New Classes. New Cities. Discounts and More!

Rethinking America: Inside and Out (Phoenix)

February 19, 2017 9:30 AM – 4:15 PM


9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
American Power: Dominance or Decline? An Insiders Look at Five Global Developments

William Burke-White / University of Pennsylvania

Globalization has blurred the distinction between domestic and foreign policy and it has increased our vulnerability in many policy areas. Yet, most Americans remain dangerously disinterested in foreign affairs. So, with a political system that is hopelessly polarized, what role will the US play in the world in the next few years? Will we control the agenda, cooperate and shape the agenda with our core allies or will we gradually withdraw from our role as the leading nation-state in global affairs? In this lecture we will review the strategies and traditions that have shaped U.S. foreign policy since the end of Cold War and we will review the key challenges our leaders will face in the next few years.

William Burke-White / University of Pennsylvania
William Burke-White is the Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director of the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 on Secretary Clinton's Policy Planning Staff. He was also principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton's hallmark foreign policy and institutional reform effort. Professor Burke-White has received the Levin Award and the Gorman award for Excellence in Teaching.

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
The Ancient Greeks: What Can We Learn From the World's First Democracy?

Richard Billows / Columbia University

Why do the ancient Greeks occupy such a prominent place in conceptions of Western culture and identity? What was it that made generations of influential scholars and writers view Greek culture as the uniquely essential starting point for understanding the art and reflection that define the West? Ancient Greece is the source of much that we esteem in our own culture: democracy, philosophy, tragedy, epic and lyric poetry, history-writing, our aesthetic sensibilities, ideals of athletic competition, and more. Blazoned above the portal of Apollo's temple at Delphi were the words, "Know thyself." For us, this injunction to self-awareness also commands knowledge of the Greeks.

Spanning from 700–300 B.C.E., this course traces the complex web of links between our present and its Mediterranean origins. We'll explore ancient Greek civilization in the light shed by the newest and best research and criticism – and expand your understanding of history.

Richard Billows / Columbia University
Richard Billows is a professor of history at Columbia University. His scholarly works include "Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenic State" and "Marathon - How One Battle Changed Western Civilization." He was interviewed on a History Channel documentary on The Battle of Marathon.

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
American Immigration: Past, Present, and Future

Rachel Friedberg / Brown University

The Statue of Liberty is the quintessential symbol of the United States. But as Presidential candidates debate building a wall along the border with Mexico and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, has the welcome mat worn thin? What does it meant to hold out a beacon to the world’s “tired, poor, huddled masses”? Do we welcome immigrants in because of or despite their economic impact on the United States? Many in the American labor movement contend immigrants take jobs away from native-born workers and send wages tumbling. But do they really? Drawing on the research into the economic impact of immigration, we will examine how new immigrants fare in the U.S. labor market, and how they affect the economic well-being of those of us already here.

Rachel Friedberg / Brown University
Rachel Friedberg is a Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Economics at Brown University. Professor Friedberg's research focuses on the labor market performance and assimilation of immigrants in the United States and Israel, the transferability of human capital, and the impact of immigration on native labor market outcomes.

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Music as a Mirror of History: Blues, Jazz, and Rock 'n' Roll

Robert Greenberg / San Francisco Conservatory of Music

No issue is more central to America's national myth than that of the "melting pot": that continent-sized slow cooker in which the various races, religions, and ethnicities that together constitute American society have (presumably) been stewed into a singular whole greater than its parts. In fact, profound divisions remain in American society, especially when it comes to race. But there is one aspect of American society and culture in which a complete, compelling, and utterly original synthesis has been achieved, in which the democratic ideals of free discourse and equality so dear to the American self-image have indeed been successfully achieved, and that is in the realm of music.

This session explores the extraordinary synthesis of African and European musical elements that together created Blues, Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll. Initially, we will observe the rhythmic, melodic and textural aspects of West African music that set it apart from European music. We will then examine how these aspects of African music, when combined with the European musical instruments and harmonic language of Anglo-America, created a dazzling variety of musical genres the likes of which had never been heard before, musical genres that mirror the racial diversity and experience of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century America. Starting with the African-American Spiritual, we will observe the development and evolution of Blues; the emergence of Ragtime; the beginnings and evolution of Jazz from New Orleans through Bebop; post-WWII youth culture, the impact of electronic media on the music industry, and the advent of Rock & Roll as a harbinger of the Civil Rights movement.

Robert Greenberg / San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Robert Greenberg has composed over fifty works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles. He has received numerous honors, including being designated an official "Steinway Artist," three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and three Meet-The-Composer Grants. Notable commissions have been received from the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Alexander String Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, San Francisco Performances, and the XTET ensemble. He has served on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he chaired the Department of Music History and Literature and served as the Director of the Adult Extension Division. The Bangor Daily News referred to Greenberg as 'the Elvis of music appreciation.'"


Sorry this event is sold out.

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