Fall 2019

Registration begins August 12, 2019
Click here for how to register

“The Devil Made Me Do It!”
Understanding the Witch-Craze
and Persecutions in Early Modern Society

8 Thursdays,  1:00 – 4:00  September 26 – November 14

What was witchcraft? Who were the witches? Were any men persecuted? Was there a gender issue involved in persecutions? Why were some people accused of witchcraft?  Why was there a dramatic upsurge in numbers of accusations and trials in the 16th and 17th centuries? What was sorcery? Did it differ from witchcraft? What about Magic? What is hysteria? These are questions that have fascinated historians for the last forty years. Few issues in the early modern world have been more studied. And there are almost as many theories about witchcraft in early modern Europe and Colonial New England as there are historians of the subject. Through reading, discussion and film, we will examine some of the most famous cases of witchcraft and possession by the devil and what historians have said about them.  Students should contact the instructor by e-mail for the suggested books at charmeme1934@gmail.com  Class Limit: 40

Instructor Charmarie Blaisdell holds a Ph.D. in Early Modern European History, an M.A. in Medieval History and a B.A. in Art History.  She taught both traditional and adult learners at Northeastern University for 35 years, and was twice the recipient of the University’s award for Excellence in Teaching. Her course repertoire includes Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation history and the French Revolution.  She was one of the creators and first instructors of the first Women’s Studies course at Northeastern in the early ‘70s.  During her last five years there, she held a joint appointment in the Departments of History and Education.  She is a founding member of CSC.

Skidompha Library, Damariscotta

 Beyond Peter Rabbit:
The Life 
And Times of Beatrix Potter

4 Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00, September 25–October 16

This course offers an in depth look at the life of popular children’s book illustrator Beatrix Potter. Participants will be able to combine interests in reading and painting by taking part in a book discussion and trying their hand at watercolor painting. Many people are familiar with Potter’s children’s book illustrations but know little of her landscape paintings and nature studies. For our reading discussion we will use the recent biography: Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison. Each of the sessions will begin with a discussion of a section of the book followed by a watercolor painting lesson inspired by the subjects of her works. Art supplies needed for the first class include: pencil, pad of watercolor paper, watercolor paints in tubes or pans, brushes and a palette. For the first class read chapters 1 and 2 of the biography mentioned above. Class Limit: 8

Instructor Cynthia Dias is a watercolor artist who has taught art and historically based classes for a number of years. In addition to her artwork that features scenes of Maine and England, she creates textiles that are handwoven at her home in Newcastle. She has worked as a curator and director of various museums and illustrated a museum cookbook. She has taught drawing and watercolor classes for Coastal Senior College.

The Lincoln Home, Newcastle 

Strengthening Relationships by Being Your Most Effective Self

6 Thursdays, 10:00 – Noon, September 26 – October 31

Each day of our lives we interact with other human beings.  From family members to store clerks, doctors to fellow churchgoers, an active life is full of multiple ongoing interactions with other people.  Sometimes these encounters work, sometimes they don’t. It is what we do together that makes things happen. We also know, we can’t change others, but only ourselves.  By changing ourselves, we may change the nature of our interactions. We can strengthen our own abilities so that we are able to interact in a way that the possibility of achieving what we desire is created.  These skills include being able to listen deeply, assert effectively, handle interpersonal conflict productively, and influence successfully. Have a child you are having difficulty with? A doctor you feel isn’t really listening to you? In this course, we will strengthen each participant’s skills, and apply them to actual participant situations. Class Limit: 14

Instructor Andrew Fenniman, EdD, founded Actionable Insights, a global consultancy which focuses on speeding up the accomplishment of results while developing leadership capability for senior executives. He received his MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and his Doctorate in Human & Organizational Learning from George Washington University.

An authority on organizational change, psychological safety, adult learning, and listening, Andrew works one-on-one with clients to strengthen their interpersonal skills. He has held leadership positions in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. He has taught Organizational Management in the Executive MBA program for the NYU Stern School of Business and International Nonprofit Management for the Robert J. Milano Graduate School at the New School University. Andrew currently serves as the executive director of the Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta.

Bremen Library 

The Way We Were: The World of 1820 in Midcoast Maine

4 Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 October 16 – November 6

This course is offered as part of CSC’s celebration and exploration of Maine’s statehood bicentennial, (which will continue through the winter and spring terms in 2020).  In this course, we will discuss the following topics as we investigate our region on the eve of statehood.

A Geographical and Historical Tour of the Region in 1820: Who were these folks, where did they come from, why did they come here, where did they live, and how did the area develop the way it had. Making It in the District of Maine – Daily Life in 1820: Work and home life for people in different occupations, roles. What did folks do and where did they do those things? Our Towns – Village Life in 1820: A focus on particular communities in Lincoln and Knox counties at the time of statehood. Talk of the Town – Gatherings, Conversations, and Connections Beyond: 

Where were the locations that people came together, and why? What were they talking about? The instructor will facilitate this course and pose questions to local experts who represent many area historical organizations.  Class Limit: 60

Instructor Jayne Gordon was Director of Education and Public Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and taught a local history course in her hometown of Concord, MA for 21 years before moving to Maine. She is a member of the CSC Board of Directors and serves on the Curriculum Committee as coordinator of planning for bicentennial–related programs. This past winter she taught a CSC course on Thoreau and Antislavery.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta

Dirigo Mettle:
The Scots-Irish in Maine and Northern Ireland

6 Fridays, 2:00 – 4:00 September 27 – November 15, No Classes October 11 and 25

This course will explore the origins of the Scots-Irish by telling the story of the inter-relationship among Scotland and Ulster (the northern province of Ireland where the Scots-Irish are generally referred to as the Ulster-Scots), and Ulster and America. These connections are reflected in many different ways, such as family history, religion and linguistics, to name a few. Key figures in the Scots-Irish story in Ulster and Maine will be highlighted, including scientists, explorers, authors, rebels, statesmen, educators, and philanthropists. We will explore the themes of migration from present day Northern Ireland to Maine, and students will be introduced to the socio-economic, environmental, and religious reasons involved in multiple migrations.  We will learn also of the rich history of the Northern Ireland legacy evident in many areas of Maine politics, governance, legal systems and community. There will be an opportunity to connect with students in Northern Ireland studying similar themes. Class Limit: 30

Instructor Rebecca Graham is the President of the Maine Ulster Scots Project. She is a graduate of The University of Southern Maine, Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization, Venice, Italy. Rebecca works in the area of democratic governance and electoral evaluation internationally, and legislative advocacy in Maine. She has written extensively on supranational legal systems, the effect they have on domestic legal interpretation, and the importance of protecting cultural rights in post-conflict societies.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta

Memoir Writing:
Crafting Your Own Story
from a Kaleidoscope of Memories

6 Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 September 25 – November 6, No class October 16

Do you have a story to tell? According to Flannery O’Conner, “Anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for his or her life.” This course will provide a relaxed, entertaining, and supportive environment for memoir writing. No previous writing experience is needed, just the desire to peek into the corners of your life and write ten minutes a day about what you remember. The stories you tell will delight and enlighten your family and friends for generations to come. Preference will be given to those new to this course. Class Limit: 8

Instructor Caroline Davis Janover is an award-winning author of four novels and a play for children and young adults. A winner of the New Jersey Governor’s Outstanding Teacher Award, Caroline has spent her professional career in public and private school education. Caroline has dyslexia and has lectured nationally on the creative strengths and academic challenges of children who grow up with learning and attentional differences. She is currently working (slowly) on a memoir.

The Lincoln Home, Newcastle  

Captured Images:
The Amazing Story of
Photography in the Nineteenth Century

Daguerreotype of Notre
Dame 1840

6 Wednesdays, 10:00 – Noon September 25 – October 30

How did photography begin? What struck the first observers of the images? Who were the personalities involved? This course on the social history of photography starts with photography’s origins in 1839 and narrates how nineteenth century Americans put this revolutionary invention to good use. The first photos—daguerreotypes—were exquisite portraits on metal. Next came the Age of Stereography (1860-1910) with card-mounted 3-D views from around the globe. With the arrival of George Eastman’s celluloid film in 1889, photography was once again a whole new ball game. Join this rapid 6-week tour of photography’s fascinating evolution within a fascinating century. Class Limit: 50

Instructor Jib Fowles, Ph.D., a retired college professor, lives in Wiscasset. He has taught courses on photographic history for many years. He is the author of seven books and over 70 articles, which have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Down East, and elsewhere.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta

Humans and the Ever-Changing Ocean

6 Thursdays 10:00 – Noon  October 3 – November 7

Humans have progressively colonized this coastline and changed it as our numbers and technologies have evolved. In this course, we will examine how humans have affected the ocean – especially our coastal environment. The origins and workings of land and sea, and how they meet at the coastline, will be explored to understand how they operate without humans. Some changes are made directly at the coastline and some changes result from processes that are far from the coast. Examples of human impacts will include changes in ecosystems due to changing the shape of the coastline, fishing and aquaculture, climate and acidification, land use in the continent’s hinterlands, adding stuff (like nutrients or plastics) to the waterways, and other human activities. We’ll combine history with the sciences of the atmosphere, the oceans, geology, biology and – gasp, so sorry (!) a bit of chemistry – but fear not, no science background needed. Along the way, we’ll discuss evolution, pollution, dilution, and maybe even some solutions. Optionally, we can walk the trails at the Darling Center to see examples of human impact on the shoreline. Class Limit: 24        

Instructor Larry Mayer just retired from 43 years as professor of oceanography at the University of Maine. He taught at the Darling Marine Center and elsewhere, on topics similar to this course, in pre-K to senior college formats. His research field is marine biogeochemistry, which means that he wanders among the fields of oceanography, biology, geology and chemistry. He actively assists citizen science efforts along the coast.

