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Mark Danner
Mark Danner

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News Release

Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-3635

November 2, 2007

Prominent journalist Mark Danner will deliver
next installment of W. Bruce Lincoln Lecture Series

His work illuminated war in Iraq, Abu Ghraib scandal

DeKalb, Ill. — Journalist Mark Danner, a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker who has reported for more than two decades on foreign affairs and international conflict, including on the war in Iraq and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, will visit Northern Illinois University to deliver the next installment of the W. Bruce Lincoln Endowed Lecture Series.

Danner’s NIU lecture, titled “In War’s Dark Shadow: Americans, Terror and the Coming of Endless War,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Altgeld Hall Auditorium. Admission is free, and the lecture is open to the public.

Danner is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy, the National Magazine Award, three Overseas Press Awards and the Carey McWilliams Award presented by the American Political Science Association “to honor a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.” In 1999, he won a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “genius grant.”

Danner’s books include “The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War’s Buried History” (2006); “Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror” (2004); “The Road to Illegitimacy: One Reporter’s Travels Through the 2000 Florida Vote Recount” (2004); and “The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War” (1994).

The Endowed Lincoln Lecture Series is named in honor of the late W. Bruce Lincoln, a world-renowned historian of Russia who taught on the NIU faculty for more than three decades until his retirement in 1998.

Lincoln possessed a lifelong passion for learning and a gift for writing. A number of his books gained a wide audience among the general public. The title of Danner’s lecture alludes to one of Lincoln’s books: “In War’s Dark Shadow: The Russians Before the Great War.”

“We’re thrilled to have Mark Danner visit our campus,” said Kenton Clymer, chair of the NIU Department of History. “He is a prominent American journalist whose work shines a light on some of the most pressing foreign policy issues of our time. Mark’s work also epitomizes the approach of Bruce Lincoln, after whom this lecture series is named. Bruce wrote about complex topics in such a way that made his work accessible to the public.”

Danner is also a contributor to The New York Review of Books, and his work has appeared in numerous publications. He has covered events and conflicts in Central America, Haiti, the Balkans and Iraq and the Middle East. He has written extensively about the development of American foreign policy during the late Cold War and afterward, and about violations of human rights during that time.

“He was among the on-camera experts interviewed for Rory Kennedy’s recent HBO documentary, ‘Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,’ in which he talked about the implications of the Bush administration’s failure to observe the Geneva Conventions,” said NIU Communication Professor Jeff Chown.

“His work is impressive both for its timeliness in regard to breaking news as well as the moral authority of his scrutiny,” Chown added. “He published on Abu Ghraib very soon after the news broke, when people were still trying to find frames of reference for what happened.”

In addition to being a journalist, Danner serves as a professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College.

The NIU Department of Communication, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School are joining the Department of History as sponsors of the event.

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