2015–16 Tanner Talks

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences presents the 2015–16 Tanner Talks, a series of cross-disciplinary events.


Tuesday, October 13, 4:30pm, TSC Auditorium

Faith-based Diplomacy as a Counter to Violent Extremism

Douglas Johnston, a scholar, diplomat, peacemaker, and the youngest officer in the Navy to qualify for command of a nuclear submarine, will present the inaugural lecture for our series.

Dr. Johnston is founder and president of the Washington DC based “International Center for Religious Diplomacy.” He and his team work in areas of extreme religious and political conflict where they have used “faith-based” diplomacy, which emphasizes principles of interfaith understanding, to free hostages, to end civil wars, and to reform madrasa curricula to inspire greater adherence to the principles of religious tolerance and human rights. He has worked in some of the world’s most dangerous religious “hot-spots” like Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Sudan and Kashmir. He has produced seminal books on the topics of religion, politics, and peach-making including Religion: the Missing Dimension of Statecraft, Religion, Terror, and Error; U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement (winner of the 2011 Book of the Year awards by Foreward Reviews, the rating agency for universities and independent publishers).

The 2015–16 Tanner Talks, a series of cross-disciplinary events are a presentation of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Join us at this free public lecture.


Thursday, October 29, 7:30pm, Caine Performance Hall

Sherman Alexie is a major voice in contemporary American literature. He is the author of twenty books including Reservation Blues and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The award-winning, and widely banned, young adult novel, The Absolutely True Autobiography of a Part-Time Indian won him the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Described by Men’s Journal as “the worlds first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar,” Alexie is a gifted orator, telling tales of contemporary American Indian life with razor sharp humor, unsettling candor, and biting wit.

The 2015–16 Tanner Talks, a series of cross-disciplinary events are a presentation of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Don’t miss the book signing and reception at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art after the performance.


Tuesday, April 5, 4:00pm, Caine Performance Hall

Fareed Zakaria will discuss his recent book “In Defense of a Liberal education” and how he sees the importance of such an education for our students in facing the challenges and joys of living in a global community.