Heard on Campus

Matthew W. Barzun

Nov. 19 | EARL HALL

Think about that phrase for a second: “mobile phone.” Back in the ’70s, when some of us were growing up, “mobile phone” was an oxymoron.… For my kids, “mobile telephone” is redundant. They’ve never met a phone that isn’t mobile. What we’ve all been through together is this journey from oxymoron to redundancy. And I think about that for today’s discussion around “digital diplomacy.”

Matthew W. Barzun, U.S. Ambassadorto the United Kingdom, on how technologycan be used in diplomatic outreach

Tony Kushner ’78


I began writing here at Columbia. I took a course with Kenneth Koch that was a study of 19th- and 20th-century poetry, but we wrote — Koch’s teaching method was to ask students to write imitations of poets, and he liked my imitations a lot. That was the first time that anybody whom I respected as a writer had responded enthusiastically to my writing.

Tony Kushner ’78, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, at the launch of the College’s Core to Commencement campaign

Elizabeth Llorente


[Polled Latino voters] do pay close attention to tone and what they infer from that. If [a candidate’s] rhetoric on immigration — even if this voter doesn’t feel that it has a direct implication on their life or the lives of the people who live in their home — if [voters] perceive that there’s an anti-Latino undercurrent to the comments made by a candidate, that will present a red flag and be a reason for them to be against that candidate.

Elizabeth Llorente, political and immigration editor at Fox News Latino, speaking at the panel “The Latino Vote: Myth vs. Reality”

Sasha Issenberg


We could get very quickly to the place where healthcare regimes are the last vestige of the nation-state in Europe … We could end up — I think very shortly — in a place where the only thing that distinguishes The Netherlands from Belgium from France is the fact that they have radically disparate healthcare systems.

Sasha Issenberg, journalist and author of Outpatients: The Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism, responding to questions at Columbia Global Reports’ “Planes, Trains, and Root Canals: The New World of Medical Tourism” discussion