SPARTANBURG — Spartanburg Community College (SCC) invites the community to attend a free lecture series beginning this month on diverse topics exploring historical, religious, cultural and economic themes.
In the tradition of the antebellum era Lyceum Movement, which allowed for the early dissemination of adult education primarily through lecture, performance, debate, and discussion, the Spartanburg Community College Lyceum Lecture Series seeks to promote four faculty lecturers each year. The series will showcase topics from all academic areas, and will connect the historical relevance of the Lyceum Movement to continuing and lifelong learning in the present day.
The following lectures will be held in the Tracey Gaines Auditorium on SCC’s central campus in Spartanburg:
January — “What is Genocide?”
Few terms carry greater emotional weight than the label genocide. The most important legal definition of genocide, according to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, is about to celebrate its 65th anniversary. Yet most Americans would be surprised to learn that scholars have yet to reach a consensus definition for this term. Raphael Lemkin, father of the word, looked back to the 18th century as he attempted to define genocide. More modern definitions, from that codified by the UN to those used in American classrooms, often have more than a hint of political influences attached to them. Scholars offer seemingly endless variety in their uses of the word. This lecture will explore the history of a very complicated term in an effort to answer the lingering question, what is genocide?
Speaker: Dr. Keith Pomakoy, Dean of Arts and Sciences
Date: Thursday, January 24 at 2 p.m.
February — “From Heaven to Hell: Medieval Moralities to Elizabethan Tragedies”
The Protestant Reformation greatly affected English culture and changed theatre from primarily religious drama to secular drama. Characters found redemption in Medieval morality plays and damnation in Elizabethan tragedies. This lecture will review theatre classics to trace this phenomenon.
Speaker: Emily Grigg, English and Theater Instructor
Date: Wednesday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m.
March — “The Great Recession of 2008: A Teachable Moment for World Religions”
The Great Recession of 2008 and its continuing aftermath has usually been understood as a problem of economic policy. But there is also a deeper clashing going on — conflicting theories about human nature. Are consumers rational calculators? Are people basically selfish, or basically good? How you answer these questions will affect what policy choices you make. Using a comparative religions approach, this lecture will explore the question of human nature in Christianity and Islam, and suggestions will be offered on how the different views help explain what happened in the Great Recession.
Speaker: Dr. Craig Kubias, Philosophy and Religion Instructor
Date: Tuesday, March 12 at 3:30 p.m.
April — “African Connections: Far Reaching Effects of Gullah Language and Dialect”
The Gullah people, decedents of slaves who lived in the low country region of South Carolina and Georgia, trace their language and cultural roots to central and western African ancestors who were brought to Atlantic coast ports in the 16th-19th centuries via the transatlantic slave trade. Today, hundreds of years later, the unique customs and traditions of the Gullah people still exist in music, crafts, storytelling, cuisine and even the language still spoken along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts. The Gullah’s various African words and dialect, when combined with the English language, creates a rich and unique language with hundred of cognate words presently used in American English. Many of the word roots can be traced back to West Africa and are commonly used by Americans of all races. This lecture explores the Gullah people, their language and it’s presence in the modern world.
Speaker: Holly Ireson, English Adjunct Instructor
Date: Tuesday, April 9 at 4:30 p.m.
For more information about SCC’s Lyceum Speakers Series, please contact Jenny Williams, SCC’s academic program director for English, at (864) 592-4851. For directions or a map of SCC’s central campus, visit http://www.sccsc.edu/about/maps.aspx.
About Spartanburg Community College
Named one of the fastest-growing colleges in the nation by Community College Week, SCC offers more than 100 academic program offerings including associate degrees, diplomas and certificates, plus University Transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities. SCC provides flexible class scheduling including day, evening, weekend classes with multiple start dates and more than 100 online classes through SCCOnline. Offering the lowest tuition in the region, convenient locations, and regional/national accreditations, SCC offers educational opportunities leading to high-growth, high-demand jobs. The SCC Corporate & Community Education Division provides job and career enhancement, workforce development and personal enrichment courses and training programs. For more information, visit www.sccsc.edu.