SRJC Presents Varied Lectures

Ken Kutska, A&E Editor

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As a new semester begins so does another series of art and lecture events here on the campuses at Santa Rosa Junior College. Topics in the series include the mythology and wonder of fantasy authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and women’s rights in Cuba. Events start in the beginning of February and run through mid-April.

At noon Feb. 4 at the Mahoney Library in Petaluma and at noon on Feb. 11 in Santa Rosa, teacher Jake Aharonian will bring his scholarly knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis works. The lecture, “Let Them Be In Wonder: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Necessity of Fantasy,” looks at how fantasy impacts lives and takes a look back at what other authors these fantasy authors looked up to and examine their works and meanings.

Dr. Melissa Kort and Jean Hegland will hold a lecture on the architecture and history of British literary places from novels and works such as Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter in “Famous Pages and Places: Readers’ Explorations of England,” at noon Feb. 25 in Newman Auditorium. Literary tourism, how people travel around taking photos and finding these places from novels, is the topic. Kort and Hegland will also discuss their own adventures in literary tourism.

At noon March 4, Gayle Greene who wrote “The Women Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation,” will discuss how Dr. Alice Stewart, who brought to light through controversy some of the dangers that x-ray radiation poses to patients. Her lecture titled,  “Radiation Risk and Dr. Alice Stewart: Pioneer, Pariah, Prophet,” at noon March 4. Greene will discuss these topics and how they were controversial.

Kirby Seid will discuss how geometric shapes, light and sound can help create a comfortable and meditative experience, “The Light Labyrinth Project Presents ‘The Holotrope,” at noon March 11 in Newman Auditorium.
Teachers Susana Ackerman and Dr. Orlando Raola will discuss what Cuba’s Literacy Brigade meant to young women growing up in Cuba in the 1960s, at noon March 27 in Newman Auditorium.

“Cuba’s Literacy Brigade: Women on the Frontlines of Transforming a Nation,” will showcase how more than 200,000 volunteers helped 700,000 women read and write in a single year in 1961. Both teachers will discuss their own experiences with the brigade which is considered one of the best achievements for education in the 20th century.

Mills College Professor Dr. Ajuan Mance will discuss the life of Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen in, “Women Writer’s In a Mad World: Nella Larsen and the Hidden History of the Harlem Renaissance.” Mance will  explain how women writers like Larsen lived and worked, at noon April 8.

To view upcoming events, go to for more information.