The Humanities Institute is pleased to co-sponsor the following lecturers as part of the Provost's Distinguished Discovery Themes Lecturer Program.

JARED DIAMOND - "The World Until Yesterday"

April 2, 2015 - 6:30 pm - Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom, Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.

Dr. Jared Diamond is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. In his new book, The World Until Yesterday, Diamond compares life in modern, industrialized societies with traditional ways of life and argues that traditional societies have much to teach us about conflict resolution, care of elders and children, risk management, multilingualism, and nutrition. The World Until Yesterday debuted in the top three of the New York Times bestseller list.

With a unique blend of anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary biology, Diamond depicts a way of life that is startlingly different from the way we live today. Focusing on how we can improve contemporary society by learning lessons from the past, Diamond’s message is both urgent and persuasive: With some thought and effort, we can have the best of both worlds. The New York Times calls Diamond's writing "one of the most significant projects embarked upon by any intellectual of our generation." Currently a professor of Geography at UCLA, Jared Diamond is also the author of two other bestselling books, The Third Chimpanzee and Why Is Sex Fun? He has received some of the world's most prestigious awards, including a MacArthur Genius Grant, the Dickson Prize in Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the National Medal of Science, America's highest civilian award in science.

"Technology and Self" - Sherry Turkle

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Archie M. Griffin West Ballroom, Ohio Union, 1739 N High St

The Flight From Conversation: A generation has grown up feeling that “I would rather text than talk.” And believing that it is possible to share our attention during almost everything we do. What are the costs of a “flight from conversation” in personal life, among one’s family and friends? What are the costs in the work world? And most important, what can we do about it?

Sherry Turkle is a professor, author, consultant, researcher and licensed clinical psychologist who has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of people’s relationships with technology. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

"Happyism: The Creepy New Economics of Pleasure"

Dierdre McCloskeyMarch 6, 3:30 pm, Room 100, George Wells Knight House, 104 E. 15th Avenue

In addition, a paper presentation: "The Great Enrichment Came and Comes from Ethics and Rhetoric" at 12 noon, Room 168 Dulles Hall

Deirdre McCloskey teaches Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A well-known economist and historian and rhetorician, she has written sixteen books and around 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistics to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues. She is known as a "conservative" economist, University-of-Chicago style (she taught for 12 years there), but protests that "I'm a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not 'conservative'! I'm a Christian libertarian." Her latest book, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (University of Chicago Press, 2010), which argues that an ideological change rather than saving or exploitation is what made us rich, is the second in a series of four on The Bourgeois Era. The first was The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2006), asking if a participant in a capitalist economy can have an ethical life (briefly, yes). "We fans of innovation and markets have done enough preaching to the choir," she says. "We need to speak to our beloved critics on the left and right who do not think that the Age of Innovation was the best thing to happen since the invention of language." Long known in economics as a critic of its least sensible techniques, she wrote in 2008 with Stephen Ziliak, The Cult of Statistical Significance, demolishing tests of "significance." It was in 2011 the basis of a Supreme Court decision. McCloskey lives in downtown Chicago in a big loft apartment converted from a factory with her Norwich terrier Will Shakespeare ("As soon as he really knows English maybe we can get some more plays. . . from the canine point of view!").

2013 Lectures

EZEKIEL EMANUEL - OCTOBER 3, Room 160 Meiling Hall, 6:00 pm

Ezekiel Emanuel

Trained both as an oncologist (MD, Harvard Medical School) and a political scientist, Ezekiel Emanuel is one of the leading practitioners shaping healthcare reform and the transformation of American medicine.

From February 2009 to January 2011, Emanuel was a special advisor for health policy to the White House Office of Management and Budget. As one of the most prominent voices advising the White House about healthcare, he had a signifi­cant impact on federal healthcare budgets and the Affordable Care Act.

Today, Dr. Emanuel holds a joint position at the Wharton School and the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he chairs the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy. He is a founding chair at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. Until 1997, he was an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School. Emanuel is also a fellow at the Hastings Institute, a center for nonprofit bioethics research.

Emanuel is the author of Healthcare: Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America (Public Affairs 2008) and The Brothers Emanuel (Random House 2013), a memoir about brothers Rahm, mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff, and Ari, a Hollywood superagent.

This Humanities Institute event is co-sponsored with the Wexner Medical Center, OSU College of Medicine; OSU College of Nursing; OSU College of Public Health; The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute; OSU College of Arts and Sciences; LiteracyStudies@OSU; and COMPAS – Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society.