Talk Is Cheap in This Case It's Free-But There's Plenty of Value in What These Speakers Have to Say

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If you are able, it might be worth your while to schedule lunch for 11 a.m. rather than the noon hour for the next four months.

This semester's Washington University Assembly Series features a lineup of authors, theorists, politicos and cultural critics that would put the average "Politically Incorrect" panel to shame. Except for the Margaret Rossiter lecture (4 p.m., Rebstock 215), all talks are scheduled for 11 a.m. in the university's Graham Chapel. All of the lectures are free.

Here's a menu of the upcoming dais diet, which kicks off this Wednesday:

Martha Nussbaum (March 28) speaks on "Compassion in Public Life." Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, is the author of "The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy." Speaking of luck (bad) and tragedy (four-time Super Bowl losers), former Buffalo Bills quarterback . . .

Jack Kemp (Feb. 21) addresses the topic "America on the Eve of the 21st Century." Now co-director of Empower America, the former HUD Secretary once championed the cause of turning housing projects over to the tenants, a policy of self-government that would please . . .

Wilma Mankiller (Feb. 7), principal chief, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, who will discuss "Contemporary Tribal Issues." On the subject of mankillers, that's what Rush Limbaugh labels any feminist thinker --especially one as prominent as . . .

Mary Daly (March 27), professor of theology at Boston University. Daly, a prolific writer and leading feminist theorist, will present "Re-Calling the Outrageous Contagious Courage of Women" as part of Women's Week at the university. Also documenting the prominent contribution of women to our society is . . .

Margaret Rossiter (March 19) of Cornell University, author of "Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940." Rossiter speaks on American women scientists, a talk that certainly could include engineer, physician, educator and former astronaut . . .

Mae Jemison (Jan. 24) As part of the chancellor's fellowship conference on the role of the intellectual in the African-American community, Jemison will deliver a speech titled "In Transition. …