Parker Lecture Commitee

John H. Pearson, Jr. Chairperson
John Carson
William Samaras
Paul F. Lappin, Executive Secretary

Ex-Officio

Jacqueline Moloney, Chancelor, UMass Lowell
Brian Martin
Headmaster, Lowell High School
Edward J. Kennedy, Mayor, City of Lowell

In Cooperation with:

Pollard Memorial Library
Lowell National Historical Park
Umass Lowell and Center for the Arts and Ideas
Lowell Celebrates Kerouac
New England Quilt Museum

Next Lecture

Tuesday
Sep
12
7:00 pm

Jeffrey R. Wilson – “Shakespeare and Trump” on Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

jefwilsonJeffrey R. Wilson, is a Preceptor in Expository Writing at Harvard University, will discuss the election of Donald Trump, its impact on the intellectual climate, and some of the ways in which Shakespeare was used in the coverage of the US election.

2017-2018 Lectures

Thursday
Aug
3
11:00 am

Stacey Peasley

peasleyStacey and her band play original music that engages every child. A teacher for ten years, Stacey is thrilled to combine her love of children and music into a lively act that engages kids and creates memorable and fun sing-along songs.

Wednesday
Aug
9
11:00 am

Ben Rudnick and Friends

_0018_benrudnickSophisticated melodies, precise instrumentation and witty lyrics that will delight the whole family! The award winning Ben Rudnick and Friends acoustic band is known for its family friendly music featuring instantly hum-able original songs and fun spins on well-known traditional material. Described as a Jerry Garcia like jam band for kids. Winner of a Parent’s Choice Award.

Tuesday
Sep
12
7:00 pm

Jeffrey R. Wilson – “Shakespeare and Trump” on Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

jefwilsonJeffrey R. Wilson, is a Preceptor in Expository Writing at Harvard University, will discuss the election of Donald Trump, its impact on the intellectual climate, and some of the ways in which Shakespeare was used in the coverage of the US election.

Thursday
Sep
21
7:00 pm

Nina Sankovitch – “The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family”

ninasThe Lowells of Massachusetts were a remarkable family. They were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists and artists flourishing in the 1900s. The Wall Street Journal calls this “[A] stirring saga…; Vivid and intimate”, Ms. Sankovitch’s account entertains us with Puritans and preachers, Tories and rebels, abolitionists and industrialists, lecturers and poets. Ms. Sankovitch has made a compelling contribution to Massachusetts and American History.”

Tuesday
Sep
26
6:30 pm

Judith Black – “The Rabble Rouser, Mother Jones” and “Rosie the Riveter”

judith-blackIn two first-person presentations, professional storyteller Judith Black interprets Mother Jones and Rosie the Riveter.  Mary Harris Jones. “Mother Jones,” was born in 1830. Her life as an agitator, organizer, and advocate of the working man raised the consciousness of turn of the century America. Fast forward 100 years and we’ll find that throughout World War II, as the boys went off to fight Hitler, Rosie the Riveter “manned” the factories and kept the front supplied. With humor and chutzpah (daring), this story explores the issues that women dealt with on the job during the war.  RSVP by email to: TIHC@UML.edu.

Saturday
Oct
7
2:00 pm

John Leland – “Why Kerouac Matters”

karouacPart of Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival. Legions of youthful Americans have taken On the Road as a manifesto for rebellion and an inspiration to hit the road. But there is much more to the book than that. In Why Kerouac Matters, John Leland embarks on a wry, insightful, and playful discussion of the novel, arguing that it still matters because it lays out an alternative road map to growing up. Along the way, Leland overturns many misconceptions about On the Road as he examines the lessons that Kerouac?s alter ego, Sal Paradise, absorbs and dispenses on his novelistic journey to manhood.

Thursday
Oct
19
7:00 pm

John Gfroerer – “Television: The Art and Ethics of Manipulation”

gfroererJohn Gfroerer explores the power of television as a communication medium and the ethical implications of manipulating the viewer by means of the choices made behind the camera through the final editing process. By examining the artistic techniques used to persuade, induce, and entice us, Gfroerer considers the extent to which television teaches or simply tantalizes us. Are ethical boundaries crossed by the use of these techniques, and to what extent as media consumers should we care?

Tuesday
Oct
24
7:00 pm

J.W. OCKER – “Odd Things I’ve Seen…in Massachusetts”

jwockerMassachusetts is a state full of oddity, from witch markers and pirate caves to medieval castles and ghost towns to macabre medical museums and books bound in human skin, all of it worth a visit if you’ve got a tank of gas and a Saturday morning. Take it from J.W. Ocker. He’s the Edgar-Award-winning author of four strange travelogues and OddThingsIveSeen.com. This presentation is his firsthand account of some of the strangest sites he’s visited over the past decade of exploring the Bay State.

Thursday
Oct
26
7:00 pm

Stephen Collins – “Butterfly”

Butterfly is about James McNeil Whistler (1834-1903), the volatile American artist who battled (mostly in Victorian England) for personal expression in the arts; Butterfly presents Whistler at two phases in his life: as a bankrupt artist in his 40’s on commission in Venice and as an established, yet lonely, legend in his 60’s.

Stephen Collins currently performs nine one-man shows and has been met with rave reviews for over a decade. Mr. Collins’ performances deliver not just the poetry and plays, but he also brings the poets and playwrights to life on the stage. The shows convey an understanding of the impact and the reactions of the characters to their respective times, giving the audience not just a performance, but an experience.

Sunday
Oct
29
2:00 pm

Tony Connors – “Paul Moodys Lowell Accomplishments”

moodyCo-Sponsored by The Lowell Historical Society. This lecture traces Paul Moody’s career from his early life in Newbury and Amesbury to his years of remarkable inventiveness at the Boston Manufacturing Company at Waltham, and finally his vital role in the founding of Lowell and the early success of the city’s cotton mills. While highlighting Moody’s many contributions to American industrial development, this story is less about technology and more about how an unschooled machinist could rise to a position of prominence in a major corporation. It’s not only about what Moody and men like him did for the Industrial Revolution, but also about the social and economic success that the Industrial Revolution provided to them. Tony Connors is an independent writer, editor, and teacher in early American and

local history. He is particularly interested in the area where the local history of southeastern New England expands beyond its boundaries and meets up with larger events, issues, and trends in American history. He is currently working on a book about whaling captains who engaged in the slave trade.

Saturday
Nov
4
11:00 am

Astrida Schaeffer – “The Sexual Politics of Women’s Fashion in the 19th Century”

schaefferIn our contemporary world of stretchy fabrics and loosely cut clothes, the idea of wearing corsets, hoops, bustles, and hip pads, seems uncomfortable and restrictive. Old photos of tiny waists and tight fitting dresses in museum exhibits look so extreme to modern-day women. How could they function? Weren’t they confined by their clothes? The real story is much more complex. Women had led active full lives for hundreds of years, taking advantage of fashion’s changing shapes to construct their own social identities. Yet by the end of the nineteenth century, with the rise of the women’s suffrage movement and women in the work force leading more independent lives, the corset and the closely-tailored clothes worn over it became symbols of oppression. This talk by clothing historian Astrida Schaeffer explores how women’s clothing went from fashion statement to political statement.

Sunday
Nov
12
2:00 pm

Laura French, Mehmed Ali, and Richard Howe – “The New Hampshire Telephone Museum and the Contributions of Dr. Moses Greeley Parker”

It has been said that no means of communication have altered or revolutionized the lives of humankind more than that of the telephone. For most of human history, anything other than a face-to-face conversation was considered long-distance and long-distance communication was especially difficult. The history of the telephone is a fascinating story that spans from Boston to California and beyond. The museum features a collection of over 1000 artifacts, and has made the New Hampshire Telephone Museum one of the must-see attractions in the state, as well as an important educational resource.

Dr. Moses Greeley Parker, who established this lecture series, made a small but critical contribution to the formation of our nation’s phone system. Memhed Ali and Richard Howe will fill you in with all the details of Dr. Parker’s life and work.

