Coe Thursday Forum calendar set

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or

2008-08-21 08:35:16 - General

Coe College's Thursday Forum lecture series opens Sept. 4 with an exploration of the crossroads between science and different civilizations. In all, nine topics sure to interest adult learners are scheduled for a busy 2008-09 academic calendar.

Physics Professor Mario Affatigato opens the year with a four-part series called "Science & Civilization." The series begins with a definition of science, explores the birth of "modern" science in the European Renaissance, and examines the roles of religion and government bureaucracy in aiding and hampering the development of science. Each lecture will include discussion about the general factors that affect the development of methodical, scientific thought.

In October, Assistant Professor of Religion Chris Seeman presents "Remembering the Temple." Surveying more than 1,600 years of history, Seeman will explore how events in and around the Jerusalem Temple have contributed to the formulation of central Abrahamic doctrines: the oneness of God, resurrection and final judgment, the value of martyrdom, the legitimacy of defensive warfare, and messianic expectation.

Beginning Oct. 30, Assistant Professor of History Melody Miyamoto makes her Thursday Forum debut with "'Go West, Young Man': The American West and the Development of the American Character." The four-part series presents a West full of colorful characters, triumphant stories, and a multitude of perspectives. Miyamoto will go beyond the "Myth of the West" to address current issues and examine how Westerners shape American character even today.

Visiting Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence Ann Struthers leads Thursday Forum into its winter break with a two-week review of her time in Syria as a Fulbright Scholar. Also the subject of her recent memoir, "In Aleppo Twice: Adventures of a Fulbright Scholar in Syria," this forum will explore the historical, geographical and social background of Damascus, the Syrian capital; Aleppo, where Struthers lived and taught; and ancient monuments and religious sites.

William R. and Winifred Shuttleworth Professor of Philosophy Jeffrey Hoover rings in the Thursday Forum new year with a two-part series entitled "Between Town Hall and Cathedral: The Rise of Siena and Florence." This forum will focus on the architecture of two successful city-states that emerged during the late Middle Ages in northern Italy. Special emphasis will be placed on two principal buildings in each city, the cathedral and the town hall - all four of which were under construction at the same time.

Gretchen Brumwell, principal harpist of the Cedar Rapids Symphony, closes out January with a two-part forum exploring the rich heritage of the harp: its history, development and music. Each session will combine lecture, visual presentation and live performance. No music background is needed to enjoy this whirlwind tour of the world of the harp.

Thursday Forum participants will explore Catalonia and its capital, Barcelona, from the perspective of foreign and local authors. This four-part series led by Assistant Professor of Spanish Mònica Fuertes-Arboix will introduce the folklore, music, traditions and arts of the region, located northeast of the Spanish peninsula. The forum will give an overview of this "nation without a state" and of the arguments of the Catalan people concerning their relationship to Spain.

Art Professor Lucille Goodson makes her Thursday Forum debut in March with an examination of fundamental ways in which photography has informed our culture. Less than 200 years old, the photographic image has opened limitless windows in scientific research, created social movements and inspired presidents to create national parks. It is also capable of propagating gross untruths. This series will pose the question, does the photograph ever lie?

Music Professor Richard Hoffman, Coe's own "Mr. Broadway," closes out the Thursday Forum academic year in April by examining four relatively new shows that have invigorated Broadway. These shows have helped to keep the creative quality of Broadway entertainment at the highest level. While earning scads of money, they have been regarded as artistic hits as well.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with coffee and pastries from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. Most series conclude with a luncheon on the final Thursday.

The courses are open to all adults and registration is on-site. The cost is $10 per week or $30 for a four-week course. Gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8561.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Science & Civilization" - Sept. 4, 11, 18, 25
  • "Remembering the Temple" - Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23
  • "'Go West Young Man': The American West and the Development of the American Character" - Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, 13, 20
  • "Memoir of the Middle East" - Dec. 4, 11
  • "Between Town Hall & Cathedral: The Rise of Siena and Florence" - Jan. 8, 15
  • "The World of the Harp" - Jan. 22, 29
  • "The Catalan Case: Past, Present and Future of a Nation Without a State" - Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26
  • "The Photographic Truth" - March 5, 19, 26 and April 2
  • "Four Musicals that Have Helped 'Save' Broadway" - April 9, 16, 23, 30