What makes us happy? This question is commonly posed across relationships, with family, with friends, with communities, and with ourself. In a world that seems to be falling apart, the pursuit for long lasting happiness seems more distant than ever. The Happiness Capacity; Modern Happiness through an Ancient Lens, Boston University researcher and Lexington High School Graduate Hailey Hart-Thompson explores how ancient ideas of happiness intersect with modern narratives in Nepal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Canada through fieldwork and cross cultural analysis. The talk will begin with her documentary titled, The Happiness Capacity, where she begins to explain how ancient philosophy can be adapted to modern life and how many people around the world are philosophizing every day to create unique, equitable, and long lasting happiness.
Hailey Hart-Thompson is a junior at Boston University pursuing an Independent Major (Anthropology, Classics, and English) with a Dual Degree in Film & TV. Her freshman year, she received the Humanities Scholars Award to analyze ancient texts and conduct field on Aristotle’s eudaimonic happiness in modern capacities. Her sophomore year research focuses on the family structure of a home for displaced children in Rishikesh, India and her most recent research is on displaced families in Beirut, Lebanon. She is currently the program manager for Innovate@BU’s First Year Innovation Fellowship and is developing a media and leadership collective for BU’s Initiative for Interdisciplinary Approaches on Forced Displacement. She just received the Provost Scholars Award for innovative research and plans to spend the next year working with students across various disciplines to address issues of forced displacement.