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Duncaster Lectures—Spring 2019

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.

Detailed information on all lectures for this semester can be found on the spring 2019 catalog.

Online registration opened on January 3, 2019.

Cost for the series of four lectures is $20; Fellows, no charge. Register online.

Part II: The Latinx History You Never Learned—And Need to Know to Understand Modern America with Warren Goldstein

Tues., March 5; 4:45–6:15 p.m.; Series 2 of 4

In the past 30 years or so, professional historians have transformed the writing and understanding of U.S. history to show how the experiences of women, African-Americans, and Latinos shaped that history in fundamental ways. And yet, during this time, popular understanding of American history—even in the great musical Hamilton—rarely moves beyond hero narratives focused overwhelmingly on white men, from the founders through Doris Kearns Goodwin’s favorite presidents—Lincoln, the Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson.

This two-part lecture series will offer an alternative look at American history, first from the point of view, experience, and impact of African-Americans, beginning the year before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, through Barack Obama’s presidency, and second, the experience of Latinx Americans, who were even earlier North American residents, and whose history rarely enters the consciousness of Americans living east of the Mississippi. Among the questions these lectures will address are: “Why does Reconstruction matter so much?”,  “Why do historians hate Gone with the Wind so much?”, “Why should we care about the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo?”, and “Why have most of us never heard of Mendez vs. Westminster?”

There will be no required reading or homework required to attend—only open minds.

Warren Goldstein is a prize-winning historian, essayist, and commentator. Chair of the history department at the University of Hartford and the University’s Harry Jack Gray/ NEH Distinguished Teaching Humanist, he is author or coauthor of six books for scholarly and general audiences. His essays on history, higher education, race, religion, politics, crime, and sports have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe, Newsday, Miami Herald, The Nation, Christian Century, Commonweal, Tikkun, the Yale Alumni Magazine, and The Huffington Post

Women in Opera with Doris Lang Kosloff

Tues., April 2; 4:45–6:15 p.m.; Series 3 of 4

Enter the world of opera through the perspective of women, not only as characters (why do queens sing so high and witches sing so low?) but also increasingly as conductors, directors, and executives, who perform the multifarious jobs that bring the greatest performing art-form to life for audiences around the world.

Doris Lang Koslof is music director of The Hartt Opera, and artistic director of Opera Connecticut. A native of Brooklyn, she has held many prominent positions in the field of opera. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Queens College (The Aaron Copland School of Music) of the City University of New York, and holds a Master of Music from the Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts, where she graduated first in her class.

Modern Music: Will Audiences Ever Learn to Love it? (Or at Least Not Hate it?) with Steve Metcalf and Larry Alan Smith

Tues., May 7; 4:45–6:15 p.m.; Series 4 of 4

It has been more than 100 years since Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring unofficially ushered in the era of “modern” music. One hundred years is an eternity in the history of music—it’s roughly the length of time between Brahms’ First Symphony and the breakup of the Beatles. Nevertheless, the rupture between composers and audiences that can be said to have begun with Stravinsky’s ballet has, in many ways, continued to the present day.

In this informal talk, Larry Alan Smith and Steve Metcalf will discuss the idea of modern music and what the term means in the 21st century, and explore the question of why audiences seem to continue to resist it.

Larry Alan Smith is dean of The Hartt School. He enjoys an international career as a composer, conductor, and pianist. Since 2015, he has also been curator of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series.

Steve Metcalf is the director of the University of Hartford’s Presidents’ College. For more than 20 years, he was the full time staff music critic and editor at The Hartford Courant. In 2008 he founded the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series at The Hartt School, and curated the series for seven seasons.

Note: Tuition and fees are non-refundable.