Thursday Forum opens Sept. 3

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

2015-08-20 10:23:00 - General

Coe College's Thursday Forum opens Sept. 3 with memorable movie couples and ends April 28 with classic rock 'n' roll. In between, the 2015-16 academic calendar explores natural disasters and the solar system, takes a peek behind the curtain of a Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre production, and visits ancient Greece, Egypt, Morocco, Asia Minor and Cuba.

Steven Marc Weiss, Professor of Theatre Arts
Steven Marc Weiss
Professor of Theatre Arts

The opening series of the 2015-16 Thursday Forum schedule will provide an in-depth examination of four of the most memorable (and long-lasting) cinema couplings from the Hollywood studio era. On successive weeks in September, Theatre Arts Professor Steven Marc Weiss investigates the movie pairings of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Myrna Loy and William Powell, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. On the Sundays following each forum presentation, a film representing the work of each pair of actors will be presented in its entirety at 2 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall.

October's course will offer an introduction to the rich mythology of the ancient Greeks as well as background on the cults and practices connected with their legends. The myths of the Greeks played a deeply important role in their society and had great influence on the Romans, and then Western literature and art. This course will explore the origins of these myths, looking back to influences from Near Eastern societies like the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. In addition, History Professor Angela Ziskowski will share some of the earliest texts of the Greeks, such as Homer, Hesiod and Herodotus, in order to see how they conceived of their religious universe and the deities within it.

Thursday Forum enters November seeking to understand the process that generates natural disasters. Physics plays a big role in the way we attempt to model and predict the behavior of these events. Physics Professor Mario Affatigato will combine the study of science and the way in which nature affects culture and history.

A pair of special one-week sessions will close out the calendar year and open 2016. With the aid of photography from his travels in Egypt and Morocco, Biology Professor Emeritus Floyd Sandford will discuss the history and culture of these two fascinating destinations on Dec. 3. Thursday Forum resumes Jan. 14, with members of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre discussing their production of Verdi's "La Traviata" at the Paramount Theatre on Jan. 15 and 17.

Physics instructor Firdevs Duru will provide an overview of our solar system in February. Our sun, eight planets, five known dwarf planets, and all the other objects orbiting around the sun will be explored in the opening series of 2016.

In the week before and three weeks after Coe's Spring Break in March, Physics Professor Ugur Akgun will provide a historical overview of the civilizations in Asia Minor. Today's Turkey, also known as Anatolia, has been the center of known human history since early Neolithic Ages.

On March 10, attorney, linguist, philosopher, author and educator Richard Campagna will lead a multi-media presentation and discussion depicting contemporary and traditional Cuban society and culture. Special attention will be focused on past, present and ever-changing rules and regulations regarding travel to Cuba and investment and commerce with that nation.

The Thursday Forum calendar closes in April with a series focusing on the changes, evolution, invention and re-invention of rock 'n' roll as heard in the 1960s music of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Music professors Marc Falk and Steve Shanley begin by tracing the roots of early rock, and then look at these three artists as they influenced one another both musically and culturally.

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. An optional 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 $35 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or personal check. Credit card payments can be processed online only. For more information about paying by credit card or directly from your checking account, or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Celluloid Chemistry: Memorable Movie "Couples" in Hollywood’s Golden Age" - Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24.
  • "Myths & Legends of Ancient Greece" - Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22.
  • "The Science of Natural Disasters" - Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, 12, 19.
  • "Travels in Egypt & Morocco: Cultural and Historical Perspectives" - Dec. 3
  • "La Traviata: A Peek Behind the Scenes" - Jan. 14.
  • "A Look at our Solar System: The Sun, the Planets and More" - Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25.
  • "Asia Minor: A 3500-Year History" - March 3, 17, 24, 31.
  • "A Historical and Cultural Perspective on Travel to Cuba by US Citizens: A Century of Flux, Paradox and Contradiction" - March 10.
  • "The Evolution of 1960s Rock 'n' Roll: A Closer Look at Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones" - April 7, 14, 21, 28.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe's vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.