Programs for Jun 30-Jul 31

June 30, Monday Quarterback Roundtable, 12:30 – 1:45

Alan Penziner is our Quarterback 

July 2, Thursday Zoom Lunch Roundtable 12:30 – 1:45

Speaker is Innmate Michael Brooks on “Literary Epidemics”.

A retired professor of Literature, Franklin Inn Club member Michael Brooks is the author of John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture and Subway City; Riding the Trains, Reading New York.

The talk will survey literary portrayals of epidemics from Thucydides to Edgar Allen Poe before settling down to an extended examination of Albert Camus’s The Plague.

July 6, Monday Quarterback Roundtable, 12:30 – 1:45

Basil Talbott is our Quarterback 

July 9, Thursday Zoom Lunch Roundtable 12:30 – 1:45 pm

Speaker is David Brooks, Opinion Columnist, New York Times on What Kind of Pivot is This?”

Political scientist Samuel Huntington argued that every 60 years or so America goes through a period of moral convulsion.  The current one started before Covid and the killing of George Floyd but is now influenced by them.  What is the nature of this cultural and political shift?  Can we see where we are heading on the other side?

A columnist for the New York Times, David Brooks’ most recent book is The Second Mountain.

July 13 Monday Quarterback Roundtable, 12:30 – 1:45

Ruth Morelli is our Quarterback 

July 16, Thursday Zoom Lunch Roundtable 12:30 – 1:45

Speaker is Innmate Walton Van Winkle, who will take us on a virtual tour of Philadelphia’s Masonic Temple in his presentation “Precision of Archaeology: The Inside Story of the Architecture, Design, and Upkeep of the Masonic Temple of Pennsylvania.”

Built between 1868 and 1873, the temple’s grandeur is matched by only two other Masonic temples in the world—in London and Stockholm. It is now closed for tours because of COVID-19, but we’ll have visiting privileges thanks to Walton, focusing on the architecture of James H. Windrim and the decorative art of George Herzog as well as the ongoing work to maintain this gem that hides in plain sight across from City Hall.

Walton, who has been a full-time tour guide at the temple, is a writer and former instructor in literature and writing at The Cooper Union and Pratt Institute in NYC. He is a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides.

July 20, Monday Quarterback Roundtable, 12:30 – 1:45

Alina Macneal is our Quarterback 

July 23, Thursday Zoom Lunch Roundtable 12:30 – 1:45

Speaker is Bob Skiba, a professional Philadelphia tour guide, who will speak on CAMAC STREET: A Lot of History in a Little Street”.

Camac Street might have more nicknames than any other street in Philadelphia. It’s been called the “Little Street of Clubs,” the “Biggest Little Street in the World,” “Philadelphia’s Greenwich Village” and more recently, the “Avenue of the Artists.”

All these names reflect the incredibly fascinating and diverse history of this tiny thoroughfare.

This talk touches on many of those stories – those of artists, writers, photographers, bakers, Quakers, Bohemians and whores; of key clubs, speakeasies and wooden blocks; of the first privately owned automobile in the city and the oldest gay bar.

Bob Skiba served as the President of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides for six years and now chairs the education committee there, training and certifying city tour guides.  He is also the Curator of Collections at the John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives at the William Way Community Center. Bob is the co-author of two books on Philadelphia history: “Lost Philadelphia” and “Philadelphia Then and Now.”

July 27, Monday Quarterback Roundtable, 12:30 – 1:45

Alina Macneal is our Quarterback 

July 30 Thursday Zoom Roundtable 12:30 – 1:45

Speaker is Peter Conn, Vartan Gregorian Professor of English Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, who will speak on “Winslow Homer”.

By general consent, Winslow Homer (1836-1910) ranks as one of the two most important American painters of the nineteenth century (Philadelphia’s Thomas Eakins is, of course, the other one). In the half-century of his career, the largely self-taught Homer produced hundreds of paintings, drawings, and water colors, many of them icons in the history of American art. In this Roundtable, we will look at, and discuss, a dozen or so of Homer’s paintings, chosen to illustrate the range of his subjects and techniques.

Peter Conn retired from Penn as Vartan Gregorian Professor of English and Professor of Education. His publications include The Divided Mind: Ideology and Imagination in America, 1898-1917, and Literature in America, which was a main selection of Associated Book Clubs (UK). Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography (Cambridge, 1996; Paperback 1998), was chosen as a “New York Times Notable Book,” was listed among the best 25 books of 1996 by Publishers Weekly and among the best books of the year by Library Journal, was included among the five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography, and received the Athenaeum Award.