Shankar Vedantam: Useful Delusions | Spring Preview + Week 8 | Chautauqua Lecture Series

2021 Chautauqua Lecture Series & Preview — “Week Eight: The Human Brain: Our Greatest Mystery”
Shankar Vedantam

original broadcast Thursday, May 6, 2021 | watch now on CHQ Assembly

Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393652208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 2nd, 2021

The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385525220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - August 31st, 2010

New CLSC Selection: Under a White Sky

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert
Tuesday, July 06, 2021 10:30am EDT | Amphitheater

Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer and journalist Elizabeth Kolbert has traveled all over the world to get to the heart of the debate over global warming, and the communities most affected by it. Two of her books — The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change — both started out as articles in The New Yorker, where she has been a staff writer since 1999. Her latest book, Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, was published in February 2021, and will frame her joint Chautauqua Lecture Series and Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC) presentation as part of a week on “New Frontiers: Exploring Today’s Unknowns.”  

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Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future Cover Image

New CLSC Announcement: Why Trust Science?

Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes

Thursday, July 15, 2021 03:30pm EDT | CHQ Assembly Video Platform

During a time when trust in science is waning, when climate scientists are struggling to convince a large part of the population to accept the reality of the climate crisis, when anti-vaccine attitude is gaining more traction every day, Professor Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength – and the greatest reason we can trust it.

Tracing the history and philosophy of science from the late nineteenth century to today, Professor Oreskes explains that, contrary to popular belief, there is no single scientific method. Rather, the trustworthiness of scientific claims derives from the social process by which they are rigorously vetted.

Naomi Oreskes is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. In addition to Why Trust Science?, she is the author of several books, including The Collapse of Western Civilization and Merchants of Doubt with Erik Conway.

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Why Trust Science? (University Center for Human Values #1) Cover Image
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Why Trust Science? (University Center for Human Values #1) Cover Image

Chautauqua Travels | Responding to a Changing Climate: Resilience and Adaptation in New Orleans #CHQNOLA2021

Chautauqua Institution has announced a new partnership with Academic Travel Abroad, Inc. (ATA) that will take the Chautauqua experience “on the road” to introduce, extend and supplement the Institution’s iconic Summer Assembly thematic-based programs. This represents the Institution’s second partnership with ATA, a Washington, D.C.-based international travel organization that first collaborated with Chautauqua in the 1980s for the historic Chautauqua Conferences on U.S.-Soviet Relations. Named Chautauqua Travels, this one-of-a-kind group travel program will curate unmatched experiences in the U.S. and abroad, leveraging Chautauqua’s distinctive mix of interdisciplinary and intergenerational explorations of the best in human values and the enrichment of life with an untiring commitment to civil dialogue. Learn more about Chautauqua Travels.

The inaugural Chautauqua Travels program, Nov. 7–11, 2021, will take participants to Louisiana’s Gulf Coast for an exploration titled “Responding to a Changing Climate: Resilience and Adaptation in New Orleans.” 

Chautauqua Bookstore is proud to offer the following reading list to engage travelers in this forthcoming trip as part of the Chautauqua Travels program.  Additional recommended reads will be added in the future.

Recommended Reading:

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We Cast a Shadow: A Novel Cover Image
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis Cover Image

Spring Program: Victoria Labalme: Risk Forward | Chautauqua Lecture Series

Special presentation of Chautauqua Lecture Series: “Risk Forward”

Victoria Labalme

7 p.m. Monday, March 29, 2021 — CHQ Assembly

Risk Forward: Embrace the Unknown and Unlock Your Hidden Genius Cover Image
ISBN: 9781401961800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hay House Business - March 30th, 2021

New CLSC Announcement: Begin Again

Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.First 7 2021 CLSC Selections (stacked)

10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 22, 2021 (Chautauqua Lecture Series)
One of the nation’s most prominent scholars, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. is an author, political commentator, public intellectual and educator who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience, an examination he will bring to the Amp stage to close Chautauqua Lecture Series’ week on “Many Americas: Navigating Our Divides.” His writings, including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, and his most recent, the New York Times bestseller, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own, takes a wide look at Black communities, the difficulties of race in the United States and the challenges we face as a democracy.  


Glaude’s Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own is also designated a 2021 selection for the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. Details for a CLSC program, featuring Glaude in conversation with Chautauqua Director of Literary Arts Sony Ton-Aime, will be announced later this spring. 

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Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own Cover Image

New CLSC Announcement!

The Department of Education has announced China Dream, by Ma Jian and translated by Flora Drew, as a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection for Week One of the 2021 Summer Assembly Season: “China and the World: Collaboration, Competition, Confrontation?”announced 2021 CLSC Selections (as of March)

Ma Jian
China Dream, translated by Flora Drew
3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 1, 2021 — CHQ Assembly

Presented alongside the Chautauqua Lecture Series, Ma Jian’s work — an unflinching satire of totalitarianism — offers a counternarrative to the sweeping “China Dream” of President Xi Jinping’s administration.

The novel exposes the damage inflicted on a nation’s soul when authoritarian regimes, driven by an insatiable hunger for power, seek to erase memory, rewrite history, and falsify the truth, China Dream is a dystopian vision of repression, violence, and state–imposed amnesia that is set not in the future, but in China today.

View all announced selections

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China Dream Cover Image
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China Dream Cover Image

Shakespeare in a Divided America

Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future 
by James Shapiro

original broadcast March 11 • watch now: CHQ Assembly Video Platform

In keeping with its storied history, and to accommodate programming and venue shifts, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in 2021 will have a presence both within and beyond the summer, primarily on CHQ Assembly. We’re excited to offer readers an opportunity to engage with some 2021 CLSC authors this spring, and we will continue our community discussion during the associated week during the Summer Assembly.

Shakespeare in a Divided America is the CLSC selection aligned with Week Four of the 2021 season, themed "Many Americas: Navigating Our Divides."

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Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future Cover Image
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Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future Cover Image