Barrett Honors College presents 2012 Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecture

August 30, 2012

Sylvia Nasar, a former economics correspondent for The New York Times and a prolific author best known for her mega-bestseller "A Beautiful Mind," will give the 2012 Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecture presented by Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University.

The event will take place at 7 p.m., Oct. 4, at the Galvin Playhouse inside the Nelson Fine Arts Center, on the Tempe campus. Admission is free, however, tickets are required. For tickets and information, go to Sylvia Nasar Download Full Image

Nasar’s international best-seller, "A Beautiful Mind," won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography and has been translated into more than 30 languages. While working as an economics reporter for The New York Times, Nasar discovered the story of John Nash, the Princeton mathematical genius who suffered from schizophrenia for three decades before recovering and ultimately winning a Nobel Prize in economics.

Nasar’s biography of Nash inspired Ron Howard’s Academy Award winning film starring Russell Crowe. The book also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Helen Bernstein Journalism Award, and the Rhone Poulenc Prize for Science Writing.

Nasar’s latest book "Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius in Modern Times" will be the focus of her Centennial Lecture presentation. The book is an epic account of the making of modern economics – from Victorian England to modern-day India – and how the insights of various thinkers transformed the world. "Grand Pursuit" was named the Los Angeles Times Science & Technology Book of the Year.

“'Grand Pursuit' deserves a place not only in every economist’s study but also on every serious reader’s bedside table,” The Economist said of the book, which received rave reviews when it was released in 2011.   

Nasar is the first James S. and John L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University and co-directs the M.A. program in business journalism. Nasar completed her master’s degree in economics at New York University, conducting research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief at the Institute for Economic analysis for four years. She has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Nasar was a writer at Fortune magazine and columnist at U.S. News & World Report before she joined The New York Times. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Newsweek, FastCompany, The London Telegraph, and Vanity Fair. 

An interview with Sylvia Nasar is at A review of "Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius" is at

About the Centennial Lecture: In 1985, The Flinn Foundation established an endowment to commemorate Arizona State University’s 100th year. The gift created the ASU Centennial Lecture, and in 1989 it provided the Barrett Honors College resources to bring some of the world’s most influential intellects to campus. The Centennial Lecture has become one of ASU’s premiere events, featuring noted diplomats, scientists, playwrights and authors.

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College


Performances celebrate John Cage's 100th birthday

August 30, 2012

A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of influential avant-garde composer John Cage is planned for 7:30 p.m., Sept. 5, in the Kiva Lecture Hall on ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. The event is free; visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.

The event will feature performances of Cage’s works, including “The City Wear a Slouch Hat,” a radio play that will be performed by four narrators, sound effects artists and the ASU Percussion Ensemble; his infamous piano work “4:33;” and a unique work for five boom boxes titled “Radio Music.” John Cage Download Full Image

Also on the program is one of Cage’s “Variations,” performed by students in the interdisciplinary arts and performance (IAP) degree program and led by faculty member Barry Moon. The IAP bachelor’s degree is offered by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the core college on the West campus.

Video clips providing insights into Cage’s life and showing him at work also will be part of the evening.

“John Cage is among the most creative and influential artists of the 20th century,” said Arthur Sabatini, an IAP faculty member in New College. “His work and ideas on sound, music, and performance underscore trends in the arts and popular culture today – and they are directly the basis for ASU's IAP program. In fact, the founders of the degree knew and worked with Cage. It is an honor to celebrate his birthday with some fun performances and a chance to eat cake.”

The B.A. degree in interdisciplinary arts and performance is a study of the arts and digital media with an emphasis on 20th and 21st century arts, performance, technology and practice. The program, offered by New College’s School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, encourages practical application of theory and content area knowledge with the integration of skills and performance. IAP courses highlight creativity, innovation, integration and presentation. For more information about the degree program, call 602-543-4444, email, or visit

For more information about the John Cage celebration and other arts events this fall at the West campus, call the arts line at 602-543-2787 or visit