Caravaggio: A Revolution in Painting with Alexandra Onuf
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) revolutionized painting in Baroque Rome. Famed for his extraordinary realism and exaggerated use of light and shadows, he produced scenes of shocking violence, agonizing tragedy, and quiet sorrow that blurred the boundary between the real world and painted illusion. His pictures established a new language for art that communicated intense drama and immediacy. The course will explore what made Caravaggio’s style so innovative, with its hallmark chiaroscuro and masterful staging. It will survey the evolution of Caravaggio’s work from his early genre scenes to the profound religious paintings he did later in his career. He left an indelible mark on generations of painters who followed in his wake: his approach to painting became an international movement taken up by artists from all over Europe. The course scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition “Burst of Light: Caravaggio and His Legacy” at the Wadsworth Atheneum (March 6-June 16, 2013), and will be followed by a visit to the exhibition. See brochure. This course is closed. Dates: Wednesday–Friday — May 29–31, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $45) Registration
An Introduction to James Joyce's Finnegans Wake with Kathleen McGrory
Celebrate spring by finding your own path through Joyce’s final work, Finnegans Wake (no apostrophe, please), a celebration of rebirth, resurrection and the Family of Man. Meet his Adamic-Everyman hero, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, HCE (Here Comes Everybody), who embodies every man who’s ever had a great fall. Meet his wife, Anna Livia Plurabelle (ALP, the first letter of the alphabet, the River Liffey), earth-mother of twins, Shem and Shaun, (Mutt and Jeff, Yin and Yang), all opposites, rivals, rivae, banks of the River Liffey. Meet their daughter Isabel-Iris, the rainbow. Discover the pleasures of a book that employs all the resources of allusive English, a punning, musical language created by Joyce out of the history of languages and the geography of the city of Dublin for this telling of his final story (yes, there is a plot!) about family life at the level of myth. Think of this Introduction to the most challenging book ever written in English (yes, it is English, as you’ve never read it before) as an exercise in calisthenics for the brain, a challenge to surmount the Everest of stories in English. But don’t forget the last line of the rollicking Irish song that inspired this story, named for an Irish master builder, Tim Finnegan: “Lots of fun at Finnegan’s Wake!” Re-discover the joy of reading while decoding a unique modern classic. See brochure. Dates: Mondays & Thursdays — June 3, 6, 10, 13, 2013 Time: 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $70 (Fellows $55) Registration
Jeffrey Toobin on the US Supreme Court: A Book Club with Jilda Aliotta
The US Supreme Court is both one of the most open and one of the most secretive governing institutions of the United States. The materials used by the Justices to reach their decision, including written briefs and oral arguments, are all available to the public. However, the Justices’ deliberations are by and large characterized by secrecy. In his latest book, The Oath, Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer for the New Yorker and legal analyst for CNN takes us behind the scenes to examine the personalities and internal politics that have shaped major Supreme Court decisions over the past four years. Participants in this course will read and discuss the book in four sessions spread over two weeks. Enrollment will be limited to 20 people. See brochure.This course is closed. Dates: Tuesdays & Fridays — June 11, 14, 18, 21, 2013 Time: 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60)
The American Revolution:Myths, Realities and Legacy with Edward Gutierrez
This year marks the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (3 September 1783), which ended the American War of Independence and created our republic. As we approach this year’s Fourth of July, this course cuts through the Revolution’s romantic haze, which persists to this day, and presents the brutal actuality of the conflict: a civil war that pitted Loyalists against Patriots, with colonists caught between. The four lectures of this series will center on these key areas: why the war was fought; how the war was fought; the war’s impact on society; and the war’s impact on history. The Revolution remains essential to understanding our modern political tensions, and is as relevant today as it was 230 years ago. See brochure. See American History at the Presidents' College. Dates: Monday — June 24; Wednesday — June 26; Friday — June 28;
Monday — July 1, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60) Registration
Annual Symposium 2013 – Exploring Creativity – Save the date!
Lectures, discussions, panels and performances on Creating the Future of Connecticut, Creativity in the Arts and Creativity and Invention. Date: Sunday – September 15, 2013 Time: 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: TBA Registration
Programs in progress or completed
Tuesdays at Duncaster - King Arthur Across Cultures, Medieval to Modern with Amanda Walling The stories of King Arthur date back to early Welsh myths, but for a thousand years they have flourished across many cultures and languages, including French, English, German, and American literature, and expanding to include the adventures of famous knights, forbidden love affairs, the legend of the Holy Grail, and nostalgia for past eras. Professor Walling's lecture will explore what these legends have meant in different times and cultures, from their earliest origins to the reinventions of Mark Twain and Monty Python. Lecture is followed by reception and dinner with the speaker. Date: January 8, 2013
Time: 4:45 p.m. Location:Duncaster Retirement Community, Bloomfield, CT Cost: Lecture and reception free to Fellows of the Presidents' College ($15 for non-fellows). Dinner is $25.
