The lectures are free and open to the public.
Oral Culture and Early Writing Systems - April 9
In this introductory lecture, you'll learn about the discovery of "oral culture" in the early twentieth century, as well as how writing began and how it was used by ancient peoples such as the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Hebrews.
The Atomic Theory of Language - April 16
This lecture explores how the ancient Greek invention of the alphabet emerged from links between ancient Greek and Phoenician traders in the eighth century BC. The Greeks adopted the Phoenicians' consonantal writing but added vowels, which made it more precise and much easier to read.
Reading, Writing, and Thinking - April 23
In this lecture, we'll look at some of the connections between writing and cognition. This lecture will argue that the alphabet opened the door to the spread of new ideas, thereby unleashing our intellectual potential.
Where Do We Go From Here? - April 30
The arrival of print in the 15th century boosted the alphabet's effectiveness. We're now living in the middle of the next transition, and there's no way to know exactly what's coming in the electronic age. But one thing's for sure. The connection between writing and thinking shows no sign of being broken.
In March 2013, twelve volunteers from all over the United States-including four from the Adirondacks-traveled to Chimo, Mexico to work with with local children on a series of colorful outdoor murals.
Muralists Susan Shanley from Saratoga Springs and Linda Smyth from Port Henry, who led the group, will be joined in this talk by Steven Engelhart and Lemon Healy, two other project volunteers.