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The Newsletter of the President’s College: Education for a Lifetime

University of Hartford
Number 52, March 1, 2008

telephone 860-768-4269; fax 860-768-4411; e-mail:

This month we are able to announce several new upcoming programs. In general, our offerings have been doing very well so far, with strong enrollment and a high level of enthusiasm. Our first course of the semester – Jennifer Brown on medieval women saints – has ended successfully, and Dianne Harrison’s course on Trollope is now underway. Perhaps the most exciting news is that Michael Lankester, former music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, remembered for his superb talks on music (in addition to his music making) will be back in April for a session on Gustav Mahler. Reserve your seats for this and our other exciting programs!


Our Environment. Wick Griswold, Stephan Bullard, Marissa Cloutier, with host David Goldenberg
The global warming debate has intensified our efforts to understand environmental change. Three outstanding professors at Hillyer College, one of the two liberal arts colleges at the University, will explore aspects of environmental change through their own work. Stephan Bullard, Assistant Professor of Biology, will talk about new sea life, the sea squirt, which has no known natural predator and which threatens harm to the Connecticut and world marine eco-systems; Marissa Cloutier, Assistant Professor of Nutrition (author of The Mediterranean Diet), will discuss her new book on the impact of diet on climate and environment, and Wick Griswold, Assistant Professor of Sociology, will discuss the Connecticut River’s effect on the environment and the economy. David Goldenberg, dean of Hillyer College, will host. Each session will be followed by a late lunch with the speaker at the 1877 Club for those wishing to attend (additional charge of $15 for lunch).
David Goldenberg and colleagues on the environment. The first lecture took place on February 14, but two others are still to come, on February 28 and March 13. 12:15-1:15. Cost $30 per lecture (no discount for Fellows), $40 for the remaining two (Fellows $30).

Shakespearean Nights: Macbeth & A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Humphrey Tonkin

This spring, the Hartt School is performing two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays – the comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the tragedy Macbeth. Much of the action of both plays takes place at night, but one play touches on the mysteries of sleep, the other on the impossibility of finding rest. Through our own discussion and through interaction with the directors and actors in the two plays, we will seek the answer to a single question: “What do Shakespeare’s works, and these two plays in particular, have to tell us about Shakespearean depictions of sleep, love, sleeplessness and death?” This exploration of Shakespeare on sleep will end with performances of the two plays. The course will also touch on other Shakespeare productions taking place in the area in the spring and summer.
Humphrey Tonkin on Shakespeare. Wednesdays, March 5, 12, 26, Apr. 2. 4:30-6:00. Cost $85 (Fellows $65)

The Worlds of the Deaf. Timothy Reagan and Humphrey Tonkin

Reagan and Tonkin are linguists, and so their interest in the deaf community is primarily linguistic and cultural. Reagan, who formerly taught at Gallaudet University, has published widely on American Sign Language and signing in general. Here is what they have to say about the course, “Our introduction will begin by examining the fundamental difference between audiological deafness and cultural Deafness, and the implications of this difference for education, socialization, and both childhood and adulthood. We will discuss how deaf individuals choose to identify themselves, and the roles of language and education in these decisions. After exploring the many worlds of deafness, our second session will look at the history of deafness in the USA and especially Hartford and New England. Our third session will focus on signing and sign language. A final session, at the American School for the Deaf, will offer an opportunity to meet and interact with members of the local Deaf community, and with hearing people who work with the Deaf.”
Timothy Reagan and Humphrey Tonkin on the Deaf Community. Wednesdays, April 9, 16, 23, 30. 4:00-5:30. Cost $85 (Fellows $65)

Rachmaninoff’s Vespers – A Preview

When Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (or All-Night Vigil) was first performed in 1915, it was hailed as his masterpiece. It has been called “the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church.” CONCORA, the Connecticut Choral Artists, will perform the work on Sunday, April 13, at 7:30 pm at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, West Hartford. As a preview to the performance, we will be offering two lectures – by Richard Coffey, conductor and artistic director of CONCORA, on Tuesday, April 1, at 6:00 pm, and by Vladimir Morosan on Thursday, April 10. Morosan is a world-renowned specialist on Russian choral music. Participants will also be welcome at an open rehearsal of the work on Friday, April 4, at South Church, New Britain. Registration for this program will open in March. Each participant will also receive a ticket to the performance.
Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. Tuesday April 1, Thursday, April 10. Fee, including ticket for the performance: $65 ($50 for President’s College Fellows and for CONCORA subscribers).