Darling Center library classroom, 193 Clarks Cove Rd., Walpole  

The Three Theban Plays:
Kingship, Kinship, Pride, Love, and Faith

8 Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00, September 27 – November 15

Greek tragedy emerged in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE with plays being performed in competitions at festivals honoring Dionysus.  Sophocles stands at the center of the three playwrights whose works we know and is credited with over one hundred and twenty plays of which seven remain. Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone are usually known as The Three Theban Plays and will be the focus of this course. Read together, the plays portray the downfall of Oedipus and his family presenting both the original myth and the human choices that resonate today. The plays are rich in irony and imagery as they study the role of hubris and the balance between fate and free will.  They examine the nature of kingship and leadership and of love and family bonds.  We will read the plays in the sequence of the story they tell, but we will also discuss the order in which they were written and what that order reveals about the ideas of Sophocles. I strongly recommend Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays, translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin Classics as our text. Class Limit: 25

Instructor Ann Nesslage is a graduate of Vassar with a master’s degree in British literature from Bryn Mawr. Ann retired from Choate Rosemary Hall where she taught different levels of English including British literature and British Studies. She also created electives including a course in early Irish and Welsh literature and mythology. Ann purchased her home in Bremen in the early 1970’s and moved there full time in 2008. She is an active gardener and avid reader and enjoys writing.

Bremen Library

Origins of Human Evolution

8 Tuesdays, 2:00 – 4:00, September 24 – November 12

Most courses in biology and evolution introduce students to fascinating descriptions of plant and animal life to explain how these forms developed. Unique however, is the class which explores where we students and our species came from as a primary topic. And fewer programs provide classroom insight into the behaviors, emotions, and potential horizons of our most human of species. This course is a narrative, interactive experience, using biological stories woven into a chronological journal of life on Earth. We will study Darwin’s compelling theories of natural selection and transition of species across vast epochs. Referring to the fossil record, the course narrates the progression of simple animals into the extraordinary zoological diversification found in living fauna. We will analyze clues as to how organic entities interact, resulting in new layers of self-organizing complexity. Finally, we will trace potential evolutionary avenues to later-arriving families, seeking lessons to apply to human cultural dynamics.   Class Limit: 25

Instructor William Portela has an extensive background in systems engineering, human systems integration, and highly technical learning environments. These have allowed him to weave evolutionary information into an engaging and coherent story flow. William is a Maine certified science teacher, wildlife rehabilitator, trainer of draft horses, and Court Appointed Special Advocate, Guardian ad Litem. He has designed and delivered curriculums including nuclear physics, high voltage electric grid operations in North America, advanced warship propulsion systems, biology, and information technology. William has designed and delivered curriculums in Maine public institutions at the elementary, middle, and high school level as well as being adjunct faculty at the college level.

UMA Rockland Center, Breakwater Bldg., 91 Camden St., (Rt. 1) Suite 402

War, Journalism, and History

Warsaw Ghetto

6 Fridays, 1:30 – 4:00, September 20 – October 25

Since the Crimean War journalists have provided accounts of armed conflict that brought the realities of war home to publics around the world.  This course will examine the lives and work of some of the preeminent war correspondents of our lifetimes: print journalists Martha Gellhorn, Vasily Grossman, and Bernard Fall, and photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. The least known of the above four names is probably Grossman’s.  His reporting for the Soviet Army newspaper from Stalingrad is considered by historians a pinnacle of war reporting.  His account of the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka was used by the prosecution at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.  And his great novel, Life and Fate, offers unique insights into the impact of the war, the Holocaust, and Stalinism on the Soviet people. Gellhorn, Fall, and Bourke-White are better known in the US, but a closer look at their biographies and the impact of their work on our understanding of World War II and the Vietnam War should help us bring the contribution of war correspondents into sharper focus. It will also provide background for the 2020 Camden Conference on the role of the media in global affairs. Class Limit: 25

Click here for a recommended reading list and initial syllabus

Instructor Bob Rackmales served 32 years as a career Foreign Service officer.  Armed conflict was prevalent in four of the five countries in which Bob served. In each of those he had the opportunity to interact with both American and foreign journalists.  Even when he disagreed with some of their reporting, their professionalism was impressive and it was often clear that their reporting had a major impact on public opinion in their countries.