The Poetry Room with Humphrey Tonkin
Five poems by five poets in five days…. In this new experiment for the Presidents’ College, Humphrey Tonkin invites you to visit the KF room in the library every morning to discuss in detail a particular poem by a well-known poet. Such close reading gets less attention than it used to – and this is an effort to redress that balance. The poems will include a sonnet by Shakespeare, a poem by John Donne, one of Keats’s odes, a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and a poem by a twentieth-century American – probably Wallace Stevens or Amy Clampitt. You can sign up in advance (which we would prefer) or just turn up on the day. See brochure. See poetry list. Dates: Monday–Friday — January 14–18, 2013
Time: 10 a.m.-–12 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $30 (Fellows and non-Fellows) for the week, or $10 per day at the door.
And There's the Humor of It with Humphrey Tonkin
The Hartford Medical Society and the University of Hartford's Presidents' College are jointly sponsoring a free event in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine's traveling exhibit "And There's the Humor of It", on display at the UConn Health Center's Lyman Maynard Stowe Library, December 17, 2012-January 26, 2013. You are invited to tour the HMS Historical Library (now located at the Health Center), view the NLM exhibit, and hear eminent scholar Humphrey Tonkin speak on "Shakespeare and the Four Humors." Reception to follow. See flyer. Date: Tuesday — January 15, 2013
Time: 4–5 p.m., Tour HMS Library and "And There's the Humor of It" exhibit; 5-6 p.m., Talk by Humphrey Tonkin; 6-7, Reception Location: Lyman Maynard Stowe Library - UConn Health Center, 263 Farmington Aven, Farmington, CT Cost: No charge
Spring Preview Our preview reception for the spring semester will be held in Mortensen Library on Friday, January 18, 2013 beginning at 4:30 p.m. At the reception, which is free and open to all, you will hear from some of the faculty members who will be teaching courses for us in the spring. There will be refreshments and musical entertainment. Mark your calendar! Date: Friday — January 18, 2013
Time: 4:30–6:30 p.m. Location:Goodwin Café Cost: No charge
McAuley Lecture — Cyberspace and Innerspace: The Role of the Internet and Nanotechnology in Creating a Sustainable Future with Louis Manzione Two profound technological movements in the drive toward a sustainable society are the megatrends of the Internet and Nanotechnology. The explosive growth of bandwidth on the internet, as well as its ubiquity in mobile radio devices, will usher in a new era of interpersonal interactions that will effectively replace moving people with moving electrons. In addition, the widespread implementation of smart systems connected through the internet will lead to a continued optimization of resources in ways that are surprisingly effective and relatively inexpensive. As for inner space, nanotechnology will create a new technological base that for the first time mimics and complements biological processes at the molecular scale rather than harming life processes at the macro scale – a hallmark of the Industrial Revolution and the Post-Industrial Age. Nanotechnology will allow us to manipulate life forms and biological molecules to produce energy, specialty materials, and genome-specific drugs, and to undo the damage of decades of macro-scale engineering. See brochure. Date: Friday — January 25, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. Location:McAuley Auditorium, followed by small reception Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the McAuley Retirement Community; $15 for all others
From Sacred to Profane: Rembrandt's Universe with George Lechner
The age of the Baroque was an extraordinary time of truly great artists. Rembrandt and his art continue to fascinate and perplex us. His far-ranging artistic vision encompassed sweeping scenes from grand historical drama to the quietest moments of domestic intimacy. His extraordinary skill included daring and controversial approaches to his subject-matter as well as an absolute mastery of the differing techniques of painting, drawing, and printmaking. Our three-session course will examine a number of approaches to understanding this great master in the context of his times. We will look at his intensely personal approach to Biblical subjects as well as his close relationship to Amsterdam's Jewish community. We will also analyze his relationship to the art and culture of the past, especially in regard to ancient myths and Renaissance classicism. Women held a special place in Rembrandt's art and we will examine his portraits of women and his representation of the female nude. Additionally, Rembrandt's art will be compared and contrasted with the works of his great contemporaries Rubens, Vermeer, and Hals. See brochure. February 11 class rescheduled for February 25.
