January 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Two leading public intellectuals will discuss issues related to immigration in a public forum to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the Cole Assembly Room at Amherst College. The panel, on “The Public Discourse of Immigration in the United States,” will feature renowned Mexican-American memoirist Richard Rodriguez and classicist and historian Victor Davis Hanson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution. The event is open to the public at no charge.

This panel is the second in a series of three free public discussions of timely issues being held at Amherst in January. The discussions, part of the Interterm Colloquia, are designed to connect intellectual theories and ideas to real-world issues. The third discussion, on public education, will take place Jan. 27.

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A well-known scholar of ancient warfare and a commentator on modern warfare, he is a military historian, columnist, essayist and former classics professor. Educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the American School of Classical Studies and Stanford University, he lives and works on a farm near Selma, Calif., where he was born in 1953. He has served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, Calif., a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University, an Alexander Onassis Fellow and the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Hanson is a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism.

Hanson has written widely on Greek, agrarian and military history, as well as contemporary culture. He is perhaps best known for 2001 book, Carnage and Culture. His other books include Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (2003) and Ripples of Battle (2003).

Hanson has contributed essays to The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune and other publications. He has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS and C-Span. He is a columnist for the National Review Online and serves on the editorial board of Arion, the Military History Quarterly and City Journal, as well as the board of the Claremont Institute.

The child of Mexican immigrants to San Francisco, Richard Rodriguez is perhaps best known as the author of Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982). His other books include Mexico’s Children (1990), Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (1992) and Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002). An editor at Pacific News Service, Rodriguez has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the American Scholar, Time and other publications. He is a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and the Sunday Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times.

Rodriguez received a 1997 George Foster Peabody Award for his PBS NewsHour essays on American life. Other awards include the Frankel Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the International Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council of California.

Rodriguez spoke Spanish until he enrolled in a Catholic school at age 6. As a youth in Sacramento, he delivered newspapers and worked as a gardener. Rodriguez received a B.A. degree from Stanford University, an M.A. degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in English Renaissance literature from the University of California, Berkeley, He attended the Warburg Institute in London on a Fulbright fellowship.

The talk by Davis and Rodriguez is part of a new program of Interterm Colloquia at Amherst College. New at the college this January, the Interterm Colloquia provide students with an opportunity to engage more deeply in interdisciplinary work while connecting intellectual theories and ideas to complex, real-world problems, and to explore pressing societal concerns in depth. Interterm at Amherst College is a three-week period during the January break when students are given the opportunity to take informal non-credit courses, work on a senior thesis, take part in an internship, participate in community service or take a course at one of the other Five College campuses.