Welcome to One Day University

Fascinating talks by over 300 remarkable professors
chosen from 150 top-tier schools.

New Talks Every Day, curated just for you!

One Day University & The Boston Globe


A Week-Long Event featuring the Boston area’s best professors

Every weekday from January 24-28, 2022, One Day University will present a remarkable talk featuring an award-winning professor from the Boston area.

Each talk will air from 7:00 – 8:00 EST and is about 45 minutes with a 15 minute Q&A session. We hope you’ll join us for one, two, or all 5 of these talks and rediscover the joy of lifelong learning.

The talks are FREE thanks to The Boston Globe, but you must register by filling out the form below.

A link to view the talks will be sent to all registrants prior to each session.

All courses are from 7 – 8 PM EST

January 24th
Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College

Happiness has been in the news quite a bit lately. The UN released a “Happiness Report” rating nearly 200 countries, which found that the world’s happiest people live in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands). The US ranked 11th. The report’s conclusion affirmatively states that happiness has predictable causes and is correlated specifically to various measures that governments can regulate and encourage. And there’s more. A new AARP study looks at how Americans feel – and what factors contribute to their sense of contentment. It concludes that nearly 50% of us are “somewhat happy” and another 19% are “very happy.”

January 25th
American Passage:  The History of Ellis Island

Vincent Cannato / University of Massachusetts Boston

Over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island from the 1890s to the 1920s. It has been estimated that some 40 percent of Americans have at least one ancestor who entered through Ellis Island. Today, Ellis Island is one of the nation’s most popular historical landmarks and a symbol of the American immigration experience. This lecture will move beyond the myths and nostalgia that sometimes cloud our understanding of this important historical site and give a behind-the-scenes historical look at the operations of Ellis Island during its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

The Events are Free to Attend, but you Must Register.

January 26th
Music and The Brain: What We know Now

Aniruddh Patel / Tufts

Why do we listen to music? What does it do for us? Why do we choose to listen to the types of music—classical, rock, jazz, country, etc.—that
we do? This presentation will introduce you to the reception, processing, and emotional response to music that we all experience in the brain, each in our own way. We have done this since birth; indeed, even before birth! But is our response to music natural and universal, or is it cultural–a reflection of where we grew up and the kind of music that we heard at home? This lecture will ask us to consider that the music of different composers may be processed differently in the brain: country music one way, Bach in another, and Beethoven in yet another. Why do we cry when we hear one piece, yet dance when we hear another?  And the ultimate personal question: what music do you want to hear in your final, dying moments?

January 27th
Beethoven’s Ninth: The Story Behind The Masterpiece

Brenna Wynn Greer / Wellesley College

Professor Kelly will present a brief taste of his popular Harvard course, “First Nights.” We’ll begin in 1814 Vienna, using pictures and sound to recapture the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – perhaps the best-known piece of classical music. This talk will let us in on some things that Beethoven’s audience knew about, and it may change the way we listen to a favorite (or a new) piece of music.ia representation encouraged an iconic image that, while celebratory and inspiring, is at odds with her record fighting Jim Crow and its many abuses and informs current day notions about black protest.

January 28th
Rosa Parks: Her True Story and Legacy

Thomas Kelly / Harvard University

Rosa Parks was established as an organizer and activist in Montgomery, Alabama long before her arrest in 1955 for refusing to relinquish her seat to a white man on a segregated city bus. In the popular narrative, however, she is a work-weary seamstress whose “tired feet” compelled her to break character and single-handedly launch the modern civil rights movement. For over two decades now, historians have been writing against the conception of Parks as an accidental activist. Still, the symbolic version of Parks persists and fuels larger myths about the civil rights movement. In this presentation, Professor Greer explores how Parks’ media representation encouraged an iconic image that, while celebratory and inspiring, is at odds with her record fighting Jim Crow and its many abuses and informs current day notions about black protest.

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