Village University Spring 2018

American Popular Song From Stephen Foster to Lady Gaga with Keith Daniel

This listening course will focus on the varieties of American song, as first typified by Stephen Foster’s parlor songs and minstrel songs in the 19th century. We will listen to and examine songs generated by wars, Tin Pan Alley songs, songs from the American musical, songs of social protest (Guthrie, Dylan et al), rock and roll songs (including the Brill Building, Motown, surf music, and others), singer-songwriters, and pop stars of the eighties and beyond. Who “created” tradition? Who followed it? And who broke with it? What composers emerged as our greatest songwriters? No knowledge of music is necessary.

6 Mon, Mar 26 – May 7, 10-11:30 am, Newbury Court Requested donation: $60

Random Accidents that Changed History, Part IV with Bill Koenigsberg

The upcoming course is a continuation of the “Random Accidents that Changed History” class, offered previously at Village University. It will introduce the student to additional circumstances involving accidents that significantly influenced history. History is filled with seemingly improbable events whose outcomes are often unanticipated. A simple conjecture offered in the course, is that history is frequently driven by random accidents that are not fully understood or appreciated at the time that they occurred. Topics such as the unexpected origin of fiberglass insulation, how our Moon was formed, and the discovery of purple dye, will be presented. Other topics, such as the failure of the Kinzua viaduct, collapse of the Silver Bridge, and Boston’s infamous Summer Street Bridge accident, will also be examined. ‘Accidents’ introduced in earlier VU courses will be mentioned and possibly reviewed, based on audience interest. The historical accounts presented illustrate the idea that there is a rational explanation behind many surprising events. Class participants are encouraged to investigate the credibility of the anecdotes and to introduce related material based on their own knowledge and experience.

5 Tues, Mar 27 – May 1, 10-11:30 am, Location TBD Requested donation: $60

The Art of Resistance: Painting by Candlelight in Mao’s China with Shelley Drake Hawks

Shelley Drake Hawks, Ph.D. is an historian lecturer of Chinese Art and History. The course will discuss the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) from the perspective of seven artists who suffered greatly during that period. In spite of the dangerous times, these artists stood up for creative autonomy. All found opportunities to maintain their connection to art. Their stories reveal a fierce personal independence rooted in Chinese art and philosophy. We will develop a broad framework for understanding recent Chinese history and Chinese culture today.

4 Wed, Mar 28 – Apr 25, 10-11:30 am, Newbury Court Requested donation: $60

The Village University, established in 2003, was inspired by Elliot and Alma Ring, and offers courses for mature learners who are seeking stimulating study and conversation about interesting topics. The courses are taught by academics, scholars, and educational leaders who volunteer to share their knowledge and inspire others. The volunteer instructors bring the best university-level learning experiences to Concord and Carlisle. Our dedicated coordinators include Court Booth, Richard Cornell, Nancy Cronin, Bob Hartman, Bill Koenigsberg, Murray Nicolson, Meryl Schwartz, Alma Ring, Susan Sekuler and Phil Stark.

CC ACE is thrilled to be able to offer Village University programs to our community members. We request a donation of $60 for the first course and $30 for each additional Village University course. Adult & Community Education is made possible through student fees, with student financial aid made possible through a grant from the Concord Carlisle Community Chest. The Village University is supported entirely by voluntary donations and your donations help us promote the programs.