Lyceum Events Calendar

Affiliated with Binghamton University and national Road Scholar, this institute for lifelong learning has 500+ local members aged 50 and over who want to join a community of lifelong learners. Our volunteer course leaders are usually retired specialists, university faculty, members who have pursued interests in some depth, or knowledgeable community members. We encourage members to help keep Lyceum a participatory organization by volunteering for committees, sharing in policy making, proposing courses, and assisting at class meetings.

We hope you find our program intriguing and welcome you to membership in Lyceum. Please refer to the registration form for membership fees. Please send registrations with checks payable to Lyceum, P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902. All classes are at 601 Gates Road unless otherwise specified. Contact Lyceum at 777-2587 or PLEASE DO NOT SEND CHECKS TO THE CLASSROOM SITE AT WSKG.

Registration Form


Affiliated with Binghamton University and national Road Scholar, this institute for lifelong learning has 500+ local members aged 50 and over who want to join a community of lifelong learners. Our volunteer course leaders are usually retired specialists, university faculty, members who have pursued interests in some depth, or knowledgeable community members. We encourage members to help keep Lyceum a participatory organization by volunteering for committees, sharing in policy making, proposing courses, and assisting at class meetings. We hope you find our programs intriguing.  Please refer to the registration form for membership fees. All classes are at 601 Gates Rd., Vestal, unless otherwise specified. Contact Lyceum at 607-777-2587 or

We now offer two ways to join and register for classes:

To pay by credit card, go to Do NOT send credit card information to the office. Each person registering online must have an individual, active email address. Two people registering cannot use the same email address.

To pay by check, use the registration form at the end of the catalog. Make checks payable to Lyceum and send to Lyceum P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902. Do NOT send checks to the classroom site at WSKG.


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Fall Kickoff [N/C] Wednesday, Sept. 11: 2−3 p.m.
Please join us at a Lyceum celebration: listen to music, catch up with old friends and meet new ones as we begin a new season. Musical entertainment by Rosetree. Light refreshments will be served. Please feel free to bring guests and introduce them to Lyceum! RSVP by Sept. 6 by email ( or call 607-777-2587.

NIFI: A House Divided [$10] Mondays, Sept. 16, 23: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Doug Garnar. Steve Chapman, a Chicago Tribune reporter, has likened American politics to a bicycle with a rusty chain, no brakes and two flat tires — going nowhere. “A House Divided: How Do We Get the Political System We Want?  What Would We Have to Give Up to Get It?” is a new NIFI (National Issues Forums Institute) public deliberation looking at three main options: reducing dangerous, toxic talk; making fairer rules for politics and following them; finally, taking control and make decisions closer to home. Class is limited to 15; separate check required.

Smart Cities: Cities of the Future? [$5] Tuesday, Sept. 17: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: John Fillo, Prof. Watson School of Engineering, Applied Science, Binghamton University. In the 21st century, major technological, economic, and environmental changes are impacting cities. To address city governance issues, urban city planners are entertaining new urbanization models, many under the heading of Smart Cities. We will explore what we mean by a smart city. Examples from the U.S. and world wide will be presented.

What Can Shipwrecks Tell Us about Asian History? [$5] Tuesday, Sept. 17: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: John Chaffee, Prof. of Chinese History, Binghamton University. Recently major advances have been made in the maritime archaeology of Asian waters, greatly enriching our knowledge of ships and ship technology, cross cultural trade, and the goods transported in that trade. That knowledge contributes to our understanding of different Asian societies. Focusing on some of the most spectacular of the excavation projects, the ethical challenge posed by private companies engaged in maritime archaeology will also be explored.

“Venture Philanthropy and Drug Research” and Tour of the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. [$10-includes parking] Tuesday, Sept. 17: 5:30-7 p.m. 
Presenter: Eric Hoffman, Prof. School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Binghamton University. Following a tour of the pharmacy school, Hoffman will present some personal explorations into innovative business models to promote therapeutics in children with muscular dystrophy. Due to security requirement of this facility, all guests must enter via the pharmacy school paid parking lot.

