Guest Speakers

Every year our programs invite a special selection of guest speakers – successful men and women drawn from very different walks of life – to engage with students on a wide variety of political, economic, social, artistic, academic, and literary topics. 

Listed below are some of the speakers from recent summers.

Andrew Hussey

The Dean of the University of London Institute in Paris as well as a noted author, biographer, and journalist, Professor Hussey is perhaps best known for his famous Paris: The Secret History, an alternative history of the City of Light that was published in 2006 and translated into ten languages. He is also celebrated for his TV shows, including France on a Plate, which addresses the culinary history of France in relation to its political and social history. He is currently working on The French Intifada, a study of relations between the French state and its Muslim minority. Professor Hussey tells students about the Paris that tourists do not see, about the poor and the excluded who, despite living on the margins, contribute so much to the city. He also teaches students how to read historical maps of Paris depending on the ideological context of their original creation.

    Dr. Suzanne Lynch

    A journalist and writer, Dr. Lynch was educated at University College, Dublin, the University of Kent at Canterbury, and the University of Cambridge, where she completed her PhD in Literary Modernism. As a graduate she wrote for The Times, The Irish Examiner, and Varsity before switching to financial journalism. She is currently the European Correspondent for The Irish Times, based in Brussels.

      Emilie Pirlot

      Emilie is a Senior Stylist at Christion Dior Couture in Paris. She has held positions as a stylist and designer for Dior in both haute couture and ready-to-wear garments. Prior to joining Dior, she held positions at Lanvin and Diane von Furstenberg. She studied Fashion Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

        Darin Strauss

        Called “a brave new voice in literature” by The Wall Street Journal and “a hugely talented writer with unlimited potential” by the Times of London, Darin Strauss won the ALA Alex Award in 2000 for his best-selling first novel Chang and Eng which is currently being adapted for screen by Strauss and Gary Oldman. He has since published several more books that have garnered impressive awards, including an L.A. Times Best Book of the Year and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction Writing. His latest book, Half a Life, is about a tragic accident that has haunted him since high school. It was named an Entertainment Weekly Must Read, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, and a best book of the year by NPR,, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many others. Mr. Strauss speaks to students about the pains and joys of a writer’s life, the process of literary creation, and about navigating the boundaries between life and art.