Saturday, March 16, 2019 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Leonard Steinhorn / American University
We may not wear bell bottoms and tie-dye t-shirts anymore, and let's not talk about what happened to our hair. But even though it's been half a century since the 1960s, it’s a decade that continues to reverberate in our society, politics, culture, and institutions to this very day. In so many ways it was the Sixties that spawned today's polarization and culture wars, which divide us now the way Vietnam did back then. From civil rights to feminism to gay liberation to the environmental movement to the silent majority, what started in the Sixties has shaped and influenced our country ever since.
To many, the presidency of Barack Obama symbolized the liberation movements of the Sixties. But it's also important to ask how the Sixties produced the presidency of Donald Trump. It's the Sixties, its meaning and its legacy that may well be the dividing line in our politics today.
Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of communication and affiliate professor of history at American University. He currently serves as a political analyst for CBS News in Washington, D.C. He is the author of “The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy,” and co-author of “By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race,” books that have generated widespread discussion and debate. Professor Steinhorn’s writings have been featured in several publications, including The Washington Post, Salon, Politico, and Huffington Post. He has twice been named Faculty Member of the Year at AU.
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.
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
Happiness has been in the news quite a bit lately. The UN released a “Happiness Report” rating nearly 200 countries, which found that the world’s happiest people live in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands). The US ranked 11th. The report’s conclusion affirmatively states that happiness has predictable causes and is correlated specifically to various measures that governments can regulate and encourage. And there’s more. A new AARP study looks at how Americans feel – and what factors contribute to their sense of contentment. It concludes that nearly 50% of us are “somewhat happy” and another 19% are “very happy.”
What role do money, IQ, marriage, friends, children, weather, and religion play in making us feel happier? Is happiness stable over time? How can happiness be increased? In Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness, Professor Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase your own psychological well-being.
For more positive psychology courses and lectures by Catherine Sanderson, check out ‘Why Some People are Resilient, and Other Are Not’, ‘Merely Bystanders: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction’ & more on demand now!
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.