Course Schedule Spring 2013

Saturday Academy of Lifelong Learning




April 6, 2013
Coffee: 8:30 a.m.
Classes: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Two morning sessions, lunch and two afternoon sessions on the Trinity College Campus

Inventing and Reinventing The City of Big Shoulders: From Carl Sandburg to Barack Obama
Richard Hornung

“Goin’ to Chicago: The Great Migration and Urban Life in the Black Metropolis”
Davarian Baldwin

Chicago's Architecture and the Making of the Modern Metropolis
Kathleen Curran

The University of Chicago:  Does Fun Really Go There To Die?
David Cruz Uribe

Special pricing for the day-long Saturday Academy and lunch………..$125

Davarian L. Baldwin is a historian, cultural critic, and social theorist of urban America. His work largely examines the landscape of global cities through the lens of the Afro-Diasporic experience. His teaching brings together urban and cultural studies, 20th Century U.S. History, and African American Studies. Baldwin is the author of Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life (UNC, 2007) Baldwin is currently at work on two new single-authored projects, Land of Darkness: Chicago and the Making of Race in Modern America (Oxford University Press) and UniverCities: How Higher Education is Transforming the Urban Landscape. Prior to joining Trinity, Baldwin was Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College.

Kathleen Curran is Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity. She teaches courses in American art and modern architectural history. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1986 and has taught at Brown University and Trinity (since 1990). She is currently finishing a book project on the origins of the American art museum.

Rick Hornung, a graduate of Trinity College, holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology and is on the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University. He researches how we learn and teaches a variety of subjects, ranging from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to van Gogh’s Starry Night.

David Cruz-Uribe received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1985, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993. He has been on the faculty at Trinity College since 1996. His philosophy of teaching is best summarized by the name Janis Joplin gave to her third and final band: Full Tilt Boogie. Whether he is teaching introductory calculus, advanced mathematics courses or a first year seminar on literature and film, he throws himself head first into the material and invites his students to dive in after him. He is forced to admit, however, that (to paraphrase Shakespeare) sometimes he teaches not wisely but too well.


Off Campus Courses

The Art of Healing in Native Cultures

We will explore the art of healing in indigenous cultures in Southeast Asia. Using images and stories from the instructor’s own research in mountainous regions of Vietnam and Laos, we will look at why the healing arts of the shaman are often chosen over the healing techniques of Buddhist monks, as well as over the work of western doctors from international clinics.  Areas to explore include techniques of diagnosing an illness, the use of special clothing and material objects, healing rituals such as dancing, in depth interviews, and trance experiences.  We will share stories of healing directly from the shamans’ own experiences.

Ellison Findly

Five Wednesdays: 10:30-12:00
February 6, 13, 20, 17; March 6
Classes will be held at The Heights at Avery Heights, Adams Room
705 New Britain Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 

Ellison Findly is a Professor of Religion and Asian Studies.  She has published numerous books and articles on Indian philosophy and religion, She is currently finishing a book on healing and funeral textiles as used by shamans, and beginning a book on the trance experience of the shamans.

The Prophets and their Legacy

The prophets of ancient Israel, individually and collectively, represent a remarkable phenomenon in the history of religions.  In this course we will examine not just specific prophets of the Hebrew Bible in their immediate contexts - figures such as Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah - but also the prophetic movement itself, the literature it inspired, and the impact of both upon Israel's evolving tradition and the emergence of Christianity.

John A. Gettier

Five Thursdays: 10:30-12:00
March 14, 21; April 4, 11, 18
Please note no class on March 28 in observance of Passover
Class will be held at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library
95 Cedar Street, Newington, CT 06111

Class Limit 15 students

John A. Gettier, Professor of Religion Emeritus at Trinity College, retired in 2001 after teaching for 35 years. With degrees from Wesleyan University, Yale University, and Union Theological Seminary in New York, he has taught a range of courses on biblical literature, specializing in apocalypticism, mythology, Hebrew narrative, and Hebrew language.

The Emergence of Modern Europe: From the Age of Faith to the Age of Reason

From the 13th to the 18th century Europe underwent major charges that transformed society in often unexpected and unintended ways. Historians use labels such as Renaissance, Reformation, Wars of Religion and Enlightenment to suggest how and why Europe experienced the transition from the medieval to the modern world. In this course, we will survey the period and discuss the debates these and other labels have engendered, including the most recent hotly contested interpretation of these centuries.

Borden Painter

Four Tuesdays: 1:30-3:00pm
January 22, 29; February 5, 12
Classes will be held at The McAuley
275 Steele Road, West Hartford, CT 06107

Borden Painter is Professor of History and President Emeritus of Trinity College after serving 40 years on the faculty, teaching courses in European history from the Renaissance and Reformation periods to 20th-century Europe.  He served as chairman of the History Department on two occasions, as dean of the faculty for three years, and as director of Italian programs for 15 years. He is the author of the book entitled Mussolini’s Rome: Rebuilding the Eternal City. 

