August 26, 2013

E.N. Thompson Forum to examine how U.S. stacks up globally


What is America’s role in the world today?

That question and many more will be addressed during the 2013-14 season of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which welcomes its first presenter Sept. 24.

Under this year’s theme, “U.S. & Them,” speakers will examine how the United States measures up in terms of international influence, economic competitiveness and social progress. Among topics addressed will be foreign policy, the national and international economy, education, American military policy and the weakening of the middle class.

Lloyd Ambrosius, chair of the Thompson Forum Program Committee and professor of history, said the lecturers would provide a unique global perspective to current domestic issues of note.

“We selected this theme because we wanted to explore comparisons of where the United States and the rest of the world are today,” Ambrosius said. “We want the audience to think seriously about those key issues that are affecting us now and will affect us in the future. What kind of a future do we have as Americans within the kind of global context that currently is the nature of the world we live in?”

Dates and speakers for the 2013-14 E.N. Thompson Forum season are:

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. – David Wessel, economics editor of the Wall Street Journal and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, will present “On Capital & The Capitol.” This lecture is co-sponsored by the College of Business Administration and is the Lewis E. Harris Lecture on Public Policy.

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. – Susan Glasser, editor of POLITICO and former editor of Foreign Policy magazine, will speak on “Washington and World in the Age of Obama.”

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m. – Hedrick Smith, an Emmy and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and producer, will deliver his lecture, “Who Stole the American Dream?”

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, 7 p.m. – Andrew Bacevich of Boston University and Derek Chollet of the U.S. Department of Defense will present the Chuck and Linda Wilson Dialogue on “The American Military: War and Peace, Spending and Politics.” Bacevich is a former military officer who has authored several books and numerous articles on the American Military. Chollet, a Lincoln native, currently is serving as Obama’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7 p.m. – Yong Zhao, internationally recognized scholar on education, will deliver his lecture, “Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization.” Zhao’s presentation is co-sponsored by the College of Education and Human Sciences.

All lectures will be held in the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., and are free and open to the public, but do require a ticket to attend. Tickets also can be reserved by calling the Lied Center at 402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231. Tickets may also be requested in person at the Lied Center box office or ordered online by downloading a form at the forum’s website,

Biographical information on each of the speakers is available online at Sign language interpreters will be available at each lecture for the deaf and hard of hearing. Forum lectures will be available live online at as well as on Lincoln cable channels 5 and 80, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL’s KRNU radio (90.3 FM).

The lecture series is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the University of Nebraska and the residents of the state to promote understanding and encourage debate.