2017 Winter Lecture Series
Presented by various resident and visiting lecturers
St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta (photo by Frances Rushing)
Friday evenings (except as noted)
All lectures begin at 7:00 PM
(doors open at 6:15 PM for wine and goodies)
$30 per lecture
Call 408-864-4060, Monday – Friday, 10AM – 6PM
OR register online at shop.westernciv.com
or click TICKETS links below.
(FRI, JAN 19) VERGIL’S AENEID ~ THE SADNESS OF EMPIRE
Presented by Marsh McCall, Ph.D.
Vergil’s Aeneid has a famous undercurrent of sadness that stems from the incongruity between the ideals of heroism and the dictates of reality. Aeneas at times rejoices — but Vergil, with experience of the Roman Empire, knows better.
(FRI, JAN 26) PUCCINI’S TURANDOT
Presented by Robert Hartwell, Ph.D.
Turandot, Puccini’s last opera, with its famous aria “Nessun dorma,” encapsulates the lyricism and brilliant theatricality that make him opera’s most beloved composer.
(FRI, FEB 2) THE AMOROUS HEART
Presented by Marilyn Yalom, Ph.D.
The heart is everywhere: it gives shape to candy, pendants, the frothy milk on top of a cappuccino, and much else. How can we explain the ubiquity of what might be the most recognizable symbol in the world?
(FRI, FEB 9) MALTA ~ CROSSROADS OF MEDITERRANEAN HISTORY
Presented by Frances Rushing, M.A.
Early Stone Age temples and burial sites, Baroque architectural splendor, and beautiful and strategic harbors…. magnificent Malta has been home to Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Ottoman Turks, and the British.
(FRI, FEB 16) LOVE AND LUST IN SHAKESPEARE
Presented by Arlene Okerlund, Ph.D.
If you have ever wondered if there is a difference between love and lust, there is no better place to sort out your thoughts than with Shakespeare’s sonnets. You may not agree with the Bard, but you are sure to learn something!
(SAT, FEB 17) THE CONQUEST OF POLIO
Presented by Richard D. Andersen, M.D.
Few medical histories are as compelling as the story of the conquest of polio. This viral disease suddenly emerged in epidemic form in the 20th century, causing paralysis and death, mainly in children. The path to its conquest was filled with great effort and many errors until Jonas Salk’s vaccine was announced to the world in 1955.
(FRI, FEB 23) THE MING DYNASTY ~ RISE AND FALL
Presented by Ruby Ming
In 1368, a Chinese peasant defeated the Mongol descendants of Ghengis Khan and established the Ming dynasty. His dynasty of “Great Brightness” expanded the Great Wall, sailed as far as Africa, and built the Forbidden City.
(FRI, MAR 2) ALGER HISS ~ THE PAPERS IN THE PUMPKIN
Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D.
Except for his most diehard defenders, the case is now closed: Alger Hiss (1904-1996) was a spy for the Soviet Union. A pumpkin patch, in which Hiss allegedly concealed State Department papers, became one of the iconic images of the Cold War. SOLD OUT
(FRI, MAR 9) WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT GREEK?
Presented by Patrick Hunt, Ph.D.
Their present economy notwithstanding, we owe a great debt to the long legacy of the Greeks. Greek contributons to Western languages, philosophy, politics (including democracy), music, poetry, and drama are immense. TICKETS
(SAT, MAR 17) THE HISTORY AND PEOPLE OF THE LEVANT
Presented by Naeem Zafar
No place on earth has a richer history than the Levant (modern day Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordon, and Israel) whose history and culture has so impacted world civilization as we know it. TICKETS