Jefferson Educational Society's 2014 Spring Term

- Brock Institute for Mega Issues Education Programs
“The East Meets West” Lecture Series

Poverty in Asia: The Enigma of Bangladesh — This presentation will discuss the enigmatic nature of Bangladesh, focusing on the worldview of the nation and its capacity to overcome present challenges. Although seen as an impoverished nation, Bangladesh has much to offer. It is quite an enigma due to its burgeoning growth sector and various opportunities despite the challenges of governance, poor infrastructure and low human capital. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D.

The Rise of India — Most discussions about the rise of India focus on an important perspective - economic. But studying the economic perspective is not only limiting but at best incomplete. Studying the history of India through an interdisciplinary perspective will offer us insights that can help us better understand the rise at the intersection of important cultural, spiritual, economic and social events in the long history of the country/region. Much of the time will be spent in discussing how the interdisciplinary lens offers unique insights and why we should encourage the next generation to embrace such a perspective to study issues, challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. Balaji Rajagopalan, Ph.D.

China’s Road to Hegemony — China’s rise is one of the most important world developments today. This presentation will focus on the recent economic development of China, and will also examine the culture differences between the United States and China. Jessica Zhao, Ph.D.

Restoring Narrative to Medicine — The biophysical paradigm of medicine prevalent in Western industrialized culture has had the unintended consequence of deconstructing illness and in so doing abolishing the personal narrative. Based on personal experiences in their practices, Dr. Shakoor and Dr. Dunn will discuss the reasons for this, the implications for health care, and discuss alternative traditions and practices. Asif Shakoor, M.D. and Geoff Dunn, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Jefferson Educational Society 2014 Spring Lectures

First 100 Days as Erie County Executive — Having taken office as Erie County Executive on January 7, 2014, County Executive Dahlkemper will outline the positive changes that she has made in her first 100 days, and will discuss her vision and strategy for taking Erie County forward. Kathy Dahlkemper, B.S., Erie County Executive
Thomas Jefferson and the Ambivalence of Executive Power —Was Thomas Jefferson truly a great president? Why was he so reluctant to claim credit for his eight momentous years as chief executive, which included, among other important accomplishments, the purchase of the Louisiana Territory that doubled the size of the country? These questions will fuel a lecture on Jefferson’s presidency that explores how his very ambivalence about the executive office might have contributed to his far- reaching legacy: he made the executive office safe for democracy, amid popular fears that that his political opponents – the Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams – were transforming the presidency into a British-style monarchy that would deprive Americans of their political birth right. — Sidney Milkis, Ph.D.
Cyberwar: What It Is and Why It’s Going to Happen —Recent events have brought the issue of Cyberspace and National Security to the forefront of our daily news, with breathless announcements that a cyberwar was underway…but what do we mean by “cyberwar?” This session will explore what a cyberwar might be, and perhaps more importantly, what it is not. We will examine what might constitute a cyberwar, how it might impact us, and what elements of our economy, society, and national security might be vulnerable and at risk. Daniel Kuehl, Ph.D.
Effective Political Leadership vs. Morality : Machiavelli’s 500 Year-Old Advice — Niccolò Machiavelli’s short book, The Prince, published five centuries ago, which offered advice for success to new political leadership, continues to be controversial as he considers the question, “should rulers deal with human nature as it is or as it should be!” The lecture will offer information on Machiavelli’s background, his reasons for writing the book, the nuances in his more controversial recommendations for political success, whether he deserves his reputation as a “tutor for dictators,” and finally the appropriateness of his “lessons” for a modern democracy. William Garvey, Ph.D.
Middle East Update: Recent Developments in Egypt, Syria, and Palestinian-Israeli Peace Efforts – This program will discuss the recent developments in Egypt following the overthrow of the democratically elected president and the military takeover of government; the evolving situation in Syria as the Geneva Peace talks aim to transition the country into a representative democratic regime and bring peace to Syria; and the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and Secretary Kerry's efforts to finalize a framework for peace agreement between the two sides. Baher Ghosheh, Ph.D.

