September 04, 2009

Eric Weiner to deliver annual Tenney lecture

by Andrea Hahn

Eric WeinerCARBONDALE, Ill. -- Author and journalist Eric Weiner comes to Southern Illinois University Carbondale to talk about his search for happiness, or, more specifically, where, in what place, happiness might be found. His answer is more one of concept than of actual geography, and the result will certainly make his audience think, and perhaps laugh or cry as well.

Weiner has spent a lot of time in unhappy places. As a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, he visited scenes of tragedies and natural disasters and war and plague. His recent book, “The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World,” published in 2008 by Hachette Book Group, explores the opposite side of the emotional spectrum.

Weiner will deliver the Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the University Honors Program, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 in Ballroom D of the Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Weiner’s first foreign correspondent assignment for NPR was in India in 1993. He claims to have spent “two of the best years of his life” based in New Delhi. During his career as a journalist, he has reported from more than 30 countries, and has been on or near the scene in Iraq when Saddam Hussein still reigned and in Afghanistan when the Taliban fell.

In addition to NPR, Weiner filed stories for the New York Times, commentary for the Los Angeles times, Slate and the New Republic. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. He was part of a team of NPR reporters that won a Peabody Award in 1994 for an investigative series on the United States tobacco industry.

The Charles D. Tenney lectures honor a former University vice president and provost, who served from 1952 to 1971.

For more information, contact Lori Merrill-Fink, director of the University Honors Program, at 618/453-1688 or