- Spring 2020 Schedule
Jan. 24, 9 a.m.
David Bowie Is a Joy Forever
Romantic poet John Keats wrote “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Do you think of David Bowie as a Romantic “type” in the literary sense? If not, come join us as Samuel investigates the ways in which Bowie stood as a Romantic “type,” a figure who brought to his own day energy, zeal, and iconoclasm that hearken back to the Romantic age.
Rising to the level of global superstar and then finding lifelong happiness in his second marriage and family life, Bowie continued to produce critically and commercially successful music, while introducing innovations in technology, marketing and finance. Like the Romantic poets before him, truly, David Bowie changed the world.
Speaker: Samuel Gladden
Jan. 24, 11 a.m.
DACA: What Is happening at the Border?
Our third panel discussion of DACA and its implications and ramifications will focus on the current conditions on the border, with an emphasis on family separations and the mental health problems that seem inevitable. Find out what you can do to help.
Speaker: Roberta Leal and panel
Jan. 31, 9 a.m.
USSR: The Soviet Experiment (1917 - 1939)
The Soviet Union and its people have been perpetual villains in American media, but what was the Soviet Union? Why did it exist? Was it the “Evil Empire?” In this class, we will explore the history of the Soviet Union, from the October 1917 Revolution to the beginning of the Nazi invasion in WWII. We will examine some of the lesser-known aspects of the Soviet Union, including the causes of the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet literacy drives and anti-religious campaigns, and the Great Terror. Join Kimberly as she explores the “experimental” years of the early Soviet Union.
Speaker: Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon
Jan. 31, 11 a.m.
The Fantastical World of Shakespeare's The Tempest
This presentation will precede the on-campus performances of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which will be playing in the Bayou Theater from February 13-15. The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s late romances and depicts a fantastical world of magic, spirits and unhealthy creatures that inhabit an enchanted island. Using a wide variety of images and film clips, this class will engage participants in the challenges of envisioning the setting and characters through performance.
Speaker: Elizabeth Klett
Feb. 7, 9 a.m.
Common Reader Book Discussion: The Future of STEM: Diversity, Inclusion and Ethical Technology
Join the Common Reader Program’s student panel as they put Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts in conversation with ethical dilemmas facing STEM fields today. We will consider how issues of immigration, citizenship, and class, racial and gender equity affect the field’s advancement. How will diversity and inclusion enrich discussions around responsible technology? Come find out and share your ideas!
Speaker: Anne Gessler
Feb. 7, 11 a.m.
Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and the Gelugpa Tradition
This course will provide an overview of Buddhist history, culture and traditions in Tibet with a particular focus on the Gelugpa Sect and its practices. The Gelugpa Sect or School, also known as the New Kadampa, is the newest but largest Buddhist tradition in Tibetan Buddhism, directed both spiritually and politically by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Speaker: Stephen Cherry
Feb. 14, 9 a.m.
Join Mike, a sociologist, and Dawit, an anthropologist, as we learn of their groundbreaking summer in Kenya in 2019. Together they set the stage for future study, exchanges and excursions abroad to this beautiful country as early as 2020. We will learn about the project, the socio-cultural diversity of Kenya, as well as history and economic development. Who knows? You may be inspired to travel with Mike and Dawit sometime soon!
Speaker: Mike McMullen and Dawit Woldu
Feb. 14, 11 a.m.
The History of Pe'a Tattoos of Samoa
Where did tattoos originate? There is a long and colorful history behind tattoos that originated in ancient cultures of the Pacific islands. The Pe'a tattoo, for example, was a rite of passage in Samoa. Come learn the history and meaning behind the art of tattoo as well as some elements of art and principles of design. At the end of the presentation, if you're feeling artistic, use what you learned to create a meaningful tattoo-style-Valentine to take home to your sweetheart!
Speaker: Jennifer Lehnert
Feb. 21, 9 a.m.
Introduction to American Indian Literature
America’s first peoples—the American Indians or Native Americans—sang or spoke our land’s first poems and stories, but what do we know of their literature, its expression of their identities, and its impact on the larger American society? Come and learn about cultural backgrounds along with historic and current authors, and titles. Your questions, discussion, and reading experiences are welcome!
Speaker: Craig White
Feb 21, 11 a.m.
Statistics or Lies? How to Tell the Difference!
From the latest diet fad to the newest political poll, we are bombarded by research results in the media (radio, TV, internet, newspapers, magazines, etc.). This session is designed to empower you to determine how good and trustworthy that research actually is through an exploration of some commonly seen statistical tricks.
Speaker: Carol Carman
Feb. 28, 9 a.m.
WWII Blunders: Hitler's Three Biggest Tactical Mistakes in WWII
What do you think Hitlers biggest mistakes were in WWII? Come and find out what Bill thinks, and add your own to the list!
Speaker: Bill Powers
Feb. 28, 11 a.m.
Historical Contamination of Houston/Challenge of the Superfund
Think of the Brio site, the San Jacinto waste pits, the barge breach during Imelda…all are related to the San Jacinto River Superfund, adjacent to I-10. Not a pretty sight to contemplate, but we live here and we need to know what the truth is. Join Lisa as she tells of her advocacy activities and what we need to know to be informed citizens.
Speaker: Lisa Gossett