Most conversations today involve distracted people looking at their phones and not their partners. This, according to Sherry Turkle, is leading to a “crisis of empathy” at work, at home and in our public life. Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, and spent four decades studying the relationship between people and technology. Her current research indicates that the decline in thoughtful face-to-face dialogue constitutes an epidemic and that in moving from “conversation to mere connection”, we are losing our humanity.
Sherry Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.
Her newest book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (Penguin Press, October 2015), is a call to action. “It is not an anti-technology book but a pro-conversation book!” according to Turkle, which illustrates how fleeing from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity.
Richard Blanco is the first immigrant, the first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest person to be the U.S. inaugural poet. He was selected as the 2013 inaugural poet by President Barack Obama. His poems explore themes of Latino identity and place. In his latest memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos, Blanco reflects on his childhood growing up in Miami as a child of Cuban-exile parents.
Blanco is the author of three poetry collections: Directions to The Beach of the Dead, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award; City of a Hundred Fires and Looking for The Gulf Motel. Blanco is a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and has taught at Georgetown and American universities.
Listen to The Cuban Connection featuring poet Richard Blanco recorded at Cambridge Forum 12/16/2015:
Here are a few video highlights from the past year now available thanks to our partners: the WGBH Forum Network and the Lowell Institute.
|10.7.2015 (1:07:50)||11.12.2014 (1:17:51)|
This Changes Everything – Capitalism vs Climate
Learning To Look
Peter Blood and Annie Patterson’s popular songbook Rise Up Singing is renowned for getting people to sing: to empower, to build community, and to have fun.
To celebrate the release of their much anticipated new songbook, Rise Again, Cambridge Forum is hosting a sing-along concert featuring Peter and Annie; Charlie King; the Nields; Kallet Epstein & Cicone; and Fred Small.
The concert is a benefit for Cambridge Forum and the Carry It On Fund – a new fund to support organizations and causes which Pete and Toshi Seeger were deeply committed to.
Recorded October 17, 2015
Recorded in January, 2015
We cannot replicate his voice, but we can keep his music and his spirit alive.
Cambridge Forum celebrates Pete Seeger and the power of music with this tribute Sing Out concert. Join host Scott Alarik and an all-star group of artists, including Sol y Canto founders Rosi and Brian Amador, Catie Curtis, bluesman Guy Davis, Magpie, The Lonely Heartstring Band, Ellen Kushner, Alastair Moock, Robbie O’Connell and Fred Small for an evening of song and stories paying tribute to the legendary Pete Seeger.
Listen to the Pete Seeger Sing Out! Tribute Part 1
Are current policies adequate for today’s immigrant experience? How is modern immigration different from that of previous generations?
By examining the immigrant experience of various ethnic and religious groups throughout U.S. history, the book Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts demonstrates that the same patterns of native resistance, immigrant struggles and contributions have occurred over and over again. This panel discussion features historian Deborah Dash Moore, Constitutional Law expert William Ross, and policy analyst Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute. Recorded on October 8, 2014
Watch “Immigrant Struggles” on YouTube here. Presented in collaboration with the Immigrant Learning Center
Read the Immigrant Learning Center blog.
Fifty years ago the Civil Rights Movement was far from declaring victory. The experiences of the 1964 Freedom Summer demonstrated that a legal foundation for African American civil rights may have been a necessary condition but it was hardly sufficient to ensure a peaceful transition to full social and civic equality.
Jack Landron, a young musician well known to Boston-area audiences for his performances as Jackie Washington at Club 47 in Harvard Square, remembers his own journey to Mississippi during the Freedom Summer. What did his lived experience of the Civil Right Movement mean to this 26-year-old musician from Roxbury? Recorded on November 19, 2014
Watch “Freedom Summer” on YouTube here. Co-sponsored by Folk New England and Passim
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