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The Center for cultural engagement

Center for Cultural Engagement
Course Descriptions

Minicourses – Spring 2023

Session 1: 2/06/23 – 03/10/23

An Introduction to the World of the Late Bronze Age

Day/Time: Tuesdays 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Blackwood
Instructor: David Cesarano
A brief survey of the complex political, social, economic, religious, and military developments of the many disparate states that emerged in the vibrant Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions between 1600 and 1150 BC.

Popular Sub-Genres of Horror Literature

Day/Time: Wednesdays 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill
Instructor: Brian DuBois
A course that looks at the definitions, backgrounds, and characteristics of horror literature from its inception into modern time. It will focus on specific horror sub-genres like Gothic, Supernatural, Psychological, Survival, and Cyber-horror. It will offer examples of each from a multitude of popular and literary authors throughout the five sessions to generate discussion and debate.

Women From Prominent Families in the United States During the Progressive Age Part 2

Day/Time: Wednesdays from 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Location: Blackwood
Instructor: Katy Hoh
Women from prominent families were often overlooked or took second seat to their husbands, fathers, and brothers. Many of them accomplished great things that do not receive the attention they deserved. Families included are Rockefeller, Roosevelt, and Vanderbilt.

Music During the Period of Common Practice

Day/Time: Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill
Instructor: Ira Miller
Encompassing the time period of roughly the mid 1600s to the end of the 1800s, the Period of Common Practice corresponds the era of tonal music – the music we call classical music. This mini-course will examine how tonal music came into being, its characteristics, and the composers who created what is considered as Western European music’s greatest achievements.

Woodstock: A Closer Look at the Music

Day/Time: [CLOSED]
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill
Instructor: Ben Vinci
An in-depth look at all of the musicians and groups that performed in the legendary event in 1969. The information from this class will be presented and discussed using audio, video, and handouts.

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Session 2 – April 3, 2023 to May 5, 2023

Sustainability and The Fashion Industry

Location: Online (Asynchronous)
Instructor: Ifrah Akhtar
This course will be a basic examination of the sustainability movement in the fashion industry. It will cover the origins of this movement, define key terms, explore the rise of the fast fashion model, and present some solutions to the negative effects of the fashion industry.

Our Myths and Heroes

Day/Time: Thursdays from 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Blackwood
Instructor: David Cesarano
Myths and heroic tales are a vitally important part of any culture. They transmit and reinforce a culture’s values, beliefs, mores and taboos. This course explores the various heroic myths and legends across time and cultures and examines how those myths influenced their societies and reinforced and cemented cultural values.

Germantown, Quakerism in Philadelphia, and the Wyck House

Day/Time: [CLOSED]
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill
Instructor: William Ebert
Dating to 1690, Wyck House is one of Philadelphia’s oldest houses. Wyck served as the ancestral home of one Quaker family from 1690 to 1973 and provides a unique lens by which we can examine an historic neighborhood.

Civil War Wives of the Northern and Southern Presidents and Commanding Generals

Day/Time: Wednesdays from 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Location: Blackwood
Instructor: Katy Hoh
Explore the lives of The First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her counterpart Varina Lee, and Julia Dent Grant and Mary Custis Lee, wives of Generals Grant and Lee. These four ladies had far more in common than one would expect. Each of them paid a high price because of their husbands’ roles in history.

Secrets, Deceptions and Lies: The Untold History of Spying from the American Revolution to Today

Day/Time: [CLOSED]
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill
Instructor: Herb Kaufman
This is the story of espionage, deception, clandestine operations, secret missions, double agents, and the code-breakers in American history. This class brings to light many of the lesser-known secret operations, code-breaking and spying from the Revolution through the Civil War, WWI, WW2, and the spy next door.

From Normandy to V-J Day: The Last Year of WWII

Day/Time: Tuesdays from 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Location: Blackwood
Instructor: Randolph Voldish
In this course we will closely examine the political, military, diplomatic, and social changes that this war wrought throughout the world, and how we are still suffering from its effects today. Videos, activities, editorial cartoons, and class discussions will all be important components of our course.