The Women of Ancient Israel

The Hebrew Bible presents a rich and varied portrayal of women in multiple roles and activities -from the mothers of Israel (Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel) to the warrior-like Deborah and Judith and, of course, the sirens and seducers such as Delilah and Bathsheba.  Admittedly, that ancient society was patriarchal, which only adds to the power and excitement of their delineation in so many intricate stories. This course will explore those stories in their detail in order to bring these women alive again and demonstrate the respect and significance accorded them in historical memory.

John A. Gettier

Four Tuesdays:  10:30-12:00 pm
February 5, 12, 19, 26.
Classes will be held at The McLean Home
75 Great Pond Road, Simsbury, CT 06070

 John A. Gettier, Professor of Religion Emeritus at Trinity College, retired in 2001 after teaching for 35 years. With degrees from Wesleyan University, Yale University, and Union Theological Seminary in New York, he has taught a range of courses on biblical literature, specializing in apocalypticism, mythology, Hebrew narrative, and Hebrew language.


Evening Courses on the Trinity campus

The Earth's Changing Climate

Heat-waves in Europe, freak storms on the East Coast, prolonged droughts in large parts of the Midwestern U.S.  – climatic extremes have certainly caught our attention over the past few years. In six lectures we will learn about the processes that influence climate, study the Earth’s climatic, collect some data to determine the nature of recent climatic change, and discuss its potential impacts on society. Topics will include:

  • Weather vs. Climate
  • Controls on Planetary Climates
  • Global Atmospheric Circulation
  • The Role of the Oceans: Short-term Climate Change
  • Pleistocene Glaciations: Long-term Climate Change
  • Climate Change and Society

Christoph Geiss

Six Tuesdays: 6:30-8:00 pm
January 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5

Christoph Geiss holds a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Minnesota and studies changing environments in the United States and Canada. He teaches courses in Earth and Environmental Science and Physics, and is currently the Director of Trinity’s Environmental Science Program.

Memoir Writing: Tell Your Own Story

It’s the human condition: the desire to get down on paper the most memorable events of your life.   That’s why almost every celebrity you can think of — from Andre Agassi to Tina Fey to Barack Obama — has at some point tried his or her hand at a memoir.  That’s also why so many of our most beloved novels — To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye — are very largely memoirs in disguise.  We might want to tell our whole life story, or just cherished moments (treasured memories of when our grown kids were little; a short, sweet interlude with a special pet; the most magical summer ever), but we all have recollections we want to pass on.  Give in to that urge!  Sit down at your computer, and start writing about yourself!  Whether your motivation is to have a neatly-packaged memoir to pass down to your children or grandchildren, or a keepsake to enjoy for yourself – or to knock Neil Young and Pete Townshend and Rod Stewart off the best-seller list! – this course will help you do it.  You’ll learn how to write easily and naturally, in your own voice, about your favorite subject: you.

Hank Herman

Eight Wednesdays: 5:30-7:30
February 27; March 6, 13, 20; April 3, 10, 17, 24.
Please note:  No class March 27

This course will be limited to 8 students.  Due to the tutorial nature, extended length (8 weeks), and slightly longer classes (2 hours), the fee for the course will be $300.

Hank Herman is an award-winning columnist and blogger who writes for the Westport News.  He is also the author of Super Hoops (Bantam Doubleday Dell), a series of sports novels for children.  His latest book, Accept My Kid, Please!  A Dad’s Descent into College Application Hell (Da Capo Press) is a humorous memoir about the college admissions process.  He also teaches writing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House and at Norwalk Community College.  He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in English.

Burst of Light:Caravaggio and his Legacy

The artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) transformed picture making in the late sixteenth century through his dramatic use of light and his psychological interpretation of narrative.  This mini course will focus on Caravaggio and his followers.  The first lecture will present an overview of Caravaggio’s life and art, while the second session consists of a gallery talk in the Wadsworth Atheneum’s exhibition, Burst of Light: Caravaggio and His Legacy.  The exhibition includes five works by Caravaggio as well as nearly fifty paintings by his Italian, Spanish and Northern European followers such as Gentileschi, Saraceni, Ribera, Zurbarán and Sweerts.

Jean Cadogan

Two Thursdays: 5:30-7:00 pm
February 28, Trinity Campus
March 7, Gallery Talk at the Wadsworth Atheneum
Limit of 20 students

Jean Cadogan joined the Trinity faculty in 1996 after seventeen years as curator of European Paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum.  She has her B.A. from Wellesley, a Ph.D. from Harvard, and teaches Medieval and Renaissance Art History at the college.

