Single Classes

These classes are open to all CLIR members. Curious others considering joining are invited to sample a class or two free of charge. Please contact to sign in.


Winter Semester 2017-18

(Schedule subject to change)

Black Bears in Connecticut: When, Where, and How Many

Wednesday, Jan 3

1:15 – 2:45PM

Tracy Rittenhouse, Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, UConn
Dr. Rittenhouse studies where wild animals live and how they travel through habitats. She will tell us about a 4-year research project on the state’s black bear population.

Social Services in the Windham Area: Past, Present and Future

Tuesday, Jan 9

1:15 – 2:45PM

Jeffrey Beadle, Executive Director, Windham Regional Community Council

Issues and the programs that address them discussed by a social activist who has had a long career in community service.


Poems from the Inner City

Wednesday, Jan 10

1:15 – 2:45PM

Daniel Donaghy, Professor of English, ECSU, and Windham’s Poet Laureate

Dr. Donaghy will read and discuss poems, his own as well as the work of others, that examine the vicissitudes of urban life.


Women in Engineering Across Countries

Thursday, Jan 11

1:15 – 2:45PM

Marisa Chrysochoou, Professor of Civil Engineering, UConn

The talk provides perspective on the educational system, culture and work environment in Greece, Germany and the U.S.  Also included will be interaction with young girls and women at UConn who pursue a STEM career.  


The Complete Hemingway: Medical, Psychiatric, Pharmacologic

Tuesday, Jan 16

1:15 – 2:45PM

Alex Cardoni, MS Pharm, BCPP, Associate Professor Emeritus, UConn, Senior Scientist at the Institute of Living.

A look at the author, his medical and psychiatric issues and his relationship with drugs.


Mind Over Matter: Male/Female Brains and Quieting Your Mind in a Noisy World

Wednesday, Jan 17

1:15 – 2:45PM

Aline Hoffman, Artist/Pyrographer

This three-part experiential class begins by investigating the power of the imagination, and then explores basic differences between female/male and left/right brains and how to move beyond those differences to create clear and positive communication. And finally, we will create a calming experience that you can recreate on your own when your want to quiet your mind.


Woody Allen: Magician, Musician, Stand-Up Comic, Writer, Producer and Filmmaking Genius

Thursday, Jan 18

1:15 – 2:45PM

Vin Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Education, UConn, Jazz Trumpeter, horse lover and many other things

The man and his work.


The Creative Class: How Hip-Hop Transformed the Cultural Landscape in the U.S. and Abroad

Tuesday, Jan 23

1:15 – 2:45PM

Jeffrey Ogbar, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music and Professor of History, UConn

This talk explores the influence of hip-hop over the last thirty years on everything form fashion to politics and how we communicate.


Books as Medicine: The Library War Service and Bibliotherapy

Wednesday, Jan 24

1:15 – 2:45PM

Mary-Margaret Mahoney, Graduate Student in History, UConn

This talk examines the history of an idea familiar to every reader: that books can serve as medicine. Beginning in the first world war, librarians and physicians believed they could make it a science, eventually calling their work bibliotherapy.

Words and Music

Thursday, Feb 1

1:15 – 2:45PM

Vin Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Education, UConn, Trumpeter, horse lover and many other things.

Internationally known singer June Bisantz and pianist Alex Nakhimovsky of the Hartt School of Music join Vin Rogers in an exploration of the familiar, unfamiliar, and often misunderstood highlights of America’s Musical Theatre.


Tuesday, Feb 6

1:15 – 2:45PM

Lynn Mardon, Philosophy Instructor, CT Community College System, Post University

Democracy runs on an informed citizenry, so journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. But in this age of alternative facts, biased news reporting, and increasing disregard for evidence-based knowledge, lying is commonplace and stigma-free, and we are finding ourselves without a reliable map to navigate society.