Tuesday
Nov
14
6:30 pm

“Hummus the Movie”

hummusIn partnership with the Lowell Film Collaborative, come and enjoy an eclectic, touching film about Hummus. Secret recipes, a Guinness World Record and the power of Hummus to bring Muslims, Christians and Jews together – in the Middle East, America and around the world. This deliciously smart and funny film takes us around Israel and Lebanon. From Suheila, a single Muslim woman known for her legendary hummus and her obsessively clean shop, to Jalil, a Christian Arab hipster in Ramle who runs his father’s hummus joint, to Eliyahu, a born-again Orthodox Jew who runs a hummus restaurant next to a gas station, the film revels in the joys of hummus and the way it can bring people together. Who’s Hungry?

Thursday
Nov
16
7:00 pm

Alex Beam – “American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church”

alexbeamTheir founder was Joseph Smith. In the 1820s, Smith began to “translate,” from tablets he kept wrapped in a tablecloth, a series of visions that became the Book of Mormon, a turgid sci-fi novel that nonetheless managed to sway a nucleus of converts. Smith also managed to be so provocative that he and his followers found themselves hounded, in a series of increasingly dramatic upheavals, from New York to Ohio to Missouri to Illinois.

Alex Beam’s “American Crucifixion” recounts the journey of these outcasts. Before they finally evacuated to the Great Salt Lake Valley, which was then part of Mexico, they thought they had found a safe haven in Nauvoo, Ill., the most elaborate of Smith’s foundations. Thence, from all over the United States, Canada and the British Isles, the Mormons flocked. At one point, the city’s population may have surpassed Chicago’s. But Smith’s gift for outrageousness prevailed, and in June 1844 a mob lynched him and his brother. Smith was 38 years old.

Sunday
Mar
4
2:00 pm

Penny Colman – “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World”

An intimate portrait of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a controversial thinker, and Susan B. Anthony, an indefatigable organizer, whose legendary friendship fueled and sustained the nineteenth-century fight for women’s rights. They waged this fight despite entrenched opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements, and betrayal by their allies. Their friendship lasted fifty-one years, and, as Susan once wrote they were “busy through every one of them stirring up the world to recognize the rights of women.” They didn’t always agree, and, at times, they were at odds. Nevertheless, Elizabeth once wrote, “Nothing that Susan could say or do could break my friendship with her and I know nothing could uproot her affection for me.”

Tuesday
Mar
6
6:30 pm

Marcia Estabrook – “Three Mill Girls”

mestabook“Three Mill Girls” is a dramatization of the experiences of three young women working in the Lowell cotton mills during the 19th century. Dressed in historically accurate costumes, Marcia Estabrook will portray typical mill workers between the years 1845 and 1860.  RSVP by email to: TIHC@UML.edu.  Part of Women’s Week 2018

Tuesday
Mar
20
7:00 pm

Dr. Gray Fitzsimons, Dr. Patricia Fontaine, and Kristin Gallas – “Immigrants, Refugees, and the Quest for Equality of Education: Lowell’s Separate Irish School System and Its Legacy”

In 1830, Lowell’s school committee faced a difficult decision in light of the growing nativist and common school movements in the United States – whether to establish equity in public education as their community became more culturally diverse. They voted to spend $50 per year to establish an Irish-only school in the Acre, while the remaining parts of town were divided into district schools. Following a viewing of the Tsongas Industrial History Center’s new short film about this historic debate, “A School for Kids Like Me,” historian Gray Fitzsimons will discuss the factors that shaped Lowell’s early school system, including the segregation of Irish students. UMass Lowell professor Patricia Fontaine will provide insight on the city’s current actions to provide a holistic, inclusive education for immigrant students. RSVP by email to: TIHC@UML.edu.

Tuesday
Mar
27
11:45 am

Gururaj” Desh” Deshpande – “The Power of Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century”

deshGururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a Trustee of Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. Desh is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and is also the Chairman of Tejas Networks. Dr. Deshpande has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades.  He is involved either as the founder, a founding investor or chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata. The Deshpande Foundation strengthens ecosystems that create significant social and economic impact through entrepreneurship and innovation. Leveraging the experience gained at the MIT Center, the Deshpande Foundation has facilitated the setup of five other centers.