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Recordings of these events are not always available, based on copyright constraints and other factors. To avoid missing these great topics, please join us live either via YouTube or in person! Whether or not a program is recorded may not be announced before the event. If a recording is available, it will be posted to no later than one week after the event takes place.

Lifelong Learning Lecture Series. Spring 2024.

Lecture Descriptions

Forest Bathing

Dr. Kelly Ann Kolodny, Professor of Education, FSU
January 11, 7PM 

In this presentation, Dr. Kolodny introduces participants to shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest bathing. Developed in Japan in 1980s, the practice of forest bathing recognizes the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that unfold from spending increased time in the natural world.

The growing practice of forest bathing has resulted in hundreds of scientific research studies, as well as many countries establishing connected public health policies. In an effort to learn more about this practice, Dr. Kolodny spent a year studying with an international cohort of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, resulting in her becoming a certified forest therapy guide.

How the Supreme Court Helped Give Birth to Jazz

Paul Buono, Jazz Pianist & Lecturer in Music, Assumption College
January 18, 7PM

Find out how unique facets of American history, including the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, minstrel shows, New Orleans’ unique history as part of the Louisiana Purchase, and the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case, provided just the right environment in New Orleans to give birth to jazz music in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

What Get Back Gets Wrong

Tim Riley, Associate Professor of Journalism, Emerson College
February 1, 7PM

NPR rock critic and Beatles author, Tim Riley, discusses Peter Jackson’s Get Back series, which uses archived footage from the Beatles Let It Be rehearsals in January of 1970. Broadcast on the Disney streaming service back in 2021, it includes the complete rooftop set from atop the Apple office building on Savile Row.

Long considered an insider curio for specialists only, this Get Back material springs to new life with Jackson’s development of sophisticated audio software (to help distinguish speakers, and separate out vocal tracks from instruments), and a comprehensive timeline. Instead of “the Beatles falling apart,” this new 3-episode cut shows the four members working together, cajoling songs out of thin air, and developing the arrangements to songs we embrace as standards. The curious flow of these sessions, from halting dead-ends to liberating bursts of inspiration, make this a source of encouragement for creatives in all fields.

The 2024 Presidential Election (so far)

Dr. David Smailes, Associate Professor of Political Science, FSU
February 22, 7PM

Join us as we meet to discuss the direction of the 2024 presidential election as it has unfolded so far and how we might learn from previous campaigns for the presidency to understand where this year’s election might be heading.  
We’ll consider the candidates, the state of both political parties, changes in voter behavior, and even some state election laws to see how each is shaping this year’s presidential  (as well as congressional) race.

“Temples in My Mind:” Charles Dickens and His Illustrators

Dr. Helen Heineman, President Emerita, FSU
March 7, 7PM

Charles Dickens was intensely involved in the nearly 900 original illustrations of his writings. He had close personal and professional relationships with the 18 artists who worked with him.  He always believed in the illustrated format, a necessary outlet for his remarkably visual imagination.

This lecture covers the works of George Cruikshank, Robert Seymour, Hablot Browne (Phiz), John Leech, and Luke Fildes. Dickens’ dense prose, complex plots, numerous characters, and multiple themes benefited from these pictures. For the modern reader, they can throw insight into the way Dickens himself visualized his stories, making the illustrations, in many ways, a collective achievement.

Cultural Competency: Ingredients for Student Success

Dr. Jeffrey Coleman, Vice President & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, FSU
March 14, 7PM

This lecture focuses on fostering cultural competency through curricular and co-curricular experiences. It covers the impact of co-curricular experiences on students’ views and perceptions of their own cultural competency learning and ability to manage their college experience. 

We discuss a research study from the article Cultural Competency Activities: Impact on Student Success, highlighting the ingredients that were found to foster cultural competency experiences that impact student success at a large metropolitan university.

Athletes and the Mental Health Crisis

Dr. Ira Silver, Professor of Sociology, FSU
April 4, 7PM

Some of the most fascinating sports stories take place away from the field, court, or rink. One of the most notable of these stories involves athletes as activists. This talk focuses on the significant consequences of activism that publicizes the mental health crisis in American society.