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News Release


‘Nickel and Dimed’ Author to Speak at Ohio Wesleyan University
Barbara Ehrenreich Kicks Off 2009-2010 Sagan National Colloquium

August 25, 2009

Barbara Ehrenreich
Photo by Sigrid Estrada
DELAWARE, OH – “Comfortable people have long imagined that American poverty is far more luxurious than the third world variety, but the difference is rapidly narrowing,” says Barbara Ehrenreich, author of “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” and numerous other writings that address the plight of the nation’s working poor.

Ehrenreich speaks with authority on the topic, having given up her middle-class life to go undercover to learn what life is like for people trying to survive on minimum-wage incomes. The experience—which included working as a waitress, hotel maid, nursing-home aide, and retail sales clerk—left Ehrenreich angry at the cycles and circumstances that seem to ensnare so many Americans. But it also left her determined to make a difference.

“I was angry about poverty before, but now I am in a permanent, low-level, rage—leavened, of course, by the knowledge that I am part of a large and growing movement for economic justice,” she states.

Ehrenreich will kick off Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2009-2010 Sagan National Colloquium at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 with a free lecture and discussion titled “Renewing America for a Global Century.” The event will be held in Gray Chapel in University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. Ehrenreich’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of English and is part of the department’s Katherine Kearney Carpenter Lecture Series. For more information about Ehrenreich, visit www.barbaraehrenreich.com.

Each year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Sagan National Colloquium spotlights an issue of global significance. This year’s theme is “Renewing America for a Global Century: From Theory to Practice at Ohio Wesleyan University.” Past Colloquium speakers have included President Gerald Ford, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, and author Kurt Vonnegut.

Additional 2009-2010 Sagan National Colloquium speakers include the following. All events are free and open to the public.

  • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 – Robert Pape, political science professor at the University of Chicago, discusses “America’s Relative Decline and Its Consequences.” His presentation, co-sponsored by the International Studies Program, will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 – Nathaniel Fick, chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security and author of “One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer,” discusses “The Afghanistan Inheritance.” His presentation, co-sponsored by the International Studies Program, will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 4 p.m. Oct. 2 – Susan Eisenhower, president of The Eisenhower Group, discusses “America’s Energy Infrastructure: Renewing for Global Competitiveness.” Her presentation will be held in Gray Chapel in University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St.
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 – Kori Schake, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and associate professor of International Security Studies at the United States Military Academy, discusses “Managing American Hegemony: American Power in a Time of Dominance.” Her presentation, co-sponsored by the International Studies Program, is part of the Corinne Lyman Lecture Series. The program will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 – Richard Longworth, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a distinguished visiting scholar at DePaul University, discusses “The American Midwest in the Age of Globalization.” His presentation, co-sponsored by the departments of Economics and Journalism, will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 – Andrew Revkin, environmental reporter for The New York Times, discusses “The Energy Quest.” His presentation, co-sponsored by the Department of Journalism and the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs, will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 – Joshua Spero, associate professor of political science at Fitchburg State College, discusses “National and International Leadership through Service.” His presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Ohio Wesleyan graduates Marija Ignjatovic, 2003, and Lydia Spitalny, 2008. The event will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 – Andrei Codrescu, the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University, discusses “What is an Immigrant, What Makes an American?” His presentation, co‐sponsored by the International Studies Program and the Department of Politics and Government also is the 2009‐2010 John Kennard Eddy Lecture on World Politics. The program will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 – Bonnie Honig, the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and research professor at the American Bar Foundation, discusses “Walt Whitman and the (Im)possibility of Renewal.” Her presentation, co-sponsored by the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, will be held in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.

For more information about Ohio Wesleyan’s 2009-2010 Sagan National Colloquium, visit snc.owu.edu.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 45 states and 39 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.