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This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
One of my first activities with EUEC last year was the trip to the Shakespeare Tavern to see a production of Antony and Cleopatra. I really loved the play and getting to meet the more than 40 members who attended that night. My only regret was that there wasn't a chance to discuss the play afterwards. This year we get to go see The Merchant of Venice. The next day, for our Monday Lunch Colloquium, not only do we get to discuss the play, but the actor playing Shylock will be there to discuss it with us. It just doesn't get much better than that. As an added bonus, Gretchen Schulz has prepared a number of study guides to enhance our experience of the play. All of those are available through the links in the article below about the excursion. Also note that if you are not able to attend the play, you are still welcome to come to the Lunch Colloquium! Also please note that you need to reserve your tickets for the play no later than Wednesday morning--a registration link is available in the article and on the panel to the left of this message.
Also in this issue is a report on the fantastic Sheth Lecture by Brenda Bynum. As you might imagine, in our office we had been planning this event for months to make sure that everything went just perfectly. It did, except for the fact that we found out 30 minutes before lunch that the caterer wasn't coming! Although EUEC made all the arrangements with the caterer and the mistake was the caterer's, the staff at the Miller-Ward House were absolutely fantastic! Monique Bosier, the Events Program Coordinator for Miller-Ward, went out on her own and got food and drinks to bring back for everyone. (As you might imagine, getting food for over 80 people with no notice is not easy to do!) Those who attended were exceedingly gracious and understanding. You are a great group!
In this issue are also a report on last Monday's journey to Central America with Fred Menger, a reminder of the Bianchi Award applications, and an update on faculty activities, including EUEC Member David Eltis being named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
I am very grateful to Herb Benario, Gretchen Schulz, and John Bugge for help with proofing and editing.
Shakespeare! May 3 and 4
In yet another celebration of the arts this semester, on May 3 and 4, we will have two opportunities to enjoy Shakespeare. Please note the early deadline to sign up for the Shakespeare Tavern. Also note below links to various study materials if you would like to be prepared for the play or Lunch Colloquium.
April 8 2015 Sheth Distinguished Lecture on Creativity in Later Life
Brenda Bynum gave this year's Sheth Lecture and to no one's surprise it was terrific. Read all about it below.
April 20 Lunch Colloquium
Faces of Central America
Chemistry professor Fred Menger gave a fascinating talk about his experiences in Central America.
Bianchi Excellence Awards
The Bianchi Excellence Awards represent a wonderful opportunity to receive financial support for ongoing intellectual activities.
EUEC Theater Excursion
Sunday, May 3, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Lunch Colloquium, Monday May 4, 11:30-1:00
Gretchen Schulz, Emeritus College member and Resident Scholar of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC), invites Emeritus College members, along with their family and friends, to join her for a production of The Merchant of Venice at the New American Shakespeare Tavern, 499 Peachtree Street, Atlanta. The ASC has reserved seating on the main floor for Emeritus College guests. Show time is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Arriving no later than 6:00 is recommended-or earlier if you plan to have dinner. Food and drink are available and may be enjoyed during the play. The menu is posted online: Click here for menu.
Gretchen has secured discounts that will keep the cost at $30 per person. Gretchen will pay for tickets in advance, with reimbursement due by cash or check at the event. If you would like one or more tickets, you can register below. Registration is requested no later than Wednesday, April 29, at noon. On the evening of the play, you may pick up your ticket (s) at the ticket desk. Mention that you are with the Emory group when you pick up your ticket (s) as well as prior to being seated. And look for familiar EUEC figures waving you towards the tables we have reserved.
The Tavern is located across from Emory Midtown Hospital. Parking is readily available in the Hospital parking deck and in an open lot, also belonging to the Hospital, at the corner of Renaissance and Peachtree, half a block north of the Tavern. Maps and directions can be found on the Shakespeare Tavern website. Parking in the deck is payable upon exit. Parking in the open lot is payable upon arrival.
The front entrance to the Tavern involves one flight of stairs, down to the main level. There is a good chair lift attached to the stair railing. Handicapped parking and an entrance without stairs are available at the rear of the Tavern (see details online).
In response to numerous requests from last year, the Lunch Colloquium on Monday will be a follow-up discussion of the play. We will be really fortunate to have with us Doug Kaye, the actor playing Shylock! Those who haven't see the play with our group will be welcome to join us as well.
Gretchen has prepared a number of guides to Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice to help prepare those who would like to come to the play or discussion armed with some fresh knowledge. All of the documents are available by clicking on the desired link:
Study Guide Synopsis and Commentary
Discussion Topics--read this for the Lunch Colloquium
Suggestions for Viewing Play in Advance
Suggestions for Background Reading
Topics for Research on The Merchant of Venice
"Playing with the Play"
Mary Cregan's Teacher's Guide on the Sony Film
Click here to register for the Lunch Colloquium
Sheth Lecture on Creativity in Later Life
Actor, director, playwright, teacher, and scholar Brenda Bynum treated the members of the Emeritus College and their guests to a unique approach to the annual 2015 Sheth Distinguished Lecture on Creativity in Later Life. Throughout her career Brenda has been interested in the performance of oral history, and in her talk she drew not only on her own experiences, but also on that of others she has performed.
|Brenda Bynum with Madhu and Jagdish Sheth|
In the late 1970s, she and her husband created a play based on interviews with three women who moved from the Appalachian Mountains to work in the cotton mill in the Cabbagetown section of Atlanta. While performing one of these roles--that of Effie Dodd Gray--Brenda saw the power of creating theater from actual experience. "Audiences were profoundly moved by the honesty and power of what they heard," Brenda said.
Photo by Stewart Roberts
Since then Brenda has developed over a dozen original pieces based on the words of real women. Brenda introduced us to a number of the fascinating women she has come to know and portray, enacting them so we could hear their thoughts in their own voices. In addition to Effie Gray Dodd, she performed Helen Lewis, Carrie Goodwin, Frances Pauley, and Lillian Smith.
Helen Lewis was born in North Georgia 91 years ago. She has devoted her life to education, social justice, and the environment. "She is still rabble-rousing, writing poetry, and relishing every new day," said Brenda. Ms. Lewis said, when asked her view about advice for young people today, "I want to tell young people to be creative and take risks. Don't get settled into a secure job. Create changes, take chances, follow your passion!"
Mrs. Carrie Goodwin, who for 70 years managed the Ponce de Leon Apartments in the building catty-corner across the street from the Fox Theatre, spoke of her adventures there: "Oh, good heavens, yes, I was here during the premiere of Gone with the Wind. Lord have mercy, we had to get a policeman at the front door, and had it locked, and one at the back door and had it locked. That was real excitement. Three people fainted in the street and they brought them inside for us to take care of."
Photo by Stewart Roberts
Frances Pauley, an indomitable activist Julian Bond once called, "everybody's grandmother and nobody's fool," shared her thoughts with Brenda from Wesley Woods near the end of her life, "The only way to conquer fear and hatred is to keep your mind on the goal. You can't possibly love and hate at the same time. I do have a lot of trouble with that 'love your enemies' commandment, but I keep working on it.... It doesn't look like God's going to let me die any time soon, so maybe I will live just long enough to learn to love my enemies!"
Brenda describes Lillian Smith, author of the groundbreaking novel Strange Fruit, as "One of the bravest and most powerful public voices for human and civil rights in the nation, in a time when most everyone around her remained silent." Lillian Smith reflected on her life, "I have often had my life threatened. I have lost numerous old friends. I have lost irreplaceable manuscripts in suspicious fires and have been blacklisted by quite a few publications. .... It does hurt, but, you know, I want it to hurt because I think a writer stops writing when the wound heals and I think we must keep the wound open.... I believe that every creative act, every poem, every painting, every honest question or honest dissent, every gesture of courage and faith and mercy...will count. Every new awareness will count, and every time we defend the human spirit, it will count." For the past two years Brenda has toured all over Georgia performing Jordan Is So Chilly: An Encounter with Lillian Smith under the auspices of the Georgia Humanities Council.
The lecture and lunch following it were held on April 8, 2015in the Hall of Governors at the Miller-Ward House. The annual event was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Jagdish and Mrs. Madhu Sheth and is also sponsored by the Emory Alumni Association.
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April 20 Lunch Colloquium FRED MENGER,
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Chemistry
On Monday, April 20, Emeritus College members (and friends and family) enjoyed a Lunch Colloquium in which Fred Menger presented photographs from Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala obtained when he traveled throughout these countries. Fred began with a description of the origins of Central America, volcanic activity claimed to be one of the most significant geological events of the past 60 million years as it created the Gulf Stream. This was followed by a brief history of the proposed Chinese-built canal across Nicaragua that will eventually carry twice the tonnage of the Panama Canal. Next, a brief history of Nicaragua was presented, starting with William Walker declaring himself emperor of Nicaragua in the mid-1800s, and continuing to the occupation of American troops for 30 years, to the Sandino rebellion and installation of the Somoza dictatorship, to his removal by the Sandinistas and subsequent war with the Contras.
A number of slides were then shown of (among others): three female Sandinista soldiers; a mural of Christ's birth with Sandino and Che Guevara attending; an NGO water project on land designated by the government for Sandanista and Contra veterans; a note given to Fred by Nicaraguan children saying "Gud Ticher"; a photo of Ben Linder killed by the Contras; a photo of peace advocate Nadia Diaz who was imprisoned and tortured in El Salvador; a medicine-man ceremony, complete with a chicken sacrifice, given for the benefit of a woman unhappy with her brother's infidelity; and an orphanage soup-kitchen. Various stories from Fred's multiple trips to Central America were presented. These included a visit to a sterilization clinic where the speaker was offered a free vasectomy; a visit to a literacy museum in Managua where volunteer students (often at great peril from the Contras) brought Nicaragua's literacy to the highest level in Latin America; trouble with feral dogs that lacked the red neck strings indicative that they had been vaccinated; buying fruit for a children's hospital; the U.S. mining of the Bluefields harbor and his staying over in the Bulgarian barracks; getting robbed in Managua; a cab driver who had a leg that had been amputated and replaced in Cuba where he met Castro, a regular visitor to his hospital. Above all, the luncheon presentation was intended to show pictures of the beautiful people of Central America and it certainly fulfilled that intent.
Faculty Activities Click here to return to top
David Eltis named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
From the Emory Report
EUEC Member David Eltis, professor of history emeritus, joined the Emory faculty in 2002 and served as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History for the next decade. His research focuses on the early modern Atlantic world, slavery and migration, and he is considered one of the foremost authorities on these issues. Eltis is co-editor of the Transatlantic Slave Trade database (www.slavevoyages.org), a groundbreaking free and interactive Web-based resource that documents the slave trade from Africa between the 16th and 19th centuries.
In line with the Voyages database research, Eltis served as principal investigator of a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities collaborative project on the origins of Africans pulled into the transatlantic slave trade. TheAfrican Origins Project draws on the records of 92,000 names (taken down pre-orthographically) and descriptions of Africans liberated from slave vessels in the first half of the 19th century. The information was extracted from the registers of international courts created to adjudicate vessels detained as they engaged in the transatlantic slave trade.
Eltis is the author of Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (1987), which won the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize, and The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas (2000), awarded the Frederick Douglass Prize, the John Ben Snow Prize and the Wesley-Logan Prize. His Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (2010), co-authored with David Richardson, won four prizes including the American Publishers Award for the most outstanding scholarly work in all disciplines of the arts and sciences. He has edited and co-edited numerous scholarly collections and published over 80 research essays, including five in the American Historical Review.
A research associate since 1993 at Harvard University's W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, Eltis is completing work on creating sustainability for the Voyages website.
EUEC Member Helen O'Shea and her husband, Don, invited those of us in the Atlanta area to tour their garden two weeks ago. In case you missed their garden, you can see pictures here: http://www.opticsislightwork.com/Our_Garden/Spring_2015.html
Bianchi Excellence Award
It is time for applications for the third annual Bianchi Excellence Award. The award, named in honor of the founder of the Emeritus College, Eugene Bianchi, Professor Emeritus of Religion, is funded largely by his own very generous bequest to Emory, as well as by contributions from many of his retired colleagues.
The Award is meant to advance the interests of the Emeritus College by providing its membership with financial support for ongoing intellectual activities by means of small, strategic grants to cover expenses incurred in pursuit of a broad range of activities, including, among others, research and writing, lecturing, training, development of teaching materials, and presentations at academic conferences. The Award will foster continuing professional development and thus play a significant role in building a vibrant emeritus community at Emory.
In the past two years the Bianchi Excellence Fund was able to support at least two Awards each year in amounts ranging up to a maximum of $2000 for a twelve-month term starting September 1st - the start of the normal academic and fiscal year.
The application process is open to all retired members of the EUEC and applications must be received by May 15, 2015.
Click here to read about how to apply.
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Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329