Humanities


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The Moment in Time documents the uncertain days of the beginning of World War II when it was feared the Nazis were developing the atomic bomb. The history of the bomb's development is traced through recollections of those who worked on what was known as "the gadget."

"Almost Chimpanzee" author Jon Cohen recounts the captivating story of how researchers cracked the code of the chimpanzee genome, providing a startling new window into the differences between humans and their nearest primate cousins that ultimately redefines what it means to be human. Cohen is presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego.

Screenwriter Mardik Martin, and the producer of "Baghdad to Hollywood," Ramy Katrib explore Martin Scorsese's film "Mean Streets," one of the pivotal films of the 1970s. Mardik co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese and is in the elite group of screenwriters on WGA's list of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written.

In today's global economy, a high-quality education is no longer just a pathway to success ̶ it is a prerequisite. Because economic progress and educational achievement go hand in hand, educating every American student for success in a new workforce is a national imperative. However, there are wide disparities in which students have access to advanced science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education ̶ subjects critical to future success. In this inaugural Sally Ride STEAM Series event, panelists Karen Flammer of UC San Diego, Dalouge Smith of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Heather Lattimer of the University of San Diego and Francisco Escobedo, the Superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District, explore the importance of STEAM to the innovation economy as well as how to best to ensure equity in education. Recorded on 02/28/2017.

Following his presentation to the 2018 Writer's Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University, Deepak Chopra, MD talks with host Dean Nelson about breakthroughs in integrative medicine and understanding the mind-body connections that lead to wellness.

Constructed languages, or conlangs, are well-known in science fiction and fantasy literature as ways of creating an immersive world-building experience. Join us in learning how linguists design the sound systems and grammars to behind some of our favorite conlangs.  With Grant Goodall (Professor and Language Program Director, UC San Diego Linguistics), David J. Peterson (Creator of Dothraki, Game of Thrones), and Paul Frommer (Creator of Na'vi, Avatar). Moderated by Tamara Rhodes (Linguistics Subject Librarian, UC San Diego Library). Recorded on 02/01/2019.

The Beatles' final concert, their late-era conflicts, and the complicated history of director Michael Lindsay-Hogg's Let It Be documentary all arise in this discussion between musician Alan Parsons and Music Professor David Novak (UC Santa Barbara). Parsons was a teenage sound engineer at Abbey Road studios when he was assigned to record audio for the Beatles as they worked through this iconic album. Novak draws Parsons into dialogue about recording equipment, studio layouts, and the musical personalities of each member of the band. Recorded on 01/25/2019.

In "Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press" Eddy Portnoy mines century-old Yiddish newspapers to expose the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Recorded on 03/03/2019.

In the United States, privacy is considered a fundamental right. Yet today our activities are followed to a degree unfathomable not long ago by way of cell phones, online behaviors, and more. As genomic technologies continue to expand, another avenue now exists by which we may potentially be scrutinized: DNA sequence. Our genetic information contains our most private details, but we leave it everywhere and share the sequence closely with dozens or even hundreds of relatives. Laura Rivard, PhD, professor of biology at the University of San Diego, discusses ways in which our DNA may "escape" from our control, what can actually be done with the sequence, and whether there is cause for concern.

Twentieth-Century African American Freedom Struggles transformed both US and World History. These seminal liberation struggles include the important yet relatively unknown series of early twentieth-century southern African American streetcar boycotts as well as the iconic Civil Rights-Black Power Insurgency (1935-75). First, Waldo Martin examines why and how these foundational freedom struggles proved essential to the making of the modern African American Freedom Movement. Second, he examines the centrality of the modern African American Freedom Movement to both the creation of the modern United States and the development of the modern world. Waldo Martin is the Alexander F. & May T. Morrison Professor of American History & Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley.

Around the world, individuals and families are fleeing their countries of origin because of war, violence, natural disasters, and climate change. As their numbers swell, host countries face calls to exclude them. Two prominent local religious leaders of especially targeted and vulnerable populations Bishop Robert McElroy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego and Imam Taha Hassane of the Islamic Center of San Diego speak about a common path forward for our society, based on the wisdom of their respective traditions. In the United States, recent political decisions and governmental policies have worsened the prospects of both those seeking to immigrate legally as well as the millions of undocumented immigrants already here or those still coming. Recorded on 11/18/2019.

Jeremy Prestholdt examines how Che Guevara, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur, and Osama bin Laden are major "dissenters" who have represented challenges to the world order. Prestholdt explores the appeal of these four figures over five decades, in part revealing two aspects of an increasingly interconnected world: the tension between shared global symbols and their local interpretations, and the intersection of political vision and consumerism.

Recently, some scientists have asked whether neural organoids will ever be conscious, and have wondered about the ethical implications of this possibility. Meanwhile, some philosophers have argued that neural organoids are miniature versions of "brains in vats." Evan Thompson feels that both scientist and philosophers should shift their thinking. He argues that the minimal instantiation of sentience is organismic - not just neuronal, and that conscious processes of moral interest require embodiment and the capacity to suffer.

Recorded on 10/04/2019.

The benefits of set fires, the strenuous work of puppetry on film, and the magic of practical film effects are all explored in this energetic discussion between The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance director Louis Leterrier and Carsey-Wolf Center associate director Emily Zinn. The two explore the strengths and challenges of working with puppets and practical effects while reviving the magical world of Jim Henson's classic. Recorded on 10/10/2019.

Contextualizing the fight for healthcare reform, honoring the connection between nurses and patients, and personalizing the struggles with the US healthcare system all arise in this conversation between activist Ady Barkan, Uncovered: Healthcare Conversations with Ady Barkan series creator Liz Jaff, director Nick Bruckman, and Carsey-Wolf Center Associate Director Emily Zinn. This powerful discussion explores the complex challenges of navigating healthcare in the US and the urgency of political reform. Recorded on 10/29/2019.

Preproduction collaboration on spatial design and character development, the value of bending rules in a supernatural narrative, and the potential for on-set innovation all arise in this freewheeling discussion about the critically-acclaimed Netflix series Russian Doll between production designer Michael Bricker and Carsey-Wolf Center assistant director Wesley Jacks. In the video, Bricker talks hidden easter eggs in set construction and the joy of finding the right construction material at the right moment. Recorded on 11/14/2019.
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