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Abstracts for 2018 Tanner Lectures/ Ambassador Samantha Power


In “Resisters in Dark Times,” Ambassador Samantha Power will examine three occasions in America’s recent past when people faced mammoth fear, injustice, and intolerance: the internment of Japanese and Japanese Americans, the red-baiting of the McCarthy era, and the early years of the AIDS crisis. While these times are rightly remembered for how the US lost its way – and when policies were pursued at the highest levels of government, with widespread public support, that cut against the nation’s most fundamental values – less is known about the Americans who stood up for what was right in these periods. Power’s lecture will look at the efforts of ordinary citizens who led principled, effective resistance to these policies, and what their efforts can teach us about how to defend institutions, reclaim principles, and shine a light in the darkness.



In “Diplomacy After Darkness,” Ambassador Samantha Power will focus on the present and future of US diplomacy and global leadership. Power will examine the cost of neglecting diplomacy, weakening alliances, and withdrawing from international commitments, and offer ideas for how the US can rebuild its diplomatic corps and standing. Power will draw on her experience in government to suggest a way forward that is better tailored to confront the complex challenges of the 21st century.