Our Dystopian Future #6: Harvard Welcomes Its Newest Visiting Lecturer, The Dark Lord Sauron

Press Release #1: Harvard School of Government welcomes Sauron as visiting lecturer


The Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government is pleased to announce our newest visiting lecturer of the 2020–2021 academic year: Sauron — Giver of Gifts, Base Master of Treachery, Chief Lieutenant of Morgoth, the All-Seeing Eye, Lord of the Rings, and Dark Lord of Mordor. Starting this fall, Sauron will bring the leadership lessons learned from his approximately 54,000 years of physical existence exclusively to our institution. Renowned around the world for his tight-fisted governance, scorched-earth military strategy, and charismatic temptation of both enemies and friends, the Dark Lord and his unique pedagogical style are sure to enrich students and faculty alike. Everything from his unlikely rise to power using the deception of the elves, dwarves, and men to his ultimate defeat at Barad-dur is on the table in this one of a kind, no-holds-barred academic residency.

Sauron will teach two deeply illuminating seminars during his time at HKS. The first, “Magical rings: a powerful negotiation tactic,” will delve deeply into Sauron’s innovative and cutthroat approach to foreign policy. Students will learn the subtle craftsmanship required to build influential “rings of power” and, at the end of the course, travel to Mount Doom itself to forge their own. The second seminar, “On the subjugation of orcs and other lesser beings,” is a masterclass in the art of commanding legions of subjects who have fallen under your influence. These are truly priceless lessons for those who will go out into the world and carry on the Kennedy School legacy. 

Please direct all press inquiries and interview requests to mordor-pr@harvard.edu.


Press Release #2: Harvard School of Government responds to criticism of Sauron’s lectureship


The Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government has long prided itself as an unbiased institution where future movers and shakers of any background can hone their craft in a safe, judgment-free environment. As such, we are surprised by the backlash regarding the visiting lectureship of the Dark Lord Sauron. This institution has never had a political leader with such a vast breadth and depth of training in its cohort. While many at the university disagree with his policies, these are not policy courses. We have been assured that these courses will simply focus on the nuts and bolts of practical leadership in today’s world. 

We do acknowledge the voices of student groups like Dwarf Lives Matter and Lembas Bread and Roses and their numerous protests and sit-ins. We are committed to privately continuing this important on-campus discourse with them. However, at this time we do not anticipate curtailing the Dark Lord’s residency in any way. 


Press Release #3: HKS announces that Sauron will forego lectureship salary


In response to the continuing criticism of our Dark Lord’s appointment at the Kennedy School of Government, we are announcing a new agreement with the All-Seeing Eye. He has graciously agreed to decline any compensation during his time at the university. These funds will instead be donated to groups dedicated to the restoration of damage done to the Shire during the War of the Ring, such as the Hobbit Red Cross and Middle Earth Wildlife Fund. In addition to his salary, the Giver of Gifts will also donate a custom-made golden ring to anyone who requests one. We sincerely hope that this matter will now be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and we can continue on our mission to educate our students from a vast array of diverse perspectives.


Press Release #4: Dark Lord Sauron resigns from lectureship, effective immediately


After significant discussion, the Faculty Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government has agreed that the Dark Lord Sauron was a poor choice to receive the honor of a lectureship at our university. In exchange for his resignation, the university has agreed to provide Sauron with a new corporeal form, courtesy of our Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. Over the course of the next semester, we will be unrolling new guidelines that will be followed for the selection of all future appointments.

In the meantime, we are pleased to announce our newest addition to the faculty: Thanos, the perpetrator of the famous “Snap” and all-powerful enemy of the Avengers. His uncommon views on sustainability and environmentalism in an era of unfettered population growth will be a breath of fresh air for both students and faculty.