Strong Vincent: A Remarkable Life—Strong Vincent is the most accomplished military hero born in Erie County. As a military leader, he was well recognized by his commanders and peers, and was even promoted to Brigadier General on his death bed by President Lincoln. However, because his personal correspondence did not survive his wife’s death, our knowledge of the man is somewhat limited. George Deutsch, B.A.

Franklin, Eleanor and The World of Tomorrow—As the storm clouds of another world war threatened, New York hosted "The World of Tomorrow" exposition in 1939. Celebrate the 75th anniversary of its opening day with a power point tour through "The World of Tomorrow" and share its vision of the future seen through the eyes of the President and First Lady. Visit the iconic Trylon and Perisphere, ride General Motors' "Futurama" and marvel at the homes, gardens, and consumer items envisioned for 1960. David Cope, M.Ed.

Jefferson in Paris: The Women - During the five years that Thomas Jefferson spent as our ambassador to France from 1784-1789, he interacted with two women that changed his life forever. Historians, for years, generally believed that he did have an affair with Maria Cosway, wife of a celebrated English miniaturist, but they also argued that no such relationship arose between Jefferson and Sally Hemings, his fourteen year-old slave who accompanied his youngest daughter to Paris in 1787. This lecture, however, will demonstrate that both assumptions were wrong. Barry Grossman, J.D.

Building Better Communities by Bike —The current and future success and vitality of neighborhoods, communities and cities is being built on safe and accessible active transportation options that connect people to professional, commercial, recreational, and cultural destinations. For more than a decade, Bike Pittsburgh has helped build a better Pittsburgh through active transportation with a strong focus on biking. Their successful efforts provide a national example for cities and towns to learn from. Join Bike Pittsburgh, the Jefferson Educational Society, Bike Erie and others as we explore how our neighbors to the south joyfully experience their unique topography and neighborhoods while embracing an active and healthy lifestyle that is critical to creating a vibrant, sustainable place to live. Scott Bricker, B.S.

Why Germany Invaded Russia in 1941 — On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler invaded the Soviet Union - contrary to conventional wisdom and German desire to avoid a second front. Why did Hitler attack Russia? This will presentation will feature an in-depth discussion, analysis, and review of the events and reasons leading to the attack and the ultimate disastrous results for Germany. Mark Squeglia, B.A.

My View: The Rise and Decline of Erie City Council – This presentation will give the perspective of a former Erie City Councilman as he analyzes the role of Erie City Council throughout the years under the Mayor-Council (Strong Mayor) form of government. Patrick Cappabianca, M.A.

On Track for Growth and Jobs: Why an Erie Intermodal Rail Terminal? – This presentation will be a step-by-step primer on the Erie Intermodal Rail Terminal. Mr. Elliott will answer important questions such as “How did we get to this point?” and “What does the opportunity mean to our community?” He will explain the public-private partnership that has attracted major investment and the attention of CSX Intermodal. Mr. Elliott will walk through the site selection process and criteria and will describe how the project benefits taxpayers, business and the environment. John Elliot, P.E.

Living History Week (American Historical Theatre) – Sponsored by Little Caesars

Living History Week – Sponsored by Little Caesars—Four re- enactors from the American Historical Theatre will visit the Jefferson Educational Society for programs that will literally bring history to life. Sixteenth President of the United States Abraham Lincoln will speak first at a luncheon on Thursday, May 22, and will be followed by activist and humanitarian Martin Luther King, Jr. in the evening. The next day – Friday, May 23 – will feature African- American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth at lunch, and first President of the United States George Washington in the evening. These aforementioned re-enactors, plus others, will also give 26 presentations in the School Districts, so the youths of our community can get a taste of living history as well!

Special Programs: Limited Registration

Great Books Discussion Group: Vital Issues - Work— “Work” is sometimes almost a religious calling, while others name it a necessary evil that saps our energy and drains our soul. Through fiction, poetry and essays, this discussion will explore the meaning of an activity that dominates most of our waking lives. Material cost: $17 dollars. Corrine Egan, B.A.
The Art of the Tale: An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories — An exploration of stories by twentieth century writers from different cultures, including Israel, South America, Ireland, Russia, and the United States, among others. Active reading and open discussion are strongly encouraged. Marjorie Podolsky, M.Ed.

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