Schemel Forum Looks To Enrich Community In New Season
The Schemel Forum for Cultural Enrichment & Education in the Community returns to University of Scranton with a fresh round of provocative presentations for the fall.
The annual series covers topics as diverse as the Supreme Court’s influence on the American political system, the building of the American art scene following the Civil War and modern cyber warfare.
Among the offerings found under the forum’s courses is one that examines the iconic and controversial career of a Hollywood director. Stephen E. Whittaker, Ph.D., a professor of English and theater at U of S, will present “The Ambivalent Muse: Woody Allen and His Women,” which looks at the way the human psyche is picked apart in some of the filmmaker’s most notable female characters.
“(Woody Allen’s) films of the 1980s, in particular, offer remarkably subtle portraits of male and female psyches,” Whittaker explained. “These portraits are philosophically and aesthetically astute.
“At the same time, as a male artist exploring female life, his work affords us a particularly rich way of asking questions about the role of gender in the making of art. Feminists have noted, at least since Virginia Woolf, the disproportionate interest of male artists in female subjects, as opposed to the interest of female artists in male subjects. This intersection of sexuality and aesthetics is at the heart of Woody Allen’s work.”
Over six Wednesday night sessions from Sept. 12 through Oct. 17, Whittaker will screen six examples of Allen’s work, followed by discussion.
The Schemel Forum was founded 12 years ago and made possible through gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund. From a small group of intellectuals, the series has grown to cover more issues and incorporate larger audiences, wrote forum director Sondra Myers.
“We have become a community of learners — informed on current affairs of the world and delving into the mysteries of the past — and a great asset to the region’s educational and cultural life,” she noted.
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Schedule of events
The Schemel Forum for Cultural Enrichment & Education in the Community Fall 2018 Series at University of Scranton
Fees: Nonmembers, $60 individual/$100 couple; members, free
“The Ambivalent Muse: Woody Allen and His Women,” presented by Stephen Whittaker, Ph.D., professor of English and theater, U of S: Wednesdays, Sept. 12 through Oct. 3 17, 6 p.m. Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall.
“A Reconsideration of the Politics of the Founding Generation in the Age of Donald Trump,” presented by David Dzurec, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the history department, U of S: Thursdays: Oct. 11 through Nov. 15, 6 p.m., Room 305, Weinberg Memorial Library. Dzurec re-examines the conflicts of the earliest American republic, which were just as contentious as modern politics.
“Homer’s The Illiad and The Odyssey,” presented by Harmar Brereton, M.D.: Tuesdays, Oct. 23 through Nov. 13, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 6 p.m., Room 305, Weinberg Memorial Library. Brereton reviews the impact of both of Homer’s epics, most notably upon Carl Jung’s psychology.
University for a Day
Saturday, Sept. 15, Brennan Hall, Pearn Auditorium
Fees: Nonmembers, $25; members, free; includes morning coffee, lunch and closing reception
“The Real Road to Serfdom,” presented by Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and director of the pre-law advisory program, U of S: 9:30 a.m. Meyer explores whether the implementation of ideals set forth in Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” — such as an individualism that rejects the common good, restricts government activity and paves the way for market-based solutions to social problems — would lead to true serfdom.
“Monumental Questions: Race, Memory and Monument in America Today,” presented by historian James Campbell, Ph.D., Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University: 11 a.m. Campbell looks at how Americans remember and represent the nation’s racial past, which contradicted the “self-evident” ideals of liberty and equality suggested in founding documents.
“The Supreme Court at the Intersection of Law and Politics,” presented by attorney Mark C. Alexander, Arthur J. Kania Dean and professor of law at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law: 1:45 p.m. Alexander discusses examples and effects of how politics influence and are influenced by decisions passed down by Supreme Court justices.
“An American Art Story: 1880s to 1920s,” presented by Josephine Dunn, Ph.D., professor of art history, oral history and European cultural history, U of S: 3:15 p.m. Dunn points to Scranton as a microcosm of the greater national art scene by exploring the way art was created, shown and bought in post-Civil War America.
World Affairs Luncheon Seminars
All seminars meet noon to 1:30 p.m. and include buffet lunch.
Fees: Nonmembers, $20 individual/$30 couple/$110 entire series per person/$160 entire series per couple; members, free
“Why College?” presented by William M. Sullivan, Ph.D., senior scholar at New American Colleges and Universities and visiting professor at the Center for the Study of Professions at Oslo Akerskhus Universities in Norway: Tuesday, Sept. 18, Kane Forum, Edward Leahy Hall. Sullivan argues that a good liberal arts/professional studies education can lead to a successful life for students despite widespread skepticism over the meaningfulness of a college degree.
“Democracy Dies in Darkness,” presented by Elzbieta Matynia, Ph.D., professor of sociology and liberal studies and director of the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies at the New School for Social Research: Monday, Oct. 1, Rose Room 509, Brennan Hall. Matynia shows how the performative function of democracy — being and acting like a citizen — brings people together to explore shared issues and possible solutions, even right here in Scranton.
“Translating The Odyssey: How and Why,” presented by Emily Wilson, Ph.D., professor, department of classical studies, and chair, program in comparative literature and literary theory, University of Pennsylvania: Wednesday, Oct. 17, Rose Room 509, Brennan Hall. Wilson shows her process and explains how her translation of the tome differs from any other available in English.
“You Can Do Anything,” presented by Eric Schnurer, president, Public Works LLC: Thursday, Oct. 25, Rose Room 509, Brennan Hall. Schnurer talks about the numerous ways citizens effect change.
“Going to War: Who Calls the Shots?” presented by counsel Morey M. Myers of Myers, Brier and Kelly: Wednesday, Nov. 7, Rose Room 509, Brennan Hall. Myers looks at the roles of Congress, the president and the Supreme Court in decisions to go to war throughout American history.
“Cybercrime: A Global Weapon of Mass Destruction,” presented by Michael Greenberger, founder and director, University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security: Tuesday, Nov. 13, Rose Room 509, Brennan Hall. Greenberger investigates what policies and programs should be adopted to combat worldwide cyber criminals who hack bank accounts, derail votes and steal identities.
“Music and Medicine: Leonard Bernstein,” presented by Richard Kogan, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, and artistic director, Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Program: Thursday, Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m., Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave. Tickets are $25 and include a post-show reception; call 570-344-1111 or 888-669-8966. Kogan, a pianist and psychiatrist, plays selections from Bernstein’s catalogue.
“The Humanities: Now More Than Ever,” presented by the Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president, U of S: Thursday, Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m., Room 228, Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall, free with reservations required. Pilarz discusses the need to broaden one’s understanding of diverse histories and cultures to succeed in a more globalized age of personal and professional relationships.
“The Peacemaker” film screening: Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30 p.m., Room 228, Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall, free with reservations required.
“Democracy in Chains,” presented by Nancy MacLean, Ph.D., William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University: The author discusses her 2017 book and signs copies. Date and location to be announced. Free.
Saturday, Oct. 27: Guided tour of Baltimore Art Museum at 10 a.m. followed by lunch and shopping in the Inner Harbor; visit to Visionary Art Museum at 2 p.m. Departs Scranton at 7 a.m. and returns around 7 p.m.; $85 per person includes round-trip transportation and entry fees. Reservations required by Saturday, Sept. 29.
For registration, contact Alicen Morrison at 570-941-6206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact director Sondra Myers at 570-941-4089 or email@example.com.