Summer Wisdom 2017

At the Morrell Room of the Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.,  June 7, 14, 21, 28
Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored  by Thornton Oaks Retirement Community, Brunswick

Midcoast Senior College has planned another intellectually intriguing series of lectures for June 2017.

This year’s Summer Wisdom lecture series will explore a variety of topics including contributions of Native Americans in WW II, the future of healthcare in the U.S., American film, and the Russian presence in our federal government.   Each lecture and discussion lasts about 90 minutes.

June 7 — “The Code Talkers”

During World War II in the Pacific Theater, in order to prevent the Japanese from successfully intercepting Allied communications, a novel plan was adopted, using Native Americans speaking in code using their own respective languages. More than 400 Navaho Indians and scores of other Native Americans served as “code talkers” during the War. Because of the secret nature of their role, code talkers were forbidden to discuss their service until decades after the end of the war: and even today their crucial service remains largely unknown.

JAN WILK is a graduate of Wittenberg University with a degree in history, and the University of Maine. She taught at Mt. Ararat School, and has been President of the boards of the Curtis Library, Pejepscot Historical Society, and Maine State Music Theater, as well as serving on the board of Midcoast-Parkview Health. She has also been a docent at the Chamberlain Museum and a volunteer for Habitat For Humanity and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. She was named Brunswick Citizen of the Year in 1998.

June 14 — “The Future of Medicare and Obamacare in a New Era'”

The basic values and structure of how Americans obtain and pay for health care is being challenged by the newly-elected President and the current Congress. The future of Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance is at stake. The changes produced by the Affordable Health Care Act may be totally eliminated and replaced with a radically different approach. There is substantial uncertainty and disagreement in the U.S. on the direction of health care that is complex and will potentially affect every U.S. citizen. This lecture will present an overview of the issues and attempt to unravel the complexity.

STEPHEN F. LOEBS, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, at Ohio State University. A graduate of Bowdoin College, he also holds three graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in health management, political science and health care organization and finance. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer at Bowdoin College and has been on the faculty of the University of Maine. His research and writing have focused on the structure and issues in the U.S. health care system.

June 21 — “‘The Gallows Walk’: Executing Justice in 1930’s American Film”

This talk considers how Hollywood movies in the 1930’s depicted the American criminal justice system-specifically in scenes that show the criminal “heroes” walking down the last, long mile to the electric chair. How did James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable bring their star power to movies about career criminals with no time left in their lives, and what lessons did 1930s audiences want from these movies?

TRICIA  WELSCH is Professor of Cinema Studies at Bowdoin College. She earned her undergraduate degree at Fordham University and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in numerous film journals and in anthologies on the history of film. She is the author of Ready for Close-up: The Life of Gloria Swanson.

June 28 — “Moscow on the Potomac”

The Russians have had official representation in Washington, D. C. from four distinct governments: Imperial Russian, 1917 Provisional Government, the Soviet Union, and now the new Russia of Vladimir Putin. Russia has sent us spies and seducers, moles and maestros, artists and ambassadors, rogues and royals. This tour of the current Russian presence will include the Russian embassy, Marjorie Post’s Hillwood estate, the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the CIA, K Street lobbyists, Capitol Hill and the new Trump White House. The Russian presence in our nation’s capitol is longstanding, but never so blatant.

ROBERT C. WILLIAMS is Vail Professor of History and Dean of Faculty Emeritus at Davidson College in North Carolina. He has taught Russian history at Bates, Davidson and Williams Colleges as well as Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of fifteen books and worked in Washington, D.C. in 1976-7 as one of the first fellows at the George F. Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is the current editor of the MSC newsletter, The Midcoast Inquirer.

Please mark your calendars!

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