PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Award-winning writer and journalist James Fallows will deliver the 14th annual Casey Shearer Memorial Lecture at Brown University on Monday, April 28, 2014. His talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium. 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, food activist Curt Ellis, writer Pico Iyer, and filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist.
Prior to the lecture, winners of the annual Casey Shearer Memorial Awards for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction will be announced.
James Fallows is the national correspondent for The Atlantic and a regular commentator on public radio. He has reported from around the world for more than 30 years, including most recently three years in China, and published his 10th book, China Airborne in 2012. He has worked as chief speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, editor of U.S. News & World Report, and on a program design team at Microsoft.
He has won the National Book Award, the National Magazine Award, and a New York Emmy Award for a documentary series on China, and has appeared frequently on television, including as guest host for Charlie Rose. His other books include Postcards from Tomorrow Square, Breaking the News, Blind into Baghdad, and National Defense. Fallows is an instrument-rated pilot, and for the last few months he and his wife have been traveling in smaller-town America on a reporting series for The Atlantic and Marketplace radio called “American Futures.”
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 pickup 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.