Sunday, October 28, 2018 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Jeffrey Engel / Southern Methodist University
The question stalks our politics. The Cold War's end was supposed to bring about a new era of East-West cooperation, integrating Russia for perhaps the first time as an equal player in European and Atlantic affairs. Democracy appeared ascendant, along with free markets. The end of old history appeared in sight,replaced by the new, at least according to Washington’s chattering class. We were poised to share "one common European home," the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev pledged. And we shall all have peace. A democratic revolution within Russia's borders, leading even a soft-spoken American president to gloat. "Eastern Europe is free," George H.W. Bush proclaimed as 1991 came to an end. "This is a victory for democracy and freedom. It’s a victory for the moral force of our values. Every American can take pride in this victory."
Well, the promised post-Cold War peace did not endure. Russia's free market collapsed. The West's triumph brought the average citizen in the former Soviet Union a shorter life-span, a lower standard of living, and a long list of new grudges. As Boris Yeltsin gave way to Vladimir Putin by the 20th century’s end, newfound civil liberties soon eroded as well. Oligarchs rose and democracy fled, setting the stage for what some are now terming a new Cold War, replete with hacking, election influence, annexations, and new East-West tensions.
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.”
Charles Ramirez Berg / University of Texas
With the help of stills and clips from Hollywood films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, High Noon, The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Inception, and The Sixth Sense, Professor Ramirez Berg will introduce you to five keys to help you successfully read a movie. Beginning with the basic units of film language, shots and camera angles, he will show how they are effectively used to tell a story.
In this class, we will also look at some celebrated examples of directors breaking those rules, why they did so, and why it worked. We’ll look at staging and composition and illustrate the careful way directors and cinematographers construct a shot so that how every detail conveys meaning. We will also breakdown Hollywood’s ubiquitous 3-act structure and discuss what kind of stories it is best suited for. Finally, Professor Ramirez Berg will show a simple way to determine a movie’s theme.
Charles Ramirez Berg is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has won every major teaching award there and was named one of the university’s “Top Ten Great Professors” by the school’s alumni magazine. He has authored several books and numerous articles on film history and Latinos in film. One of the founders of the Austin Film Society, Ramirez Berg is a charter member of its Board of Directors, and served as its president from 2001-2003. He has served on the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress since 2010, and is a former National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.
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.
Jessica Payne is the Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, where she directs the Sleep, Stress, and Memory Lab. Her course, The Sleeping Brain, routinely sports a waitlist because of its immense popularity among Notre Dame students. In 2012, Professor Payne received the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is also a two-time recipient of the Distinction in Teaching Award, and won the Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard University’s Derek Bok Center.