Lady Day and her Sisters in Jazz

Of the women whose voices have been, and are, essential contributors to the evolution of jazz, Billie Holiday holds a special place and her influence remains evident in her most recent musical descendants.  We will listen to the women whose voices take the "songs" beyond the melody and the lyric, either by the rendition alone or with an added improvisation akin to that of an instrumentalist.  While some are easily identified, many others, from the earliest to those on the scene today, merit our close attention.  As we listen we will attempt to interpret how their voices become musically transformative.  As a bonus, we will listen as well to the work of a few women whose compelling instrumental musicianship exhibits a parallel inventiveness.

Andrew De Rocco

Five Wednesdays: 6:30-8:00 pm
March 6, 13, 20; April 3 and 10.
Please note that there is no class on March 27th. 

Andrew De Rocco, former Trinity Dean of the Faculty and College Professor of the Natural Sciences, also has served as President at Denison and as Connecticut's Commissioner of Higher Education. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Michigan he joined its faculty and remained until his appointment as Institute Professor of Molecular Physics at the University of Maryland.  In addition, he has held visiting appointments at Tufts, Colorado, and Vanderbilt and as the first Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy.  His musical and scientific interests developed early and have remained amiable companions.  He hosts a jazz program on Trinity's radio station, "The Dean's Den," each Wednesday afternoon from 3-6 PM and co-hosts a Sunday afternoon Classical program.

The World of the Gawain Poet

One of the finest writers of the English medieval literary tradition, a contemporary of Chaucer, was a poet whose name we don’t even know and whose five poems survive in one single manuscript.  He is called “the Gawain poet” after his most famous work, the beautifully structured romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Thought by some scholars to be a poet in one of the provincial courts of Edward III, the Gawain poet writes works in a variety of genres, from the courtly romance to the moral treatise and the dream vision. 

He does so in verse that is sophisticated, highly wrought, gorgeously vivid, and touched by a psychological depth that can remind us of Chaucer’s own.  In six classes, we will be reading three of the Gawain poet’s most famous works: Patience (week 1); Pearl (weeks 2 and 3); and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (weeks 4, 5, and 6).  We will discuss the texts in relation to their medieval context and try to imagine, on the basis of the writings, who their creator might have been.

Required text:  The Gawain Poet: Complete Works. Translated by Marie Borroff.  New York: W.W. Norton.  ISBN: 978-0-393-91235-7

Sheila Fisher

Six Tuesdays: 5.30-7.00 pm
March 12, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23.
Please note no class on March 19. 

Sheila Fisher, Associate Academic Dean and Professor of English, received her B.A. summa cum laude with Highest Honors in English from Smith College, where she majored in English and Latin, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.  She joined the English Department at Trinity in 1984 and served as Chair of the Department from 2005-2008.  As a medievalist who specializes in Chaucer, late fourteenth-century English literature, and medieval women writers, Sheila has published a book on Chaucer and articles on the Gawain-poet and medieval romance, as well as co-editing a volume of feminist contextual essays on medieval and renaissance writings.  Her latest book, The Selected Canterbury Tales: A New Verse Translation, was published by W.W. Norton in spring 2011.

Euripides: Tradition-Challenger, Part Two

Please note that Part One of this course is not a prerequisite for Part Two. The same themes, issues, and concerns, which were presented in Part One, will be discovered in Part Two.  We will see that all of Euripides’ themes and literary devices will be combined and come to fruition, especially in his last and greatest tragedy, the Bacchae, written in self-imposed exile.

Euripides, the third of the great fifth-century Athenian tragedians, portrayed humans as they are and presented the human condition as it is, or, rather, as he saw it.  Nothing escaped his sharp eye.  With his keen mind and his poetic gifts, he challenged everything and everyone.  Nothing to him was so sacred that it could not be examined, exposed, and dissected.  He was especially talented when it came to exploring the human psyche.  War, the role of women, political institutions, traditional myths, and the function of the gods were some of the subjects of his scrutiny.  After presenting convincing and compelling arguments on both sides of a subject, he gives no answers, no resolutions.  The audience is expected, on the basis of its emotional experience with his play, to come to its own conclusion.  A participant is never the same after one of Euripides’ exposés.  As iconoclast, challenger, innovator, Euripides introduced to the Greek world the theatre of the absurd.

Textbooks: The Complete Greek Tragedies: Euripides I, II, III, IV, V, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (University of Chicago).  First Session assignment: read Iphigenia in Tauris and Electra.

John C. Williams

Six Mondays: 5:30-7:00 pm
March 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

John C. Williams is Hobart Professor Emeritus of Classics at Trinity College, where he taught Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilization for 24 years.  He has received awards for outstanding service and teaching from Trinity College, the Classical Association of Connecticut, and the Classical Association of New England.  He has also taught at Dartmouth College in special summer programs for teachers of the Classics.  Many teachers and professors of Classics throughout New England and the United States are former students of his. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University.