Winter Wisdom 2019
at the Morrell Room of the Curtis Memorial Library & UUC, Brunswick
Wednesdays, 12:15 – 1:45 pm
Free and Open to the Public
The Winter Wisdom lecture series is sponsored by:
January 9 – Johannes Brahms, “The Young Eagle”*
Mr. George Lopez is the Beckwith Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College and a familiar performer/lecturer in the Bath/Brunswick Community. He has received local and international acclaim for his artistry at the piano as well as his insight and depth of context for the works of many composers. He will perform excerpts by Brahms and discuss the conflicted relationship between the composer and his contemporary, Robert Schumann. Mr. Lopez is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music and received his Master’s Degree from the Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam.
*At Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle St., Brunswick, across from Curtis Memorial Library
January 16 – Action Plan for Terrorism
What can we do to protect ourselves from terrorism? This is a relevant question given the intelligence community assessment of future attacks against the U.S. and its citizens. This talk will explore six actions that could assist our country, region, and community in dealing with this threat. Francis Dillon, Brig. Gen., USAF (Ret.), received a B.S. in Business from University of CT, and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Troy State University. In 1993 he completed a 30-yr. career in the U.S. Air Force, serving with AF Office of Special Investigations. He assumed command of that office in 1988 and served in that capacity until retirement.
January 23 – The Uncertain State of U.S./Cuba Relations
President Trump’s decision to discontinue normalizing relations with Cuba has called into question the short- and long–term future of relations between the long-time foes. Are we returning to the hostility of the Cold War years or did Obama’s opening progress to such an extent that a return to a more confrontational policy is unlikely? This talk will explore the factors that contributed to Obama and Raul Castro’s decision to normalize relations, the Trump administration’s apparent about-face and the prospect for future relations. Allen Wells is Emeritus Professor of History at Bowdoin College. He received his B.A. degree in History and Latin American studies from SUNY, Binghampton, and his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University. In addition to his teaching career, he has pursued research interests in modern Mexico, the history of commodities, and U.S./Latin America relations.
January 30 – A Changing Casco Bay: An Update on the Health of our Coastal Waters
Friends of Casco Bay in South Portland works year-round to improve and protect the health of Casco Bay. As Casco Baykeeper, Ivy Frignoca is the lead advocate of this effort. Her talk will provide an overview of current efforts to reduce pollution entering the Bay, address climate change and ocean acidification, and suggest measures to help the Bay adapt to changing conditions. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, and received her JD degree from University of Maine. Prior to her work with Friends of Casco Bay, she served as an advocate for Vermont’s public lands and Lake Champlain, and most recently as a Senior Attorney with Conservation Law Foundation.
February 6 – Greece Before the Odyssey: Myth and Realities
In Book 3 of the Odyssey, Homer describes the royal palace of King Nestor at Pylos, in southwestern Greece. This talk will explore the Bronze Age reality behind that epic vision – the earliest Greek history we possess – from the discovery of Nestor’s palace in 1939, to current excavations in Iklaina, one of the towns in his kingdom. Cynthia W. Shelmerdine is Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics, emerita at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Research Associate in Classics at Bowdoin College. Her main research focuses on Aegean Bronze Age archaeology, and the language, history and society of Mycenaean Greece. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College, Cambridge University, and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1977).
February 13 – Twice A Day Island: The Peterson Canal at New Meadows
Sometimes referred to as the “canal to nowhere,” this project was constructed by hand in the 1790’s with the expressed purpose of connecting the New Meadows River with Merrymeeting Bay. Its purpose was to allow the transport of logs cut along the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers to sawmills on the New Meadows River. This talk will review the origins and history of this project and the people who built it. Brenda Cummings is a native of Phippsburg, studied philosophy and history at Antioch College, is a Certified Maine Assessor, and is City Assessor of Bath. Timothy Richter is a native of Bath and received his B.S. in Education/History from UMF. Both serve on boards of Phippsburg Land Trust and Bath Historical Society and lead the annual Peterson Canal walk.
February 20 – Longfellow Days
February 27 – Snow Make-Up Day
A scene from the 2016 Winter Wisdom series