Stanford Law professor Mugambi Jouet will discuss his new book Exceptional America which tackles why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war.
Why is America so polarized? How does American exceptionalism explain these social changes?
Mugambi Jouet teaches at Stanford Law School and is a frequent media commentator. His research focuses on U.S. criminal law, constitutional law, and policymaking from a multidisciplinary perspective encompassing history, sociology, political science, and the humanities.
Author Swanee Hunt will speak about her experiences in Rwanda from her new book Rwandan Women Rising which follows the story of the women who worked for peace after the genocide in 1994. Today 64% of the seats in the Rwandan parliament are held by elected women, a number unrivaled by any other nation.
Swanee Hunt chairs the Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security. She is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and CEO of Hunt Alternatives.
Brett Finlay PhD., a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia and world leader on understanding how bacterial infections work, talks about his new book “Let Them Eat Dirt”, in which he questions whether our hyper-vigilant hygiene practices are helping or hurting our health. In the 200 years since we first discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we have battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to or health. Finlay argues that our super-clean approach to living is damaging our health and the health of our children. Indeed, the imbalance of these important microbes can lead to the development of obesity, diabetes and asthma.
Recorded February 1, 2017
Loneliness may be one of the most urgent issues facing American society. In this 2-part forum, we attempt to unravel some of the causes of this pernicious condition and consider the ways to ward off, or at least alleviate, the curse of loneliness.
With the help of four great minds from different disciplines, we consider why loneliness is a such a growing sociological phenomenon in our hi-tech, super-wired world. Neuroscientific research seems to suggest that our brains are indeed wired to connect, but they prefer human rather than digital interaction. So what constitutes true friendship and can a device ever substitute for the power of human touch?
Our panel consists of Dr. Terry Freiberg, a social psychologist and author of Four Seasons of Loneliness; Dr. Amy Banks, a psychiatrist at Wellesley Centers for Women and author of Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships; Professor Alex Pentland, who directs the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics Labs and co-author of a recent study in the journal PLOS , Are you Your Friends’ Friend? Poor Perception of Friendship Ties; and Professor Alexander Nehamas, Princeton philosopher and author of the book On Friendship.
Cambridge Forum is proud to announce that this year we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary! We would like to thank all our sponsors, friends and supporters, large and small, who make our work possible. We hope you will continue to support our work as we mark this momentous milestone.
Join us for the next Cambridge Forum!
Krista Tippett, host of award-winning NPR program “On Being“, discusses her latest book Becoming Wise: an inquiry into the mystery and art of living. Sh’s joined in conversation by poet and author, David Whyte. Whyte’s most recent publications are “<em>The Sea in You: Twenty Poems of Requited and Unrequited Love</em>” and “<em>Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words“.</em>
In 2014, Tippett received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for ‘thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.’
Krista Tippett program, On Being, “shines a light on the most extraordinary voices on the great questions of meaning for our time. Scientists in a variety of fields; theologians from an array of faiths; poets, activists, and many others have all opened themselves up to Tippett’s compassionate but searching conversation. In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from this luminous conversation in its many dimensions into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind, into what it means to be human. Critics says the book is “a master class in living, individually and collectively. Wisdom emerges through the raw materials of the everyday.”
Recorded March 1, 2017
The climate science debate is heating up.
Bill McKibben, author, educator, founder of 350.org
Dr. Gretchen Goldman, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy
Tim DeChristopher, climate activist
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, minister and Boston-based activist
Moderated by Wen Stephenson, author and writer, The Nation
Co-sponsored by Cambridge Climate Research Associates
Recorded January 11, 2017
Music and memories from the early days of the Harvard Square folk scene to the current state of the Americana genre.
Betsy Siggins, raconteur extraordinaire, recalls her early days at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge, with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Folklorist Millie Rahn joins the conversation, which will be interspersed with live music from multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Jake Armerding.
The music scene has changed greatly over the past 50 years, when Cambridge Forum first captured the spirit of the times. But Harvard Square and Club Passim continue to turn out fresh and exciting talent, that reflect many influential trends in today’s music industry. In the tradition of the Club 47 legends, musician Jake Armerding embodies the consummate, hard-working troubadour. He hails from a Massachusetts family of musicians, in which he honed his songwriting skills, while also becoming an accomplished fiddle, mandolin, and guitar player.
This event was made possible by funding from the Lowell Institute and the Harvard Square Business Association, which organizes November as Folk Music month in Harvard Square.
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years, by Eric von Schmidt and Jim Rooney. Originally published 1979; updated and republished by the University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.
Between Midnight and Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive by Dick Waterman; preface by Bonnie Raitt; introduction by Peter Guralnick. Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003. Bluegrass: A History by Neil Rosenberg. University of Illinois Press,1985.
“Cambridge, Club 47, and the 1960s Folk Revival,” chapter by Millie Rahn in A City’s Life and Times: Cambridge in the Twentieth Century. Published by the Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.
Country Music, U.S.A. by Bill C. Malone and Jocelyn R. Neal. Originally published 1968; University of Texas Press, 1985.
In It for the Long Run: A Musial Odyssey by Jim Rooney. University of Illinois Press, 2014.
The Face of Folk Music: Essential Portraits from America’s Folk Music Revival. Photographs by David Gahr; text by Robert Shelton. The Citadel Press, 1968.
“The Folk Revival: Beyond Child’s Canon and Sharp’s Song Catching,” chapter by Millie Rahn in American Popular Music: New Approaches to the Twentieth Century. University of Massachusetts Press, 2001.
Festival!, by Murray Lerner. The Newport Folk Festivals 1963-1966. Produced by the Newport Festival Foundation, 1967.
For the Love of the Music: The Club 47 Folk Revival by Ezzie Films & Blue Star Media, 2012.
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