Due to popularity of our inaugural program, the Filson is pleased to offer One Day University to our members once again!
Rating the Presidents: Our Five Greatest (and Our Three Worst)
Robert Watson / Lynn University
Ranking the presidents has been called the ultimate parlor game. Indeed, Americans have a penchant for ranking all things. But there are some unique challenges to rating presidential performance. In this program, we will explore the creation of the presidency by the Framers and the challenges of the office, take an insider's look at the polls by leading historians that rank the presidents, and share some stories behind the greatest (and failed) presidents.
This lecture will close with a discussion of the debates that surround the ranking polls and the lessons learned from success and failure in the White House.
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.
Four Musical Masterpieces That Changed America
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 it's 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." 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, among them "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."
The Art of Aging: What Everyone Should Know About Getting Older
Brian Carpenter / Washington University in St. Louis
No matter how old you are, you're aging. You started aging from the moment you were born, and you'll continue aging until the moment you die. That's the brutal, universal fact. But people age differently, as you’ve noticed if you've looked around and compared yourself to your peers. Are you aging better than they are? Worse than they are? In what ways and for what reasons?
In this class we’ll review what biological, psychological, and social research has taught us about growing older. Along the way, we'll discuss what's common with aging (everybody shrinks a little), what's not normal (Alzheimer's is a disease not everyone gets), and key components of successful aging (friends and family are important, but perhaps in different ways). The trajectory of aging gets shaped very early in life, but there are powerful forces that guide it along the way, and steps you can take to maximize your later years.
Brian Carpenter is a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. His primary research interests focus on relationships among older adults, their family members, and their health care providers. In particular, he studies communication among those three parties, with an eye toward developing interventions to improve knowledge and enhance health literacy. Dr. Carpenter teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level that address the psychological needs of older adults, with a particular emphasis on end-of-life care and dementia, and has received the David Hadas Teaching Award at Wash U.