Chautauqua schedule for 2013-14

The 2013-14 Cornell College Chautauqua Program is now open for registration. The program is open to anyone seeking enrichment through lectures, films, music, and other means of enlightenment.

A new subject is introduced every term with the sessions meeting on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon. The first Chautauqua will be held in Cole Library room 108, and the rest will be held in Hedges Conference Room in The Commons. The cost for each four-week program is $36 with a request for pre-registration on the Wednesday prior to the beginning of each course. Lunch is available in Student Dining for $7 per person.

To register, contact Alice Povey at (319) 895-4119 or

The planned schedule is:

Block 2, Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21: From Reader’s Guide to JSTOR,  Ebsco, and Beyond: Accessing Scholarly and Popular Information in the 21st Century

Gregory Cotton, M.L.S., Technical Services Librarian

Once upon a time, books were chained to the  shelves in monastic libraries. Until the mid- 1960s, The University of Iowa had only closed stacks. In 1992 the major research tools at Cornell College were the card catalog and the paper volumes of “Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature.” Access to information has undergone a phenomenal change in the recent past and is continuing to do so at a very rapid pace.

This class will consider where information access has been, where it is in 2013, and where it might be going in the future. We’ll take a look at who can access what online resources, the difference between free and fee-based information, and discuss how information access is affected by the tools at hand. If you’re a scholar, we’ll look at some of the new academic sources of information; if you’re more interested in day to day information, we’ll look at sources for news and entertainment. If you’re accessing information made available by public funds, we’ll discuss how you can affect the public debate. And yes…we’ll definitely discuss and use Google and Wikipedia! We’ll spend at least part of our time in a lab experiencing new avenues for information access via desktop computers; personal mobile devices are also welcome.

Please register by Sept. 25

Block 3, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18: Looking at Photographs and John Szarkowski

Sandra Dyas, M.F.A., Visiting Faculty, Art

John Szarkowski, curator and Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art from 1962 to 1991 once stated, “It isn’t what a picture is of, it is what it is about.” This revealing quote by Szarkowski has been credited with elevating photography’s status to that of fine art over the course of the second half of the 20th century. He believed photography was best when it was unpretentious and open minded. Szarkowski changed how we look at photographs.

In this Chautauqua class, we will discuss why Szarkowski viewed photography as fundamentally different from painting and how he played a vital role in establishing a modernist canon for the medium of photography. If you enjoy looking at fine art photography and examining its meaning, this class is for you. Key writings from books by Szarkowski such as “The Photographer’s Eye” will be discussed. We will look at the work of several artists Szarkowski championed during his reign, including Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and William Eggleston.

Please register by Oct. 23

Block 6, Feb. 10, 17, 24, March 3: The Civil War: The Bloodiest Years, 1863 – 1865

M. Philip Lucas, Ph.D., Professor of History

The United States was engulfed in a civil war that seemed to have no end 150 years ago. The optimism of the North and South of 1861 had long vanished. Slavery in the Confederate states was also gone according to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. This Chautauqua will start with the gloomy war news from Fredericksburg in December 1862 and the fragmenting political situation in the North. Military events will naturally compose a significant portion of the course (we’ll keep a close eye on what the Iowa troops were doing), but politics and the war’s effect on society, North and South, will also receive attention.

By the spring of 1865 the United States was a sadder, perhaps wiser, but definitely different nation. More than 600,000 were dead, a president was murdered, the South was in ruins, and four million slaves were free. Time permitting, we’ll look at the initial steps of reconstruction and their significance.

Please register by Feb. 5

Block 7, March 17, 24, 31, April 7: Corporations Are People Too: The Changing World of Ethics and Business

Thomas Javoroski, Ph.D., Visiting Faculty, Philosophy

Many of the ethical issues of the modern world have remained unchanged for centuries—wages, unemployment, workers’ rights, insider trading. But the face of the business world has changed rapidly in the last few decades, and many of our concepts of right and wrong action have failed to keep pace.

Ever-accelerating advances in technology and globalization require a reevaluation of what we believe is acceptable, both in business and the now intimately-connected world of politics. We’ll take a closer look at some of these issues, the assumptions we’ve been making for years, and why they might need to change.

Please register by March 12