Winter 2019

Registration begins December 18
First session is January 29

On-Going Groups

On-going groups are self-directed learning communities affiliated with CSC.
Participation is free – do not call URock to participate. To join, contact the listed facilitators.

Challenge of ChangWe provide a venue for community conversation to discuss economic, ecological, and cultural challenges facing our society. We seek better alternatives in a respectful and positive way. Participants share responsibility for topics, provide resources, and may invite guest speakers. We gather twice monthly at the Friends Meeting House in Damariscotta. Contact Jon Olsen, 549-7787 or joliyoka@gmail.com  or Susan van Alsenoy, svanalsenoy@gmail.com

Coffee House Discussion Group This group meets weekly at St. Bernard’s Church, Rockland to discuss topics suggested by the group, mainly but not limited to culture and politics. Our ground rules are that we practice civility and offer reasoned arguments and comments. Members contribute $2.00 each meeting for coffee and St. Bernard’s soup kitchen. Contact Bill Newman, 594-7534.

New ADVENTURES

With Pick, Axe, & Trowel
The Folk Architecture of America

 7 Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00, Feb. 5 – March 19

This course presents a visual exploration of the relationships between natural and cultural contexts and their influences on traditional folk building forms in America: from Native American longhouses and pueblos, to settler cabins and farmsteads, from covered bridges and sugarhouses, to meetinghouses and Shaker villages. We will focus on the small but fascinating traditional structures built using architecture without architects. NOTE: This course has been expanded to include new material and topics and is complementary to the earlier course, A Folk Architecture of the World. Class Limit: 60

Instructor Arnold J. Aho, A.I.A. has taught architecture and basic design for more than forty years at North Carolina State U., Mississippi State U., and Norwich U., where he started the new Architecture Program and served as its first Director. He was educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied under Louis I. Kahn. He has many publications on materials and energies in design, vernacular (folk) architecture, and the relationships between natural and built environments. In addition to numerous design awards, he has received distinguished teaching recognition, including the Burlington Northern Outstanding Teacher Award (MSU) and the Dana Distinguished Professor (NU).

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta

Jail, July 4th, and John Brown
Henry Thoreau and Slavery in America
Closed-Full

4 Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00, February 6 – 27

Henry Thoreau (1817-1865) was living in a time of major conflict, especially around the issue of slavery and profoundly disturbing government actions. He challenged his contemporaries (as he challenges us) to examine our responsibilities as citizens – citizens who are capable of exercising those responsibilities on moral grounds. For Thoreau, action by individuals based on principle was necessary. The government could not be counted on to do what was just. Thoreau spoke out against injustice, he harbored a fugitive slave, and he supported the fiery abolitionist John Brown. “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today?” Thoreau asked in Civil Disobedience. Using that essay, and his two subsequent essays, Slavery in Massachusetts and A Plea for Captain John Brown, we will examine Thoreau’s movement from non-violent resistance to active support of the man who attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. What changes had happened in this country and in Thoreau’s thinking that led to this shift? What choices did Thoreau make? What considerations did he weigh in confronting the system of slavery? What dilemmas do you see in his thoughts and actions? How would you respond to Thoreau’s questions, directions, and provocations – in his time and in ours? All three of Thoreau’s antislavery essays are available at: www.thoreau.eserver.org  Class Limit: 20

Jayne Gordon was Executive Director of the Thoreau Society before becoming the first Director of Education and Public Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society. She also served as director of the Alcotts’ Orchard House and Director of Education for the Concord Museum and the Walden Woods Project, and taught for many years in the graduate Museum Studies Program at Tufts. Jayne has led classes and seminars on the Concord Authors (Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne and the Alcotts) for decades, and has directed five National Endowment for the Humanities workshops for teachers from all across the country on both the American Revolution and Henry Thoreau. Recently retired, she has moved from Thoreau’s hometown to Damariscotta, and continues to serve on the Thoreau Society Board of Directors.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the Undercroft, Newcastle

Natura’s Poets

6 Thursdays, 1:00 – 3:00, February 14 – March 21

In this course, we will peruse English and American poems of the natural world from the 1600s through the present day. Poets would include, among others, Andrew Marvell, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson and Theodore Roethke.  Poems and related historical and biographical materials will be provided at each class. During the last class, students will bring in either a favorite poem with Nature as its theme, or one he or she has written. Class Limit 12

Geoffrey Robinson taught secondary school abroad and at home. He received a BA and MA in English literature from Yale University. He owned the River Gallery in Damariscotta which specialized in 19th and 20th century European and American painting.

