Speech! Speech!

Heading a banner list of speakers this semester:

• A discoverer who followed in the footsteps of his parents, Richard Leakey is the oldest son of Louis and Mary Leakey, the paleontologists who explored Olduvai Gorge, in what is now Tanzania, as a hominid fossil site. As speaker for the 2005-06 Cohen Arts and Lectures program, he discussed “Human Origins and the Survival of the Species” on October 5 to a packed house on the floor and bleachers of Johnston Hall.

He also conducted a special teaching session in the Biology 112 lab time slot, to which students from Biology 310 and 370 were invited. Students from several other departments attended as well.

Former director of the National Museums of Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service, and an environmental activist and conservationist, Leakey is the author of more than 100 articles and several books, including The Making of Mankind, Wildlife Wars, The Sixth Extinction, and Origins Reconsidered.

• A new federal mandate requires that institutions of higher learning observe Constitution Day on or about every September 17, the day the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1787.

Moravian’s inaugural Constitution Day lecture was given by Thomas M. Keck, author of The Most Activist Supreme Court in History (University of Chicago Press, 2005). An assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University, Keck gave a lucid and learned analysis of “Justice O’Connor’s Court” on September 21.

• René Steinke, whose novel Holy Skirts was just nominated for a National Book Award, read from her work for an art history class taught by Diane Radycki, assistant professor of art, on November 7.

Steinke’s novel is about Baroness Elsa von Freytag- Loringhoven, an activist and art dealer of the Dada period. Dada was a protest movement of the early 1920s by French and other European artists against the carnage and waste of the recently ended World War I.

Steinke is the sister of Krista Steinke Finch, assistant professor of art (new media), at the College. She also is editor of Literary Review, a trade magazine for writers.

Richard Leakey speaks with biology students Blair Yasso '07, Taras Grosh '07, and Thad Miller '07, and math student Jennifer Gillard '07 after his special teaching session.

Photo: Michael P. Wilson