Oliver Wolcott Library
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Fourth Sunday of Each Month
July 27th - October 26th
1:00 - 2:00 p.m

Sunday Book Discussion Series with Dr. Mark Schenker


Our Sunday Book Discussion Series with Dr. Mark Schenker focuses on four novels set during the First World War, whose centenary will be marked this summer. The first two novels were written in the decade following the war and the last two selections were written in the 1990s. Taken together, they provide a range of insights - from American, German and British authors - into an event that claimed more than nine million lives and changed forever the political and cultural landscapes of the Western World.

Mark J. Schenker is the Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Dean of Academic Affairs and a lecturer in English at Yale. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature. He lectures frequently on literary topics, and enjoys making literature accessible and enjoyable. In 2001, the Connecticut Humanities Council presented him with the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Registration is required. Books are available at the library to borrow four weeks in advance of each discussion.
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July 27th - A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
August 24th - All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
September 28th - Regeneration by Pat Barker
October 26th - Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War by Sebastian Faulks

Thursday, August 7th
7:00 -8:00 p.m

From Bonnets to Bell Bottoms: A Century of Connecticut Fashion, 1860 - 1960 with Karen DePauw

Whether it has been passed down, owned for years, or just purchased yesterday, our clothing speaks volumes about us. This program explores how clothing communicates who we are, what we do, and the world in which we live. You’ll look at everything from military inspiration during the Civil War to the influence of political liberalism in the 1960s. Recall the clothing of your ancestors, your parents, and your own fashion choices as we take this little trip through over 100 years of fashion. You can even contribute to the discussion by bringing a favorite garment and sharing your memories.

Karen DePauw is a Research and Collections Associate at the Connecticut Historical Society. Along with aiding patrons who visit the museum in their research efforts, Karen works behind the scenes with the costume and textile collection. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History, double minoring in Theatre and Theology, from Quincy University. Karen obtained her Master of Science degree at the University of Rhode Island in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design, with a specialization in Historic Costumes and Textiles. Visit the Connecticut Historical Society’s website at chs.org. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Tuesday, August 12th
7:00 -8:00 p.m

Seeing Cities Change: Local Culture and Class
with Author Dr. Jerome Krase

Cities have always been dynamic social environments for visual competition between the groups who live and work within them. In recent years cities have been transformed by the ethnic and racial migration and the gentrification of once socially marginal areas of the city.

Seeing Cities Change demonstrates the utility of a visual approach to the study of ordinary streetscapes to document and analyse how the built environment reflects the changing cultural and class identities of neighborhood residents. Dr. Jerome Krase will discuss the manner in which these changes relate to issues of local and national identities and multiculturalism, and will present studies of various cities on both sides of The Atlantic.

Jerome Krase, noted sociologist, author and social advocate, is a Murray Koppelman Professor, and Professor Emeritus, at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. He received his BA in Sociology at Indiana University and Ph.D. at New York University. He thinks of himself as a public activist-scholar and is an active member in a large number of sociological and humanitarian organizations. He also serves as a consultant to public and private agencies regarding urban community issues. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Thursday, August 21st
7:00 -8:00 p.m

Hotel Florida: Truth, Love and Death in the Spanish Civil War
with Author Amanda Vaill


Set in Madrid in 1936, Amanda Vaill’s latest book, Hotel Florida, is a spellbinding story of love amid the devastation of the Spanish Civil War. Combining a historian’s meticulous research with her accomplished skills as a biographer, Vaill tells the fascinating interwoven stories of three couples - writer Ernest Hemingway and journalist Martha Gellhorn; idealistic photographers Robert Capa and Gerda Taro; and Madrid’s chief of foreign press Arturo Barea and his Austrian deputy Ilsa Kulcsar. Their lives were forever changed as they fought for a war that many feared would cross borders and engulf Europe.  

Amanda Vaill is a biographer, journalist and screen writer. Educated at Harvard University, she spent a number of years in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her journalism and criticism have appeared in such publications as Architectural Digest, The Washington Post, Town & Country, and Esquire. She is the author of Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins, for which she received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the bestselling Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy – A Lost Generation Love Story, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award in biography. She was also the writer of the screenplay for the PBS documentary, Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About, which won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award. Her website is amandavaill.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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