October 14, 2012 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Professors and classes for October 14th 2012 - Tentative Schedule
9:30am - 10:35am
Gershwin, Ellington, and the Search for an American Sound
Anna Celenza / Georgetown
10:50am - 11:55am
Nuclear Politics: Strategy and Danger in the Middle East and Beyond
Paul Bracken / Yale
12:10pm - 1:15pm
How We Make Decisions (and how we can make better ones)
Scott Plous / Wesleyan
LUNCH AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
2:05pm - 3:10pm
Frank Gehry: Architecture as Art
Esther de Costa Meyer - Princeton
3:25pm - 4:30pm
Is There Science Behind ESP? Daryl Bem - / Cornell
Jacob Appell / Brown
The same medical technologies that have brought us miracle drugs and unprecedented longevity are also forcing us to confront increasingly difficult ethical dilemmas: Should taxpayers spend several million dollars to prolong one patient's life for one month? Can genes be patented? How ought judges respond when doctors and family members disagree on the very definition of death? Thirty years ago, debates in medical ethics focused on the same questions that had once puzzled Hippocrates many centuries earlier: When does life begin? When may confidentiality be broken? Must a physician help a stranger in need?
Today, most challenges in bioethics arise from two relatively novel sets of issues:1) Conflicts over scarce healthcare resources 2) The desire of philosophical and religious minorities to opt out of established medical norms. How society ultimately resolves these questions is not simply an abstract matter for debate by philosophers and ethicists. The outcome of these controversies is likely to affect each and every one of us when we or our loved ones become ill.
James Morone / Brown University (Political Science)
It is a wild time in American politics - and a great time to become a political scientist for a day. This class explores the questions that political scientists are debating: Is the American national government broken? Is Congress worse than it has ever been? Is governmental dysfunction leading to national decline? Or have we been here before? This class offers the answers: The dirty rotten secrets about Congress - what it actually feels like to be inside the "broken branch of government." The real truth about lobbyists (they're not what you think). Obama, Romney - what's going on in the White House? How the voters - and the elections - are changing everything. Come and reflect on American politics today: what's wrong and what's right, what's real and what's hype.
Michael Alec Rose / Vanderbilt
What do the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the Beatles song "Hey Jude" have in common? For one thing, the scope of each work is unprecedented: a vast choral movement and a seven-minute song marked radical breakthroughs for both symphonic music and popular music. Even more outsized is the spiritual message shared by these pieces. It is the grand vision of shared humanity, of boundless compassion and communal wonder, which binds the two works together across time and stylistic difference.
For thirteen years Professor Rose has taught a Vanderbilt course called "Beethoven and the Beatles," motivated by the simple idea that great art knows no historical boundaries. Ludwig and the Fab Four make their music in beautifully analogous ways, designing their song structures through similar principles of economy, logic, and irrational instinct. Another thrilling correspondence between these Classic and Rock 'N' Roll masters is their shared devotion to the musical traditions that inspired them in the first place. Rose will expand these various connections between the Ninth's finale and "Hey Jude" into a resonant triad, by drawing comparisons with one of William Shakespeare's sonnets.
Louis Masur / Rutgers
Abraham Lincoln is often considered our greatest President, and also one of the most controversial. From the time he was elected 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?
In this insightful course we will take a close look at Lincoln, assessing his political style and temperament, and focusing on the question of Lincoln and slavery. In the end, we will hope to uncover the man and look past the myths.
William Burke White / Penn
Why do America's foreign policy leaders view the world the way they do? Why did George Washington urge the United States to "steer clear of permanent alliances"? Why did George Bush believe that democracy could be imposed in the Middle East? Why does Barak Obama perceive an "arch of history" motivates the Arab Spring? How have our leaders both past and present understood the world around them, and how have those understandings shaped American foreign policy through the years?
This lecture explores the basic theories of international relations and considers how theoretical frameworks-including realism, institutionalism, constructivism, and liberalism-have shaped the worldview of America's leaders. We will consider the particular policy choices of America's Presidents and Secretaries of State from George Washington and George Bush to Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton. Particular examples, such as the different approaches toward the Middle East of George Bush and Barak Obama, will highlight the importance of the theoretical frames and worldviews foreign policy leaders bring with them to the Oval Office.
Sol Gittleman / Tufts
Since the beginning of recorded civilization roughly 6000 years ago, religious groups have been making war on someone. What is there in monotheism and in the three faiths that most clearly represent this idea-Judaism, Christianity and Islam that has made them so aggressive? The world was once destroyed by flood; all three faiths believe that it will once again be destroyed by flames. Is this inevitable? What do we mean by the end of time? Will our grandchildren live to have children? How does an academic approach to the study of these topics prepare us for the world to come? What is Millennialism? Eschatology? The meaning of the Apocalypse? This fascinating fast-paced class will cover all this and more.
