Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Utility Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content
prescollege_10_1_sg.jpg
Academics About U OF H
Admission Visiting Campus
Student Life Libraries
Alumni Public Purpose
News Arts & Events
Athletics Giving to U of H

Programs – Spring 2014

  • Music and Literature in 1914: “What’s Past Is Prologue” with Michael Lankester
    The events set in motion by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, one hundred years ago in Sarajevo changed the world forever. Incredibly, the work of the artist continued unabated amidst the chaos and terror of the war that followed. Michael Lankester examines five major compositions from the period of the outbreak of World War I and places them alongside the literary works of James Joyce, Franz Kafka, H. G. Wells, Lytton Strachey, and D. H. Lawrence. See brochure.
    Dates: Mondays, April 21, 28; May 5, 12, 19, 2014
    Time: 1 p.m.
    Location: Harry Jack Gray-Wilde Auditorium
    Cost: $95; Fellows, $75
    Registration

  • Hot Spots and Burning Issues: The Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Michael Clancy, moderator
    Launched last year in cooperation with the World Affairs Council, the monthly Foreign Affairs Discussion Group has been restructured to allow all those interested to sign up in advance for a one-semester series of discussions, to be moderated by Government and Politics Professor Michael Clancy, with the participation of additional experts from around the university and beyond. Each month a topic will be chosen that is in the news or that is generally recognized as an ongoing global problem, and readings will be distributed in advance. What kinds of topics? Turkey, Syria, Wikileaks,  international migration, food, Brazil, austerity in Europe . . . The list is endless and the topics are fascinating. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays, April 22, 2014
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $80; Fellows, and members of the World Affairs Council, $40

  • The McAuley Lectures - Renewable Energy: What's Stopping Us? with David Pines, Thomas Filburn, Cy Yavuzturk
    In the past few years, huge strides have been made in developing the technology needed to exploit renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass, to replace fossil fuels.  Today, approximately 13% of the electricity and 11% of the total energy generation in the US is produced by renewable energy sources. But it could be much more, both in the US and globally – and it needs to be, if we are to avoid depletion of natural resources and the effects of climate change. So what’s holding us up?  A team of three faculty members from the college of engineering at the University of Hartford will brief us on what the technology has to offer, and why its implementation is not moving faster.  They will look not just at the US but also at other countries – including Germany, from which they and a group of engineering students will have recently returned.

    Dates: Friday, April 25, 2014
    Time: 2 p.m.
    Location: McAuley Retirement Community, West Hartford
    Cost: Non-residents of McAuley who are Fellows of the Presidents’ College may attend the lectures without charge (but registration is advised: 860.768.4495 or pcollege@hartford.edu). Non-residents who are not Fellows may register for $15. A reception follows each lecture.
    Registration

