Speakers on the Square
Thank you for joining us for this exciting Speakers on the Square panel discussion with our very own President John Sexton! We hope you'll join us for the next installment of our lecture series.
Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game
NYU President John Sexton
Thursday, May 9, 2013
A panel discussion with co-authors Tom Oliphant and Peter Schwartz, moderated by James Traub.
For more than a decade, John Sexton has used baseball to illustrate the elements of spiritual life in a wildly popular undergraduate course at NYU. Using some of the great works of baseball fiction as well as the actual game's fantastic moments, its legendary characters, and its routine rituals, Sexton teaches that through the game we can touch the spiritual dimensions of life.
Join NYU President John Sexton; co-authors Tom Oliphant and Peter Schwartz; and longtime course instructor, Jim Traub; as they discuss the elements of our lives that lie beyond what can be captured in words alone--ineffable truths that we know by experience rather than by logic or analysis.
John Sexton is the fifteenth President of New York University; prior to being designated as the university's president in 2001, he served as Dean of the NYU School of Law for 14 years. President Sexton is the past Chair of the American Council on Education, the New York Academy of Sciences and Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He recieved a Ph.D. in History of American religion from Fordham University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and holds 10 honorary doctorates, including one from the oldest Catholic University in the world, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. In addition to his executive duties as President of NYU, he teaches four full courses each academic year, making him one of the only university presidents to teach a full faculty schedule.
Tom Oliphant was a columnist for The Boston Globe for more than forty years and is a New York Times bestselling author. He has been part of the "Baseball as a Road to God" seminar for years.
Peter Schwartz is a Bloomberg News contributor, former reporter at Forbes and legal fellow at NYU. He was the first student ever enrolled in the "Baseball as a Road to God" seminar.
James Traub is an author and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, writing extensively about international affairs and especially the United Nations, as well as national politics, urban affairs and education. Traub teaches a class on American foreign policy as part of New York University's Sheikh Mohammad Scholarship Program in Abu Dhabi.
We've had an incredible roster of distinguished alumni and faculty present at Speakers on the Square. Past lectures include:
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
Denise Kiernan (WSC '91, STEINHARDT '02), Author
March 11, 2013
What you do here, What you see here, What you hear here, please let it stay here…
Imagine boarding a bus or train knowing that your destination was a total mystery. The only thing you’ve been told is that your work will help end World War II, and that everything will be taken care of for you. This was the case for thousands of young women who were recruited by the US government in 1943 to serve the top-secret Manhattan Project. They came from across the East Coast and the South, from Alabama to Western Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Their destination was “Site X”, or Oak Ridge, TN—a secret city that appeared on no maps. The individuals working there, though they had no idea at the time, were enriching uranium for the first atomic bomb used in combat.
NYU alumna Denise Kiernan discusses The Girls of Atomic City, the never before told, true story of remarkable, hardworking, determined young women and the crucial role they played in one of the most significant moments in US history.
The Promise of Urban Science
The Role of NYU's New Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP)
On September 19, 2012, Steven Koonin, Director of CUSP, and Jerry Hultin, President of the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, gave a special lecture on why NYU CUSP is so critical, and how informatics applies to the study and operation of urban systems. The discussion highlighted the rationale, structure, and substance of the Center's work in conjunction with the urban experience that exists across all of NYU—specifically, how NYU and CUSP will enrich New York City, the lives of New Yorkers, and the world.
For the first time in history, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. In just a few more decades, 70 percent of the world's estimated nine billion people will live in cities. Enabling those cities to deliver services effectively, efficiently, and sustainably while promoting and improving their citizens' safety, health, prosperity, and creativity will be among the most important undertakings of this century.
Click here for more information on the Center for Urban Science and Progress.
Speakers on the Square: Steve Koonin and Jerry Hultin from NYU Alumni Relations on Vimeo.
A Reading and Conversation with Zadie Smith: Professor, NYU Creative Writing Program and Award-Winning Novelist
On November 9, 2011, NYU alumni and friends gathered for an evening with award-winning author Zadie Smith, Professor, NYU’s Creative Writing Program. Ms. Smith read from her then unpublished work and discussed her writing and technique with the audience.
