Courses

Tuesdays, April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5

Musical Adversaries
Beethoven’s 9th symphony changed the orchestral world. The Ode to Joy shifted the weight from the first to the fourth movement and expanded the expressive means of symphonies. Beethoven’s specter intimidated his successors. Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms wanted to write pure and poetic music that speaks for itself. A second group around Liszt and Wagner insisted that music should tell a story and thus created program music. Russian composers attempted to develop their own national music. Tchaikovsky, the most prominent of them, wrote music of high emotional expressiveness. Many of these composers listened to each other’s music without enjoying it. They were often quite stinging in their criticisms. In this course we will compare the music of most of these composers, their symphonies, concertos and music for solo instruments, trying to find differences. Presenter: Josef Schmee, the Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Management Emeritus, Union College.
Coordinator: Manny Aven

9:30 to 11:30 AM    Reamer Auditorium*

Another Look at the American Revolution
In the past, courses focused on battles, Great White Men, and politics, mainly from the colonists' viewpoint. Today historians are challenging that approach. In five new lectures, some of these topics will be reexamined. Also, several multi-media presentations will be given. 1) Taxation has generally been emphasized as perhaps the primary cause but the issue is more complex. The political, economic, social, constitutional, and ideological roots will be explored. 2) Was Saratoga really "the turning point of the American Revolution?" Why so or why not? 3) Why did Washington choose Valley Forge for winter camp? Was the Army really starving and ill clothed? Who was Baron Von Steuben and why is he important? Or was he? 4) Were the British all bumbling fools toward their American colonists? What role did George III play? Were the British united against the colonists? 5) Did Jefferson really mean "all men are created equal?" What was his attitude toward women? What can we learn about the third president from this? Presenter: Jim Sefcik, scholar of 18th century American history, and retired director of the Louisiana State Museum.
Coordinator: Rich Holt

12:30 to 2:30 PM    Reamer Auditorium*

Wednesdays, April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6

Healthcare in America
The health care system in America is immense and complex. Speakers from various parts of the system will present their perspectives on its current state, changes and challenges and predictions on what the future may bring. David Pratt, M.D., MPH, will open the course with an overview of the health care system. He will also present a wrap up of what we have learned at the end of the course. James Connolly, CEO and President of Ellis Hospital, will talk about Integrated Hospital Systems. Paul Sorum, M.D., Ph.D., will speak about the challenges of private practice physicians and will also discuss the Affordable Care Act. Joseph Twardy, FACHE, CEO of Northeast Visiting Nurses, will present the case for Home Care and Phillip DiSorbo, former Executive Director Community Hospice, will discuss Hospice Services. Judith Berek, a former senior official of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington, D. C., will discuss Medicare and Ruthanne Hackett, Health and Productivity Manager, General Electric, will present the issue of health insurance from the large employer perspective.
Coordinators: Carolyn Callner with Jim Comly

9:30 to 11:30 AM    Reamer Auditorium*


Food for Thought
Union Geology Professor John Garver will discuss the behavior of the Mohawk River Watershed including its implications for the Schenectady waterfront. In a talk about "Québec's Cirques: Cirque is not just the Cirque du Soleil," Union Professor Charles Batson will show and discuss examples of circuses out of Quebec. Buildings consume a significant amount of our national energy - Union Professor Mohammad Mafi will describe design alternatives for green buildings and how they save building energy. In “How I Stumbled Into This Awful Mess," Entrepreneur Dr. Robert Degeneff will describe going from hard core engineering in large financially stable institutions (GE, RPI) to starting a small business, exploring his mistakes and poor assumptions, the good fortune he experienced, and how he sees the future. Finally, Estate Attorney Bonnie McGuire Jones, Esq., will describe practical ideas about what surviving spouses need to know and do when and before their spouse dies.
Coordinators: Jim Comly, Jenny Overeynder, Jim Burns

12:30 to 2:30 PM    Reamer Auditorium*

Thursdays, April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7

Literary Genres - What is their appeal?
This course will focus on five literary genres and their distinct appeals to specific readers. Union Lecturer Anastasia Pease will teach the first two sessions, Fairy Tales, and Comics and Graphic Novels, discussing why Fairy Tales are so powerful, and the recent evolution and the deep impact of Comics and Graphic Novels. Frankie Y. Bailey, U Albany Criminal Justice Professor and writer on and of detective fiction, will discuss Crime Fiction including its evolution from Edgar Allan Poe to the present, and how social and publishing changes have affected the genre. Marge Karowe takes up Romance Novels from Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer: What is their appeal, are they mostly read by women and why are they so emotionally satisfying? Linda Witkowski will share her views on Witness Literature, the term describing experiences of people who have survived prison, concentration camps, war or racial prejudice, using as examples: Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and other writings to help us understand those forces that create such horror.
Coordinator: Jenny Overeynder

9:30 to 11:30 AM    Reamer Auditorium*


Radical Early 20th Century
The end of the nineteenth century ushered in a period of sweeping change culturally, scientifically, and socially. This course will examine five aspects of this change through some of UCALL's most beloved presenters. Union Professor Stephen Berk will discuss the historical context from an Eastern European perspective. Union Professor Chad Orzel will tell us how new theories upset longstanding beliefs about our universe. Union Professor Dianne McMullen will explain developments in music, and Karen Watkins the rise of modernism in the visual arts. Finally, the literary world will be explored by Union Lecturer Anastasia Pease and Bertrand Fay, who will tell us about, respectively, the novelist Nabokov and World War I poetry.
Coordinator: Karen Watkins

12:30 to 2:30 PM    Reamer Auditorium*


*Class location subject to change based on availability