Sunday, November 10, 2019 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Edward O'Donnell / Holy Cross College
In the relatively short history of the United States, there have been many turning points and landmark movements that irrevocably altered the direction of the nation and signaled the dramatic start of a new historical reality. Some took the form of groundbreaking political and philosophical concepts; some were dramatic military victories and defeats. Still others were nationwide social and religious movements, or technological and scientific innovations.
What all of these turning points had in common, is that they forever changed the character of America. Sometimes the changes brought about by these events were obvious; sometimes they were more subtle. Sometimes the effects of these turning points were immediate; other times, their aftershocks reverberated for decades. Regardless, these great historical turning points demand to be understood.
Edward O’Donnell is a professor of History at Holy Cross College. He is the author of several books, including “Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age.” He frequently contributes op-eds to publications like Newsweek and the Huffington Post. He has been featured on PBS, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and C-SPAN. O’Donnell also has curated several major museum exhibits on American history and appeared in several historical documentaries. He currently hosts a history podcast, In The Past Lane.
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? 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.
Catherine Sanderson is the Manwell Family Professor of Psychology at Amherst College. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. Professor Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, a high school health textbook, and a popular press book on parenting. In 2012, she was named one of the country’s top 300 professors by the Princeton Review. Professor Sanderson speaks regularly for public and corporate audiences on topics such as the science of happiness, the power of emotional intelligence, the mind-body connection, and the psychology of good and evil. More information on these talks is available on her website: SandersonSpeaking.com.
Joseph Luzzi / Bard College
What are the books that can change your life, the ones you would want to take to your proverbial "desert island?" Award-winning scholar and teacher, Professor Joseph Luzzi will explore this question with participants in an intimate seminar devoted to exploring the riches of literary expression. We will discuss such renowned classics as Dante's Divine Comedy, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and Joseph Heller's Catch 22.
Professor Luzzi will show how these fascinating works help us understand some of the most pressing concerns today, including the nature of religious faith, questions of personal identity, even the quest for the American Dream. Participants will be encouraged to develop their own list of "essential reading," as Professor Luzzi helps them acquire the skills necessary for enriching their encounters with books of all kinds.
Joseph Luzzi is a Literature and Italian Professor at Bard College, and was previously a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Scaglione Prize for his teaching. He is also the author of the audio course, “The Art of Reading.” Professor Luzzi previously taught at Yale University, where he was awarded a Yale College Teaching Prize.