Historian and author David McCullough, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, will give a talk on Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. in Robsham Theater. He has written books on Harry S. Truman, John Adams, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Wright brothers, among other topics. He is also a narrator, most notably of “The Civil War” by Ken Burns and the feature film “Seabiscuit.” His books, Truman and John Adams, have been adapted by HBO into a TV film and a miniseries, respectively. Boston College presented McCullough with an honorary degree at Commencement 2008. His speech from that day is included in the new book, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For, a collection of his talks from the past 25 years. Note: Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis. A book signing precedes his talk at 3 p.m. Sponsor: Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics/Clough Colloquium.
University of Nevada Professor of Psychology Russell Hurlburt will present “Exploring Inner Experience: Implications for Psychology and Neuroscience” on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 305. Hurlburt is co-author of Describing Inner Experience?: Proponent Meets Skeptic, in which he and his co-author (a philosopher) debate to what extent it is possible for a person to describe his or her inner experience accurately. Sponsor: The Boston College Lonergan Institute.
R. Shep Melnick, the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Professor of American Politics, is among the legal scholars, philosophers, and political scientists who have contributed to the new book Scalia’s Constitution: Essays on Law and Education (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2017). The book, edited by Paul Peterson and Michael McConnell, looks at how education and law intersect through the late Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s rulings. Scalia’s Constitution explores the application of Scalia’s textualism and originalism to education law and reflects upon Scalia’s teachings and his pedagogy. Melnick’s contributed article is titled “Scalia’s Dilemmas as a Conservative Jurist.” | Melnick will serve as a panelist at a Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance-sponsored discussion of Scalia’s Constitution on September 15, hosted by the Hoover Institution in Washington, D.C. The discussion will be streamed live at 11:00 a.m.
Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, a leading authority on Irish traditional music, will present on his new book, Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape, on Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Connolly House, 300 Hammond St. Following his talk will be a concert. A cultural historian, anthropologist and ethnomusicologist, Ó hAllmhuráin holds All Ireland titles on concertina, uilleann pipes, and is a member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. Registration in advance is requested. Sponsor: Center for Irish Programs.
Alumnus Lev Golinkin, author of the memoir A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, will be the keynote speaker at First Year Academic Convocation on Sept. 7, at 7 p.m., in Conte Forum. Golinkin’s book is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of his Jewish family’s escape from Soviet oppression. Golinkin’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and Time.com. Other authors who have spoken at First Year Academic Convocation include Colum McCann, Ann Patchett, and Dave Eggers, among others. More from BC News.
Boston College alumnus Dave Wedge has co-authored a new book about fellow BC grad Pete Frates, the inspiration behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised millions of dollars for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research. Frates, a former BC Baseball captain, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 at age 27. In The Ice Bucket Challenge: Pete Frates and the Fight against ALS (ForeEdge/University Press of New England, 2017) Wedge and co-author Casey Sherman tell the story of the man behind the viral fundraising and awareness campaign. According to the publisher, The Ice Bucket Challenge is a “testament to the power of love, the steadfastness of family, the generosity of strangers, and the compassion of crowds.” Wedge and Sherman are also the authors of Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy, a book about the bombings at the Boston Marathon. | Read an excerpt in the New York Daily News.
The world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World (Harper Collins, 2017), science journalist Peter Brannen dives deep, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers a glimpse of a possible future. Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World tells the story of each extinction through examination of the fossil record and introduces the researchers who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened. Brannen is a Boston College alumnus who has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Wired, Washington Post, Slate, Boston Globe, Aeon, and others. Read a Boston College Magazine essay adapted from his book.