Brown University shieldBrown University

The Greg and Julie Flynn Cogut Institute Speaker Series

Endowed with a gift from Gregory G. Flynn '86, P'20, P'20 and Julie A. Flynn P'20, P'20, this lecture series enriches undergraduate humanities culture at Brown University by bringing high-profile speakers to the campus and creating opportunities for undergraduate students to learn from exciting visitors. Each visit includes a public lecture and a separate seminar-style meeting with undergraduate students. 

We welcome nominations from undergraduate students and faculty for future academic years (you must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the nomination form). Potential course tie-ins should be mentioned, and we are especially interested in visitors who are known beyond academe (high profile writers, journalists, and public intellectuals, for example). 

Nominations will be reviewed each semester by faculty and students affiliated with the Cogut Institute. Review of nominations will take place starting April 9 for the Spring of 2018.

Spring 2018

Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams, a "citizen writer" known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, is the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place (Pantheon Books, 1991). Her most recent book, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), honors the centennial of the National Park Service and is a New York Times bestseller. Read more >

January 26, 4:00 pm, Pembroke Hall 305 Terry Tempest Williams in Conversation with Mark Cladis, Brooke Russell Astor Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. Free and open to the public. Book sales and author signing will follow the event.

Undergraduate Seminar: January 26, 3:00 pm, Pembroke Hall 202
In a special session open to undergraduate students only, Terry Tempest Williams will discuss three of her essays: "The Clan of One-Breasted Women," "Yellowstone: The Erotics of Place," and "Winter Solstice at the Moab Slough." Registration is closed.

Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum is a Washington Post columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian.  She is the author of Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (McClelland and Stewart, 2017), Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 (McClelland and Stewart, 2012), and Gulag: A History (Doubleday, 2003). As Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics Institute of Global Affairs, she runs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st-century propaganda. Read more >

Lecture: February 12, 5:30 pm, Pembroke Hall 305 • Democracy and Disinformation
Hyper-partisanship is growing, public debate is fragmenting. New information networks have rapidly undermined not only the Western media's business model, but Western political institutions too. Can democracy survive? Free and open to the public.

Undergraduate Seminar: February 13, 9:00 am, Pembroke Hall 202
 In a special session open to undergraduate students only, Anne Applebaum will discuss her recent columns on Russian disinformation, presidential online trolling, and the impact of bots on public opinion. She will also discuss two reports she co-authored in 2017 at the LSE Institute of Global Affairs: "Make Germany Great Again": Kremlin, Alt-Right and International Influences in the 2017 German Elections and Soviet Subversion, Disinformation and Propaganda: How the West Fought Against It — An Analytic History with Lessons for the Present. Register today > (You must be logged into your Brown University email account to access the registration form.)

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel The Sympathizer (Grove/Atlantic, 2015) is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002), Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016), and the short story collection The Refugees (Grove Press, 2017). At the University of Southern California, Nguyen is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature. Among other awards, he received fellowships from the Guggenheim and the MacArthur Foundations in 2017. Read more >

Lecture: April 11, 5:30 pm, Pembroke Hall 305 • War, Fiction, and the Ethics of Memory
Viet Thanh Nguyen's three recent books—The Sympathizer, The Refugees, and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War—explore questions of war, culture, and memory. In this talk, Nguyen lays out his model for ethical memory and demonstrates how his fiction has attempted to realize such an ethics. Free and open to the public.

Undergraduate Seminar: April 12, 9:00 am
Registration for this seminar is full.