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AAUW Forum: History of Sicily
Guns vs. Butter

Feb 27, 2018


By Mary Fitzgerald

The Healdsburg branch of AAUW is pleased to announce the Spring season of our popular lecture series, and we are again offering two new courses, with well-known instructors.

History of Sicily: Here Lies the key to Everything: Goethe 1787 begins on Tuesday, March 20, presented by Douglas Kenning. Historian Kenning, Ph.D. (University of Edinburgh), was raised with a passion for Sicilian culture by his grandparents, Sicilian immigrants into New York’s Little Italy.As an adult, having lived in Scotland, Tunisia, and Japan, he was drawn again to Sicily, but this time for love of the Sicily that was the second center of ancient Greek civilization. He found the story told in many of the great Greek temples of the Mediterranean as well as in the world’s finest sculptures. His fascination focused on medieval Norman Sicily, when again Sicily was the most civilized place in Europe, a second time she shaped Western civilization, a story told in beautiful mosaics. 

Through six lectures, Dr. Kenning will lead the class on a journey that begins in the mists of ancient lore. Then, with images of great art and architecture on the big screen in the Raven Theatre, he continues the journey through Sicily’s historical periods: Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, and Spanish, arriving finally at tourism and the Mafia. 

Dr. Kenning lives half of each year in Siracusa, Sicily, where he leads in-depth small-group tours around the island and the greater Mediterranean, and spends the other half of each year giving popular lecture series at Bay Area venues.

Guns vs. Butter: One Year into the Trump Presidency begins on Thursday, March 22 presented by David McCuan, PhD. University of California Riverside (2002). The title phrase implies a choice to be made:

Domestic spending or Military spending, or both. Every administration must make these choices in order to set objectives and goals to be accomplished during the term. This course introduces a three presidencies concept (Domestic Affairs, Foreign Policy, and National Security), utilizing the topics of elections and domestic politics, and linking terrorism, political violence and the laws and conventions governing these issues. The intent is to join actions of the Trump Administration (domestic politics) with a discussion of broader changes in conflict, concentrating on terrorism (security changes). We also examine the many distinct ways and methods that have come to be characterized as terrorism and political violence.

David joined SSU in 2003, with teaching responsibilities in international & national politics, American campaigns and elections, mass political behavior, international security and terrorism, as well as state and local politics. He holds a position as a joint faculty member with U.C. Davis where he teaches on public policymaking and is frequently called upon by the media for his thoughts and assessment of current events.

Each course is six weeks long, and begins on Tuesday, March 20 (History of Sicily) and Thursday, March 22 (Guns vs. Butter) continuing through April 24 and April 26, respectively at the Raven Performing Arts Theater, 115 North Street, Healdsburg. Classes run one hour and 45 minutes, beginning at 10 am.

Proceeds support local educational programs and scholarships for women and girls. Information about the presenters, the courses, and registration maybe found at 

AAUW - Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.


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