Humanities

Upcoming event

The Witches: Salem 1692

Image - Schiff
Thu, May 4 2017 - 6:00pm

Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize Winner; Author, The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem Read more »

Upcoming event

Ben Franklin Circles

Image - Ben Franklin
Wed, May 3 2017 - 6:30pm

Join us monthly, every first Wednesday, for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. One evening a week, for more than 40 years, the founding father discussed and debated with his friends the 13 virtues that he felt formed the basis for personal and civic improvement, a list he created when he was 20 years old. The virtues to which he aspired included justice, resolution and humility (but don't misunderstand Ben on that one—his explanation of humility was "imitate Jesus and Socrates"). Read more »

Upcoming event

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan

Image - David Dalin
Tue, Apr 25 2017 - 6:00pm

David Dalin, Ph.D., Author, Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan Read more »

Upcoming event

Bonds of Union

Image - Bridget Ford
Mon, Apr 24 2017 - 6:00pm

Bridget Ford, Professor of History, California State University, East Bay; Author, Bonds of Union: Religion, Race, and Politics in a Civil War Borderland Read more »

Upcoming event

Humanities West Book Discussion: Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff

Image - detail of book cover of Cleopatra
Wed, Apr 19 2017 - 6:30pm

Join us to discuss Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who brings to life one of the most intriguing women in human history. Though the palace of the last queen of Egypt actually did shimmer with onyx, garnets and gold, it was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Cleopatra died young, at 39, but first married two brothers, dispatching one in a brutal civil war while they were still teenagers, and poisoning the other, before eliminating a sister as well. Read more »

Upcoming event

Socrates Café

Image - Socrates
Mon, Apr 17 2017 - 6:30pm

On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Read more »

Upcoming event

How Leaders Can Gain Competitive Advantage Through Lessons from History

Image - Strauss
Thu, Apr 13 2017 - 6:00pm

Barry Strauss, Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies, Department of History at Cornell University; Visiting Scholar, Hoover Institution; Author Read more »

Upcoming event

Ben Franklin Circles

Image - Ben Franklin Circles
Wed, Apr 5 2017 - 6:30pm

Join us monthly, every first Wednesday, for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. One evening a week, for more than 40 years, the founding father discussed and debated with his friends the 13 virtues that he felt formed the basis for personal and civic improvement, a list he created when he was 20 years old. The virtues to which he aspired included justice, resolution and humility (but don't misunderstand Ben on that one—his explanation of humility was "imitate Jesus and Socrates"). Read more »

Upcoming event

The Courage and Compassion to Do the Right Thing

Image - Marty Brounstein
Tue, Mar 28 2017 - 6:00pm

Marty Brounstein, Author, Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation. Read more »

Past event

Beethoven in China

Image - Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai
Tue, Mar 21 2017 - 6:00pm

Jindong Cai, Associate Professor of Music (performance), Stanford University; Orchestra Conductor; and Co-Author, Beethoven in China: How the Great Composer Became an Icon in the People's Republic

Sheila Melvin, Co-Author, Beethoven in China: How the Great Composer Became an Icon in the People's Republic Read more »

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