The Saurman Provocative Lecture Series

Have you been provoked lately?

San Jose State University Department of Economics presents the Provocative Lecture Series, a forum to raise intellectual arguments on a variety of thought-provoking topics, offered in memory of David S. Saurman, Ph.D., former Professor in the Department of Economics.

This lecture series fosters the tradition in higher education of challenging ideas and developing critical thinking in an environment of respect and intellectual discourse on controversial topics. Presenters in the Provocative Lecture Series are noted for their outstanding scholarship and public speaking ability; students, faculty, the general public, as well as the media are invited.

Our goal is to help students and life-long learners develop the critical thinking skills necessary to reach their own informed positions on controversial issues. We invite you to attend, relax, ponder, and enjoy the thought process at upcoming lectures. You can also enjoy viewing recordings of past lectures at the video archive.

If you would like to support The Saurman Provocative Lecture Series, please contact Colleen Haight at colleen.haight@sjsu.edu. For information or to be added to our events list, please contact john.estill@sjsu.edu

Spring 2019 Schedule

February 19th, 2019 (Tues.)
SJSU, SU Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  free, open to public
Channy Chhi Laux

"The Cambodian Genocide and Communism"
In April 1975, a communist regime by the name Khmer Rouge, seized control of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge instituted a program to establish a “socialist agrarian republic”, by evacuating all cities, and relocating the Cambodian population to forced labor camps, where starvation, overwork, disease, torture and execution led to the death of some 1.5 to 3 million Cambodians.

Channy Chhi Laux will share her story of growing up in Cambodia, and having her life and family torn apart by the “Black Uniforms”, as she calls them. Her personal experience with slave labor, torture and cruelty, as well as human kindness and courage are brought out in her award-winning book, Short Hair Detention - Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide.

Channy Chhi Laux is a survivor of the Cambodian genocide. When the Khmer Rouge took over the country in 1975, she was thirteen years old. In June of 1979, Channy arrived in Lincoln Nebraska as a refugee. She attended Lincoln High School after four years of no schooling and not knowing a word of English, she went on to earn undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from Santa Clara University.

Channy worked in Silicon Valley as an engineer in the Aerospace and Biotech industries for 30 years before starting her own business, Angkor Cambodian Food. She received a sofiTM award, recognizing excellence in food innovation. Channy has also received multiple book awards for publishing her memoir, Short Hair Detention. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband.

Channy Chhi Laux

March 18th, 2019 (Mon.) 
SJSU, SU Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  free, open to public
Linda Beito
T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, and Civil Rights Poioneer

April 23rd, 2019 (Tues.) 
SJSU, SU Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  free, open to public
Robert L. Bradley, Jr.
Corporate Cronyism

Fall 2018 

November 8, 2018 (Thurs.)
Howard Root
Founder and CEO of Vascular Solutions, Inc.
SJSU, SU Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  free, open to public
flyer (pdf) "Who Watches the Prosecutors?"

October 10, 2018 (Wed.) 
Adam Andrzejewski

CEO and Founder of Open the Books
SJSU, SU Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  free, open to public
flyer (pdf) “Knowledge is Power”

September 27, 2018 (Thurs.) 
Safwan Shah, Ph.D
CEO and Founder PayActive
SJSU, SU Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  free, open to public
flyer (pdf) “Helping Low-Income Workers Get Ahead: A Market Solution”

Spring 2018

April 11, 2018 John Cochrane
“The Old Lady, the Fly and the Horse: an Outline for Economic Reform”
SJSU, Student Union Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  Free and open to the public
John H. Cochrane, Ph.D. flyer (pdf)

March 20, 2018 Clark Neily
"Incarceration Nation - How America Became the World's Leading Jailer"
SJSU, Student Union Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  Free and open to the public
Clark Neily flyer (pdf)

February 28, 2018 Jacob T. Levy
"Black Liberty Matters"
SJSU, Student Union Theater  |  5:15-6:45pm  |  Free and open to the public
Jacob T. Levy flyer (pdf)

View past lectures via the video archive