  • The Art Scene: NY Springs to Life! with Zina Davis
    Like the flowering of its city streets, this spring Manhattan’s galleries and museums are brimming with works of art that reflect the glory, challenges, and beauty of the past and present.
    A few highlights include an exhibition of Renaissance masters, a rare selection of works by post-impressionist Paul Gauguin, and the Whitney Biennial, noted as one of the broadest and most diverse takes on contemporary art in America. Join Zina Davis on a tour of uptown museums and downtown galleries along with some out-of-the-way destinations. A pre-visit lecture and discussion will take place at the University on May 2, followed by trips to New York City on May 9 and 16 (you get there on your own and meet up with Zina at a central location). She will return to Hartford on May 23 for a final discussion and for your comments and perspective. This will be an opportunity to combine history and theory with actually seeing work firsthand and developing a framework for future exploration. Limited to 15 people. See brochure.
    Dates: Fridays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2014. Lectures in Hartford: May 2, 23.
    Visits to NY: May 9, 16, 2014
    Time: 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $90; Fellows, $75. Entrance fees and transportation not included.
    Registration
  • Dante’s Inferno: Heretics and Schismatics with Maria Esposito Frank
    A reading of Dante’s Inferno, 6th circle, canto 10, to focus on Dante’s view of heretics. The towering political figure of Farinata, the father of Dante’s best friend, Cavalcante, and emperor Frederick II will be discussed as denizens of the 6th infernal circle. We will subsequently move to the 8th circle, 9th pouch of Dante’s hell, Inferno, canto 28, to encounter Dante’s figures of divisiveness, Muhammad, Ali, Bertran de Born and others. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 6, 8, 13, 15, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $75; Fellows, $60
    Registration
  • A History of Jewish Hartford with Estelle Kafer, Betty Hoffman, Mary Donohue. Avi Patt, moderator
    While the history of the Jewish presence in Hartford is as old as Hartford itself, it was in the mid-19th century that immigrant Jews began to arrive in significant numbers from Europe. Their influence on the industrial and retail history of the city grew as the city expanded. Synagogues were built, a sense of community was created, and small businesses flourished. A century later, many of Hartford’s Jewish residents moved out of the city and into the suburbs, leaving behind them the places that they had once lived in, the schools they had once attended, the places where they had once worshiped. This course will look back at that rich history. It will include a bus visit to the historic synagogues of Hartford, a visit to the archives of the Jewish Historical Society led by Estelle Kafer, and lectures on Jewish history by Betty Hoffman and Mary Donohue. The course will be moderated by Avi Patt. See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays, May 7, 14, 21, 28, 2014
    Time: 1:30-3 p.m.; bus tour on May 21, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $85; Fellows and members of the JHS, $65
    Registration
  • Tuesdays at Duncaster - 360 Years of Jewish Life in America: Past, Present, and Future with Avinoam Patt
    Avi Patt will examine the evolution of Jewish life in America from its origins in 1654 to the present—from a group of 23 impoverished refugees fleeing the inquisition in Brazil to a remarkably diverse group of nearly six million Jewish Americans today. The lecture will also offer suggestions for how the findings of the recent Pew Study on Jewish life in America may influence our assessment of the American Jewish future.
    Date: Tuesday May 13, 2014
    Time: 4:45 p.m.
    Location: Duncaster Retirement, 40 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield
    Cost: Residents of Duncaster and all Fellows of the Presidents’ College may attend the lectures, and the reception following, without charge. The charge per lecture for non-resident, non-Fellows is $15.
    Registration

