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Spring 2018

Tuesdays - April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1

Polar Regions - Working and Playing in Snow and Ice
Personnel of the 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton Air National Guard Base and Arctic Traveler Extraordinaire David Golibersuch, will share their chilly expertise and challenging experiences. For Shawn P. Peno, CMSgt, Staff Weather Officer, snow isn’t just frozen water. He opens the series relating how New York snow differs from snow in Greenland or at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Senior Master Sgt. William Gizara, Public Affairs Manager, will present the 109th’s unique mission, touching on the logistical support and science performed in polar regions. Arctic tourist Golibersuch gives the next 2 sessions, covering Arctic geography, history, culture and art. Highlights of personal treks above the Arctic circle in all 7 circumpolar nations as well as no man’s land on the Arctic Ocean will be used to illustrate this vast and fascinating region. Art and artifacts of the Arctic will be displayed. Colonel Brian Backus, Commander of the 139th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, concludes the series, sharing his extensive knowledge of the Air Force Air Mobility Command's Global Aeromedical Evacuation missions.
Coordinator: Phyllis Budka    9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The Constitutional Imagination
This course will explore questions of how world constitutions come to be and are interpreted and how they both reflect and impact cultural and political life. Union Professor Daniel Mosquera will introduce the course and explore how constitutional reforms in Bolivia, Uruguay and Colombia provide legal frameworks from which to achieve sweeping environmental policy modifications and from which society can experiment with new models of political life. Union Professor Bradley Hays will discuss the ideological and constitutive tensions between revolutionary creativity and democratic veneration, drawing on the writings of Jefferson and Madison and making connections between contemporary U.S. political problems and our constitutional regime. Union Lecturer Anastasia Pease will compare the human rights provisions in the post-Soviet constitutions of Poland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and the Republic of Georgia and the extent of each country’s success in living up to its constitutional ideals. Union Professor Stephen Schmidt will address how Israel, which has no constitution, operates on the basis of a Parliamentary Sovereignty whose Basic Laws represent compromises that may no longer be viable, due to changes in the relative influence of various secular and religious groups. Benjamin Pomerance, Esq. will discuss different U.S. Supreme Court Justices' interpretive principles of the U.S. Constitution and the impact of each of these judicial philosophies.
Coordinator: Linda Doyle    12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesdays - April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2

Contemporary China: Politics, Economics and Culture
Union Associate Professor Zhen Zhang will present “An Anthro-geographical Introduction,” an overview of contemporary China that explores the drastic changes in every realm of Chinese society and China’s relations with the wider world during the last four decades. Union Associate Professor Mark Dallas will examine the structure of Chinese government and how it affects policy-making and policy implementation. Included will be the meaning of a Leninist “Party-State,” the interaction between local governments in China and Beijing, the promotion of Chinese government officials and a short TED talk on the Communist Party as "responsive authoritarianism.” Professor Dallas’ second lecture will turn to China's market reforms and international integration since 1979. Covered will be the successful reform of state socialism, China’s integration into the global economy and the complex interaction in US-China ties. Union Associate Professor Megan Ferry will discuss gender and sexuality in modern China. Recent economic developments in China have re-constituted sex/gender differences as well as income and wealth disparity. This talk will examine the century-long history of women’s emancipation and gender equality in China. She will discuss what gender roles have changed and what has stayed the same in society. Union Assistant Professor Sheri Lullo will explore currents in the visual arts in China through the 1990s and 2000s. She will examine various meanings of the term "Contemporary Chinese Art" by looking at new artistic media, a variety of visual responses to the past and increasing globalization and the Chinese artists' participation in the current transnational contemporary art.
Coordinator: Lucy Comly    9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Ancient Cities
This course will cover broadly the topic of ancient cities. Union Professor Peter Bedford will discuss Babylon, arguably the most famous city in ancient Mesopotamia/Iraq. It is best known as the home of King Hammurabi, credited with one of the earliest law-codes around 1750 B.C. and as the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Union Professor Hans-Friedrich Mueller will address law and religion in the ancient city. Although we tend to think of law and religion as separate spheres, their intersections in ancient Greek and Roman cities were many and the divisions between them often hard to distinguish. Together they gave shape to civic organization in politics, the performance of public festivals, the ownership and transfer of property, the punishment of crime, and more. Union Visiting Assistant Professor Kassandra Miller will explore how inhabitants of ancient cities measured the passage of years, months, days and hours. She will discuss the range of timekeeping instruments and systems that the ancients used. Union Professor Stacie Raucci will give an account of daily life in the ancient cities of Rome, Ostia and Pompeii, examining urban infrastructure as well as the experiences of people of different ages, classes and genders. Union Visiting Assistant Professor Angela Commito, a professional archaeologist, will explore the archaeology of ancient urbanism. Archaeologists are using new techniques such as aerial photogrammetry, laser scanning and remote sensing to “unearth” ancient cities without ever lifting a shovel. Join a team of archaeologists as they investigate an ancient Greek city on the Aegean Sea, examine how it was built and try to figure out why it was ultimately abandoned.
Coordinators: Jim Burns, with Stacie Raucci    12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Thursdays - April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3

The UCALL program listed in the Spring 2018 Brochure for 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Thursdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, Music Styles Through The Centuries, has been cancelled.  In its place UCALL will present a program of lectures and recitals on diverse classical subjects, featuring UCALL member and classical music expert Frank Strauss and faculty members of the Union College Department of Music, including Professor of Music Dianne McMullen and selected music students. To register for this course, enter Music Program on your registration form.
Coordinator: Jim Comly    9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

American Folk Music/American History
From "Amazing Grace" to "Blowin’ in the Wind" Americans have composed and sung songs about what mattered in their lives. We will survey some of their favorite folk songs and some less known works, to trace the relationship of songs to peoples’ lives. We will examine the historical context from which the songs emerged, what lyrics can tell us about the past and how songs have evolved over time. Themes of the songs may include family, war, religion, work and the labor movement, railroads and transportation, migration, and "hard times and hard men." Professor Emeritus Robert Wells has taught American History at Union since 1960. He accompanies himself on guitar while singing the folk songs.
Coordinator: Don Gavin    12:30 to 2:30 p.m.