See program descriptions.
An informal educational program that
features a wide variety of
Join us and broaden
your scope of knowledge!
Meets one Friday per month
10:30am - 12:00noon
September 2014 - June 2015
Fees for each lecture:
Y Members/Chai Members - $8;
Non-Members - $11
* Please note that the lecture
on June 12th is free of charge
and part of the
York Council for the Humanities
Speakers in the Humanities Program
and is open to the public.
Lifelong Learning programs are subject to change or
Cancellation policy: Refunds cannot be given and credit cannot be
applied to a future date.
September 12 - Art in the
The Sculptures of Central Park
Guest Speaker: Franklin Hill Perrell,
Executive Director, Roslyn Landmark Society
Take a magical armchair
journey to discover Central Park’s popular
statuary and the hidden gems - all from a unique perspective. This lecture is
essentially an armchair tour through Central Park,
with a unique focus on the history and stories behind the statues,
architectural sites and landscaped areas throughout the park. Everyone will be
quite surprised that there are so many fascinating parts of the park that they
might have walked right by without knowing the inside scoop!
Franklin Hill Perrell,
is head of the Roslyn Landmark Society and was Chief Curator at the Nassau
County Museum of Art for over 20 years.
He has a finely tuned background in art history and contemporary art. A
popular lecturer on art, history and architecture, he has authored over 50
October 24 - Camille Pissarro:
“Humble and Colossal”
Guest Speaker: Ines Powell, Art Historian
and Educator, Metropolitan
Museum of Art
Paul Cézanne described his
friend Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) as “the humble and colossal Pissarro.”
Pissarro is one of the most important members of the Impressionist group, yet
one of the least known. It was Pissarro who drafted the written agreement of
the artists cooperative that set in motion the impressionists’ exhibitions. He
was also the only painter to exhibit in all eight of the shows. He was the
mentor of the impressionist painters and the one who invited young artists,
like Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, into the group. And yet, Pissarro’s career was
eclipsed by the enormous success achieved by some of the younger members of the
Impressionist group, such as Claude Monet and Pierre Auguste-Renoir.
Pissarro was immensely
prolific. He was interested mostly in depicting landscape, which he did in
several media: painting, pastel, drawing, etching and lithography. Pissarro had
to give up outdoor painting after he suffered a serious eye infection in 1883.
The artist died blind in 1903.
Ines Powell is an
independent art historian and educator who has been associated with the
Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1982. Her experience includes Gallery Talks at
the Met on permanent collections and special exhibitions in English and
Spanish; researcher/writer of art history lectures, as well as lecturer in the
November 7 - Wagner’s Die
Guest Speaker: Harvey Wechsler, Lecturer
For those people who
think they don’t like Wagner’s music, they will love this. Selections from Acts
1 and 3 will be played. Wagner was a despicable human being but as a musician,
he was a genius. He was an anti-semite but it’s not logical to deny yourself
Wagner’s music. He died in 1867.
For Harvey Wechsler,
opera is both a hobby and a pleasure.
When asked how he came to be interested in opera, he explains that he
didn’t care for baseball. So when his
friends were listening to baseball games, he listened to the Met’s opera
December 12 - Broadway Divas
Guest Speaker: James Kolb, Professor, Department of Drama, Hofstra University
On January 24, 2012, Time
Out New York published an article titled “Broadway’s 25 all-time greatest
divas,” in which they stated that “Historians of the Broadway musical, from the
academy to the piano bar, agree on one thing: the archetypal Broadway star is a
woman. Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Gwen Verdon, Carol Channing - legendary
ladies such as these were the bulbs that lit the Great White Way in its golden
and silver ages, and they still dominate the mythology of the genre.” This
program will look at Time Out New York’s list of the top 25 and consider
the pluses and minuses in regard to the order in which they have presented
Dr. James Kolb is a
Professor in the Department of Drama and Dance at Hofstra University.
A teacher of Theatre History and Dramatic Literature since 1969, Professor Kolb
previously taught at Nazareth College in Rochester,
New York, where he was also
Chairman of the Theatre Arts program and was a frequent stage director of
musicals, operas and plays. He has lectured
extensively throughout New York
State for the New York
Council for the Humanities on all aspects of the American musical theatre.
