Saturday, July 31, 2021 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Jeremi Suri / University of Texas
The American presidency is the most powerful political office in the world. Surprisingly, most contemporary presidents have found themselves severely constrained in their ability to pursue their chosen agendas for domestic and foreign policy change. This lecture will explain why, focusing on the nature of government bureaucracy, the range of American challenges and commitments, and the development of the modern media.
We will begin with the founding vision of the U.S. presidency and the actions of its first occupant, George Washington. Then, we’ll examine the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and the most recent office-holders. We will focus on how the power of the presidency has changed over time and what that has meant for American society. The lecture will close with reflections for how we can improve presidential leadership in future years.
Jennifer Keene / Chapman University
Can a photograph really change history or define an age? We live in an era dominated by Instagram and Photoshop, but curated images have shaped the way we understand the present and the past since the invention of photography. Our schooling imbues us with a mental slide show of iconic photographs, images that serve as short-cuts for understanding critical historical moments. But the camera was never just a passive observer of historical events. Instead, generations of photographers wielded the camera as a weapon to shape public opinion; to initiate social change; to capture the essence of a pivotal moment. But who ultimately controls the meaning or significance of an image? The photographer, the viewer, or history?
This lecture explores the creation, diffusion, and reception of iconic images, stories that ultimately render these images even more meaningful. Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, James Van Der Zee, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Joe Rosenthal, Charles Moore, and Eddie Addams explored poverty, child labor, migration, civil liberties, war, and civil rights – shaping our vision of modern America.
Jessica Payne / University of Notre Dame
What's going on in your head while you sleep? The research of Notre Dame Professor Jessica Payne shows that the non-waking hours are incredibly valuable for your day-to-day life, especially for helping to commit information to memory and for problem solving. If you ever thought sleep was just downtime between one task and the next, think again. The fact is, your brain pulls an all-nighter when you hit the hay. Many regions of the brain – especially those involved in learning, processing information, and emotion – are actually more active during sleep than when you're awake. These regions are working together while you sleep, helping you process and sort information you've taken in during the course of the day. Professor Payne's research has focused on what types of information are submitted to memory, and has been instrumental in better understanding how the brain stores the information.
Sound interesting? It is. And useful too, as Professor Payne will outline all sorts of practical information on how to control your sleep habits to insure maximum productivity.