The Humanities Institute

Bella DePaulo, Amy Parish, Marc Solomon, moderated by Dan Segal

April 7-January 1, 1970

Vita Nova Hall

Dr. Bella DePaulo describes her book, Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, as “a myth-busting, consciousness-raising, totally unapologetic take on singles and their place in contemporary American society.” Dr. DePaulo earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University and her B.A. from Vassar. Since 2002, she has served as the Chair of the Academic Advisory Board for the American Association for Single People. In addition to Singled Out, she has more than one hundred scholarly publications. She is a nationally recognized expert on singles, and her article on singles as the newest political demographic was published in The New York Times.

Her talk is entitled “Single and Surrounded: Personal Ties in 21st Century Life.”

Dr. Amy Parish is a Biological Anthropologist, Primatologist, and Darwinian Feminist who has taught at University of Southern California in the Gender Studies, Arts and Letters, and Anthropology programs and departments since 1999. She received her undergraduate training at University of Michigan and her graduate school education at University of California-Davis and then taught at University College London. She conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Giessen in Germany on the topic of reciprocity. The Leakey Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Center for Feminist Research, and Sigma Xi have funded her work. Dr. Parish has been studying the world’s captive population of bonobos for the last fifteen years. The bonobo, whose name derives from the ancient Batu word for ancestor, is one of the two species comprising the chimpanzee genus. Bonobos and chimpanzees are the two closest living relatives of humans living today. The social system of the Bonobo is unusual in many respects: females form real and meaningful bonds in the absence of kinship, females attack and dominate males, and all possible age and gender combinations participate in sexual interactions. She has also studied the mating system of white-handed gibbons in a rain forest in Thailand for two and a half years. Dr. Parish also has a project on female mate choice decisions in human females. In all of her research, Dr. Parish uses an evolutionary approach to shed light on the origins of human behavior. Dr. Parish currently teaches courses at USC on love, marriage and the experience of being a wife and on the cultural impact of Darwin’s theories. Her course for graduate students in the School of Education teaches future marriage and family therapists about human sexuality. She also teaches courses in USC’s new alternative premed major in Health and Humanities in addition to courses in Gender Studies and Anthropology. In 2008, she received a Mellon Award for excellence in faculty mentoring of undergraduate students.

Her work was recently featured in Ms. Magazine and she has appeared on Nova, National Geographic Explorer, NPR, and Discovery Health Channel productions.

Her talk is entitled, “Biological Perspectives on Love, Marriage and the Experience of Being a Wife.”

Marc Solomon serves as marriage director for Equality California, where he is responsible for the organization’s efforts to restore the right to marry to California. Prior to joining Equality California in April 2009, Marc served as executive director of MassEquality, the statewide organization that led the effort to protect equal marriage rights in Massachusetts. Facing an unprecedented attack by the Catholic Church, President Bush, Gov. Mitt Romney and the religious right, Solomon led the effort to defeat two constitutional amendments and protect marriage equality in what is considered Massachusetts’ most successful grassroots campaign. Following the victory in Massachusetts, Solomon worked closely with state-wide equality organizations in Connecticut, Vermont and Maine to secure the freedom to marry.

Solomon graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Political Science and Economics from Yale University (1989). In 2004, Solomon completed the mid-career Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. This May, 2009, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick presented Marc with the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s prestigious Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, given each year to someone who espouses FDR’s ideals “with respect to democracy, justice, individual freedoms, and citizenship.

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