Arne Cornelius Wasmuth
Filming Lindgren: the challenges of putting a literary life on screen

"Mankind is preoccupied with two great things: death and love; these catch the interest of all ages. You shouldn't scare children to the point of anxiety, but just like adults they need to be moved by art." Astrid Lindgren (Sweden, 1997–2002).

Astrid Lindgren is one of the world's most-translated writers. Screenwriter and author of children's books including the Pippi Longstocking, Kalle Blomquist and Emil of Lönneberga series, she conjured up a fantasy world in which children run riot and adult authority is gleefully confronted or ignored. An unabashedly political figure in her lifetime, Lindgren's work has most recently inspired Stieg Larsson's bestseller Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

Arne Cornelius Wasmuth is the German-born and U.S./UK-educated owner of Lighthouse Productions GmBH, a German film and TV production company. His latest project is a biographical film about Astrid Lindgren. Wasmuth spoke about the challenges of filming the life of this literary legend.

The Charleston Library Society would like to thank The Bagel Shop for catering for this event.


Dr. Kent B. Germany
Oil Rigs, Hurricanes, and the Politics of Disaster:
Tales from Two Texas Presidents

Dr Kent B. Germany explored the mysterious disappearance of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, south of New Orleans, in 1965, how it changed the presidencies and lives of three Texas presidents—Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush—and its impact on the histories of Hurricanes Betsy and Katrina.

Germany, Associate Professor of History and African-American studies at the University of South Carolina, is author of New Orleans After the Promises and co-editor of four books on LBJ's once top-secret White House tapes, The Kennedy Assassination and the Transfer of Power, Toward the Great Society, Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights, and Mississippi Burning and the Passage of the Civil Rights Act. He is the former host of the PBS history and politics talk show, For The Record.

His Wide Angle Talk was accompanied by contemporary multimedia material, including excerpts from the White House Tapes.

The Charleston Library Society would like to thank Ted's Butcherblock for sponsoring lunch at this event.


Nigel Redden
Bringing the world to the city:
The Spoleto USA and Lincoln Center Festivals

Nigel Redden has had a special impact on two very different cities: as General Director of Spoleto Festival USA for most of the past twenty years, he has helped shape the arts-loving Charleston of today. As the New York Lincoln Center Festival's Director since 1998, he has successfully made this event stand out in the dense bustle of the city that never sleeps.

At this Wide Angle Lunch, Redden offered a fascinating insight into the global arts scene he calls home.

The Charleston Library Society would like to thank Extra Virgin Oven (EVO), North Charleston for sponsoring lunch at this event.

Nigel Redden

Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP
The View from Europe:
Turkey and its relationship with the West

As combat troops are withdrawn from Iraq, the war in Afghanistan rolls on and the threat of terror attacks looms over Europe, the relationship between America and its traditional ally in the Muslim world, Turkey, is of increasing relevance.

Geoffrey Van Orden is a former British army Brigadier-General, has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999, is the British Conservative Party's Spokesman on Defense and Security Policy and former Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, as well as a member of the Parliament's Turkey delegation since 1999. He offered incisive inside-track analysis of Turkey's changing position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.

The Charleston Library Society would like to thank Ali Baba Mediterranean Deli for catering for this event.

Geoffrey Van Orden

Thomas S. Tisdale
Toomer Porter, the Civil War and Reconstruction Era

"Led On! Step by Step", the moving 1898 memoir of an extraordinary figure in the United States' history, contains valuable inspiration for anyone struggling to launch and sustain a new venture in the face of adversity.

The Revd. Anthony Toomer Porter (1828–1902) was a former rice-planter who, through force of personality, perseverance and an unswerving faith, created from scratch several Charleston institutions which became standard bearers for the South's recovery after the Civil War, including an orphanage for the children of former slaves and a school for impoverished white children (today Porter-Gaud School).

Attorney, historian, and author Thomas S. Tisdale, who was until recently the President of the South Carolina Historical Society, wrote a new introduction to Porter's memoir, now re-published by Home House Press.

The Charleston Library Society would like to thank The Black Bean Company for sponsoring lunch at this event.

Tom Tisdale

Kea L. Gorden
Challenges to Democracy:
Traditional Culture and South Africa

In light of U.S. efforts to inject democracy into Iraq and Afghanistan, this week's Wide Angle talk will examine the particular challenges that traditional societies pose to "Western" forms of political institution, taking South Africa as a key example.

One of a crop of new, young and exciting academics in the city, our speaker, Dr Kea L. Gorden is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the College of Charleston. Her combination of academic expertise and insight gained from time spent in South Africa, including at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, made for a unique view into this highly topical subject.

The Charleston Library Society would like to thank Caviar & Bananas for catering at this event.

Charleston Library Society: The South's oldest cultural institution, founded 1748