What Love Tells Me: Mahler's Third Symphony with Michael Lankester

"Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world - one is, so to speak, only an instrument, played on by the universe ... My symphony will be something the like of which the world has never yet heard! .... In it, the whole of nature finds a voice .... Some passages of it seem so uncanny to me that I can hardly recognize them as my own work ... " Thus spoke Gustav Mahler of his Third Symphony. From the immense first movement, representing the emergence of Nature out of non-existence, through a series of ascending steps, this work takes the listener on a journey through what Mahler called "the stages of being" - from vegetable and animal life, via mankind and the angels, to the love of God. The idea behind the work is nothing less than a conception of existence in its totality. The Hartt Symphony Orchestra will perform this monumental work on Saturday, May 3. Here’s a chance to prepare for this great occasion – and to talk about music with Michael Lankester.
Michael Lankester on Mahler’s Third Symphony, with musical illustrations. Monday, April 21, 4:30-6:00. Cost $25 (Fellows $20).

So Many Grails, So Little Time: The Grail from “A” to “Zed.” Kathleen McGrory

This course will introduce readers to the Holy Grail in literature and history, from its original form in the 12th century Old French romance, Perceval, by Chretien de Troyes (the "A"), through its metamorphoses over the centuries until its most recent incarnation in Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code (the "Zed"). Instructor Kathleen McGrory once spent a year in Europe, looking for the Holy Grail, and found eight of them, all authenticated! Grail questers will pursue the most interesting of these Grails from the comfort of the classroom.
Kathleen McGrory on the Holy Grail. Mondays & Wednesdays, May 5, 7, 12, 14 . 5:00-6:30. Cost $85 (Fellows $65)

My Life in One Memory: A Writing Workshop. Teresa Stores

Creative writing professor T Stores has agreed to offer a second writing workshop, following her successful session last year. She explains her goal as follows: “I want to work with memoir again in this workshop, but I'd like to have the participants focus on one significant life memory, recreate a moment or two from that memory, and work it into a short narrative essay or poem within the workshop time. Maybe both.”
Teresa Stores on writing. Saturday, May 10. 9:30-12:30, followed by lunch. Cost $65 (Fellows $50), including lunch.

Fridays at the Mortensen: Neely Bruce and Bill Faude

A series of dinner/talks for Fellows of the President’s College and their friends. A combination of conversation and intellectual enjoyment. Fridays, March 28, April 25, May 9. Upcoming sessions will feature “WIMBY – Writers in My Back Yard,” an evening of readings by President’s College and University of Hartford writers (March 28), Neely Bruce, Chorus Master of the Connecticut Opera and Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, who will speak (April 25) on Connecticut Opera’s upcoming production of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, and Wilson Faude, former director of the Old State House, who will speak (May 9) on “Finding Old Hartford.”

Fridays at the Mortensen. Fridays March 28, April 25, May 9. 5:45-8:00. Cost, including dinner, $45 (Fellows $35) per session

Azar Nafisi, Rogow Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Monday, March 24

Azar Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.

Monday, March 24, 2008, 7:30 p.m., Lincoln Theater. Lecture is free and open to the public. For tickets, call 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587, or contact

Ellsworth Lecture: Jane Nelson

“Global Corporate Citizenship: Building on America’s Philanthropic Traditions to Invest in the Future” will be the title of this year’s Ellsworth Lecture, to be delivered by Jane Nelson, of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 4:30 p.m., Wilde Auditorium. Lecture is free and open to the public. For tickets, call 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587, or contact