  • American Opera – “Shades of Gray” with Willie Anthony Waters
    It is often said that the line between opera and musical theater is quite blurred, especially here in North America. Maestro Willie Anthony Waters, former general director of Connecticut Opera, will explore and discuss some of the more important and popular American “operas,” focusing on those written between 1950 and approximately 1975. Using audio and video examples, he will show some of the connections between what might be called “traditional” American opera, and “musicals,” and how composers such as Bernstein, Copland, Menotti, Sondheim and, yes, Richard Rodgers, among others, have blurred the lines between “traditional” operas, contemporary American operas. and works from American musical theater. See brochure.
    Dates: Thursday, May 15; Tuesday, May 20; Thursday, May 22, 2014
    Time: 2–4 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $75; Fellows, $60
    Registration
  • Entwyned Early Music: An Early Music Tapestry with Dee Hansen, Neal Humphreys, Eric Hansen
    Music of the Baroque is still beautiful and relevent in our time. Entwyned Early Music performs a tapestry of great Baroque musical literature from several European states adapted for Baroque flute, cello and archlute or theorbo. The trio of professionally trained musicians combines works by Guedron, Handel, Telemann, Oswald and others into a tapestry of great baroque musical literature from England, France, Germany, and Scotland. The performers share with their audience the historical, social, and aesthetic contexts of the music and information about their instruments. Truly delightful repertoire and personable musicians.
    Dates: Friday, May 23, 2014
    Time: 2 p.m.
    Location: McAuley Retirement Community, West Hartford
    Cost: Non-residents of McAuley who are Fellows of the Presidents’ College may attend the lectures without charge (but registration is advised: 860.768.4495 or pcollege@hartford.edu). Non-residents who are not Fellows may register for $15. A reception follows each lecture.
    Registration
  • Katharine Hepburn: From Hartford to Hollywood with Jeanine Basinger, Jennifer Steadman, Karen DePauw
    With a stage and film career that spanned six decades, Katharine Hepburn is an American icon. Born and raised in Connecticut, Hepburn had a career in stage, film and television that reflected the changing role of women in broader society. Challenging the norms of the day, she took control of her image and identity by establishing a unique sense of style which influenced countless women, fashion designers, and the informal, elegant approach to American style that continues to resonate today. The story of her life-long ties to Connecticut offers a fuller picture of how Hepburn became the woman and the star she was.
    This lecture series will include an evening presentation on Hepburn’s impact on film by Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller professor of Film Studies and founder and curator of The Cinema Archives at Wesleyan University to be held on Wednesday, May 28. The series will conclude with a visit to the Connecticut Historical Society for a guided tour of Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen (April 10—September 13, 2014). See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays, May 28; June 4, 11, 18,2014
    Time:  2–3:30 p.m.
    Location: CT Historical Society (5/28); KF Room
    Cost: $85; Fellows, and members of the CHS, $70. Course organized in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society.
    Registration
  • Jazz Appreciation: An Introduction to the World of Jazz with Javon Jackson
    The American art form known as jazz has a rich history, well chronicled in audio and video performance. This three-part series of conversations and lectures will examine that history through three approaches: a survey of the big band era, a look at the era of bebop, and a review of the history of the jazz vocalist. The lectures will be illustrated with audio and video examples and there will be time to discuss the recordings and explore the field.  The goal? A better understanding of the history and the musical art of jazz. See brochure.
    Dates: Thursday, May 29; Tuesday, June 3; Thursday, June 5, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $65; Fellows, $50
    Registration
  • 2014 Patricia Cremins Memorial Lecture and Luncheon - Making Music
    Speaker - Carolyn Kuan, music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
    Date: Friday, May 30, 2014
    Time: 12 p.m., registration, 12:30, lunch; 1:30, lecture
    Location: 1877 Club, Harry Jack Gray Center
    Cost: $35, includes lunch
    Registration
  • Breaking Through: The Scientists Who Made the “Greatest Generation” Great with Michael Wininger
    It is a well-known paradox that wars stimulate scientific thinking. World War II and the Cold War brought about scientific advances on many fronts. This course will look at the science and the people behind those advances – émigrés from Germany, the secret world of Los Alamos, Navajo Code Talkers, the statistics that made victory at D-Day possible, the science behind the arms race – and particularly at the personality and ideas of Dwight Eisenhower and his assessment of these sometimes unsettling achievements. See brochure.
    Dates: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, June 2, 4, 6, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $65; Fellows, $50
    Registration
  • The Sewing Machine and the Typewriter: A Very Short History of Work in America with Richard Voigt
    The evolution of each one of these devices both reflected and caused significant changes in the way work was performed with broad implications not only for a specific productive activity but also for the way in which American society functioned in general. The forces propelling  the development of these machines were also propelling the development of other technologies and management strategies which came to define what it means to work  up to this very day. By utilizing the technical and social  history of the sewing machine and  the typewriter  as a springboard , this course will explore a variety of issues about what was gained and  what was lost in this process and what is the current significance of the answers to these questions. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesday, June 10; Thursday, June 12; Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    Time:  2-3:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $65; Fellows, $50
    Registration
  • A Katharine Hepburn Film Festival
    This day-long event, organized in partnership with Connecticut Historical Society with provide an opportunity to see some old movie favorites and local film material from the University's film archives. The day begins with a panel discussion on Hepburn's work and continues with three simultaneous showings of her movies. Participants will be free to roam from room to room. See brochure.
    Dates: Saturday, June 14
    Time:  9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Location: Dana Hall, Mali I, Mali II, D204
    Cost: $55, including lunch; Fellows and members of the CHS, $45, including lunch
    Registration
  • The Short Story from Chekhov to William Trevor with Kathleen McGrory
    The course will begin with a brief exploration of how the short story developed, from pilgrims’ sharings of their favorite narratives on the Way to Compostela and Canterbury to its modern birth as an art form in prose. At the heart of our explorations will be the short stories (in English translation) of Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, James Joyce, Alice Munro and William Trevor.  As time allows, we shall also plunder the anthologies for a few indispensable treasures. See brochure.
    Dates:Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 17, 19, 24, 26.
    Time:  10:30 a.m. –12 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $75; Fellows, $60
    Registration
  • Scorpions: A Supreme Court Book Club with Jilda Aliotta
    Harvard law professor Noah Feldman’s book Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices (2010) takes a close look at the remarkable careers and conflicting trajectories of four  FDR appointees to the Supreme Court.  Here’s how the publisher describes them: “A tiny, ebullient Jew who started as America’s leading liberal and ended as its most famous judicial conservative. A Klansman who became an absolutist advocate for free speech and civil rights. A backcountry lawyer who started off trying cases about cows and went on to conduct the most important international trial ever.  A self-invented tall-tale Westerner who narrowly missed the presidency but expanded individual freedom beyond what anyone had dreamed.”  Can you match these descriptions with Felix Frankurter, Hugo Black, Thomas Jackson, and William O. Douglas?  Whether you can or not, this book club will provide you with an opportunity to discuss Feldman’s book with an expert: Politics and Government professor Jilda Aliotta.  Enrollment will be limited to 20 people. Please read the book in advance!  Limited to 20 people. See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays and Fridays, June 18, 20, 25, 27, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m. –12 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $80; Fellows, $65
    Registration
  • 2014 PC Symposium - Save the Date
    Date: Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Time
    : 9a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • The Biology of The Shaking Palsy with Paola Sacchetti
    In this special seminar, we will examine what we know today about the biology of Parkinson’s disease. We will discuss symptoms, signs, and stages of the disease based on data collected from human brain analysis. We will explore the different hypotheses on the possible causes of the disease and explore treatment options available today to patients and prospective therapies, such as stem cell replacement therapy. We will discuss how a group of heroin addicts in the 1980s was instrumental in changing the way scientists studied this disease and we will examine the animal and cell models available today to further understand the disease’s progress and causes.
    Dates: Wednesdays, October 1, 8, 15, 2014
    Time:  5 –6:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
    Cost: $90; Fellows, $75
    Registration: N/A