Dates: Mondays — January 28; February 4, 11, 2013
Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
Fellows Lecture — To Sing or not to Sing: That is the Question with Kevin Gray
Kevin Gray will take a long hard look at the concept of musical theater, surely one of the great mainstays of the American theatrical scene. What makes it work and not work and what makes it such an enduring art form. Date: Tuesday — January 29, 2013
Time: 3:30–5 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the University community
Surviving the Worst: The Science of Disasters with Stephan Bullard
It seems as though every time we turn on the news something horrible has happened. Hurricanes pound the US coasts, tsunamis sweep across the Indian Ocean, airplanes crash, ships sink… the list seems endless. This course will take an in-depth look at the types of natural and man-made disasters that occur in the modern world. We will examine disasters in detail to understand them scientifically and within an individual and social context. In so doing we will address numerous questions about disasters: What causes disasters? What happens to people during disasters? How do people recover from disasters? How can we protect ourselves from disasters? By understanding the processes that occur during a catastrophe, we can better prepare ourselves to deal with crises and hopefully lower our anxiety levels. See brochure. Dates: Wednesdays — January 30; February 6, 13, 2013
Time: 2–3:30 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
The Elements of Music with Edward Cumming — Course is closed
In four lectures (with discussion), Maestro Cumming will explore what goes to make up music: Melody: From Johann Joseph Fux to Strauss, all of melody has a shape and a structure (and the really good ones break the rules!); Harmony: The pie-filling in music, that ineffable quality that only the great composers possess, and the recipe that most chefs won't divulge (Can it be taught?); Rhythm: If Puccini doesmelody, then Beethoven and Stravinsky dorhythm; and Texture: There are four different kinds, and, in the Hallelujah Chorus, Handel uses all four! See brochure. Rescheduled for March 1. Dates: Fridays — February 1, 8, 15, 22, 2013
Time: 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $80 (Fellows $65)
Britain and France in the Middle East, 1919-1939 with Robert McLaughlin
In the aftermath of World War I, once-great empires crumbled, among them the Ottoman Empire. Following the collapse, the League of Nations decided that Britain and France ought to govern the Middle Eastern sections of the former Ottoman Empire. Britain was awarded Palestine, Transjordan, and Iraq, while the French were awarded Lebanon and Syria. Given the persistent contemporary conflict in these troubled areas, one wonders, how did Britain and France govern these areas, how well received were they by local populations, and what precipitated their departure from the region? See brochure. Dates: Thursdays — February 7, 14, 21, 28, 2013
Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - Woods Classroom Cost: $75 (Fellows $60)
Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Anne Knapp Dates: Thursdays, February 14; March 14; April 11; May 9 Time: 6:15–7:30 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $40 (Fellow or World Affairs Council member $25)
Tuesday at Duncaster - University of Hartford's Search for the Lost City of Atlantis in Southern Spain with Richard Freund
Lecture is followed by reception and dinner with the speaker. Date: February 12, 2013
Time: 4:45 p.m. Location:Duncaster Retirement Community, Bloomfield, CT Cost: Lecture and reception free to Fellows of the Presidents' College ($15 for non-fellows). Dinner is $25. Registration
A Verdi Festival — All-Day program with Willie Anthony Waters
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the incomparable Giuseppe Verdi, well-known opera conductor and Verdi enthusiast Willie Anthony Waters will take us on an all-day tour of his complete works, combining lecture, discussion, and video (with some familiar selections and some less familiar), and including not only the operas but also the Requiem. Maestro Waters will focus particularly on the differences among Verdi’s three compositional and developmental periods. A box lunch will be provided and is included in the registration charge. Space is limited! See brochure. Date: Monday — February 18, 2013
Time: 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; 1:30–4 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $90 (Fellows $75) includes lunch
Fellows Lecture — Student Scholars: A Thesis Top Showcase with Donald Jones
Under the direction of Professor Donald Jones, of the Department of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, the students in the University’s Honors Program work on special projects in a number of fields. In this unusual presentation, a number of our student scholars will discuss the work that they are doing in preparation for their senior theses. Find out what students are studying today, what motivates them, and how they go about researching their topics. Date: Tuesday — February 19, 2013 Time: 1 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the University community
McAuley Lecture — What is a Language? with Humphrey Tonkin
It has been said that Britain and the United States are two countries divided by a common language. What is that common language? Is there a “proper” way to speak English, or are the various dialects of English equally significant and important? What is a dialect anyway? And where does English stop and another language begin? This talk will address these and other conundrums (and common misperceptions) of language, with the goal of better understanding what a language is and how languages interact with other languages. See brochure. Date: Friday — February 22, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. Location:McAuley Auditorium, followed by small reception Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the McAuley Retirement Community; $15 for all others.
