Faculty Book Review

Week of January 4

Alison Byerly, President

Join a group of Lafayette students as we talk with three faculty authors whose recent books have been widely reviewed in the New York Times and elsewhere.  Donald Miller, MacCracken Professor of History, will discuss his wide-ranging cultural history of New York, Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America;  Lee Upton, Francis A. March Professor of English/Writer in Residence, will talk about her new poetry collection, Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles,  as well as her collection of short stories, The Tao of Humiliation; and Bruce Murphy, Kirby Professor of Government & Law, will talk about Scalia: A Court of One, his compelling biography of the controversial Supreme Court justice.

The Uniquely American Musical: Broadway and the American Dream

Week of January 11

Mary Jo Lodge,  Associate Professor of Theater

In this session, we’ll explore the Broadway musical, one of America’s great artistic inventions (the other is jazz), and will examine how the musical is the perfect medium to capture stories that focus on achieving that uniquely American Dream of upward mobility, power, freedom and prosperity.  We’ll study the musical as an artistic form, and will examine particular musicals that are especially focused on the American Dream, including classics like Show BoatOklahoma and West Side Story, and exciting new shows like the smash hit Hamilton.

The Miracle of Flight: Designing a Dream

Week of January 18

Jenn Rossmann, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

In just 100 years, air travel went from an impossible dream to a familiar, almost mundane experience. In this session, we will explore flight’s techno-cultural history, highlighting the engineering breakthroughs that enabled manned flight as well as discussing the way flight has been portrayed in art, literature, and film. We’ll consider wind tunnel experiments and the Wrights, Wings, and war, and beyond. Realizing the possibility of flight has contributed to changes in the way we live, the food we eat, the way we engage with the wider world, and the way we view ourselves.