P.O. Box 300431,
Waterford, MI 48330
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Our Speakers

Elliot Engel

The Dickens Nobody Knows
October 10, 2018

Dr. Elliot Engel, currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, has taught and lectured all over the world for thirty years promoting Charles Dickens. Dr. Engel has written ten books published in England, Japan, and the United States. His mini-lecture series on Charles Dickens ran on PBS television stations around the country. Four plays which he has written have been produced during the last ten years. Recently, for his academic work and service in promoting Charles Dickens, he was nominated and inducted into the Royal Society of Arts in England. Dr. Engel will present a lively visit to the exuberant world of Charles Dickens, the man acclaimed by critics and readers alike as perhaps the greatest novelist in the English language. He bares the surprising roots of Dickens' unique imagination and demonstrates that the author's life was far more astonishing than any of his novels.

Catherine Sanderson

Manwell Professor of Life Sciences (Psychology)
The Science of Happiness
November 14, 2018

Catherine Sanderson is the Manwell Professor of Life Sciences (Psychology) at Amherst College. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology, with a specialization in Health and Development, from Stanford University, and received both master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from Princeton University. Professor Sanderson's research examines how personality and social variables influence health related behaviors. This talk presents both surprising and not-so-surprising information on the science behind happiness. What do money, marriage, friends, children, weather, age, and religion play in making us feel happier? Is happiness stable over time? How can happiness be increased? Professor Catherine Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide participants with practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase their own psychological well-being.

Austin Surat

Associate Dean of the Faculty and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science
Four Trials That Changed America
April 10, 2019

Austin Surat is Associate Dean of the Faculty and is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science at Amherst College. He is a pioneering figure in the development of legal study in liberal arts, the humanistic study of law, and of the cultural study of law. He is the author of more than 90 books. A profile of Surat in US News and World Report noted that he is "one of the best loved professors at Amherst College" and praised his teaching for combining "innovation and inspiration." His teaching also has been featured in The New York Times, on NPR's Fresh Air and NBC's The Today Show. We are regularly fascinated when this or that legal case is played out in a court room and proclaimed in the media to be the "trial of the century." In today's lecture, we'll consider the four trials that changed American history during the 20th century.

Orin Grossman

Professor of Visual and Performing Arts
George Gershwin and the Great American Song Book
May 8, 2019

Orin Grossman, Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University, has been delighting audiences the world over with his unique approach to performing and explaining great American and European music . As a performer he is in demand as an interpreter of the music of George Gershwin, playing his songs and classical compositions around the world. Dr. Grossman began piano and theory instruction at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of five. After several graduate recitals there, he entered Harvard College from which he graduated Magna cum Laude in Music. He continued his studies at Yale, earning a Ph.D. in Music. This lecture concentrates on the songs and lyrics of George and Ira Gershwin from the 1920's. His songs will be performed in Gershwin's own piano arrangements-arrangements Gershwin created to give the public a sense of how he played his own songs at private parties.

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