Saturday, October 13, 2018 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
We are bombarded daily by news reports of bad behavior, from sexual harassment in the workplace to racist attacks on public transportation to bullying in schools. Although it's easy to blame these acts on evil people, it's far more complicated to understand why so many people fail to speak up in the presence of such behavior and how significant a role this silence plays in perpetuating the behavior itself. Using empirical research from psychology, biology, neuroscience, and economics, this talk examines the factors that lead most of us to stay silent in the face of bad behavior, and how the tendency to stay silent allows such acts to continue.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." Finally, this talk will describe how to overcome the very natural human tendency to remain bystanders in the face of bad behavior and practical strategies we can all use to step up and show moral courage.
Catherine Sanderson is the James E. Ostendarp Professor of Psychology at Amherst College, and is often cited as the school’s most popular professor. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. She has published over 25 journal articles in addition to three college textbooks. In 2012, she was named one of the country’s top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.
Orin Grossman / Fairfield University
Ezra Pound famously wrote, "Literature is news that stays news." We might say the same for the great masterpieces of music. There are works from the great composers who speak to us with the freshness and excitement of anything seemingly more contemporary and relevant. As long as we bring an open mind, or open ears, we can discover beauty, meaning, and emotional depth undimmed by the passage of time.
In this class, Professor Grossman will present three remarkable musical works from the same period, by musicians young and old, at the peak of their composing careers. All three share energy and passion of youth, and the excitement of ushering in or extending a new musical era. And yet these compositions could not be more different than if they had been written hundreds of years apart. Individually, they each speak to us about the power of musical expression; together they illustrate how many ways music can excite the imagination. The three compositions are: 1) Ludwig van Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, 2) Frederic Chopin, Ballade #1 for Piano, and 3) Professor Grossman's acclaimed finale (which he has performed all around the world!) George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.
Orin Grossman is renowned internationally for his knowledge of music. He lectures and performs concerts throughout the US and Europe, he teaches Performing Arts at Fairfield University, and has served as the University’s Academic Vice President. Professor Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in Cairo and New York. Professor Grossman was also chosen to play for the New York City Mayor’s Awards of Honor for Arts and Culture.
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.
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 and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, most recently: “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Office.” His research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” in the Arts and Sciences. In 2018 Suri received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas, and the Pro Bene Meritis Award for Public Contributions to the Liberal Arts.