The History of Life

Location: Online (Asynchronous)
Instructor: Lisa Warden
Learn about the history of the Earth and follow evolution and diversification of life through starting with the evolution of the earliest, unicellular life through the arrival of multicellular life and diversification of animals as they move onto land. In the course we will establish how the evolution and extinction of organisms has shaped our biosphere by examining extinction events such as the fall of the dinosaurs which led to the dominance of mammals and the evolution of our early hominid ancestors.

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Free Lecture Series Events

Unheard Voices of the American Revolution

When Religious and Political Beliefs Conflict: The Dilemma of Old Gloucester County Quakers During the American Revolution

Prior to the British attack on Massachusetts militia at Lexington, April 19, 1775, almost all Old Gloucester County residents were “Whigs.” They believed that King and Parliament had no right to levy taxes on them. Members of the Religious Society of Friends had lobbied along with their neighbors to oppose the Townsend Duties. But when independence-minded Whigs gained control of New Jersey’s government and began preparations for War with Britain, unity ruptured. Gloucester County Quakers found themselves caught between Rebel controlled state, county, and township governments and a Yearly Meeting dominated by Philadelphia Loyalists. Some men abandoned their faith and became officers and soldiers in the militia and Continental Army. Others like Thomas Redman enjoyed being “martyred” by intolerant Rebels. Most Quakers seem to have tried to avoid conflict. The Haddonfield Monthly Meeting enforced political neutrality.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 4/12/23 – 6:30pm
Location: 204 Wayne Avenue, Haddonfield
Speaker: Garry Stone

The Impact of Disease on the American Revolution and Local Communities

Not only did George Washington’s army have to fight British soldiers during the American Revolution they had to fight an even more dangerous foe, disease. Diphtheria, Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dysentery, and Small Pox all had an impact in one way or another on how the war was fought. Washington also had to fight the State Houses in the various states that forbade smallpox inoculation once he decided he wanted to have Continental troops inoculated. The community spread of disease in the Revolutionary period had an enormous impact on how the General timed his battles, where he rested, and how he raised troops.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 4/19/23 – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Blackwood Campus, Connector Building, Room 105 – Civic Hall
Speaker: Kelly Jackson

Phillis Wheatley: An Enslaved Poet

Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre will present a theatrical portrayal of “Phillis Wheatley: Enslaved Poet.” Phillis Wheatley is the first published African-American poet and first Africa-American female public writer. Her poetry dramatized the condition of black Americans during the Revolutionary Era. While still an enslaved person, she met with Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, traveled to London and attended social events with many dignitaries. Although shortly after her manumission she died a in poverty at age 31, her poetry remains as an eloquent voice of hope for American Liberty.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 4/26/23 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: 204 Wayne Avenue, Haddonfield
Speaker: Daisy Century, American Historical Theatre

African Americans in the Age of Revolution

This lecture will discuss African Americans during the Revolutionary war, concentrating on New Jersey and Philadelphia. It will cover African Americans’ direct involvement in fighting for the Patriots, Black Loyalists who sought freedom by fighting for the British, and African Americans’ views on the revolutionary philosophy of freedom that left out both free and enslaved Black people.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 5/3/23 – 1:00 pm
Location: Camden Campus, CTC Conference Center
Speaker: Kendra Boyd

Fighting for the Crown: Colonial Loyalists

In both schools and in the media, it is argued that with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, American citizens rose up as one to challenge the King and Parliament. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is estimated that when the war began only one-third of the colonists supported the revolution. What actually began was our first civil war: a very personal war of battles and bitterness, often pitting neighbor against neighbor.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 5/17/23 – 6:30 pm
Location: 204 Wayne Avenue, Haddonfield
Speaker: Herb Kaufman

