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Presented by the Brandeis University Alumni Association and the Rabb School for Continuing Studies

Justice Louis D. Brandeis has been celebrated as a jurist, Zionist, humanitarian and American citizen, and he was surely all of these and more.  As the inspiration for these seminars, however, we focus especially on Brandeis’ questions, his ethical and legal tradition and his cultural world. We invite you to uncover not only the biography of the man but, more importantly, his sources of inspiration, and hopefully a measure of his energy for combating moral injustice and pursuing social reform.

Each JustBrandeis seminar is five sessions. Those that meet for five-weeks have dedicated websites offering course materials, bonus lectures, videos and readings, and an online platform through which course participants can communicate with each other. These additional course tools enable you to keep pace even in the event of a missed session, and allow you to tailor the course of study to your own particular questions and interests. JustBrandeis faculty members are renowned scholars and teachers skilled in the Brandeisian style seminar. Each course will seek to illuminate the ancient ethical and legal question: What is justice?

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Complimentary Kickoff Event: “Louis D. Brandeis’ American Zionism”

Steve WhitfieldInstructor: Stephen Whitfield PhD '72
Sunday, February 23
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities

Join Professor Whitfield, the Max Richter Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University, beloved teacher to generations of Brandeis students and alumni and prolific author for a conversation on “Louis D. Brandeis’ American Zionism: A Forgotten Chapter in the Story of American Cultural Pluralism.” Justice Brandeis helped the nation define a place for Jews and other minorities in the broader society. His perspective — that Zionism on American soil, far from threatening the American body politic, would actually strengthen it — is a provocative and forgotten chapter in the story of American pluralism.

Please use the Register Now button above to RSVP for this complimentary session.

JustCulture: The Jewish Cultural World of Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Avi BreenInstructor: Avi Bernstein
Sundays, March 2, March 9, March 16, March 23 and March 30
Time: 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities, Classroom G10

Join Brandeis scholar Avi Bernstein and uncover the foundations of Louis Brandeis’ Jewish cultural world. You will discover Justice Brandeis’ connections to the beginnings of Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist Judaism in America; his pioneering role in the American Zionist movement; his relations with the Ethical Culture Society of New York; the role of justice and freedom of conscience in his conception of modern religion; and his hopes for the future of Jewish culture, both in America and in Israel.

About the faculty: Avi Bernstein is director of the Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and an associate of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University. He has written on the cultural philosophies of Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and Charles Taylor. From 2005 until 2009, he served as director of the Master in Jewish Liberal Studies program at Hebrew College.

JustShakespeare: The Roman Plays and the Curses of American Prosperity

Michael BoothInstructor: Michael Booth
Sundays, March 2, March 9, March 16, March 23 and March 30
Time: 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities, Classroom G11

Journey into Roman antiquity with Brandeis scholar Michael Booth, and encounter a Rome more familiar—and more provocative—than you possibly could have imagined. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra are mainly focused on penetrating questions of character and human relationships. His last Roman play, Coriolanus, poses questions of justice and the virtues of democracy uncanny for today’s American reader. Find out what the greatest writer in English had to say about justice.

About the faculty: Michael Booth, PhD, received his doctoral degree in English from Brandeis in 2003. He has been a visiting professor at Oberlin College and Haverford College and a fellow of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Booth currently serves as a proctor and member of the Board of Freshman Advisors at Harvard University.

JustPolitics: The Modern Political Tradition of Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Avi BernsteinInstructor: Avi Bernstein
Sundays, April 13, April 27, May 4, May 11 and May 18
Time: 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI),
60 Turner St., Lower Campus. 

Join Brandeis scholar Avi Bernstein and uncover the foundations of Justice Louis D. Brandeis’ modern political tradition. You will discover the Justice's links to the liberal principles of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson; to the Austro-Hungarian revolution of 1848 and the band of pilgrim-revolutionaries who immigrated to America as a result; and to the distinctive styles of American nationalism minted by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Finally, you will study Justice Brandeis' strikingly Athenian approach to American political life—with its conception of happiness in terms of human self-realization and its anxiety about a citizenry that might become dominated and enslaved by demagogic politicians and economic elites.

About the faculty: Avi Bernstein is director of the Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and an associate of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University. He has written on the political philosopher Charles Taylor and taught courses on American pragmatism and on theories of justice. He is currently working on a political interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novella, The Blithedale Romance.

JustLincoln: An Introduction to the Life and Legacy of the 16th President

John BurtInstructor: John Burt
Monday, June 9 through Friday, June 13
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: The Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI),
60 Turner St., Lower Campus. 

Join Brandeis Professor John Burt and uncover the life and legacy of the man who many observers regard as America's greatest statesman of all time. Burt, whose book, Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism, was recently hailed by The New York Times, will lead the group in an exploration of the 16th president’s thinking about slavery and democracy. Take a close look at Lincoln's 1854 Peoria Speech about the opening of Kansas to slavery. Explore the monumental House Divided Speech, which launched his 1858 presidential campaign, and the Cooper Union Speech, which set forth the themes of his 1860 presidential campaign. Finally, meditate on the two greatest speeches of his Presidency, the Gettysburg and Second Inaugural Addresses, and their legacy for our American polity even today.

About the faculty: John Burt is professor of English at Brandeis University, where he has taught American literature since 1983. His recent book, Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism, was published by Harvard University Press in January 2013.

JustMusic: Playing Protest in the Classical Tradition

Jared RedmondInstructor: Jared Redmond
Monday, June 9 through Friday, June 13
Time: 1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Location: The Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI),
60 Turner St., Lower Campus. 

Join Brandeis instructor Jared Redmond and discover the political side of Western music. From Renaissance giant William Byrd to Soviet master Dmitri Shostakovich, from Mozart's "Don Giovanni" to living composer Helmut Lachenmann, Western composers have turned to their craft in order to cry out against injustice. Explore great works of the Western classical tradition, not only for their aesthetic and historical values, but also as compelling expressions of outrage, satire and critique.

About the faculty: Jared Redmond is an instructor and Presidential Fellow in the department of music at Brandeis University. He is a pianist, composer and doctoral candidate in music composition and theory. Redmond's current research combines elements of philosophy, architectural theory, history, literary criticism and music analysis to create a new, interdisciplinary interpretation of the late works of composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915).

JustBrandeis: The Evolving Legacy of Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Dan BreenInstructor: Dan Breen
Monday, June 23 through June 27
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: The Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI),
60 Turner St., Lower Campus. 

Join Brandeis scholar Dan Breen and discover the full range of Justice Brandeis’ ideas and motives for just political action, on and off the Supreme Court. Examine his monumental 1927 Opinion, Whitney versus California, perhaps the single most important statement on the role of speech in democratic life in American history; and consider the continuing threat to our democracy today of monopoly capitalism in light of the Justice’s legacy.

About the faculty: Dan Breen is an instructor in the Legal Studies department at Brandeis. He has written on the legal theories of Judge Henry J. Friendly, Justice Brandeis' most illustrious law clerk. Breen also teaches at Newbury College.

Tuition & Registration

Contact

Directions & Map

General: $250 per five-session course 

Alumni and Brandeis National Committee members: $235

Brandeis and BOLLI students: $185

Pre-registration is required. 

Register now.

Ilana Levine 

ilevine@brandeis.edu 

781-736-2992 

For more information on adult learning at Brandeis, visit the BOLLI website.