Series Information

The "Trump: Point/Counterpoint" conversation series features Amherst College Professor, and host of NEPR's "In Contrast", Ilan Stavans and a guest engaging in thoughtful discussion and attempting to bridge the growing ideological divide in our nation.

This series is based on a course of the same name, taught by Professor Stavans. The course and associated event series received special funding from William Eisen '70 and Robert Duboff '70, in celebration of their approaching 50th Reunion.

Each conversation will be livestreamed for all to view via our website.
Click here to access the livestream

Part one of the conversation series, an interview with Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery, on "Why 'Black Lives Matter' Matters" is now available to listen to in podcast form. Series host Ilan Stavans' NEPR show "In Contrast" episode #10. Have a listen! 

Schedule of Events 

Why BLACK LIVES MATTER Matters

Tuesday, September 19, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

Illiberalism in the Age of Trump

Thursday, September 28, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

Trump and the Middle East

Thursday, October 12, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

Immigration Under Trump: Personal Stories

Tuesday, October 24, 7 p.m., Holden Theater

After Trump

Thursday, November 16, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

Event Information

Why BLACK LIVES MATTER Matters

Tuesday, September 19, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

Join Professor Stavans and his first guest, Wesley Lowery, for a conversation on "Why Black Lives Matter Matters". Wesley Lowery is a Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent covering law enforcement, race and justice for The Washington Post and an on-air contributor for CNN. He has been the paper's lead reporter covering police shootings and the Black Lives Matter protest movement. His work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated. His first book, the New York Times bestseller "They Can't Kill Us All" was awarded the 2017 Christopher Isherwood prize for autobiographical prose by the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. 

Amherst College Calendar Listing

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Illiberalism in the Age of Trump

Thursday, September 28, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

For part two of the series, join Ilan and his guest, Bret Stephens as they discuss "Illiberalism in the Age of Trump". Illiberalism describes a system, while ostensibly a democracy, in which citizens experience reduced civil liberties and are cut off from knowledge of who holds real power in their society.

Bret L. Stephens joined The New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist in April 2017. His column appears Thursday and Saturday.

Mr. Stephens came to The Times after a long career with The Wall Street Journal, where he was most recently deputy editorial-page editor and, for 11 years, foreign affairs columnist. Before that, he was editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post. At The Post he oversaw the paper's news, editorial and digital operations and its international editions, and also wrote a weekly column. He has reported from around the world and interviewed scores of world leaders.

Mr. Stephens is the author of "America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder," released in November 2014. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including two honorary doctorates and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He is also a political analyst for MSNBC.

Mr. Stephens was raised in Mexico City and holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an MSc. from the London School of Economics. He and his wife, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, a music critic for The Times, live with their three children in New York and Hamburg, Germany.

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Trump and the Middle East

Thursday, October 12, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

For part three of the series, join Ilan and his guest, Robin Wright, as they discuss "Trump and the Middle East".

This event will not be livestreamed, but will be made available for viewing with an Amherst College log-in.

Robin Wright is a contributing writer to The New Yorker and a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has reported from more than 140 countries on six continents. She is a former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs and many others. Wright has been a fellow at the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as well as Yale, Duke, Dartmouth, and the University of California.

Among several awards, Wright received the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal, the National Magazine Award for reportage from Iran in The New Yorker, and the Overseas Press Club Award for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initiative" for coverage of African wars. The American Academy of Diplomacy selected Wright as the journalist of the year for her “distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs.” She also won the National Press Club Award for diplomatic reporting and has been the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.

She lectures extensively around the United States and has been a television commentator on morning and evening news programs on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN and MSNBC as well as "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," "This Week," “Nightline," “PBS Newshour,” "Frontline," “Charlie Rose,” "Washington Week in Review," “Hardball,” “Morning Joe,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” “The Colbert Report” and HBO’s “Real Time.”

Wright’s most recent book is “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic world.” It was selected as the Best Book on International Affairs by the Overseas Press Club. Her other books include “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East” (2008), which The New York Times and The Washington Post both selected as one of the most notable books of the year. She was the editor of “The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and U.S. Policy” (2010). Her other books include “The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran” (2000), which was selected as one of the 25 most memorable books of the year 2000 by the New York Library Association, "Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam" (2001), "Flashpoints: Promise and Peril in a New World" (1991), and "In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade" (1989).

Amherst College Calendar Listing

 

Immigration Under Trump: Personal Stories

Tuesday, October 24, 7 p.m., Holden Theater

Part four of the conversation series will feature a departure in format from the previous three sessions.

In a town hall format, students, alumni and the community are invited to share personal stories of immigration and its challenges in an age of intolerance. The conversation will be moderated by Ilan Stavans. All are welcome to attend and participate.

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After Trump

Thursday, November 16, 7 p.m., Stirn Auditorium

For the final conversation, join Ilan and his guest, William Kristol, as they discuss "After Trump".

William Kristol is founder and editor at large of The Weekly Standard, he appears frequently on all the leading political commentary shows. Before starting the Weekly Standard in 1995, Mr. Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Before that, Mr. Kristol served in senior positions in the Reagan and Bush Administrations, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.

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