Saturday, April 27, 2019 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Orin Grossman / Fairfield University
Ezra Pound famously wrote, "Literature is news that stays news." We might say the same for the great masterpieces of music. There are works from the great composers who speak to us with the freshness and excitement of anything seemingly more contemporary and relevant. As long as we bring an open mind, or open ears, we can discover beauty, meaning, and emotional depth undimmed by the passage of time.
In this class, Professor Grossman will present three remarkable musical works from the same period, by musicians young and old, at the peak of their composing careers. All three share energy and passion of youth, and the excitement of ushering in or extending a new musical era. And yet these compositions could not be more different than if they had been written hundreds of years apart. Individually, they each speak to us about the power of musical expression; together they illustrate how many ways music can excite the imagination. The three compositions are: 1) Ludwig van Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, 2) Frederic Chopin, Ballade #1 for Piano, and 3) Professor Grossman's acclaimed finale (which he has performed all around the world!) George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.
Orin Grossman is renowned internationally for his knowledge of music. He lectures and performs concerts throughout the US and Europe, he teaches Performing Arts at Fairfield University, and has served as the University’s Academic Vice President. Professor Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in Cairo and New York. Professor Grossman was also chosen to play for the New York City Mayor’s Awards of Honor for Arts and Culture.
Jeffrey Engel / Southern Methodist University
The Cold War's end was supposed to bring about a new era of East-West cooperation, integrating Russia for perhaps the first time as an equal player in European and Atlantic affairs. Democracy was emerging, along with free markets. The end of old history appeared in sight, replaced by the new. We were poised to share "one common European home," the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev pledged. And we shall all have peace. "Eastern Europe is free," George H.W. Bush proclaimed as 1991 came to an end. "This is a victory for democracy and freedom. Every American can take pride in this victory."
Well, the promised post-Cold War peace did not endure. The West's triumph brought the average citizen in the former Soviet Union a shorter life-span, a lower standard of living, and a long list of new grudges. As Boris Yeltsin gave way to Vladimir Putin by the 20th century’s end, the stage was set for what some are now terming a new Cold War, replete with hacking, election influence, annexations, and new East-West tensions. Moscow once more appears Washington's adversary, though that is a view seldom voiced in the White House. How did we get from the Cold wars end to its apparent renewal? This lecture tells that tale.
Jeffrey Engel is the founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. He has taught at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and taught history and public policy at Texas A&M University. He has authored/edited eight books on American foreign policy, most recently, “When the World Seemed New: George H. Bush and the Surprisingly Peaceful End of the Cold War.”
Jennifer Keene / Chapman University
Most Americans possess only a hazy understanding of World War I or its significance for the United States. So why not leave it there? Why bother with this history lesson? How the nation responded to the challenge of fighting its first modern war re-made America, leading to female suffrage, the modern civil rights movement, the drive to protect civil liberties, new conceptions of military service, and an expanded role for the United States in the world.
There are striking parallels between the problems Americans faced a hundred years ago in 1917-18 and the challenges we face now. How do we balance protecting national security with civil liberties? Is it appropriate for Americans to continue to debate a war once the fighting has begun? Are immigrants importing terrorism? Do Americans have a responsibility to participate in global humanitarianism? Can soldiers ever convey to those at home the reality of what they’ve encountered on the battlefield? Can they ever leave the war behind? Americans grappled with these issues in World War I, and these are once again relevant questions for a society at war.
Jennifer Keene is a professor of history and dean of the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University. She has published several books and numerous articles on the American experience in the world wars, including “Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America”, “World War I: The American Soldier Experience”, and “World War II: Core Documents”. She has received numerous awards for her scholarship, including Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards to France and Australia and Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship in International Studies. She has served as a historical consultant for exhibits and films, and was recently featured in the PBS documentary mini-series, “The Great War”.