2011 Chautauqua Institution Lecture ThemesPosted by Richard Benedetto on Thursday, October 21st, 2010 at 5:13pm.
The morning lectures are a signature of Chautauqua’s program. Weekdays at 10:45 a.m., the stage of the 5,000-seat Amphitheater becomes the platform for distinguished scientists, authors, educators and experts in such fields as national and international affairs, arts and humanities, business, and the environment. Through the years, Chautauqua has committed itself to civil, civic dialogue on matters that shape our world. Susan B. Anthony argued here for women’s suffrage in 1892 and Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his "I Hate War" speech from the same stage in 1936. Margaret Mead, Amelia Earhart, Thurgood Marshall, Freeman Dyson, Jane Goodall, Sandra Day O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut and Oscar Arias are among the speakers who have shared their experiences, knowledge and vision at Chautauqua.
Week One | June 26-July 2, 2011
Global Health as Foreign Policy
The U.S. government and private foundations have dedicated significant funding toward improving the wellness of global citizens, both in monetary contributions and research. What is, and what should be, the relationship of these investments to U.S. foreign policy? How do we decide where to spend valuable resources? What do we know and how are we applying this knowledge? In our interconnected world, global pandemics affect us all. In a unique partnership with CARE and the Global Health Council, we will examine what we know about global health, what we are learning, and to whose benefit.
Week Two | July 3-9
Applied Ethics: Government & the Search for the Common Good
How does a government determine "the common good" for its citizens? What is fair and reasonable distribution of resources? We will spend the week celebrating the Fourth of July and discussing what it means to be active citizens and what we expect of government at all levels. We will leave with greater knowledge about becoming and encouraging others to become more engaged citizens, more vigilant voters, and more effective participants.
Week Three | July 10-16
American Intelligence: Technology, Espionage, and Alliances
In two months, our nation will confront the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In the decade since, what have we learned? What is our espionage history, and why is it important? What is the appropriate balance between civil liberties and national security? In this week, we will examine American intelligence capabilities, the methods by which we collect and analyze data, how our justice system works, and what these issues tell us about who we are and how we form alliances. We’ll learn about our technical capabilities in an information-based global environment with billions of bits of information. What do we know about our espionage targets, and how do we know our strategies are working?
Week Four | July 17-23
A Case for the Arts
Each morning this week, we will hear from people representing and supporting the arts, particularly those art forms represented at Chautauqua - literature, visual arts, orchestra, theater, opera, dance - discussing the role of the arts in civil society - education, economic recovery, healing, and cross-cultural understanding. Afternoon lectures will examine the role of the arts in worship. This week will highlight Chautauqua’s four-pillar mix of arts, education, religion, and recreation.
Week Five | July 24-30
Women in Crisis: The Road to Social and Economic Growth
Women’s lives around the world continue to be affected by deep-seated prejudices that create inequities and abuse. This reality robs the future of valuable assets. In this week, we will examine what action is needed to empower women to reach their full potential and, by that action, improve the entire social, economic, religious, and cultural context in which they live. How are women overcoming cultural and religious prejudice and traditional practices that cause their suffering and inequality?
Week Six | July 31-August 6
Iran: From Ancient Persia to Middle East Powder Keg
With a history that spans more than nine millennia, Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, but one that still remains much of an enigma to the rest of the world. How does Iran differ from the other countries of the Middle East and how does its past inform its present and future states? This week will look back on the country formerly known as Persia, examine its emergence as presentday Iran, and postulate what might be next for one of the most important Islamic countries in the world.
Week Seven | August 7-13
The U.S. Economy: Beyond a Quick Fix
What must be done to ensure a sustainable U.S. economy? What policies, launched now, will build the foundation for long-term economic prosperity, secure foreign policy, and national security? Is the key within our boundaries (health care, social security, taxes, private savings) or outside (China, export and currency policy)? What does it mean to have a budget deficit of over $1 trillion a year for as far into the future as we can see? Economists, business people, and government leaders will discuss national and international issues that must be addressed to restore global leadership and equilibrium to the American economic system.
Week Eight | August 14-20
Sparking a Culture of Creativity and Innovation
New ideas and new ways of looking may provide the answers to challenges to U.S. competitiveness in business, education, government, and health care. In this week, our guests will reveal how they have created cultures of creativity that foster innovation. We’ll define “design thinking” and learn about collaborations that extend knowledge across disparate fields and add value to society, products and services. We will discover how creativity can be taught and learned, and how to inspire creative confidence in ourselves and others.
Week Nine | August 21-27
The Path to the Civil War
In collaboration with Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture The sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011 offers an opportunity to rethink its significance with regard to the evolution of U.S. society, American identity, and race. Focusing on the path to the Civil War, what issues, confronted but unsolved by our nation’s founders, led within less than a century to war between the states and challenged the young country’s very survival? Character-interpreters, storytellers, historians, and present-day experts will illumine the controversies and tensions that led to the Civil War and will reflect on how these issues continue to shape our society today.
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