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E.N. Thompson Forum lectures to be simulcast

Humanities Nebraska will collaborate with six colleges and universities across the state to simulcast the lectures of the 2013-14 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.

The question of what America’s role in the world should be today is at the heart of this year’s lecture series, a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Entitled “U.S. and Them”, the series will examine this question through a series of five lectures, exploring America’s economy, foreign relations, educational system, military reach, and the viability of the “American Dream.”

In an effort to allow a greater number of Nebraskans to benefit from outstanding speakers on important topics, the lectures will be simulcast and followed by community conversations at Central Community College in Columbus, Hastings College, North Platte Community College, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and in Scottsbluff at the Midwest Theater. The University of Nebraska at Kearney will offer simulcasts for three of the five lectures, October 8, November 6 and March 18. Programs begin at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Mountain Time).

Both students and community members are invited to join in viewing the lectures and discussing various implications. The events are free and open to the public. Free tickets are required only for the Lied Center in Lincoln and guarantee a reserved seat there.

The series will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 24, with David Wessel, the economics editor for the Wall Street Journal, delivering the Lewis E. Harris Lecture on Public Policy: “On Capital & The Capitol.” Wessel’s book, “In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic,” was a New York Times notable book in 2009. Wessel has also shared two Pulitzer prizes, one for a series on the persistence of racism in Boston (Boston Globe, 1983) and the other for a series on corporate wrong-doing (The Wall Street Journal, 2002). His lecture will address the future of the U.S. economy and the federal deficit, as well as the ways that Congress has reacted to these issues. Wessel will also discuss how the press has adapted to the rise of new media.

The series will continue with the following lectures:

Tuesday, Oct. 8 – Susan Glasser, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, “Washington and the World in the Age of Obama.”

Wednesday, Nov. 6 – Hedrick Smith, author and producer, “Who Stole the American Dream?”

Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Andrew Bacevich, Boston University, and Derek Chollet, Department of Defense, “The American Military: War and Peace, Spending and Politics,” the Chuck and Linda Wilson Dialogue.

Tuesday, March 18 – Yong Zhao, University of Oregon, “Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization.”

The simulcast for Hedrick Smith’s lecture on Nov. 6 will be simulcast at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, rather than the regular location at the Midwest Theater.

More information about the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is available at For more information about the simulcasts contact Mary Yager at Humanities Nebraska, (402) 474-2131 ext. 103 or

Humanities Nebraska programming is made possible by:

and generous individuals, foundations, and businesses across Nebraska.