Before the War: The Mulitcultural Empire of Vietnam (1428-1945)

Tuesday, Feb 13

1:15 – 2:45PM

Bradley Davis, Assistant Professor of History, Coordinator of Asian Studies Minor, ECSU

Prior to the military conflicts that engulfed Southeast Asia after WWII, Vietnam was a vibrant empire with connections to China and Europe. This presentation sketches its history with a view toward its role in the early modern world.


The Politics of Protection: The Endangered Species Act Past, Present and Future

Wednesday, Feb 14

1:15 – 2:45PM

Kristen L. Epp, Assistant Professor Department of Biology, ECSU

The 1973 law that protects imperiled species and their habitats is among the most politically controversial laws of our time. We will explore the social and political forces that affect it an its effectiveness, and whether the act itself is currently endangered.


Devising Thread City: Performance as Public Dialogue

Thursday, Feb 15

1:15 – 2:45PM

Kristen Morgan, Associate Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of the New Media Studies Major, ECSU, and Alycia Bright Holland, Assistant Professor of Theatre

The talk covers the process of devising the theatrical production “Threat City” at Eastern. The play in an original multimedia about the immigrants who built the Town of Willimantic.


How Big is Your Water Footprint?

Wednesday, Feb 21

1:15 – 2:45PM

Michael O’Neill, Associate Dean, UConn Extension

Over the past four years Connecticut has experienced varying degrees of drought. Learn how small changes in your lifestyle can make a substantial difference in protecting our state’s water resources.


Tastemaker Turks and Modish Mongols: How “Barbarians” Became the Arbiters of High Society in Medieval Asia

Wednesday, Feb 28

1:15 – 2:45PM

Stefan Kamola, History Department, ECSU

The Turks and Mongols who conquered the Middle East beginning in the tenth century had been (and still often are) considered uncultured, yet the y reshaped the tastes of high society in the Islamic world and in China.


UConn’s Osiris Quartet

Thursday, March 1

1:15 – 2:45PM

Mai Vestergaard, Violin; Brian Roach, Violin; Brandon Kaplan, Viola; Bronwyn Reeve, Cello; guest clarinetist Noa Michaud

The quartet will perform selections from Debussy and Brahms, and also discuss their experience in working as a group and making music, discovering what collaboration in a quartet is about.


What are Stem Cells and Why Should We Care?

Wednesday, March 7

1:15 – 2:45PM

Barbara Murdoch, Associate Professor of Biology, ECSU

This interactive class initiates an open dialogue about stem cells, bringing the presenter’s unique perspectives from more than 30 years in stem cell research. It will cover the different types of stem cells, their ethics and applications. Time will be allowed  for attendees to discuss their views.

Slavery in America and the Underground Railroad

Wednesday, March 14

1:15 – 2:45PM

Donald Rankin, Retired Yale-trained Physician and Surgeon and member of the Madison Historical Society, the Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, Friends of Hammonasset, and the National Abolition Hall of Fame

From the perspective of someone with biracial family ties, Dr. Rankin discusses the history of slavery in America, underground railroad, and racism today.

Have the Irish Lost Their Sense of Humor?

Thursday, March 15

1:15 – 2:45PM

Sean Kennelly, Irishman and Licized Priest

If so, why, and if not, why not? Listen to our in-house Irishman throw light on the subject and judge for yourself.

Why Europe Went to War in 1914?

Tuesday, March 20

1:15 – 2:45PM

Scott Moore, Assistant Professor of History, ECSU

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated, precipitating a crisis that would become the First World War. This session examines not only the circumstances surrounding the assassination, but also how this event went from a regional crisis to a global conflict.


A Poetry Discussion

Tuesday, March 27

1:15 – 2:45PM

Itinerant Bob Stiepock, he has taught literature at various institutions throughout the Northeast

In the title of one of his books, poet John Ciardi asked, “How Does a Poem Mean?”. Examining various poems will help us answer that question. We’ll try to draw out and clarify the meaning of a poem by reducing it to its component parts.