Parker Lecture Commitee

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

Ex-Officio

Jacqueline Moloney, Chancelor, UMass Lowell
Marianne E. Busteed
Head of School, Lowell High School

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
25
12:00 pm

Gina McCarthy “Environmental Protection, Health Equity and Impact Investing for a Sustainable Future”

Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common sense strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years. She served under President Barack Obama as the 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013–2017. Gina is currently Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health. Gina leads the development of the School’s strategy in climate science, health, and sustainability. She also currently acts as an Operating Advisor at Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm in New York focused on the intersection of global sustainability, health and wellness. Her tenure as EPA Administrator heralded a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, expressly linking it with global public health. She led EPA initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases, and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Climate Agreement. McCarthy worked with the United Nations and the World Health Organization on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high-risk sources of pollution. During her career in Massachusetts, McCarthy advised five governors on environmental affairs, worked at the state and local levels on critical environmental issues, and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation, and the environment.

The Lunchtime Lectures are co-sponsored by the Parker Series and the UMass Lowell Office of Community Relations. The program begins with a light lunch and Reservations are required and limited.

To reserve a seat, contact community@uml.edu or call 978-934-2957.

2018-2019 Lectures

Wednesday
Aug
8
11:00 am

Benkadi & Drum Dance

benkadiBenkadi (which means “Coming Together Sweetly” in the Bamanankan language of Mali) is an eclectic group of artists and educators dedicated to performing and teaching African dance and musical forms. Their presence and energy are truly engaging. So, come ready to clap, dance and sing!

Thursday
Aug
16
11:00 am

The Stupendous Mr. MagicHead

magicheadAppearing (and disappearing) to rave reviews, Mr. Magichead has achieved master status among kid’s entertainers. With a wild & wacky magic show narrowly aimed at ages 4-9 combining physical comedy, and quickly-paced fresh original trickery, this children’s magician bringing laughter and amazement to kids of all ages.

Saturday
Sep
8
11:00 am

Matt W. Miller “The Wounded for the Water”

mattmillerBorn and raised in Lowell, award-winning author Matt W. Miller will share his newly published collection of poetry, The Wounded for the Water. “In these lyrical meditations, we are witness to our own drowning in family and history, in politics and love. We are dragged across reefs and pounded into the shore, realizing ultimately that the only way to avoid drowning is to embrace the maelstrom and breathe in the water.” Following the author’s reading and discussion, participants can explore the works in H₂Oh!–Vital, Powerful, Sacred Water. This exhibition encouraged quilt and textile artists to interpret one of the most vital resources on earth in their own unique individual style, whether abstract, graphic, or representational.

Thursday
Sep
13
7:00 pm

Cheryl Hamilton “Lessons from Lewiston, Maine: A Refugee Story”

cherylIn 2002, Lewiston, Maine garnered national attention when more than 2,500 Somali migrants chose to make the city their home. The unexpected migration changed the city forever, and the lives of many local residents, including Cheryl Hamilton. As the manager of the resettlement program at the time, Hamilton offers a unique perspective of her hometown in the months following 9/11. During this lively discussion, discover how the Lewiston community responded and the lessons Hamilton learned about fostering community and responding to bias and prejudice. Hamilton’s presentation is part of the 2018 Lowell Reads series honoring Amy Bass’ acclaimed non-fiction, One Goal.

Tuesday
Sep
25
12:00 pm

Gina McCarthy “Environmental Protection, Health Equity and Impact Investing for a Sustainable Future”

Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common sense strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years. She served under President Barack Obama as the 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013–2017. Gina is currently Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health. Gina leads the development of the School’s strategy in climate science, health, and sustainability. She also currently acts as an Operating Advisor at Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm in New York focused on the intersection of global sustainability, health and wellness. Her tenure as EPA Administrator heralded a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, expressly linking it with global public health. She led EPA initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases, and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Climate Agreement. McCarthy worked with the United Nations and the World Health Organization on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high-risk sources of pollution. During her career in Massachusetts, McCarthy advised five governors on environmental affairs, worked at the state and local levels on critical environmental issues, and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation, and the environment.

The Lunchtime Lectures are co-sponsored by the Parker Series and the UMass Lowell Office of Community Relations. The program begins with a light lunch and Reservations are required and limited.

To reserve a seat, contact community@uml.edu or call 978-934-2957.

Saturday
Oct
6
2:00 pm

Dr. Ann Charters “Jack Kerouac’s “Dharma Bums” Sixty Years Later”

This program is part of the 2018 Lowell Celebrates Kerouac festival

On this 60th anniversary of the publication of Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums, Dr. Ann Charters. Retired Professor of English at the University of Connecticut will present her thoughts on Kerouac’s Bay Area encounter with Buddhism and poet Gary Snyder. Dr. Charters is the author of the first published biography of Jack Kerouac.