Kay Liss is a writer, having worked for various magazines focusing on art and architecture, and newspapers, including the NYT. She taught English in a private secondary school and literature classes at Round Top Center for the Arts, including courses in nature poetry. She has a B.A. in English literature from Bard College and took graduate literature classes at the New School. Kay has a certificate in Environmental Studies from Southampton College, has written nature columns for newspapers and won an award for her poetry.

Bremen Library

Women in the American Civil War

2 Fridays, 10:00 – Noon, March 1 and 8
this course registration $25

This course will address both the various roles voluntarily assumed by women and those thrust upon them during and after the American Civil War. Included will be discussions of women’s traditional activities on the home front such as homemakers and parents as well as new fields of endeavor including field and hospital nurses, army camp sanitarians, food and supply coordinators, and medical administrators. Several of the 400 instances when women, including 2 from Maine, disguised themselves as men to engage in combat, also will be addressed. The long-term effects of the War upon women’s roles and rights will also be covered. Women who have become prominent as a result of their activities during the conflict as well as those obscured by the passage of time will be described and discussed.  Class Limit: 45

Richard F. Mayer is an amateur Civil War historian and graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Baltimore School of law.  He is admitted to the practice of law before state and federal courts in the State of Maryland and the United States Supreme Court.  Mr. Mayer is also the former Chief of the Brunswick, Maine, Police Department (1974-1977). In 2016 he retired from the U.S. Department of State where, in addition to service in the Department of Justice, he spent 20 years working in post-conflict stabilization and international criminal justice reform. During that time, Mr. Mayer developed and managed criminal justice and police reform programs in Albania, Bosnia, El Salvador, Columbia, Croatia, East Timor, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Republic of South Africa and the West Bank.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta 


Jewish and Muslim Refugees in Palestine
From the First World War to the Six Day War

2 weeks, 4 classes, Wednesdays and Fridays, February 6, 8, 13, 15   1:00 – 3:00

2017 was the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a pledge by the British government to support the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, while protecting the rights of Palestine’s non-Jewish communities. Since its promulgation, the pledge has been a focal point of still-unresolved conflicts between contending forces within Palestine/Israel and involving international actors, some seeking to ameliorate the conflict and some to support one or another of the sides. The course begins by exploring the origins and aims of the Declaration itself, then examines how it was implemented in Palestine in the 1920s and 30s. The second half of the course deals with the massive refugee flows resulting from the Second World War and the ensuing 1948 war in Palestine and the struggle of the international community to deal with the consequences. It concludes with the Six Day War of June 1967 which raised still further obstacles to the resolution of an already intractable problem. Class Limit: 50

Bob Rackmales during a 32 year career with the State Department discussed refugee and migration issues with senior officials in Turkey, the Soviet Union, Bulgaria and (the former) Yugoslavia.  He worked closely with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and nongovernmental organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Rescue Committee, to alleviate the suffering of those caught up in the wars in the Balkans. As U.S. Charge d’ Affairs in Belgrade during the Balkan wars, he received the State Department’s highest award for management of an overseas mission and Presidential award for sustained superior accomplishment in conduct of the foreign policy of the United States government. He is a member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the American Foreign Service Association, and the American Historical Association.

Camden Library 

War & Peace in the Balkans
Cold War, Ethnic Conflict, & the Return of Russia
Closed–Full

4 Mondays, 10:00 – Noon, February 4 -25

Guillaume Lejean’s Ethnic map of European Turkey and its vassal states

This course will cover the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the ethnic conflicts and international diplomacy that followed, and end with a session on the Balkans today, including the re-emerging competition between Russia and the West. The course will be a combination of historical scholarship and insights by the instructor who was personally involved in many of the events. It will cover the following topics. 1. Why are the Balkans, well, so Balkan? How the region is sometimes said to produce more history than can be consumed locally. 2. The heart of darkness in the heart of Europe – War in Bosnia and peace in Dayton. 3. Conflict in Kosovo – Humanitarian intervention halts genocide but final settlement proves elusive. 4. The Balkans today – Cockpit of conflict yet again? Class limit: 20

