PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Internationally recognized author Pico Iyer will deliver the 12th annual Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture at Brown University on Monday, May 7, 2012. His talk, titled “Honorary Citizens of the 21st Century: Our New Planetary Order of Movement and Stillness,” begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Martinos Auditorium, 145 Angell St. This event is free and open to the public.
The lectureship, sponsored by Brown University and the Goldway-Shearer family, was established in memory of Casey Shearer, a promising young writer and aspiring sportscaster who died in May 2000, days before he was to graduate from Brown. Previous speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer A. Scott Berg, ESPN anchor Chris Berman, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, ABC analyst Cokie Roberts, Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund, film director Davis Guggenheim, NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and food activist Curt Ellis.
Prior to the lecture, the winners of the annual Casey Shearer Memorial Awards for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction will be announced.
Born in Oxford, England, in 1957 to parents from India, Iyer grew up between Southern California and England. He was educated at Eton, Oxford, and Harvard. He is the author of eight works of nonfiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu (cited on many lists of the best travel books), The Lady and the Monk (finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Award) and The Global Soul. He has also written the novels Cuba and the Night and Abandon.
For a quarter of a century he has written for more than 150 newspapers and magazines around the world. Iyer has been an essayist for Time magazine, while also writing on literature for The New York Review of Books, on globalism for Harper’s, and on many other topics for venues from The New York Times to National Geographic. His 2008 book, The Open Road, describing more than 30 years of talking and traveling with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, came out in a dozen countries, and was a best-seller across the United States. His most recent book, on Graham Greene, hauntedness and fathers — The Man Within My Head — came out earlier this year. Iyer currently resides in Japan.
Casey Shearer, a member of the class of 2000, was a vibrant and talented member of the Brown community. An economics concentrator, he also studied Spanish, political science, and literature, and helped revive Brown Student Radio (WBSR). He was best known on campus as the station’s play-by-play sports announcer and as the author of the weekly sports column “On the Case,” published in the College Hill Independent.
Shearer was born and raised in Santa Monica, Calif., where his mother, Ruth Goldway, once served as mayor. He graduated from high school in Finland, where his father, Derek Shearer, an Occidental College professor, served as U.S. ambassador. A top student at Brown, Shearer was a member of the economics honor society and received his magna cum laude pin the Friday before he was to graduate. That same day, during a regular pick-up game of basketball, Shearer’s heart stopped and he collapsed. Four days later, he died of an undetected heart virus, two months before his 22nd birthday.