Tuesday
Oct
16
6:30 pm

Tom Haines “Walking to the Sun” A Journey through America’s Energy Landscapes

walkingOn a winter day in 2013, Tom Haines stood in front of his basement furnace and wondered about the source of the natural gas that fueled his insulated life. During the next four years, Haines walked hundreds of miles through landscapes of fuel on a crucial exploration of how we live on Earth in the face of a growing climate crisis. Can we get from the fossil fuels of today to the renewables of tomorrow? The story he tells is full not only of human encounters but also of the meditative range that arrives with solitude far from home. Haines writes regularly for the Atlantic and the Washington Post, and teaches at the University of New Hampshire.

Sunday
Oct
21
2:00 pm

Eric Jay Dolin “Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates”

eric-dolanSet against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, this story reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”. Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrages pirates in an early display of colonial solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes of men like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Edward Low, Dolin provides a wholly original account of the seafaring outlaws whose raids reflect the precarious nature of American colonial life.

Tuesday
Oct
23
7:00 pm

Peter Aucella, Steve Stowell, and Charles Tonetti “Preserving Lowell’s Architectural Legacy”

Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lowell National Historical Park with this slide show of the City’s architectural past, present, and future.  Aucella has led the park’s historic preservation and development division for many years and will share “before and after” images of early building projects from the 1970s to 1990s.  Stowell, administrator for the City’s historic board, will focus on particularly challenging buildings.  Tonetti is the park’s architect and will highlight current and future building preservation projects in Lowell.

Thursday
Oct
25
7:00 pm

Honorable Michael Ponsor “Justice and the American Character”

michael-ponsorA system of law presents at least two faces: a sheltering force protecting citizens’ rights, and a potentially oppressive instrument of control. These two aspects of the law have revealed themselves powerfully during thirty-five years on the bench. Fiction can vividly portray the dilemmas posed by a legal system. A discussion of these challenges may help us to understand law’s essential role, while allowing us to recognize and confront its imperfections.

Judge Ponsor serves as a senior US district judge in the United States District Court for the Massachusetts Western Division. He is the author of two New York Times bestseller novels, The One-Eyed Judge and the Hanging Judge, featuring Judge Norcross.

Sunday
Nov
4
2:00 pm

Peggy Hart “Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation.”

Keeping Americans warm for four centuries, wool has been an essential commodity from colonial times to the present. Its colorful and epic tale has impacted millions of lives, including artisans, inventors, immigrants, merchants, mill owners, millworkers, farmers, slaves and Native Americans. Handcraft production gave way to industrialization, but is now back in the hands of knitters, weavers, felters, and other handcrafters. Wool is a story of technological and social change, marketing forces, and above all, consumer choices.

Thursday
Nov
15
6:00 pm

Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, MPH “A Doctor’s Dozen”

Twelve Strategies for Personal Health and a Culture of Wellness.

No one is immune to poor health. Burnout, for example, which affects a third of the U.S. population, is present in over 50% of health professionals.

Dr Pipas, a family physician with over 25 years of experience, shares lessons gleaned from patients, students and colleagues along her own journey toward personal wellness and her quest to promote self-care in others. Dr. Pipas is a professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Thursday
Nov
29
7:00 pm

Sean McAdam “Boston: America’s Best Sports Town”

Sean McAdam was a sports writer for the Providence Journal and The Boston Herald,a broadcaster co-host on WEEI-FM the Big Show, an analyst on NESN, now author, Sean McAdam has covered the world of sports like no other. His latest book covers the history of the city’s major pro and college sports teams, as well as local traditions such as the Boston Marathon and the Beanpot hockey tournament. McAdam went to Chelmsford High School and is a member of the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame. If you love sports, you don’t want to miss this chance to hear about your favorite sports team and share your memories with Sean.

Tuesday
Dec
4
6:30 pm

Anthony Sammarco “Christmas Traditions in Boston?”

In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony banned by law the celebration of Christmas as it was deemed to be a time of seasonal excess with no Biblical authority. Though repealed in 1681, it would not be until 1856 that Christmas Day became a state holiday in Massachusetts. In this book Christmas Traditions in Boston, Anthony Sammarco outlines the celebration (or lack thereof) of Christmas in the first two centuries after the city was settled in 1630. During the next century, Boston would see caroling and hand bell ringing on Beacon Hill, a Nativity scene and other traditional New England displays on Boston Common and in the many department stores, as well as the once popular Enchanted Village of Saint Nicholas at Jordan Marsh, New England’s largest store. Christmas Traditions in Boston revisits the memories of the past and brings together the shared tradition of how Bostonians celebrated the holiday season. Anthony Mitchell Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over sixty books on the history and development of Boston.

