2012-13 Chautauqua Series Theme: Crossroads

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The 2012-13 Chautauqua series at Eastern Kentucky University will explore the theme “Crossroads” through 15 lectures by many internationally prominent authors and experts, as well as a dramatic presentation, a musical performance and an art exhibition.

“According to a standard English dictionary, ‘crossroads’ means 'the place where roads intersect,’ ‘a point at which a vital decision must be made,’ and ‘a main center of activity,’” noted Chautauqua Coordinator Dr. Minh Nguyen. “The term can be interpreted in a number of ways — personal, public, contemporary, historical, social, political, cultural, religious, moral, scientific, economic, and so on.  Our series aims to explore the many dimensions of this theme and encourage critical reflections on it.  As usual, we will approach the theme from a large variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives and tackle a wide range of provocative and fundamental issues.”

Nguyen credited the presidentially appointed Chautauqua Lecture Series Committee for coming up with the theme and suggestions for a number of presenters in the lineup.

Four programs in the 13th annual series mesh with the university’s year-long observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Kentucky, including the season-opening lecture on Thursday, Aug. 23, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mark E. Neely on “Lincoln and the Constitution.” Neely, the McCabe Greer Professor of Civil War History at Penn State, is best known as an authority on the U.S. Civil War in general and Lincoln in particular. He is the author of “Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War,” “The Civil War and the Limits of Construction,” and “The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America,” among other titles.

All programs are free and open to the public.

The complete 2012-13 Chautauqua schedule (all programs at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of Student Success Building unless otherwise indicated):

Thursday, Aug. 23, Mark E. Neely Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and authority on the U.S. Civil War, “Lincoln and the Constitution.”

Thursday, Sept. 6, Ellen Gustafson, sustainable food systems specialist and co-founder of FEED, “A New Understanding of Hunger, Obesity and the Food System.”

Thursday, Sept. 20, Richard A. Muller, noted physicist and science educator at University of California at Berkeley, “Physics and Technology for Future Presidents.”

Thursday, Oct. 4, Amir Levine, psychiatrist and neuroscientist, “Attached: The Science of Romantic Relationships.”

Thursday, Oct. 11, Melissa Stockwell, Iraq War veteran and Paralympian and world champion paratriathlete, “Lived a Lifetime by 25: From Baghdad to Beijing and Beyond,” keynote address for Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Thursday, Oct. 18, L. Henry Dowell, actor and playwright, “Harland ‘Colonel’ Sanders: More than Fried Chicken.”

Thursday, Nov. 1, Sarah H. Parcak, space archaeologist and Egyptologist, “Egypt’s Lost Cities: Satellite Sensing for Archaeology,” third annual Bruce MacLaren Distinguished Lecture.

Thursday, Nov. 8, Charles Bracelen Flood, New York Times bestselling author and novelist, “Grant’s Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant’s Heroic Last Year.”

Thursday, Nov. 29, R. Carlos Nakai, world's premier performer of the Native American flute, “Crossroads: A Native American Flute Concert,” keynote address for Native American Heritage Month, location changed to EKU Center for the Arts.

Tuesday, Jan. 22-Friday, Feb. 22, annual nationwide art showcase, A Juried Exhibition on the Theme, Giles Gallery, Campbell Building, opening reception Thursday, Jan. 31, 5-7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 24, Mike Kim, author and North Korea specialist, “North Korea-China: A Modern Day Underground Railroad.”

Thursday, Feb. 7, Michael C. Dawson, prominent political scientist and African-American studies scholar at University of Chicago, “At a Crossroad to Disaster? The Vast Racial Divide in American Public Opinion,” keynote address for Black History Month.

Thursday, Feb. 21, Lee Alan Dugatkin, evolutionary biologist and author, “Thomas Jefferson and How Natural History Shaped America’s Perception of Itself.”

Tuesday, March 5, Eric Foner, winner of Lincoln Prize and Pulitzer Prize for History, “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”

Thursday, March 21, Catherine Clinton, writer and historian widely published in fields of women's studies and U.S. Civil War, “Women and the American Civil War,” keynote address for Women’s History Month.

Thursday, April 4, Tyrone B. Hayes, biologist and herpetologist at University of California at Berkeley, “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men.”

Thursday, April 18, N. Gregory Mankiw, Harvard economist and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, “The Challenges Facing Monetary and Fiscal Policy,” eighth annual Distinguished Lecture in International Studies.

Thursday, May 2, Maureen Morehead, Kentucky Poet Laureate,The Poetry of Thomas Merton.”

For more information, visit www.chautauqua.eku.edu or contact Nguyen at minh.nguyen@eku.edu.

Published on July 23, 2012