Saturday, March 09, 2019 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Robert Allison / Suffolk University
Boston… We all know it was the Puritans' City on a Hill, the birthplace of the American Revolution, site of the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, the Athens of America, the Hub of the Universe, the home of the bean and the cod, of Boston Brahmins and Boston Irish and James Michael Curley, the Boston Strangler, the Curse of the Bambino, and the place where everybody knows your name. But in this lecture we will explore things about Boston that will surprise you.
Together we'll learn ten things about Boston you (probably) did not know, with professor and historian Robert Allison, who's lived here a long time but is still learning new things about the city!
Robert Allison is a professor of history at Suffolk University. He is involved with several museums and historical societies in Boston, and has delivered public lectures at the Bostonian Society and the Adams National Historic Site. Professor Allison also teaches in the Harvard Extension School, and is president of the South Boston Historical Society, vice president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Anna Celenza / Georgetown University
Music permeates our lives. Thanks to technology, it is always with us … via the radio, our smart phones, TV commercials, film music, even the streamed music at our local malls and favorite restaurants. Technology has made it easy for us to put music in the background. The goal of this lecture is to bring it front and center again.
As Professor Celenza will demonstrate, music does not simply reflect culture…it changes it. To demonstrate just how such changes come about, she will highlight three musical masterpieces that changed America. These include: a bawdy 18th-century drinking tune that eventually defined American patriotism, a 1930s ballad that fueled the need for the Civil Rights movement, and a 1980s pop album that changed American foreign policy.
Anna Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books, including Jazz Italian Style: From Its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra, and her most recent book, Music that Changed America. In addition to her scholarly work, she has served as a writer/commentator for NPR’s Performance Today and published eight award-winning children’s books, including Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. She has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including the BBC’s “Music Matters” and C-Span’s “Book TV.”
Robert Watson / Lynn University
It is an understatement to say that Americans are frustrated with our two-party system and the dysfunction that seems to define our politics in recent years. Polls reveal that the public has an unfavorable view of the two major parties, many Americans consider themselves to be "independents," and the Congress is wildly unpopular. At the same time, the parties and Congress seem to be unable to come together to effectively address either the structural challenges of the political system or the issues facing the nation, and studies reveal that the gap between Democratic and Republican voters is growing. Despite all this, the major parties seem to be here to stay, as third or minor parties still struggle to field electable candidates for most any office. What is going on? Are these new trends in American politics? And how did it get so bad?
This lecture analyzes the development of the political parties and the nation's historical experiences with political dysfunction, then offers thoughts on the causes and consequences of the partisan gridlock and dysfunction, and closes with ideas for reform.
Robert Watson is the Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University. A frequent media commentator, he has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, “Time,” “USA Today,” “The New York Times,” and the BBC and others, and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Book TV,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He has received multiple Professor of the Year awards at Lynn and other universities, and published 40 books on topics in history and politics. His book “America’s First Crisis” won the book of the year award in history at the Independent Publishers’ awards and his book “The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn” won the Commodore Barry Book Award.