AMES, Iowa – In his twice-weekly column in The Washington Post, Eugene Robinson weaves together politics and culture to create compelling commentary on American society. The Pulitzer Prize winner will share his insight as the 2013 Chamberlin Lecturer at Iowa State University.
Robinson’s talk, “Who’s Up, Who’s Down and What’s Really Going On,” will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Robinson began his journalism career in 1976 at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was one of two reporters assigned to cover the trial of kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. He joined The Post in 1980 and has been a city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award-winning Style section. In addition to his column, Robinson contributes to the paper's PostPartisan blog.
In 2009, Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.”
Robinson also is an MSNBC political analyst and author of “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America.” He has written books about race in Brazil and music in Cuba, covered a heavyweight championship fight, witnessed riots in Philadelphia and a murder trial in the deepest Amazon, sat with presidents and dictators and the Queen of England, and explored the relevance of hip-hop and American Idol in people’s lives today.
Born and raised in Orangeburg, S.C., Robinson was one of a handful of black students in a previously all-white high school. The “Orangeburg Massacre,” a 1968 incident in which police fired on students protesting a segregated bowling alley and killed three unarmed young men, took place within sight of his house. Robinson earned his degree from the University of Michigan, where he was the first black student to be named co-editor-in-chief of the award-winning newspaper.
In 1987-88, Robinson was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University. He has received numerous journalism awards and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Robinson’s presentation is co-sponsored by the Chamberlin Lecture Fund, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.
The Margaret and L. Eugene Chamberlin Lecture Series, which began in 2007, annually brings a speaker of national stature in the field of news or advertising to campus. The Chamberlins, both Iowa State alumni, donated to begin the lecture series to benefit the Greenlee School and Iowa State. The lecture series is also marked with the designation of a Chamberlin/INA Fellow, who visits with students and faculty in conjunction with the Chamberlin lecture program.
More information about ISU lectures is available online, or by calling 515-294-9935.