Apr 05, 2011

CNU Center for American Studies to Host Lecture: "The Political Thought of Barack Obama"

(Newport News, Va.) – Christopher Newport University's Center for American Studies will host the lecture "The Political Thought of Barack Obama," at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, in Room 101 of McMurran Hall. Dr. Clifford Orwin, professor of political science at the University of Toronto, will be guest speaker. The lecture is free and open to the public.

According to Orwin, "George H.W. Bush touted 'a thousand points of light,' Bill Clinton 'felt our pain,' and George W. Bush promoted 'compassionate conservatism.' Barack Obama, on the other hand, speaks sparingly of compassion, and has written eloquently of empathy. He has described this last as his 'golden rule' and has urged the rest of us to adopt it as ours." Orwin will examine what President Obama means by empathy and, more generally, the promise and pitfalls of making empathy a political virtue.

Dr. Orwin teaches the history of political thought, with emphasis on classical, early modern and Jewish political thought. He is professor of political philosophy and Jewish studies and director of the Program in Political Philosophy and International Affairs at the University of Toronto. He received his MA and PhD from Harvard and his BA from Cornell. He has taught as a visitor at Harvard, the University of Chicago and Michigan State University, and has held briefer visitorships at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Universida de Catolica Portuguesa, Lisbon. Dr. Orwin also served on the Panel on Political Science at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C., and is himself the recipient of three NEH Fellowships. He has written dozens of articles on classical, modern and contemporary, political thought and is also a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper of record. He is author or editor of several books, including The Humanity of Thucydides (Princeton, 1994), and is currently completing a book for the general reader titled Deeply Compassionate.

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

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Lori Jacobs
Director of Public Relations

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