1. Nell Irvin Painter, an American historian discusses her newest work, The History of White People.

    In The History of White People, Nell Irvin Painter tells perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history. Beginning at the roots of Western civilization, she traces the invention of the idea of a white race--often for economic, scientific, and political ends. She shows how the origins of American identity in the 18th century were intrinsically tied to the elevation of white skin into the embodiment of beauty, power, and intelligence; how the great American intellectuals--including Ralph Waldo Emerson--insisted that only Anglo Saxons were truly American; and how the definitions of who is "white" and who is "American" have evolved over time.

    The History of White People closes a gap in a literature that has long focused on the nonwhite, and it forcefully reminds us that the concept of "race" is a human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed according to a long and rich history.

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  2. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American research and the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor at Harvard University, discusses his memoir Colored People. This lecture is co-presented by Cambridge READS.

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  3. Television writer and director Joss Whedon receives the third annual 2009 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism. The award, previously presented to novelist Salman Rushdie and punk rocker (and evolutionary biologist) Greg Graffin, is sponsored by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard and the Harvard Secular Society. The creator of the long-running television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon explores the moral foundation of a humanistic universe.

    # vimeo.com/15062657 Uploaded 197 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Philosopher and sociologist Slavoj Zizek discusses his new book, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?, and explains how the Christian concept of the "toxic neighbor" impacts political, economic, sexual, and cultural thought.

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  5. Helen Fisher, one of the world's leading experts on romantic love, identifies four broad personality types, each governed by different chemical systems in the brain. Love is no longer blind, thanks to pioneering scientific research, based on her unique study of 40,000 men and women. Fisher explains each type, shows you how to identify your own type, and helps you use nature's chemistry to find and keep your life partner.

    # vimeo.com/15062489 Uploaded 251 Plays 0 Comments

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