The University of Scranton’s Schemel Forum courses illustrate influences of the past on the present

For Abington Journal

SCRANTON — During the fall semester at The University of Scranton, local residents can discover how three prominent historical topics continue to influence our lives today: “The Canturbury Tales,” Islamic Art and Culture, and the Holocaust. Sponsored by the Schemel Form, The University of Scranton professors will teach six-session evening courses on these topics in the Weinberg Memorial Library on campus.

“Top Down? Chaucer and Medieval Governance in ‘The Canterbury Tales’” will be taught by Rebecca Beal, Ph.D., professor and chair of the university’s department of English and theatre. The course will meet from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Aug. 31; Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28; and Oct. 5.

Chaucer’s tales address issues of governance — for individuals, families, organizations and countries. Although the historical context is different from today’s, the work explores issues that are still relevant.

Josephine Dunn, Ph.D., professor of art history at the University, will conduct a class titled “An Introduction to Islamic Art and Culture.” This introductory art history course presents art produced by Muslims from the 7th through the 21st centuries. It will meet from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 13, 20 and 27 and Nov. 3, 10 and 17.

Illustrated lectures will cover the birth of Islamic art, cultural dialogue between East and West, fruits (art) of political division and invasion, the effects of colonialism on the Islamic-built environment and cultural psyche and the challenge of defining identity in Islamic art of the 21st century.

“The Holocaust: An Interdisciplinary Perspective” will be taught by a team of university faculty working in their respective disciplines to give a comprehensive understanding of this still-mysterious horrific 20th-century genocide. The professors are Frank Homer, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history; William Rowe, Ph.D., professor of philosophy; David Friedrichs, professor of sociology and criminal justice; Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D. director of the university’s Hope Horn Gallery, and Carl Schaffer, professor of English and theatre. The course will meet from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 17, 24 and 31 and Nov. 7, 14 and 21.

The cost to attend any of these courses is $60 per person or $100 per couple. Schemel Forum members attend free. Space is limited and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, contact Emily Brees, Schemel Forum assistant, at 570-941-6206 or For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers at 570-941-4089 or

For Abington Journal

Information provided by The University of Scranton.

Information provided by The University of Scranton.

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