For my COMMENCEMENT 2012 ADDRESS, click here

For my COMMENCEMENT 2006 ADDRESS, click here

For my recent commentaries, check out:

Philanthropy: Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Missed Opportunities at the Democratic Debate

Gary Olson: Why did Aylan Kurdi die?

Are Some Cultures Better Than Others at Cultivating Empathy?

Don't Expect Clinton, GOP Candidates to Work for Social Justice

Will Teach for Food

Is it worthwhile to send U.S. troops to fight Islamic State?

Can Capitalism Save Itself?

CIA Torture and the Imperialist Toolbox

Gary Olson: New Israeli settlements doom chances for two-state solution

U.S. must say to Israel: 'Enough already'

Want to Prevent PTSD? End Unbridled US Militarism

Businesses recognize they can profit from climate change

Profiting from Climate Change

Sadness and Anger at the 9/11 Memorial

Gary Olson: With views on capitalism, populist pope attracts all the right critics

Irreconcilable Differences: Capitalism and a Sustainable Planet

Washington's objective is to prolong Syrian civil war

Education, Neoliberal Culture, and the Brain

Big Brother's message: Do as you're told

Say 'no' to the 'grand bargain' on hard-earned benefits

Choice of Obama and Romney presents personal quandary

"Manufacturing Memory," Arts & Opinion, February, 2012 (Montreal, Canada)

King's demand for justice still strong in 2011

What did we learn from 9/11?

Masculinity, Militarism and Empathy

Killing bin Laden leads to questions of government, ourselves

Awakening From Obama's Seductive Spell

Wisconsin's union showdown a symbol of 'class warfare'

Washington's Egyptian Nightmare

Cuban Internationalism As Engaged Empathy

Empathy and Neuropolitics: This is your brain on neoliberal culture. Any questions?

Calling Out (and to) Homophobes

Jeremy Rifkin’s The Empathic Civilization and P.W. Singer’s Wired for War

More Terrorist Blowback from Failed U.S. Foreign Policy

Change We Can Believe In?

Frans de Waal's Age of Empathy: A Review and Critique

Afghanistan: 'Necessary' War for Empire

Empathy Marketing 101

Remarks delivered at the "Freedom for Gaza" rally at 9th & Hamilton in Allentown on 1/10/09

We Empathize, Therefore We Are: Toward a Moral Neuropolitics

The Emotional Power of Photography: From the Civil Rights Movement to Iraq, How Empathy Can Impact Change

Movie can clarify vision of rebel Che Guevera

From Mirror Neurons to Moral Neuropolitics

NEUROSCIENCE AND MORAL POLITICS: Chomsky’s Intellectual Progeny

Hard-Wired for Moral Politics: Neuroscience and Empathy

The Very Rich are Different from You and Me F. Scott Fitzgerald

Whither Diversity?

Hold Those Responsible for Iraq Accountable

Alternative media can balance establishment's experts

Nationalism, not Islam, motivates most suicide terrorists

Palestinian Diaspora Is Cause of Conflict

Graduates face choice between love or 'selling out'

Radical Teaching

Scapegoating Human Nature

Music, Meetings and Markets

Satire Pieces
(pseudonym I.M. Salmon):

Exclusive: excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s speech to Goldman Sachs

Revealed: Big Pharma’s big plan to cash in on Zika

Chia Cartel delivers some babies competitive edge

Texas college wants to outsource Saudi beheadings

Vagina vote

Political Engagement:

Common Dreams


Truth Out

Howard Zinn

Noam Chomsky

The Morning Call

New York Times

Monthly Review

The Nation

The Progressive

Gary Olson

B.A., Concordia College;
M.A., University of South Dakota;
Ph.D., University of Colorado;

Postdoctoral National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships: University of California, Berkeley; University of Pittsburgh; UNC at Chapel Hill; and UCLA.

Empathy Imperiled
Gary's new book, EMPATHY IMPERILED.

Book review by Scott Preston
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Book review by Kris Franklin
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Book review by Rachel O'Donnell:
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Book review by Paul Street:
"The Golden Rule: Theirs and Ours"

Book review by Elliot Rose:
Review of Empathy Imperiled

Zinn (2) and Jackson (3)

Grandson Zinn with parents Alix and Jaime.

Zinn and Jackson

Empathy Imperiled
Grandpa, Zinn and Jackson watching Chomsky for Toddlers on YouTube ... or was it the Alphabet Train Song video?

Empathy Imperiled
Daughters Liz and Alix with sons Jackson and Zinn, strolling down Church Street.

Empathy Imperiled
EMPATHY IMPERILED receives praise from higher authority

News: Dateline VATICAN CITY (January 12, 2014)
"A tip of the zucchetto to Prof. Olson! By papal decree, Empathy Imperiled is now compulsory reading at the Holy See."

- Pope Francis


Foreign Study/Teaching/Travel

1977 Finland (Senior Fulbright Lecturer at University of Turku)
1978 Germany and Czechoslovakia 
1979 - Cuba (Co-led a study group from Moravian and Lafayette) 
1980 USSR (American Professors Study Tour)
1980 England/France
1981 Occupied Territories (Gaza and West Bank), Lebanon and Israel
1983 El Salvador and Honduras (Peace and Social Justice delegation)
1985 USSR (Accompanied  Moravian students on study tour)
1990 Japan (Study trip for U.S. Educators)
1991 Norway, Sweden & Denmark
1992 Syria and Jordan (Malone Fellow)
1993 Kuwait & Egypt (Studied Arabic at American University in Cairo)
1995 Mexico (Fulbright award to study NAFTA)
2003 Spain
2007 Portugal
2009 Turkey
2012 Greece
2014 Italy

Gary at Occupy Wall Street, October 3, 2011.

Gary Olson at Occupy Bethlehem in Payrow Plaza (Church & New Streets)

My Favorite Protest Songs (check out this link)

Film Inspiration (check out this link)

Musical Musings (check out this link)

What I've Been Listening to Lately

Important musical influences in my life:

Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited
Joni Mitchell Blue
Miles Davis Kind of Blue and In A Silent Way
John Coltrane A Love Supreme
Neil Young Harvest and Harvest Moon
The Grateful Dead American Beauty
The Beatles Abbey Road
Roxy Music Avalon
Van Morrison Astral Weeks
Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon
Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions
Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Neil Young After the Gold Rush
Carole King Tapestry
The Band The Band