Register for free Summer Forums focusing on contemporary social issues in America

When planning for summer, most of us think about the different physical outdoor activities we can enjoy. But what are you doing for your mind? Have you planned any activity for your brain?

This summer you can attend two free thought-provoking programs offered by UW-Madison Continuing Studies and its campus partners as part of its annual Summer Forums.

These programs are academic courses, which the public may attend at no cost while current students earn credit. The classes are designed to address contemporary issues in American society. Both programs meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7-9 p.m. Public attendees must register online in advance of the program. The courses are:

The Greatest Debate: Science and Religion
June 18-July 11, 2013

1100 Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave.

Science and religion offer distinct and often incompatible answers to a variety of important questions: Can belief in miracles be justified? How did animals and plants come to populate the Earth? Is there life after death? Are minds physical? In these sessions, Prof. Lawrence Shapiro, Dept. of Philosophy, considers the arguments that scientists (or scientifically minded philosophers) and theists use to support their positions on these and other issues.

Art and Political Activism
July 16-Aug. 8, 2013

H.F. DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St

The instructor leads the group through an examination of the relationship between art and political/social activism; the meetings are spent reviewing a set of case studies that involve artists whose work is directly or indirectly engaged in political/social activism.

The group learns about the topic by listening to several guest speakers and by participating in hands on programs with artists. Then the students undertake analysis not only of activist art itself, but also of the cultural, social, and political engagement these artists create and/or encourage through their work.

Dr. Kristin Hunt, Theatre and Drama and Integrated Liberal Studies, will engage the students and attending community members by asking critical questions about the nature of art, the role of the artist in society, and the ethics and tactics of persuasion.

The class will focus on work that is ongoing or was completed in the last 200 years. Topics may include: documentary, mashup, spoken word and hip-hop, graffiti, culture jamming, art as/of public protest, and queer performance.

For more information contact Continuing Studies at 608-262-3598 or sbarber@dcs.wisc.edu. Advance online registration is required.