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One Day University in NYC

September 15, 2018 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM


9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
What's Wrong (and What's Right) with American Education?

David Helfand / Columbia University

Throughout human history, information was limited, difficult to access, and expensive. Picture the hunter gatherer schooling his successor in pre-historic times, or the Medieval monk copying Aristotle in 1100 AD. We had limited information that was difficult to access, and very expensive. A decade ago, this situation radically reversed. Information is now virtually unlimited, it is ubiquitous and it's free (as long as you pay your cellphone bill). The model of education which focuses on a "professor" standing in the front of the room pouring bits of information into his students who are then asked to parrot it back on command is somewhat absurd.

Education today needs to foster the critical evaluation of the information (and misinformation) available to all, and then provide students with the tools, drawn from a variety of academic disciplines, to combine that information in new ways to create products of value to themselves and to society. It is time to abandon the nineteenth century university model (in which students go home to work on the farm in the summer months), and create a twenty-first century university system that fosters collaborative creativity, critical analysis, and questioning, rather than a model where students are encouraged to learn more and more about less and less -- until they know everything about nothing!

David Helfand / Columbia University
David Helfand has been a Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University for 42 years where he served as chair of the Department for nearly half that time. He is also the former President of the American Astronomical Society and of Quest University Canada, and currently serves as Chair of the American Institute of Physics. He has received the Columbia Presidential Teaching Award and the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. He is the author of the new book, "A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age."

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
World War I: What Really Happened, and Why it Matters

Jennifer Keene / Chapman University

Most Americans possess only a hazy understanding of World War I or its significance for the United States. So why not leave it there? Why bother with this history lesson? How the nation responded to the challenge of fighting its first modern war re-made America, leading to female suffrage, the modern civil rights movement, the drive to protect civil liberties, new conceptions of military service, and an expanded role for the United States in the world.

There are striking parallels between the problems Americans faced a hundred years ago in 1917-18 and the challenges we face now. How do we balance protecting national security with civil liberties? Is it appropriate for Americans to continue to debate a war once the fighting has begun? Are immigrants importing terrorism? Do Americans have a responsibility to participate in global humanitarianism? Can soldiers ever convey to those at home the reality of what they've encountered on the battlefield? Can they ever leave the war behind? Americans grappled with these issues in World War I, and these are once again relevant questions for a society at war.

Jennifer Keene / Chapman University
Jennifer Keene is a professor of history and dean of the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University. She has published several books and numerous articles on the American experience in the world wars, including "Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America", "World War I: The American Soldier Experience", and "World War II: Core Documents". She has received numerous awards for her scholarship, including Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards to France and Australia and Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship in International Studies. She has served as a historical consultant for exhibits and films, and was recently featured in the PBS documentary mini-series, "The Great War".

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
Beethoven and The Beatles: Hearing the Connection

Michael Alec Rose / Vanderbilt University

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 it 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 Beatle," 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.

Michael Alec Rose / Vanderbilt University
Michael Alec Rose is a composer at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. His many commissions include ones from the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, Austin Camerata with the Blanton Museum of Art, the Cassatt String Quartet, and the Nashville Symphony. He has received 30 annual awards in composition from ASCAP. For twelve years, Rose co-directed an International Exchange Program between the Royal Academy of Music, London (RAM) and the Blair School. His book AUDIBLE SIGNS is published by Continuum. Professor Rose has won several major teaching awards at Vanderbilt, including the Chair of Teaching Excellence.


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