Posts Tagged ‘Conference on World Affairs’

63rd Conference on World Affairs

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

The University of Colorado Boulder’s 63rd annual Conference on World Affairs returns to campus April 4-8, with over 200 events including talks, panel discussions and a plenary address by Graham Nash and David Crosby, all of which are free and open to the public. Presenters from around the country and the globe will pay their own way to travel to Boulder to participate in what film critic Roger Ebert has dubbed the “conference on everything conceivable.”

“The Conference on World Affairs has a long history of addressing nuclear power and weaponry topics, and this year will be no exception,” said Bryan New, advertising and media liaison for the conference. “Among our 100 speakers will be some focused on nuclear non-proliferation, including Graham Nash, David Crosby, Harvey Wasserman and Joe Cirincione.”

Joe Cirincione

Joe Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund president and frequent media commentator, will deliver a talk entitled “Know Nukes” on Tuesday, April 5, at 2 p.m. in the University Memorial Center room 235. His books include “Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear
Weapons” and “Deadly Arsenals: Biological and Chemical Threats.” Cirinicione also serves on the World Economic Forum Global Council on Catastrophic Risks.

Long time activist and author Harvey Wasserman will deliver a plenary talk 
called “Dead and Deadly Nukes: From Fukushima to Solartopia” on Thursday, April 7, at 5 p.m. in the University Memorial Center’s center ballroom.
Wasserman is credited with coining the phrase “No Nukes” and cofounded with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash.

Nash and Crosby are scheduled to deliver the CWA’s closing plenary address entitled “Life Matters” on Friday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. in Macky Auditorium, with introduction from KBCO’s Bret Saunders.

Crosby and Nash have been performing and recording together for over 40 years, most often as part of the iconic folk/rock super group CSNY, featuring Crosby, Nash, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. The two are committed social activists, with strong ties to the
 antinuclear movement. Along with Stills, they participated in the 1979 No Nukes concerts months after the Three Mile Island disaster. The CWA address will focus on social and political engagement.

As always, the CWA will offer a broad range of topics and speakers. Conference sessions encompass everything from music and literature to the environment and science, journalism, visual arts, diplomacy, technology, film, politics, business, medicine and human rights.

Highlights from the 2011 schedule include:

– The keynote address will be delivered by Liz Coleman, president of Bennington College and a leading innovator in higher

Liz Coleman

education, with an introduction by CU chancellor Phil DiStefano on Monday, April 4, at 11:30 a.m. in Macky Auditorium. The keynote address will be preceded by the CWA’s annual opening procession.Led by Coleman and DiStefano, the procession will advance at 11:10 a.m. through the avenue of international flags on display in Norlin Quad and into Macky Auditorium.

– The keynote address will be followed by a staged reading of the play Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins with celebrated Shakespearean actress Tina Packer reading in the role of Ivins. Ivins was a long-time participant in the
CWA. The co-playwright of Red Hot Patriot, Peggy Engel, is also a veteran conference presenter and she will participate in a variety of sessions at the 2011 CWA. This event also will be held in Macky Auditorium.

– Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) will join retired Arizona sheriff Richard Mack and Austin journalist Lou Dubose for a panel called “Arizona: Coming to a State Near You” in Macky Auditorium on Thursday, April 7, at noon.

– A plenary session will feature Bill Nack, whose New York Times bestseller “Secretariat” was made into a Disney film this past year. Nack will speak about his relationship with the most famous horse in racing history in the CWA session “Secretariat” on Friday, April 8, at 12:30 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium. Secretariat owner Penny Chenery will introduce the session, and historic film clips of the horse will be presented.

Members of the public attending the Conference on World Affairs are encouraged to use public transportation as there is no event parking on campus.

Free parking is offered on the third level of the Macy’s parking structure at the Twenty Ninth Street shopping mall in Boulder, located at the southwest corner of 30th Street and Walnut Street, from which a free HOP bus ride is available
to campus during CWA week. Free parking and bus service for the CWA are sponsored by the Twenty Ninth Street and Go Boulder.

The HOP will run on its normal route arriving 7 to 10 minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The two stops nearest the Macy’s parking structure are at 29th Street and Walnut Street and 30th Street and
Walnut Street.

For a complete schedule and more information visit the Conference on World Affairs website at



Roger Ebert on missing the CWA

February 10, 2011 5 comments

The Conference has been a central part of my life for more than 40 years, and I will miss it terribly. Having lost the gift of speech, I can no longer participate in the ways that gave me such pleasure. The Cinema Interruptus sessions, so named by Howard Higman, taught me much more than I ever taught them.