Esther de Costa Meyer / Princeton
Over the past decades, Frank Gehry has emerged as an architect who likes to challenge tradition with his daring use of unprecedented forms and materials, despite the fact that his architectural practice is grounded in years of solid experience tackling the intricacies and requirements of every sort of commission large and small. Yet alongside this more traditional side of the profession, is his use of art, music, and even dance as sources of inspiration not only in the sense of providing exciting new forms or interior spaces, but as a means to narrow the gap between the building and its users.
Obviously, art does not lend itself to being transferred uncritically and unproblematically to architecture. Gehry's highly-original approach implies long periods of reflection, studying and questioning different kinds of art, from Medieval to Minimalist, passing through antiquity and the Renaissance. Likewise, his interest in music also plays an important role as a catalyst in design. This talk is aimed at exploring the many ways in which Gehry has used the arts to create buildings with a strong potential to communicate with the public to which it is addressed: that is, a flexible, many-layered interface, both playful and poetic, that allows users a certain amount of agency.
Anna Celenza / Georgetown
What is the American Sound? Does such a thing exist in the realm of concert music? During the 1920s and 30s, composers, music critics, entertainment executives and audiences believed in the idea of an American Sound, and they worked hard to promote their various points of view in the concert hall, via newspaper articles, through advertising and on film. This course explores the origins of two quintessential American masterpieces -- George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Duke Ellington's Symphony in Black -- and their relationship to contemporary American culture. As participants will discover over the course of the presentation, Gershwin and Ellington knew one another, and they each looked to the music of the other when composing. Both works were composed in an attempt to capture the essence of the "modern" American experience and blur the lines between classical music, popular music, and jazz.
Using film clips, music excerpts, and popular dance steps from the 1920s and 30s, Professor Celenza will introduce participants to the wide range of musical genres and styles that influenced Gershwin and Ellington (from spirituals, blues, and Klezmer music to Tin Pan Alley songs, opera, symphonic forms and Ragtime) and facilitate an open discussion concerning music's current role in defining American culture.
Paul Bracken / Yale
Currently, there are nine countries with the atomic bomb. Eight of them are modernizing and repositioning their nuclear forces for the 21st century. Only the United States holds back, in the increasingly hopeless attempt to demonstrate to others that these weapons have no value. But these weapons have considerable value, at least in the view of China, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Russia, and India.
The course will describe how the bomb's spread to critical regions gives a nuclear context to old disputes, such as the Israeli-Palestinian and Kashmiri conflicts. The confluence of new technologies, cyberwar, stealth, and drones, with nuclear weapons is discussed for insights into the crisis dynamics of the second nuclear age.
Andrew Shatte / Arizona
In this fast-paced, interactive, and fun session Dr. Andrew Shatté will lead you on a tour of the big questions in the psychology of resilience. Why does one person overcome adversity while another falls into helplessness? What are the 7 ingredients that make up resilience - and do you have them.
We will see that habits in how we think - Thinking Styles - have an enormous impact on resilience. You will get insight into two of your thinking styles and learn about the impact they can have on your success, happiness, and health. Dr. Shatté will show you how to boost resilience with case studies from his work in large corporations and the public sector. And in the final moments of the workshop, he'll even reveal the biggest secret to a life of resilience!
Daryl Bem / Cornell
Reports of Extrasensory Perception (ESP) go back to ancient times. The Old Testament reports how Joseph interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh to predict that Egypt would experience seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine, and the oracles of ancient Greece regularly offered prophetic predictions of future events. In addition to prophetic predictions (now called precognitions or premonitions), there are reports of telepathy, the ability to respond to the thoughts and emotions of another person without the mediation of any known channel of sensory communication; and clairvoyance or remote viewing, the ability to respond to objects or events that do not provide a stimulus to any of the known senses.
Such reports continue to this day, and approximately 50% of Americans believe that ESP in one form or another is a genuine phenomenon. Interestingly, college-educated Americans are actually more likely to believe in the reality of ESP than are Americans with less education; and, there is now a growing body of experimental evidence produced by researchers trained in the biological, social, and physical sciences that appears to support their belief. We will critically examine the methods and results of several contemporary studies of these phenomena and consider possible physical and psychological mechanisms that might explain them.
Scott Plous / Wesleyan
Most of us make hundreds of decisions per day. Some of these decisions are small, such as what clothes to wear. Others are important, such as where to live, when to retire, and whether to attend a One Day University event.
Professor Plous will discuss the latest research findings on how to make effective decisions. Studies in psychology suggest that even decision makers who generally perform well are prone to certain biases and errors, many of which can be reduced with practice.