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What Matters to Me and Why

What Matters to Me and Why is a presentation and discussion series featuring Stanford Faculty and Administrators addressing life questions. The purpose of What Matters to Me and Why is to encourage reflection within the Stanford community on matters of personal values, beliefs, and motivations in order to better understand the lives and inspirations of those who shape the University. The presenter is encouraged to share how s/he has chosen to live her/his life, the core values s/he has adopted, and the personal choices s/he has made. We also encourage the presenter to choose any other topic that fits her/his definition of “what matters to me and why.”

Program History | Past WMMW Speakers

Select Wednesdays, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 3rd floor (Map)

May 9: Michele Elam, William Robertson Coe Professor in the Department of English, Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Director of the Graduate Program in Modern Thought and Literature (MTL)

The final talk of this year's series features Michele Elam, the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies, the Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Professor of English, and Director of Stanford University’s interdisciplinary graduate program, Modern Thought and Literature (MTL). Former Director of the Program in African & African American Studies, she is affiliated with the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, and serves on the Director’s Council for the Institute of Design at Stanford. Her books include The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin (Cambridge University Press, 2015); The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium (Stanford University Press, 2011); and Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and continues to publish widely on race and culture.  Former chair of the Executive Committee for the Black Literatures & Culture Division of the Modern Language Association and Chair of the Executive Council for the American Literature Society at MLA, she has just been honored with the 2018 Darwin T. Turner Award for Outstanding Scholarship by the African American Literature and Culture Society. Dedicated to teaching, Elam is thrice the recipient of the St Clair Drake Outstanding Teaching Award at Stanford (2004, 2006, 2015) and the Faculty Award for “Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Students as a Teacher, Advisor and Mentor” from the Program in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (2013), among her other teaching awards. Professor Elam is currently the Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate at Stanford.

 

2017-2018 What Matters to Me and Why Schedule

Fall Quarter 2017

October 11: David Kelley, Donald W. Whittier Professor in Mechanical Engineering

November 15: M Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School 

 

Winter Quarter 2018

February 7: Steven Denning, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees

March 7: Dereca Blackmon, Associate Dean and Director of the Diversity and First Generation Office

 

Spring Quarter 2018

April 11Farouk Dey, Associate Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Dean of Career Education

May 9: Michele ElamWilliam Robertson Coe Professor in the Department of English, Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Director of the Graduate Program in Modern Thought and Literature (MTL)