Spring Semester Schemel Forum Courses Set

    The Schemel Forum’s spring courses explore Ben Franklin as a marketing pioneer, the narrative of trauma and perceptions of color in science, art and society.
    January 11, 2019

    During the spring semester, University of Scranton professors will teach courses in their areas of expertise that have broader societal implications. These Schemel Forum evening courses will meet in six weekly sessions from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Weinberg Memorial Library on campus.

    “Kurt Vonnegut and the Narrative of Trauma” will be taught by Joe Kraus, Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of English and Theatre, and president of MELUS (Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States).

    “It sounds like an oxymoron but Kurt Vonnegut established himself as one of the leading novelists of the second half of the 20th century by finding a way to write humorously about pessimism, despair and trauma,” said Dr. Kraus. “In this class we will examine some of the methods he employs to those ends, in particular how he departs from the model of trauma narrative that Ernest Hemingway established a generation earlier.”

    Texts include “Mother Night,” “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater,” “Cat’s Cradle” and “Slaughterhouse Five” and Hemingway’s “In Our Time.” The course will meet on the following Tuesdays: February 5, 12, 19 and 26, and March 5 and 19.

    Janice Voltzow, Ph.D., professor of biology, will be the lead teacher “Color: Perceptions in Science, Art, and Society.” This course will explore the concept of color from many different perspectives, both literal and metaphoric. The course will use a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach and collaborate with University faculty specializing in art, biology, history, physics and psychology. “We will begin with the science of color, including how physicists define and identify the spectrum of light and how humans use their vision to perceive that spectrum,” said Dr. Voltzow. “Next, the course will explore sources of color in nature and experiment with color in art. Our focus will then turn to how color influences our perception of each other, including an overview of the genetic basis of human skin color and how that continuum has been artificially divided to create the construct of races. With this background we will evaluate the psychological and sociological impact of this construct.” The course will meet on the following Wednesdays: March 20 and 27, and April 3, 10, 17 and 24.

    “Ben Franklin as a Marketing Pioneer” will be taught by Abhijit Roy, Ph.D., DBA, professor of marketing in the Kania School of Management. The course will present an overview of the various facets of marketing and illustrate how Ben Franklin pioneered much of what we know about modern marketing, entrepreneurship and business. Participants will be asked to read sections of Franklin’s autobiography and his short book, “The Way to Wealth.” No prior knowledge of marketing is required for the course, which will meet on the following Tuesdays: April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and May 7.

    Local residents can attend any course for $60 per person or $100 per couple; Schemel Forum members may attend any or all courses free. Space is limited and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

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