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Faculty trio to give 'Darwinpalooza' talk

Barry McNamara
02/10/2010
Monmouth College will host four recurring events next week, starting with a “Journey Stories” film on Feb. 16 and concluding on Feb. 18 with a Monmouth Associates luncheon and a “Darwinpalooza” lecture. In between, on Feb. 17, will be the next Great Decisions discussion. All four events are free and open to the public.

MC faculty members Simon Cordery, Rob Hale and Dick Johnston will present the “Darwinpalooza” lecture on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room. Their talk is titled “Beyond Darwin in 1859? Mill’s ‘On Liberty,’ Smiles’ ‘Self-Help’ and Eliot’s ‘Masterpiece of the Century.’”

Representing three different disciplines, the professors will discuss three major texts also published in 1859, in which Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” in order to show what else occurred during the historic year of intellectual ferment. Johnston, associate professor of political economy and commerce, will speak on Mill; Cordery, associate professor of history, will speak on Smiles; and Hale, professor of English, will speak on Eliot.

“1859 was a nondescript year in the middle of the nineteenth century, a year of apparent calm everywhere outside the United States,” said Cordery. “Remarkably, this year of relative peace in European politics and society witnessed the near-simultaneous publication of three groundbreaking and epoch-capturing books that charted new paths in politics (Mill), science (Darwin) and society (Smiles). Together these books, along with George Eliot’s ‘Masterpiece of the Century,’ show us a world in flux, a modern world – our world – in the making.”

Also on Feb. 18, one of the college’s newest musical ensembles, the all-male a cappella group The Scotsmen, will perform a variety of selections at the Monmouth Associates luncheon. The program is free; a buffet lunch costs $9. Reservations can be made by calling 309-457-2316 by Feb. 15, by e-mail at mcarwile@monm.edu, or online at www.monm.edu/alumni/associates.htm.

A free shuttle van transports passengers from two locations to every Associates luncheon. The van will stop at the Faith United Presbyterian Church parking lot at 11:45 a.m. and at the northeast quadrant of the Public Square at approximately 11:50 a.m. It will return to both locations immediately following the program. Shuttle reservations should be made by calling the above number.

The Journey Stories Film Series complements the traveling Smithsonian exhibit currently on display at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth. The series continues on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium with “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Ford’s memorable screen version of John Steinbeck’s epic novel of the Great Depression. The film, which stars Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, will be introduced by Lydia Cooper, visiting assistant professor of English.

On Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tartan Room of the Stockdale Center, assistant professor of political economy and commerce Haryanto will introduce the next Great Decisions topic, “Global Financial Crisis.” Following his opening remarks, there will be approximately one hour of group discussion.