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Talking books: alumni gain insights into lecturer’s top reads

Monday, 15 May 2017 12:37pm

Wolfe-ABC-preview-image
Information Sciences Associate Professor Dr Hank Wolfe speaks at the first Alumni, Books and Conversation with Otago Lecturers (ABC) event in March.

Faculty of Law Dean Professor Mark Henaghan is looking forward to discussing a favourite read at the second Alumni, Books and Conversation with Otago Lecturers (ABC) event at Dunedin’s University Book Shop tomorrow night.

Professor Henaghan’s choice, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari, is a follow-up to the best-selling Sapiens, which has been endorsed by Barack Obama and Bill Gates as a must-read macro-history of human activity.

Homo Deus expands on ideas from the concluding chapter in Sapiens. Change does not always equal progress Harari argues, and humanity’s use of new technologies may be its undoing.

"The events are designed to encourage alumni to explore ideas with Otago lecturers and gain insights into their research, and what makes them tick as people."

“It’s a very thought-provoking read and gives choices for the future which, if we don’t think about them now, could go very wrong. The book is full of wonderful examples and truly takes a big picture view of our future,” Professor Henaghan says.

Professor Henaghan says he enjoys engaging with alumni via public events and the “cut and thrust” that comes with sharing and debating ideas.

Alumni Relations Officer (Liaison) Lizzy Lukeman invites other academics to discuss books at the monthly ABC events later this year.

“The events are held in an interesting informal setting, and the books aren’t academic texts,” Ms Lukeman says. “The events are designed to encourage alumni to explore ideas with Otago lecturers and gain insights into their research, and what makes them tick as people.

“We receive regular requests from alumni wanting to keep learning with their University and to meet socially with local alumni. We are pleased to partner with UBS to satisfy these requests, and provide a relaxed forum for stimulating discussion.”

Next month, Summer School and Continuing Education Director Elaine Webster will discuss fashion and the books A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antonine Dariaux and Sex and Suits: the evolution of modern dress by Anne Hollander.

The inaugural presentation by Information Sciences Associate Professor Dr Hank Wolfe in March was well attended and featured wide-ranging discussion on the complexities of personal privacy in the digital age.

Come along:

Alumni, Books and Conversation with Otago Lecturers (ABC)

Professor Mark Henaghan on Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Tue 16 May
University Book Shop, Great King Street

Dr Elaine Webster on A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antonine Dariaux and Sex and Suits: the evolution of modern dress by Anne Hollander
Wed 21 Jun
University Book Shop, Great King Street

Presentations start at 7pm, doors open at 6.30pm for refreshments, mingling or book browsing.
Spaces are limited to about 30, so register now, Email: events@unibooks.co.nz