Programs In Progress or Completed

  • Three Moments in the History of American Race Relations with Warren Goldstein
    In an issue as highly charged as race in the United States, it is often difficult to separate myth and truth. In this three-session course, Professor Goldstein will examine two moments in the history of American race relations: Jackie Robinson’s 1947 baseball debut and what flowed out of it, and the meteoric rise of Martin Luther King as a civil rights leader. Behind both of these moments lies a history of racial discrimination – one rooted ultimately in slavery and the movement for its abolition. The course will end with a reconsideration of the nature of slavery and its corrosive influence on American society from that day to this. See brochure.
    Dates: Thursdays, January 30; February 6, 13, 2014
    Time: 12:15 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • Hot Spots and Burning Issues: The Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Michael Clancy, moderator
    Launched last year in cooperation with the World Affairs Council, the monthly Foreign Affairs Discussion Group has been restructured to allow all those interested to sign up in advance for a one-semester series of discussions, to be moderated by Government and Politics Professor Michael Clancy, with the participation of additional experts from around the university and beyond. Each month a topic will be chosen that is in the news or that is generally recognized as an ongoing global problem, and readings will be distributed in advance. What kinds of topics? Turkey, Syria, Wikileaks,  international migration, food, Brazil, austerity in Europe . . . The list is endless and the topics are fascinating. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays, January 28; February 25; March 25; April 22, 2014
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • Here Be Dragons: Monsters and Magic in the Middle Ages with Amanda Walling
    Medieval maps famously used dragons, sea monsters, and fantastic beasts to mark unexplored parts of the world. This course will explore how stories of monsters and magical otherworlds in medieval Europe allowed people to answer the question 'who are we?' by first imagining 'who aren't we'? Through stories of heroes, saints, enchanters, and explorers, we will consider what these fascinating stories tell us about the cultures that imagined them, and why monsters have such enduring power in our own culture. See brochure.
    Dates: Mondays,  February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • Exploring Africa: How the West Claimed the Continent with Michael Robinson
    Since antiquity, Africa has been vital to the world economy. Medieval Europe relied upon African gold as a source of currency while Asia and the Middle East became the destination for African ivory and slaves.
    By the 1500s, Europeans had also entered the slave trade, exporting 10 million Africans to power the Atlantic economy from Brazil to Virginia. Yet despite its importance, Africa's interior remained almost entirely unexplored until the 1800s. How could a region so important remain so shrouded in mystery? This course will examine the place of African in world history, focusing on the 19th-century explorers Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and others, who first brought reports of the interior back to the western world. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays,  February 4, 11, 18, 25, 2014
    Time: 3 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room

