Saturday, October 07, 2017 9:30 am - 4:15 pm
One Day University and The Chicago Tribune are bringing four remarkable professors to Chicago for a fascinating day of learning. There's no homework, no exams and no grades. Just the pure joy of lifelong learning!
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 four 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, a 1980s pop album that changed American foreign policy, and a hit Broadway musical that redefined the way many of us think about the founding of America and its earliest years as an independent country.
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.”
Kenneth Miller / Brown University
Modern science has its roots in western religious thought, was nurtured in universities established for religious reasons, and owes some of its greatest discoveries to scientists who themselves were people of faith. Nonetheless, on one issue after another, from evolution to the “big bang” to the age of the Earth itself, religion seems to be at loggerheads with scientific thought. On one side, religious believers have constructed pseudosciences such as "scientific creationism," "intelligent design," and even geocentrism, to justify narrow interpretations of scripture or to support specific religious claims. On the other, non-believers have used scientific authority to label faith a “delusion” and to declare that “religion poisons everything.”
Can science and religion truly coexist or are they forever locked in conflict? I will approach this question by focusing specifically on the contentious issue of biological evolution. Is it, as critics of evolution state, time to abandon Darwin? Is the evidence for evolution as solid as scientists claim? Does the human genome show that we are unique creations, or the products of evolution? Finally, can science today be understood in a religious context, or have we finally reached the end of faith?
Kenneth Miller is a professor of biology at Brown University. He has received 6 major teaching awards at Brown, the Presidential Citation of the American Institute for Biological Science, and the Public Service Award of the American Society for Cell Biology. In 2009 he was honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for Advancing the Public Understanding of Science, and also received the Gregor Mendel Medal from Villanova University. In 2011 he was presented with the Stephen Jay Gould Prize by the Society for the Study of Evolution.
1 hour and 15 minute / Lunch Break
Students will have a 1 hour and 15 minute lunch break.
David Helfand / Columbia University
All the colors of the rainbow are but a tiny fraction of the "colors" of light the Universe sends us. Over the past 75 years, astronomers have been busy opening new windows on the cosmos by building telescopes and cameras that allow us to see all of these colors, revealing new phenomena previously unimagined. Very recently, we have opened entirely new channels of information by detecting gravity waves and by seeing the unseeable: directly imaging black holes. All of these messengers from the cosmos travel at the velocity of light, but even at this enormous speed, they take millions, or even billions of years to reach us. As a consequence, we are always seeing the past. Far from being a disadvantage, however, this allows us to read our history directly by looking out to objects at different distances.
We can watch stars being born, living out their lives, and then dying in spectacular explosions that produce the elements from which we are made as well as neutron stars and black holes. We can watch how galaxies form and grow by gobbling up their neighbors. And we can map the nearest million galaxies and trace them back to the tiny fluctuations in the early Universe from which they emerged. Replete with colliding galaxies and a fly-through of the Universe set to the Blue Danube waltz, this lecture provides one-stop shopping for a comprehensive tour of all of space and time — or at least of the whole 4% we actually understand.
David Helfand has been a Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University for 42 years where he served as chair of the Department for nearly half that time. He is also the former President of the American Astronomical Society and of Quest University Canada, and currently serves as Chair of the American Institute of Physics. He has received the Columbia Presidential Teaching Award and the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. He is the author of the new book, “A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age.”
Jeffrey Engel / Southern Methodist University
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 was emerging, along with free markets. The end of old history appeared in sight, replaced by the new. We were poised to share "one common European home," the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev pledged. And we shall all have peace. "Eastern Europe is free," George H.W. Bush proclaimed as 1991 came to an end. "This is a victory for democracy and freedom. Every American can take pride in this victory."
Well, the promised post-Cold War peace did not endure. 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, the stage was set for what some are now terming a new Cold War, replete with hacking, election influence, annexations, and new East-West tensions. Moscow once more appears Washington's adversary, though that is a view seldom voiced in the White House. How did we get from the Cold wars end to its apparent renewal? This lecture tells that tale.
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.”