Coe Thursday Forum calendar set, series opens Sept. 6

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

2012-08-23 12:58:55 - General

Coe College's Thursday Forum opens Sept. 6 with a series on the nature of light and ends April 25 in 1930s Hollywood. In between, the 2012-13 academic calendar touches on Renaissance art, Paul of Tarsus, national wealth and poverty, Nobel Peace Prize-winning women, and contemporary energy issues.

In the opening series, B.D. Silliman Professor of Physics Steve Feller will shed light on light - how it is described and how it is used in myriad ways. Lectures will be illuminated with demonstrations of how light behaves.

Beginning Oct. 4, Assistant Professor of Art Andrea Kann examines the richness of Italian Renaissance art and engages in a broader investigation beyond Italy of visual culture from the 14th to 16th centuries.

November's forum will introduce the scholarly study of the life and letters of Paul of Tarsus, one of the most - if not the most - important figures in earliest Christianity. Assistant Professor of Religion Meira Kensky will take a close look at this crucial figure, whose writings have been so formative in the development of not only Christianity, but much of Western civilization.

The opening forum of 2013 will examine the basic facts about economic growth around the world and explore some of the various hypotheses that have been put forward as explanations for the wealth and poverty of nations. Specific topics offered by Stead Department of Business Administration and Economics Assistant Professor Phillip Garner will include the determinants of labor productivity, governance, trade, geography, foreign aid, and what the economic future may hold.

Associate Professor of Political Science Kimberly Lanegran highlights the 15 women who have become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates since it was first awarded in 1901. The February series examines the process through which the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, summarizes the work of the 15 women of peace, and identifies three main ways in which these women seek to foster peace.

In March, Professor Emeritus of Biology Floyd Sanford will lead a discussion about contemporary energy issues. Joined by experts in the field Bob Haug of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and Bert Kalisch of the American Public Gas Association, the series will explore topical questions like: Will the world really run out of oil in the next 100 years? Are solar and wind energy means of helping supply America’s long-term energy needs or only feasible for limited and local applications? Is global warming a real phenomenon that should impel us to swift corrective action or a hoax perpetrated by out-of-touch scientists and eco-freaks? What is happening locally - in Iowa - to encourage greater energy efficiency and more use of renewable sources to meet our energy needs? Will natural gas become an increasingly important part of the energy picture?

In the final Thursday Forum of the academic year in April, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Steven Marc Weiss will explore the cinematic output of four American movie directors - Frank Capra, George Cukor, John Ford and Howard Hawks - whose 1930s films have come to exemplify what is known as "classical Hollywood" style. Short sequences from the films of these directors will be screened during in-class discussions and special full-length screenings will be scheduled outside of the forum classroom on Sunday afternoons throughout the month.

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. A luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

The courses are open to all adults. The cost is $30 for a four-week course paid on the first day, or $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Thursday Forum gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Trip the Light Fantastic: A Forum on the Understanding of the Nature of Light" - Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27.

  • "The World of Renaissance Art" - Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25.

  • "Paul of Tarsus: The Man, the Myth, the Letters" - Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29.

  • "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" - Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31.

  • "Women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates" - Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28.

  • "Contemporary Energy Issues" - March 7, 14, 21, 28.

  • "Great American Film Directors of Hollywood's 'Golden Age'" - April 4, 11, 18, 25.