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Past Lectures 2014-2015

The Premiere Lecture

Jean-Michel Cousteau
Underwater Explorer, Environmentalist,
Educator and Film Producer

"The Great Ocean Adventure"

October 1 | 7PM | Wright Auditorium

For more than four decades, Jean-Michel Cousteau has dedicated himself and his vast experience to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet.

Since first being "thrown overboard" by his father at the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Cousteau has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Cousteau has investigated the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone for much of his life. Honoring his heritage, Cousteau founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work.

Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a “Voice for the Ocean,” by communicating in all media the critical bond between people and the sea and the importance of wise environmental policy. As Ocean Futures’ spokesman, Cousteau serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media.

He has produced more than 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the Sept d'Or and the Cable Ace Award. In 1989, he became a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, where his articles appeared in more than 60 newspapers worldwide.

In 2006, Cousteau's initiative to protect the Northwest Hawaiian Islands took him to The White House, where he screened his PBS-KQED documentary, Voyage to Kure, for President George W. Bush. In June 2006, the President declared the 1,200-mile chain of islands a Marine National Monument--at the time the largest marine protected areas in the world. Cousteau was honored with the Environmental Hero Award, presented to him by then-Vice President Gore, at the White House National Oceans Conference in 1998.

The Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History

Julian Bond
Civil Rights Activist, Distinguished
Adjunct Professor, American University

"Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm 'N Blues to Rock 'N Roll"

November 18 | 7PM | Wright Auditorium

Julian Bond is Distinguished Adjunct Professor in the Department of Government at American University, Washington, D.C., and as Professor Emeritus in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. Bond has been an activist in the civil rights, economic justice, and peace movements since his college years. In 1960, he helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and soon became its communications director. Earlier that year, he helped organize the Atlanta University Center Committee on Appeal for Human Rights which directed several years of nonviolent protests and won, by 1962, integration of Atlanta’s movie theatres, lunch counters, and parks.

Bond served for two decades in the Georgia House and Georgia Senate, drafting more than sixty bills that became law. He served as president of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP for eleven years and in 1998, was elected chair of the NAACP national board and served for eleven terms before stepping down in 2010. He was the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 1968, Bond became the first black person to be nominated for the vice presidency of the United States.

Bond has received the American Civil Liberties Union Bill of Rights Awards from Massachusetts and Georgia, and holds twenty-five honorary degrees. Time magazine has named Bond one of America’s top 200 leaders. Bond has hosted America’s Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication, NBC's Saturday Night Live and has narrated numerous documentaries, including the award-winning Eyes on the Prize series. Bond has been a commentator on NBC’s Today show and was the author of Viewpoint, a nationally syndicated newspaper column. A collection of Bond’s essays is published under the title A Time to Speak, A Time to Act. Other poems and articles have appeared in several publications, including the Nation, Life, and the New York Times.

The Jarvis Lecture on Religion & Culture

Raymond Moody, Ph.D., M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Consciousness Studies,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

"Life After Life: The Meaning of Near-Death Experiences"

February 24 | 7pm | Wright Auditorium

The Jarvis Lecture is free to all attendees. No tickets are required. The lecture is cosponsored by Harriot College's Religious Studies Program and the Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. The Religious Studies Program selects the lecturers. The views of the lecturers do not necessarily reflect United Methodist theology or the beliefs of Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church members.

Raymond A Moody, Jr. was born June 30, 1944, in Porterdale, Ga. He received his B.A. with honors (1966), M.A. (1967) and Ph.D. (1969) in philosophy from the University of Virginia, and in 1976, Moody received his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia. From 1980-83, he served a psychiatry residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Prior to completing his M.D., Moody was an assistant professor of philosophy at East Carolina University from 1969-72. After completing his M.D., Moody was a visiting associate professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia from 1977-78, an as associate professor of psychology at the University of Western Georgia from 1987-92, and the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas from 1992-2002.

In addition to his teaching, Moody served as a forensic psychiatrist in a maximum-security unit for the criminally insane from 1985-88. He has practiced grief counseling for more than two decades.

Moody is the author of 14 books, including Life After Life (1975), Coming Back (1995), Glimpses of Eternity (2010) and Paranormal (2012). His main professional interests are logic, philosophy of language and ancient Greek philosophy. He is best known for his work on near-death experiences, and through his research, Moody has interviewed thousands of people all over the world who have had these experiences.

In this lecture, Moody will describe the common elements of near-death experiences, as medical doctors in many countries have studied them. Also, he will describe shared death experiences, an identical phenomenon reported by bystanders at the death of some other person. Moody traces debates on these topics back to Plato and Democritus, who argued about whether near-death experiences indicate an afterlife, or just a dying brain. Moody will discuss fascinating new ways of studying such experiences and their relationship to humanity's biggest question: what happens when we die?

 Ilona Bell
Thomas Harriot Lecture

Ilona Bell, Ph.D.
Samuel Fessenden Clarke
Professor of English, Williams College

"Sexual Seduction in John Donne's Poetry"

March 24 | 7pm | Bate 1032

Dr. Ilona Bell is the Samuel Fessenden Clarke Professor of English at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. She received her B.A. in literature from Radcliffe College in 1969 and her Ph.D. in literature from Boston College in 1977. Bell’s areas of expertise include Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, early modern women writers, lyric poetry and Virginia Woolf.

Bell is the author of Elizabeth I: The Voice of a Monarch, Elizabethan Women and the Poetry of Courtship, and numerous essays on Renaissance poetry and early modern women. In addition, she has edited the classic, John Donne: Selected Poems.

The Thomas Harriot Lecture is free to all attendees.

Wright Auditorium


Jeffrey S. Johnson,
Ph.D., Director
Harriot Voyages of
Discovery Lecture Series
2147 Bate Building
East Carolina University