Lyceums flourished in the United States from the mid-19th century and were important in the development of adult education. Lecturers, musicians, singers and readers traveled the "lyceum circuit," going from town to town to entertain, speak, or debate. The current Lyceum Series at the Grange continues this tradition with lectures and programs of interest to the community.
FALL 2013 Lyceums will begin in September. Schedule will be announced in July.
PAST LYCEUM PROGRAMS
Land and Labor: The Past, Present and Future of Farming in America 8-week series on Tuesday nights at 7:30
Creating the Land: Deglaciation of the Champlain Lowland and northeastern Adirondacks
Speaker: David Franzi, professor of Earth and Environmental Science, SUNY Plattsburgh
Four-part series on the History of Farming in North America
Speaker: Andy Buchanan, lecturer in Global and American History, University of Vermont
February 5, Part 1 From the "Three Sisters" to the Rise of Commercial Agriculture
February 12, Part 2 A House Divided: The Agricultural Roots of the Civil War
February 19, Part 3 The Settlement of the West, Mechanization and Commodity Production
February 26, Part 4 From the Great Depression to the 21st Century: State Intervention, the Family Farm Crisis and the Rise of Agribusiness
The Future of Food: A Discussion with Local Farmers
With James Graves, Full and By Farm; Marco Turco, Manzini Farms, Kristin Kimball, Essex Farm, Lucas Christenson and Ian Ater, Fledging Crow Farm. Moderated by Richard Robbins, professor of Anthropology at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Back to the Land: The Enduring Dream of Self-Sufficiency in Modern America
Speaker: Dona Brown, professor of History, University of Vermont and author of a recent book on the back-to-the-land movement.
NEW DATE! Rescheduled for March 26
Hunting, Gathering and Fungus Farming: Feeding the Adirondack Farm Family in the 19th Century
Speaker: Hallie Bond, former curator at the Adirondack Museum for 25 years
Sunday, March 24 at 3pm
Water Proof: Are rising water and shrinking ice the new norm for the North Country?
The last two years of extreme weather is - according to the models, studies and historical records - what climate change in this region looks like. This program will look at what has happened and what will happen as this process continues.
Presentation by Curt Stager, ecologist, science journalist and professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith's College. Curt has been conducting research in the Champlain basin and Adirondacks on the effects of climate change. Read more about his research in the April issue of Adirondack Life magazine.
Sponsored by the Grange, Adirondack Life, Champlain Area Trails and the Adirondack Council.
FALL 2012 Series
Series ticket: $35 for 8 lectures; $5 per lecture. Students FREE
September 25: On the Trail of the USS Monitor: From the Adirondacks to Hampton Roads
Speaker: Morris Glenn, local historian and author
October 2: The Ten-Mile House: Why the "Greenest" Buildings Might be Existing Buildings
Speaker: Steven Engelhart, Executive Director, Adirondack Architectural Heritage
October 9: Native American Settlement and Archeology in the Champlain Valley
Speaker: Chris Wolff is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, SUNY Plattsburgh and an archaeologist with a research focus on the prehistory of North America, particularly regarding human-environment interaction.
October 16: Singing for Change: "Protest" Music in American History
A presentation in words and song by Mary-Nell Bockman and The Wannabes
The Story Behind the Story, four-part series with author Colin Wells
Each week, local author and historian Colin Wells will give a brief summary of the story, and then focus on a particular aspect of it — a character, a theme, a plot element — that offers an unusual insight into the historical context. As always, questions and comments are encouraged. No reading required.
October 23: Richard II by William Shakespeare
War, politics and succession are the themes of this classic play by Shakespeare that examines the "two bodies" of the king.
November 13: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
October 30: The Diary of Samuel Pepys
Long before so-called reality shows, Samuel Pepys kept a diary that opened a window into life in 17th century England and its scandals, intrigue, politics, money and sex. No Masterpiece Theater was ever this revealing!
A classic adventure novel that has never been out of print since it was published in 1726. Tonight's lecture will show why this is most popular of Swift's books and a great read for all ages.
November 20: Rob Roy by Walter Scott
Scotland is in turmoil in the early 18th century and the Jacobites are rising. Heroes and scoundrels abound in this rip-roaring tail of life and love in the Highlands.
Winter/Spring 2012 Series
Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!
Get a jump-start on Spring with this hands-on program that helps you and your soil produce a more beautiful and bountiful garden this year. Amy Ivy, master gardener and coordinator of Cornell Cooperative Extension, will bring her tricks and tips for building up the most important part of your garden.
The History of the World in Nine Weeks
Runs from February 21 through April 17
A series of talks by Andy Buchanan, lecturer in global history, American and military history at the University of Vermont. Discussion follows, bring your questions.
$36 for series / students $18
$5 per class / students half-price
Class 1, 2/21: Humankind Makes Itself: From the Origins of Humanity To the Farming Revolution
Class 2, 2/28: City States, Empires, and the Cosmopolitan World that Bound Them
Class 3, 3/6: The Opening of the Eurasian Ecumene: Hellenism, Han China, and the Silk Road
Class 4, 3/13: Dark Age Europe, a Resurgent Middle East, and Rise of China
Class 5, 3/20: From Atilla to Ghenghis Khan: Eurasian Networks of Trade and War
Class 6, 3/27: Europe Rises I: Feudalism, the “Age of Discovery,” and the Origins of Capitalism
Class 7, 4/3: Europe Rises II: Industry, Democracy, and Imperialism
Class 8, 4/10: War, Depression, and Revolution in the “Short Twentieth Century”
Class 9, 4/17: The Present As History or Where Have We Come From and Where Are We Going?
