Rome, the Eternal City, to Highlight Lifelong Learning Academy

New and Exciting Array of Mini-Courses offered on Diverse Topics

HARTFORD, CT, August 6, 2012 – An all-day seminar, “Rome: Exploring the Eternal City from Ancient Empire to Modern Capital,” will highlight the fall 2012 catalog of courses offered by Trinity’s Academy of Lifelong Learning, a program designed for adults who want to pursue new interests, expand their intellectual horizons and enrich their lives. 

The 14 topics will span the ages, from the women of ancient Israel to this year’s presidential election.

The Academy is open to adults in Greater Hartford, with the mini-courses primarily taught by current and former Trinity faculty. The Academy’s co-directors are Frank Kirkpatrick, Ellsworth Morton Tracy Lecturer and Professor of Religion, and Patricia A. Bunker, retired head reference librarian. Three classes will be held in the morning, one in the afternoon and the balance are scheduled for late afternoon or early evening. Enrollees have access to many Trinity resources, including the Raether Library. Discounts are provided to Cinestudio, Austin Arts Center and College sporting events.

The prices range from $85 for a four-day mini-course to $125 for the all-day seminar, which includes lunch. Trinity faculty and staff are eligible for a 10 percent discount. Gift certificates are also available.

Among the exciting new courses that will be offered in the fall of 2012 are:

