Saturday Symposia Shields

Harvard Saturday of Symposia

With the
Harvard Club of Boston

Scenes from former Saturday of Symposia events
December 2, 2023
8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
374 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, United States (Details)
Attendance Policy
Open to students, Open to alumni, Registration required
Wheelchair-accessible event, Wheelchair-accessible parking, Wheelchair-accessible restrooms
HAA Alumni Education | | 617-495-1920
This Is a Past Event


Saturday of Symposia features Harvard faculty members doing research across the University in fields ranging from social and natural sciences to the humanities. This year's 43rd program will feature two concurrent morning lectures followed by lunch and keynote address.

The program is not only a longstanding tradition of the Harvard Club and HAA, but also an enormously popular one. Please make your reservations early.

Please note that we are not offering refunds for cancellations at this time.


In Person Paid Programming

Saturday, December 2nd, 2023

Harvard Club of Boston, 374 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Registration and Coffee, Tea, and Muffins

Faculty Lecture — 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Guy-Uriel Charles, Charles Ogletree, Jr. Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice

Faculty Lecture — 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

The Bold Move: Three Simple Science-Based Steps to Move Boldly Through Change

Dr. Luana Marques, Director and founder of Community Psychiatry PRIDE at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School

Change is hard, and seemingly more prevalent than ever. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, companies throughout the world have shifted the way they work, and millions of individuals have changed jobs. On the home front, transitions in relationship status, friendships, and living situations happen multiple times throughout our lives. Each transition—even the best kind—creates stress and instability that threatens wellbeing. Moving forward requires identifying the habits that hold us back and employing skills to get where we want in life. This action-oriented presentation on The Bold Move™ empowers audience members to overcome the one common obstacle preventing them from reaching their goals so they can move boldly through change, discomfort, and stress.

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.


A brief recess to grab some refreshments and connect with your fellow alumni.

Faculty Lecture — 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Climate Disruption:  A View from the Humanities

James Engell AB '73, PhD '78, Gurney Professor of English Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature

Drawing on 20+ years of work on climate issues, Professor Engell will address intergenerational justice, as well as climate justice between those with wealth and those without, both internationally and within nations.  He will present a brief case study of developments in the state of Montana, now his primary residence.  He currently co-teaches “Climate Crossroads” with Professor Jim Anderson.  This course recognizes that irreversible climate disruption poses an unprecedented challenge to the stability of all societies.  The course asks, What are the scientifically viable pathways to a future that is sustainable and just?

Faculty Lecture — 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Designing Interfaces for Human-AI Communication

Elena GlassmanAssistant Professor of Computer Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences

While we don’t always use words, communicating with an AI is a conversation—with ourselves as well as with it, a recurring loop with optional steps depending on the complexity of the situation and our goals. Any conversation we have with AI may include (a) forming our intent, (b) expressing that intent, (c) the AI performing inference to resolve its ambiguities, (d) the AI presenting its inferences back to us, and (e) us possibly recognizing that the AI got it wrong! In the process, we may update our notion of the AI’s abilities, the world it is operating in, and what we actually want. Prof. Glassman will break this conversation down into understandable pieces using popular AI systems and interfaces already familiar to the layman, so that the audience can see and describe for themselves why AI systems can be so wonderful—and sometimes so frustrating to use!

Lunch & Keynote Address — 12:00 p.m.

Going Public

Sarah WhitingDean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design

While we associate the expression “going public” either with the public disclosure of something that was previously only private or with a private company’s IPO (initial public offering), the design world is, arguably, perpetually going public – design’s patron might be a specific person or entity, but design’s audience is public. In this talk, I’ll touch on what being public means for design and what our contemporary changing public realm might mean for design’s future.

2:00 p.m.

Program Concludes

Thank you for joining us and for all you do for the Harvard community, we hope to see you next year!

Harvard Club of Boston Member Price per member: $57 (member fees not included)
Non-Member Price per person: $75

Continental breakfast, all Harvard faculty presentations, and three-course luncheon are included for this in-person program at the Harvard Club of Boston.

Register Now

Speaker Biographies

Guy-Uriel Charles

Professor Guy-Uriel CharlesGuy-Uriel E. Charles is the Charles J. Ogletree Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he also directs the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice.  He writes about how law mediates political power and how law addresses racial subordination. He teaches courses on civil procedure; election law; constitutional law; race and law; critical race theory; legislation and statutory interpretation; law, economics, and politics; and law, identity, and politics. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Law Institute. He was appointed by President Joseph Biden to the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. He is currently working on a book, with Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, on the past and future of voting rights, under contract with Cambridge University Press, which argues that the race-based model that underlies the Voting Rights Act has run its course and that the best way to protect against racial discrimination in voting is through a universal, positive rights model of political participation.  He is also co-editing, with Aziza Ahmed, a handbook entitled Race, Racism, and the Law, under contract with Edward Elgar Publishing.  This book will survey the current state of research on race and the law in the United States and aims to influence the intellectual agenda of the field.