Book Signing and Lecture: Joshua Kendall, author of The Man Who Made Lists.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society announces a lecture and book signing with Joshua Kendall, author of The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness and the Creation of Roget’s Thesaurus (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008). The Man Who Made Lists tells the story of Peter Mark Roget, author of Roget’s Thesaurus. Roget suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, which Kendall says made Roget the man he was. Starting from the age of eight, Roget began making lists of words. His obsession with putting words in order culminated in 1852, when his thesaurus was published for the first time in England. Kendall says, “Roget felt that words have tremendous power and they shouldn’t just be tossed around. I see this biography as a mission—because I think here in the early 21st century, language is under assault. We owe it to ourselves and to the people we communicate with to choose our words as carefully as possible.” Information at: or call (860) 521-5362.

The lecture and signing will take place on Wednesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Noah Webster House, 227 S. Main St., West Hartford. The book will be available for purchase.
What's a Zine and What Do You Do With It? Janice Radway on the Digital Age

Janice Radway, 2008 Harry Jack Gray Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Hartford, and chair, Literature Program, Duke University, will discuss how reading is being transformed by digital technologies. Looking at e-zines as a popular example, she will raise interesting questions about

reading and audiences in the 21st century. Radway is the author of the critically acclaimed Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature and A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste and Middle Class Desire.

Wednesday, April 23, 4:00 p.m., Wilde Auditorium. Free and open to the public.

Professor Julius Elias

Julius Elias, honorary fellow of the President’s College and a strong supporter of our efforts from the very beginning, died on Monday, February 25, after a protracted illness. When we saw him last, we all hoped that he had successfully fought off the cancer that he had been battling for many months, But it was not to be. Participants in the President’s College will remember his courses in opera, his participation in trips to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and his occasional course in philosophy. He was emeritus professor of philosophy and former dean and provost at the University of Connecticut, and, of course, lifelong opera enthusiast. He helped us stabilize and strengthen the President’s College in recent years, serving on the planning committee that led to the present structure. He will be remembered as an engaging and knowledgeable teacher, a person of great intellect and determined will, and, above all, as a kind friend.

Calling All Writers! The President’s College Presents WIMBY!

“WIMBY – Writers in My Back Yard” is a program featuring readings by published and aspiring writers associated with the President’s College or the University of Hartford. If you are a published writer or aspiring to become one, contact Humphrey Tonkin at or 860-768-4448 about reading some of your work at the March 28 Fridays at the Mortensen event (see above).

Community Day, April 19 – Save the Date

On the University of Hartford’s Community Day, the University welcomes the local community to come visit. We have tours of university facilities, displays, performances, and a whole range of other activities. Last year, the President’s College organized a marathon reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, with over one hundred readers. This year, the President’s College will again be participating. In conjunction with the Noah Webster House, we’re planning an event celebrating the 250th anniversary of Noah Webster’s birth. Details to be announced later in March.

The High Renaissance in Florence, Rome and Venice: Waiting List Accepted

Demand for Patrick McCaughey’s April course on the High Renaissance has been so great that we have reached the maximum number of participants and have been forced to stop accepting registrations. We have, however, been able to accommodate those on the waiting list for the course. If you are uncertain about the state of your registration, call Judy Kacmarcik (860-768-4269).

Don’t Forget the Campus Bookstore!

Chris Evans, manager of the Campus Bookstore, reminds us that the Bookstore is eager to support President’s College programs. The Bookstore orders an advance supply of any titles mentioned by instructors. The books, and the President's College Program, are prominently displayed with other featured titles in the trade book department.  The Bookstore is in the building to the left as you approach the Mortensen Library. For information on available books, contact Sheron Stainrod or Chris Evans at the Bookstore: or 860/768-4801.


Join the President’s College!

As a Fellow of the President’s College you receive lower registration fees for our courses, parking on campus, access to the Sports Center, borrowing privileges at the library, and many discounts. Your registration also demonstrates your support for the College and its future – and helps give us the capital we need to bring you our many outstanding programs. $75 for the spring semester.

