Sunday, March 01, 2020 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Austin Sarat / Amherst College
As is well known, America’s founding political commitments were to democracy and the rule of law. Some have described them as the soul and spirit of our nation. And over the generations citizens have given their lives to preserve those commitments. But it turns out that their meanings are contested and open to interpretation. This lecture will discuss those contested meanings as they have played out in American history. We will, in addition, assess the health of democracy and the rule of law in the United States. We will consider challenges posed by the Watergate scandal, life in an age of terrorism, and the relationship between the Executive and Judicial branches of our national government.
Today some believe that the rule of law and democracy are under attack by President Trump and his administration. But, could it be this is be a symptom rather than a cause of what some see as our current crisis? Does America face an erosion of public faith in long taken-for-granted aspects of our political life? As we answer those questions we will discuss the meaning and advantages of the rule of law and democratic governance.
Learn more about our history by checking out other great videos at OneDayU, including ‘A 400 Year History of Religion In America‘, A Different America: How The Country Has Changed From 1969 Until Today’ & ‘Four Memorable Musicals That Changed Broadway’ all on-demand now.
Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has written, co-written, or edited more than ninety books in the fields of law and political science. Professor Sarat has received the Stan Wheeler Award for his excellence as a teacher and mentor, awarded by the Law and Society Association.
Louis Masur / Rutgers University
Any thinking American is drawn to Abraham Lincoln. His story invites us to marvel at how this poor, self-educated, frontier lawyer transformed himself into a political leader who defended democracy, preserved the nation, and abolished slavery. As late as 1859, when asked to provide an autobiographical sketch, he mused there was not much to say because "there is not much of me." If not much then, there would be plenty ahead.
To understand Lincoln, we must read him. This class provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in Lincoln's writings and to explore his ideas in seminar fashion, as we might in an advanced undergraduate course. Professor Lou Masur will provide biographical information and analysis.
Louis Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He received outstanding teaching awards from Rutgers, Trinity College, and the City College of New York, and won the Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University. He is the author of many books including “Lincoln’s Last Speech,” which was inspired by a talk he presented at One Day University. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and Slate. He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and serves on the Historians’ Council of the Gettysburg Foundation.
Jill Helms / Stanford University
Longevity: the ambition of kings, super villains – and pretty much all of us that enjoy waking up each morning. It's also become a focus for biotechnology companies interested in making a big impact on healthcare. According to Professor Jill Helms, questions of this magnitude require "moonshot thinking" and some extreme team science. In this lecture, she will explain how her Stanford group is working to better understand why we age, and translating that knowledge into strategies that slow this natural process. We will learn about scientific insights and potential therapies they've discovered that can help us learn how to age better.
Jill Helms is a Professor of Surgery at Stanford University. Before Stanford, she taught at the University of California at San Francisco, where she was the Director of the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. She is the Former President of the American Society of Craniofacial Genetics, and has received numerous awards, such as the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award for Craniofacial Biology Research, the ADA Student Researcher of the Year award, and the Howmedica Research Award.