January 9 - Laurel and Hardy
Guest Speaker: Larry Wolff, Grand Sheik
of Long Island’s Second Hundred
Years Tent -
the local chapter of the International
Laurel and Hardy
Stan Laurel and Oliver
Hardy appeared together in more than 100 films and they continue to provide
countless laughs for all who watch their films today. This program will present
three of their funniest short subjects: Two Tars (a silent classic); Brats
(a double dose of Laurel and Hardy); and their Academy Award winning, The
Music Box. In addition to the films, this lecture will provide a background
of the “Boys” and also explain how the “Sons” honor them at their meetings.
Bring your fez and be prepared for an afternoon of fun. Memorabilia and
autographs will be available for viewing.
Larry Wolff, the
“Grand Sheik,” was recently featured in Newsday for his work keeping the
cunning spirit of “the Boys” alive and well on Long Island.
Mr. Wolff has been lecturing on comedians for years and is an avid fan and
student of the field of comedy.
February 13 - The Internet of
and Your Privacy
Guest Speaker: Jamie Cohen,
Program Director and Instructor, New Media Program, Molloy College
According to the Pew Research
Center, the “Internet of
Things” is thriving more every year. The Internet of Things is made up of a
global, immersive, invisible, ambient network of computers connected through
cameras, databases, sensors, and software and includes “wearables” like Google
Glass or exercise bands.
This talk will discuss how
much of the world is ever more connected and how this affects your privacy and
daily living habits. The Internet of Things is a great step forward into the
future and something to be excited about and we will have a conversation about
the users of future technology.
is the program director and full-time instructor of the New Media Program at Molloy College.
Cohen co-founded the program on the ideals of new media theory, civic
engagement, and the culture of empowerment through technological change. He was
formerly the Director of Web and Digital Media at the Lawrence Herbert School
of Communication at Hofstra
University and continues
to adjunct there as a digital journalism professor.
March 13 - Yikes: The History of
Movie Stunts Guest Speaker: Clive Young, Author and Lecturer
This is a fun, visual
program that mixes some of the most exciting moments in cinema history with an
educational primer on movie stunts, explaining how filmmakers have used
technology and derring-do to thrill audiences with amazing action for over a
Yikes: The History of
Movie Stunts is a fast-paced sequel to last year’s lecture, Kaboom: The
History of Special Effects, tracing the action-packed evolution of
jaw-dropping stunt work in movies. From car chases, explosions and leaping off
bridges, to sword fights, motorboat jumps and hanging from helicopters, Hollywood stuntmen and women willingly risk their lives
daily to bring excitement to the silver screen. Starting with
seat-of-their-pants feats filmed in the early 1900s, the program follows a
timeline of movie stunts throughout the ages; presenting some of the most spectacular
acts ever put to celluloid while explaining the advancements in technology,
training and safety that made them possible.
Amazing stories and profiles reveal
how and why top stuntmen do what they do. Why is the divorce rate among them so
high? What feats are they most afraid of? How do they focus when they know
their next move could be their last? Illustrating the program are legendary
stunts from throughout film history; from the work of pioneers like Harold
Lloyd and the Keystone Kops, to clips from The French Connection, The Bourne
Identity, The Road Warrior, Smokey and the Bandit, Terminator II, the James
Bond series and more. Presented with plenty of “don’t try this at home”
reminders, Yikes is a fascinating, exciting program for all ages.
is an author/lecturer who covers the crossroads between high tech and popular
culture. While he has covered the music industry as the senior editor of Pro
Sound News for more than 15 years, he has also written for MTV, VH1, American
Songwriter, Music Business International, Wine Enthusiast and other
outlets. His latest book, Homemade Hollywood, covers the emerging ‘fan
film’ culture, and received rave reviews from Total Film, the Times Literary
Supplement and others. In addition to guest lecturing at dozens of
universities, libraries and conventions across the US, Young has appeared in numerous
documentaries as a fan culture expert and has been a guest on radio shows
around the world.
April 17 - Meet Me at
the Musee d’Orsay in Paris
Guest Speaker: Louise Cella
Caruso, Art Educator
Out of a grand ruin, a
great museum arose - a silenced train station was transformed into a bustling
museum. The Musee d’Orsay is a world-renowned museum - home to the most
beautiful and important art collection. You are standing in a spectacular
setting, the center of Paris, on the banks of
the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens and steps from the Louvre Museum.
Please join our group and begin your tour of Orsay’s collections, canvasses by
Monet and the Impressionists, works by Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin.
What more perfect place to contemplate beauty - to enjoy the art of the era in
all it’s profusion and diversity.
Louise Cella Caruso
earned a Certificate in Art and Antique Appraising from the Appraisal Institute
at LIU/C. W. Post; continued her studies at several renowned museums, both here
and in Europe; and graduated summa cum
laude from LIU/C. W. Post.
May 8 - The New Justice and the
What Can Happen to an Innocent
Guest Speaker: Barbara Kirwin, Ph.D.,
Author, Forensic Psychologist
What happens when the
police knock at your door and say “Something has happened. Can we come in and speak to you?” You are
innocent, law-abiding, have respect for police.
If you have nothing to hide, why not talk to them? You also sincerely want to help right a
wrong; clear up a misunderstanding or help apprehend a criminal. Suddenly,
terrifyingly, inexplicably, you find that you are under arrest and are
“guilty until proven innocent.” The more you stick to the truth, the more it
feels like you are sinking deeper in quicksand.
Even if you are not charged with the offense, you can be accused of
being an accessory or of withholding information if you do not “cooperate” and
confess. You are then faced with
spending all your savings to defend yourself and risking your sanity, your
family and your belief in America.
The police are trained to
use the Reid technique of psychological manipulation in obtaining false
confessions. It is a form of
brainwashing. Juries believe that confessions are the strongest form of
evidence but in reality, only the innocent confess.
Barbara R. Kirwin,
Ph.D., is a forensic psychologist who has worked on numerous cases
involving false confessions leading to the conviction of innocent people. In this talk, she will explore the dynamic
between detectives and the innocent person and offer a guide to understanding
your rights in the changing climate of law enforcement.
June 12* - “Aristotle’s Email:
Friendship in the Cyber Age”
Guest Speaker: Dr. Tim
Madigan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, St. John Fisher
York Council for the Humanities’
Speakers in the Humanities
In Book VIII of his
Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle categorizes three different types of friendship:
friendships of utility; friendships of pleasure; and friendships of the good.
The latter, Aristotle states, are the most important, and the rarest. Such
friendships of the good require time and intimacy - to truly know people’s
finest qualities you must have deep experiences with them, and close
connections. “Many a friendship doth want of intercourse destroy,” Aristotle
And yet, for those of us
living in the frenetic 21st Century, it can be difficult to maintain such
ties. E-mail, texting, Facebook and
other such technological realities have added a new wrinkle to Aristotle’s
threefold schemata. Thanks to them, and the wonders of the internet in general,
it is now easier than ever to stay in touch with people throughout one’s life.
Often discussions of
personal relationships in the Cyber Age dwell upon the negative: the
superficial connections, the dangers of identity theft, and the reality of
information overload. In this talk,
Dr. Madigan argues that technology has made it possible for friendships
of all three categories to thrive and prosper in ways Aristotle could never
have anticipated. Perhaps the very concept of “friendship” is in need of new
categories in light of such new possibilities for staying intimately connected.
J. Madigan, Ph.D. teaches philosophy at St. John
in Rochester, New York. He holds a doctorate degree in
philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as M.A. and B.A. degrees
from the same institution. He was the Editorial Director for the University of Rochester Press from 1999 to 2004.
Before assuming that position, he was for twelve years on the staff of the
publication Free Inquiry, and was its editor from 1996-98.
Dr. Madigan is the author
of W. K. Clifford and “The Ethics of Belief” and co-author (with Tim
Delaney) of The Sociology of Sports: An Introduction; and Sports: Why People Love Them! He
also edited Promethean Love, and edited and wrote the introduction to God
and the Philosophers by his friend, the late Paul Edwards. In addition, he
has written articles for several publications, including The Journal of
Popular Culture, Ethical Record, Academe, The Journal of Medicine and
Philosophy, The New York
Sociologist, and Philosophy Now magazine, for which he writes a
regular column entitled “Food for Thought.”
A frequent lecturer on
topics relating to applied ethics, philosophy and popular culture, and the
ethics of belief, Dr. Madigan has given presentations at several institutions
of learning throughout the United
States. He has also presented at many
international conferences and is a Speaker for the New York Council for the
* This program, which is free and
open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York
Council for the Humanities’ Speakers in the Humanities program.