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2023 Fall


Brad DeLong


December 7 - December 8, 2023

Bio: Brad DeLong is a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he teaches economic history, political economy, macroeconomies, and occasional other topics. He was a deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton Administration.

He is a New York Times instant bestselling author (for Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century <http://bit.ly/3pP3Krk>, called: “magisterial” by Paul Krugman, "required reading” by Larry Summers, “brilliant, important” by Robert Reich, “sweeping and detailed, learned and accessible, familiar and strange… justice-minded and tender hearted” by Annie Lowrey at The Atlantic, and “impressive… written with wit and style and a formidable command of detail” by Ryan Avent at The Economist.

And he has been too online since 1995.

At the moment, Google and Google Scholar say that the five pieces he has written that are the most influential and command the most attention are:

  1. Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the 20th Century—The book tells the story of how an unprecedented explosion of material wealth occurred, how it transformed the globe, and why it failed to deliver us to utopia. Of remarkable breadth and ambition, it reveals the last century to have been less a march of progress than a slouch in the right direction <<ly/3pP3Krk>>
  2. “Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets” (with Andrei Shleifer and Lawrence Summers of Harvard, and Robert Waldmann of the University of Rome)—how Milton Friedman’s claim that irrational investors must in equilibrium have no impact on market prices is simply, well, wrong <http://ms.mcmaster.ca/~grasselli/DeLongShleiferSummersWaldmann90.pdf>
  3. “Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy” (with Lawrence Summers of Harvard)—how when inflation is as quiescent & interest rates as low as they have been since 2001, bond- & money-financed expansions of government purchases are, when properly hedged, truly a win-win free lunch that competent governments would pursue <https://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/bpea/papers/2012/fiscal-policy-depressed-economy-delong>
  4. “Did J.P. Morgan’s Men Add Value?”—reputation, managerial competence, oversight, & the benefits to society of long-term greedy plutocratic investment banks <https://www.nber.org/chapters/c7182.pdf>
  5. “Speculative Microeconomics for Tomorrow’s Economy” (with A. Michael Froomkin of the University of Miami)—how the “Smithian” image of the economy that we economists have held in the forefront of our minds since 1776 is obsolete <http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/spec.htm>

Mark Pickup

Lecture: "What is Racism?"

November 27 - December 6, 2023

Bio: Mark Pickup is a Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University. He is a specialist in Political Behaviour, Political Psychology and Political Methodology. Substantively, his research primarily falls into three areas: political identities and political decision-making; conditions of democratic responsiveness and accountability; and polls and electoral outcomes. His research focuses on political information, public opinion, political identities, norms, and election campaigns, within North American and European countries. His methodological interests concern the analysis of longitudinal data (time series, panel, network, etc.) with secondary interests in Bayesian analysis and survey/lab experiment design. His work has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science and Journal of Politics.

Eline de Rooij

Lecture: "Is Social Mobilization Gendered? Evidence from Spillover Experiments Across Three Democracies"

November 27 -  December 1, 2023

Bio: Eline de Rooij is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University. She holds a D.Phil. in Sociology from the University of Oxford, and has been a postgraduate associate at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (Yale) and a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College (Oxford). She was an Instructor at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research at the University of Michigan in 2018 and 2019.

Broadly, her research interests are in political mobilization, political attitudes and behavior. She is currently working on two main research projects. First, a study aimed at examining voter mobilization in intimate social networks (i.e., couples, households). Second, a SSHRC-funded project on the pre- and post-migration factors that shape immigrants’ political ideology, party preference and civic engagement.

Much of her work relies on the use of experiments, mostly field but also survey and lab experiments. She has published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Political Behavior, and is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Sara Lowes

Lecture: "Fallow Lengths and the Structure of Property Rights"

November 9 - Novemeber 10, 2023

Bio: Sara Lowes is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, San DiegoIn Spring 2023, she visited MIT as the Hal Varian Visiting Assistant Professor. She graduated from Harvard University in May 2017 with a Ph.D. from the Political Economy and Government program (Economics track). She was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford King Center on Global Development and an Assistant Professor of Economics at Bocconi University. Her research interests are at the intersection of development economics, political economy, and economic history. Her research is supported by an NSF CAREER grant. Her dissertation received the Ronald Coase Best Dissertation Award from the Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics

She is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an Affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar with the Institutions, Organizations & Growth research program, an Affiliate of thCentre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and an Affiliate of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA).