  • Rome: Exploring the Eternal City from Ancient Empire to Modern Capital
​​This daylong program on Saturday, October 27 will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a one-hour break for lunch at noon. Two sessions will be held in the morning and two in the afternoon. “Poetry and Politics in First Century B.C./A.D. Rome: Collusion or Accident?” will be taught by John Williams, Hobart Professor Emeritus of Classics; “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are: Highlights of Italian Culinary History,” will be taught by Dario Del Puppo, professor of language and culture studies; “The Enduring Appeal of Rome: Jefferson’s America, Napoleon’s Paris, and Hitler’s Berlin,” will be taught by Kathleen Curran, professor of fine arts; and “Will the Real Rome Stand Up: The Competition for Rome’s History,” will be taught by Borden Painter, professor of history and president emeritus of Trinity. 
  • Common Sense and Uncommon Politics
​This four-week course will be taught by retired philosophy professor Howard DeLong on September 13, 20 and 27 and October 4 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the McLean Home in Simsbury. The course will examine American government from a philosophical point of view, beginning with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Case studies will be presented so that students can judge how well or badly American governments have lived up to the standards expressed in those documents, and what changes need to be made.
  • The Death and Revival of God: Conflicting Views on Belief In and Against God
​This four-week course will be taught by Kirkpatrick on October 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library in Newington. This course will explore the arguments for and against belief in the God of Judaism and Christianity. Students will study the works of Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, Freud, Hitchens and Dawkins, among others, and the class will conclude with a survey of contemporary defenses of belief in God.
  • Lincoln’s Civil War Leadership
​​This five-week course will be taught by Ronald Spencer, former dean of students, dean of studies and associate academic dean, on October 16, 23 and 30 and November 13 and 20 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The McAuley in West Hartford. The class will examine Lincoln’s role during the Civil War, tackling such questions as: Why as president-elect, did Lincoln oppose compromise measures to conciliate the South? Did he maneuver the Confederates into firing the first shot? How did he sustain public support for the war? Why did he wait 18 months before attacking slavery head on? Is his reputation as the “Great Emancipator” exaggerated?
  • The Women of Ancient Israel
​This four-week course will be taught by John Gettier, professor of religion emeritus, on October 18 and 25 and November 1 and 8 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at The Heights at Avery Heights in Hartford. The Hebrew Bible presents a rich and varied portrayal of women in multiple roles and activities, from the mothers of Israel to the warrior-like Deborah and Judith to the sirens and seducers. The course will explore the Biblical stories in their rich detail to bring these women alive and demonstrate the respect and significance accorded them in historical memory.
  • Obama vs. Romney: The Media and the Election
​This four-week course will be taught by Mark Silk, director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, on September 12, October 10 and 24 and November 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The creation of a 24/7 news cycle and the implosion of conventional newspaper and broadcast journalism have fundamentally altered how campaigns are covered. Also, for the first time since the 19th century, the religious identity of the candidates and their views on issues matter to a substantial portion of the electorate. This course will look at the 2012 election campaign in light of those developments.
  • Our Feathered Urban Neighbors
​This four-week course will be taught by Joan Morrison, professor of biology, on September 19 and 26 and October 3 and 10 with a birding fielding trip scheduled for October 13 at 7:30 a.m. The classes will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. This course will explore the lives of birds and focus particularly on questions commonly asked by people who encounter birds in the city. Students will study the varieties of behaviors exhibited by birds, their migratory patterns, habitat associations and favorite foods, as well as the research being conducted on Hartford’s birds, including red-tailed hawks.
  • Murder In the Midnight Sun
​This five-week course will be taught by Andrew De Rocco, former dean of the faculty and president of Denison University, on September 19 and October 3, 17 and 31 and November 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The mystery genre enjoyed a rich Scandinavian presence long before Lisbeth Salandar acquired international notoriety. This course will explore the works of two of her compatriots, Smilla Jaspersen in Denmark and Inspector Gunnhildur in Iceland. Students will also be introduced to Harry Hole in Norway, Kurt Wallender in Sweden and Kimmo Joentaa in Finland.
  • The Tempest-Tossed Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker
​This four-week course will be taught by Susan Campbell, a former columnist for The Hartford Courant, on September 20 and 27 and October 4 and 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hartford’s own Isabella Beecher Hooker, the half-sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a feminist who worked alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. She was instrumental in getting property rights for Connecticut’s married women in 1877. Students will explore this fascinating woman who, among other things, believed that she could talk to the dead.
  • Art Conservation/Restoration and Its Influence in the World of Art
​This four-week course will be taught by Henry DePhillips, a conservation scientist who teaches in Rome and at Yale University, on September 20 and 27 and October 2 and 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. This course will deal with the development of art conservation and restoration, beginning with methods used prior to the introduction of technology during the 1960s and how those technologies have dramatically altered the field. The confluence of philosophy and technology will be discussed and case studies will be used to illustrate how decisions are made.
  • Old English Literature in its Anglo-Saxon Context
​This six-week course will be taught by Sheila Fisher, associate academic dean and professor of English, on October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and November 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The earliest English literature was composed in an inflected Germanic language by Viking invaders from Scandinavia. But the language, which became the ancestor of modern English, produced some extraordinary literature, from deeply psychological exile poems to obscene riddles, from sublime meditations on Christianity to poems that play on the borders of polytheism. The course will discuss the spectrum of Old English literature within the context of the Anglo-Saxon world, its social and cultural currents, and the tension between Christian and heroic values.
  • Don’t Wait for the Muse! A Writing Workshop
​This eight-week course will be taught by Hank Herman, a columnist and blogger for The Westport News, on October 3, 10, 17, 31 and November 7, 14 and 28 and December 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This workshop is just what the doctor ordered: it will examine weekly deadlines and use fellow students to read and respond to other students’ work in an encouraging and supportive environment, and an instructor who will carefully critique submissions and editing and technique suggestions. Class size is limited to eight students and the fee is $300.
  • Chivalry
​This four-week course will be taught by Jonathan Elukin, associate professor of history, on October 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Were medieval knights civilized, loyal, and cultured champions of women and the poor, or were they violent, rapacious thugs? This course will explore the myth and reality of chivalry in the Middle Ages, including the tension between the ideals of chivalry and the reality of medieval warfare. Students will also meet representative figures of medieval chivalry, such as William Marshal and Joan of Arc.
  • Euripides: Tradition-Challenger, Part One
​This six-week course will be taught by Williams on October 15, 22 and 29 and November 5, 12 and 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Euripides, the third of the great 5th-century Athenian tragedians, portrayed humans as they are and presented the human condition as it is, or as he saw it. After presenting convincing and compelling arguments on both sides of a subject, he gives no answers and no resolutions. The audience is expected to come to its own conclusion. This study of Euripidean tragedy will be presented in two parts, with the second occurring in the spring 2013 semester.

For more information about the Academy, contact Program Coordinator Sherry Royer Affleck at 860-297-2125 or email: