Coe Thursday Forum celebrates 20th year

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

2007-08-22 13:23:52 - General

Coe College's 20th anniversary Thursday Forum lecture series begins with the end of the Greek Empire and ends with the beginning of the United States. In between, lectures will focus on Jewish holidays, the local opera scene, art and gender, a look back at 1968, and the "golden age" of Hollywood.

Thursday Forum begins Sept. 6 with a four-part series presented by Humanities Professor Edmund Burke called "The Last Days of Greek Freedom: Economy, Society and Politics in Fourth Century BCE Athens." The series will focus on Athens during the compelling-if-not-grand century between Empire and Macedonian rule.

In October, Rabbi Stephanie Alexander makes her Thursday Forum debut with a review of the earliest compendium of rabbinic writing, the Mishnah. "Putting Scripture into Practice: Jewish Holidays in the Mishnah" will focus on passages that develop the major markers of Jewish time and offer instruction for the observance of Jewish festivals.

As a prelude to the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's January production of "The Magic Flute," Pearl M. Taylor Professor Emeritus of Music Allan Kellar will introduce the "real" Mozart as part of November's Thursday Forum series, "Opera in Cedar Rapids: Mozart to Weill." Over the course of the four-part series, Kellar, Voice Instructor Mark Elliott, Professor of Theatre Arts Susan Wolverton and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Dennis Barnett will dissect Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera," which will be presented at Coe in March.

The series will be complemented Nov. 18 by a free public lecture by Cedar Rapids historian Mark Stoffer Hunter on the dynamic role of opera and vaudeville houses in the late 19th and early 20th century, when Cedar Rapids was host to the best musical entertainment available in the Midwest.

Art Instructor Kelly Klipp rings in the Thursday Forum new year with a review of four female artists from different eras and diverse styles who are united by their common search for identity in their roles as women and artists. The series will examine the art of Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo while exploring how their biographies were often a rich source for their muse.

February's forum looks back at 1968 and "the year that rocked the world." Coe professors Derek Buckaloo (history), Joyce Janca-Aji (French), Lynda Barrow (political science) and Allen Fisher (sociology) will explore the protest movements that swept across Europe, the United States, Mexico and Japan, as well as the often-violent government responses to them.

In March, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Steven Marc Weiss presents "Great Hollywood Film Directors of the 1930s." The series will explore the distinctive work of several native and immigrant directors during Hollywood's "golden age." Short sequences of films will be screened during in-class discussions and full-length screenings of a few select films will be scheduled outside of the forum classroom.

The Thursday Forum series will conclude in April with "First Americans: Native America in U.S. History." Assistant Professor of History Derek Buckaloo will present Native Americans - both on their own terms and in relation to the European colonization that has led to the present-day United States. The forum aims to set Native Americans, and indeed the America we share today, in an enlightening historical context.

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 $30 per course or $10 per week. Gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8561.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "The Last Days of Greek Freedom: Economy, Society and Politics in Fourth Century BCE Athens" - Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27
  • "Putting Scripture into Practice: Jewish Holidays in the Mishnah" - Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25
  • "Opera in Cedar Rapids: Mozart to Weill" - Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29 with a special lecture on Nov. 18
  • "Four Women Artists: Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo" -Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31
  • "1968: Forty Years Later" - Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28
  • "Great Hollywood Film Directors of the 1930s" - March 6, 13, 20, 27
  • "First Americans: Native America in U.S. History" - April 3, 10, 17, 24