John Hoffmann

Lecture and Film Forum Guest Speaker

Lecture: "On Aesthetic Re-education: German Newsreels in the Aftermath of World War II"

November 7 - November 8, 2023

Bio: John Hoffmann is a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Media Studies at the University of Marburg. He received his PhD in English from Johns Hopkins in 2018 and served as a visiting scholar at the University of Konstanz before moving to Marburg. His work focuses on German and Anglophone culture in the modernist period, and his articles have appeared in the journals Film History, Modernism/modernity, New Literary History, and diacritics. His research has also been supported by major grants from the German Research Foundation, the Max Kade Center for Modern German Thought, and the Modernist Studies Association. He is currently finishing a book that studies the history of aesthetics and anthropology from the German Enlightenment to the Popular Front. 

Alexander Field

Lecture: "The Economic Consequences of U.S. Mobilization for the Second World War"

October 19 - October 20, 2023

Bio: Alexander J. Field is the Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University. Over the past two decades his main research focus has been on U.S. productivity growth during the second quarter of the twentieth century. In 2011 he published A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth (Yale), selected that year as a Choice Outstanding Economic Title in the Economics Area. In 2012 it won the Alice Hansen Jones Biennial Book Prize as well as the Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award in the Social Sciences. His new book, The Economic Consequences of U.S. Mobilization for the Second World War was published by Yale in 2022. He has written on a wide range of other topics, including how we can better integrate the human sciences, as reflected in his 2001 book Altruistically Inclined? The Behavioral Sciences, Evolutionary Theory, and the Origins of Reciprocity, which won the 2003 Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award in the Social Sciences. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2013-14 he was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.

He has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature, as Executive Director of the Economic History Association, and in a variety of other editorial and administrative capacities including Acting Academic Vice President and Acting Dean of the Business School at Santa Clara. He taught previously at Stanford University.

Nick Gillespie

Lecture: "Choice: An Inventory of Effects"

October 16 - October 17, 2023

Bio:Nick Gillespie is an editor at large at Reason, where he writes articles, records podcasts, and makes video documentaries. He is the coauthor of The Declaration of Independents (2012), a former columnist for Time and The Daily Beast, and a two-time finalist for National Magazine Awards. He holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he wrote a dissertation titled Qualified Authority in American Fiction: Participant Observers and Market Orders (1996).  

Sarah Rose Siskind

Lecture and Film Forum Guest Speaker

Lecture: "Robotic Archetypes"

October 16 - 18, 2023

Bio:Sarah Rose Siskind is a science comedy writer, chatbot writer, and robot consultant. She founded Hello SciCom, an agency of creative consultants specializing in robotics and AI. They work with companies like Honda, Hanson Robotics, Singularity Net, Alethea AI, and many others. She has designed two different chatbots sold at Sotheby’s for $1.2 million, contributed to the Amazon Alexa prize, and written numerous academic papers with Honda Research Institute on topics ranging from humor to magic in chatbot design. She has hosted robotics talks in Tokyo and worked with a two billion dollar entertainment venue to staff their lobby with autonomous robots.

Previously, she worked as the lead personality writer for Sophia the Robot at Hanson Robotics where she learned chatbot development and basic operational engineering. She designed conversations with celebrities like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Tony Robbins as well as wrote speeches for Sophia at the UN and on TV. She is also a professional stand up comedian and previously served as head writer for Neil deGrasse Tyson's TV show StarTalk. She’s written comedy for the White House Press Correspondents' Dinner and her Harvard cum laude thesis on comedy.

Titus Techera

Lecture and Film Forum Guest Speaker

Lecture: "Technology as Neo-Culture"

October 4 - October 5, 2023

Bio: Titus Techera, M.A. Political Science, & the Executive Director of the American Cinema Foundation & a culture critic for Liberty Fund, the Acton Institute, the Washington Free Beacon, & the Washington Examiner.