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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Free summer events

Wednesday lectures

Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 7:00 pm
Kennedy Hall
Glenn Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Professor of American Studies at Cornell and dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions, will demonstrate the power of storytelling in the courtroom, drawing on the iconic American trials of Leopold and Loeb; Alger Hiss; Dan White; and O.J. Simpson. Altschuler is the author or coauthor of eleven books, including Ten Great American Trials: Lessons in Advocacy (2016), coauthored with Faust Rossi, the Samuel Leibowitz Emeritus Professor of Law.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 7:00 pm
Kennedy Hall
The Zookeeper's Wife is a true story of people, animals, transcendence, and subversive acts of compassion. Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Christian zookeepers disgusted by Nazi racism, who decided to capitalize on the Nazis' obsession with prehistoric animals in order to save scores of doomed people. Diane’s talk will focus on how the power of human compassion can kindle our capacity for extraordinary acts of conscience and moral connection.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 7:00 pm
Kennedy Hall
Georges Lemaitre was a Belgian mathematician, physicist, and Catholic priest who conceived the Big Bang model for the origin of the cosmos. Historical research over the past decade has not only shown how central was Lemaitre’s role in the search for cosmic origins, but also illuminates the unique difficulties Lemaitre faced in defending his scientific model in view of his very public profession as priest.

Jonathan Lunine, director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, will use this fascinating piece of twentieth-century scientific history to provide a perspective on two questions: who gets credit for what in scientific discoveries, and can a scientist be religious?
Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 7:00 pm
Kennedy Hall
Robert Morgan, Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell, will talk about his novel Chasing the North Star, which was inspired by the true story of a runaway slave who was taken in by his family. In his novel, Morgan tells a tale of two teenage slaves who escape from plantations in the Carolinas, link up by accident, and make their way through many dangers and narrow escapes all the way to Ithaca, New York, in 1851. Told from alternating points of view, it is a story of both the horrors of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit.

Past lectures