Sara Miller McCune is the publisher and chairman of Sage Publications, located in Thousand Oaks, CA, as well as the president of the McCune Foundation of Montecito. She established the Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment in 1997. The endowment supports programming and events in the Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Conference Room on the sixth floor of the HSSB, and enhancements to the room. Programs which focus on the intersection of the social sciences and the humanities, as well as other interdisciplinary programs, are supported by the endowment.

Past Events

talk: “Bantu in the Bathroom”: Sex and Race in the New Millenium

Jacqueline Rose (Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London)
Monday, October 19, 2015 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The killing of Reeva Steenkamp and the trial of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa touch on some of the most difficult questions of sexual and racial violence in the twenty-first century.  In this talk, Jacqueline Rose will draw on her feminist and psychoanalytic understanding to argue that this is a test case for the humanities as it pushes us to the limits of contemporary thought.

Jacqueline Rose is internationally known for her writing on feminism, psychoanalysis, literature and the politics and ideology of Israel-Palestine.  Her publications include Women in Dark Times, Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the école freudienne (with Juliet Mitchell), Sexuality in the Field of Vision, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath, States of Fantasy, and The Question of Zion.  She is a regular writer for The London Review of Books, a co-founder of Independent Jewish Voices in the UK and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Courtesy of Chaucer’s Bookstore, copies of Rose’s books will be available for purchase and signing.

Professor Rose will also be introducing and discussing the film Niagara on Tuesday, October 20 at the Pollock Theater.  For details and tickets, visit this page.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment, the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Comparative Literature Program, the Dept. of English, the Dept. of Film & Media Studies, the Dept. of German and Slavic Studies, and the Literature and the Mind specialization.

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TALK: Charting a ‘Good’ Path in a Turbulent Age

Andrew Revkin (The New York Times)
Thursday, November 13, 2014 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB
(Please plan to arrive early; seating is limited.)

The environmental movement has long been built around two themes – “woe is me” and “shame on you.”  But in the age of global human influence, the Anthropocene, that approach ends up resembling a circular firing squad. Is the palm oil developer the villain, or the person buying the KitKat bar or “green” biodiesel fuel derived from palm nuts?  Andrew Revkin, building on more than 30 years of environmental reporting, outlines a fresh approach to fostering durable progress on a complex, turbulent planet — one focused less on unachievable goals and more on building the human capacity to produce positive environmental and social outcomes.

Revkin has been writing about environmental sustainability for more than three decades, from the Amazon to the White House to the North Pole, mainly for The New York Times. He has won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship. As the Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University, he teaches courses in blogging, environmental communication and documentary film. He has written acclaimed books on global warming, the changing Arctic and the assault on the Amazon rain forest, as well as three book chapters on science communication. Drawing on his experience with his Times blog, Dot Earth, which Time magazine named one of the top 25 blogs in 2013, Revkin speaks to audiences around the world about the power of the Web to foster progress. He is also a performing songwriter, was a longtime accompanist for Pete Seeger and recently released his first album of original songs, which was hailed as a “tasty mix of roots goulash” on Jambands, an influential music website. Two films have been based on his work: “Rock Star” (Warner Brothers, 2001) and “The Burning Season” (HBO, 1994).

soundcloudClick here to listening to a recording of Andrew Revkin’s talk for the IHC series The Anthropocene: Views from the Humanities.

Sponsored by the IHC’s  Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment and IHC series The Anthropocene: Views from the Humanities.


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2013 - 2014

Hull Lecture on Women and Social Justice: Caring Democracy: The Paradigm Changes

Joan Tronto (Political Science, University of Minnesota)
Thursday, January 9, 2014 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The feminist ethic of care grew out of a challenge to the traditional public/private split with its exclusion of women from the public sphere.  In the past generation, though, neoliberal economic and political policies have reduced the prospects for collective life in a “public” sphere.  This talk will discuss how care, beginning from different ontological, epistemological, ethical and political premises, can serve as an overarching critique of neoliberalism. Joan Tronto is the author of Caring Democracy: Markets, Equality, and Justice and Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. She is the co-editor, with Cathy Cohen and Kathy Jones, of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader.

Sponsored by the Hull Lecture on Women and Social Justice, the IHC’s  Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment, and the IHC’s Value of Care series.

Click here to listen to a recording of Joan Tronto’s talk for the IHC’s Value of Care series. 


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2011 - 2012

Talk: The People in Power are Nothing to Fear: Jessica Mitford and the Public Good

Leslie Brody (Creative Writing, University of Redlands)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Over the course of her long and adventurous life, Jessica Mitford was an investigative journalist, civil rights activist, vivid raconteur and champion of outsiders and underdogs. You find that her admirers and detractors use the same words to describe her: muckraker, subversive, mischief-maker, tease, and nuisance. In a series of literary exposés like The American Way of Death, The Trial of Dr. Spock (about conspiracy laws during the Vietnam era) and Kind and Usual Punishment (about the necessity of prison reform), Mitford fearlessly defied authority figures. It was a habit she’d cultivated reaching back to the 1930’s, when as the daughter of English aristocrats she had repudiated wealth and privilege to run away to the Spanish Civil War with Winston Churchill’s nephew, Esmond Romilly. The inscription on the Mitford family coat of arms was “God Careth for Us”, but embarrass the powerful, mock the hypocrite and shift the complacent were always mottos more to Decca’s taste. Leslie Brody’s memoir Red Star Sister was awarded the 1999 PEN Center USA West prize for Creative Nonfiction.

Click here to listen to a recording of Leslie Brody’s talk for the IHC’s Public Goods series.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment as part of its Public Goods series.

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2008 - 2009

Talk: Rebel Without a Cuisine: Julia Child and the Making of the American Cook

Laura Shapiro
Wednesday, May 13 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Julia Child is most often celebrated as the TV star who introduced Americans to the glories of French cuisine. But while her training and expertise were French, Julia couldn’t stand the word “cuisine” (sometimes she spelled it “kweezeen”), and she happily threw off what she called the “straitjacket” of French tradition whenever it seemed superfluous. At the heart of her cooking was the renegade spirit of an American original. What was truly revolutionary about her TV programs wasn’t the recipes, it was her attitude towards food itself.  Laura Shapiro is the author of Julia Child: A Life, Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century, and Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America. She has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Granta, and Gourmet.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment.

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Talk: The Evolution of the Mediterranean Diet from the Middle Ages

Allen James Grieco (History, Villa I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies)
Monday, February 23 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The concept of the Mediterranean diet is a modern invention; the Middle Ages and Renaissance had some very different food values. The lecture is a look at the recent construct and its relationship with overview of medieval and Renaissance diets. It ties the diets of the present and the past together. Allen J. Grieco is the Lila Acheson Wallace Assistant Director for Gardens and Grounds & Scholarly Programs at Villa I Tatti (The Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence) and is presently a Visiting Professor in History at Harvard University.

Sponsored by Medieval Studies, the IHC’s Mediterranean Studies RFG, the Dept. of History, the Dept. of French and Italian, Renaissance Studies, and the IHC’s Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment.

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