Saturday, January 27, 2018 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Robert Watson / Lynn University
World War II is arguably the most tragic episode in human history. The six year war began in Europe but soon spread to all corners of the globe with countless men, women, and children affected by the struggle. Millions were killed on the battlefield, in the air, and on the sea. And as everyone knows, an estimated 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazi's in accordance with Hitler's master plan to exterminate their entire race.
The chronology is well known, but during a war this complex and lengthy, there are many surprising and sometimes shocking incidents that occurred that are less well known – especially during the final chaotic days of the conflict. This lecture will explore the desperate and bizarre actions of the Nazis at the end of the war and the challenges confronting the allies in rescuing Holocaust prisoners, as well as the difficulties historians face in uncovering and making sense of such stories and the role of government in declassifying war documents.
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.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong / Duke University
Computers answer my questions and give me directions as I drive. They decide who gets organs for transplantation and bail in criminal courts. They serve as companions for elderly and disabled, and they guide autonomous cars and weapons of war. Is it dangerous or immoral to leave all of these decisions to machines? Will computers make morally better decisions than humans do? Can artificial intelligence improve on human moral judgments? Will artificial intelligence systems or robots act in destructive ways?
We need to face all of these questions in the near future. The solution is to build morality into computers, but how can we do that? We will see.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. He is core faculty in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Sciences. Professor Sinnott-Armstrong has received fellowships from the Harvard Program in Ethics and the Professions, the Princeton Center for Human Values, and the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is the author of “Morality Without God?” and “Moral Skepticisms.”
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.”