Richard Beeman, University of Pennsylvania
Opening Plenary Session and Reception
Wednesday, November 10, 6:00pm–8:30pm
Richard Beeman is Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of six books and several dozen articles on the history of revolutionary America; his biography of Patrick Henry was a finalist for the National Book award. His most recent book, Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution is the most comprehensive account of the Constitutional Convention to appear in the past half century, taking readers behind the scenes and beyond the debate to show how the world’s most enduring constitution was forged through conflict, compromise, and, eventually, fragile consensus.
Professor Beeman has served as Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Department of History, Associate Dean in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences responsible for the School’s Humanities and Social Sciences departments, and as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center and is Chair of the Constitution Center’s Committee on Programs, Exhibits, and Education. He serves as Vice-Chair of the Distinguished Scholars Panel of the Constitution Center and as a member of the scholarly advisory board of the American Revolution Center.
Professor Beeman will explore the eighteenth century political culture and the habits of political leadership that allowed the Founding Fathers to accomplish so much in such a short space of time. He will, in the process, offer some reflections on how members of our current Congress, themselves torn by division and nearly paralyzed in partisan gridlock, might learn from the Founding Fathers.
Annual Conference Reception at the National Constitution Center
Thursday, November 11, 7:00pm–9:00pm
Sponsored by Terra Dotta, LLC
Join colleagues for an evening at the National Constitution Center—America’s most interactive history museum. Located just two blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, it is the only museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution and the story of we, the people.
Terry Gross, NPR
Friday, November 12, 12:15pm–2:00pm
As the host of Fresh Air, NPR’s weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, Terry Gross’s interviews are heard by more than four and a half million people on nearly 500 public radio stations. Her guests have included many of the most celebrated artists, writers, actors, and musicians of our time, such as Philip Roth, James Brown, John Travolta, Sonny Rollins, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Gross is known for her thoughtful, probing interview style.
In her trusted company, even the most reticent guest relaxes and reflects on his or her life and work. But Gross doesn’t shy away from controversy or asking challenging questions. That’s why Bill O’Reilly terminated his interview with her. Her interview with Gene Simmons of Kiss inspired Entertainment Weekly to name Simmons "Crackpot of the Year—Male." In her speaking engagements, Terry Gross plays sound bites from interviews that went especially well and especially badly, to illustrate her discussion of interviewing techniques. Then she does something else that she never does on her program—she talks about her own life and career, giving the audience a chance to interview her.
Terry Gross began hosting and producing Fresh Air in 1975, when it was a local program broadcast by WHYY in Philadelphia. NPR has distributed the daily program since 1987, and it is now NPR’s most listened-to program, after Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Terry Gross’s book All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists was published by Hyperion in 2004. In 1994, Fresh Air received a Peabody Award, which cited Gross for her “probing questions and unusual insights.” In 1999, America Women in Radio and Television gave Gross a Gracie Award in the category National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, Gross received the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, for advancing the "growth, quality and positive image of radio." Her other awards include the National Book Foundation’s 2007 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
Photo By: Will Ryan
Ray S. Leki, American University
Academic Consortium Breakfast Plenary
Saturday, November 13, 8:30am–10:00am
Ray Leki is Adjunct Professor of Intercultural Management at American University, and the author of Travel Wise: How to Be Safe, Savvy and Secure Abroad. Leki teaches a range of graduate courses and institutes through American University’s School of International Service, Intercultural Management Institute. They include intercultural facilitation and training, multicultural negotiation, personal and organizational security, and spirituality and conflict transformation. His recent book, Travel Wise (Intercultural Press/Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2008) is based on his thoughts, experiences, and techniques in preparing sojourners for international success through integrating cross-cultural competence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and security awareness with careful identification and analysis of motives and motivation.
He is also a career member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States government at the Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. His work in government began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal in 1979, and continued with a series of Peace Corps staff assignments in Washington, Nepal, Pakistan, and Poland, before joining the Department of State in 1991. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Intercultural Researchers, and is on the advisory boards of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (DC), the Intercultural Management Institute, the Foreign Service Youth Foundation, and the International Association of Protocol Consultants. Current interests include leadership and crisis management across cultures, and crisis aftermath psychology.