Course on Human Rights to Highlight Academy of Lifelong Learning

Programming On- and Off-Campus Brings Diverse Offerings to Adult Learners

Hartford, CT, January 20, 2015 – A day-long course on human rights taught by leading experts from Trinity’s faculty is among the offerings of the spring semester’s Academy of Lifelong Learning. In addition to the Saturday Academy, a broad array of courses are available both on- and off-campus. The courses are taught by current and retired members of the Trinity College faculty.

Course fees range from $85 to $300. The fee for the Saturday Academy, which includes lunch, is $100. Trinity alumni, faculty, and staff are eligible for a 10 percent discount. For more information, including required reading and registration information, visit the Academy of Lifelong Learning’s website.

The courses offered this semester are:


Human Rights: History, Justice, and Welfare
Saturday, March 28, 2015

Human Rights and Animal Welfare

Maurice Wade 9:00-10:15 a.m.

Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Brief History

Dario Euraque 10:30-11:45 a.m.

What’s Forgiveness Got to Do with It?: Exploring Restorative Justice
Donna Dale-Marcano 1:15-2:30 p.m.


Portraits of a First-Century Jew

Each of the Gospels of the New Testament presents a unique portrayal of Jesus in his first-century context from a particular perspective. Even when common material is treated, the writers do so within their own understandings and as appropriate to their distinctive purposes for writing. This course will explore the special character of each gospel story: its themes, its structure, and its delineation of the hero—and so enhance an appreciation of the remarkable character of the individual Gospels.

John Gettier
Five Tuesdays: February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3
10:30 a.m.-noon
Avery Heights, 705 New Britain Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106

Four Contemporary Lives and the Road to the Modern World

Four remarkable individuals shared the scene in the first half of 16th century Europe: Erasmus (1469-1536), Luther (1483-1546), Machiavelli (1469-1527) and Henry VIII (reigned 1509-47). Each left a deep mark on the politics, culture, and religion of the day, but they also unintentionally paved the way to the modern world. The course will examine each of them in turn and then consider how their thoughts and actions shaped the world in which we live.

Borden Painter
Five Thursdays: March 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23
2:00-3:30 p.m.
The McAuley, 275 Steele Road, West Hartford, CT 06117


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 Oprah Winfrey to Billy Idol 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, 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 Lena Dunham, Mary Karr, and Frank McCourt 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: January 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11, 25
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Memory and Brain

This course reviews the biological principles of remembering, forgetting, and retrieving. We explore such questions as: What are the brain processes supporting memory? Why can I remember my first-grade teacher but not where I left my car keys? Why does our memory decline as we age? We will read Hilts’s book Memory’s Ghost, which describes the case of Hartford native Henry Molaison (HM), who underwent brain surgery at Hartford Hospital for intractable epilepsy. We conclude the course by reading Howard Owen’s novel Littlejohn for a personal view of autobiographical memories of an 82-year-old. Through the lens of his recollections, we experience joy and tragedy.

Karl Haberlandt
Five Thursdays: January 29; February 5, 12, 26; March 5
5:30-7:00 p.m.

Abraham Lincoln, President

Most historians rank Lincoln as one of the two greatest American presidents. (George Washington is the other.) To understand why Lincoln is held in such high regard, we will examine such topics as his skillful handling of the secession crisis, his political adroitness, his evolving approach to the explosive issue of slavery, his contributions to Union victory as commander in chief of the armed forces, and his reelection in 1864 (the first person to win a second term since Andrew Jackson in 1832). Attention will also be given to his shortcomings. A theme running through the course will be Lincoln’s eloquence in endowing the Union cause with noble purpose and in defending such controversial policies as emancipation, the enlistment of African American troops, and government infringement of civil liberties.

J. Ronald Spencer
Five Wednesdays: March 11, 25, (No class March 18); April 1, 8, 15
5:30-7:00 p.m.

Physics in Science Fiction

A spaceship accelerates uncontrollably, bringing her crew ever closer to the speed of light and the end of time. A parallel universe with slightly different physical laws offers mankind a limitless source of energy. A teleportation accident creates a duplicate passenger–but is either of them truly the original? A radio message from a nearby star confirms that we are not alone in the universe and instructs us to build a colossal machine ... We will read and discuss four novels, paying particular attention to the physics they present and placing them in context within the larger body of science fiction literature.

David Branning
Four Thursdays: March 12, 26, (No class March 19); April 2, 9
5:30-7:00 p.m.

O Pioneers!

The evolution of jazz has been marked by moments of inspired exploration, often by instrumentalists who found expanded forms of improvisation, some technical, some harmonic, after which the patterns of performance were unalterably changed: Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Jimmy Blanton, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker, “Dizzy” Gillespie, Bud Powell, J.J. Johnson, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis, to name but a few. We will engage their work in both a musical and a personal context, better to appreciate just how influential as pioneers they were.

Andrew De Rocco
Five Wednesdays: March 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22
7:00-8:30 p.m.

Don’t Miss Out on Life: Read Proust!

Marcel Proust (1871-1921) hoped that “his readers would discover themselves.” Contrary to the myth surrounding his monumental work, In Search of Lost Time, Proust’s ideas are neither arcane nor reserved to the “happy few.” On the contrary, his novel explores our human condition with great sensitivity, compassion, insights, and humor. Proust helps us reflect on our own life experiences, such as the passing of time, the joy and sorrow of love, our relationship with the society we live in, and the importance of the arts in our lives.

Sonia Lee
Five Tuesdays: March 31; April 7, 14, 21, 28
5:30-7:00 p.m.