William H. McNeill, The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963, 1991). Be sure to get the 1991 edition with McNeill’s introductory essay, “The Rise of the West after 25 Years,” written in 1988. This is a big book (over 800 pages) and is now a bit dated—as McNeill’s own 1988 essay acknowledges—but it remains the best overall introduction to the subject.
Facing the Future: a two-part discussion series
Saturday, January 14 at 3pm
Part 1: Changes, Challenges, and Choices in the Adirondacks
Presentations by Brian Mann, Adirondack bureau chief for North Country Public Radio and Curt Stager, ecologist, paleoclimatolgist, science journalist and author of Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth. Brian Mann and Curt Stager research and write about the future of the Adirondacks from different perspectives: economy, climate, natural history, and people.
Thursday, February 2 at 7:30
Part 2: The Myth of Sustainability
Presentation by Richard Robbins, professor of cultural anthropology at SUNY Plattsburgh and author of Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism.
The Story Behind the Story: Life and Times of Seven Classic Novels
A seven-week series on Tuesday nights at 7:30, beginning September 20
The Grange Fall Lyceum presents a series of seven lectures that will look at the historical backgrounds of these classic popular tales.
Each week, local author and historian Colin Wells will give a brief summary of the story, and then focus on a particular aspect of it—a character, a theme, a plot element — that offers an unusual insight into the historical context. As always, questions and comments are encouraged.
Tickets: $28 for series; $5 per class. Drop-ins welcome
Colin Wells is the author of Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World (2006) and A Brief History of History: Great Historians and the Epic Quest to Explain the Past (2008). He has also written extensively on literary works and the historical events that shaped them. Colin lives in Westport.
Thursday, November 17 at 7:30
From Forest to Fields: A History of Agriculture in the Champlain Valley
Join Anita Deming of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Andrew Alberti from Lakes to Locks Passage, as they trace the evolution of farming from Native Americans to modern-day, from the Three Sisters to "The Dirty Life."
$5; students half-price
Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm
On the Gunpowder Trail: From Ancient China to Lake Champlain
Black/gunpowder has a fascinating history. Its path may be traced from ancient China and India to the expanding western world, where the trail will be followed this evening from the city of Bath in the UK to Lake Champlain in upstate New York, from Waltham Abbey to the Whallonsburg Grange. $5; students half-price
Lecture by Dr. Brenda Buchanan, author of Gunpowder, Explosives and the State, contributor to the anthology Gunpowder Plots, and former editor of Bath History magazine. Dr. Buchanan is a world-renowned expert on the history of gunpowder and a frequent lecturer. She lives in Bath, United Kingdom and visits the Champlain Valley regularly.
Saturday, June 18, 7:00
Climate Whiplash: What Happens After Global Warming
Most people have accepted that the Earth is warming and that human civilization has played the key role in this transition. Yet few of us realize the magnitude of what's happened. The course we take in the coming decades will affect not just the next hundred years, but the next hundred thousand years of life on this planet. What will that world be like?
Dr. Curt Stager is an ecologist, paleoclimatologist and science journalist. A professor at Paul Smiths College with a PhD in biology and geology, he is the co-host of Natural Selections on North Country Public Radio. Dr. Stager is the author of the just-released, Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth.
Reception and book-signing follows. Books will be on sale at the event. $5; students half-price.
Friday, June 24, 7:00pm
BLOOM: The Plight of Lake Champlain
from the air, the green colors swirling in the dark blue lake water are
gorgeous. But the beautiful spreading substance is toxic, one of the
blue-green algae blooms that have begun to appear regularly in Lake
Champlain. BLOOM is a documentary that examines the decline of the health of the lake and its causes, including urban stormwater drainage, aging waste-water treatment plants and agricultural fertilizer run-off.
Fall and Spring 2010-11: American History from 1560-1975
The Lyceum presented 17 classes in two sessions covering all of American history. Lectures were by Andy Buchanan, lecturer in American and global history at the University of Vermont.
All 17 lectures are archived on the NCPR Community>Forums page. To listen on your computer click here. When the web page opens click on the triangle under the lecture. The lecture will start immediately.
If you want to download the audio file to listen later on your computer or an Mp3 player, right-click on the Download Audio button, choose Save Link As..., and Save the file on your computer. Please note: these are large files and could take some time to download if you have a slower internet connection.
February 26, 2011
Between War and Peace: How America Ends Its Wars
Col. Matthew Moten, professor and deputy head of the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Editor of the new book, Between War and Peace, presented a lecture based on his introduction. As the United States attempts to extricate itself from two long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Col. Moten discussed one of the most pressing issues of our time: how do we end conflict and how do we deal with the country we are leaving behind?
Wednesday, April 20, 7:30
Quantum Mechanics for Ordinary People
Momentum, photons, entangled twins? What is all this and why does it matter?
Lecture by John Kramer, professor emeritus in Physics at the University of Washington. Dr. Cramer is an experimental physicist and the originator of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. He is currently pursuing a UW-based experiment in the use of quantum optics for communication, a project that has received media attention for the "Time Travel" aspects of this research. Dr. Cramer is also a science fiction writer and part-time Westport resident. $5; students half-price.
What is the Lyceum Series?
Lyceums flourished in the United States before and after the Civil War and were important in the development of adult education in America. Noted lecturers, musicians, singers and readers would travel the "lyceum circuit," going from town to town or state to state to entertain, speak, or debate in a variety of locations. The lyceum movement — hundreds of informal associations across the country that hosted these events — had a presence in Whallonsburg from early in the nineteenth century. Charles Stafford, a prosperous local farmer with a house and farm on Leaning Road, writes in his 1856 diary about his regular and enthusiastic attendance at the Lyceum debates here and programs continued for decades after. The new Lyceum Series at the Grange continues this tradition by presenting educational lectures and programs of interest to the community.