BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic has announced its weekly slate of Human Ecology Forums for the current academic year, dealing with topics from politics to poetry, from North Korea to Nepal.
The series of stimulating community forums kicked off Tuesday, Sept. 16, as former U.S. Ambassador Donald P. Gregg spoke on the subject of the ongoing international turmoil presented by North Korea and opportunities for the U.S. to normalize relations.
The talks will occur at 4:10 p.m. in the McCormick Lecture Hall at College of the Atlantic, and is free and open to the public.
“Ambassador Gregg is a true statesman who has served administrations from both parties with great distinction, and I’m happy he is coming to Bar Harbor to share some of his experiences with students, faculty and friends,” said William Foulke, former chairman of the college Board of Trustees.
“‘Demonization’ is a dangerous political tendency that we Americans tend to fall into when we deal with those we neither like nor understand,” Amb. Gregg wrote in an email to the college. “Human ecology invariably suffers as a result. North Korea is a clear example of all that, and that is what I’ll be talking about, in large part.”
The lineup of Human Ecology Forums follows.
Tuesday, Sept. 23: “Meeting For Worship For the Conduct of Research: A Quaker Approach to Academic Study, Policy Analysis and Community Based Investigations in Human Ecology.” Based on a short book published this year for which COA professor Gray Cox was lead author, Cox’s talk will examine how The Quaker Institute for the Future has been experimenting with methods of communal discernment to frame and enrich research on a wide variety of topics of ecological concern.
Monday, Sept. 29: Poets Tim Liardet, professor of poetry and co-chairman of the Research Centre for Contemporary Writing at Bath Spa University (U.K.); and Jennifer Militello, member of the Creative Writing Program at River Valley Community College in New Hampshire, will read from their current works. Liardet is author of such collections as “Competing With the Piano Tuner,” “The Blood Choir,” “The Storm House” and The World Before Snow.” Militello is the author of “Body Thesaurus,” “Flinch of Song” and “Anchor Chain, Open Sail.” The pair will lead a master class at the college titled “Poetry and Obsession.”
Tuesday, Oct. 7: Richard J. Wood, visiting Woodrow Wilson fellow, former president of Earlham College and former President of The Japan Society, New York, will share his expertise on Japanese religious thought, philosophy, art and culture, and offer his thoughts on what Americans should know about Japanese culture.
Tuesday, Oct. 28: COA professor Bonnie Tai will talk about a recent trip to Nepal.
Tuesday, Nov. 4: Rita Gross, an American Buddhist feminist theologian and author and former professor of comparative studies in religion at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in history of religions, will speak on gender identity and enlightenment and discuss her latest book, “Religious Diversity.”
Tuesday, Nov. 11: Susan Dowling, co-creator of Art 21, a national prime-time PBS series that features contemporary visual artists, will speak about engaging audiences with contemporary visual art, inspiring creative thinking and educating a new generation about artists.
Sessions on Oct. 14 and 21 and Nov. 18 will be announced later.
College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu.