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College of Continuing Education News

A Century of Ideas

For 100 years, the College has provided Minnesotans with access to experts who helped them to challenge their perspectives, change their lives, or transform their communities. What better way to celebrate than with public forums to look back at those 10 decades, with the help of experts, and examine the defining moments and movements that made our society what it is today.


1910s • July 10
Radio and the Birth of Mass Communications: Trace the colorful history of mass communications, from the earliest experiments in broadcasting to tweets today, with U professor emeritus Donald Browne and MPR's Steve Nelson.

1920s • July 12
The Jazz Age: Jazz's syncopated rhythms spread from New Orleans' saloons and dance halls to popularity around the world. Join well-known jazz artist Butch Thompson as he discusses and demonstrates its distinctive sounds.

1930s • July 17
The Politics of the New Deal: As the effects of the 1929 stock market collapse rippled through the nation, FDR set in motion efforts to save America from the ravages of the Great Depression. Join the U's Hy Berman as he discusses the New Deal and its legacy.

1940s • July 19
The Atomic Age: Join the U's James Kakalios as he uses examples culled from classic comic books and science fiction to explain the physics of the bomb and the nature of radioactivity.

1950s • July 24
The Nuclear Family in the Nuclear Age: Usually characterized by cultural conformity, the 1950s also had a subversive undercurrent that all the newly minted suburbs failed to contain. Join U professor Elaine Tyler May as she recreates post-war family life and traces the legacy of the cold war.

1960s • July 26
Cultural Bodies: During the 1960s, the body became a potent symbol of shifting social and political mores as a "living room war" and breakthroughs in medicine stirred debate. Take a fresh look at the turbulent period with Minnesota Historical Society curator Brian Horrigan and U professor John Wright.

1970s • July 31
Putting Women's Rights on the Political Agenda: Join Arvonne Fraser, co-founder of the U's Center on Women and Public Policy, the Star Tribune's Lori Sturdevant, and U political science professor Kathryn Pearson for a lively conversation of the historic milestones and current status of the women's movement.

1980s • August 2
Entering the Digital Era: The 1980s was the beginning of a revolution in knowledge sharing that also ushered in an age of mass surveillance, piracy of intellectual property, and media saturation. Join American Public Media's John Moe as he discusses the impact of the digital era.

1990s • August 7
The Stem Cell Biorenaissance: While biomedical research raises hopes for new treatments for debilitating and deadly diseases, it also creates controversy. Meet U professor Leo Furcht, M.D., as he explains the most promising developments.

2000s • August 9
The Global Economic Crisis Through the Lens of History: Join U professor Timothy Kehoe, adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, for a timely discussion of the world's critical financial depressions of the past century.

All events are on the St. Paul campus from 9-11 a.m. Cost is $50. For more information:
www.cce.umn.edu/LearningLife/A-Century-of-Ideas or call 612-624-4000.

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