  • Humanity on the Brink: Environmental Challenges of the Next 100 Years with Stephan Bullard
    In 1813 there were a billion people in the world; in 1913 that number had climbed to 1.7 billion. In 2013, the number exceeded 7 billion. This huge increase has been accompanied by scientific and technological advances, but also by the anarchic growth of cities, environmental degradation, and, now, the threat of climate change. Fossil fuels are steadily depleted, nuclear energy presents challenges as well as opportunities, and the promise of renewable energy sources has been slow to produce results. Menaced by growing threats, yet with numerous solutions within our grasp, what is the future for humankind, and how can we address these challenges and opportunities? See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays, February 5, 12, 19, 2014-Rescheduled for 2/26, 1:30 p.m.
    Time: 1:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room

  • Tuesday at Duncaster - An American in Paris: Mary Cassatt Among the Impressionists with George Lechner
    The artistic journey of the American painter Mary Cassatt is a fascinating story. We will examine her early training in Philadelphia and the ultimate triumph of her art in the heady atmosphere of fin-de-siècle Paris. She knew the Impressionists well and was greatly admired by them, forming an especially close and rewarding friendship with the painter Degas. Along the way she produced a superb body of work, remarkable not only for her own bold Impressionist style, but also for her perceptive treatment of women and children as her primary subjects. We will analyze the development of Mary Cassatt’s life and art through a study of her paintings, drawings, and prints, as well as her letters and those of her contemporaries.
    Date: Tuesday February 11, 2014
    Time: 4:45 p.m.
    Location: Duncaster Retirement, 40 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield
  • Hot Spots and Burning Issues: The Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Michael Clancy, moderator
    Launched last year in cooperation with the World Affairs Council, the monthly Foreign Affairs Discussion Group has been restructured to allow all those interested to sign up in advance for a one-semester series of discussions, to be moderated by Government and Politics Professor Michael Clancy, with the participation of additional experts from around the university and beyond. Each month a topic will be chosen that is in the news or that is generally recognized as an ongoing global problem, and readings will be distributed in advance. What kinds of topics? Turkey – Syria – Wikileaks – international migration – food – Brazil – austerity in Europe . . . The list is endless and the topics are fascinating. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays, February 25; March 25; April 22, 2014
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • Fellows Lectures - Strikes and Strokes: The 1980s in Recent British Film with Michael Walsh
    The 1980s are likely to enter British history as a moment of reorientation from social democracy to neoliberalism. British films about the period either emphasize its conflicts (the year-long miners’ strike, the IRA hunger strikes), or join in a pageant tradition of imagining the doings of monarchs and prime ministers (The Queen, The King’s Speech, The Iron Lady). That some of the most powerful of these figures are women makes the films only more delicious. See brochure.
    Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014
    Time: 12:15 p.m.
    Location: Harry Jack Gray Center, 1877 Club
  • The Origins of Human Language with Michael Horwitz
    How and why did complex human language originate? Did it evolve through the processes and mechanisms of natural selection as other complex systems have? Or are there alternative explanations? What might be some ways to approach these questions? In this course we will draw on many disciplines, including anthropology, biology, history, and psychology (in addition to linguistics) to try to answer the question of how our ancestors learned to use language. See brochure. This class is closed.
    Dates: Thursdays, February 27; March 6, 13, 2014
    Time: 3 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room

