An Evening with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr. with Claude Steele

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | 7:30–9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Join us for a wide-ranging conversation with Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., one of the most influential voices in American academia today. Claude Steele, who has known Professor Gates over the course of his long, pioneering career, will guide an interview that illuminates various dimensions of this leading scholar’s life and work at Harvard, where he served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies from 1991 to 2006, as a writer for The New Yorker under Tina Brown, as a film and television documentary producer, and as a keen observer of the role of race in American society and politics.
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Why Read Books?

Seth Lerer and Leah Price with Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Thursday, February 22, 2007 | 7:30 - 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

At a time when people express concern about the fate of the book, we join three virtuoso scholars—Seth Lerer, Leah Price, and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht—who are intimately familiar with the life of the mind nurtured by the bound printed word. How has the book changed history? Are engagements with books different from engagements with other media? How do new technologies transform the way we think and learn? What is happening to life and learning as attention shifts from page to screen? What is gained and what is lost if we neglect interaction through books?

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Education for Life on the Edge

Michael Murphy and Jeffrey Kripal with Mark Gonnerman

Thursday, December 6, 2007 | 7:30 – 9:00pm | Cubberley Auditorium at Stanford | Free and Open to All

The brainchild of two Stanford graduates, Michael Murphy and Richard Price, Esalen Institute on the Big Sur coast has had a profound influence on American religious history over the last half-century. Many of the practices and ideas the institute stood for at its inception in 1962—from meditation and yoga to the synthesis of evolutionary biology and theology—are now common features of American culture and discourse. Join us as we discuss the history and influence of a pioneering project that has long been on the leading edge of alternative and experiential education.
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Against Ignorance: Science Education in the 21st Century
A Conversation with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss

Sunday, March 9, 2008 | 2:00 – 4:00pm | Memorial Auditorium | Free and Ticketed

The rise of religiously motivated threats to scientific practice and instruction in American schools has motivated biologist Richard Dawkins and physicist Lawrence Krauss to engage in a public dialogue on strategies for science education in the twenty-first century. Their open conversation concerning science literacy and related issues began in the July 2007 Scientific American and continues at this Aurora Forum event moderated by Mark Kay of the Stanford School of Medicine.

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Education for Citizenship Series
Responsible Freedom: Liberal Arts Education and the College Idea

Martha Nussbaum and Andrew Delbanco with Debra Satz

Thursday, March 5, 2009 | 7:30 – 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Universities eloquently proclaim the advantages of education for creating responsible citizens, but their rhetoric is often better than the outcome. All too often, little attention is paid to what education is for and what it should consist of. What should today's students know in preparation for common citizenship in a pluralistic world? What is the role of the humanities in that preparation? Join us for a conversation with two leading public intellectuals about the role of liberal education in promoting civic virtue, as well as about its uncertain future in a complex and technologically demanding world.
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Parker Palmer and the Courage to Teach

Parker Palmer with Mark Gonnerman

Saturday, February 21, 2009 | 1:30 – 3:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

First published in 1998 and reissued in a tenth anniversary edition, Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach takes teachers of all levels on an inner journey toward reconnecting with themselves, their students, and their colleagues in ways that reignite vocational passion. The book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Effective teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom and weave a life-giving web between themselves, their subjects, and students who must learn how to weave a world for themselves. Join us for a conversation with a teacher’s teacher who has a lifetime of ideas, insights and stories to share.
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Only Connect:
Reinvigorating American Public Education

Rudy Crew, Madeline Levine and Denise Pope with Deborah Stipek

Saturday, November 15, 2008 | 1:00 – 3:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

What are the prospects for public education in America today? What conditions have brought about epidemic rates of depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse among both affluent and underprivileged youth? What does leaving no child behind really mean? Join us for a constructive conversation with four leading educators who are addressing current problems and revitalizing our nation’s most important social institution: our public schools.
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Citizens, Neighbors, Strangers, Friends:
What is Citizenship in the 21st Century?

Education for Citizenship Series
Inaugural lecture by Danielle Allen with Josiah Ober, Respondent
Presented with the Stanford Center for Ethics in Society

Thursday, October 2, 2008 | 7:30 - 9:00pm | Kresge Auditorium | Free and Open to All

Danielle AllenIn her book, Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education, Danielle Allen discusses those sacrifices citizens make to keep democracy working in spite of the vices that often get in the way. One such vice is distrust of the stranger, which is overcome by the deliberate cultivation of what she calls “political friendship,” reaching out to others who appear to be different than ourselves. “To develop a cultural habit of such friendship would," Allen writes, “transform our political world.” In setting the context for our series on virtues and vices with the Center for Ethics, Danielle Allen will suggest ways people in institutions of higher education are prepared to effect this transformation by daring to imagine and act in accord with democratic ideals.

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Aurora Forum on iTunes
Launch:  iTunes