June 2, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Innmate Alina Macneal. Her topic—The Unsettling and Entertaining Julian Tuwim, in Translation.
Alina has loved the work of the celebrated Polish poet Julian Tuwim since childhood. His lively, engaging poems for children have been ever-popular in his homeland, captivating generations since he began publishing them in the late 1930s. Now, another side of his work has gained a second life. His dark political poems have resurfaced to great popularity in print and performance in the past decade. Tuwim gave voice in the late 1930s to a foreboding of catastrophe felt by many in Europe. He watched the rise of fascism abroad, endured the hounding of nationalists and anti-Semites in Poland, and wrote in the nimble, ingenious style that won him acclaim in his earlier work as a satirist and iconoclast. Alina will talk about some of his poems and why they are universal and relevant now—and about the difficulties of translating Tuwim into English.
Born in Warsaw, Alina Macneal arrived in the U.S. with her family as a refugee at age nine, and came of age as a bilingual speaker in the monolingual suburbs of St. Louis. In translating Tuwim’s poems, she hopes to give English readers some of the flavor and wit of the originals. Alina co-hosts a monthly poetry series at Fergie’s Pub, and her own poems have appeared in various publications. She holds a BA from Yale, an MArch and an MLA from Penn, and she teaches architectural design and urban history at Drexel.
June 6, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Matthew McGovern is our Quarterback.
June 9, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Innmate Howard Callaway. His topic—Lincoln Steffens Is Calling: He Wants Us to Think Seriously About the Gilded Age Now.
Howard will draw on his recent book, Lincoln Steffens’s The Shame of the Cities, and the Philosophy of Corruption and Reform, to call our attention to Gilded Age corruption and to relevant parallels in our own era of great, and rising, economic disparities. Steffens wrote of post–Civil War political corruption at its height in our major cities, publishing a series of articles in McClure’s Magazine. His view was clear: The transactional self-dealing of corruption tended “to change the form of our government from one that is representative of the people to an oligarchy, representative of special interests.” His 1904 book, The Shame of the Cities, was a collection of those articles aiming to document municipal corruption and promote reform, and particularly to call the public to account for complicity through indifference. He labeled all municipal governments that he investigated “more or less bad,” but he singled out Philadelphia. It was “simply the most corrupt and the most contented.” Howard’s book expands the focus on Philadelphia, recounting how a Republican political machine ruled in the city after the Civil War and into the 1950s.
Howard Callaway holds both PhD and MA degrees in philosophy from Temple and a BA in philosophy, with distinction, from Penn State. His teaching assignments have taken him to universities in the U.S., Europe, and Africa, and he has held multiple research fellowships in Germany. Howard’s extensive bibliography includes his book on Steffens (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020), and most recently William James: Essays in Radical Empiricism (Lexington Books, 2022). Copies of the Steffens book will be available for purchase and signing on Thursday.
June 13, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Ruth Morelli is our Quarterback.
June 17, Friday Club Dinner, starting with cocktails at 5:30 p.m.
Speaker is Kermit Roosevelt. His topic—United States v. One Book Called Ulysses: A View of Censorship in the 1920s, and Now in the 2020s.
In this centenary year of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Kermit Roosevelt will offer insights on the landmark decision in United States v. One Book Called Ulysses and comments on 21st-century censorship. Publication in 1920 of the Nausicaä episode of Ulysses, in The Little Review, led to an obscenity ruling, and subsequent legal efforts blocked U.S. publication of the novel itself until the 1933 One Book decision. This saga of censorship began with a complaint by a lawyer parent, acting because his daughter had been shocked by scenes in Nausicaä. It ended with an opinion containing a note of humor that Joyce was said to appreciate. Judge John M. Woolsey wrote, “But whilst in many places the effect of ‘Ulysses’ on the reader undoubtedly is somewhat emetic, nowhere does it tend to be an aphrodisiac.”
Kermit Roosevelt teaches constitutional law, conflict of laws, and creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has published several books in these fields. The Myth of Judicial Activism sets out standards by which citizens can determine whether the Supreme Court is abusing its power to interpret the Constitution. His most recent nonfiction book, The Nation that Never Was, investigates the source of American ideals and identity to propose a radical reworking of the American story. He is also the author of two novels, In the Shadow of the Law and Allegiance. Roosevelt was selected by the American Law Institute as the Reporter for the Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws, and he served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Before joining the Penn faculty, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter and practiced appellate litigation in Chicago.
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June 20, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Gresham Riley is our Quarterback.
June 23, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Edward Pettit. His topic—Dracula at 125.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is now 125 years old and still thrills readers the world over. Edward G. Pettit will share details of the novel’s origin—from Stoker’s own research notes, vampire folklore, and early vampire literature—to demonstrate how Dracula begat a kind of taxonomy for all vampires. (And to add a shiver of anticipation, Stoker has a history with FIC, to be revealed on this occasion.)
Edward G. Pettit is the Sunstein Senior Manager of Public Programs at the Rosenbach. In 2020, he hosted “Sundays with Dracula“, a weekly virtual program analyzing all 27 chapters of Stoker’s novel. He has since hosted programs on Frankenstein and Jane Eyre. And in September, he will launch a weekly series of “Austen Mondays” focusing on Pride and Prejudice. When not attending Moby-Dick marathon readings, he can often be found hosting literary-themed cocktail parties. For more on Dracula at 125, see his blog at this link: https://rosenbach.org/blog/dracula-at-125/
June 27, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Alan Penziner is our Quarterback.
June 30, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Speaker is Innmate Joe Jordan. His topic—Tales of Cape May Point, a Singular Jersey Shore Resort.
Joe just celebrated his 99th birthday, sharing cake and a toast with Innmates in early May. When asked if he would speak about his life at this Roundtable, he chose to focus on Cape May Point, a place of great meaning to him. (His grandfather purchased a cottage at 309 Cape Avenue, which remained in the family until Joe and wife Sarah sold it four years ago.) We may know Cape May Point now as a major “birding” center of the mid-Atlantic region—and perhaps as the famously dry town favored as a summer residence by Philadelphia’s stalwart of the retail trade, John D. Wanamaker. But tales of its history as the neighbor of once-disreputable Cape May are both righteous and amusing, as Joe will tell us and show us with pictures from his two books about Cape May Point.
Joe J. Jordan, EFAIA, headed the Department of Architecture at Drexel for fifteen years and taught there for almost twenty years. In 1958, he started his own firm, and then in 1982 partnered with James E. Mitchell, AIA. In its thirty-year life, the firm served corporate, governmental, and institutional clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Joe is the author of two books on design for senior centers, published by The National Council on the Aging: Senior Center Design: An Architect’s Evaluation of Building Design, Equipment, and Furnishings (1975) and Senior Center Design: An Architect’s Discussion of Facility Planning (1978). In retirement, he wrote Cape May Point: The Illustrated History, 1875 to the Present (Schiffer Books, 2003) and Cape May Point: Three walking Tours of Historic Cottages (Schiffer Books, 2004).