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  Tanner Talks | 2019-20 

An annual lecture series generously endowed by the O.C. Tanner Foundation. 

Logo with drawing of O.C. Tanner

The Tanner Talks series brings in scholars, authors and influencers of all stripes to USU to introduce them to students, spark ideas, and start conversations.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Sylvia Mendez, Latino champion

Two images, one of Sylvia Mendez as a child and the other as an adult

Wed., Sept. 18, 2019
Panel: 3:30-5 p.m., Old Main 121
Lecture: 6-7:30 p.m. TSC auditorium
"Breaking Barriers with Sylvia Mendez" panel discussion and lecture

More information about the events and details on locations.

When she was 8 years old, Sylvia Mendez and her family played a pivotal role in the landmark desegregation case of 1946 (Mendez v.Westminster) that prompted California to be the first state to integrate schools. In 2011, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

The panelists for the 3:30 p.m. event include Professors Maria Cordero, Angela Diaz, and Marisela Martinez-Cola, as well as Ketzel Morales (undergraduate student) and Kenia Carrera (graduate student). Its title is "The Latinx Experience in Public Education."

The following day, Sept. 19 (from 9-10:15 a.m.), the Museum of Anthropoly will host the opening event for an exhibit on Mendez v. Westminster. Visit Old Main 252. 

Mendez's sponsor: Crescencio Lopez, assistant professor of Spanish

Symposium on the First Amendment, marking the 230th anniversary of the Bill of Rights' ratification

An illustration of the original Bill of Rights.

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019
Panel discussion: 3:30-5 p.m., ECC 216
Keynote lecture: 8-9 p.m., ESLC 046 

This date marks the 230th Anniversary of the submission of the Bill of Rights to the States for ratification Sept. 25, 1789. To celebrate this landmark event in American history, a special symposium is being held in collaboration with the Tanner Talk Series.
More information about the presenters.

3:00 p.m. | Old Main Hill Southwest Corner Commemorative tree planting by Justice Paige Petersen, Prof. RonNell Anderson Jones, Dr. Donald Shaw, and Dean Joseph P. Ward.

3:30-5:00 p.m. | Eccles Conference Center Auditorium (ECC 216)

Tanner Talk Panel: "The First Amendment: Its Legacy and Continuing Value." Panel members: Justice Paige Petersen, Professor RonNell Andersen Jones, and Dr. Thomas Terry. Reception to follow.(ECC 205 & 207)

8-9 p.m. | Eccles Science Learning Center Auditorium (ESLC 046) Tanner Lecture, "First Amendment Rights: Threats and Triumphs," Dr. Donald Shaw. Q & A to follow.

Sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Departments of political Science and Journalism & Communication

"Social Justice in Digital Spaces"
Tara McPherson, expert on white supremacists and the internet

Poster for the event

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019
3-4:30 p.m., LIB 154, reception to follow

The first of a series on this timely subject. Presenting will be Tara McPherson, a professor in the University of Southern California's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, where she teaches digital media and popular culture.
More info about Sept. 26 lecture.

More  'Social Justice in Digital Spaces' Tanner Talk lectures in spring 2020

March 12, 2020: Jody Byrd, English professor at the University of Illinois and a specialist on digital media's effect on indigenous communities. (3-4:30pm,  Merrill-Cazier Library, LIB 154)
April 7, 2020: Jacqueline Wernimont, professor of women and gender studies at Dartmouth College and a "network weaver" across arts, humanities and sciences. (3-4:30pm, Merrill-Cazier Library, LIB 154)

Sponsers: CHaSS; Merrill-Cazier Library; Inclusion Center (formerly the Access and Diversity Center; and the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies. Organizers are a subcommittee of the DH@USU Digital Humanities Working Group, led by Mattie Burkert (assistant professor, English)


"Race, Ethnicity, and Health: Historical and Contemporary Disparities"

Dr. Gone in a casual poseDay-long seminar with history and sociology experts from around the country.
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
David B. Haight Center (formerly the Alumni House)

Seminar examining modern social issues with historical antecedents. Keynote speaker: Joseph P. Gone, Professor of Anthropology and of Global Health and Social Medicine and faculty director of the Harvard University Native American Program.

Organizers: Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and Seth Archer, Assistant Professor of History.
Poster for event

19th Amendment: Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson speaking in a TV news interview

March 19, 2020

The 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the vote, is worth celebrating, along with other instances of suffrage fights, such as 1870 and the Voting Rights Act which in 2019 remains endangered. Speaking will be Carol Anderson, author of the acclaimed 2018 book, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy." 
Sponsors: Professors Joyce Kinkead (Eng), Tammy Proctor (Hist), Jeannie Thomas (Eng), Sue Grayzel (Hist) and Christy Glass (Soc).

Actors from the London Stage

A drawing of Prospero commanding the seas

March 19-21, 2020

This program, founded in the 1990s by the actor Patrick Stewart, brings world-class Shakespearean performance to American universities.  In a week-long residency, five professional actors will visit classrooms and present public performances of "The Tempest" in the Morgan Theatre on March 19-21. Tickets will be available through the Caine College of the Arts Box Office.  

Organizers: Phebe Jensen, professor of English and an authority on William Shakespeare; and Stephanie White (Theatre Arts)
Co-sponsor: Caine College of the Arts

'Surviving the Atomic Bomb'

A woman (Shigeko Sasamori) wearing a hat

Spring 2020

“I looked like a monster." Shigeko Sasamori was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when Hiroshima was decimated by the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945.  Ten years later, she and 24 other scarred and disfigured girls, all now known as the Hiroshima Maidens, came to the United States for multiple plastic surgeries.
She now shares her story with a presentation titled "Surviving the Atomic Bomb: Towards World Peace."

Sponsor: Atsuko Neely, lecturer in Asian Languages/Japanese.



Previous presentations in the Tanner Talks series


God and Smog: Religion and Environmentalism
Philip Barlow, history professor and former Arrington chair of Mormon Studies.

Merry Wiesner-Hanks
Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, as well as senior editor of The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies.

Krista Tippett

Creator and host of the public radio program and podcast, "On Being," a Peabody Award-winning program (as heard at Utah Public Radio, 

Paul Losensky
Professor of Central Eurasian Studies and Comparative Languages at Indiana University Bloomington and an authority on Persian language and literature in primarily Iran, India and Central Asia. 

Ayesha Ramachandran 
Associate professor of Comparative Literature at Yale, Dr. Ramachandran is a literary critic and cultural historian of early modern Europe.