Hamilton: More Than A Musical

This one-hour PowerPoint lecture outlines the life of the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. The story is told using some of the videos and music from the hip hop Broadway musical, “Hamilton: An American Musical” by Lin-Manuel Miranda and filling in where the musical leaves some historic gaps. This lecture is designed to capture the imagination of both young and old about the rise and fall of one of the most brilliant young minds of our founding generation through the hip hop music of the today’s young and young at heart.

The Past Is Never Dead: The Bitter Legacy of the Civil War

William Faulkner, the Nobel prize-winning novelist, once wrote that “the past is never dead; it isn’t even past”. Those words seem especially true about the cataclysmic event that occurred in the United States a century and a half ago, the Civil War. Although the war brought about the end of chattel slavery, and freed four million people from bondage, it did not bring about healing of racial and sectional division that had plagued the country from its beginning, and continue to plague us today. Thus it is critically important that we look back at the aftermath of that war, for, as the historical Barbara Fields assert in Ken Burns’ PBS series, “the civil war is still being fought”. This illustrated talk will help draw the connections between today’s headlines and the heavy hand of the past.

Affirmative Action and Reverse Discrimination

By the 1990s, two different arguments were being voiced in our society for why affirmative action programs ought to be ended: one is that because affirmative action programs have succeeded in the accomplishment of their goals, such programs are no longer necessary; the other is that because affirmative action programs have been a miserable failure and could never possibly accomplish their goals, such programs need to be abandoned. These arguments will be explored in order to determine whether affirmative action programs are still relevant and necessary in today’s America. Programs typically include custom-designed hypotheticals.

Classical Arguments for the Existence of God

Any of the three classical arguments for the existence of God in the Judeo-Christian tradition will be explained and explored: the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological Argument, or the Ontological Argument. Programs typically include custom-designed hypotheticals.

Classics of American Fiction: Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants

Too often “classics” —works that have endured because they connect with our most intense inner experiences—have become so associated with “assigned readings” that students have difficulty making contact. This series of presentations will attempt to convince students—in perhaps a fresh way—that rather than being a “dusty classic,” the narrative on some level is about their own lives. The presentation will explore Hemingway’s portrait of the infuriating difficulty of finding words for what we need to say.