Humanities

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 »

Past event

The End of the Vikings

Image - Linda Rugg
Thu, Feb 23 2017 - 6:00pm

Linda Rugg, Professor of Swedish Studies, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of California Berkeley Read more »

Past event

Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen: The Reporter Who Knew too Much

Image - detail of book cover of The Reporter Who Knew too Much
Wed, Feb 22 2017 - 6:00pm

Mark Shaw, Former Criminal Defense Attorney; CNN Legal Analyst; Author, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much Read more »

Past event

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Age of Vikings, by Anders Winroth

Image - The Age of Vikings, by Anders Winroth
Wed, Feb 15 2017 - 6:30pm

Join us to discuss The Age of Vikings, whose image is often distorted by myth. Though it is true that they pillaged, looted and enslaved, the Vikings also settled peacefully and traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships to explore. Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage, revealing how Viking arts, literature and religious thought evolved in surprising ways. Discussion led by Lynn Harris.

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