Poetry of Mary Oliver with Kathleen McGrory Born in Ohio in 1935, Mary Oliver has, since the 1960s, made New England, Cape Cod and Provincetown the settings for her best poems about people and wildlife and nature in her adoptive home. Now 77, she still draws upon solitude, privacy and imagery from her daily walks near the shore, her woods, ponds and wetlands, to express the highs and lows of human life. Definitely not provincial, she invites readers to ride on her imagination from “here” out to the mysterious universe, beyond politics and gender narrative, to locate the woman’s self “in the family of things.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her fifth collection, American Primitive (1984), she has been Poet in Residence at Bucknell, Sweet Briar and Bennington College, where she held the Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She received the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems (1992). Oliver reads two of her volumes in audio books, At Blackwater Pond (2006) and Many Miles (2010). This course will begin with her latest collection, A Thousand Mornings (October 2012). See brochure. Dates: Wednesdays — February 27; March 6, 13, 20, 2013 Time: 2–3:30 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60)
Behind the Magic of Dance with Stephen Pier In this course we will take our guests behind the scenes of a dance production, revealing what happens before an audience is invited in to see the theatrical event. We will see what goes into training a dancer, choreographing a piece, rehearsing a production, building costumes and sets, arranging lighting and sound, and handling finances. See brochure. Dates: Mondays — March 4, 11, 18, 2013 Time: 2:30–4 p.m. Location:Handel Performing Arts Center. Cost: $70 (Fellows $50)
Childhood Interrupted: Charles Dickens' Great Expectations and George Eliot's Mill on the Floss with Catherine Stevenson
“The Victorians strove to measure their own morality and improve their society by telling stories about and to children”(Lewis Roberts). The era that gave us unforgettable images of childhood suffering --Jane Eyre abused and incarcerated in the Red Room or David Copperfield imprisoned in the blacking warehouse—also produced sentimental
portraits of the saintly innocence of children--Little Nell or the cherubic boy in the Pears Soap advertisement. However, few 19th century novels capture the intensity of children’s experience of the world more powerfully than Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss. Dickens explores how terror, guilt and adult duplicity disrupt the innocence of childhood; Eliot investigates how gender norms and family financial failures thwart the development of a spirited young girl. In this course we will spend two sessions on each novel, examining their narrative artistry, locating the autobiographical impulses within these very personal texts and contextualizing them within the Victorian attitudes toward children and child rearing. As time allows, we will also view some of the wonderful film and video adaptations of these books. And, since there’s lots to read and enjoy, the course will meet at two-weekly intervals. See brochure. Dates: Tuesdays — March 5, 19; April 2, 16, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60)
First Ladies of the White House: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama with Anne Knapp
The course will explore how the role of First Lady has been transformed from her social responsibility as hostess to champion of causes and world traveler. In addition, we will look at specific contributions and causes promoted by First Ladies. Political memorabilia to be shared will include First Lady political buttons; a First Lady illustrated and descriptive fan; and books by and about First Ladies. Also to be discussed will be informative web sites; insightful quotes by First Ladies; and thought provoking questions such as: Who are the two First Ladies to be both a wife and a mother of a president? Who are the "First Ladies Once Removed"? Which First Lady began the collection of presidential china? Which First Lady created the portrait gallery of First Ladies? Seebrochure. Dates: Tuesdays — March 5, 12, 19, 2013 Time: 2–3:30 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
Fellows Lecture — Consuming Ireland: Tourism, Development & Changing Notions of Irish Identity with Michael Clancy
For many Americans, tourism to Ireland represents renewing family ties and returning to an ancestral homeland. But to the Irish it is also big business and part of the economic transformation of the country over the past twenty-five years. Michael Clancy’s talk will focus on the connections between tourism and the rise and fall of the so-called Celtic Tiger. It will also explore the role that tourism marketing, and especially branding, has had in shaping our understanding of Ireland and the Irish.
