Schemel Forum Serves Foreign Affairs Discourse for Luncheon Series

Feb 1, 2010

Schemel Forum Serves Foreign Affairs Discourse for Luncheon Series

     Foreign affairs will be the main course during The University of Scranton’s Schemel Forum Luncheon Series that will be held in the spring semester. 

     “There is a strong emphasis on foreign affairs,” says Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum. “While that is not the exclusive topic that we address, it is the major one. We do that because it gives our community the opportunity to hear about places in the news from expert scholars and journalists of national and international acclaim.”

     The series will begin with a discussion of “Global Politics And Economics: A 21st Century View” presented by Parag Khanna, author of The Second World: Empires and the New Global Order on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Khanna is senior research fellow and director of the Global Governance Initiative at the New America Foundation. 

      “Enigma and Dilemma: Our Fraught Relationship with Afghanistan and Pakistan,” will be presented by Alex Thier, director for Afghanistan and Pakistan for the United States Institute of Peace, on Friday, Feb. 26.

     “Who Runs Russia? Deciphering Moscow’s Centers of Power” led by Jill Dougherty, foreign correspondent for CNN, on Friday, March 5. Widely known as a CNN journalist, Dougherty’s trip to Scranton will be a homecoming. Dougherty took four years of Russian at Scranton Central before graduating and studying at the University of Michigan and then in Leningrad. 

     She says her presentation will look at the power structure in Russia; explore the relationship between the two main political leaders, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev; and discuss whether they see Russia and its role in the world the same way, if their views diverge and what it means for the future if Russia.

     “Russia is resurgent politically and economically, but what does it want to do with its growing influence?” Dougherty asks. “I hope to spark a lively discussion that addresses these issues.” 

     The luncheon series will continue with a presentation by Miklos Marschall, regional director for Europe and Central Asia for Transparency International. He will present “Corruption: Global Virus or Weapon of Mass Destruction?” on Wednesday, March 31.

     In the final presentation for the series, Scranton native Jay Parini will discuss “The Last Station: How a Novel Became a Film” on April 9. The novelist and author of The Last Station, poet, political activist and professor of English at Middlebury College will include a glimpse of the film during his talk.

      All luncheons take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. at various locations on The University of Scranton’s campus. Cost is $20 per luncheon per person, $30 per luncheon per couple, $90 per series of five luncheons per person and $140 per series of four per couple. Admission is free for Schemel Forum Members.

     Reservations are required to attend. Space is limited and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

     To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or For more information on programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton, at (570) 941-4089 or

     The Schemel Forum is a program of participatory learning experiences aimed at cultivating the intellect and the imagination through study and discussion of classical texts and current policies, from the arts, history and philosophy to technology and theology. Founded in 2006 through generous gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, the forum has grown quickly from a handful of informal lectures to a comprehensive enrichment program of study, dialogue, performances and special events. Session fees vary by program. 

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