Lucia Del Guerzo hosts the Gonson Lectures
Gonson Society Lecture Series

Wednesdays, 11am , Spiegel Auditorium | $10

Enliven your Wednesday mornings with stimulating presentations at the Cambridge Center!  Presenters will focus on a wide range of topics.  All lectures take place at 56 Brattle street.

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January 18 Rescheduled to February 22
Memoir from the Great War
Julian Peterson

During the First World War, veterans produced an outpouring of literature. Among these were the British trench poets and Robert Graves, a poet and successful novelist. His memoir, Goodbye to All That, shows the effects of combat and how to turn painful memory into great literature. This lecture will discuss the works of authors like Paul Fussell, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, and Siegfried Sassoon. Come learn about American propagandists like George Creel and Archibald MacLeish as they attempted to reach a wide audience through radio, film, and newspapers.


January 25
Inside the Ebola Epidemic
Leo Liu | M.D. Stanford

From Avian Flu to Zika, new infectious diseases have emerged to threaten global health. Never was this more apparent than with the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which killed over 10,000 people and devastated the already fragile societies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. What is it actually like to work in an Ebola Treatment Centre? What was the impact of the epidemic on existing health conditions and endemic diseases? How does Ebola fit within the broader phenomenon of emerging infectious diseases? In this talk, we will go beyond the mainstream press coverage to explore themes and lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic.


February 1
The Persistance of Memory
Leora Tec | Founder and Director of Bridge to Poland (BTP)

How will we remember the Holocaust when those who lived through it are gone? How will we hold on to a multiplicity of stories and avoid the stereotypes that can erase the nuances of individual lives? Who is tasked with remembrance and what does it look like? Through the lens of her experience as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and scholar, and through her own experiences and connections with Polish scholars and artists who are grappling with this history, Leora teases out the many ways of answering these questions. Through the stories she tells and a sense of the poetry of fleeting moments, she addresses both the challenges and the unexpected clarity that can come from embracing the details of a human life and finds ways to uncover hope, even in the fragments of this shattered history.


February 8
Real Life Immigration Law
Jan Albrecht | Immigration Lawyer

To most, even those who consider themselves well-informed, US immigration law remains an abstract and elusive concept until it affects them personally. We hear stories from friends, relatives, coworkers, and the media. We hear conflicting opinions and claims from politicians about the issue and how to fix it. But do we really know the subject when we talk about US immigration law? Do we know our own immigration laws and how they affect ordinary people’s daily life? Join Jan as he attempts to dispel illusions, correct misconceptions, and offer explanations of basic legal concepts behind certain US immigration statutes and regulations, illustrating them through case examples from his law practice.


March 1
A Revolution of Her Own!
Judith Kalaora | History at Play, Artistic Director, Actress

A captivating performance of the first woman to fight in the American Military: In 1782, Deborah Samson [Sampson] bound her chest, tied back her hair, and enlisted in the Continental Army. Experience her arduous upbringing, active combat, and success as the first female professional soldier. Deborah’s passion takes you back in time! Production researched, written, & performed by Judith Kalaora.


March 8
Flipping the World Upside Down
Abraham Lateiner | Organizer for Racial Justice

"As an individual who was born with certain traits, it was difficult for me to understand the dynamic of the inequalities of those around me. I was blind and oblivious to the fact that their realities and day to day lives were drastically different than my own. This blindness is called white privilege and it is an extremely dangerous condition of our society. I would like to share my own practice of ‘Flipping the World Upside Down’, which allows me to see the world from a new perspective, to overcome my privilege and prepare myself for building relationships across the tapestry of amazing and beautiful cultures on this planet." - Abraham Lateiner