Victor S. Navasky, publisher emeritus and former editor of The Nation, will deliver a Constitution Day lecture, "The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power," at Harford Community College on Thursday, Sept. 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Room 243.
Navasky's lecture will draw on material from his book of the same title, in which he looks back at political cartooning from classic satirists to more recent artists. Admission is free, but seats are limited and reservations are recommended. Call 443-412-2316 or email VCorkran@harford.edu.
Navasky is the George T. Delacorte Professor of Magazine Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism, where he also directs the Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism and chairs the Columbia Journalism Review. Prior to his work at The Nation, Navasky worked as an editor at The New York Times Magazine and wrote a monthly column for The New York Times Book Review.
In addition to The Art of Controversy, he has authored numerous books, including "Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq" (with Christopher Cerf ), "A Matter of Opinion" (winner of the George Polk Book Award), "The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation" (also with Christopher Cerf), "Naming Names" (winner of a National Book Award) and "Kennedy Justice." Navasky is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Yale Law School.
The Constitution Day lecture is co-sponsored with the Harford County Public Library and numerous Harford Community College departments. The lecture is one of several Constitution Day activities planned at the College. Constitution Day recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and its signing by delegates to the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787 in Philadelphia. Pocket-sized copies of the Constitution will be distributed on the HCC campus on Sept. 17. In addition, the Office of Student Affairs is organizing a trip on Oct. 9 to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
"We often sponsor a lecture on Constitution Day," HCC Library Director Carol Allen said. "It is one of the ways we promote the library's extensive collection of federal government documents, which may be used by all Harford County residents."
Allen added that this year's lecture – with its focus on political cartoons and the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press – is also intended to connect with two exhibits that will be on display at the Hays-Heighe House at HCC this fall.
The first, "Peb at a Gallop: The Art of Pierre Bellocq," opens on Sept. 10 and features original art by the renowned equestrian cartoonist Peb, who also produced editorial cartoons for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1960 to 1972.
The second, "Voices of Change: Social Protest Through the Arts & Humanities," will open Nov. 18 and will include political cartoons among the art forms narrated in the exhibit.
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"Victor Navasky, who has been described as a free-speech absolutist, was an obvious choice as a speaker who could tie together our year-long focus on the intersections of the art forms and social protest with the underlying First Amendment issues that often arise in this context," Allen said.