Line-up available for UMW’s 2009 ‘Great Lives’ lectures
You read it here first.
James Monroe, Patrick Henry, Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain and Hugh Hefner are coming to Fredericksburg soon.
Not in the flesh, of course. Not even Hugh Hefner.
No, these visitors will be of the intellectual kind, brought alive by authors, academics and other experts who strive to make them fresh and relevant for the likes of you and me. They’ll come to us through the good graces of the University of Mary Washington. The list of subjects and speakers for its sixth annual Chappell Lecture Series, which starts next month, just landed in my lap.
The series is named for the late Carmen Chappell, a 1959 Mary Washington graduate, and endowed by the Chappell family. The family also donated funds to build the university’s beautiful Centennial Campanile near George Washington Hall, where the lectures are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings each spring semester.
The series’ biographical approach to history has proven immensely popular over the years, so much so that UMW quickly had to move them from classrooms to the Fredericksburg campus’ Great Hall and then to Dodd Auditorium. The talks are a highlight of many area residents’ lives each winter and early spring.
Covering diverse time periods and disciplines, the lectures’ subjects have run the gamut from Genghis Khan to Princess Diana and from Pocahontas to Charles DeGaulle. Next year’s figures look as eclectic as always, starting with the Greek philosopher Socrates and ending with Ronald Reagan, the Republican icon known as the “Great Communicator.”
The university’s "Great Lives" website hasn’t posted the 2009 speakers yet, but it archives prior years’ lectures and provides audio and video versions of many of them to enjoy. The link is http://www.umw.edu/greatlives. For further information, contact special-events coordinator Abbie McGhee at 540/654-1276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the 2009 schedule:
– Jan. 22: Socrates
Christopher Nelson, president, St. John’s College
– Jan. 27: Leonardo da Vinci
Bulent Atalay, UMW Department of Physics, author of Leonardo’s Universe
– Jan. 29: Patrick Henry
Richard Schumann, historical interpreter, Colonial Williamsburg
– Feb. 3: James Monroe
Dan Preston, editor, Papers of James Monroe, and author of James Monroe: An Illustrated History
– Feb. 5: John Marshall
Jean Edward Smith, Marshall University, author of John Marshall: Definer of a Nation
– Feb. 12: Frederick Douglass
Jeffrey McClurken, UMW Department of History and American Studies
– Feb. 17: Daniel Boone
Robert Morgan, Cornell University, author of Boone: A Biography
– Feb. 24: John Brown
Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School, author of Slavery and the Founders
– Feb. 26: U.S. Grant and Mark Twain
Mark Perry, author of Grant and Twain: The Story of an American Friendship
– March 10: Mary Magdalene
James Goehring, UMW Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion
– March 17: Clara Barton
Elizabeth Brown Pryor, author of Clara Barton: Professional Angel and last year’s well-received Lee: Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
– March 19: Catherine the Great
Sean Pollack, Wright State University
March 26: John James Audubon
Andrew Dolby, UMW Department of Biological Sciences
– March 31: Mary Todd Lincoln
Jason Emerson, author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln
– April 2: James Farmer
Raymond Arsenault, University of South Florida, author of Freedom Riders
– April 7: Frankenstein
Susan Tyler Hitchcock, author of Frankenstein: A Cultural History
– April 14 Harry Potter
Philip Nel, Kansas State University
– April 21: Hugh Hefner
Steven Watts, University of Missouri, author of Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream
– April 23: Ronald Reagan
Stephen Farnsworth, George Mason University, author of Spinner-in-Chief