Fusion Energy: The What, Why, and How with Reinier Beeuwkes
The prospect of unlimited energy from atomic fusion- so long imagined- has remained something for an indefinite future. But recently, as reported widely in the press, investors have put billions into businesses promising to put fusion power plants on-line “soon enough to make a difference” in the battle against climate change. We will learn how fusion differs from fission (think meltdown, Fukushima) and what has made it so difficult to achieve. (“The What”) We will review the energy requirements of a CO2 -free world, try to estimate if the currently available portfolio of sources can meet these needs, and consider where fusion energy could fit in. (“The Why”) Then we will, with some fascinating technical detail, learn the various approaches now being followed locally and around the world toward achieving this tantalizing goal. (“The How”)
Th | Mar 24 | 10:30 am-12:30 pm | The Commons in Lincoln | Requested donation: $20
Stand and Be Counted: Protest Songs in America from the Revolution to Today with Keith Daniel
The history of America can be told through its songs – but not just the patriotic ones, like “America the Beautiful.” Isn’t “Yankee Doodle” a rallying cry to take up arms? Those who did so at Lexington and Concord certainly thought so. This course will start with that song, then pass through the great spirituals, the Civil War songs, the pro-labor tunes, the Dust Bowl Ballads, and land in the decades of the greatest outpouring of protest songs: the 1960s and 70s. We will use David Crosby’s heartfelt book, Stand and Be Counted (ISBN 9780062515742), which leant its title to the name of this course, as our principal reference. (This book is available from sites like abebooks.com or Amazon.)
10 We | Mar 23-May 25 | 1-2:15 pm | Online | Requested donation: $60
Kierkegaard, Philosopher of Existence and Inwardness with Dale Landis
Soren Kierkegaard has exerted a huge influence on modern thought; to name only a few: in philosophy, Sartre and Camus, in theology, Barth and Tillich, in psychology, Rogers and May. Kierkegaard’s original writings are often deemed difficult; but they are also rich in great story-telling, humor, profound ideas, and spiritual edification – as relevant today as they were for his eighteenth century Denmark. Our goal will be to give you a clear overview of Kierkegaard’s thought, and an exposure to his writing through brief excerpts read in class. We will discuss: Kierkegaard’s background (the Bible, the Greeks), the central concepts of the “existing individual” and inwardness, the stages or styles of life (esthetic, ethical, and religious), the psychology of anxiety and despair, spirituality, and Christianity. No class 4/19.
Note on reading: There is no required text; you can fully participate in class without home-reading. However, if you would like to do some extra reading, Dale suggests “A Kierkegaard Anthology”, edited by Robert Bretall, Princeton UP. This book will be his own guide for teaching, and contains most in-class readings; it also has very helpful introductions to the works.
6 Tu | Apr 5-May 17 | 10-11:30 am | Online | Requested donation: $60
Archaeoastronomy in North America with Greg Paris
Cultures around the globe have been watching the sky for thousands of years; some have created sophisticated sites for this activity. Archaeoastronomy is the study of these sites in an attempt to understand why such observation was important. We’ll start with well-known UK sites (Stonehenge and Callanish) to introduce how the Earth/Sun system works and how the celestial sphere can be “grounded” in monumental form. We’ll then introduce a variety of sky observatories or calculators as seen in the Indigenous cultures of North America: medicine wheels (Wyoming and Saskatchewan), solstice markers or sight-lines (Chaco Canyon, Poverty Point), wood henges (Cahokia), and chambers and horizon systems (in VT & MA) among others. Archaeoastronomy has been and still is controversial; we’ll discuss puzzles about whether, and why, certain complex astronomical “features” might have been observed, and visit two such putative sites locally. No class 4/20.
6 We | Apr 6-May 18 | 10-11:30 am | Online | 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 Nancy Cronin, Gini Goulet, Ellie Gower, Nancy Hendrie, Bill Koenigsberg, Carol Murphree, Murray Nicolson, Meryl Schwartz, Alma Ring, Phil Stark, Rosalie Weiss, and Win Wilbur.
CCACE 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 in part 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.