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McAuley Lectures—Spring 2019

The McAuley lectures feature outstanding faculty members from the University of Hartford. The lectures take place once a month at 2 p.m. at McAuley Retirement Community, Asylum Avenue and Steele Road, West Hartford. Visitors should take the Steele Road entrance and park in visitors parking. The lectures are held in the main building, at the foot of the hill.

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.

How to “Read” a Film: Hitchcock’s Rear Window with Mark J. Schenker

Fri., Feb. 1; 2–3:30 p.m.; Series 1 of 4

An introduction to and how an appreciation of the visual aspects of a movie can deepen our enjoyment and understanding of film as a form of art. Ample “clips” of Rear Window (1954) will be “read” as a way of enabling viewers to consider elements of point of view, montage, genre and Hitchcock’s distinctive style.

Mark J. Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently a senior associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. A former lecturer in the English Department at Yale, he received his PhD from Columbia University with a concentration in 19th century and early 20th century English literature.

For over 30 years, Schenker has lectured on literature and film and has led book discussion series in more than 100 venues in Connecticut, including public libraries and retirement communities, museums, and cultural centers. For a decade, he presented programming at public libraries in association with the annual summer productions by the Shakespeare on the Sound theater company located in Fairfield County, and since 2007 he has conducted Literature and Medicine Programs to health care providers at Connecticut hospitals. His affiliation with the Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme) has resulted in over 100 sessions there on literature, film, and the visual arts.

Schenker also conducts monthly book discussions for a number of private reading groups in Connecticut. In 2001, he received the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council.   

Learning to Love the Stranger: An Evangelical’s Journey into Interfaith with Joel Lohr

Fri., March 1; 2–3:30 p.m.; Series 2 of 4

In this talk, Joel Lohr will share a little of his life story, one shaped by being raised in a staunchly Christian and yet diverse family of Dutch immigrant parents and adopted siblings from Laos and Bangladesh. Questions related to religious inclusion and exclusion, especially being “chosen” and “unchosen” by God, came to drive his later PhD and postdoctoral research, ultimately leading him to interreligious work with Jews and Muslims, all the while remaining deeply committed to his Christian faith.

Joel N. Lohr, PhD, is the president of Hartford Seminary, a leading interfaith graduate school. He is an award-winning author, scholar of religion, and passionate leader in interreligious relations and higher education. His teaching and research has focused on the Bible, specifically the Torah/Pentateuch, as well as Jewish-Christian relations and dialogue, Interreligious dialogue, and leadership in higher education. He has published 10 books, with both academic and popular publishers.


Why Harriet Beecher Stowe Matters Today with Briann G. Greenfield

Fri., April 5; 2–3:30 p.m.; Series 3 of 4

In an era of sound bites and tweets, why should we care about a 400-page novel and its 19th century author? What lessons can it teach us about empathy, community, gender, and racism? In this program, we will explore Harriet Beecher Stowe's journey as the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, a book that became the bestselling novel of the 19th century. We'll also learn why it's important that we continue to preserve Stowe's memory and how doing so today strengthens our own pluralistic society.  

Briann G. Greenfield is executive director of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, an innovative historic house museum that promotes vibrant discussion of Stowe’s life and work and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change. Greenfield previously served as   executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Greenfield is a former professor of history at Central Connecticut State University where she administered the department’s Public History Program and taught broadly across the curriculum. 
Greenfield received her MA in museum studies and her PhD in American studies from Brown University. She has held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities and Winterthur Museum. In 2010, she received Central Connecticut State University’s prestigious Board of Trustees Research Award. Her areas of research specialization include public memory, material culture, and public history.

Easier Said than Done: What it Takes for Public Policies to Achieve their Goals with Michael Bangser

Wed., May 15; 2–3:30 p.m.; 4 of 4

We often see press announcements that tout new initiatives to address an important public issue. Sometimes these initiatives work well; sometimes, not. In this talk, we will consider concrete examples of successes as well as disappointments in areas such as education, health care, housing, and the arts. We will tease out the real-world factors that influenced whether the desired results were achieved: What went right? What went wrong? In the future, what needs to be done at the outset and along the way to enhance the prospects of genuine success?

Michael Bangser was the president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for 16 years. He is currently a consultant to foundations and nonprofit organizations, as well as a visiting professor of public policy and law at Trinity College. Before coming to the Hartford Foundation, he was senior vice president and general counsel at MDRC, a nonprofit organization that designs and evaluates education, social-service, and other programs across the country. He has a BA from Williams College, a JD from Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford.