Educational Lectures:
Current Affairs, History, Law & Politics, Literature & Storytelling, Science & Health, Sports and SO MUCH MORE!

May

Thursday May 19  2:00-4:00

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**Cancelled** Tracing Your Ancestry **Cancelled**

Have you ever wanted to trace your ancestry, but never knew where to start?  Begin your genealogy journey with an introduction to how to navigate two of the most commonly used ancestry tracking websites, Ancestry and Find a Grave. Theron Rogers will tell us about his adventures on his motorcycle, the 1200 cemeteries he photographed and the fascinating graves he has discovered.

Location: CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Theron Rogers: After a 40 year career with IBM, where he went from computer builder to Field Engineer to Branch and Regional Manager, Theron Rogers retired to Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA in 1991.  since his retirement, he has kept himself busy with real estate sales, computer instruction and repairing old IBM clocks.  Most of all, though, he likes to get on his Harley Davidson, or his Honda Goldwing trike when his wife comes along.  They have biked all the lower 48 states, plus five countries in Europe.  For the last 14 years, he has photographed headstones in cemeteries as a volunteer for Find a Grave.

June

Tuesday June 7  10:00-12:00

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"Saving The Wild South":  An Overview

Author Georgann Eubanks will take us on an expedition into natural sites in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Along the way, she considers the ways that the extraordinary biodiversity of the region has shaped our sense of place as southerners, the stories we tell, and the landscapes we love.  through personal anecdotes and her experiences in the field, Eubanks introduces the botanical professionals and citizen scientists that she has encountered.  These present-day heroes-young and old-are wrestling daily against the effects of global climate change, toxic pollution, and disruptive development.  They caution us not to take for granted the fragile ecosystems that contribute to the region's longstanding appeal to visitors and confirm our cultural identity as a place of magnificent plants and trees.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

 

Presenter:  Georgann Eubanks is a writer, teacher and consultant to nonprofit groups across the country.  She is a director of the Table Rock Writers' Network, and a past chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council.  She lives in Carrboro, NC.

America:  An Update

Wednesday June 8 10:00-12:00

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This presentation will review the global political, economic, and military challenges against the US by China and Russia and will discuss their impact on the US domestically in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, inflation fears, the contemporary phenomenon of populism, ongoing disputes about voter fraud, and the long-term effects of political polarization.  Compared to our major international rivals as well as our allies, Dr. Tuchfarber sees the US as a resilient nation having many strengths.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Holder of a PhD in political science, All Tuchfarber had a thirty-nine-year career at the University of Cincinnati as a professor, researcher, and administrator.  in addition, he has acted as a political campaign manager, a political strategist and consultant, a respected political pollster, the author of more than 100 publications and, more recently, a blogger through www.TucharfarberReport.com.  He writes and speaks on global and domestic politics and the direction of change he foresees in both realms.

Wednesday June 8  10:00-12:00

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This class will introduce Bartram's observations on nature, landscape, and culture in the South on the eve of the Revolutionary War, followed by a discussion of the documentary "Cultivating the Wild:  William Bartram's Travels" and the film-making process.  Since November 2020, the documentary has been screened nationwide in some of America's largest media markets.  To view the film, please got to pbs.org and enter the film title under "Search".

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Dorinda G. Dallmeyer holds three degrees from the University of Georgis:  B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology and a J.D.  She is an award-winning radio producer and photographer.  In 2018, Dorinda retired after a 13-year career directing the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program at UGA.

Following in the Footsteps of William Bartram

Telling the Story of the Modern American South

Monday June 13  10:00-12:00

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Telling the stories of the modern American South can be complicated, compelling, and heartwarming - often all at the same time.  Publisher Eric NeSmith will talk about how the Bitter Southerner approaches its mission and how the publication sustains its storytelling by utilizing a unique business model.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Eric NeSmith comes from a long line of storytellers, but community journalism has been his passion since childhood, seeping into his veins through his fingertips as he inserted the sections of his hometown paper together at 8 years old.  His career in journalism has spanned reporting, photography, marketing, editing, and publishing.  He is the publisher and CEO of The Bitter Southerner, an independent publishing company known for stories that paint a broad, more complex picture of the American South.

Tuesday June 14  10:00-12:00

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This talk assesses the achievements and legacy of the Supreme Allied Commander and 34th president of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Surveying the life and wartime service of General Eisenhower, this presentation will emphasize the impact of Eisenhower's presidency on the United States and the world.  Once dismissed as insignificant by pundits, Eisenhower as president boosted the US economy, avoided foreign conflicts, enhanced civil rights, and left office as the most popular postwar American leader.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  William I. Hitchcock is the William W. Corcoran Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He received his B.A. degree from Kenyon College in 1986 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1994.  his book, The Bitter Road to Freedom:  A new History of the Liberation of Europe was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, a winner of the George Louis Beer Prize, and a Financial Times bestseller in the UK.  His most recent book is The Age of Eisenhower:  America and the World in the 1950s (New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2018), which was a New York Times bestseller.  

The Legacy of Dwight Eisenhower

Monday June 20  2:00-4:00

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Through the examination of a wide range of cultural artifacts (including monuments, paintings, movies, and works of literature), this presentation will focus on how and why World War I became America's "forgotten war".  ironically, few conflicts in American history have been as intensely commemorated.  Throughout the 1920's and 1930's, towns and cities from coast to coast created literally thousands of community war memorials, many of which still hide in plain sight today.  Hollywood embraced the war's memory as well in blockbusters like THE BIG PARADE (1925), the second highest grossing film of the silent era, and ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which swept the Oscars in 1930.  However, after the end of the Second World War, a larger and even more transformational conflict, World War I essentially disappeared from the national consciousness.  This presentation will consider the historical and cultural reasons for this.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Steven Trout is Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Alabama.  He is the author of three books - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire:  War, Remembrance, and an American Tragedy, On the Battlefield of Memory:  The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919-1941, and Memorial Fictions:  Willa Cather and the First World War - and the editor or coeditor of multiple volumes.

The Strange and Unsettled Memory of World War I in America

Tuesday June 21 2:00-4:00

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"An ounce of revealing humor", wrote Senator Ervin, "has more power to reveal, convince, or ridicule than do many tomes of erudite argument."  In the 1970's Americans watched the Bible-quoting "old country lawyer" from Morganton put his mountain stories to good use as he led the Senate investigation of the Watergate Scandal.  Dr. Karl Campbell, Ervin's biographer and a history professor at Appalachian State University, will discuss the Senator's historical legacy while reminding us of the importance of humor, and civility, in our contemporary political debates.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Karl Campbell is a professor of history at Appalachian State University, where he teaches North Carolina and recent United States history.  Originally from Ohio, Karl received his B.A. degree in history and political science from Warren Wilson College in Asheville and his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from UNC Chapel Hill.

Senator Sam Ervin:  The Humor of a Country Lawyer

Wednesday June 22  10:00-12:00

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Should race be at the heart of our understand of U.S. History and society or has our emphasis on racism gone too far?  Dr. Campbell, a historian at ASU, will talk about how we define race, how it has shaped our national consciousness, and how it is being used, and misused, in contemporary political debates.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Karl Campbell (see bio above)

Debating Racism:  A Historical Perspective

Thursday June 23  3:00-5:00

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The stories that we tell shape our lives as much as they come from our experiences.  Listeners are invited to come along on a laugh-out-loud and remarkable storytelling journey.  Intertwined with her performance stories, Connie Regan-Blake will generously share ideas and tools she has developed and learned throughout her trailblazing storytelling career.  Through partner exercises and a 'walk through memories', you will enjoy exploring events of your own life.  Utilizing 'deep listening,' she will guide you in experiencing how the 5 senses and the 'colors' of the moment bring a story to life and connect you to your listeners.  Whether your interests lie in telling stories to family on the front porch, or more effectively connection with staff and the public or performing for a group, you'll have a taste of the 'art & heart' of storytelling.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Connie Regan-Blake is an internationally recognized storyteller.  she has performed for a wide variety of audiences including at the National Storytelling Festival, a premier event in Jonesborough, TN, every year for the last 4 decades.  Connie's performances include stories from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, world folktales, personal experience and true-life stories.

The Art & Heart of Stories

Monday June 27  10:00-12:00

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The story Gran will share with you is one of utmost passion and dedication to one's Muses.  It is not only a great Southern Story, and a broad sweeping American one, it cuts to the very marrow of the fundamental challenge of a life in performances.  Our collective inheritance as Americans is complicated, conflicted, and still not resolved.  On the state of world history, we are a young nation, and our Art reflects and reveals that about us.  The language of learned people in the mid to even late 19th century often falls strangely on our ears, and personal decisions made a hundred and sixty years ago should not be solely interpreted or judged with 21st century realizations or expectations.  The Lanier story is in no way an apologia for the decisions of a teenager or culture in which he was raised.  Rather, it is a remembrance of the arc of a man's life desperately trying to find means to express his deepest most soulful convictions.  We think we choose our heroes, but sometimes they choose us. What Gran will share with you is testament to that mystery.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Gran Wilson, a native of Bessemer, Alabama, distinguished himself as a leading operatic tenor on three continents, over a dozen countries, and in 35 states.  he currently is the Voice-Opera Division Coordinator of Maryland, where he has been a member of the voice faculty for 21 years.  He received his Bachelor's Degree in Voice at Sanford University, and Masters degree in Voice, and post graduate work at Indiana University.  In 2019 he received the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Faculty Mentor Award at the University of Maryland.  he now has former students engaged by opera theaters in both North America, and throughout Europe.

Orpheus' Son, the Life of Sidney Lanier

Tuesday June 28  2:00-4:00

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In response to the 9/11 attacks, the United States conducted a military operation in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power, followed by a nation building project to create a centralized democratic government capable of defending itself.  While elements of this strategy were justified for counterterrorism purposes, the long-term military operation and nation-building campaign were deeply flawed, with virtually no possibility of succeeding.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  David Schanzer is a Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy and Director of the Triangle Center on terrorism and homeland Security at Duke University. Before coming to duke in 2005, Schanzer served as Minority Staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Legislative Director for Senator Jean Carnahan, Special Counsel for the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and Counsel to Senators Joe Biden, Jr.  and William S. Cohen.  he previously served as a trial attorney in U.S. department of Justice, law clerk to the Honorable Nora Shapiro (E.D.Pa.) and law clerk in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States.  Schanzer is a graduate of Harvard College (1985) and Harvard Law School (1989).

The Mission in Afghanistan

Wednesday June 29  10:00-2:00

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The mass riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 deeply shocked most Americans, but was connected to illiberal elements in America society that have existed since the founding of the nation.  This lecture traces the connections between the ideas animating the January 6 riot and illiberalism in America and proposes some ideas on how to heal a nation that has become dangerously polarized and troublingly anti-democratic.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  David Schanzer is a Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy and Director of the Triangle Center on terrorism and homeland Security at Duke University. Before coming to duke in 2005, Schanzer served as Minority Staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Legislative Director for Senator Jean Carnahan, Special Counsel for the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and Counsel to Senators Joe Biden, Jr.  and William S. Cohen.  he previously served as a trial attorney in U.S. department of Justice, law clerk to the Honorable Nora Shapiro (E.D.Pa.) and law clerk in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States.  Schanzer is a graduate of Harvard College (1985) and Harvard Law School (1989).

January 6th, Domestic Terrorism in America

July

Thursday June 30  5:30-8:30

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At 86 years old, Don DeLillo is considered one of the greatest living writers in the U.S.A.  he has won several literary awards for his work, including the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Saul Bellow Award, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.  In the Silence, he considers the vexing issue of our overwhelming dependence on technology.  What would happen if one day, as occurs in the novel, all technology suddenly stopped:  As he puts it, "what happens to people who live inside their phones?'  The Silence unfolds as a haunting, wildly innovative novel that is an introduction to post-modernism.  At the same time, the novel asks us to take a hard look at those screens we peer into every day.  What is reflected there?

Location:  Private Home

Presenter:  Brian Railsback, Ph.D., is Professor of English, former founding Dean of The Honors College and Chair of the Faculty Senate at Western Carolina University.  He has published considerable including John Steinbeck, Ron Rash, and Jesmyn Ward.  He also publishes fiction, including a novel, the Darkest Clearing.  At WCU, he has been named a University Scholar and received the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award.  Teaching for CLE since 1995, he has served as study guide for the CLE tour in Morocco in 2019.

The Book of the Year:  The Silence by Don Delillo

Friday July 1  10:00-12:00  *Rescheduled from June 24

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The Solicitor General represents the interests of the U.S. before the Supreme Court.  In a spirited question and answer session, Noel will discuss the role of the Solicitor General and his service in that position from January 201 until March 2020.  Among his many cases before the Court, Noel argued Trump v. Hawaii (travel ban).  Several attorneys will pose question to Noel, and CLE Members and guests will have an opportunity to join the action.

LOCATION:  CLE LECTURE HALL

Presenter:  Noel Francisco, Jones Day Partner-in-Charge in Washington.  Noel Francisco served as the 47th Solicitor General of the Unites States from 2017-2020.  He has argued some of the most important cases the Supreme Court has heard in recent years on a wide array of issues.

Meet Noel Francisco, the Solicitor General of the United States from January 2017 to March 2020

Wednesday July 6  2:00-4:00

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How and why did France, with the largest and most well-equipped army in the Europ, fall to Nazi Germany in little over a month in 1940?  This lecture explores the volatile political climate of France in the 1930s and ties developments in the era to the military defeat that put an end to 70-year-old Third Republic.  We wil also review the military strategies employed or rejected by the French command in the campaign, and the reasons why the nation turned to the collaborationist Marshal Petain in its darkest hour.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Max Owre is the Executive Director of Carolina Public Humanities.  A graduate of the University of Vermont, he obtained his PhD in modern European history from UNC-CH in 2008.  max is a lecturer in the History Department, teaching courses in European, world and colonial history since 2007.  Max is a principal organizer, and frequent host and moderator of CPH Events.  he also lectures frequently for CPH on various topics in French and European history.

"Strange Defeat":  The Collapse of France in World War II

Thursday July 7  10:00-12:00

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For Years French People took pride in the resistance to the Nazis demonstrated by many (supposedly most) of their courageous fellow citizens.  After revelations of widespread collaboration in 1960s and 70s, however, there has been a great reevaluation of the behavior of the French people during war.  How many resisted?  How many collaborated?  and can there be a middle ground in these circumstances?  This lecture will introduce participants to resisters, collaborators, and others, and take look at daily life in occupied France to better understand who was who, and why it matters to France today.  This era was the subject of The French Village, a highly acclaimed, powerful, French produced and directed study of German occupied France during World War II.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Max Owre is the Executive Director of Carolina Public Humanities.  A graduate of the University of Vermont, he obtained his PhD in modern European history from UNC-CH in 2008.  max is a lecturer in the History Department, teaching courses in European, world and colonial history since 2007.  Max is a principal organizer, and frequent host and moderator of CPH Events.  he also lectures frequently for CPH on various topics in French and European history.

Resistance, Collaboration, and Ambiguity in Occupied France (1940-1944)

Friday July 8  10:00-12:00

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Presenting via ZOOM in the CLE Lecture Hall, Dr. Engel reveals the astounding background of Margaret Mitchell's great book and how it actually reflects the story of her life.  No matter how familiar you might be with the novel and the movie, Professor Engel will fascinate you with so much new exciting information about hits most popular novel and its remarkable yet most peculiar author.

Location:  Via Zoom in the CLE Lecture Hall 

Presenter:  Dr. Elliot Engel received his Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow from UCLA.  He is an American author, writer, scholar and lecturer.  he continues to teach outside the classroom and give literary and historical programs.

Scarlett Fever:  The Greatness of Gone With The Wind

Monday July 11  10:00-12:00

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Drawing on his experience as a member of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation team, Andrew Weissmann will speak about two ongoing issues confronting America raised in the Special Counsel report:  the threat of continuing cyber-attacks on our political and economic system by foreign actors both state and non-state and the related question whether criminal investigation and prosecution can be effective tools to hold wrong doers accountable.  in addition, he will propose various steps that can be taken to make our democratic institutions more resilient.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Andrew Weissmann is a Professor of Practice with the Center on the Administration of Criminal law and General Counsel at MacAndrews & Forbes.  He served as a lead prosecutor in Robert S. Mueller's Special Counsel's Office and as Chief of the Fraud Section in the U.S. Department of Justice.  he also served as General Counsel for the F.B.I. and as Director of the Enron Task Force where he supervised the prosecution of more than 30 individuals in connection with the company's collapse.  he was a federal prosecutor for 15 years in the Eastern District of New York, where he served as the Chief of the Criminal Division.  he prosecuted numerous members of the Colombo, Cambino, and Genovese families.  he holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, B.A. from Princeton University and attended the University of Geneva on a Fulbright Fellowship.  he is the author of "Where Law Ends:  Inside the Mueller Investigation."

The Mueller Investigation:  Lessons From An Insider

Thursday July 12  2:00-4:00

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This talk will explore the history of the use of vaccines to prevent diseases caused by viruses.  The first vaccine was used to prevent smallpox (the disease caused by Variola virus) in 1796, almost a century before scientists understood what viruses in great detail.  We will discuss how the first vaccine differs from modern day vaccines, and the key discoveries that have made the development of modern vaccines possible.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Maria Gainey, a North Carolina native, received her bachelor's degree from Appalachian State University.  She went on to earn her Ph.D. from Wake Forest Baptist medical Center and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University Medical Center.

Viruses and Vaccines:  From Cowpox Virus to Modern mRNA Vaccines

Wednesday July 13  2:00-4:00

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The Supreme Court decides approximately 80 cases each year.  Professor Collins will discuss the Court's most consequential decisions from the October 2021 Term, which include, among others, rulings involving freedom of religion, affirmative action, the scope of congressional regulatory power, the scope of the executive branch rulemaking power, pre-viability abortion and judge's duty to recuse in the Court's recent appointees in shaping a more conservative majority and what that bodes for the future of the Court as an institution.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Todd Collins, Ph.D., is Steed Distinguished Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and Director of the Public Policy Institute at Western Carolina University and a licensed attorney.  His research focuses on constitutional law and judicial politics.

Supreme Court:  Year in Review

Friday July 15  10:00-12:00

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For more than 37 years at WABE, NPR's Atlanta radio station, Lois Reitzes programmed and hosted classical music.  since 2015, when the format switched to News/Talk, she hosted a daily arts and culture show.  Research suggests at an emotional level, there is something deeper about hearing than seeing and something about hearing other people that fosters human relationships even more than seeing them.  This class will explore that relationship and stories from Reitze's tenure at WABE.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Lois Reitzes is the executive producer and host of "city lights," on WABE-FM 90.1, the national public radio affiliate in Atlanta.  She began working at the station in 1979 as a music programmer and announcer and became program director in 1992.  Before coming to Atlanta, she worked at WFIU, in Bloomington, the National Public Radio affiliate licensed to Indiana University, where she pursued graduate study in Musicology.  Ms. Reitzes holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University where she was a piano student of Felix Ganz.

My Life In Public Radio

Monday July 18  2:00-4:00

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Acclaimed southern storyteller Pat Conroy (1945-2016) is best remembered as the author of a dozen beloved books, including The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, and The Prince of Tides.  Jonathan's presentation explores Conroy's transformational years as a student at Beaufort High School and later as a teacher at BHS and on Daufuskie Island, as Conroy found the mentors and students who changed the course of his life and inspired his storied writing life.  Included are audio and video clips, photographs, as well as published and unpublished excerpts by and about Conroy.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the nonprofit Conroy Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, where he created the Story River Books fiction imprint with Pat Conroy.  He the recipient of seventeen book awards.

Pat Conroy's Reverence for Teaching

Tuesday July 19  10:00-12:00

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"When I thought God had abandoned me, I discovered that He had simply given me a different voice to praise the inexhaustible beauty of the made world." - Pat Conroy, My Losing Season.

In this presentation Jonathan will explore Conroy's spiritual and humanistic faith as reflected in the turbulent life and bestselling books - from his Roman Catholic upbringing to The Citadel's honor code, themes of spirituality in his writings, his life of service as a mentor to his fellow writers, and his connections to his "second church," First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort.

Locations: CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the nonprofit Conroy Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press, where he created the Story River Books fiction imprint with Pat Conroy.  He the recipient of seventeen book awards.

The Faith of Pat Conroy

Wedneday July 20  5:30-8:00

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Churchill:  A Passion for Painting

History has painted a portrait of Churchill (1874-1965) as an ambitious, confident, bold and highly creative man.  Volumes have been written about him as a statesman, and he is remembered today - over five decades after his death - as a leader whose eccentricities and audacity contributed to his stubborn defiance in the face of adversity.  There is another picture to be painted of Sir Winston Churchill:  the portrait of Churchill as an artist.  This course will examine Churchill's passion for painting, a hobby that informed and inspired him throughout his life.  A wine and cheese reception will follow.

Location:  The Bascom

Presenter:  Tim Riley is the Director and Chief Curator for the Winston Churchill Museum at Westminster College.  Tim is a graduate, cu laude, of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and also studied at Columbia University in the city of New York.  He has also served as a curatorial assistant, education assistant and lectures/concerts coordinator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  From 2006 through 2012 Tim served as a director of The Trout Museum of Art in Appleton and was appointed Director Emeritus in 2012.  In April of this year Tim was installed as Churchill Fellow of Westminster College.

Thursday July 21  10:00-12:00

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Churchill had a keen interest in science and technology.  Before and during the Second World War, he had a science adviser, Professor Frederick Lindemann, whose counsel was vital in the war effort.  After the war, the threat of nuclear weapons consumed Churchill.  Science, coupled with statecraft, informed how the West would wage and with the Cold War.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Tim riley is the Director and chief Curator for the Winston Churchill Museum at Westminster college.  Tim is a graduate, cum laude, of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and also studied at Columbia University in the City of New York.  he has also served as a curatorial assistant, education assistant and lectures/concerts coordinator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  From 2006 through 2012 Tim served as director of The Trout Museum of Art in Appleton and was appointed Director Emeritus in 2012.  In April of 2021, Tim was installed as Churchill Fellow of Westminster College.

Winston Churchill:  Science and Statemanship

Thursday July 28  2:00-4:00

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Noted for his access to football programs and coaches in the southeast, his wit and his keen insights, Tony will return to Highlands for the fifth year to talk about his favorite subject.  With emphasis on the ACC and SEC football programs, he will offer his predictions about the upcoming 2022 season.  Joining Tony will be representatives from an ACC and a SEC athletic department to comment on the turmoil in college sports due to the transfer portal; the impact of name, image and likeness rules; more conference realignments; and the pros and cons of potential playoff expansion.

Location:  The Performing Arts Center

Presenter:  Tony Barnhart, a 1976 graduate of UGA's school of journalism, has covered college football for 47 years.  This includes 25 years as a columnist and reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and stints with CBS Sports and ESPN.  Tony is currently an analyst for the SEC Network and columnist for TMG College Sports.  He is the author of five books on college football, including biographies of Vince Dooley and Larry Munson.  Amon his honors:  named Georgia Sportswriter of the Year in 1999 and inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2021

College Football Preview

Friday July 29  10:00-12:00

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In 2021 Mark smith delighted CLE with his presentation:  "An Onslaught of the Senses:  Sights and Smells of the American Civil War."  This year, Mark, in this visually rich presentation, will not only describe the damage caused by two natural disasters, separated by almost 100 years, but also their effect on American Foreign and domestic policies.  The attempt to purchase from the Danish what is now the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 1860s gets little mention in the annals of American foreign policy.  smith will explain how a hurricane and tsunami derailed this acquisition and affected U.S. foreign policy.  In 1969 Hurricane Camille brought death and destruction through a wide swath of American South.  Professor Smith will explore the role of the federal state governments in managing disaster relief, and how recovery was achieved for some but not others.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Mark Smith is an American historian, Director of the Institute for Southern Studies, and a Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He is a scholar of environmental disasters, southern history, and of sensory history, which he described to an interviewer as stressing "the role of senses" - including sight and vision - shaping people's experience in the past.

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis - Natural Disasters That Caused Death, Destruction and Affected American Foreign and Domestic Policy

Friday July 29  2:00-4:00

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NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell will discuss her experience at the United States Capital during the January 6 attack on the Capital and how she has covered Congress, the people and the building in the aftermath.  she will also discuss modern-day journalism in a fast-paced, social media driven era where mis- and dis- information from the media disruptors are commonplace.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Leigh Ann Caldwell is a multi-platform, award-winning journalist who is adept at covering breaking news and in-depth, high-impact journalism.

Journalism Amid Disinformation

August

Tuesday August 2  10:00-12:00

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Kai Bird published in 2021 his "epic" biography of former President Jimmy Carter to rave reviews for being "superior history, superbly researched and marvelously written."  Historian Douglas Brinkley praised the book, "It is all here:  Carter's family values, rural religiosity, folksy charm, staggering self-discipline, political acumen, brave adn visionary presidential leadership, intrepid globetrotting for peace, poetic soulfulness and ferocious intellect."  Bird, a northerner who was raised in the Middle East by US diplomatic parents, spent years in researching and writing on Carter, no small part of which was trying to understand Carter's Southern roots and its influence and effect on his presidency.  His book is the most recent of three significant books on the Carter presidency that have challenged the notion of a "failed" one-term presidency.  he candidly discusses Carter's flaws and weaknesses, but also the successes and achievements that have contributed to these more positive assessments from historians.  Bird is an effective and humble presenter who employs and exquisite and colorful storytelling, balance, humor and wisdom from his accumulated recognition as one of America's premier biographers.

Bird's biography of Carter will be available for sale and signing by the author at the lecture.

Location:  The Performing Arts Center

Presenter:  Kai Bird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist.  He serves as Executive Director and Distinguished Lecturer of CUNY Graduate Center's Leon Levy Center of Biography.  He presides over an annual conference of biographers on the art and craft of biography each May at CUNY Graduate Center.

The Outlier:  The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter

Wednesday August 3  10:00-12:00

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Biographer Kai Bird's book is about one of the most important Middle East operatives in CIA history, Robert Ames.  The book was a New Your Times best seller and is a compelling story of Ames' life and death.  The book was applauded by critics:  "the best non-fiction book on espionage ever written," capturing with incredible detail an almost day-by-day account of Ames' secret intelligence career in the CIA, and an up-close account of the murderous intelligence war between Israel and her enemies with America smack in the middle.  The Ames story is riveting one and one that Bird is well prepared to share, in part from his own Middle East upbringing told in his own memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate:  Come of Age between the Arabs and the Israelis (1956-1978).

Kai Bird's book, The Good Spy, will be available for purchase and signing by the author a the lecture.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Kai Bird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist.  He serves as Executive Director and Distinguished Lecturer of CUNY Graduate Center's Leon Levy Center of Biography.  He presides over an annual conference of biographers on the art and craft of biography each May at CUNY Graduate Center.

The Good Spy

Thursday August 4  10:00-12:00

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Kai Bird's and Martin Sherwin's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography tells the fascinating story of "the father of the atomic bomb"- J. Robert Oppenheimer.  The biography is rich evocation of America at mid-Century, a compelling portrait of a brilliant, ambitious, complex and flawed man profoundly connected to its major events - the Depression, World War II and the Cold War.  Author Kai Bird will tell the story of this brilliant, charismatic physicist who led the Manhattan Project to build the bomb.  he became, after Hiroshima, the most famous scientist of his generation and one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, the embodiment of modern man confronting the consequences of scientific progress.  Critics call the biography a "blockbuster," "masterful," an "essential" book", "the best study of Oppenheimer, not only a great biography but also a cautionary tale about the excesses of government in a time of fear."  The book is the basis of a major motion picture by famed Director/Producer Christopher Nolan to be released in 2020.

Kai Bird's book, American Prometheus:  The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, will be available for purchase and signing by the author at the lecture.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Kai Bird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist.  He serves as Executive Director and Distinguished Lecturer of CUNY Graduate Center's Leon Levy Center of Biography.  He presides over an annual conference of biographers on the art and craft of biography each May at CUNY Graduate Center.

American Prometheus:  The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenhemier

Thursday August 11  2:00-4:00

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Taking office after the volatile 2020 election, President Biden has seen his share of triumphs and travails during his term.  Given a thin Democratic majority, and fierce Republican opposition, the president has worked to balance his call for national unity with placating those in his own party -- not an easy act. This lecture examines the course of Biden's presidency and looks at what it may mean for 2024. 

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Miles Coleman is the associate editor of Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, the University of Virginia Center for Politics' authoritative, nonpartisan newsletter on American campaigns and elections.  His work has been cited by[ the Washington Post, Politico, and other news outlets.

