Speaker Roundup

Religion, values, politics, and storytelling
June 1, 2011
 
Rushdie: novelist, storyteller, fatwa survivor.

Rushdie: novelist, storyteller, fatwa survivor.
Megan Morr

  • Leon Botstein, music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and longtime president of Bard College, in the Rare Book Room in Perkins Library. He detailed what he believes to be the shortcomings of higher education and proposed closer ties between universities and the public schools—including the proposal to merge the high-school senior year and the freshman year of college. Botstein, who also spoke to music-department students and faculty members about reinvigorating music education, was the first lecturer in a series called the Duke Colloquium, a new university-based initiative devoted to bridging the humanities and the professional world.
  • Rick Hendrick, chair of the Hendrick Automotive Group and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, at the Fuqua School of Business. He stressed the importance of keeping employees satisfied in order to create camaraderie and improve a company’s stability.
  • Lilly Ledbetter, plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear, in Perkins Library. She spoke about the discriminatory circumstances surrounding her lawsuit, which eventually led to the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extends the statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit.
  • Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin, in Griffith Theater. He read from the novel and described the imperative of storytelling in the face of traumatic events like 9/11.
  • Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, leader of the Park51 project, in the Duke Chapel. In conversation with Dean of the Chapel Sam Wells, he promoted his new book, What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, and discussed the difficulties he has faced in his plans to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan.
  • Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize-winning writer and author of Midnight’s Children, in Page Auditorium. He spoke about the intersection of politics and literature in the contemporary world, including his own experience of being forced to go into hiding following publication of his book The Satanic Verses.