March 30, 2007

Former diplomat, performance artist are featured during Research ShowCASE

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A former United States diplomat and an award-winning actress and playwright are the featured guests of the fifth annual Research ShowCASE 2007, a free two-day public exhibit recognizing the breadth of research currently under way at Case Western Reserve University.

The event will take place April 11 and 12 at the university's Veale Convocation, Recreation, and Athletic Center. The public forum is designed to bring together research and researchers with area business and civic leaders, academic researchers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to promote efforts to move university research out of labs and centers and into the marketplace.

Central to these efforts is the ability to communicate and share information effectively. Electronic circuitry has changed the way information is processed and delivered. Time and distance are no longer obstacles. How has this affected the way society functions? Joseph Wilson, a diplomat–turned international management consultant, will explore such headline issues as privacy, access, data collection and protection in a keynote address titled "The Information Revolution—Insights and Interpretation," set for 3 p.m. April 11.

Evocative playwright, performance artist and MacArthur Award fellow Anna Deavere Smith will transform herself into individuals who explore issues of race, community and character in America as she opens the second day of the forum on April 12 as part of the panel forum, "Race and the Nation—Snapshots of America in Change" that will begin at 10:30 a.m.

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Joseph Wilson

Wilson was the last American official to meet with Saddam Hussein before the start of the 1990 Gulf War. He was the acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq throughout Operation Desert Storm. His 20-plus year career in international politics was marked with numerous senior government appointments and his diplomacy efforts in 1990 helped to free more than 100 American hostages in Iraq after Hussein invaded Kuwait.

More recently, Wilson was assigned by the Bush administration in 2002 to investigate reports that Hussein was seeking to acquire uranium to advance Iraq's nuclear program. Wilson reported that he found no such basis for the claims.

In a 2003 New York Times piece, Wilson opined that the Bush Administration had exaggerated the threat of the Iraqi nuclear program. Soon after, the undercover identity of his wife—CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson—was revealed, leading the former ambassador to charge that White House officials leaked his wife's covert identity as retaliation for his Times denouncement. This allegation has led to today's historical investigation into possible violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act--in addition to sparking an ongoing debate regarding journalism and government ethics.

His 2004 memoir, The Politics of Truth, draws on his more than 20 years in world politics.

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Anna Deavere Smith

Deavere Smith's performance will segue into a panel discussion that she will join. It will be facilitated by Dee Perry, local host of 90.3 FM IdeaStream's Around Noon. Panelists will explore the factors surrounding the increasing complexity of American race relations and concern over the persistent disparity in the nation's health-care systems.

Deavere Smith may be best known as the author and performer of two one-woman plays about racial tensions in American cities—Fires in the Mirror (Obie Award and runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize) and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Obie Award and Tony Award nominee).

Combining the journalistic technique of interviewing subjects from all walks of life with the art of recreating their words in performance, Deavere Smith transforms herself onstage into an astonishing number of characters (up to 46 in one show), expressing their own points of view on controversial issues. She also had a recurring role on the television drama, the West Wing, as national security adviser Nancy McNally and has appeared in other shows and films.

She is a tenured professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and is affiliated with the NYU School of Law, where she teaches a course on The Art of Listening. She is currently doing research on race and health disparities.

Research ShowCASE 2007 sponsors are University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Inside Business magazine, Thompson Hine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Kaplan attorneys at law. Read more about the forum speakers and panelists. For additional details, refer to Research ShowCase online.

For more information contact Marsha Bragg, 216.368.6949.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 30, 2007 10:44 AM | News Topics: Events, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives, Public Policy/Politics, Students

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.