LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Cameron University kicked off its tenth Academic Festival with an evening of discussion with an award-winning author.
Best-selling author and journalist Charles Mann ushered in the Festival with a presentation on migration, immigration and emigration.
Mann has written nationally acclaimed books on the state of America both before and after Columbus' arrival. He explained that an understanding of the past will better serve one's understanding of how the country is now.
"The work that I've done on the history of that, tells me at least that a lot of the ways that we discuss that now, in the politics of the day, don't have much to do with what has actually gone on in the past and what is now going on in the present,” he said. “So maybe if we talk about what happened in the past, it gives you a different kind of spectacles when you look at what's going on in the present , it makes you think about it a little differently."
The Academic Festival's theme is "American Identities in the 21st Century." Events will continue in November, when former NPR host Michele Norris hosts a discussion on Social Justice and the American Dream.