Louis Sell has had a 28-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, focused on Russia and the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and nuclear arms control. After leaving the Foreign Service he was post-war director of the Kosovo office of the International Crisis Group and was a founder and first executive director of the American University in Kosovo (AUK). As political advisor to former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, the first International High Representative for Bosnian Peace Implementation, he participated in the international diplomacy that ended the Bosnian conflict, including the Dayton Peace Conference. He has lived over eight years in the Balkans in times of war and peace and speaks Serbo-Croatian and Russian. He was present and reported on the dissolution of Yugoslavia as well as the collapse of the USSR and its aftermath. He is the author of Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia and From Washington to Moscow: U.S.- Soviet Relations and the Collapse of the USSR. He teaches at AUK and UMF and lives in Whitefield where he serves as a volunteer firefighter.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Newcastle

The Crusades and the Crusader States
Through Christian and Muslim Eyes,
Closed, FULL

6 Tuesdays, 10:00 – Noon, February 5 – March 12

The crusades established Latin states in the Holy Land (also known as Outremer, French for “overseas”) which included the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, and the Principality (later the Kingdom) of Cyprus. Wrested from Muslim and Byzantine rule in 1098 and following years, they were gradually reclaimed by the Muslims, with the last mainland territory lost in 1291 (Cyprus was taken by the Ottomans in 1571). They are seen very differently through Christian and Muslim eyes, and the revived memory of the crusades has become an issue in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries for many Muslims. Class Limit: 15

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

Chase Point, Miles Hospital Campus, Damariscotta 

For the People, by the People: A Revolution in Poetry

4 Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30,  February 28 – March 21

The spirit of the American and French Revolutions affected not only politics, but poetry as well: not only in subject, poems about revolution, but also in a major shift in poetic practice, form, and diction. In 1798 William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published , a diverse collection of poems written in a “new style.” The immediate reaction was very mixed to say the least. Some of the poems were failed experiments, but the best have passed the test of time. Their subjects are still vital in our modern world, and their style, not unlike Austen’s clear and precise prose, speaks to those without a classical education -­-­ in other words, to the people. These poems are as accessible and meaningful to us as they were to their original readers. Please read and bring to the first class a copy of The Lyrical Ballads, in an edition which includes Wordsworth’s “Preface.” Class Limit: 20

Maryanne Ward is retired after a 40-year career in small college education. She chaired Kenyon College (Gambier OH) Humanities program and served as Academic Dean until moving to Centre College (Danville KY), to become professor of English and Chair of the Humanities program. Her area of special interest and scholarship is 19th century British literature. Among other topics, her publications have examined the relationship among literature, landscape, and painting.

John Ward has been professor and chair of Kenyon, (Gambier OH) English Department and has served as Dean of Centre College (Danville KY). He earned his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has taught courses in 18th and 19th century British literature and the history of the British novel. He has published on 18th and 19th century British works as well as those of Vachel Lindsay and Robert Lowell. He has recently served as an instructor for the Augusta Senior College.

Chase Point, Miles Hospital Campus, Damariscotta

 Games and Spectacles
CANCELLED

5 Tuesdays, 10:00 – Noon, January 29 – February 26

The Olympic Games are not the only games of their kind in antiquity as there are a number of other sanctuaries associated with athletic contests. During the five classes we will study these sites and also sports in general during the Greek era. In addition, there were Spectacles one could watch in Roman amphitheater and circuses. We will look at the origins, architecture and representations found in mosaics and other art work. Ancient descriptions or modern depictions of the events in movies will be explored. We will look at everything that surrounded the staging of a spectacle such as animal transport from Africa to Rome. After each class there is the opportunity to go for a Dutch treat lunch in a nearby restaurant offering a limited menu at a special price. Class Limit: 65

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 became the co-founder of what is now the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. He excavated 12 summers on the Greek island of Corfu and afterwards at the site of Tongobriga, a national monument in Northern Portugal. He has published on Greek and Roman art and architecture from early periods to the rise of Christianity and on the impact of the Classical world on the 18th and 19th century. Rolf has taught many courses for CSC during the past eight years.

Skidompha Library, Porter Hall, Damariscotta