His academic articles have appeared in Constitutional Commentary, The Michigan Law Review, The Michigan Journal of Race and Law, The Georgetown Law Journal, The Journal of Politics, The California Law Review, The North Carolina Law Review, and others. He is co-author of Election Law in The American Political System (with James Gardner) and Racial Justice & Law: Cases And Materials (with Ralph Richard Banks, Kim Forde-Mazrui and Cristina Rodriguez). He is co-editor of The New Black: What Has Changed And What Has Not With Race In America (with Kenneth Mack) and Race, Reform, And Regulation Of The Electoral Process: Recurring Puzzles In American Democracy (with Heather Gerken and Michael Kang).His public writings have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Time, Time, The Atlantic, Slate, among many venues.  He has delivered distinguished lectures at various universities including University of California, Davis Law School, University of Richmond Law School, University of Oregon Law School, William and Mary Law School. 

Professor Charles received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School and clerked for The Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. While at the University of Michigan, he was one of the founders and the first editor-in-chief of the Michigan Journal of Race & Law. From 1995-2000, he was a graduate student in political science at the University of Michigan.

Before teaching at Harvard, he taught at Duke Law School and at the University of Minnesota Law School.  He also served as interim co-dean at the University of Minnesota from 2006-2008. He has been a visiting professor at Georgetown, Virginia, and Columbia law schools. He was a past member of the National Research Commission on Elections and Voting and the Century Foundation Working Group on Election Reform. In 2006, he was awarded the distinguished teaching award at the University of Minnesota Law School. In 2016, he was awarded the distinguished teaching award at Duke Law School.

James Engell

James Engell

Since 1978 James Engell has taught at Harvard, chairing the Department of English from 2004 to 2010 and again during Covid 2020-2021.  He earlier chaired the Degree Program in History & Literature as well as the Department of Comparative Literature.  He serves on the Committee on the Study of Religion.  A faculty associate of the Harvard University Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has taught environmental courses at Harvard (including in the Advanced Leadership Initiative), the National Humanities Center, and Waseda University.  He helped lead the divestment movement at Harvard.  His HarvardX online course on Rhetoric and public speaking has enrolled more than 600,000 learners.

In 2008 Yale University Press published Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, which he conceived and co-edited.  His other books include The Creative Imagination:  Enlightenment to Romanticism (1981); The Committed Word: Literature and Public Values (1999); with Anthony Dangerfield, Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money (2005), which won the 2007 Association of American Colleges & Universities Ness Book Award for best book on liberal education; and with Michael D. Raymond, an illustrated edition (2016) of William Wordsworth’s great autobiographical poem of consciousness, politics, and the natural world, The Prelude (1805).

He served on the inaugural faculty advisory committee of the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, as well as on its subcommittee for solar geoengineering.

Elena Glassman

Elena Glassman

Elena Glassman designs, builds and evaluates systems for comprehending and interacting with population-level structure and trends in large code and data corpora. She is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Stanley A. Marks & William H. Marks Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, specializing in human-computer interaction. She earned a PhD and MEng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a BS in Electrical Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining Harvard, she was a postdoctoral scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the Berkeley Institute for Data Science Moore/Sloan Data Science Fellowship.

Luana Marques

Luana Marques

Radiating an energetic blend of personal charisma and scholarly depth, Dr. Luana has emerged as a powerful force in the global speaking circuit. She is known for her captivating presence and dynamic storytelling that weaves together the threads of her personal journey and professional expertise to inspire transformation in her audiences.

Dr. Luana’s personal story of overcoming adversity, trauma, and poverty while growing up in Brazil provides authenticity and depth to her message. Today, as an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical
School, Past President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and best-seller author, Dr. Luana is a paragon of resilience, determination, and boldness.

Sarah Whiting

Sarah Whiting

Sarah Whiting has been Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 2019. She is also a design principal and co-founder of WW Architecture, based in Cambridge, and served as the Dean of Rice University's School of Architecture from 2010 to 2019. Whiting obtained a interdisciplinary, self-directed Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale, a Master of Architecture from Princeton in 1990, and a Doctor of Philosophy in the History and Theory of Architecture from MIT in 2001. Whiting’s research and writing is broadly interdisciplinary, with the built environment at its core. An expert in architectural theory and urbanism, she is particularly interested in modern and contemporary architecture’s imbricated relationship with politics, economics, and society, and how the built environment shapes the nature of public life.


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