Library U

Co-sponsored with Humanities Washington
October 5, 12 & 19
10 - 11:30 a.m.
Free, with donations welcome

October 5, 2019  |  10AM - 11:30AM  |  Large Conference Room, Bainbridge Public Library

What Happened to America's Public Schools?

Presented by Johann Neem, professor, Western Washington University

Once an innovative idea and a source of national pride, American public education has since become a deeply polarized topic. Using his personal story as an immigrant attending America’s public schools, along with extensive historical research, historian Johann Neem explores the original purposes of public education in forging a nation. As Washington, like all states, debates pressing matters of education, including charter schools, private school choice, and funding concerns, Neem asks us to step back, take stock, and understand public schools’ past so we can improve their future.

October 12, 2019  |  10AM - 11:30AM  |  Large Conference Room, Bainbridge Public Library

Heating Up - The Ethics of Climate Change

Presented by Brian G. Henning, professor of Philosphy and Environmental Studies, Gonzaga University

With larger, longer wildfire seasons, accelerating species extinction, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise, it’s increasingly clear that climate change isn’t something that’s about to happen—it’s here. But while the laundry list of problems wrought by climate change is well-known, few talk about how our moral beliefs about nature have led us to the brink. In this presentation, ethicist Brian G. Henning discusses how global warming itself is not the only problem—it’s a symptom of a larger issue concerning how we conceive of ourselves and our relationship to the natural world.

October 19, 2019  |  10AM - 11:30AM  |  Large Conference Room, Bainbridge Public Library

Civil Conversation in an Angry Age

Presented by David Smith, professor of philosophy and religious studies, University of Washington

At what point does a conversation become a battle? Why do some opinions inflame our emotions, leading to anger, fights, and even the end of relationships with family and friends? Philosopher David E. Smith takes a deep look at those moments when civility breaks down. By mapping the structure of how we converse, and digging into the root causes of both civility and incivility, Smith explores how we can have meaningful, respectful conversations on notoriously difficult topics like politics, religion, and morality. In our increasingly polarized political environment, Smith provides participants with the tools needed to embark upon more thoughtful, fruitful discussions.

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Library U is sponsored by the Bainbridge Public Library with funding support from the Bainbridge Island Friends of the Library and a generous donation in memory of Louise Brody Weissman. Library U's Fall Humanities Speaker Series is made possible through funding and support from Humanities Washington, a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to spark conversation and critical thinking in communities across our state.