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Tim Wutrich, Ph.D. - Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Case Western Reserve University


Joseph White, Ph.D. - Luxenberg Professor of Public Policy, Director of the Center for Policy Studies, and Political Science Department Chair at Case Western Reserve University

Robert Spadoni, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Film
at Case Western Reserve University

Friday September 12, 2008
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues,

What do voters want from their leaders? One common guess is that voters want a hero, someone brave and true who can defend them and embodies all they would like themselves and their country to be. Many presidents, from George Washington to Andrew Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy could claim the mantle of a military hero. Politicians extol courage, and Kennedy even published a book about “Profiles in Courage.”

But what made “profiles in courage” worth a book was their rarity. Voters seem to support plenty of non-heroes. And what is heroism, anyway? Are common images of strength and leadership the same as heroism? This seems like a good time to explore this rather unscientific topic. So we’ve gathered Tim Wutrich, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics; Rob Spadoni, Assistant Professor of Film, and Joe White, Professor of Political Science, to start a discussion about what “hero” could mean, in principle or in American culture, and how that might matter in a presidential election.

As usual, we will gather in Room 9 of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, on the lower level of Crawford Hall, for free cookies, beverages, and brown bag lunch.

Best regards,
Joe White

About Our Guests

Timothy Wutrich (B.A. Cleveland State University, M.A., Ph.D., Tufts University) has taught widely in the humanities, at Tufts University, Harvard University, Boston University, Ohio University, and the Université Catholique de Lyon (France). His research and teaching interests, diverse and interdisciplinary, include the connections between Homer and Greek tragedy, the Classical Tradition, and the nexus between literature, the arts, and philosophy. Dr. Wutrich is the author of the book Prometheus and Faust: The Promethean Revolt in Drama from Classical Antiquity to Goethe.

Joseph White came to Case in 2000 as Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Policy Studies, and became Department Chair in 2003. He came to Cleveland from New Orleans, where he was Associate Professor of Health Systems Management in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. Previously he was a Research Associate and then Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley

Robert Spadoni's research focuses on the horror film genre and
on the historical reception of cinema. He is the author of the 2007 University of California Press book, Uncanny Bodies: The Coming of Sound Film and the Origins of the Horror Genre, in which he brings these two research interests together. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Chicago.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

September 19: Evolution and Politics with Robert J. Richards, Morris Fishbein Professor of Science and Medicine and Professor of History, Philosophy and Psychology, the University of Chicago.

September 26: Ethical Responses to Terrorism with Shannon French Ph.D., Director, Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.

October 3: Health Policy in the 2008 Election with Joe White, Professor of Political Science.

October 10: Presidential Ecotheologies with Tim Beal, Professor of Religion.

October 17: Biological Bases of Moral (or Immoral) Behavior, with Gary Marchant, Lincoln Professor of Ethics in Law and Emerging Technology, Arizona State University.

October 24: Seniors in the 2008 Election with Robert H. Binstock, Professor of Aging, Health and Society.

October 31: Halloween Special: Election Preview with Karen Beckwith, Professor of Political Science; Justin Buchler, Assistant Professor of Political Science; and Andrew Lucker, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science.

November 7: Responding to the Foreclosure Crisis with Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County Treasurer.

November 14: Charging for Car Insurance by the Mile: Good Business and Good for Energy and the Environment? With Richard Hutchinson, General Manager for the “My Rate” program, Progressive Insurance.

November 21: TBA

November 28: Thanksgiving Break

December 5: TBA

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall.  Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made.  On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. 

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building.  The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch.  On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

September 8, 2008

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Upcoming Events

Moody and Poor: The Rating Agencies and the Subprime Fiasco

Monday, September 15, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., 1914 Lounge of the Thwing Center.

With Mark Carl Rom, Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy, Georgetown University, and Kathleen C. Engel, Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Associate Professor of Law, Cleveland State University.

The current meltdown in the credit markets, precipitated by bad mortgage loans, is a failure of both public and private regulation. Professor Rom, author of Public Spirit in the Thrift Tragedy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), will discuss his research on the failures by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s to reflect the actual risk of mortgage-backed securities in the ratings given to the securities. Professor Engel, a leading expert on credit denial, predatory lending, and foreclosures, will comment.

4th Annual Constitution Day

The (Un)Constitutionality of Waterboarding

University of Minnesota School of Law

Wednesday September 17, 2008, Thwing Center, 1914 Lounge

4:00-4:30 p.m. Snacks

4:30-5:00 p.m. Professor Gross's Presentation

5:00-5:30 p.m. Questions from Four Students Representing Possible Democratic, Republican, and Independent Perspectives

5:30-5:45 p.m. Questions From the General Public

6:00- 7:30 p.m. Light Dinner, Book Signing, Question and Answer Session, Kelvin Smith Library

The Constitution Day Committee (CDC) chose this year's topic and invited Professor Gross, coauthor of Law in Times of Crisis: Emergency Powers in Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2006), which won the American Society of International Law's Certificate of Merit for Creative Scholarship. Professor Gross is the Irving Younger Professor and Director of the Minnesota Center for Legal Studies and has taught at Princeton, Brandies, Belfast, Heidelberg, and Tel Aviv. His articles have appeared in leading journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Journal of International Law, and Minnesota Law Review.

CDC members are Daniel Beadier, Abraham Del Rio, Hema Krishna, David Mattern, Mitch Parlett, Nicholas Sachanda, Jordan Silver, Christopher Titas, Andrew Wolf, and Professor Laura Tartakoff.

A recognized authority in the areas of national security law, international law, and international trade, Professor Oren Gross is also an expert on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He holds an LL.B. degree magna cum laude from Tel Aviv University, where he served on the editorial board of the Law Review, and LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from Harvard Law School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

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