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

December 03, 2017 9:30 AM – 4:15 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 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 memoir, "Prospero's Son: Life, Love, Books, and Theater," appeared in 2013, and his latest book, "Tradition: A Feeling for the Literary Past," appeared in 2016.

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Considering 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 of six books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. His research and teaching have received numerous prizes, and in 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences.

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
Essential Communication Skills That Will Enhance Your Life

Laurie Mintz / University of Florida

A fictional character in a well-known television show said this about communication: "It's the first thing we really learn in life. Funny thing is, once we grow up, learn our words and really start talking, the harder it becomes to know what to say or how to ask for what we really need." As central as communication is to our daily lives, few of us have had training in effective communication. Even fewer of us have the skills to communicate when talking is the hardest—when we're sad, upset, or angry.

In this life-changing 70-minutes, Dr. Mintz will teach you four communication skills that will enhance your life. Specifically, she will teach you skills to start difficult conversations, to express your desires clearly, to listen more deeply to others, and to de-escalate conflict. After leaving this lecture, your words will never be the same. You'll talk and listen to everyone you encounter (from strangers you'll never see again to the people you love most deeply) in a richer, more clear, and more meaningful way.

Laurie Mintz / University of Florida
Laurie Mintz is Professor of Psychology at the University Florida. She has published over 45 articles in academic journals, six chapters in academic books, and is author of the acclaimed and empirically supported self-help book "A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex." Professor Mintz writes a popular blog for Psychology Today, appears regularly in the media, and gives workshops to professionals and audiences across the country. She has received numerous professional and teaching awards, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

3:00 PM - 4:15 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.

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