Humanities

Past 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 »

Past 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 »

Past event

Socrates Café

Mon, Mar 20 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 »

Past event

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Prose Edda, by Jesse Byock

Image - detail from The Prose Edda book cover
Wed, Mar 15 2017 - 6:30pm

Join us to discuss The Prose Edda, the most renowned work of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source for Norse mythology. The Edda was written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, and tells in clear prose, interspersed with powerful verse, the ancient Norse creation epic and stories of the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves and elves struggle for survival. Discussion led by Lynn Harris.

Past event

Mark Twain's Funny Fight for Free Will

Image - Mark Twain and George Hammond
Mon, Mar 13 2017 - 6:00pm

George Hammond, Author, Mark Twain's Visit to Heaven Read more »

Past event

Building a Memorial to the Comfort Women

Images - Judges Lillian Sing and Julie Tang
Wed, Mar 8 2017 - 12:00pm

Judge Lillian Sing, ret.
Judge Julie Tang, ret. Read more »

Past event

The Hamilton Affair

Image - Elizabeth Cobbs
Thu, Mar 2 2017 - 6:00pm

Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History, Texas A&M University; Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Author, The Hamilton Affair

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

Past event

Ben Franklin Circles

Wed, Mar 1 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 »

Past event

Socrates Café

Mon, Feb 27 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 »

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