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Speakers Address “Head, Heart, and Body”

The Santa Clara University community will get an expert perspective on some of the most pressing problems of our time—the Middle East and the obesity epidemic—from visiting speakers this year. They will also be taken inside the writing life by novelist Amy Tan.

The seventh annual President’s Speaker Series will feature talks by Tan, writer Reza Aslan ’95, and David A. Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration. The theme of this year’s series is “Enlivening the Whole Person: Head, Heart, and Body.”

All events will be held in the Louis B. Mayer Theatre. General admission tickets are $25 each or $40 for the series.

To buy tickets click here.

Details on the three presentations:

Reza Aslan ’95, Oct. 11, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

In a talk called “The Promise and Perils of the Arab Spring,” Santa Clara alum Aslan will discuss how the Arab Spring has shaped the Middle East—from the fall of dictators to the most recent protests.

Aslan, who was born in Tehran and raised in San Jose, is the author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. He is a writer, scholar of religions, media entrepreneur, and a political commentator on Islamic issues.


Amy Tan, Jan. 17, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

As Tan prepares for the debut of her seventh novel, The Valley of Amazement, she will reflect on the nature of creativity and the events that made her a writer in a talk entitled “The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life.”

Since Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, was published in 1989, her work has been adapted for film, television, and even opera. Tan’s other books include The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat.


David A. Kessler, April 9, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

As the United States battles an epidemic of obesity and the health problems that come with it, Dr. David Kessler, a longtime public health advocate, will address the question of what we should eat in a talk entitled, “The End of Overeating.”

As commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Kessler introduced the Nutrition Facts food labels that are so familiar today. He also led the FDA’s investigation of the tobacco industry.

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