Saturday, October 06, 2018 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.
Kenneth Bartlett / University of Toronto
What creates and drives genius? Why are some geniuses universal in their ability and others focused on a single discipline or interest? This class will investigate perhaps the most remarkable universal genius produced by the Italian Renaissance – or any other historical period. Leonardo Da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, military and civil engineer, experimental scientist and courtier. His work remains among the most celebrated in the history of art, as his Mona Lisa is the single most famous painting in the world; and his speculation on human flight, military machines and huge public works, such as diverting rivers, operate on a scale previously unimaginable.
We will follow this remarkable man from his birth, the illegitimate son of a minor notary in a provincial town, to his death in France where he had been given a castle by his last great patron, King Francis I. At the end of this presentation, you will have learned how one man succeeded in bringing together all of the perspectives and ambitions of the Renaissance as well as establishing the platform that would create the modern world: experimentation and the precise observation of the natural world and the human condition.
Kenneth Bartlett is Professor of History and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto. A distinguished teacher, Professor Bartlett has received numerous teaching awards and honors, such as the 3M Teaching Fellowship, and the inaugural President’s Teaching Award from the University of Toronto. He also received the Victoria University Excellence in Teaching Award, the Students’ Administration Council Teaching Award, and the Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teacher Award. Professor Bartlett was also a finalist in TVOntario’s “Best Lecturer Competition.”
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.