Date: Wednesday — March 6, 2013
Time: 4–5:30 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the University community
Heaney and Friends: Seamus Heaney and Irish Poetry with Joseph Voelker Seamus Heaney, Nualla Ni Dhomnaill, and Paul Muldoon are three important Irish poets of the latter half of the 20th century who continue working today. In three sessions, in book club format, we will explore defining aspects of their poetry. Heaney from early days defined writing as historical excavation; Nualla Ni Dhomnaill opted for Irish as the medium for her frank exploration of bodily experience; Paul Muldoon chose to toss a verbal salad that some trace back to James Joyce. Heaney mentored Muldoon; Muldoon and Heaney both translate Ni Dhomnaill. See brochure. Dates: Thursdays — March 7, 14, 21, 2013
Time: 2–3:30 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
Solving Mathematical Problems with Pólya with Jean McGivney-Burelle
George Pólya (1888-1985) was a Hungarian Jewish mathematician who was a
professor of mathematics at Stanford University in the 1940s and 1950s. He became well known in mathematics education for his work in heuristics, or problem-solving strategies. In this minicourse we will investigate problems from George Pólya's famous book How to Solve It, using problem-solving strategies mathematicians employ, such as working backwards, examining fewer cases, or solving a simpler problem. The problems we will work with come from a range of fields in mathematics including elementary number theory, algebra, geometry, graph theory, and probability. No prerequisite knowledge is needed; just come with a curious mind and a sharp pencil. See brochure. Dates: Fridays — March 8, 15, 22, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Anne Knapp Dates: Thursdays, March 14; April 11; May 9 Time: 6:15–7:30 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $40 (Fellow or World Affairs Council member $25)
Trip to the Fine Arts Center, UMASS,Amherst – Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
On May 29, 1913, at the first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, catcalls and fist-fights broke out in the Paris theater where it was presented. Today it is recognized as one of the most magnificent musical and dance masterpieces of the 20th century. One hundred years after the first performance of The Rite of Spring, Chicago’s famed Joffrey Ballet will bring it to the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for a single performance on Thursday, March 14. Join the Glastonbury Adult & Continuing Education Program for an evening trip to Amherst to see the Joffrey Ballet in this not-to-be-forgotten event. Also on the program: Stanton Welch’s new work Son of Chamber Symphony, with music by John Adams, and William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated. Arrival in time to attend a pre-performance talk at 6:30. See brochure. Date: Thursdays, March 14 Time: 4–10 p.m. Location: Fine Arts Center, UMASS, Amherst Cost: $78 Departure: 4 p.m. from Glastonbury; 4:30 p.m. from University of Hartford campus.
The Irish Condition: Transformations in Language and Culture with Conchúr Ó Giollagáin
An aspiration for cultural renewal fired much of the national revolution which led to the establishment of an independent Irish State. A defining aspect of the cultural program undertaken as part of a broader national project in Ireland was the revitalization of the Irish language. The lecture will trace how this aspiration has fared since independence and how cultural transformations since then have impacted on both the official view of language regeneration and on the social reality of Irish as it is experienced in both its rooted speaker communities and in its aspirant social domains of second language learners. See brochure. Date: Thursday, March 14, 2013 Time: 4–5 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: No charge
McAuley Lecture — Searching for Shangri-La, The Hidden Paradise with Catherine Stevenson Adventurers, artists, spiritual seekers, writers, even Nazi “scientists”—all have been fascinated by the idea of a lost civilization hidden somewhere in Tibet. In 1933 James Hilton’s best selling novel Lost Horizon popularized the idea of Shangri La, a secret paradise where the senses are indulged, time is arrested and human culture conserved. This talk will examine the ancient origins of the notion of Shambola/Shangri La in Hindu and Buddhist texts, as well as its influence on spiritualism in the nineteenth century and its fascinating impact on twentieth century culture. See brochure.
Date: Friday — March 22, 2013
Time: 1 p.m.
Location:McAuley Auditorium, followed by small reception Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the McAuley Retirement Community; $15 for all others.
Basics and Butterflies: Getting the Most of your Garden Wednesday's Topic with Amy Sampson Landscape design principles are the basic concepts that guide us to create landscape designs that are both aesthetically and practical. Environmentally responsive design includes understanding micro-climates and a knowledge of which sustainable plants work best in which setting. This talk will offer an introduction to landscape design principles and a survey of the basics needed to understand typical microclimates, concluding with a presentation of select sustainable plants. Thursday's Topic with Pamm Cooper
How do you create a butterfly garden? We will start with a look at the natural environment where butterflies find food sources for themselves and host plants for their larvae. We will identify good non-native plants that are excellent nectar sources. As there are two distinct phases in the life of butterflies, the importance of providing larval host plants should not be overlooked. Providing food plants for both adults and larvae helps species survive as their natural habitats disappear. Learn about the environments of different species and when and where they are likely to be found, as well as where to find butterflies rarely seen in Connecticut. Also discussed will be rearing tips for those who would like to raise caterpillars. See brochure. Date: Wednesday & Thursday — March 27 & 28, 2013
Time: 10:30a.m.–12 p.m.
Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $40 (Fellows $30)
Twilight of the Gods: Wagner's Ring with Michael Lankester
“The vastest piece of music ever conceived by the mind of man” is just one of the many descriptions of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, The Ring of the Nibelung. In 1862, Wagner, himself aware that he was composing something extraordinary, wrote to Franz Liszt, “Everything within me makes music and a new world stands before me.” Wagner’s four immense music dramas are not simply a set of extravagant theatrical works – they are creations which show us a world that exists outside of time. Written in the midst of the industrialization of nineteenth-century Germany, more than political allegories, they are a mirror held up to the human condition. In addition to examining the musical language and symbols of The Ring, this series of six lectures looks at the history, mythology. and philosophy behind Wagner’s massive creation. The first lecture will explore the background to the Ring, in Tannhäuser and Lohengrin, and the second will investigate the beginnings of the project and its origins in the Nibelungenlied, the German epic of around the year 1200, based on Scandinavian legends. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth lectures will look at each of the four operas that make up the Ring: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. See brochure. Michael Lankester's class is rescheduled for Monday, May 13, 4-5:30pm, KF Room. Dates: Mondays — April 1, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13, 2013 Time: 4–5:30 p.m. Exception: May 22, 3:30-5 p.m. Location: Wilde Auditorium Cost: $110 (Fellows $90)
Shakespeare: The Man and the Myth with Humphrey Tonkin The Shakespeare whom we know today was not the Shakespeare of our ancestors.
From Shakespeare’s day to this, every age has found new ways of performing and
interpreting Shakespeare – ways that invariably tell us something not just about
Shakespeare but also about the age itself. In this course we will look at what we
know of the life (and authenticity) of Shakespeare, how in the 17th and 18th centuries
“Shakespeare the Bard of Avon” emerged as a negotiable commodity, how in the nineteenth century he was adapted to the age of industrialization and empire, and how in the twentieth century he was reinterpreted in the light of modernism and of Shakespeare scholarship. In a final session, we will ask how Shakespeare the shapechanger has undergone these transformations and what the future might hold for this Houdini of intellectual property. See brochure. Dates: Tuesdays, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2013 Time: 2–3:30 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $90 (Fellows $70)
From Duchamp to Pollock: The 20th Century Avant-garde in Art with Zina Davis
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) are considered among the most influential artists of the 20th century. Each sent shock waves across the art
world, changing the course of art history and the basic notion of what is art. From Duchamp’s “Readymades,” where art is driven by ideas, to Pollock’s Action Paintings, which celebrate emotion and process, both refused to follow a conventional artistic
path. This course examines the influence of Duchamp - Dada and Surrealism - on
the origins of Abstract Expressionism and Pollock’s drip paintings, along with Pop
and other art movements of the period. See brochure. This course is closed. Dates: Thursdays — April 4, 11, 18, 2013 Time: 10:30a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
Science and Public Perception with James McDonald
As a society, we constantly confront dilemmas and wrestle with questions regarding science. This course will explore three such questions through the prism of three concrete examples. First, what should society fund and support? We will look particularly at accelerator/collider research. Secondly, what is the responsibility of scientists to people affected by their work? The instructor will draw on his experience in the Marshall Islands, where the US tested their atomic weapons. Third, how should a scientist present his work to the public? Here, global warming and health research will be the topic – both areas where the public is called upon to evaluate competing claims. See brochure. Dates: Fridays — April 5, 12, 19, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $60 (Fellows $40)
Tuesdays at Duncaster - Shakespeare and the Progress of Comedy with Humphrey Tonkin
This spring, we will have the unusual opportunity to see an early comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and a mature comedy, Twelfth Night, back to back, as it were. The Hartt School will be performing Two Gentlemen and Hartford Stage will perform Twelfth Night. In this talk, Dr. Tonkin will provide an introduction to the two plays and to their place in the development of Shakespearean comedy. Lecture is followed by reception and dinner with the speaker. Date: April 9, 2013