I am leaving on a high point after bringing together Werner Herzog and Ramin Bahrani last year. Jim Emerson will carry on, and the audience as always will not let a frame pass unnoticed. Forty weeks is ten months, and that’s how long I lived in Boulder. I met so many good people and have so many good memories. Give my regards to Macky and to Daddy Bruce’s. And don’t be surprised if I turn up one year for the concert. I like that outboard aisle seat on the left, about six rows back…

-Roger Ebert

Seth Shostak: In the search for aliens, don’t forget sentient machines

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Could the first extraterrestrial life we encounter be robotic?

Past CWA participant Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) was recently featured in Popular Science Magazine for his new claim that, if humans find extraterrestrial life, they will be intelligent machines rather than biological systems.  He notes that our exploratory attention should be turned to “galactic centers and hot, young stars… because of their plentiful supplies of energy and matter.”

Since our own machine advancement happens relatively quickly compared to biological evolution, Shostak says that it makes sense that alien technology would advance at a quicker pace too. He suggests that instead of focusing on areas of the universe that seem hospitable to life, we should also explore areas that are not necessarily hospitable, but may very well contain intelligent machines.

Read the full Popular Science Magazine article online here.

Watch Shostak’s interview on the Colbert Report at Colbert Nation.

Shostak served on eight different panels at the 62nd Conference on World Affairs this past April, including “Out of this World: Is Music Solely a Terrestrial Art?”, “Robots and Cyborgs: Our Human Future” and “Empty Space: Rockets to Nowhere”.

Past Participant John Prendergast Featured in the Wall Street Journal

October 5, 2010 1 comment

The Wall Street Journal recently featured past CWA participant John Prendergast in its Op-Ed section.  In his article titled Obama is still AWOL on Sudan, Prendergast draws attention to the imminent situation in Sudan. “…if the current U.S. policy gridlock remains, the next round of Sudanese bloodletting could be the worst yet.

Over 350,000 people have died in the Darfur genocide that began in 2003.  In January of 2011, southern Sudan will hold a referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or recognize its own independence.  Prendergast’s article focuses on the actions of the U.S. government in maintaining peace in Sudan.  He says that it’s time for the Obama administration to “lay out a clear policy…potentially preventing a real war in Sudan.”

As co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity, Prendergast travels to Africa on peace-making initiatives and fact-finding missions several times a year.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here and keep up on all his work and the efforts of the Enough Project at their website.

Matt Taibbi to be hosted by CWA Athenaeum October 5-6

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

The well-known Rolling Stone columnist, Matt Taibbi, will be on campus to give a talk, “Griftopia: Wall Street’s Theft Culture” Tuesday, October 5th. Mr. Taibbi is well known for his coverage of the 2004 presidential election and for previous editorial positions with newspapers such as the eXile, the New York Press, and the Beast. He has had an extensive career in sports as well, being the first American to play professional baseball in Russian, and playing professional basketball in Mongolia. He has had regular appearances on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and Real Time With Bill Maher.

The free public talk will be on Tuesday, October 5th at 7pm in the Muenzinger Auditorium. More information on  the talk is available at the CWA homepage. To be added to the Athenaeum e-list to get reminders of upcoming events, send an e-mail to .

Another essential part of every Athenaeum event is a free catered student-only dinner. The Athenaeum dinners are a great way to network with professionals and get valuable advice from our Ath guest. If you are a student who is trying to begin networking or trying to get to know other journalists, than this event is for you! The CWA dinner on October 6th is a student-only function, open to any and all students on the CU Boulder campus. Taibbi’s talk is titled,“The 52 funniest things about making a living”. To reserve a seat or to obtain more information about the dinner, please e-mail . We hope to see you there!

Ebert in the Times

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Very interesting article on long-time CWA participant Roger Ebert in The New York Times

Roger Ebert: No Longer an Eater, Still a Cook

Joe Stephanek Announces Publication of his Memoir

Landscape Drawing

Implicated In My Life – A Memoir Rooted in Poor-World Development

is available in Boulder bookstores. His new book is described on his website:

See his world as he lived in Boulder, Colorado and in eleven poor countries, see Boulder change these sixty years, see world-wide travel, fun and development purpose up close. Joe Stepanek spins a story of living abroad, of endless travel and adventure as well as of development commitment and achievement in the poor world through his career with U.S. foreign aid, the United States Agency for International Development.

Joe participated in the CWA in 1992, 93 and 97.  After he retired to Boulder in the late 90s, he became an editor of the CWA’s International Affairs subcommittee.  He continues to house for the Conference most years (when he is not traveling).  (His father, also Joseph Stepanek, participated in the CWA in the 1950s.)