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One Day University in Washington, D.C.

March 17, 2018 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM


9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
American Foreign Policy: Where Are We Headed?

Stephen Kotkin / Princeton University

Think back to the 1970s: the end of the Vietnam War, inflation, America's rust-belt factories going bust, disco, a stagnant Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev, intense global poverty in populous places like Communist China. Now look around today, 40+ years later: the Soviet Union is long gone and Russia has a large middle class,led by strongman Vladimir Putin, a villain straight out of Hollywood central casting. Now China is the world's great economic dynamo. And here at home we have a new Commander-in-Chief  with very different attitudes towards the rest of the world than the Presidents who came before him. 

What happened? How should we understand these changes? How might things look another 40 years hence? Does this portend a decline in American power and influence? Is America's place in the world, in fact, changing? Should it change? Or, is this just a temporary phenomenon, overhyped, a marketing slogan? Might China instead crash? Is Russia set for further reversals, too? What are the real strengths and weaknesses of China, Russia and our own United States? More broadly, what lessons can we draw from these cases about global geopolitics and the world in which our children and grandchildren will inherit?

Stephen Kotkin / Princeton University
Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton. Professor Kotkin established the department's Global History workshop. He serves on the core editorial committee of the journal, World Politics. He founded and edits a book series on Northeast Asia. From 2003 until 2007, he was a member and then chair of the editorial board at Princeton University Press, and is a regular book reviewer for the New York Times Sunday Business section.

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
Ethical Dilemmas and Modern Medicine: Questions Nobody Wants to Ask

Jacob Appel / Brown University

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? May a seventeen-year-old boy refuse to give a life-saving bone marrow transplant to his fifteen-year-old cousin? Thirty years ago, debates in medical ethics focused on the same questions that had once puzzled Hippocrates and Galen 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 and 2.) the desire of philosophical and religious minorities to be opt out of established medical norms. How society ultimately resolves these questions is not simply an abstract matter for debate by philosophers and ethicists. Rather, the outcome of these controversies is likely to affect each and every one of us when we or our loved ones become ill. This lecture will examine some paradigmatic recent cases in the field of bioethics and will offer students a framework for analyzing future cases on their own.

Jacob Appel / Brown University
Jacob Appel is an American author, bioethicist, physician, lawyer and social critic. He is best known for his short stories, his work as a playwright, and his writing in the fields of reproductive ethics, organ donation, neuroethics and euthanasia. Appel's novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. He has taught medical ethics at New York University, Columbia University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Brown University's Alpert Medical School.

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
What The Founding Fathers Were Really Like (and what we can still learn from them today)

Carol Berkin / Baruch College

Most of us know that America's Founding Fathers attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia and drafted the Constitution of the United States. The delegates decided to replace the Articles of Confederation with a document that strengthened the federal government, with the most contentious issue being  legislative representation. Eventually, a compromise established the bicameral Congress to ensure both equal and proportional representation. But a lot more happened as well - much of it underreported or misunderstood. That's the focus of this insider's look at the birth of American Government as we know it today.

The fact is, the Founding Fathers were ambitious. Also grouchy, scared, and hopeful. They told jokes. They fought. They schemed. They gossiped. They improvised. Occasionally, they killed each other (sorry, Alexander Hamilton). Only by seeing the Founders as real people -not icons- can we appreciate the full story of the nation's founding with all of its drama, humor, and significance intact.

Carol Berkin / Baruch College
Carol Berkin is Presidential Professor of History at Baruch College and a member of the history faculty of the Graduate Center of CUNY. She has worked as a consultant on several PBS and History Channel documentaries, including, The "Scottsboro Boys," which was nominated for an Academy Award. She has also appeared as a commentator on screen in the PBS series by Ric Burns, "New York," the Middlemarch series "Benjamin Franklin" and "Alexander Hamilton" on PBS, and the MPH series, "The Founding Fathers." She serves on the Board of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Board of the National Council for History Education.

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Lunch Break

1 hour and 15 minute / Lunch Break

Students will have a 1 hour and 15 minute lunch break.

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The History of Jazz: America's Greatest Original Art Form

Anna Celenza / Georgetown University

Jazz was born on February 26, 1917, when a combo from New Orleans called the Original Dixieland Jazz Band walked into a Victor recording studio and cut the first jazz recording: "Livery Stable Blues." 2017 marks the 100th birthday of jazz! This lecture, designed for jazz fans and newcomers alike, celebrates the origins of the music and its impact on global culture.

Jazz is a genre broad in scope with the power to cross multiple borders: geographical, political, economic, racial, and religious. The key to the history of jazz is its connection to recorded sound. It was the first musical genre shaped by modern technology – the first world-wide music phenomenon. As Professor Celenza demonstrates in this multi-media lecture featuring film clips, dance steps, historic photos, and recordings, jazz has never stopped changing. From the Blues and Dixieland to Swing, BeBop, Cool Jazz, and Fusion, jazz offers something for everyone.

If you're one of those folks who has always asked "what’s all the fuss about?" When it comes to jazz, you'll leave the lecture a die-hard fan - guaranteed!

Anna Celenza / Georgetown University
Anna Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books, including "Jazz Italian Style: From Its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra." In addition to her scholarly work, she has served as a writer/commentator for NPR's Performance Today and published eight award-winning children's books, among them "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue" and "Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite." She has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including the BBC's "Music Matters" and C-Span's "Book TV."


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