Humanities


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Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies, addresses the uniqueness of the human brain in the "To Be Human" series, sponsored by the Making of the Modern World Program at Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego.

Established in 1982, the Stuart Collection at UC San Diego is a unique assembly of commissioned works by leading contemporary artists, including Niki de Saint Phalle, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, and William Wegman. Each project is tailored for a specific site on the 1200-acre campus, and the diversity of forms, materials, and scale reflect and enhance the topographical and architectural distinctiveness of UC San Diego. Many of the artists who have designed works for the Collection are seldom represented in public sculpture collections and a significant number of the artists were better known for work in other media before creating their first permanent outdoor sculpture for the Stuart Collection.

Renowned scientist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography describes how to find areas of agreement between governments, religious leaders and researchers on difficult issues such as the need to address climate change. Recorded on 02/24/2016.

Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky describes himself as a "composer" who considers poetry to be first and foremost a vocal art, and his work seeks to blur the distinctions between language and music by emphasizing the rhythms and innate physicality of recited verse in a jazz context. In this performance for the 22nd Writer's Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University, Pinsky's reading is accompanied by a talented trio of PLNU students. The music - a blend of rehearsed and improvised - employs a variety of jazz styles, sometimes sympathetic and sometimes in playful counterpoint, but always responsive to the poet's distinctive voice.

David Murphy is Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) San Diego office. In this lecture Murphy shares his insights into the moral and logistical challenges posed by the current world-wide refugee crisis, based on his extensive experience working with the IRC in Africa and Afghanistan. Recorded on 04/18/2017.

Why just read about ancient Rome when you can walk the cobbled streets as if you were really there? That's the promise of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality in today's classrooms. While the idea of strapping on goggles to virtually visit the Colosseum or go inside a molecule sounds like the stuff of science fiction, the technology to do just that is becoming more popular and available every day. Yes, there are plenty of obstacles from cost to teacher training but using virtual reality as an educational tool offers considerable benefits. Not only can it boost visual and technology literacy, but it also improves students' attention and engagement. Learn how this technology has the possibility to transform K-12 education from educators and engineers gathered by UC San Diego. Recorded on 09/13/2017.

Actress/Producer Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Writer/Executive Producer/Director David Mandel and Actor Tony Hale talk about realizing the HBO series Veep - an American political satire. Recorded on 04/29/2017.

Celebrated author, literature champion, and bookstore owner Ann Patchett electrifies the audience as she describes her evolving relationships with various books, ranging from classics by Leo Tolstoy and John Updike to more contemporary works by Min Jin Lee ("Pachinko"), Matthew Desmond ("Evicted") and Ta-Nehisi Coates ("Between the World and Me"), among others. Patchett reads both for pleasure and for business, as the co-owner and buyer for Parnassus Books in Nashville. Why would a best-selling author bother with opening a book store in 2011, when all of the others in her hometown had closed? Because, she says, she couldn't bear to live in a city without one so she and a partner opened their own! And, as she tells here, Parnassus Books has been a huge success. Patchett is the featured speaker of the 2017 Dinner in the Library event at UC San Diego.   Recorded on 09/08/2017.

"Short Tales from the Mothership" celebrates an elegant genre by presenting condensed stories from fellow futurists, time-travelers, inventors, artists, and writers. This evening is inspired by the short postcard stories that magazine editor George Hay encouraged in the 1970's. He dared such authors as Arthur C. Clarke to send sci-fi stories that easily fit onto a postcard. In that spirit, Geisel Library invited writers to submit fantasy or science fiction pieces of no more than 250 words, to be read aloud. Recorded on 10/17/2017.
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