2010 Course Schedule

Fall 2010 Schedule

Fall study groups will meet in the Meeting Room of the Campus Recreation Center (aka Rec Center), 100 Pawtucket St. See directions, including parking, by visiting the web site at www.uml.edu/community/lira/directions. The Rec Center is a controlled entry building. Please always bring your LIRA photo ID. The exception to the Rec Center is that all Art & Music Wednesday classes that are indoors will meet at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center (aka ICC). Please note that the Wednesday, November 3 classes, Great Decisions and Foreign Films will be meeting at the ICC also in the Junior Ballroom. Registration will take place at the Convocation, Wednesday, September 15 at 10:00 AM at the ICC. Each course description includes, beneath the title, the person who is presenter or facilitator. Below the paragraph is the name of the course coordinator who makes the arrangements and has responsibility for carrying out details of the class.

The Civil War and Reconstruction: The Nation's Trial by Fire

8 Mondays 10:00-Noon Sep 20, 27, Oct 4, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8, 15 Presenter: Bob Forrant

This course examines the causes and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. We will read about and discuss the coming of the war and how it transformed American society. We will also look at the unresolved issue of racial equality at the end of reconstruction and how this shaped the nation's history ever since. Thematically we will consider: slavery's expansion, Lincoln and emancipation, and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction. We will also carefully consider the case of Lowell in the run up to the war and in the war itself. Its contradictory position with an economy dependent on slave-produced cotton and as a hotbed of anti-slavery sentiment along with the fact that the first two Union soldiers to die in the war were from Lowell will be examined. All that, and we will have a good time! Two books are recommended for reading prior to the course:

1. James McPherson, Abraham Lincoln, Oxford University Press, 2009. (hard cover, but cheap! $12.95, Amazon.com-$9.)

2. Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction, Knopf, 2005 (there is a paperback version).

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

SHAKESPEARE’S HISTORY PLAYS – HENRY V

8 Mondays 12:30-2:30 Sep 20, 27, Oct 4, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8,

Presenter: Frank Carroll*

Shakespeare's Henry V will be our play for the fall semester. Had we looked at Henry V by itself without first reading Henry IV Parts one and two, we would have had a body without a head, as it were. Now the third play in the series will spring naturally from its two predecessors. After the memorable reporting of Falstaff's death, we will miss that famous comic character, but we are provided with a host of others who provide comic relief. A most interesting difference in this play from its predecessors is Shakespeare's use of the Chorus which bridges over the gaps of time and interprets matter that cannot easily be presented on the stage. As usual, the text for the class is the play itself and we all look forward not only to drama, but history also, and history as only the Bard could tell it.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman *

THE SCIENCE OF SELF

7 Tuesdays 10:00–Noon Sept 21, 28, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2

Facilitator: Alan Kent*

This course will give you the background to many of today's headlines. How does DNA instruct a single cell to create a human being? How does this affect a life? The course provides a foundation for understanding how life works. It began in the spring with an overview of core principles--basic but understandable. The series continues with exploration of the human genome and how it accounts for heredity and disease. The fall study group will cover lectures 13-24. It is not necessary to have attended the spring series in order to profit from the final 12 lectures. The DVDs and video tapes are available, however, if anyone wishes to watch any or all of lectures 1-12 to catch up or to refresh what was learned in the spring.

Coordinator: Mary Willis*

COMPARATIVE RELIGION

7 Tuesdays 12:30-2:30 Sep 21, 28, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2 Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

At a time when religion and religious issues seem to be a part of every issue we deal with on both the national and international scene, it seems more and more important to learn all we can about this seemingly powerful force and its impact on the world. This course will offer us the opportunity to get a handle on some of the key issues of religion itself and on how the five major religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism – address some of the same core issues in parallel and different ways. We will view two half-hour lectures at each meeting and discuss after each one some of the issues and ideas raised. The fall study group will cover lectures 13-24. It is not necessary to have attended the spring series in order to profit from the final 12 lectures. The DVDs are available, however, if anyone wishes to watch any or all of lectures 1-12 to catch up or to refresh what was learned in the spring.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

ART & MUSIC

8 sessions, usually Wednesday Sep 22, 29, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov 4, Nov 10

Beginning September 22 through November 10, meetings will start at 10:00 AM and go until noon except for November 4, which is the Thursday trip to the BSO Open Rehearsal. Please see attached schedule for dates, times, topics, coordinators of the Art & Music sessions, and the locations of those not at the Campus Recreation Center.

Coordinator: Barbara Page*

GREAT DECISIONS

8 Thursdays, 10:00–Noon Sep 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 3, 18 Facilitator: Shirley Mitchell*

The Great Decisions studies are based on current materials supplied by the Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C. The following four topics will be discussed this semester: Halting atrocities in Kenya, Enhancing security through peace building, The U.S. and the Persian Gulf, and The special envoy in American foreign policy. These topics are covered in the 2010 Briefing Book. Join our group as we share knowledge and discuss these timely topics.

Coordinator: Shirley Mitchell*

FOREIGN FILMS

8 Thursdays 12:30-2:30 Sep 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 3, 18 Presenter: Barbara Page*

All shown from 12:30 PM to approximately 2:00 PM. Bring a sandwich and popcorn.

  • Sept 23 M, Director Fritz Lang—1931—Germany
  • Sept 30 The Grand Illusion, Director Jean Renoir—1937—France
  • Oct 7 Alexander Nevsky, Director Sergei Eisenstein—1938—Russia
  • Oct 14 La Strada (The Road), Director Federico Fellini—1954—Italy
  • Oct 21 Smiles of a Summer Night, Director Ingmar Bergman—1955—Sweden
  • Oct 28 Throne of Blood, Director Akira Kurosawa—1957—Japan
  • Nov 3 Viridiana, Director Luis Bunuel—1961—Spain
  • Nov 18 Raise the Red Lantern, Director Zhang Yimou—1991--China

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

BOOK DISCUSSION

4 Friday sessions, 10:00–Noon Sep 24, Oct 22, Nov 19, Dec 10 Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

If you love to read, enjoy reading an eclectic mix of books and look forward to having like-minded people with whom to discuss these tomes, the book discussion group has it all. Every month we read and discuss a variety of books, including sociological studies, memoirs and biographies, political histories, and, yes, fiction, including the classics. Our selections for fall 2010 include: September – Last of the Mohicans, classic fiction by James Fenimore Cooper; October – The Big Burn, non-fiction/historical journalism by Timothy Egan; November – The Madonnas of Leningrad, fiction by Deborah Dean; December – The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles.

Coordinator: Toby Hodes *

* Denotes LIRA member