Brattleboro Lecture Series

Fall 2017

THE JAPANESE AESTHETIC

Presented by Seth Harter. Japan’s distinctive ways of seeing, writing, painting, building, cooking, and pursuing other activities have inspired and delighted the world for centuries. These talks will examine the nature and origins of Japanese taste, with emphasis on five disciplines. Seth Harter teaches Asian studies and history at Marlboro College. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Yale and a Ph.D. in Modern Chinese History from the University of  Michigan.  He lectured on modern China for OLLI in 2008.

OCTOBER 2, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Japanese History and Culture Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

This lecture will provide a brief survey of Japanese history from the Jomon period (beginning c. 14,000 BCE) to the present. It will explore the principal geographic features of Japan as well as the nation’s relationship to the Asian mainland and the wider world.

OCTOBER 9, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Japanese Aesthetic Sensibilities Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

This lecture will introduce the distinctive features of Japanese aesthetics: wabi, sabi, shibui, mono no aware, yugen, and others. It will use famous works of art—literary, pictorial, and architectural—to illustrate these terms and trace their development and interdependence.

OCTOBER 16, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Calligraphy, Poetry, and Literature Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

This lecture will explore the workings of aesthetic principles in Japan’s literary heritage. Starting with the earliest works, we will look at how writing in Japan has adapted media and mores from the mainland. In addition, we’ll try our hand at poetic composition.

OCTOBER 23, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Architecture and Carpentry
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION: New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat Street, Brattleboro

Japan is currently home to both the world’s oldest wooden building and its largest wooden building. Its joinery principles have enabled humbler dwellings to endure for centuries. We’ll conclude with a hands-on demonstration of the differences between Japanese and western woodworking tools.

OCTOBER 30, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Ceramics
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION: New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat Street, Brattleboro

In the early twentieth century, three potters and a philosopher found a common interest in folk craft. This lecture will explore their association and will consider the relationship between production and connoisseurship, as well as between folk craft and art.

NOVEMBER 6, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Tea and Garden Culture
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION: New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat Street, Brattleboro

The Way of Tea might well be considered the culmination of Japan’s aesthetic sensibilities. Here architecture, poetry, and ceramics combine in an exacting expression of beauty, balance, and quietude. We will look at the tools and ideas of tea perfected in the sixteenth century, and we will read the classic texts of tea’s culture. The class will conclude with the preparation (and tasting!) of matcha.

THE AUTHORS AMONG US

Presented by Six Local Authors.  Six Brattleboro-area writers will consider their own experiences as authors treating subjects variously close to and distant from their homes. In free and informal discussions, they will talk about where they get ideas, how they develop themes and characters, the actual daily process of writing, and the business end of it all. All lectures will take place at the Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston. Light refreshments will be served at all lectures.

Archer Mayor OCTOBER 2,  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

Archer Mayor is the author of some thirty published works of history and fiction, the majority of which consist of the Vermont-based police procedural Joe Gunther series. As well, Mayor is or has been a police officer, a death investigator for the Vermont medical examiner’s office, a firefighter, EMT, and National Ski patrolman. His presentation will discuss in a lively back-and-forth format the value and impact of bringing such a diverse and varied experience to bear in one’s writing, along with some of the tricks of doing so to the reader’s best advantage and enjoyment.

Charles Butterfield OCTOBER 9, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

Ten year-old Charles Butterfield heard a garbled family story about a Revolutionary War general. Sixty years later, he gained more information about that figure and made his story the basis for In the Shadow of Cedars. In his two-part presentation, Charles will, first, tell his ancestor’s sad war story and, second, describe how he uncovered details of military subterfuge that marked the man known to every member of the Continental Congress as a scoundrel.

Peter Gould OCTOBER 16, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

Peter Gould arrived in our area forty-some years ago to join Total Loss Farm in Guilford, which has been the topic of several of his writings, including the recent Horse Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss Farm. He is also a well known actor, teacher, activist, and theatrical director-producer.

Jan Maher OCTOBER 23, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

Jan Maher’s novel Earth As It Is was published by Indiana University’s Break Away Books. Other writing credits include a novel, several plays, and several historical works. In Earth As It Is the protagonist is a cross-dressing heterosexual dentist-turnedhairdresser in 1930s Texas. Charlie Bader comes of age with urges he has struggled with since childhood and does not understand. Jan will read excerpts from the novel, take questions, and facilitate a discussion about the issues in the book, with remarks about her research and writing process.

Lynne Kennedy OCTOBER 30, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

Combining history and science may sound incongruous, but in this presentation, you will see how a mystery author has blended them together to produce an award-winning series.With a Masters’ Degree in Science and more than twenty-eight years as a science museum director, Lynne Kennedy has had the opportunity to study history and forensic science, both of which play significant roles in her novels. She has written five historical mysteries, each solved by modern technology, and is currently working on her sixth.

Castle Freeman, Jr. NOVEMBER 6, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 U.S. Route 5, Dummerston

Castle Freeman, Jr. is the author of seven novels, about sixty short stories, and more than a hundred works of nonfiction, including personal essays, reporting, op-ed matter, biography, history, and natural history. Practically all his writing has been in one way or another concerned with rural northern New England, and in particular the state of Vermont and the lives of its inhabitants. He hopes to read from his current novel and discuss writing generally, as the audience wishes.


Membership Information

Individual lectures are open to nonmembers for a fee of $6 per lecture. We encourage attendees to pre-register by mail so as to avoid delays at on-site check-in.

Light refreshments will be served at all lectures. For general information on the Brattleboro OLLI chapter, please call Julie Lavorgna (802) 365-7278, or by e-mail: julielavorgna@gmail.com.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure or click on this membership form. Mail your completed form with your payment to:

(payable to “The University of Vermont”)
UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

For information on cancellations and rescheduling, please listen to WTSA radio 96.7 FM.

Handicapped-accessible parking, ramp, and door are available on the north side of the building.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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