Spy Movie: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy [$20] Wednesdays, Sept. 18, 25: 10 a.m.−noon AND 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Henry Miller-Jones, CIA, ret. This classic Alec Guinness BBC version dramatizes the analytical and psychological techniques of counter-intelligence. A short discussion will follow, time permitting. This is a long but outstanding TV movie; if possible, read the book by John le Carre.

Two Guys from Roxbury (NY): John Burroughs and Jay Gould [$15] Thursdays, Sept. 19, 26, Oct. 3: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Chris Rounds. Born in the mid 1830s, one of these friends became a very popular writer about nature and rural life, while the other was perhaps the most ruthless of the “robber barons” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We’ll explore their lives.  No required reading but, if you are interested, Burroughs’ biography is by Edward J. Renehan, Jr. and Gould’s is by Maury Klein.

Tracking Trump and Trumpism in Western Thought [$15] Thursdays, Sept. 19, 26, Oct. 3: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Al Tricomi, Binghamton University Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. An examination of a counter-cultural tradition that resists mainstream democratic thought provides contexts for understanding the beliefs and policies of Trump and followers, and for appreciating what it means to have a “democratic tradition.” Machiavelli, Montesquieu, the social contract theorists, Thoreau, Nietzsche, Ayn Rand — Trump and the Future of America.

George’s Books: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker [$20] Fridays, Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11: 10 a.m.−noon
Leader: Michael J. Conlon, Emeritus Associate Prof. of English, Binghamton University. We will read and discuss Tobias Smollett’s The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, a rollicking recreation of the Bramble family and servants as they travel from Brambleton Hall in south-western England to Bath, London, Scarborough, and north to Scotland. Course text: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, ed. by Evan Gottlieb, 2nd edition (New York: W.W. Norton, 2015, ISBN number: 978-0-393-93671-1). Amazon has used copies or you can order directly from W.W. Norton. Avoid the 1st Norton Ed. edited by James L. Thorson. Read the editor’s preface and pages 7-94 of the novel for the first class. Class is limited to 18; separate check is required.

Current Events [$20] Fridays, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, 25, Nov. 8: 1−3 p.m.
Leader: Eugene Burns. We will discuss items in the local, state, national and international news. Express your opinion and hear other points of view.

Can Machines Think? [$5] Monday, Sept. 23: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Eileen Way, Binghamton University Associate Professor Emeritus. Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have created fear and speculation that computers will soon achieve ‘super-intelligence’, and surpass mere humans. But, the question of machines achieving human-level intelligence has long been debated in philosophy, and many of the philosophical arguments against computer intelligence are both thought provoking and hard to refute. In this class, we will look at the issues involved and discuss several of the classic arguments against computer intelligence.

Life in Maine, NY, Before Electricity [$20 - includes lunch] Tuesday, Sept. 24:
10 a.m−1:30 p.m.

Presenter: Philip Childs, President NVHS. 1922 marked the year that electricity reached rural Maine, N.Y. What did the individuals and families do prior to the introduction of “labor saving electrical devices”? How did they entertain themselves? What tools and machines were available? What was the typical life like for children and adults prior to 1922? The program will start with a Power Point presentation in our 1850 two-story Janet Bowers Museum located at 13 Nanticoke Road (the second floor is NOT handicapped accessible). Our 1830 Pitcher’s Grist Mill located at 2819 NYS Route 26 will be open for touring (NOT handicapped accessible). Your class will include a lunch.  If time allows you can visit our 1845 one-room schoolhouse #4 located at 14 Nanticoke Road. Class limited to 25; separate check required.

Love Living at Home [$5] Tuesday, Sept. 24: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Jim Darnieder. The mission of Love Living at Home is to support older adults in Tompkins County who want to stay in the home and community they love. Ninety percent of older adults want to stay in their home and LLH supports its members with programs and services to help make this a reality.  Jim, a volunteer in this “Village” organization, will describe how it got started and how it operates.

Introduction to Skin Cancer [$5] Tuesday, Sept. 24: 7–8:30 p.m.
Presenter: Robert Egbers, MD. The presentation will introduce the most common types of skin cancer and their treatments.

Science Discussion [$20] Fridays, Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Nov. 1, 15: 1−3 p.m.
Leaders: Jerry Aronson, Jay Kimmel, Arthur Law, and Peter Stiles. All science and technology topics are up for discussion, especially those which are current. Bring topics that interest you.