Time: 4:45 p.m. Location:Duncaster Retirement Community, Bloomfield, CT Cost: Lecture and reception free to Fellows of the Presidents' College ($15 for non-fellows). Dinner is $25. Registration
Connecticut and the Emancipation Proclamation with Bryan Sinche, Stacey Close, Christopher Hager,Elizabeth Rose, and Matthew Warshauer When President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing enslaved people in the Confederate States of America, he set in motion a process that led, over the next several years, to freedom for all those enslaved in the United States and to the further decline of slavery internationally. But the process was neither immediate nor easy, even in the North. As part of our collaboration with the magazine of Connecticut history Connecticut Explored, we have assembled a team of scholars to examine the process, in Connecticut and beyond, that brought the country to this moment in 1863, precisely 150 years ago, and the consequences of the Proclamation’s enactment – consequences still felt today. The course will be coordinated by Bryan Sinche, of the University of Hartford, with lectures and panel discussions featuring Matthew Warshauer of Central Connecticut State University, Stacey Close of Eastern Connecticut State University, Christopher Hager of Trinity College, and Elizabeth Rose of the Fairfield Museum and History Center. In May, participants in the course will also be invited to view the exhibition on the Proclamation that will open that month at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Hartford, CT. See American History at the Presidents' College. Dates: Wednesdays — April 10, 17, 24, 2013 Time: 4:30–6 p.m. Location:Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $70 (Fellows $50)
Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Anne Knapp Dates: Thursdays, April 11; May 9 Time: 6:15–7:30 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $40 (Fellow or World Affairs Council member $25)
2nd Annual Patricia Cremins Lecture with Gina Barreca
“Why do wit, humor, and awareness matter? Wit, when properly employed, can open doors, repair damage and avoid a crisis. On the other hand, misplaced humor can cut communication, cause embarrassment and create irreparable harm. We’ll talk about how to distinguish one from the other.” Tickets for the luncheon and lecture $25. All proceeds will go to the Patricia Cremins Fund to support future lectures and activities.
Date: Wednesday — April 17, 2013
Time: Lunch begins at 12:30 p.m.; Lecture begins at 1:30 p.m. Location: 1877 Club, Harry Jack Grey Center Cost: $25. Sponsors ($50) and Patrons ($100) will be listed in the program.
Globeskirters: A History of American Women Travelers with Jennifer Steadman
Female travelers, or “globeskirters,” began to crisscross the planet in ever greater numbers in the 19th century. What inspired women to leave the comforts of home to risk the travails of a stagecoach full of strangers, a transatlantic crossing, or a 76-day race to circumnavigate the globe? How did their wide-ranging mobility change the places they visited and the country they called home? We can chart their extraordinary journeys through the artifacts they left behind—their photographs, diaries, letters home, or accounts published in books or newspapers. The broader national phenomenon of women’s travel can be traced locally in Connecticut—and we will finish the course with a trip to the Connecticut Historical Society to see firsthand the trunks and traveling costumes that women took with them and the letters, photographs, and diaries they sent home, all of which help tell the stories of their adventures. This course is offered in cooperation with the Connecticut Historical Society. See brochure. See American History at the Presidents' College. Dates: Thursdays — April 25; May 2, 9, 16, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows and members of CHS, $60)
McAuley Lecture —Whatever Happened to Little Miss Muffet? Music in early Childhood with John Feierabend
All children are born with some potential to succeed with music, but they consistently lose their intuitive understanding and expression of music if it is unsupported in their early years by a musical environment that they can share in and imitate. In recent decades we have changed from a society of music makers to a society of music consumers, and the rich repertoire of folk songs and rhymes that has nurtured musical development in children for centuries has been fading. The result is not merely a lack of musical development, but also of interactions that play an important role in young children’s social development. This presentation will discuss the work that has been done to preserve this precious repertoire and share some activities from our folk heritage that develop young children's musical intelligence, musical behavior and musical spirit. See brochure.
Date Friday — April 26, 2013 Time: 1 p.m.
Location:McAuley Auditorium, followed by small reception
Cost: No cost to Fellows or members of the McAuley Retirement Community; $15 for all others.
