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Two landmark anniversaries coincide in 2016: the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death and the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, a place that would give its name to such segregated areas worldwide and serve as the historical backdrop for Shakespeare's most controversial play, The Merchant of Venice. Shaul Bassi, associate professor of English Literature at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, reflects on the legacy of the Ghetto and the international effort now underway to stage The Merchant of Venice in Venice for the very first time in July, 2016. Recorded on 01/26/2016.

Ruth Wisse, Professor of Yiddish Literature at Harvard University, discusses her book, No Joke: Making Jewish Humor. She broadly traces and celebrates modern Jewish humor but also asks difficult questions: Can the excess and extreme self-ridicule of Jewish humor go too far and backfire in the process? And is "leave 'em laughing" the wisest motto for a people that others have intended to sweep off the stage of history? Recorded on 04/14/2016.

In the U.S. and around the world, cities are embracing design as a strategic asset and transformation driver. San Diego can capitalize on this knowledge and use design to enrich our communities, strengthen our businesses, and create value. A panel of experts from around the world present models of how leading industry and government organizations have leveraged design and assessed its contribution to grow their economies and global stature.

Journalist Ari Shapiro shares how his passion for literature has inspired him to find and report great stories in Washington, Europe and elsewhere around the world in his remarkable rise from radio intern to co-host of NPR's flagship news program, All Things Considered. Shapiro is the featured speaker at the 2016 Dinner in the Library event at the Geisel Library at UC San Diego.
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