Happiness is topic of public lecture series at SUNY Potsdam; next talk Feb. 20
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 6:01 am

POTSDAM – The topic of happiness will be viewed through multiple lenses this semester at SUNY Potsdam.

A “Thinking Across the Disciplines” lecture series will invite professors from an array of academic backgrounds to speak about contentment and bliss from their own perspectives.

The series started with a lecture about happiness and the dramatic arts by Associate Professor Dr. Kim Bouchard of the college's Department of Theatre and Dance. The happiness series was created by course instructor Dr. Richard Williams, a professor of psychology.

The lunchtime series continues with lectures from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the college’s Raymond Hall eighth-floor dining room:

• Thursday, Feb. 20: "The Biology of Happy," presented by Dr. Walt Conley, professor of biology.

• Tuesday, Feb. 25: "How Can You Tell if a Puritan is Happy?," presented by Dr. Sheila McIntyre, associate professor of history.

• Tuesday, March 4: "The Surprise of Happiness," presented by The Venerable Dr. Christopher Brown, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Potsdam.

• Tuesday, March 11: "The Pursuit of Happiness," presented by Dr. Galen Pletcher, dean emeritus of The School of Arts and Sciences.

• Tuesday, April 1: "Human Happiness and the Environment: A Sociological Perspective," presented by Dr. Heather Sullivan-Catlin, associate professor of sociology.

"This is a way to showcase the honors program, but also contribute toward the intellectual atmosphere on campus and between SUNY Potsdam and the community," said Honors Program Director Dr. Thomas Baker. "For the students, the guest lectures will serve to spark discussion and expand on materials explored in other meetings of the course. But for the public, the lecture series will, in itself, offer an exploration of the course theme from various disciplinary perspectives."

The "Thinking Across the Disciplines" series is free and open to the public.