Newport/Derby/Stanstead Lecture Series

Spring 2014

Lectures are scheduled for Wednesdays beginning promptly at 1:00 p.m. Lectures will be in the Conference Room at the Hebard State Office Building 2nd Floor, 100 Main Street in Newport, VT. Site is handicap accessible with ample parking.

LECTURE 1 – Gridlock by Design? The Crisis of Contemporary U.S. Governance

James K. Oliver, Professor Emeritus – University of Delaware
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Gridlock by Design? The Crisis of Contemporary U.S. Governance” explores the sources and operation of contemporary American government. This presentation is especially concerned with the widely held view that something fundamental is “broken” in today’s government and processes of governance. The scope of the lecture will encompass the constitutional framework and its evolution as the United States underwent Civil War, the transformation of its economy and society, emergence as a world power and a military superpower after World War II, and, now, a central presence in the complexity of the interdependent international system of the early 21st century.

LECTURE 2 – Canaanite-Israelite religion and ancient West Semitic magic. The prevalence of child sacrifice in the region.

Dr. Daniel Miller, Associate Professor in the Religion Dept. Bishop’s University
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

One of the areas of dispute within the study of the ancient Near East is how prevalent child sacrifice was in the region. Within the Old Testament, there is evidence (both explicit and more concealed) that the ancient Israelites did practice it, at least on occasion.

LECTURE 3- Hinduism and the Bhagavad-Gita: Discovering the Sacred in Life

Michael Atkinson, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Thoreau read the Bhagavad-Gita each day as he built his cabin at Walden, Gandhi drew strength from it every morning. The most succinct and eloquent expression of Yogic Hinduism, the Gita, or Song of God, is cast as a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and his Lord Krishna. It explores life’s deepest questions: What path to the sacred is appropriate for each personality type? What is the ultimate nature of the Divine? How can I quiet my mind? How may my heart be opened? How do I make the right choices in the most difficult situations? What is life’s meaning? Among the world’s most revered scriptures, the timeless insights of the Bhagavad-Gita can resonate in our own lives, whatever our system of belief or philosophy.

LECTURE 4 – Two of America’s greatest artists, Winslow Homer from the 19th Century and Edward Hopper from the 20th Century.

Bob Manning, Retired Professor of Fine Arts
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Winslow Homer began his career as an artist correspondent covering the U.S. Civil War for Harper’s Weekly. His ability to quickly and accurately draw
soldiers and scenes of battle would benefit him greatly when he turned his attention to nature and animals. We know him best for his many paintings and watercolors of the sea, fishing, hunting, boating as well as images from rural America. Edward Hopper was a part time painter and full time commercial illustrator until the age of 42. From that point on he was able to devote all his efforts to painting. He is best known for images of stark architecture, isolated Cape Code cottages, city life and the loneliness of human beings.

LECTURE 5 – Goya and Picasso: Two Spanish Artists Depict War

Andrea Fairchild, Ph.D.
Retired Professor of Fine Arts, Concordia University
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

The horrors of war are shown in quite different ways by these two artists. Goya lived through the Napoleonic invasion of Spain; Picasso lived through World War II. Although both artists lived through horrific events, they reacted to these events in their own way, creating works that are quite different. As we respond to their art, what are they saying to us about the impact of war? Are they saying the same things?

LECTURE 6 – Relationship between poetry and music.

Jerry Johnson, Poet, Retired Professor of Fitchburg State University, Massachusetts
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Jerry will talk about how his book Up the Creek Without a Saddle came about, his dream of finding a good musician to take some of his poems and set them to music, and how that dream was fulfilled when he collaborated with Vermont’s legendary master musicians, Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland. Jerry will read from his book and play a number of the poems set to music which are on a CD which accompanies his book.

LECTURE 7 – Vermont’s Environmental History

Bruce S. Post, A career in Vermont’s Public Service
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

In the 1930s. FDR proposed two major national parks for Vermont. The first plan, which might have protected the entire Green Mountain range, included a scenic road called the Green Mountain Parkway. Jay Peak formed the northern terminus of what would have been the Green Mountain National Park and parkway. The proposal was rejected in a statewide referendum in 1936. Had the plan been approved, Vermont would have been a very different place.

LECTURE 8 – Nunaaluk: A Forgotten Story: A Film.

Louise Abbott, Writer, photographer and film maker
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

The story of a remarkable group of Inuit who once lived on Cape Hope Island in southeastern James Bay has been forgotten until now. This documentary follows Mini Aodla Freeman as she retrns to Cape Hope – Nunaaluk, her grandfather named it – and shares her memories of life on the big island and harmonious relations with Cree neighbours more than fifty years ago. Nuaaluk was selected for a special screening at the Wakefield International Film Festival in March of 2014.

LECTURE 9 – Diary of a VT abolitionist in the Civil War

Paul Lefebvre, Reporter and columnist with the Chronicle in Barton
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building-2nd Floor

Rufus Kinsley of Fletcher enrolled in the Eighth Vermont as a private and later became a lieutenant in a regiment of black soldiers. He was part of the Union Forces under General Benjamin “Beast” Butler that captured New Orleans in the spring of 1862. His diary that he entitled, “The Slaveholders’ Rebellion” gives an account of his beliefs, observations and experiences in the Civil War.

LECTURE 10 – A Scientist Looks at Climate Change

Keith Richards, PhD – Theoretical Nuclear Physics
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – 1 PM
Hebard State Office Building 2nd Floor

This is a review of climate data from a scientific perspective, including temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide and sea level observations. Are theories, models and predictions consistent with the existing data? Public discussions are critiqued based on current date.


Membership Information

Membership dues will support the development of the Institute’s future programs, which are shaped by the interests of our members. Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all 10 sessions in Newport as well as at the seven other Osher sites in Vermont during the Spring 2014 semester. Your active membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the new OLLI program on the UVM campus. Complete the membership form and send with your check for $40 USD (individual) or $70 USD (couple). Any two people who sign up for the semester as a team are considered a couple. Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 per session.

Send your completed membership form and check payable to University of Vermont to:
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Newport/Derby/Stanstead
Greg Creswell, Membership
6193 Lake Road
Newport Center, VT 05857

CONTACT MEMBERS (for information on the Osher Institute or the upcoming semesters lectures.)

Penny Packard 819-876-5026
Greg Cresswell 802-334-9092
Ann Montgomery 819-876-7837
Marvelene Richards 802-334-1254
Barbee & Ron Bellefeuille 802-754-2219
Keith Richards 802-334-1254
Claire Strausberg 819-704-0569
Christine Gautier 819-843-4292

Become a member today!

Membership in the Newport Osher Lifelong Learning Institute entitles members to attend programs in other Osher Institutes established in seven other locations throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI on UVM campus programs. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

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