Thursday Forum resumes Sept. 4 for 2014-15

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

2014-08-21 12:56:35 - General

Coe College's Thursday Forum opens Sept. 4 with a virtual tour of 18th and 19th century Europe and ends April 23 with the illustrious French Gen. Charles de Gaulle. In between, the 2014-15 academic calendar touches on art studio organization; classic monster movies; John Milton's "Paradise Lost;" the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke; and the history of money.

The opening series is designed as a virtual "grand tour" led by Art Professor Andrea Kann. Participants will step into the roles of their 18th and 19th century British predecessors, traveling across Western Europe to Italy to escape the narrow strictures of society at home while participating in this romantic, intellectual and cultural rite of passage. Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome and Pompeii are some of the major destinations on the itinerary.

A single presentation on Oct. 2 explores the impact of place on creative process and practice. Looking at the studios of local artists Grant Wood, Marvin Cone and John Beckelman, Gallery Director Jennifer Rogers will examine how different artists utilize, organize and interact with their workspaces and how these workspaces in turn inform their artistic work. This one-day session will also include a look inside the studios of Modern artists such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Tom Sachs.

In October, a Halloween edition of Thursday Forum focuses on four classic monster films: James Whale's "Frankenstein" (1931), Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), Tod Browning's "Dracula" (1931), and Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's "King Kong" (1933). Introducing one film each week, English Professor Emeritus Terry Heller will discuss some of the ways in which each of these modern fairy tales speak to cultural problems, such as issues of personal identity and the socio-political anxieties of the period.

Beginning Nov. 6, Thursday Forum participants will examine John Milton's "Paradise Lost" with English Professor Gina Hausknecht. Reading excerpts from one of the greatest works of English literature, participants will discuss Milton’s then-radical views on religion, politics and marriage and how he challenged many of the dominant assumptions of his day.

In February, the opening Thursday Forum series of 2015 studies the three "Synoptic" Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. Religion Professor Meira Kensky will share her thoughts about these three interrelated Gospels and what they teach about the emerging Christian movement.

Thursday Forum participants will have money on their minds in March. Physics Professor Steve Feller will discuss the development of money, examine its history and discuss its future. Participants will hold ancient coins and examine how scrip used in WWII helps tell the story of the concentration camps, a specialty of Feller’s.

The Thursday Forum calendar closes in April with a series on the life and career of one of the most important Frenchmen of the 20th century, the illustrious Gen. Charles de Gaulle. History Professor Bethany Keenan will examine de Gaulle's experiences in World War I, his military training, his involvement with the Free French and the liberation of France in World War II, his role in the ending of French colonization in Algeria, his activities in favor of peace during the U.S. - Vietnam War, and the end of his presidency with the student uprisings of 1968.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments 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. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $30 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. For more information or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Experience the Grand Tour! Travel & Art in 18th & 19th Century Europe" - Sept. 4, 11, 18, 25.
  • "Organization May Save Your Life & Other Accounts from the Artist Studio" - Oct. 2.
  • "Monsters and Their Stories: Four Classic Films" - Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30.
  • "Heaven and Hell in the 17th Century: John Milton's 'Paradise Lost'" - Nov. 6, 13, 20, and Dec. 4.
  • "Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew and Luke" - Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26.
  • "A Brief History of Money: From Athens to Auschwitz" - March 5, 12, 19, 26.
  • "Charles de Gaulle and 20th Century France" - April 2, 9, 16, 23.