WVU Festival of Ideas announces the fall 2018 series

WVU Today

Top, from left: Dr. John Campo, Harold Holzer, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Bottom, from left, Noah Feldman, Nadine Strossen, WVU President Gordon Gee

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — This season’s Festival of Ideas at West Virginia University addresses topics at the forefront of the American conversation—from suicide prevention and genetically engineered food to civic engagement and why we should resist hate with free speech instead of censorship.

The series begins at 4 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Health Sciences Center – Okey Patteson Auditorium

Suicide Prevention Across the Lifespan and the Rural-Urban Continuum – This presentation will highlight the public health realities of suicide across the lifespan and the rural-urban continuum, as well as the mismatch between the enormous societal impact of suicide and our investment in prevention. The relevance of access to health and mental health services and selected suicide prevention strategies will be reviewed, with special emphasis on prevention efforts targeting rural populations. Dr. John Campo is Chief Behavioral Wellness Officer, Assistant Dean for Behavioral Health, and Professor of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University and the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.

Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood: The “Other” Big News of January 1, 1863 – On the same day as Abraham Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863, West Virginia became the newest state in the divided Union.  In the end, Lincoln agonized more over the separation of Virginia than he did about his executive order separating enslaved people from their “masters,” although both decisions plagued him for weeks and aroused intense discussion in the press. Harold Holzer, winner of the 2015 Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize, is one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood will be held Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

FOOD EVOLUTION – Narrated by esteemed science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, FOOD EVOLUTION is set amidst a brutally polarized debate marked by fear, distrust and confusion: the controversy surrounding GMOs and food. Academy Award nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy, a writer, director, producer, cameraman and editor, will be on hand to answer questions. FOOD EVOLUTION will be held Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gluck Theater.

Rebuilding America Through Civility and Civic Engagement – Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman is a highly respected public intellectual known for his ability to frame and explain complex legal issues as well as foreign policy, politics and religion. Called “one of the stars of his generation” by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, he writes a weekly column for Bloomberg News, specializing in real-time analysis of today’s big legal cases. Rebuilding America Through Civility and Civic Engagement will be held Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship – Nadine Strossen expertly dissects Constitutional law to share current challenges to our civil liberties today, stimulating thoughtful consideration of democratic ideals. With her expert knowledge of the Constitution, Nadine is a unique and valuable resource for understanding the context behind policies and legislation that curtail civil liberties, such as freedom of speech. HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship will be held Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

WVU Presidents Panel – The last event of the semester will be held Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. WVU President Gordon Gee will welcome former WVU presidents for a wide-ranging discussion about the future of higher education. Featuring a panel with a wealth of leadership experience at WVU and around the country, this discussion will provide a fascinating look at changes in higher education and how WVU fits into this landscape.

The WVU Festival of Ideas was created in 1995 by President Emeritus David C. Hardesty Jr. The lecture series today spans the academic year and brings a diverse group of news-makers, public figures and thought leaders, along with WVU’s own academic superstars, to engage with the campus community in important issues of the day.s

Events are free and open to the public.

Find out more about the WVU Festival of Ideas Speaker Series.

CONTACT: Lisa Martin, University Events, Special Events Coordinator,
304.293.8021, [email protected]

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.

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