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Photo Credit: Michele Roehrig, The Chautauquan Daily
Interfaith Lecture Series: Laurie L. Patton    Hall of Philosophy
Laurie L. Patton is the 17th president of Middlebury and the first woman to lead the institution in its 218-year history. She is a leading authority in South Asian history and culture, and the author or editor of eleven books in these fields. She has also translated the ancient Hindu text, The Bhagavad Gita, for Penguin Classics Series, and is the author of three books of poetry—the last book, House Crossing, just published in 2018. Dr. Patton began her career at Bard College, where she was assistant professor of Asian religions from 1991 to 1996. From 1996 to 2011 she served on the faculty and administration at Emory University, where she was the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religions and the inaugural director of Emory’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in the Office of the Provost. While at Emory she served as chair of the religion department from 2000 to 2007. Professor Patton then served as the Durden Professor of Religion and Duke University Dean of Arts & Sciences until 2015. At Duke she oversaw 36 academic departments and programs in arts and sciences for the school, which awards 80 percent of Duke’s bachelor degrees. Patton also oversaw Trinity’s $435 million commitment to the “Duke Forward” campaign. Laurie Patton believes in building a stronger and more resilient public sphere and in fostering increased opportunities for informed discussion and debate about today’s most challenging issues. Early in her leadership, she launched the first institution-wide discussion on Middlebury’s intellectual direction, Envisioning Middlebury, to help inform Middlebury’s new strategic direction, which was approved in late 2017. Also in her first years as Middlebury’s president, Patton’s team has initiated in numerous programs to strengthen the relationship between campuses in Middlebury, VT., and Monterey, California; raised over 40M in financial aid scholarships; inaugurated several new programs focusing on inclusivity on campus; and created a new environmental goal after Middlebury achieved carbon neutrality in 2016. From 2008 to 2011, she served as president of the American Society for the Study of Religion, and in 2018-19, she will be the president of the American Academy of Religion, an 8000 member scholarly society for the study of religion. In April, 2018, she was elected to be a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, as a leader in two fields—religion/philosophy and education.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Amy Laura Hall    Hall of Philosophy
Amy Laura Hall is the Duke University Divinity School Associate Professor of Christian Ethics. She received her BA from Emory University and her MDiv and PhD degrees from Yale University. Professor Hall was named a Luce Fellow in Theology for 2004-2005, and has received funding from the Lilly Foundation, the Josiah Trent Memorial Foundation, the American Theological Library Association, the Child in Religion and Ethics Project, the Pew Foundation, and the Project on Lived Theology. She has served on the steering committee of the Genome Ethics, Law, and Policy Center and as a faculty member for the FOCUS program of the Institute on Genome Sciences and Policy. Having served as a faculty adviser with the Duke Center for Civic Engagement and as a faculty advisor for the NCCU-Duke Program in African, as well as in the African American & Diaspora Studies, she currently teaches with and serves on the faculty advisory board for Graduate Liberal Studies, and also as a core faculty member of the Focus Program in Global Health. Dr. Hall serves as an elder in the Rio Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her community service includes Labor Sabbath, an effort with the AFL-CIO of North Carolina to encourage congregations of faith to talk about labor unions, and, from August 2013 to December 2017, she wrote a monthly column for The Herald-Sun in Durham, N.C. Professor Hall organized a conference against torture in 2011 titled “Toward a Moral Consensus against Torture,” and a “Conference against the Use of Drones in Warfare” October 20-21, 2017. In collaboration with the North Carolina Council of Churches, she organized a workshop with legal scholar Richard Rothstein held in October 2018. Dr. Hall is the author of four books: Kierkegaard and the Treachery of Love; Conceiving Parenthood: The Protestant Spirit of Biotechnological Reproduction; Writing Home with Love: Politics for Neighbors and Naysayers; and Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich. Her articles include “The Single Individual in Ordinary Time: Theological Engagements in Sociobiology,” which was a keynote lecture given with Kara Slade at the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics in 2012, and “Torture and American Television,” published in the April 2013 issue of Muslim World, a volume that Hall guest-edited with Daniel Arnold. “His Eye Is on the Sparrow: Collectivism and Human Significance” appeared in a 2016 volume titled Why People Matter with Baker Publishing. Her new essay on Kierkegaard and love will appear in The T&T Clark Companion to the Theology of Kierkegaard, to be published by Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Her book, Laughing at the Devil, was chosen for the 2019 Virginia Festival of the Book. Professor Hall continues work on a longer research project on masculinity and gender anxiety in mainstream, white evangelicalism.
Interfaith Lecture Series: James Fallows    Hall of Philosophy
A national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows is co-creator, with his wife Deborah, of the publication’s American Futures project. For the last six years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane and reporting on the people, organizations, and ideas re-shaping the country. As part of their City Makers: American Futures project in partnership with The Atlantic and Marketplace, the Fallowses visited smaller and medium-sized cities, meeting civic leaders, factory workers, recent immigrants, and young entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign. The Fallowses’ book, Our Towns, is the story of their journey — and an account of a country busy remaking itself, despite the challenges and paralysis of national politics. London-based national correspondent James Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s, living and reporting in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and two years as the editor of US News & World Report. James Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series “Doing Business in China.” He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including Breaking the News: How the Media Undermines American Democracy and China Airborne; as well as Blind Into Baghdad and Postcards From Tomorrow Square, which are based on his writings for The Atlantic.

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