A course exploring the world of percussion is among the 2019 spring semester offerings of Trinity College’s Academy of Lifelong Learning. Other courses will study the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King; borders and borderlands; memoir writing; weather and our history; and memory and the brain. Courses are available both on- and off-campus and are taught by distinguished current and former Trinity faculty members.

Open to adults in the community at large, the Academy of Lifelong Learning provides enrolled students with access to many Trinity College resources, including the Raether Library and Information Technology Center, for research. Students also receive discounts at Cinestudio, Austin Arts Center, and Trinity sporting events.

The hallmark of a Trinity education has long been the close interaction between professors and students, and the Academy of Lifelong Learning continues that tradition. Courses are taught in an engaging, collaborative manner, and there are opportunities to meet with fellow students and professors. Trinity Professor of Religious Studies and International Studies, Emeritus, Leslie Desmangles is the director of the Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Course fees range from $125 to $300. Limited scholarships for enrollment in the Academy of Lifelong Learning are available for Hartford residents. The deadline to submit a scholarship application for spring 2019 is Tuesday, January 15, 2019. For more information, including course fee, scholarship application, and registration information, visit the Academy of Lifelong Learning’s website or see the complete spring 2019 brochure here.

In addition to the six courses listed below, the Academy of Lifelong Learning—in collaboration with the University of Hartford’s Presidents College—will host a lecture by Zachary R. Wood, titled “Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America,” on February 4, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at the University of Hartford’s Lincoln Theatre. Wood’s visit is made possible by a grant from the John and Kelly Hartman Foundation, with additional funds from The Trinity College Independent Degree Program, The History Department, The Center for Urban and Global Studies, and The Office of the Multicultural Studies.


On-Campus Courses:

Borders and Borderlands

We tend to think of national borders as fairly stable lines separating two countries or geographical areas. Yet borders have long been contested and are frequently at the center of political conflict. In this course, we will study borders within the context of 19th- and 20th-century history, the development of the nation-state, migration, and the tension between globalization and protectionism. Aside from a sociopolitical discussion, we will explore portrayals of borders in art, literature, and film. Borders that we’ll examine carefully are the division between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and the implications of Brexit); the boundary between Israel and the Palestinian territories; the Iron Curtain with, as its epicenter, the Berlin Wall; and the 38th parallel north between South and North Korea. We also will pay attention to the situation of refugees in Europe and the Middle East and explore its implications for national borders and the notion of open borders.

Johannes Evelein

Four Mondays: February 18, 25; March 4, 11

5:30–7:00 p.m.


Memoir Writing

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 Bruce Springsteen to Tina Fey to Joe Biden—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 Tara Westover, Anthony Bourdain, and Michelle Obama 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: March 6, 13, 27; April 3, 10, 17, 24; May 1

5:30–7:30 p.m.


Freedom and Responsibility in the Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s essay, “After Ten Years,” written in 1942 just before his arrest by the Nazis, and Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written in 1963 while he was in prison for protesting racism, are vital documents about freedom and responsibility. Both are timeless and timely. This course will explore the historical context in which they were written and their relevance today, especially in regard to moral confusion and the distortion of truth. Bonhoeffer wrote: “The ultimate responsible question is not how I extricate myself heroically from a situation but how a coming generation is to go on living.” King would have agreed, writing in his letter, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The course will include lectures, discussions, and film. The essays will be provided to students.

Kathleen L. Housley

Five Thursdays: March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4

6:00–7:30 p.m.



Off-Campus Courses:

Weather and Climate in our History

Weather and climate have played an essential role in the history of North America, from the migration of Stone Age hunter-gatherers to the rise of pre-Columbian civilizations and the westward expansion of European settlers. We will begin by studying the physical processes that control weather and climate. We’ll go on to explore climate in North America over the millennia and then focus on weather events that have marked American history, such as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the role of weather in the D-Day invasion of Europe. Finally, we will look at the evolution of American weather forecasting, from the qualitative forecasts of Benjamin Franklin to the computer-generated forecasts of today.

Philip Brown

Four Tuesdays: March 26; April 2, 9, 16

2:00–3:30 p.m.

The McAuley, 275 Steele Road, West Hartford, CT 06117


Memory and Brain

This course will review the biological foundations of memory and examine fundamental principles of remembering and forgetting. We will explore such questions as: What are the brain structures that support different kinds of memory? Why can I remember my first-grade teacher but not where I left my car keys? Can I improve my memory, and if so, how? If not, why not? Why does our memory decline as we age? Is there a “cognitive reserve” to keep Alzheimer’s at bay?

Karl Haberlandt

Five Wednesdays: March 27; April 3, 10, 17, 24

2:00–3:30 p.m.

The McAuley, 275 Steele Road, West Hartford, CT 06117



Special Course:

From Cymbals to Car Brakes: Inside the World of Percussion

Co-sponsored by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and in collaboration with The Hartt School

Widely misunderstood, the world of percussion is vast, complex, and challenging. It includes pitched instruments (marimba, xylophone, and vibraphone) and non-pitched (snare drum, tambourine, cymbals, and even brake drums). This exceptional course will explore the rich sounds, colors, and tones of the most exciting orchestral family. Percussion is everywhere, from high school drum lines and football games to parades, jazz, rock, Caribbean music, and symphony orchestras.

We will explore the world of percussion instruments, including the unique challenges of playing and mastering multiple instruments.

Four Sessions:

Session 1: Thursday, March 14, 5:30–7:30 p.m.:

An introductory lecture and discussion including hands-on percussion fun with Gene Bozzi, Harford Symphony Orchestra’s principal timpanist.

Session 2: Thursday, March 21:

A day trip and tour of the Zildjian Factory in Norwell, Massachusetts. Founded in Turkey in 1623, Zildjian is the oldest manufacturer of cymbals in the world. Using an alloy of copper, tin, and silver, Avedis, an Armenian living in Constantinople, created a cymbal that emitted a crisp sound when struck. Upon hearing the instrument, the sultan invited Avedis to his court to make cymbals for the royal orchestra. The sultan later gave Avedis the surname Zildjian, meaning, “son of cymbal maker.” A brother, Avedis III, brought the company to the United States in 1929, and today, Craigie and Debbie are members of the 15th generation in an unbroken succession of cymbal makers, making the company the oldest manufacturer in the country. A tour of the facility will be followed by a three-course lunch at Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Session 3: Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.:

Millard Auditorium, The Hartt School, 200 Bloomfield, Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117—The Hartt Percussion Ensemble, featuring works for marimba (free admission)

Session 4: Saturday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.:

Millard Auditorium, The Hartt School, The Hartt Steel Band, featuring music of the Caribbean (free admission). Only 12 spaces are available. You may register for all four sessions or for session 2 only; see the Course Fees and Enrollment Information section. Room assignment and location details for each segment of the course will be made available to all participants via email closer to the start date of the course.

Gene Bozzi

We wish to thank Benjamin Toth, professor of percussion at The Hartt School, for making these recitals possible.


Click here for more details on all of the course listings and fees and for more information about the faculty.