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Duncaster Lectures—Spring 2018

As part of the University’s continuing cooperation with the Duncaster Retirement Community in Bloomfield, monthly lectures are offered on the Duncaster campus, 40 Loeffler Road in Bloomfield. Each lecture begins at 4:45 p.m. and is followed by a light buffet reception, providing an opportunity to talk informally with the speaker and mingle with other participants.

The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition

Michael Robinson
Tues., Feb. 6; 4:45–6:15 p.m.; Duncaster Retirement Community
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

In 1845, two British naval ships left England with 129 men in search of the Northwest Passage. They were never heard from again. The disappearance of the Franklin Expedition shocked the world. Dozens of expeditions set sail into the Arctic looking for the missing explorers. This lecture will trace the mystery of the expedition, following the clues that led historians to their dramatic conclusions about the fate of Franklin and his men. Finally, it will examine the recent discovery of Franklin's two expedition ships, Erebus and Terror, by Parks Canada, and the way these discoveries have changed our thinking about the expedition itself.

MICHAEL ROBINSON is an associate professor of history at the University of Hartford's Hillyer College. He is the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), winner of the 2008 Book Award for The History of Science in America and The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). Robinson has given lectures about his work at the American Museum of Natural History, The Explorers Club, The British Library, the Library of Congress, and NASA headquarters among others.

How Does the Taste of Debussy's Music Differ from That of Ravel? An Introduction to Gastromusicology

Ira Braus
Fri., March 16; 10–11:30 a.m.; Duncaster Retirement Community
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

This lecture answers the question, "Why do musicians love to talk shop in the kitchen?"
Ira Braus will present a music appreciation class focusing on the culinary habits of famous composers,and how the composers used food images in personal correspondence and other writings to explain style and structure of their respective works.

IRA BRAUS is associate professor of music history at The Hartt School. He is a widely published scholar, whose essays appear in journals such as 19th-Century Music, Journal of Musicological Research, Journal of Music Theory, and Music Perception. His book, Classical Cooks, A Gastrohistory of Western Music was published in 2007 and has since achieved international acclaim. He has appeared as a guest on the Colin McEnroe Show (WNPR), presented for the First International Conference of Food and the Arts (Boston University) and lectured for the Boston Symphony Supper Club. Braus holds a PhD in musicology from Harvard and is an alumnus of the Tanglewood Music Center. In 2015, he worked as a visiting scholar at McGill University's Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music and Media Technology.

Common Lands, Uncommon People

Ron Epp
Tues., April 3; 4–6:15 p.m; Duncaster Retirement Community
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

While colonial and 19th-century New England towns developed regulations limiting the use of fields, streams, marshes, forests, meadows and other natural resources, nature conservation took a new turn as the 20th-century approached. Against the forces of the  Industrialized Age, the agents who tamed and exploited the physical environment were challenged by Progressive-era figures like Theodore Roosevelt. After centuries of prioritizing private ownership and the profitable use of the nation's resources, conservation was emerging as a social movement grounded in the experiences and traditions of 19th-century rural America. Before environmental policy could be structured by state and federal organizations, land that would be held in common had to be identified and fiercely represented by persistent and strong willed uncommon women and men. This lecture will address the accomplishments of 20th-century pioneers and their impact on New England. 

RONALD H. EPP, PhD is a philosopher, historian, biographer, and academic librarian. He has taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Memphis, and the University of Hartford before becoming its director of Libraries (1993-2001). Epp is a founding member of the Council of Connecticut Academic Library Directors. He served as a consultant to America’s Best Idea: The National Parks, the Ken Burns PBS documentary. His Creating Acadia National Park: The Biography of George Bucknam Dorr was published last year. Since then Epp has delivered more than two dozen talks on conservation, most recently to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Note: Tuition and fees are non-refundable.