Baseball and American Society with Chris Martens
In this series of lectures, Chris Martens examines how baseball has mirrored society in the 20th century and played an important role in civil rights, World War II and, to a lesser extent, gambling. The integration of baseball in 1947 by Jackie Robinson remains one of the defining moments in our nation’s history. It not only opened the door for blacks in baseball, it changed the face of all professional sports and college football. The watershed year of 1947 can be considered the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement and led to President Truman integrating the armed forces the following year. Jackie Robinson blazed the trail by writing hundreds of letters to every important politician of the 50’s and 60’s including presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon as he dedicated his life to racial equality. Robinson was a good friend of Martin Luther King and an adversary of Malcolm X and played an important role in the 1960 presidential election between Nixon and Kennedy. See brochure for further description.See American History at the Presidents' College. Dates: Wednesday — May 1; Thursday — May 2, 2013 Time: 3–6 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60)
Reading Boccaccio's Decameron with Maria Esposito Frank
The extraordinarily talented and engaging fourteenth-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) excelled as a poet of everything from sonnets to romances, but it was as a writer of short fiction that his talents primarily revealed themselves. Revered as the founder of European psychological fiction, Boccaccio is best known for the Decameron, his cycle of one hundred novellas spread over ten “days.” Written in an earthy, direct, and remarkably modern style, these stories tell of characters caught between the vicissitudes of fortune and the pliability and adaptability of human nature. They tell us much about the lives of Boccaccio and his contemporaries, and much about ourselves. Professor Frank will lead us through a selection of highlights of the Decameron to help us understand the glories of this great anthology of stories. See brochure. Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays — May 7, 9, 14, 16, 2013 Time:1:30-3 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60) Registration
Foreign Affairs Discussion Group with Anne Knapp Dates: Thursdays, May 9 Time: 6:15–7:30 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $40 (Fellow or World Affairs Council member $25)
Vive laFrance! The Glories of French Opera with Willie Anthony Waters Join Maestro Willie Anthony Waters in a survey of the glories of French opera. Opera came early to France, in the seventeenth century, and has retained its hold over the Parisian imagination ever since. At the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, Paris was the most important center of opera in the world, and composers and performers, among them Donizetti and particularly Rossini gravitated to Paris as their artistic model. In due course the distinctive French style of opera production influenced composers as different as Verdi, Wagner and Tchaikovsky, as well as inspiring a native operatic tradition. Using audio and video examples, Maestro Waters will explore important works written in and for Paris, not only be Rameau, Gluck, Massenet, Thomas, Bizet and Poulenc, but also by Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi, all of whom wrote important works for the Paris Opéra. See brochure. Dates: Friday — May 10, Monday — May 13; Wednesday — May 15, 2013 Time:10 a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library - KF Room Cost: $75 (Fellows $60)
Tuesdays at Duncaster - Advances in Health Care: Mechanical Enhancements to Mobility with Catherine Certo and David Knapp
The University of Hartford began its physical therapy program in the 1990s. Since then, the program has grown to included advanced degrees in the field and enhanced research capabilities, including coooperative research with the College of Engineering and Technology and a particular concentration in prosthetis and orthotics. Catherine will update us on therapies for joint replacement, and David will discuss prosthetics and orthotics. Lecture is followed by reception and dinner with the speaker. Date: May 14, 2013
Time: 4:45 p.m. Location:Duncaster Retirement Community, Bloomfield, CT Cost: Lecture and reception free to Fellows of the Presidents' College ($15 for non-fellows). Dinner is $25
Don't You Wish You Could Go Back to College? with Jilda Aliotta, Jacob Harney, Michael Robinson and Amanda Walling
In honor of the 50th reunion of the Class of 1963, the Presidents' College and the Alumni Association invite you to spend time with four of the Presidents' College's favorite instructors. The speakers will give brief talks on their research. A reception will follow. Date: Friday — May 17, 2013 Time:3–4:30 p.m. Location: Mortensen Library-KF Room Cost: Free - but pre-registration is advised
Beethoven: TheViolin Sonatas with Andrew Smith and Elina Christova
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) composed ten violin sonatas between 1797 and 1813. Not only do they offer a window on his life and a way of thinking about him as a composer, but together they provide a fascinating and refreshing glimpse into the development of Beethoven’s growth as a composer from enfant terrible to mature master. Aged 27 and in full possession of the daring style that made him stand far apart from his contemporaries, Beethoven wrote his first nine sonatas in an astounding burst of creativity that lasted a mere six years. At the climax of this explosion of brilliance comes the incomparable “Kreutzer” Sonata, a monumental work with a mythic status that has inspired plays, art and music through several generations. Nine years later, he approached the genre for a final time with his tenth and last violin sonata. It stands alone from the others, pointing forward to the late quartets and the ninth symphony, and foreshadowing the great autumnal works of Brahms. The course will combine commentary and performance. The Elan Duo (Andrew Smith and Elina Christova) will perform all ten of the sonatas in succession over four days, allowing us to trace their musical development in its entirety. Our understanding will be enhanced by an extended commentary on these remarkable works by violinist Andrew Smith, who will discuss each quartet and locate it in relation to Beethoven’s biography. See brochure.
Dates: Tuesday–Friday — May 21–24, 2013 Time: 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Location: Wilde Auditorium Cost: $65 (Fellows $50