
Noted activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the women-led peace group Code Pink and the human rights advocacy group Global Exchange, will hold a discussion on her latest book, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection, on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 305. With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced US need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of US relations with Iran, Benjamin contends the time is right for a re-evaluation of America’s close ties with Saudi Arabia. Named “one of the high profile leaders” of the peace movement by the Los Angeles Times, Benjamin has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation; the Marjorie Kellogg National Peacemaker Award; the Thomas Merton Center Peace Award, the Peace Foundation Memorial Award, and the Gandhi Peace Award from Promoting Enduring Peace. She is the author of several other books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Sponsors: Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Islamic Civilization & Societies program, History Department and the Sociology Department. RSVP Requested.