Controversy: It’s coming!

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While most Columbians know the Heyman Center as the ugly concrete slab abutting East Campus, it may soon be known for something else: really sexy speaking engagements. The Heyman schedule includes controversial Holocaust historian Peter Novick, “Israel Lobby” author John Mearshimer (both on 10/30), Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn (10/9 and 10/10), and Freakonomist Sudhir Vankatesh (9/13), as well as Adrienne Rich (10/1 and 10/2) and Joseph Stiglitz (10/8). Bwog is currently drooling all over its keyboard, and predicts that the Foner-Cockburn conversation (10/10) will be one of the more interesting and contentious lectures of the year.



  1. two things  

    The Heyman center is only on one floor. The building is called International Affairs. And it's neither slabby or ugly.

  2. counterpunch  

    link is broken

  3. somehow  

    i don't picture any of these getting as controversial as the minutemen. that's going to be tough to top.

  4. the heyman center

    is in EC and is at least 5 floors by my estimation.

  5. one thing  

    then it is not of concrete.

  6. Anonymous  

    Number 1: please elaborate on how you think IAB is neither slabby or ugly.

  7. mmm  

    venkatesh. heart. adrienne rich. heart.

  8. controversy?

    cmon. Lionpac and some jewish students may protest the first event--which will be an interesting spectacle of bashing of the perceived jewish lobby (though at least novick is a more respectable academic than finkelstein). Otherwise, Cockburn and Stiglitz will just cement what everybody at Columbia already thinks. Rich and Vankatesh are nice talks to throw to the feminist and ethnic studies concentrators.

    This list is hardly controversial or intellectually stimulating unless you're interested in hearing a confirmation of how right your current ideas already are.

    Why not bring in a Peter Beinart or Larry Summers here--at least that would get a rise out of people.

  9. seriously

    people, GO to these events. my biggest regret of college is not attending more of these talks. these are all intellectual badasses, whether you've never heard of them, or wrote your seminar paper on their work (high five Bernard Bailyn!)

  10. harriman institute  

    yay brad abrams!

  11. ronald reagan  

    it's amazing that peter beinart and larry summers are the most controversial-from-the-right-wing that anyone can think of. two stalwart liberals. this is on college campuses, the supposed bastion of diversity and free thought. it's an embarrassment. our guest speakers are as skewed to the left as our faculty--which comes in at something like 9 to 1.

  12. Alum

    1. The Heyman Center is not IAB, nor is it in IAB. It is physically part of East Campus, at the northern end of the EC courtyard. It's about 5 stories tall, but part of it is below grade. Last time I looked, it was (a) boxy but not slabby; (b) covered in brick and not concrete, and (3) no uglier than the rest of EC.

    2. Sudhir Venkatesh is not a "freakonomist". He's a sociologist. He is the subject of a chapter in Steven Levitt's book "Freakonomics", which means Levitt is the freakonomist. The people he writes about are not -- at least not merely by virtue of being mentioned in the book, which is Venkatesh's only connection to the term.

  13. lack of controversy?  

    anybody who thinks cockburn will say what everyone at columbia already believes either 1) knows nothing about cockburn or 2) knows nothing about the columbia political scene. cockburn is an anti-capitalist, an opponent of all US military interventions at least since the second world war, a clinton hater from the left, a nader supporter, an anti-zionist, a supporter of the armed Iraqi resistance - and just for a bit of lefty contrarianism, a disbeliever in global warming.

    in fact, the very reality that there are people who imagine that columbia is as lefty as it gets suggest that there's some need for someone to come who will challenge that conception.

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