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McAuley Lectures—Spring 2018

The McAuley lectures feature outstanding faculty members from the University of Hartford. The lectures take place once a month at 2 p.m. at McAuley Retirement Community, Asylum Avenue and Steele Road, West Hartford. Visitors should take the Steele Road entrance and park in visitors parking. The lectures are held in the main building, at the foot of the hill.
Cost: $15; Fellows, no charge.


Duby McDowell
Fri., Feb. 2, 2018; 2–3:30 p.m
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

2017 saw the topic of sexual harassment explode in the American consciousness. Time magazine’s recent “Person of the Year” was the #MeToo movement which allowed women to share their experiences of being harassed. Duby McDowell is a former television political reporter who, in addition to running her Connecticut-based public relations firm, now produces national women’s events for MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski that focus on women’s empowerment. She has experienced both “the bad old days” and the advent of a new era; she will discuss where this upheaval leaves us, and the many open questions about navigating the modern American workplace.

DUBY MCDOWELL has more than 30 years of experience in journalism, politics, and public relations. She was the best-known political reporter in Connecticut for 15 years (WFSB, WVIT) and hosted a renowned Sunday morning television interview program, which was the first stop for any politician seeking higher office.

As a result of McDowell’s many years covering politics and government, she has a unique understanding of effective public relations strategies. She knows how the media operate, and due to her extensive contacts among reporters, editors, and editorial boards, she can effectively assist clients in their outreach and response.

McDowell grew up in the New Haven area, graduated from Harvard University, and studied journalism at the University of Missouri.

Kneeling to Stand: African-American Athletes and the Legacy of Protest

Fiona Mills
Fri., March 2; 2–3:30 p.m.; McAuley Retirement Community
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

African-American athletes have often used their position as celebrities and role models to speak out about racism—from Muhammed Ali, to John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics, to Serena Williams. This lecture will contextualize the recent NFL protests within the experiences of other African-American athletes and their attempts to magnify the marginalized status of people of color in the United States. Beginning with Frederick Douglass's famous speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July," and continuing through Colin Kaepernik's ongoing protests, we will examine how African-Americans have called into question the often-paradoxical exultation of freedom in a country whose legacy is steeped in the labor of African slaves. 

FIONA MILLS, PhD is a lecturer in the humanities department at St. Anselm College and has taught at various universities including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, Keene State College, and Curry College. She received her PhD in African American literature and Latino/a literature and theory from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has recently edited a collection of essays on Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel The Help, entitled Like One of the Family; Domestic Workers, Race and In/Visibility in The Help, and published this year by Cambridge Scholars Press.

The Medical-Industrial Complex: How Money and Power Sabotaged Patient Care in America, and What's To Be Done About It Now

Dr. Mike Magee
Fri., April 6; 2–3:30 p.m.; McAuley Retirement Community
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

Based on research from his new book, Code Blue (Grove Atlantic Press, 2019), medical journalist Mike Magee MD, presents this highly visual and interactive discussion that answers the following questions: How did America become the only developed nation to deny universal coverage and health care as a right? Why are our costs the highest while our quality measures remain the lowest? How did health care become a business and what role did WW II play in this evolution? Who's pulling the strings, and who are the villains and heroes in this story? And most importantly, what should we as a country do about it now?

MIKE MAGEE, MD is an award-winning medical journalist and historian, and the son of a WW II combat physician. A West Hartford resident, he is currently the Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth. He has served as Honorary Master Scholar at NYU, a David Rockefeller Fellow, a Fellow in Humanities at the World Medical Association in Geneva, senior VP at Pennsylvania Hospital, and the director of the Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative. He and his wife Trish run the non-profit Rocking Chair Project, which assists economically disadvantaged moms about to give birth. They have 10 grandchildren, three living in West Hartford.

Common Lands, Uncommon People

Ron Epp
Thurs., May 3; 2–3:30 p.m.;McAuley Retirement Community
Cost: $15; Fellows, No charge; Register online.

While colonial and 19th-century New England towns developed regulations limiting the use of fields, streams, marshes, forests, meadows and other natural resources, nature conservation took a new turn as the 20th-century approached. Against the forces of the  Industrialized Age, the agents who tamed and exploited the physical environment were challenged by Progressive-era figures like Theodore Roosevelt. After centuries of prioritizing private ownership and the profitable use of the nation's resources, conservation was emerging as a social movement grounded in the experiences and traditions of 19th-century rural America. Before environmental policy could be structured by state and federal organizations, land that would be held in common had to be identified and fiercely represented by persistent and strong willed uncommon women and men. This lecture will address the accomplishments of 20th-century pioneers and their impact on New England. 

 RONALD H. EPP, PhD is a philosopher, historian, biographer, and academic librarian. He has taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Memphis, and the University of Hartford before becoming its director of Libraries (1993-2001). Epp is a founding member of the Council of Connecticut Academic Library Directors. He served as a consultant to America’s Best Idea: The National Parks, the Ken Burns PBS documentary. His Creating Acadia National Park: The Biography of George Bucknam Dorr was published last year. Since then Epp has delivered more than two dozen talks on conservation, most recently to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Note: Tuition and fees are non-refundable.