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One Day University in San Diego

March 18, 2017 9:30 AM – 4:15 PM

Join us as we present our next full-day event in San Diego. Spend a fascinating day with four award-winning professors. You'll experience four thought-provoking talks and countless engaging ideas - all in one day. And don't worry, there are no tests, no grades and no homework. Just the pure joy of lifelong learning!
Students will have a 1 hour and 15 minute lunch break. You may bring your own or go to a nearby restaurant.


9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Four Books Every Book Lover Should Read

Seth Lerer / University of California at San Diego

What four books are a must for every lover of literature? Award-winning teacher, Professor Seth Lerer will explore this question with participants in an intimate seminar devoted to exploring the riches of literary expression. We will discuss such renowned classics as 1984, David Copperfield, Catch 22, and Invisible Man.

Professor Lerer will show how these fascinating works help us understand some of the most pressing concerns today, including the nature of religious faith, questions of personal identity, even the quest for the American Dream. Participants will be encouraged to develop their own list of "essential reading," as Professor Lerer helps them acquire the skills necessary for enriching their encounters with books of all kinds.

Seth Lerer / University of California at San Diego
Seth Lerer is Distinguished Professor of Literature and former Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on literature and language, most recently on Children's Literature, Jewish culture, and the life of the theater. He has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Truman Capote Prize in Criticism. His book, "Tradition: A Feeling for the Literary Past," appeared in 2016, and his most recent book is "Shakespeare's Lyric Stage," will be published in the fall of 2018.

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
The Psychology of Good and Evil

Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College

In 2011, a 2-year-old in China wandered into a busy road and was struck repeatedly by passing cars. Although people walking and driving in the road clearly saw what had happened, not a single person stopped to help for 10 minutes; the child died of her injuries a week later. In Guyana in 1978, nearly 1000 members of the “Jonestown Cult” killed themselves – and their children – by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid following the order of leader Jim Jones. In the 1930s and 1940s, more than 23,000 non-Jews risked their lives to save Jewish people – usually strangers – from almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis. What explains these kinds of events? What drives human beings to be so horrifically cruel and callous to one another — or so heroically helpful and generous? Professor Catherine Sanderson examines these complex questions in this talk.

Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
Catherine Sanderson is the Manwell Family Professor of Psychology at Amherst College. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. Professor Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, a high school health textbook, and a popular press book on parenting. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review. Professor Sanderson speaks regularly for public and corporate audiences on topics such as the science of happiness, the power of emotional intelligence, the mind-body connection, and the psychology of good and evil. More information on these talks is available on her website:

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch Break

1 hour and 15 minute / Lunch Break

Students will have a 1 hour and 15 minute lunch break.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Does America's Political System Still Work?

Sean Theriault / University of Texas

The book explaining the American political system needs to be rewritten. Everything changed in 2016. Donald Trump’s campaign and victory broke the mold on how we thought politics worked. Meanwhile, Congress's popularity is lower than head lice, root canals, and traffic jams. In light of these political earthquakes, does America's political system still work?

This lecture will put the the Trump presidency into a more historical perspective in order to critically evaluate the ability of the presidency and Congress to function — or not. The system designed by the American framers may have finally met its match. Professor Theriault will argue that the same thing that saved America in the wake of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the 1960s, will save it again: the vigilance of the American people. But only if they choose to exercise their democratic responsibilities.

Sean Theriault / University of Texas
Sean Theriault is a professor of politics at the University of Texas. He has received numerous teaching awards, including the Friar Society Teaching Fellowship, UT Professor of the Year, and the Regent's Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2012, he was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Professor Theriault's research is on the distinction between ideological and war-making behavior in the U.S. Congress.

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
The New Middle East: The Rise of ISIS in an Explosive Region

James Gelvin / UCLA

Even in the best of times, few would have associated the Middle East with tranquility. And these are certainly not the best of times. The recent uprisings for human rights, democracy, and social and economic justice bore so much promise, yet delivered little more in most places than counter-revolution, repression, and, in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, civil war and chaos. ISIS and other jihadist groups have ramped up violence in the region to unimagined levels and threaten the state system there. Sectarian violence endangers age-old communities, and millions have been dislocated. Proxy wars proliferate, old alliances strained, and Americans question the reason for continued involvement in a region. Meanwhile, the challenges of population growth, poverty, corruption, economic decline, unemployment, and drought threaten the livelihoods and well-being of more than 500 million people.

These phenomena are the hallmarks of what some have termed the "New Middle East," whose roots might be traced not only to the Arab uprisings, but to the fall of communism and the American invasion of Iraq. This course will address the fallout from those events, as well as the crisis in Syria, the emergence and impact of ISIS, shifts in cold war alliances, and the emerging human security crisis that will affect the region and the globe for years to come.

James Gelvin / UCLA
James Gelvin is a Professor of History at the UCLA. Before joining the faculty at UCLA, Professor Gelvin taught at MIT, Boston College, and Harvard University. He has received an Undergraduate Teaching Award as well as a Faculty Excellence Award, and has been a Faculty Fellow in UCLA's Center for American Politics and Public Policy.


Sorry this event is sold out.

Please call 1-800-300-3438 to be added to the waiting list.