  • The McAuley Lectures - Who Was William Shakespeare? with
    Humphrey Tonkin
    Ever since Delia Bacon left Catherine and Mary Beecher’s Female Seminary in Hartford in 1825 and began working on her theory that Shakespeare’s works were not written by William Shakespeare, theories about the authorship of the plays have continued to fascinate journalists, conspiracy theorists, and amateur historians. In this lecture, Humphrey Tonkin will take a new look at these theories. What are the grounds for thinking that someone other than Shakespeare might have written the works attributed to him? How plausible are the arguments?
    Date: Friday, February 28, 2014
    Time: 2 p.m.
    Location: McAuley Retirement Community, West Hartford
  • The First American Revolution: The Rising of New England with
    Robert Churchill
    Most of us have at one time or another walked the liberty trail, or visited Old North Church. But few of us really know the story of how the people of New England initiated what would become the American Revolution. This course will examine the process by which average ordinary people committed themselves to a revolution. We will discuss Ray Raphael’s 2002 book The First American Revolution. Raphael examines the critical month of September 1774, in which the people of New England nullified British law, drove colonial officials out of their communities, and established a new government as General Gage watched hopelessly from Boston. This moment of grassroots democracy and armed insurrection continues to have profound implications for American political culture even in the present day. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays, March 4, 11, 25, 2014
    Time: 3:45 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • Tuesdays at Duncaster - Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three- Mile Island, How We Got There with Thomas Filburn
    If we wish to understand the causes of the three most well-known nuclear accidents, at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three-Mile Island, we need to understand the origins of the three very different nuclear reactor designs that the plants used and how the plants came into operation. The Fukushima plant was based on work performed by Argonne National Lab, proving that boiling water could be allowed within a nuclear reactor. The Chernobyl reactor traces its roots to Fermi’s initial reactor in Chicago in 1942. The TMI plant’s history begins with Admiral Rickover and his effort to develop a nuclear reactor for naval propulsion. What lessons can we learn from these histories and how can we avoid similar events in the future?
    Date: Tuesday March 11, 2014
    Time
    : 4:45 p.m.
    Location: Duncaster Retirement, 40 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield
  • American Art in the Gilded Age with George Lechner
    It was Mark Twain who first described the period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in America as “the Gilded Age,” a period of mass immigration to the US and the accumulation of vast wealth by American industrialists. This was the period of the great mansions in New York, on the Hudson, and in Newport, RI. It was also the period of the emergence of the New York art scene, and the work of such artists as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and Augustus St. Gaudens. This course will look at some of this art and its reflection of the times. See brochure. This course is closed.
    Date: Thursdays, March 13, 20, 27, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Hoffman SummerWood Community, 160 Simsbury Road, West Hartford
  • Fellows Lecture - The Medieval Art of Love with Nicholas Ealy
    During the Middle Ages, Western Europe underwent a “love renaissance” as writers and artists explored the simultaneous exhilaration and despair that occur when we fall in love. In a discussion of troubadour poetry and the stunning illustrations from René of Anjou’s Book of the Love-Smitten Heart, this talk will examine how works such as these created the blueprint for what we still consider today to be “romantic love.”
    Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014
    Time: 12:15 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • University Libraries: Searching 101 with Abbie Weinberg
    Please join Reference Librarian Abbie Weinberg as she leads a session on utilising the resources available at the University of Hartford Libraries. This one-hour session will give a glimpse into the search and research possibilities that one can unlock by utilizing the resources offered by the libraries. Sign up for one of two sessions offered in March (limited to 25 each session) in the KF classroom in Mortensen Library.
    Dates: Session One: Wednesday, March 19, 10–11 a.m.
    Dates: Session Two: Thursday, March 20,  2–3 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • A Reading of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse: Life into Art with Catherine Stevenson
    To the Lighthouse is not only one of the major texts of twentieth-century modernism, it is also a deeply felt and witty reflection on Woolf’s mother and father, on Victorianism, and on the “new art” of her day. We will explore this dense, rich novel in three classes. Class 1 will examine Part I, “The Window, “in the context of Woolf’s family background, particularly her struggle to reconcile herself to her mother’s untimely death and her father’s demanding egotism. Participants will read sections of Woolf’s autobiographical writings in Moments of Being along with the novel. Class 2 will investigate Part Two, “Time Passes,” as it illuminates some artistic and philosophical premises of modernism in fiction and painting. We will spend some time looking at paintings by Woolf’s sister Vanessa and other members of the Bloomsbury group. Class 3 will look at how Part Three, “To the Lighthouse,” attempts to resolve some of the novel’s emotional and artistic issues through the character Lily Briscoe and her act of painting. Texts: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (any edition) and Moments of Being: A Collection of Autobiographical Writing, edited Jeanne Schulkind (Harcourt, 1985). See brochure. This course is closed.
    Dates: Tuesdays, March 25; April 1, 8, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room

