Education / 2013 Lecture Themes
Updated June 6, 2012
Week One — June 22–28
Our Elegant Universe
2 p.m. In the Beginning
Chautauqua opens the 2013 Season with an exploration into the wonders of the cosmos. What theories are leading thinkers wrestling with, and how do they inform our understanding of space and time? Where do they disagree? We’ll hear from pioneering scientists, deep space explorers and others who pursue answers to the most basic questions of existence.
Week Two — June 29–July 5
The Next Greatest Generation
2 p.m. Religion and Spirituality
What are the values of the young and socially aware, and how do they compare with those of older generations? How do young people interact with their elders? In a week of Fourth of July family gatherings, we explore how age affects our worldview. With 25 percent of the global population under 25, how do young people affect policy and effect change in America and worldwide?
Week Three — July 6–12
2 p.m. Emancipation: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
As our country continues its sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War, we’ll look again at its legacy in the context of a most pivotal year in United States history. Which key battles turned the war in the Union’s favor? What is Lincoln’s legacy? What was the meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation? And what was it like to live in 1863 America?
Week Four — July 13–19
Markets and Morals: Reimagining the Social Contract
2 p.m. Markets and Morals
Have we drifted from having a market economy to being a market society? Should everything be for sale? Informed by Michael Sandel’s new book What Money Can’t Buy, this week we’ll ask whether there are moral limits to markets with regard to all spheres of our lives — medicine, education, government, law, art, culture, sports, even family life and personal relations. We’ll also consider competing ideas about the proper balance of the public and private sectors, and how that balance fluctuates between social obligation and fiscal sustainability.
Week Five — July 20–26
The Pursuit of Happiness
2 p.m. The Pursuit of Happiness
What is happiness and why, as Jefferson proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, is it one of our inalienable rights to pursue it? Lectures this week explore the science of happiness, what makes a happy life and how the U.S. is different from the rest of the world in that regard. Is there still such a thing as American optimism?
Week Six — July 27–Aug. 2
Crime and Punishment
2 p.m. Restorative Justice
What constitutes a crime and what is the appropriate punishment? What is the purpose of incarceration? Who deserves a second chance? Who decides? This week, we focus on the state of our criminal justice system — what works, what doesn’t, how effective it is and how it compares to others around the world.
Week Seven — Aug. 3–9
2 p.m. Religion, Culture and Diplomacy
Why is diplomacy important and how does the United States carry it out? Our expert lecturers this week will explore the interaction between diplomacy, nation building, foreign aid, national security, military power and espionage. How do presidents choose who represents America abroad? What are our recent diplomatic triumphs and failures, and how will they inform future efforts?
Week Eight — Aug. 10–16
Turkey: Model for the Middle East?
2 p.m. Turkey: Crossroads of Many Faiths
At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has played an essential role in the history of the western world as a seat of power in the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Now a secular, democratic state with a large Muslim population, Turkey occupies a key geopolitical position in terms of energy and trade. This week we’ll examine Turkey’s history, culture, internal and external politics, and relations with its eight neighbors, including Iran and Iraq.
Week Nine — Aug. 17–23
Health Care: Reform and Innovation
2 p.m. Faith, Hope and Healing
With the 2012 election behind us and as we begin to feel the effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, what is the state and the future of health care in the United States? This week, Chautauqua will invite successful reformers and practitioners to share their insights. What innovations in science, technology, policy and procedure will contribute to a future where all Americans have access to affordable, effective health care?