The Schemel Forum’s Collaborative Programs Connects ‘The Odyssey’ with Modern Medicine and Anticipates Putin’s Next Move

March 22, 2017

This spring, The University of Scranton’s Schemel Forum will collaborate with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and the Scranton Times-Tribune for two events in April.

The Schemel Forum will present "'The Odyssey’ by Homer: A History and Physical Exam” by Harmar Brereton, M.D., on Thursday, April 13, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in collaboration with Geisinger Commonwealth at 525 Pine Street in Scranton.

“The Odyssey,” along with “The Iliad,” comprises the first work of the Western canon. “They are extraordinary as art and as an insight into human nature,” said Dr. Brereton, clinical professor of medicine at the Geisinger Commonwealth, as well as a driving force behind the Schemel Forum.

The subject of this lecture evolved from Dr. Brereton’s conversations with Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., dean of the medical school, about the relationship between medicine and the arts. “My lecture will explore relevant aspects of ‘The Odyssey’ and make a case that literature and the arts in general not only connect with the field of medicine, but also make doctors better healers,” said Dr. Brereton.

Reservations are required to attend the lecture, which is presented free of charge and includes a buffet lunch.

On Friday, April 28, the Schemel Forum will present “Putin’s Poker Game” by Jill Dougherty, global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in collaboration with the Scranton Times-Tribune. The event will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing a weak hand compared to the West, but by bluffing and maneuvering militarily and diplomatically, he is exploiting every opportunity,” said Dougherty, former CNN Moscow Bureau chief, who has reported on Russia’s president for more than 15 years and has spoken at Schemel Forum World Affairs Luncheon Seminars on the subject.

“Putin is taking measure of the new U.S. administration, probing and testing how far he can go, playing alternatively the aggressor and the peacemaker. We will examine the cards in Putin’s hand,” said Dougherty.

The April 28 event has a luncheon fee of $20 per person or $30 per couple, and reservations are required.

To register, contact Emily Brees, Schemel Forum assistant, at 570-941-6206 or For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers at 570-941-4089 or

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