Sunday
Mar
3
2:00 pm

Aimee Loiselle “Creating Norma Rae: Textile & Garment Workers Lost Behind a Pop Icon”

The 1979 movie Norma Rae earned multiple awards and generated a pop icon that people continue to reference. Aimee Loiselle, a historian of women, work, capitalism and culture, will explore the movie as a pop phenomenon that obscured the complex conditions of the global textile and garment industry. Although Norma Rae returned the media spotlight to Crystal Lee Sutton, the inspiration for the movie who used it to call attention to ongoing union organizing by hundreds of mill hands, it was also a studio product intended to make money. Its narrative of an individual woman appealed to American audiences but elided decades of southern labor activism and the vital role of black civil rights activists in the 1960s. The movie’s use of the familiar and sentimental poor white southern mill hand also erased the connected twentieth-century labor and migrations of Puerto Rican needle workers, fostering skewed notions of a white American working class and simplistic ideas of deindustrialization.

Tuesday
Mar
26
7:00 pm

Dan Kennedy “Return of the Moguls”

Over the course of a generation, the story of the daily newspaper has been an unchecked slide. The forces killing newspapers are well understood. If newspapers have any chance at survival, it may be through a return to the original model of ownership: the newspaper mogul. In The Return of the Moguls, media critic Dan Kennedy charts the course being set by Jeff Bezos at the Washington Post, John Henry at the Boston Globe, and other wealthy and iconoclastic individuals committed to saving the daily newspaper.

 

Sunday
Apr
7
2:00 pm

Robert Finch “The Outer Beach”

robert-finchThose who have encountered Cape Cod – or merely dipped into an account of its rich history – know that it is a singular place. Robert Finch writes of its beaches: “No other place I know sears the heart with such a constant juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, of beauty being born and destroyed in the same moment.” And nowhere within its borders is this truth more vivid and dramatic than along the forty miles of Atlantic coast – what Finch has always known as “The Outer Beach.” Finch pays tribute to the Outer Beach’s impressive literary legacy, meditates on its often tragic history, and explores the strange, mutable nature of time near the ocean. Finch’s affable voice, attentive eye, and stirring prose will be cherished by the Cape’s staunch lifers and erstwhile visitors alike, and strike a resounding chord with anyone else who has been left breathless by the majestic, unrelenting beauty of the shore.

Robert Finch has lived on Cape Cod for over forty years, currently in Wellfleet, MA. He is the author of seven collections of essays, most recently of his radio scripts for his weekly radio broadcast, “A Cape Cod Notebook” on the Cape and Islands NPR Station, WCAI

 

Tuesday
Apr
16
7:00 pm

Chad Montrie “Beyond ‘Songbirds and Suburbs’: Rethinking the American Environmental Movement Origin Story”

chad-montrieFirst published in 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was hailed as the catalyst for starting an American environmental movement.  Today, many continue to regard the renowned work in much the same way.  But, Montrie argues, this is a faulty interpretation of the past, one that rests on a limited understanding of what counts as environmentalism and who counts as an environmentalist.”  What do we find if we reexamine the historical record with this in mind?  Where did environmentalism actually come from?  And, what implications does a new origin story have for preservation, conservation, and environmental activism in the present?

Tuesday
May
14
7:00 pm

Charles Tonetti “The Aguirre, Puerto Rico Sugar Mill.”

In early 2018 Tonetti spent a month in Puerto Rico documenting the condition of hundreds of damaged historic structures.  While there he visited Aguirre, a company town with two historic districts: a sugar mill and the town itself. Boston investors owned and developed Aguirre starting in 1900. It was one of the largest and most productive sugar complexes in the 20th century, as well as one of the most technologically advanced mills. The mill slowly declined in the late 20th century until it closed in 1990.  Since then there have been tentative plans to turn the mill into a park.

Thursday
May
16
7:00 pm

Michael Tougias “Above & Beyond: JFK and America’s Most Dangerous Spy Mission.”

michael-tougiasIn this multimedia presentation based on his latest book, Tougias chronicles the thirteen harrowing days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the outlines the steps President Kennedy made to reach a decision on a course of action. Special emphasis is given to the heroes of the crisis: the U-2 pilots who flew unarmed over Cuba to secure the photographic proof that the Soviets were installing nuclear missiles on the island.