Rebecca Goldstein: Why Philosophy Won't Go Way

8232At the heart of the latest work from acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein lies one question: is philosophy obsolete?

Goldstein recently visited the Helen Edison series for a lively conversation with Roger Bingham, Founder of The Science Network.

In Plato At The Googleplex, Goldstein proves why philosophy is here to stay by revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics, and science. Goldstein examines these themes by imagining Plato come to life in the 21st century. As he embarks on a multicity speaking tour, Goldstein asks: how would Plato handle a host on FOX News who denies that there can be morality without religion? How would he answer a neuroscientist who argues that science has definitively answered the questions of free will and moral agency? And what would Plato make of the idea that knowledge can be crowdsourced rather than reasoned out by experts? With scholarly depth and a novelist’s imagination, she probes the deepest issues confronting our time.

Goldstein holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton and has taught at Columbia, Rutgers, and Brandeis universities. She has been awarded MacArthur Foundation, Guggenheim, and Radcliffe fellowships and is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Watch Plato at the Googleplex with Rebecca Goldstein.

Story Hour in the Library

8232Good writing should be heard.

Watch some of your favorite writers as they read selected excerpts from their works. This prose reading series is hosted by UC Berkeley English department faculty Vikram Chandra and Melanie Abrams and features distinguished prose writers from the Bay Area and beyond.

Look for these new programs:

28831Jess Row
Jess Row, the author of “Your Face in Mine” and two short story collections, “The Train to Lo Wu” and “Nobody Ever Gets Lost” reads from his work at UC Berkeley. He has received a Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/O. Henry Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. In 2007 he was named a “Best Young American Novelist” by Granta. He teaches at the College of New Jersey and is an ordained Zen Teacher.

28890Joyce Maynard
Joyce Maynard has been a writer of both fiction and nonfiction since the age of 18. Her memoir “At Home in the World” has been translated into fifteen languages. Her eight novels include the newly released “After Her,” as well as “To Die For” and the New York Times bestseller, “Labor Day.” In addition to writing, Maynard performs frequently as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City, and is the founder of the Lake Atitlan (Guatemala) Writers’ Workshop.

29110And coming soon – Tom Barbash
Tom Barbash is the author of the new book of stories “Stay Up With Me.” Previous books include award-winning novel “The Last Good Chance” and “On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11,” which was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published and performed on National Public Radio.

Story Hour in the Library celebrates the writers in the UC Berkeley campus community with an annual student reading. The event features short excerpts of work by winners of the year’s biggest prose prizes, Story Hour in the Library interns, and faculty nominees.

Visit The Story Hour for more from this series.

Porrajmos: The Romani and the Holocaust with Ian Hancock

28100The Romani, not to be confused with the Romanian nation or people, are a diasporic ethnicity more widely known as “gypsies.” Throughout the world they are variously known as Rom, Roma, Romane, Cigáni and Gitano, just to name a few.

In this presentation about the Romani and the Holocaust, Ian Hancock, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, and director of the Romani Studies program and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center, estimates that the Holocaust claimed anywhere between 500,000 and 1.5 million Romani lives. The Romani people refer to this tragedy as the Porrajmos, or “the Devouring.”

A Romani-born British citizen, activist, and scholar, Hancock has done more than anyone to raise awareness about the Romani people during World War II.

Watch this Library Channel presentation of Porrajmos: The Romani and the Holocaust with Ian Hancock – Holocaust Living History, a Library Channel presentation.

Engineering as a Force for the Public Good

25955Our series examining what it means to live the good life wraps up this week with the premiere of Engineering as a Force for the Public Good.

Al Pisano, Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, gives a grand tour of cutting edge engineering projects that impact our quality of life – both daily and on a grand scale. Medical breakthroughs, transportation safety issues, sustainable energy solutions and more are just some of the projects that engineers at UC San Diego and beyond are working on in the hopes of creating a better future for everyone.

Watch Engineering as a Force for the Public Good with Al Pisano — The Good Life online now or click here to watch the entire The Good Life series.

The Elixir of Love – San Diego OperaTalk!

In this episode of OperaTalk, Dr. Nicolas Reveles discusses Gaetano Donizetti’s comedic opera “The Elixir of Love” or “L’elisir d’amore,” in which a con artist convinces villagers that a bottle of wine is a love potion.

What better place to discus the powerful effects of wine than at a winery? Reveles visits the beautiful Hacienda de las Rosas Winery to illustrate just how enchanting wine can be.

Donizetti had written hit operas before, including “Anna Bolena,” an historic opera about one of King Henry the 8th’s wives. But Reveles says that none came close to the success of “The Elixir of Love.”

Donizetti was in the midst of writing four operas in one year when he was commissioned to write a new one for the Teatro Cane Bianco in Milan. He wrote “The Elixir of Love” in just six weeks and it gained such popularity, it was the most performed opera in Italy between 1838 and 1848.

Learn more about this classic opera in “The Elixir of Love-San Diego OperaTalk.”

Check out other programs in the San Diego OperaTalk series!