President’s College Fellows additions to February 19, 2008
Harold Buckingham, Jr. ● Joyce Buckingham ● Arnold Cantor ● Eleanor Caplan ● Anne Jackson ● Thomas Jackson ● Elene Needelman ● Doris Philips ● Eileen Pollack ● Zellene Sandler ● Louise Wilder
We apologize for omissions from our previous list. Total number of Fellows now stands at 148. Thank you all for your support of the President’s College!

Parking on Campus.  If, as a Fellow of the President’s College (and hence a member of the University, not a visitor), you have been issued a parking sticker, please display it on the back of the rearview mirror of your vehicle.  The sticker is for commuter students; it allows you to park in most of the parking lots near the academic buildings (including B, C, and D, and the commuter portion of K) except those lots or portions of lots clearly marked for Visitors or Faculty/Staff.   If you park in a Visitors lot and are displaying a sticker you will be ticketed.  Lot A, the first lot you come to when you enter through the main entrance to the campus, is not available to commuters until after 4:30. If you run into problems or have questions, leave a message at the number of the President’s College, 768-4350.
What Do I Do If It Snows? Closings are announced on WTIC - 1080 AM/96.5 FM, WRCH - 100.5 FM, and WWUH - 91.3 FM. Local television stations use automated systems with limited choices for colleges and universities. Currently, Channel 3 (WFSB) is the only area station that airs specific opening and closing times. So please follow up on any announcements that you see on Channels 8 (WTNH) or 30 (WVIT) by checking the University's Web site ( or by calling 860-768-4100.
Where Do We Meet? Because our resources are limited, and space on campus is tight, we can’t always secure classroom space until shortly before a program or course begins. We apologize for this uncertainty, but do our best to get the word out to participants about location before each event starts. If in doubt, call 860-768-4269 or Humphrey Tonkin at 860-768-4448.
Am I Enrolled? We try to acknowledge registrations as soon as we receive them, but we are not perfect. If you are concerned about whether we have received your registration, call 768-4269.
We Need Volunteers. If you can spare some time, we would love to have you become a volunteer for the President’s College. We particularly need help with program coordination and with marketing and publicity. Contact Nancy Mather (633-7778) or Humphrey Tonkin (768-4448).

Registration Form
Please check relevant items and indicate amount paid at right.
 President’s College Fellow, Spring 2008 (parking on campus, library

privileges, discounts on courses, information about events). $75

(Note: If you were signed up in the fall, you don’t need to pay again for the spring!) _____

 Our Environment. David Goldenberg & colleagues.

 Marissa Cloutier on Diet, Feb. 28. $30 _____

 Wick Griswold on the Connecticut River, March 13. $30 _____

 Both lectures $40 ($30 Fellow) _____

 Lunches for Feb. 28, March 13 (circle the dates). $15 each _____
 Fridays at the Mortensen (includes dinner). Series of four: $115 ($85 Fellow) _____

 WIMBY: Writers in My Back Yard $45 ($35 Fellow) _____

 Neely Bruce on The Abduction from the Seraglio $45 ($35 Fellow) _____

 Bill Faude on Old Hartford $45 ($35 Fellow) _____

 Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. $65 ($50 Fellow or CONCORA Subscriber) _____
 Shakespearean Nights. Humphrey Tonkin. $85 ($65 Fellow) _____
 Mahler’s Third Symphony. Michael Lankester. $25 ($20 Fellow) _____
 Worlds of the Deaf. Timothy Reagan & Humphrey Tonkin. $85 ($65 Fellow) _____
 The Holy Grail. Kathleen McGrory. $85 ($65 Fellow) _____
 Writing Workshop with Teresa Stores _____
TOTAL _____

 I am interested in serving as a volunteer

NAME:_______________________________ADDRESS:_____________________________________________________CITY:__________________________________STATE: _____ZIP:_________

TEL# (day) (____)__________ (evening) (____)_____________ E-MAIL:_____________________

Fee may be paid by: (circle one) Check Visa MasterCard Discover

Credit Card# _________________________________________________ Exp. Date ____________

Signature__________________________________________________ Date___________________
Make checks payable to: University of Hartford. Send form and (where appropriate) check to: The President’s College: Education for a Lifetime, Mortensen Library, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117-1599.

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