Sunday, June 23, 2019 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Anna Celenza / Georgetown University
Music permeates our lives. Thanks to technology, it is always with us… via the radio, our smart phones, TV commercials, film music, even the streamed music at our local malls and favorite restaurants. Technology has made it easy for us to put music in the background. The goal of this lecture is to bring it front and center again.
As Professor Celenza will demonstrate, music does not simply reflect culture…it changes it. To demonstrate just how such changes come about, she will highlight four musical masterpieces that changed America. These include: a bawdy 18th-century drinking tune that eventually defined American patriotism, a 1930s ballad that fueled the need for the Civil Rights movement, a 1980s pop album that changed American foreign policy, and a hit Broadway musical that redefined the way many of us think about the founding of America and its earliest years as an independent country.
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, and her most recent book, Music that Changed America. 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, including 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.”
Joseph Luzzi / Bard College
What four books are a must for every lover of literature? And how did each of these groundbreaking works, in its unique way, "change America"? Award-winning scholar and teacher Professor Joseph Luzzi will explore this question with participants in a presentation devoted to exploring the riches of literary expression. We will discuss such world-renowned classics as Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and Joseph Heller's Catch 22.
Professor Luzzi will show how these fascinating works help us understand some of the most pressing concerns today, including the nature of religious faith, questions of personal identity, even the quest for the "American Dream." Participants will be encouraged to develop their own list of "essential reading," as Professor Luzzi helps them acquire the skills necessary for enriching their encounters with books of all kinds in our ever-changing society.
Joseph Luzzi is a Literature and Italian Professor at Bard College, and was previously a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Scaglione Prize for his teaching. He is also the author of the audio course, “The Art of Reading.” Professor Luzzi previously taught at Yale University, where he was awarded a Yale College Teaching Prize.
Jeffrey Engel / Southern Methodist University
The United States is a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope and liberty peoples around the world have struggled to reach. Yet Americans have not always welcomed new arrivals with open arms. From colonial days to the present, debates over immigration help define whom Americans are, what they believe their country has and should be, and reveal most of all each generation’s politics and priorities.
Do our the debates over immigration reform indicate the welcome mat has worn thin? What does it mean to hold out a beacon to the world's "tired, poor, huddled masses"? Do we welcome immigrants in because of or despite their economic impact on the United States?
Jeffrey Engel is the founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. He has taught at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and taught history and public policy at Texas A&M University. He has authored/edited eight books on American foreign policy, most recently, “When the World Seemed New: George H. Bush and the Surprisingly Peaceful End of the Cold War.”