Saturday, March 09, 2019 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Orin Grossman / Fairfield University
Ezra Pound famously wrote, "Literature is news that stays news." We might say the same for the great masterpieces of music. There are works from the great composers who speak to us with the freshness and excitement of anything seemingly more contemporary and relevant. As long as we bring an open mind, or open ears, we can discover beauty, meaning, and emotional depth undimmed by the passage of time.
In this class, Professor Grossman will present three remarkable musical works from the same period, by musicians young and old, at the peak of their composing careers. All three share energy and passion of youth, and the excitement of ushering in or extending a new musical era. And yet these compositions could not be more different than if they had been written hundreds of years apart. Individually, they each speak to us about the power of musical expression; together they illustrate how many ways music can excite the imagination. The three compositions are: 1) Ludwig van Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, 2) Frederic Chopin, Ballade #1 for Piano, and 3) Professor Grossman's acclaimed finale (which he has performed all around the world!) George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.
Orin Grossman is renowned internationally for his knowledge of music. He lectures and performs concerts throughout the US and Europe, he teaches Performing Arts at Fairfield University, and has served as the University’s Academic Vice President. Professor Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in Cairo and New York. Professor Grossman was also chosen to play for the New York City Mayor’s Awards of Honor for Arts and Culture.
Anthony Thompson / NYU School of Law
Race has no biological basis. It is merely a social construction. But that social construction has remarkable power to shape, define, and determine our daily, lived experience in this country as well as our relationship to society at large. Through a progression of section topics that build a coherent understanding of race, history, the state, and contemporary racial issues, this class will help to trace the influence of race on the experience of justice in this country. Students will examine historic and contemporary examples of racial inequality. They will test the effectiveness of various solutions to racial inequity advanced through public policy and court decisions, and by academics, and community activists. They will confront the fact that justice is not blind. Rather the experience of justice in this country is wholly dependent on – and misshaped by – race.
The aim of this class is to explore the ways that American culture and the institutions that we establish reflect and reproduce structures of inequality that continue to interfere with the opportunities and life chances of people of color in this country. The class will simultaneously examine the ways that those same structures enable some to enjoy privileges (presumptions of innocence and leniency) and often to escape the severest forms of justice because of their race. The class will use the lens of the criminal justice system to explore the implications of this country's unwillingness to squarely confront its racial legacy and will explore the steps that need to be taken to ensure a system of "justice for all."
Anthony Thompson is a Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law. He teaches courses related to criminal law and civil litigation, race, and leadership. He has authored several books in these areas, his most recent being, “Dangerous Leaders.” In 2007 Professor Thompson was awarded the Podell Distinguished Teaching Award by NYU School of Law. In 2010, he received the Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award and in 2010 he was also awarded the New York University Distinguished Teaching Award. He was also recognized by El Diario in 2011 with “The El” award, as one of the “outstanding Latinos in the Tri-State area,” for his community service.
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
We are bombarded daily by news reports of bad behavior, from sexual harassment in the workplace to racist attacks on public transportation to bullying in schools. Although it's easy to blame these acts on evil people, it's far more complicated to understand why so many people fail to speak up in the presence of such behavior and how significant a role this silence plays in perpetuating the behavior itself. Using empirical research from psychology, biology, neuroscience, and economics, this talk examines the factors that lead most of us to stay silent in the face of bad behavior, and how the tendency to stay silent allows such acts to continue.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." Finally, this talk will describe how to overcome the very natural human tendency to remain bystanders in the face of bad behavior and practical strategies we can all use to step up and show moral courage.
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.