  • Hot Spots and Burning Issues: The Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Michael Clancy, moderator
    Launched last year in cooperation with the World Affairs Council, the monthly Foreign Affairs Discussion Group has been restructured to allow all those interested to sign up in advance for a one-semester series of discussions, to be moderated by Government and Politics Professor Michael Clancy, with the participation of additional experts from around the university and beyond. Each month a topic will be chosen that is in the news or that is generally recognized as an ongoing global problem, and readings will be distributed in advance. What kinds of topics? Turkey, Syria, Wikileaks, international migration, food, Brazil, and austerity in Europe. The list is endless and the topics are fascinating. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays, March 25; April 22, 2014
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • God in the Details: The World of Northern Renaissance Art 1400-1510 with Alexandra Onuf
    “Flemish painting will please the devout better than any painting of Italy… In Flanders they paint with a view to external exactness or such things as may cheer you... They paint stuffs and masonry, the green grass of the fields, the shadow of trees, and rivers and bridges, which they call landscapes, with many figures on this side and many figures on that. And all this, though it pleases some persons, is done without reason or art, without symmetry or proportion, without skillful choice or boldness and, finally, without substance or vigor.” Such was the verdict that Michelangelo rendered on Flemish painting in the 1540s. While perhaps unfairly prejudiced in his judgment, Michelangelo nonetheless highlights many of the characteristics that make early Northern Renaissance painting so distinctive. Beginning around 1400, Northern artists combined meticulous renderings of the world around them – from the minute particulars of fur, silk and metal surfaces to the vast expanses of distant landscapes – with a profound emotional and spiritual immediacy. This course will explore the art of the Northern Renaissance, focusing on major figures such as Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and Hugo van der Goes, as well as several lesser-known but equally influential masters. We will consider how paintings were made as well as how they were used and what they meant to contemporary viewers. In addition to painting, we’ll examine the new art of printmaking, especially as advanced by Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer, and investigate the ways prints both spread and transformed artistic ideas. We’ll also study the relationships between Northern and Italian Renaissance art, which – Michelangelo notwithstanding – were rich and fruitful indeed. See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays,  March 26; April 2, 16, 23, 30, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Harry Jack Gray Center - Wilde Auditorium
  • Air and Angels: The Poetry of John Donne (1572-1631) with Humphrey Tonkin
    The hard-edged, sophisticated poetry of John Donne created a sensation when T. S. Eliot and others drew it to the attention of readers again nearly a hundred years ago. Its dazzling use of imagery, its emphasis on the anchoring of human experience through the use of metaphor, and its startling realism led critics to think differently about the culture of the age and about Donne’s contemporaries, among them Shakespeare. This course will look closely at some of Donne’s early love poetry and his later religious poetry and the relation of both to the work of his contemporaries. See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays, March 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 2014
    Time: 1 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room

