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One Day University in Fairfield, CT

March 17, 2018 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM

schedule

9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College

Happiness has been in the news quite a bit lately. The UN released a "Happiness Report" rating nearly 200 countries, which found that the world’s happiest people live in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands). The US ranked 11th. The report's conclusion affirmatively states that happiness has predictable causes and is correlated specifically to various measures that governments can regulate and encourage. And there's more. A new AARP study looks at how Americans feel - and what factors contribute to their sense of contentment. It concludes that nearly 50% of us are "somewhat happy" and another 19% are "very happy." 

What role do money, IQ, marriage, friends, children, weather, and religion play in making us feel happier? Is happiness stable over time? How can happiness be increased? Professor Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase your own psychological well-being.

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: SandersonSpeaking.com.

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
Three Turning Points that Changed American History

Edward O'Donnell / Holy Cross College

In the relatively short history of the United States, there have been many turning points and landmark movements that irrevocably altered the direction of the nation and signaled the dramatic start of a new historical reality. Some took the form of groundbreaking political and philosophical concepts; some were dramatic military victories and defeats. Still others were nationwide social and religious movements, or technological and scientific innovations.

What all of these turning points had in common, is that they forever changed the character of America. Sometimes the changes brought about by these events were obvious; sometimes they were more subtle. Sometimes the effects of these turning points were immediate; other times, their aftershocks reverberated for decades. Regardless, these great historical turning points demand to be understood.

Edward O'Donnell / Holy Cross College
Edward O'Donnell is a professor of History at Holy Cross College. He is the author of several books, including "Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age." He frequently contributes op-eds to publications like Newsweek and the Huffington Post. He has been featured on PBS, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and C-SPAN. O'Donnell also has curated several major museum exhibits on American history and appeared in several historical documentaries. He currently hosts a history podcast, In The Past Lane.

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
America 2018: Where Are We Now? (And where are we going?)

Austin Sarat / Amherst College

As is well known America's founding political commitments were to democracy and the rule of law. Some have described them as the soul and spirit of our nation. And over the generations citizens have given their lives to preserve those commitments. But it turns out that their meanings are contested and open to interpretation. This lecture will discuss those contested meanings as they have played out in American history. We will, in addition, assess the health of democracy and the rule of law in the United States. We will consider challenges posed by the Watergate scandal, life in an age of terrorism, and the relationship between the Executive and Judicial branches of our national government.

Today some believe that the rule of law and democracy are under attack by President Trump and his administration. But, could it be this is be a symptom rather than a cause of what some see as our current crisis? Does America face an erosion of public faith in long taken-for-granted aspects of our political life? As we answer those questions we will discuss the meaning and advantages of the rule of law and democratic governance.

Austin Sarat / Amherst College
Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has written, co-written, or edited more than ninety books in the fields of law and political science. Professor Sarat has received the the Stan Wheeler Award for his excellence as a teacher and mentor, awarded by the Law and Society Association.

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