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One Day University: A Full Day of Learning (NYC)

December 03, 2017 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM


9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Four Books that Changed the World

Seth Lerer / University of California at San Diego

Literature has always shaped societies, built cultures, and helped readers grow. This course explores four great novels that have helped to change our modern, western world – the world of personal feeling, social experience, family belonging, and moral imagination. Charles Dickens's Great Expectations stands as the defining novel of the individual in society, struggling to become a person and a writer in the heart of a new empire. George Orwell's 1984 remains the classic of dystopia – a satire on a totalitarian past, but also a lesson for a democratic future. Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man makes us all aware of how race and region bear on our culture, while Viet Nguyen's brilliant new book, The Sympathizer, reveals just how much our world has changed, now, in response to different communities in contact and in conflict.

All of these books are stories not just of politics and people, but of writers. All of these books show the power of the literary imagination to make and remake our world. They dramatize how our modern ideas of the hero have adapted to new pressures. They make us laugh, cry, ponder, and pause. They teach that the art of reading is essential to negotiating unfamiliar landscapes in our cities and our classrooms. These books have changed, and will continue to change, the ways we think and feel. Whatever happens, books will survive. These are four of them that will live on, both to instruct and to delight us in the future.

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
Exporting America: Foreign Policy From George Washington to Donald Trump

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas

Since its founding, the United States has offered a distinctive model of political and economic development to the rest of the world. The American model emphasizes representation, federalism, and ethnic pluralism in its definition of democracy. This lecture will explain how American leaders over more than two centuries have sought to apply the American model to the most significant challenges of each era. Policies have differed across time, but the United States has consistently sought to build governments and nations that approximate its distinctive model.

Examining this long history of American nation-building offers some valuable lessons for our contemporary world. Some elements of the American model have proven successful in their broad implementation. Some elements have not. Time and again, Americans have under-estimated the difficulties of spreading their political model. This lecture will encourage listeners to consider the continued possibilities for American-led change in the world, with renewed attention to the historical limits of American power. More than anything, history shows that the United States needs wise leaders who can deploy the nation's valuable political model in carefully chosen situations.

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University's Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, most recently: "The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Office." His research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences. In 2018 Suri received the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas, and the Pro Bene Meritis Award for Public Contributions to the Liberal Arts.

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
The Psychology of Humor

Aimee Reichmann-Decker / University of Denver

How does humor uniquely contribute to being human? To engage such a lofty question, this presentation will reveal a humor top ten list. Taking a psychological perspective, we will focus on the importance and benefits of humor, understanding what people consider funny, and how one's sense of humor changes throughout the lifespan. We will consider how humor and mirth can improve lives and lead to world peace. Additionally, attendees are approximately 9.713% funnier after this talk.

Aimee Reichmann-Decker / University of Denver
Aimee Reichmann-Decker is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver. She has been educating undergraduate and graduate students for more than 10 years. Professor Reichmann-Decker's scholarly interests are broad, including emotion, positive psychology, and mental health.

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Four Films that Changed America

Marc Lapadula / Yale University

While most works of cinema are produced for mass-entertainment and escapism, a peculiar minority have had a profound influence on our culture. Whether intentionally or not, some movies have brought social issues to light, changed laws, forwarded ideologies both good and bad, and altered the course of American history through their resounding impact on society. Renowned Yale Film Professor Marc Lapadula will discuss four films that, for better or worse, made their mark.

The Jazz Singer
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
The Graduate
Easy Rider

Marc Lapadula / Yale University
Marc Lapadula is a Senior Lecturer in the Film Studies Program at Yale University. He is a playwright, screenwriter and an award-winning film producer. In addition to Yale, Marc has taught at Columbia University's Graduate Film School, created the screenwriting programs at both The University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins where he won Outstanding Teaching awards and has lectured on film, playwriting and conducted highly-acclaimed screenwriting seminars all across the country at notable venues like The National Press Club, The Smithsonian Institution, The Commonwealth Club and The New York Historical Society.

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