UMA Rockland Center, Breakwater Bldg., 91 Camden St. (Rt. 1) Suite 402

The World Humans Have Made:
The Anthropocene

Dawn in the Anthropocene

8 Mondays, 10 – Noon, September 23 – November 18, No Class October 14

Climate Change caused by humans is radically impacting both human society and the natural world. If we are to have a livable future (for both humans and the non-human species of our world) we will need to understand and adapt. Through a reading and discussion of Jedediah Purdy’s After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene (Harvard, 2015) we will review the gradual evolution of the idea of nature and the current state of environmental law and policy, the challenges facing us, and the options for the future. Purdy, on the Duke and Colombia law school faculties, has written several other important books, including For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today and Being America: Liberty, Commerce and Violence in an American World.  You are strongly encouraged to acquire Purdy’s book available in paperback, used, new, and Kindle, and to read it in advance of the class. If you have Netflix, watch the series Our Planet, https://www.ourplanet.com/en/ Class Limit: 18

Instructor Bruce Rockwood is professor emeritus of Legal Studies from Bloomsburg University, He has taught environmental law, business law, international law, and law and literature among other subjects. He holds a BA in history from Swarthmore and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

Friends Meeting House, Damariscotta

Goethe’s Faust: the German Bible

FAUST 2018 Rolf Arnold/Schauspiel Leipzig

8 Tuesdays, 10 – Noon, September 24 – November 12

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust is the iconic masterpiece of German literature, comparable to the Iliad and the Odyssey in classical Greek literature, Virgil’s Aeneid in Latin literature, Dante’s Comedy in Italian literature, and the plays of Shakespeare in English literature.  As such, it has sometime’s been called die deutsche Bibel, “the German Bible.”  In the first session, we will look briefly at the life and works of Goethe and the first printed version of the Faust legend, Historia von D. Johann Fausten, by an anonymous German author, published by Johann Spies (1540–1623) in Frankfurt am Main in 1587 and then published in an English translation as Historia & Tale of Dr. Johannes Faustus in 1592.  In the second session Dr. Harold Schramm will speak about Christopher Marlowe’s play, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, written sometime between 1589 and 1592. We will then devote the next six sessions to reading and discussing Goethe’s Faust. We will work from the translation by Bayard Taylor (Faust: Parts One and Two (Dover Thrift Editions))ISBN-13: 978-0486821887.  This is a nineteenth century translation, but I believe it reads better than any of the more modern ones. Class Limit 12

Instructor Byron Stuhlman is a retired Episcopal minister with a doctorate in theology and the author of six books. He was a member of the faculty of Hamilton College and the General Theological Seminary.  Prior to moving to Maine, he taught at the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement (Utica, NY). Byron has served as the chair of the CSC board and chair of its curriculum committee as well as teaching a good number of courses.

Chase Point, Lincoln Health Campus, Damariscotta

Death from the Skies?

 5 Tuesdays, 10:00 – Noon, September 24 – October 29, No Class October 22

The universe is a dangerous place and our Earth is a fragile home.  If an asteroid can wipe out the dinosaurs, what would a nearby supernova do to human civilization?  We will explore the astronomical facts, not fiction, of the cosmic perils that threaten our planet, and estimate the odds of surviving to the end of the course. We will use as a reference the book: Death from the Skies! These Are the Ways the World Will End by Philip Plait. Class Limit: 50

Instructor Ted Williams is a retired professional astronomer, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at Rutgers University, former director of the South African Astronomical Observatory, researcher in observational extra-galactic astronomy, and development of astronomical instrumentation.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta

Games, Songs, and Spectacles

5 Tuesdays, 10 – Noon November 5 – December 10, No Class November 26

The Olympic Games are not the only games of their kind in antiquity. More than 500 ancient Greek cities sponsored athletic and musical contests. These represented one of the most essential and deep rooted aspects of Greek society and they were always associated with religious practices. We will study the major sites and look at all aspects of those contests. Additionally there were spectacles one could watch in Roman amphitheaters and circuses. Like the Greek games, they provide interesting insights into Roman society. We will look at the origins, architecture, and representations found in mosaics and other art works as well as everything that surrounded the staging of a spectacle, such as animal transport from Africa to Rome.  Ancient descriptions of the events and their modern depictions in movies will be explored, including the motivation that led to the modern Olympic Games. Class Limit 65

Instructor Rolf Winkes is Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, History of Art and Architecture and Old World Archaeology and Art at Brown University. At Brown he created a number of international exchange programs and was the co-founder of what is now the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.  He excavated twelve summers on the Greek island of Corfu and afterwards at the site of Tongobriga, a national monument in Northern Portugal.  Rolf has taught a large variety of well received subjects, including How the Romans Shaped Rome. Rolf resides in Damariscotta.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta.