Advancing the power of idea-driven activism, public intellectual and author Eric Liu will deliver the Convocation Address at Hobart and William Smith Colleges at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4 on Stern Lawn.
Committed to progressive change, Liu has used his expertise as an intellectual specializing in social and political issues to speak nationally and encourage a redefinition of patriotism. Most recently, Liu grappled with core American ideals in “The True Patriot,” co-authored with entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, a pamphlet in the style of Thomas Paine that argues for a new progressive patriotism.
“Few people have the insight to define politics, patriotism and public service in moral terms,” said President Mark D. Gearan. “Liu, a powerful speaker and modern thinker, challenges us all to really think about the nature of patriotism. This topic is especially relevant in this election year and is a wonderful way to start the academic year.”
The son of Chinese immigrants from Taiwan, Liu has been committed to social engagement since the publication of his first book, “The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker.” This New York Times Notable Book tackles difficult social issues related to race and identity. Advancing notions of change and leadership, Liu’s second book, “Guiding Lights: The People Who Lead Us Toward Our Purpose in Life,” was named the Official Book of National Mentoring Month.
A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Liu served as a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton in his first term and then as the President’s Deputy Domestic Policy Adviser in the second. After his work with the Clinton administration, Liu became an executive at the digital media company RealNetworks.
In 2002, he was named one of the 100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He now teaches at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and organizes the annual Guiding Lights Weekend, a national conference on the art of mentoring. He also writes and edits for the “Teachings” department of Slate magazine and is the founder of the magazine, The Next Progressive. He addressed issues related to ethnic labeling during a 2005 President’s Forum Lecture at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Recent Press on Eric Liu:
August 20, 2008
Politico journalist Alexander Burns reports on the patriotism poll results published by www.TruPat.org and what they mean for the 2008 presidential candidates.
July 4, 2008
Tavis Smiley on PBS
Eric Liu is Tavis Smiley’s featured guest on the Independence Day broadcast.
July 4, 2008
My America 2008 on PRI
Eric Liu joins authors and educators Dr. Eddie Glaude and Dr. Barbie Zelizer on Tavis Smiley’s special series, My America 2008. Listen to this fascinating debate about patriotism in the 2008 election.
July 2, 2008
Eric Liu provides perspective on the 2008 USA/Gallup poll on patriotism in America.
July 2, 2008
Eric Liu joins Radio Times for an engaging talk on WHYY in Philadelphia.
June 30, 2008
Eric Liu’s Time.com article “Earning Our Pride” explains that true patriotism “means showing your love through deeds and earning your pride by leaving the country healthier than you found it — whether at the scale of public policy or in the smallest moments of being a neighbor or a parent.”
June 29, 2008
The True Patriot is featured as the first of “Five Great Reads on Patriotism.”
June 28, 2008
Time editor Rick Stengel’s article, “The New Patriotism” references The True Patriot.
June 24, 2008
Newhouse News Service
Jonathan Tilove explores patriots of history and today in his syndicated article “Candidates Embody Differing Concepts Of Patriotism” with contribution from Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer.
May 27, 2008
The Washington Post
E.J. Dionne Jr. uses The True Patriot to provide insight into attacks on Senator Barack Obama’s patriotism.