500 years ago this October, German professor and priest Martin Luther set off sweeping changes in Western Civilization when he nailed a list of grievances to the door of a Wittenberg chapel.
The 2017 Frieze Lecture Series, presented by Rock Island Library and Augustana College, focuses on the legacy of Luther's Reformation movement on society, intellectual thought, communication, privacy, and how we view science and technology. 2017 marks the 20th year for the annual lecture partnership.
The series of four lectures by Augustana College professors are from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, Tuesdays from October 24 through November 14, in the Community Room of the Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street. Free coffee, cookies and conversation follow each lecture. Topics and presenters include:
Oct. 24: The Reformation and its Legacy, with Jason A. Mahn, associate professor of religion. Mahn sets the stage for the series with a overview of the changes wrought by Luther's revolutionary act. After completing his Ph.D. at Emory University in 2004, Mahn taught full time at Duke University, Durham, NC, for three years before coming to Augustana, where he teaches courses in theology and contemporary religious belief.
Oct. 31: The Reformation of Communications, Journalism, and Information Access, with Carolyn Yaschur, assistant professor of communication studies. On the anniversary of Luther's act of rebellion on Oct. 31, 1517, Yaschur looks at how communication and information access were forever changed. Stemming from her experience as an award-winning photojournalist, Yaschur's research revolves around the effects of visual journalism and multimedia journalism, as well as the profession of photojournalism.
Nov.7: The Reformation and its Impact on Science & Technology, with Joshua M Dyer, assistant professor of physics. Dr. Dyer will consider the connection between the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the Scientific revolution. Dyer earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and his master's and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University.
Nov. 14: The Reformation of Privacy, with Hyeong-Gyu Choi, assistant professor of business administration. For the medieval man or woman, privacy was an unknown concept. How did the Reformation lead to changes in our perception of a right to privacy? How is that perception changing now? This topic dovetails well with Professor Choi's current research interests in the marketing ramifications of social media, consumer media consumption, big data, and marketing analytics.
The Frieze Lecture Series was created by the late Ruth Evelyn Katz, a library board member, to celebrate the library's 125th anniversary. The name comes from the architectural feature around the top of the downtown library building. The authors carved into the sandstone are Homer, Longfellow, Emerson, Virgil, Hugo, Shakespeare, Goethe, Burns, Hawthorne, (Esaias) Tegner, and (George) Bancroft. Though not well known today, the names of Tegner, a Swedish poet, and Bancroft, a naval historian, would have been familiar to 1903 residents.
All lectures are free and open to the public, and do not require registration.
For more information about Rock Island Library events and services, call 309-732-READ (7323),visit the library website, or follow Rock Island Library on social media.