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Great Conversations logo.

Another year of Great Conversations

by the University of Minnesota News Service

From eNews, December 4, 2003

As with great books, great conversations allow us to explore the world through the experiences of others and feel energized, inspired, and humbled. That's the purpose of the University of Minnesota's Great Conversations series, which in 2004 will include best-selling authors Gail Sheehy, Richard Florida, and Jared Diamond. The series, in its third year, pairs leading University faculty with eminent world authorities to explore topics in today's headlines. This year's Great Conversations series will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 20, when U President Bob Bruininks chats about a city's viability and creativity with Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class: How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life. On Wednesday, Feb. 25, family social science professor Pauline Boss will discuss the effects of 9/11 with Sheehy, whose landmark Passages was named one of the 10 most influential books of our time by the Library of Congress. Jeffrey Kahn, director of the U's Center for Biomedical Ethics, will talk about ethics, policy, and society on Tuesday, March 23, with Harold Shapiro, former chairman of President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission. On Tuesday, April 13, David Tilman, Regents Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior will speak with Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies.

The final conversation takes place on Tuesday, May 11, between Catherine Liu, professor of cultural studies and comparative literature, and Thomas Frank, editor-in-chief of The Baffler magazine. All five events will be at 7:30 p.m. in Ted Mann Concert Hall on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis. Series tickets are $110 ($85 for U employees and students). Individual event tickets, which go on sale Monday, Jan. 5, are $28 ($23). To buy tickets or learn more about each event, call 612-624-2345 or see http://www.cce.umn.edu/conversations. Videos of past Great Conversations are also available at the Web site.

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