Upcoming Events: Humanities

Thu 4/24

Image - Diversity and Accomplishment: Celebrating Assyrian Contributions to Bagh

Diversity and Accomplishment: Celebrating Assyrian Contributions to Baghdad's Golden Age

Date: Thu, April 24, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Nicholas Al-Jeloo, Ph.D. in Syriac Studies

From 762 until the Mongol conquest in 1258, Baghdad was the center of the Islamic, Christian and Jewish worlds, home to the Abbasid Caliphate, a major Christian patriarchate and the Jewish exilarchate. It is often forgotten that though Arab Muslims ruled, they were not originally in the majority. At Baghdad's House of Wisdom, Arabic translations of Greek, Mesopotamian, Persian and Indian medicine and philosophy were rare indeed. Most were translated directly into Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic), the language of ethnic Assyrians, whose religious leaders, scientists, physicians and philosophers made invaluable contributions which influenced Baghdad's intellectual institutions and shaped Islamic civilization itself.

Wed 4/30

Image - Humanities West Book Discussion - The Caliph's Splendor: Islam and the W

Humanities West Book Discussion - The Caliph's Splendor: Islam and the West in the Golden Age of Baghdad by Benson Bobrick

Date: Wed, April 30, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Lynn Harris, Moderator

Join us to discuss the achievements of Harun al-Rashid, the legendary caliph of The Thousand and One Nights, whose actual court was nearly as magnificent as the fictional one. When Harun came to power, the Islamic empire stretched from the Atlantic to India, and in Baghdad's House of Wisdom, great works from Greece and Rome were preserved and studied, and new ideas were developed in astronomy, geometry, algebra, medicine and chemistry that have enhanced civilization ever since. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Thu 5/29

Image - The Faraway Nearby

The Faraway Nearby

Date: Thu, May 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Rebecca Solnit, Author, The Faraway Nearby

Award-winning San Francisco author Solnit reaches beyond her own life to the stories she heard and read that helped her navigate the difficult journey through her mother's illness, disintegrating memory and eventual death. Exploring the essential elements of empathy for dealing with irreparable loss, Solnit has created a marvelous Russian doll of a book with a narrative as rich as the fairy tales she recreates. 


Mon 8/11

Image - The Men's Story Project

The Men's Story Project

Date: Mon, August 11, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Celebrates men’s beauty and humanity and stimulates dialogue.

Josie Lehrer, ScD, Founder/Director, Men’s Story Project; Senior Technical Specialist, Gender, Violence and Health, International Center for Research on Women

For this summer's August platforum series, Monday Night Philosophy highlights the Men's Story Project, a replicable storytelling and dialogue project in which men publicly share life stories that explore social ideas about masculinity, through the lens of their own experience. The MSP highlights men's stories that are less often heard, breaks the silence on issues including sexism, racism, homo/transphobia, ableism and violence, celebrates men’s beauty and humanity and stimulates critical dialogue on masculinities. The MSP aims to help expand the presence of genuine self-expression, health and justice in communities.


Mon 8/25

Image - The San Francisco LGBT Struggle for Freedom Revisited: Catholic Power an

The San Francisco LGBT Struggle for Freedom Revisited: Catholic Power and the Right to the City

Date: Mon, August 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Bill Issel, Professor of History Emeritus, San Francisco State University

The LGBT movement of the 20th century became one of the challenges to Catholic power that Walter Lippmann called "the acids of modernity." Bill Issel's new book, Church and State in the City, describes how, in San Francisco, the church and laypeople worked to make it a Catholic city. They wanted to make their city a place where residents would be secure against modernity's incursions. By the 1940s, Catholic power reached its zenith just as LGBT newcomers began demanding equal rights to the city. This story helps explain the city's robust opposition to LGBT activists' call for broader American freedoms in the 1950s and beyond.