Summer 2019


Till We Have Faces

Naomi LaDine of Furman University led a six week discussion group on C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces.


Home for the Summer

James Capuzzi and Alan Dunne led a short story discussion group featuring stories Ernest Hemingway, Wendell Berry, Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene, and James Joyce.


Spring 2019


Great Ideas Debate: Peter Thiel and William Hurlbut

In collaboration with ISI, we hosted Peter Thiel and William Hurlbut to debate the topic: Technology Should Treat Death as an Enemy. The debate in full is available here:


The Great Conversation

In Volume IV, The Great Conversation considered authors such as Darwin, Nietzsche, Eliot, and Frankl in discussing the question How Should We Live?


Introduction to Russian Thought

Dr. Konstantin Starikov led a six week mini-course on The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, weaving in cultural, linguistic, and historical context.


Late Night Eats: The Human Diner

Professor Francesco “Chip” Piatti lectured on the American Diner, its origins and the values and community that it develops around itself. Participants learned that diners are built in factories and shipped wholesale, that they are sustainable limited waste facilities, and that the average diner chef can make a breakfast in a minute and fifteen seconds!

After the lecture participants were served Cottage Pie and Milkshakes homemade by Professor Piatti and AAI staff.


Film Night at AAI: My Dinner with Andre

The film, a fictional conversation between Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, depicts the two characters at a dinner conversation in New York City. Throughout the evening they debate what it means to be alive, to feel human, and to connect with other people and finding beauty in even the most mundane aspects of life.

Iosif Gershteyn of Cognitum gave an introduction to the film and led the discussion afterwords, consisting of the relationship between comfort and happiness and the themes of free will, human connection, and more.


Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: Living without Religion

A panel discussion of the secular or humanist life.

Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University & MIT University

Daniel Dennett, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University

Sasha Sagan, Author of For Small Creatures Such as We


Italian Heritage Night: Botticelli, Ragu and Zeppole

James Capuzzi, M.A. Sustainable Cultural Heritage

Professor Francesco “Chip” Piatti

An evening of art and great food, recent M.A. James Capuzzi gave a lecture on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s new Botticelli exhibit, punctuated by historical insights from Professor Piatti. Dinner served after the talk, Tagliatelle al Ragu was prepared by Capuzzi, and the Zeppole explained and brought by Piatti.


Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: Living with Religion

A panel and discussion on religion and religious life. 

Father Patrick J. Fiorillo, Harvard Chaplain 

Professor Carl Sharif El-Tobgui, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Brandeis University

Rabbi Michelle Fisher, Jewish/Hillel Chaplin MIT

Reverend Margery Kennelly, Harvard Chaplin 


Dr. George Harne on Theodor Adorno’s Philosophy of Music

Click above image for full audio of Dr. Harne’s talk!

Click above image for full audio of Dr. Harne’s talk!