Press Release: Fall Speaker Series features authors, writers, PBS president

The Media School Report • Aug. 25, 2015
George Vlahakis
Senior News
and Media Specialist
IU Communications
Anne Kibbler
Director of Communications
and Media Relations
The Media School
Dave Eggers (Courtesy photo)
Dave Eggers (Courtesy photo)

An award-winning author, a respected blogger and journalist, the CEO of public broadcasting and an international correspondent are set to speak at IU this fall as a part of The Media School Speaker Series, the school announced today.

Author Dave Eggers, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger, and NPR correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson will speak about their careers and current issues in the media during this series of lectures, which are free and open to the public.

“Every year, the Speaker Series provides opportunities for The Media School and other members of the IU community to share outlooks and views with outstanding communicators,” said James Shanahan, dean of The Media School. “This year is no exception, with four of the finest talents working in American media today coming to IU.”

While on campus, the speakers will visit classrooms and meet with student groups and faculty members, often over coffee or a meal. The series’ reach, however, is not limited to IU’s campus and attracts area residents and members of the Bloomington community.

Ta-Nehisi Coates (Courtesy photo)
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Courtesy photo)

Here’s the schedule for the fall semester:

Dave Eggers, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, IU Auditorium

Dave Eggers is the author of 10 books, which include memoirs, novels and nonfiction investigative works. His first novel, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, reached No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Eggers is as well known for his social activism as for his writing, publishing a book series focused on human rights issues through his publishing company, McSweeney’s, and co-founding a network of tutoring centers around the country. Eggers’ appearance is co-sponsored by the Kelley School of Business Common Read Program, the Kelley Institute for Social Impact and the College Arts and Humanities Institute.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, 12:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Musical Arts Center

Paula Kerger (Courtesy photo)
Paula Kerger (Courtesy photo)

In 2014, The Root Magazine put journalist, blogger and author Ta-Nehisi Coates at the top of its annual list of most influential black leaders and achievers. Coates, who has contributed to publications such as The New York Times Magazine and currently writes for The Atlantic, is known for his un-apologetic commentary on the history and consistency of institutional racism in America. His newest book, Between the World and Me, was released in July and is a New York Times best-seller. This talk is co-sponsored by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the College Arts and Humanities Institute.

Paula Kerger, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Paula Kerger has been the president and CEO of PBS since 2006, during which time she has overseen the broadcaster’s highest rated drama, Downton Abbey, and the expansion of its online and mobile platforms. She previously worked in development and administration for organizations including UNICEF, Metropolitan Opera Association and Educational Broadcasting Corporation.  She also serves as a director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Kerger’s visit is co-sponsored by WTIU.

Saraya Sarhaddi Nelson (Courtesy photo)
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (Courtesy photo)

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Buskirk-Chumley Theater

As an international correspondent for NPR, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has reported on the Arab world, Egypt’s new democracy and the inner workings of the everyday lives of Afghanis. Before joining NPR, Nelson wrote for the Los Angeles Times and several newspapers throughout New York and Virginia, and shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for coverage of the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash. She currently is based in Berlin covering Central Europe and can be heard on the programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

While at IU, Nelson will receive the 2015-16 Lee H. Hamilton Fellowship for Public Service, given by IU’s Center on Representative Government. Her visit is co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study.

Since its inception in 2006, the Speaker Series has brought many top names in media to the IU campus, including NPR’s television critic Eric Deggans, PBS Newshour’s Margaret Warner, Sage Steele of ESPN and author Gay Talese, among others.