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One Day University with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

October 27, 2018 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM

schedule

9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln: What's Fact and What's Fiction?

Louis Masur / Rutgers University

Abraham Lincoln is considered our greatest President and one of the most controversial. People have debated various aspects of his personality and politics. Was he depressed? Why did he tell so many stories? Was he truly opposed to slavery? Did he free the slaves? Did the Union prevail because of his leadership or despite him? This class aims to uncover the man and not the myth. In 1922, the historian W.E.B. DuBois proclaimed that Lincoln was “big enough to be inconsistent.” To be sure, there were tensions in Lincoln’s character and ideology: he could be happy and melancholy, could promote democracy and suspend civil liberties, could oppose slavery yet have doubts about the place of blacks in American society.

Some of what DuBois saw as inconsistency had more to do with political reality, especially in regard to the issue of the abolition of slavery. Lincoln had to contend with various pressures knowing that any misstep could very well lead to the destruction of the Union. Here is where his temperament becomes so important. As we shall see, Lincoln’s storytelling had a purpose, as did his gradual approach to decision making. But once he made up his mind, he seldom looked back. In the end, it is not that he was inconsistent, but that he was thoughtful and deliberate and was not afraid to change his mind and grow in the process.

Louis Masur / Rutgers University
Louis Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He received outstanding teaching awards from Rutgers, Trinity College, and the City College of New York, and won the Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University. He is the author of many books including "Lincoln's Last Speech," which was inspired by a talk he presented at One Day University. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and Chicago Tribune. He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and serves on the Historians' Council of the Gettysburg Foundation.

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
Three Books that Changed the World

Joseph Luzzi / Bard College

What are the books that can change your life, the ones you would want to take to your proverbial "desert island?" This presentation will unveil the mysteries of Dante's Divine Comedy, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and Joseph Heller's Catch 22. We will explore the creative processes behind these epochal works and show how they can help us understand the world today, while also developing reading skills that can release their remarkable riches.

Joseph Luzzi / Bard College
Joseph Luzzi is a Literature and Italian Professor at Bard College, and was previously a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Scaglione Prize for his teaching. He is also the author of the audio course, "The Art of Reading." Professor Luzzi previously taught at Yale University, where he was awarded a Yale College Teaching Prize.

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
The Supreme Court: What's Next and Why it Matters

Alison Gash / University of Oregon

Few at the Founding could have ever imagined the Supreme Court becoming one of the most powerful policymaking institutions in the United States. Yet today, the Court has the power to sidestep public opinion, upend federal legislation, constrain state governance and even bring down the President. Professor Alison Gash will take us back to the Court's humble beginnings, charting how the Court amassed its power under Justice Marshall's leadership. Professor Gash will introduce us to the Court's struggles under pre-and post-Reconstruction racial apartheid, its skirmishes with legislative and executive power during the New Deal era, and its foray into areas of privacy, intimacy and expression.

As we walk through the Court's history, meandering through landmark decisions, Professor Gash will use her research on law and social policy to highlight the importance of understanding the Court not only as a legal actor but also as a significant source of policy innovation and paralysis. Through this lens, Professor Gash will demonstrate why the Court's makeup--its personalities and its relationships--can make or break American public policy.

Alison Gash / University of Oregon
Alison Gash is a political science professor at the University of Oregon, where she has received several fellowships and grants for her teaching. She specializes in US Supreme Court and civil rights laws. Professor Gash has also taught at Berkeley, where she received the Commendation for Excellence in Teaching two years in a row. She is the author of "Below the Radar: How Silence Can Save Civil Rights." Her work has appeared in Newsweek, Slate, Politico, and Washington Monthly.

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