Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series: Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure after 50
“We must develop a compelling vision of later life, one that does not assume a trajectory of decline after 50 but recognizes this as a time of potential change, growth, and new learning, a time when our courage gives us hope.”
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist, has made a lifelong mission of understanding and improving education. She has explored complex cultural dynamics during her more than 40 years as a Harvard professor and researcher. For her book “The Third Chapter” she spent two years traveling the U.S., interviewing men and women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who have changed their lives and, in doing so, are redefining our views (and their own) on aging. In one inspirational story after another, they tell passionate and poignant tales of risk and vulnerability, failure and resilience, wisdom and new learning, proving that the years between 50 and 75 may, in fact, be the most transformative and generative time in our lives.
Her numerous honors include a 1984 MacArthur fellowship and Harvard’s 1993 George Ledlie Prize for research that makes the “most valuable contribution to science” and “the benefit of mankind.” She has written 11 books, among them “The Art and Science of Portraiture,” which put forth a new social science methodology poised between rigorous empiricism and literary narrative. Her most recent, “Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers” was published in the Fall of 2016.
Lawrence-Lightfoot received the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair at Harvard University in 1998. When she retires, it will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, making her the first African-American woman in Harvard’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.
The Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series features notable speakers from the fields of politics, culture and the media. Lectures take place January through March on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Book signings, when offered, are held in the O’Keeffe Gallery Building following the lecture, and are available to the public at no charge.
General Seating: $35
No charge to Four Arts Members
Tickets go on sale at 2:30 p.m. on the day of the event.