(Almost) Two Years In: Assessing President Biden's Term

Friday August 12  10:00-12:00

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Though Donald Trump was very much an unconventional president, in 2018, he was not immune from the typical midterm drag that the White House's party faces.  now, with a Democratic president, the shoe is on the other foot.  Between redistricting and a potentially rough national environment, Democrats do not have much room for error in defending their Congressional majorities--many consequential state races will also be on the ballot.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Miles Coleman is the associate editor of Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, the University of Virginia Center for Politics' authoritative, nonpartisan newsletter on American campaigns and elections.  His work has been cited by[ the Washington Post, Politico, and other news outlets.

Looking Less Blue:  Forecasting the 2022 Midterm Elections

Monday August 15  2:00-4:00

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Drawing from his new book "Liberty is Sweet", Holton reinterprets the military history of the American Revolutionary War, contending, for example, that George Washington was a terrible general before he became a great one.  He also offers unique takes on several crucial battles, for instance pointing out that for two centuries, mapmakers have moved northwestern South Carolina's Broad River to conform to Gen. Daniel Morgan's inaccurate explanation of one of his greatest strategic failures.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Woody Holton is the Peter and bonnie McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches and researches Early American history, especially the American Revolution, with a focus on economic history and on African Americans, Native Americans, and women.  he is the author of several previous books, including Abigail Adams, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize; his second book, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

The American Revolutionary War:  Strategies and Surprises

Tuesday August 16  10:00 - 2:00

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Best known for her unsuccessful plea to her husband John to "Remember the Ladies" in drawing up independent America's first legal code, Abigail Adams was much more successful in the private realm of family finance.  During her husband's absence in Philadelphia and Paris, she made him a rich man - partly through unscrupulous means--and also defied centuries of common law by claiming property, although married, for herself.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Woody Holton is the Peter and bonnie McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches and researches Early American history, especially the American Revolution, with a focus on economic history and on African Americans, Native Americans, and women.  he is the author of several previous books, including Abigail Adams, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize; his second book, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Abigail Adams, Bond Speculator

Tuesday August 16  4:00-6:00

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Join us for a cocktail reception and an engaging discussion with Award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Cassandra King Conroy, she will reveal her innermost thoughts as she lyrically recalls her 18 years with the masterful storyteller, she loved in Tell Me A Story:  My Life with Pat Conroy (William Morrow, October 2019).  Unlocking multiple layers of experience and emotion, Cassandra's rich memoir of her life with the late legend of Southern fiction depicts their lives from the tentative beginnings of their courtship to Pat's death and beyond.

(Portion of event proceeds with be donated to the Pat Conroy Literacy Center)

Location:  Private Residence

Presenter:  Cassandra King Conroy is an award-winning author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and essays.  She has taught creative writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, and worked as a human-interest reporter.

Cocktails with Cassandra:  My Life with Pat Conroy

Wednesday August 17  10:00-12:00

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For over a century, toy trains have delighted boys and girls.  Did you have a toy train that ran around the Christmas tree?   Do you remember the smoke and whistle?  Lee Garrett will bring back your childhood memories when you visit his 200 square foot, professionally built village and model train diorama.

Location:  Private Residence

Presenter:  Lee Garrett is a toy train aficionado.  He has built an enchanting village at his home.  Boys and girls of all ages will enjoy the trip through a miniature world.

All Aboard!  The Magic of Toy Trains

Friday August 19  2:00-4:00

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One of the central pillars of U.S. counterterrorism policy is that capturing or killing a terrorist group's leader is effective.  yet this pillar rests more on a foundation of faith than facts.  Leadership decapitation is not always successful and existing empirical work is insufficient to account for this variability.  this talk will examine whether leadership decapitation "works" and results in the degradation or decline of terrorist organizations.  It will draw upon an examination of over a thousand instances of leadership targeting-involving groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Shining Path, and ISIS - to identify the successes, failures, and unintended consequences of this strategy.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Jenna Jordan is an associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Her book, by the same title as the lecture, evaluates the efficacy of leadership targeting as a counterterrorism strategy.

Leadership Decapitation:  Strategic Targeting of Terrorist Organizations

Monday August 22  10:00-12:00

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Publix has been ranked as one of the most admired companies in the world and one of the top 100 companies to work for in America.  Ed Crenshaw will discuss what makes Publix so successful and how the company navigates the uncertainties of food production and supply.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  William Edward Crenshaw is the current Chairman of the Publix Super Market Board of Directors, having served previously as its President from 1996-2008 and as CEO of the company 2008-2016.  Ed joined Publix in 1974 gaining experience in all areas of store operations, starting as a stock clerk in Lake Wales, Florida.  In addition to serving as a store manager, his staff experience includes purchasing and retail operations.  He is a native of Mineral Wells, Texas and graduated from Baylor University.

The Publix Secret Sauce

Wednesday August 24  2:00-4:00

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China and the Continuing Rise of President Xi Jinping

This presentation will examine recent developments in China's continuing economic growth and political and military evolution.  Attention will be given to both the successes and challenges facing China and the manner in which they affect the United States and its allies.  Emphasis will focus on President Xi and his increasingly authoritarian rule. Discussion will cover the recent expansion of China's military forces and assess the threat they pose to Taiwan, Japan, the S. China Sea as well as the significance of the growing alliance between Xi and Russian President Putin.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Clifton Pannell is professor of geography and Associate Dean Emeritus of the Benjamin Franklin college of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia.  His teaching and research focus on the economic, political and urban geography of China and East Asia.  he has studied, worked, and taught in Taiwan, Hong King, and mainland China.  A recent co-authored book is:  China's Geography:  globalization and the Dynamics of Political, Economic, and Social Change(April, 2021)

Thursday August 25  10:00-12:00

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Revanchist Russia, A Partner or Enemy?

Russia has once again proved that it is not a reliable partner to secure a future of shared interests and values.  Russia has for years waged a "Hybrid War" inside numerous countries of the west, including the U.S., and Putin has now ordered the invasion of Ukraine.  While the ultimate outcome of Russia's ware against Ukraine is now far from clear, what we do know is that Putin is a kleptocrat and apparently enjoys unlimited freedom within his own country to use Russia's military and other resources without challenge.  This presentation will examine Russia's new way of war, its invasion of Ukraine, and how the west has reacted.   We will examine the strengths and shortcomings of democracies as they contend with a Russia that uses every available resource to get Putin's desires.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Gen. Phillip M. Breedlove is a retired four-star general in the U.S. Air Force who served as the commander of the U.S. European Command as well as the 17th Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from May 2013 until May 4, 2016.  A distinguished graduate of Georgia Tech's ROTC program, he was commissioned in 1977.  General Breedlove held numerous operational, command, and staff positions and completed eleven overseas tours during his active military service.  In addition, General Breedlove served as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, and Vice Director for Strategic Plans and Policy of the Joint Staff.

September

Thursday September 8  10:00-12:00

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You probably recognize famous works of art by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, but did you know that many of the artistic tradition of medieval and Renaissance Italy are still alive today?  Join art historian Laura Morelli for a behind-the-scenes look at some of Italy's world-class artisanal traditions-everything from Murano glass to Florentine leather and Sicilian pastry.  And hear how Laura Morelli's immersion into Italian culture inspired her to bring the stories of art history to life in her bestselling historical fiction.

Whether you're joining CLE's trip to Sicily or just want to travel to Italy by armchair, then join us for this visually rich presentation.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University and is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling historical novelist.  Laura has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy.  She has covered art and authentic travel for TED-Ed, national Geographic Traveler, Italy Magazine, CNN Radio, and other media.  Laura is the author of the popular Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes MADE IN ITALY.  Her historical novels, including THE NIGHT PORTRAIT and THE GONDOLA MAKER, bring the stories of art history to life.  Laura's latest historical novel, THE STOLEN LADY, tracks the untold story of the Monda Lisa from 16th century Florence to World War II France.

Italian Art History to Historical Fiction

Friday September 9  5:30-8:30

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Novels Keep Getting More Novel:  Jason Mott's "Hell of a Book"

Jason Mott's 2021 National Book Award winning novel, Hell of A Book, will be our lens through which to see and talk about what a story is and how telling a story- and therefore-how reading a story will have changed especially in the last 100 years since James Joyce's Ulysses was published.  We will look at Mott's inventive style, his role as author in writing about the subjects of race, place, family, and love, along with the sometimes-messy boundaries between truth and fiction, history and imagination and the invented self-vs. the externally perceived identity.  Mott's novel challenges the traditions of what it means to be an author, what it means to be a character, and what a plot is.  Hell of a Book gives us the wonderful opportunity to talk about what it means to be a reader and how literature gives and demands that we change as readers.

Location:  Private Residence

Presenter:  Mimi Fenton taught literature at Western Carolina University and served as the Dean of the Graduate School and Research.  A scholar of early modern literature, she specializes in the work of John Milton.  She has won multiple teaching awards and was a Fulbright Scholar in Budapest, Hungary in 2018.

Tuesday September 20  10:00-12:00   **Rescheduled from 9/22/22**

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Tom's talk will focus on reflections from year of writing and engaging with people around the world on the topics of faith, family, happiness, friendship and authenticity.  He will share some of his most popular writing, photographs and observations from his life in the public eye.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter:  Tom Greene is an entrepreneur, storyteller and writer.  He writes weekly, groundbreaking articles on his cultural observations from a commonsense perspective.  His weekly articles are read by over 500,000 people around the globe.  His best writing can be found at www.tomgreene.com

The Wit & Wisdom of Faith, Family, Friendship, Happiness and Authenticity