Zadie Smith was born in northwest London in 1975. Her first novel, White Teeth, was the winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Commonwealth Writers' First Book Award. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, won The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize. Zadie Smith's third novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is the editor of an anthology of short stories entitled The Book of Other People. Her collection of essays, Changing My Mind, was published in November 2009. Zadie Smith is a graduate of Cambridge University and has taught at Harvard and Columbia universities. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Zadie Smith joined the faculty of NYU’s Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor in September 2010.
Art, Architecture, and Scandal in America’s Gilded Age: McKim, Mead & White and Their Influence on New York with Professor Mosette Broderick, Director, Urban Design and Architecture Studies
On June 13, 2011, NYU Professor Mosette Broderick, Director of Urban Design and Architecture Studies, discussed the influence of the famous trio on the social and cultural history of New York and the work that made them the era’s leading architectural forces for change.
More than any other architectural firm in the early 20th century, McKim, Mead & White put their stamp on New York City by creating memorable Beaux-Arts buildings such as the former Pennsylvania Station, Brooklyn Museum, and the second Madison Square Garden, as well as the Washington Square arch and NYU's University Heights campus.
Speakers on the Square: Mosette Broderick from NYU Alumni Relations on Vimeo.
Mississippi Burning: Bringing the Killers of the Civil Rights Movement's Most Infamous Murders to Justice
Pulitzer prize-winning author Dr. David Oshinsky discussed his New York Times investigation that helped bring justice to the 1964 “Mississippi Burning” civil rights murders. A leading historian of modern American politics and culture, Dr. Oshinsky was the 2009 Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at New York University and holds the Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at the University of Texas. His essays and reviews appear regularly in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other national publications.
Speakers on the Square: David Oshinsky from NYU Alumni Relations on Vimeo.
Global Financial Stability and Long-Run Risks
Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Engle investigated the causes of the financial crisis and the regulatory reforms proposed for its solution. He discussed the concept of risk in financial markets, how it is measured with volatility models, and how it looks today. Lastly, he addressed the long-run risks facing our society and the world: financial instability, war and terrorism, and global economic overheating.
Hubble Trouble: The Expanding Universe and the Dark Energy Engima
David Hogg and Gregory Gabadadze, professors in the Deparment of Physics and the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, discussed one of the biggest enigmas of science: that all empty space is filled with a mysterious energetic substance heretofore unknow, or our understanding of gravity is subtly but fundamentally wrong.
Hooked on Technology: The Benefits and Dangers of the Digital Age
Exploring the implications of our culture's dependency on technology, this Speakers lecture featured distinguished NYU faculty members Anindya Ghose, Nasir Memon and Rae Zimmerman, with special remarks from NYU President John Sexton and President of the Polytechnic Institute of NYU Jerry Hultin.
The Politics of Economic Reform in China and the Implications on US-China Policy
Featuring NYU Professor Doug Guthrie, this Speakers lecture untangled the cultural, political, and social processes that have led to China's successful reform, and explored the implications of that success on US and global politics.
Why Do We Feel So Afraid?
Featuring NYU University Professor Joseph LeDoux, this Speakers lecture examined mechanisms within the brain that led to fear and anxiety, and discussed possibilities on how to control and prevent these conditions. It also included a special performance by Professor LeDoux's band The Amygdaloids.
The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America
Presented by journalist Ray Suarez (WSC '78), this Speakers lecture examined the advent of polarization in America, the way Americans worship, and how religion and politics intersect.
The Economy and Today's Global Markets: Can US Businesses Survive and Thrive?
Featuring business news anchor, alumna, and NYU Trustee Maria Bartiromo (WSC '89), this Speakers on the Square provided an insightful discussion on managing businesses in uncertain times.
Global Immigration Today: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
Featuring NYU University Professor Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, this Speakers on the Square examined "new immigration" patterns with a focus on the experiences of immigrant children and youth.
Is there a Vaccine Against Prejudice?
The inaugural Speakers on the Square lecture featured NYU alumnus Abraham Foxman (LAW '65), National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.