Thursday Evening Speaker Series

Thank you to Pomeroy Living: Senor Living Communities for their generous sponsorship of the Thursday Evening Speaker Series. Speaker presentations will be at Next with seating dictated by room size for social distancing. A few speakers will still be held on Zoom, indicated in the topic description.

  • Norman Rockwell: America's Story Teller

    Thursday, March 23, 2023 | 6:00-7:00pm

    Wendy Evans, Art Historian & Scholar

    No one has captured American life more vividly than Norman Rockwell. We'll explore several of his memorable covers for the Saturday Evening Post as well as a selection of other work from his long and productive career. 

  • Iran's Culture

    Thursday, March 30, 2023 | 6:00-7:00pm

    Professor Setareh Ghoreishi - Professor Oakland University

    Persia, today’s Iran, has one of the oldest, richest and most infl uential art histories in the world. Dating back to 550 BCE, about 2500 years ago, this country’s rich and distinctive cultural and social lineage has infl uenced literature, music, dance, architecture and so much more. Few countries enjoy as long of a cultural heritage as Iran, and despite political, religious and historic changes, Iranians maintain a deep connection to their traditions and festivals. Join Professor and artist Setareh Ghoreishi as she introduces you to Persian cultural history and current Iran. Presented through her own work, she explores the cross cultural relationship of language interactions and Persian visual elements.

  • Climate Change in the Great Lakes

    Thursday, April 6, 2023 | 6:00-7:00pm

    Kris Olsson - Climate Reality Leader with Washtenaw Climate Reality, Watershed Ecologist at the Huron River Watershed Council and Kent Kasper, Climate Reality Project, A2Zero Ambassador

    Join Climate Reality Leaders Kent Kasper and Kris Olsson for a presentation on the impacts, solutions and what you can do to drive action. The mission of the Climate Reality Project is to protect the welfare of the planet and its citizens by supporting action to transition to clean energy. Members network with other climate activists, take local or regional action and become a force for climate solutions in their community. The Climate Reality Project offers resources, materials and training to help become better advocates and climate educators.

  • Learning About Lebanon

    Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 6:00-7:00pm

    Professor Ara Sanjian, M.S., Ph.D, Associate Professor of History & Director, Armenian Research Center - U of M Dearborn Professor Sanjian will provide an introduction to Lebanon, the country where he is from and continues to visit annually. A country divided sharply on religious and confessional lines, Professor Sanjian will discuss the similarities and differences of the various groups in Lebanon. He will also share the story of his Armenian grandparents who were forced to fl ee to Lebanon as refugees to escape the Armenian genocide during World War I.

  • Birmingham's Indigenous People & Archaeological Heritage

    Thursday, April 20, 2023 | 6:00-7:00pm

    Caitlin Donnelly, M.A., Museum Specialist - The Birmingham Museum

    What do we know about the people who occupied this area before contact with Europeans? What archaeological fi nds have occurred in the area and what is their connection to the Saginaw Trail — now Woodward Avenue? What became of Oakland County’s indigenous people? Caitlin Donnelly will draw from her archaeological and anthropological background to help explain what we know about the people who preceded our pioneer settlers — and what we still don’t know.

  • Deconstructing the Middle East: Exploring the Region's Diversity

    Thursday, April 27, 2023 | 6:00-7:00pm

    Tareq Ramadan, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Wayne State University and Arab America Foundation’s 40 under 40 List Award Recipient

    The Middle East has been largely painted to Western audiences as an ethnically, linguistically, geographically and religiously monolithic place. However, the reality is that the region is come to an array of people from a multitude of cultures, religious milieus and linguistic traditions, representing a rich tapestry of diverse communities, customs, spiritual practices and more. Outside of academia, the region is often presented as a static and immutable place, characterized by instability, war and a people preoccupied with violence. However, the Middle East is a space and a concept that cannot be reduced to an essentialist caricature. Professor Ramadan will highlight this diversity by first deconstructing assumptions that have come to dominate popular perceptions of the region, challenge the myth of ethno-religious homogeneity and address the geo-political terminology used to describe the Middle East and provide a breakdown of the region’s inhabitants and seemingly disparate populations.