  • How Can We Know the Dancer from the Dance? with Stephen Pier
    Yeats’s famous question suggests, of course, that dancer and dance are one and the same. But is there a way of separating the two, of writing the dance down so that other dancers can learn it? How do you write a dance? Since the 18th century, people have been trying to come up with a system for recording the movements of dance so that dancers can learn not just from watching others dance but from a system of symbols that allow them to recreate the choreography of the original. Call it the written language of dance, if you will. By examining the repertoire of dance, this course will look at how dances are recorded, how they are reconstructed, and how dancers maintain consistency of performance – and how technology may be opening up new possibilities. See brochure.
    Dates: Thursdays, March 27; April 3, 10, 2014
    Time: 4:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • The McAuley Lectures- The Five People Who Invented American Popular Music: Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers with Steve Metcalf
    An informal survey of the golden age of American popular music — from the end of World War I to the beginning of rock ’n’ roll — with emphasis on the five composers who not only defined it but who personally created an astonishing percentage of it. With musical examples.
    Date: Friday, March 28, 2014
    Time: 2 p.m.
    Location: McAuley Retirement Community, West Hartford
  • Death to America! The Legacy of Bitterness in U.S.-Iran Relations with Russ Hoyle
    Iran’s Islamic revolution, the decades-long holy war against the Great Satan, and Tehran’s growing power and reach in the Middle East form the backdrop of the historic controversy over the prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb. With a lingering glance back at Iran’s rich past, we will examine the bitter and intertwined history of modern U.S.-Iran relations, from the CIA- and MI6-backed coup against Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 to the U.S.-Israeli Stuxnet cyberattacks on Iran in 2010. We will revisit the fall of the Shah, the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, the impact of the Iran-Iraq war, the 1989 Iranian hostage crisis and the Desert One rescue mission. A generation after the Iranian revolution, what are the forces now in play in contemporary Iran? We will assess the shifting fortunes of Iran’s moderate political elite, and the motivations of militant clerics around Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei and the terrorist masters of the Revolutionary Guard. See brochure.
    Dates: Tuesdays, April 1, 8, 22, 29; May 6, 2014
    Time: 1:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • Fellows Lecture - Is Communication Technology Changing the Nature of Human Interaction and Relationships? with Lynne Kelly
    Everyday interaction is now dominated by the use of technology, from sending text messages to video chat and social networking sites. The talk will explore what research is demonstrating about the impacts of mediated communication on our relationships with family, friends, romantic partners and strangers, raising te question of whether fundamental aspects of relationships and interpersonal communication are changing.
    Date: Thursdays, April 3, 2014
    Time: 12:15 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • The Two Faces of Parkinson's
    Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
    Time: 9 a.m.-2:30pm
    Location: Harry Jack Gray Center, Wilde Auditorium
  • Tuesdays at Duncaster - The War of the Book: or The Spy Who Loved Books with Michele K. Troy
    Even before Britain declared war in September 1939, Nazi officials were dismayed that Germany was losing the war of the book in Europe. International sales confirmed two dismal facts: Germany imported far more foreign books than it sold German books abroad, partly because the Nazi regime’s violence led continental consumers to boycott German goods; and sales of German books abroad, in German and translation, lagged behind Anglo-American and French literatures. In fact, the S. S. Security Services flagged these discrepancies as the leading cultural problems for 1938: how was the Reich to curb “the appallingly high number of translations from other languages” in Germany and sell more German books abroad? Come hear about the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” moment in which the German Propaganda Ministry and Foreign Office tried to learn from the example of their British and American rivals. Come hear about the spy who helped them try to beat the British and Americans, once and for all, at their own propaganda game.
    Date: Tuesday April 8, 2014
    Time: 4:45 p.m.
    Location: Duncaster Retirement, 40 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics with Jean McGivney-Burelle
    Mark Twain’s famous reminder about the power of numbers was right… This course will explore some elementary statistics and discuss classic cases of how statistics have been used to sensationalize, inflate, obscure and oversimplify matters. We will also examine more current examples of how mathatics is used and misused by the media. See brochure.
    Dates: Thursdays, April 10, 17, 24, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • The Science and Fantasy of Robots with James McDonald
    Robots are a staple of science fiction that has quietly become a staple of the modern world. In 2012 there were more than 1.2 million working robots in the world, accounting for an estimated $26 billion market value. Even so, people have always been wary of how the two groups – humans and robots – will coexist. In fact the very first robot story ends with an uprising as the robots turn on their human creators. Of course this hasn't prevented the U.S. Department of Defense from field testing armed robots for the battlefield. This course will look at the history of automata in literature and culture, the current state of robotics (which is amazing), and the potential legal and ethical treatment of a truly autonomous robot. See brochure.
    Dates: Fridays, April 11, 18, 25, 2014
    Time: 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room
  • How the Cold War Was Sold to Americans with Mari Firkatian
    The simmering conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1945 to 1989 was the defining phenomenon of the age, affecting not only the country’s foreign policy but its politics, society, economy, and culture as well. In this course, we will examine the most important events, ideas, and personalities of the years from the end of World War II to the early years of the Nixon administration. Our focus will be American propaganda aimed at its own population during the phases of the Cold War. We will address key historical debates on topics including the origins of the Cold War; the development of atomic and nuclear weapons; McCarthyism; the expansion of the Cold War beyond Europe; race relations; gender relations, human rights and we may jump to the end of the Cold War for a wrap up discussion. The course will also give attention to Cold War crises—including the Korean War, the Taiwan Strait, Berlin, Cuba, and Vietnam—and their impact on American domestic society. Lectures, propaganda and feature films, and discussions will focus on a mix of primary documents and influential interpretative texts. See brochure.
    Dates: Wednesdays, April 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 2014
    Time: 3:30 p.m.
    Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room

More Information


JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.
Red Impact Bar