We Were There Too: Jews and the American Revolution

The role of Jews in the events of the American Revolution is largely unrecognized, given that they represented a small percent of the total population and that they were scattered throughout the thirteen colonies. Their loyalties like those of their neighbors were divided with a sizable majority favoring the Patriot vision of an independent America. However, some Jewish families were divided within themselves in their loyalties. Their participation marked the first time since their exile from Jerusalem that they could take their place alongside Christian neighbors as equals. This talk will discuss Jewish attitudes toward the Revolution and their contributions to it.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 5/24/23 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Cherry Hill Library, 1100 Kings Highway North, Cherry Hill
Speaker: Norman H. Finkelstein

Freemasonry and the American Revolution

This lecture will address the mostly mythical idea that Freemasonry was at the ideological, political, and military core of the American struggle for independence. The Fraternity did indeed help disseminate the philosophies of the enlightenment and the perceived ancient rights associated with being a British citizen, but these concepts were also being circulated by their far more numerous peers. We will also cover such topics as the Boston Tea Party, and the role Military Lodges played in binding together the officers of the Continental Army. However, the major portion of the talk will be devoted to the role played by individual Freemasons such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Warren, John Hancock, Benedict Arnold, Paul Revere, and John Paul Jones.
Day/Time: Wednesday, 5/31/23 – 6:30 pm
Location: 204 Wayne Avenue, Haddonfield
Speaker: John Herd Couch Minott

*This series is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views expressed in these lectures are not necessarily those of the New Jersey Council or of the National Endowment.

Other Free Lecture Events through the Center for Cultural Engagement

Hazel Scott: The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist

A legendary jazz/classical pianist, Hazel Scott was known for her style of ‘swinging the classics,’ throughout the 1940 and ’50s while her marriage to Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. made them one of the most high-profile couples in America. After a thriving international career, Hazel Scott was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era, leading to her expatriation to Paris. Her artistic contributions are now being rediscovered as one of America’s preeminent musicians.
Karen Chilton is a New York-based Writer/Actor, the author of the critically-acclaimed biography of jazz/classical pianist, HAZEL SCOTT: THE PIONEERING JOURNEY OF A JAZZ PIANIST FROM CAFE SOCIETY TO HOLLYWOOD TO HUAC (University of Michigan Press).
Day/Time: Tuesday, 2/21/23 – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Blackwood Campus, Connector Building, Room 105 – Civic Hall
Speaker: Karen Chilton

Sojourner Truth: “Ain’t I a Woman?”

Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre of Philadelphia will portray Sojourner Truth, a former enslaved person who became a public advocate for abolition and women’s rights. Dr. Century will present a performance, in character, of Ms. Truth bringing to life a woman undeterred by incredible obstacles, who mixed with the leading figures of her day such as Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses G. Grant as she pursued the twin goals of racial and gender parity.
Day/Time: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 1:00pm
Location: Camden Campus, CTC Conference Center
Speaker: Dr. Daisy Century, American Historical Theatre

An Introduction to South Asia

This lecture series will introduce participants to the history and culture of one of Asia’s most enduring and strategic regions, South Asia. Today comprised of the states of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the region of South Asia is heir to a complex mosaic of history and culture akin to Western Europe in its size and scope. Integral to both medieval and modern world-wide political formations, South Asia continues to be a global ‘player’ and strategic region in the twenty-first century.
Day/Time: Thursdays, 3/23, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13 and 4/20/23 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill, Room 106A
Speaker: Sugra Bibi, Ph.D.

Zero – Covid’s Implications for China’s Government

China has been pursuing a zero-COVID policy since January 2020, which involves mass testing, forced quarantines, and city-wide lockdowns. Despite early successes in 2020 and 2021, the Omicron variant has made the policy extremely costly and much less effective. Protests against the policy emerged in multiple cities while China faced dire public health consequences if it opened up. What is the impact of the zero-COVID policy? Why is China still sticking to it? And when the zero-COVID policy eventually ends, what is the implication for China’s government?
Day/Time: Thursday, 4/27/23 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: William G. Rohrer Center, Cherry Hill, Room 106A
Speaker: Dr. Hongshen (Oliver) ZHU

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