Final Laws and the Theory of Everything [$10] Mondays, Sept. 30, Oct. 7: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Jerrold Aronson. The history of physics from ancient Greece to today has led to an amazing progression of increasingly successful theories. This series makes one wonder if it has an end: a final theory of physics, one that explains everything. We will discuss what makes a theory a final one and what it means for physics and philosophy.  This is a philosophy course and background in physics is not necessary. Suggested reading: Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe, and Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory.

How to Read a Book [$5] Monday, Sept. 30: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Chris Rounds. Okay, I’m pretty sure you know how to read. This presentation is designed around a piece written for adult learners returning to college. Its objective is to help students engage critically and thoughtfully with scholarly and popular materials.  We’ll focus on the author’s purpose, use of evidence and argument, and biases. I’ve edited the document for a broader audience. Share it with those you know who are going to college.

Stephen Foster, American Troubadour [$10] Tuesdays, Oct. 1, 8: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Charlene Thomson. This class is about the enduring and beloved American music composed by Stephen Foster during the mid-19th century. The man and his times will be discussed. Sing-alongs will be included.

What’s Bugging You? [$10] Tuesdays, Oct. 1, 8: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Carol Kulp. Bugs can drive us crazy! Yet they are important to our comfortable life on Earth. Let's consider some of the grand, grotesque and gorgeous insects. We'll explore their lives, and learn of their significance in world history and cultures.

Reflections of a Navy Helicopter Test Pilot [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 2: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Orville Wright, Jr.  A Navy test pilot for 14 years, Orville Wright will trace his life and experiences from the Naval Academy through flight and test pilot school training, culminating with five years in the UK overseeing the flight testing of the EH-101 helicopter for the British Navy.

Falls and Fall Prevention In Older Adults [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 2: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Dr. Lane Duger, PT, DPT, Rehab Program Manager, Good Shepherd Fairview Home. Dr. Duger will discuss the prevalence of falls in older adults (age 65 and above), what happens to those who fall, why any fall is a life threatening event, as well as how to identify the risk factors before a fall, and fall prevention.

Online Streaming: Services and Devices [$5] Monday, Oct. 7: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Gail Szeliga. Television has changed remarkably over the past few years and many people are now getting their favorite TV shows, movies and even live sports through the internet and streaming services. This workshop will cover some of the major online service options and online streaming devices available to consumers. Anyone with an Internet connection can stream movies and television programs for free or by subscribing to an inexpensive online streaming service provider. Find out how easy it is to stream content to your TV or tablet computer. Class held at George F. Johnson Library. Class limited to 20; separate check required.

Behind the Scenes of Puccini's Tosca [$5] Monday, Oct. 7: 5:30−7 p.m.
Presenter: Andrea Grigori , Dir. of Community Engagement, Tri-Cities Opera. We will take a behind the scenes look at TCO's upcoming Puccini's Tosca, one of the most beloved Italian operas, all about political intrigue and romance in the days of the Napoleonic wars. Included will be a brief history of the composer, the story's historical context, a synopsis, and musical excerpts.

Enlightenment Now [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.−noon
Presenters: Chris Rounds, Al Tricomi, Eileen Way, Jerry Aronson. Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now argues that the ideals of the Enlightenment — “reason, science, humanism, and progress” — have served humanity well. He points out that human life is becoming, not worse as many seem to feel, but globally safer, healthier and altogether better. We will discuss his arguments and evidence, and hope you will join us. Suggested reading: Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, Penguin paperback. But join us even if you can’t!

Superfoods: The Synergistic Power of Our Food [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 9: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Sarah Thompson, MA, Lecturer of Health and Wellness Studies, Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Binghamton University. Superfoods contain powerful compounds that have benefits that go beyond that of the typical nutritional value of food. This lecture will explore the function of some of the most incredible superfoods and discuss how to incorporate these foods into your diet.
Corning Glass Museum and Rockwell Art Museum Tour [$58] Thursday, Oct. 10: 7 a.m.− 6:30 p.m.
Leader: Bob Pompi. We leave Shafer Bus Terminal at 7:15 a.m. and arrive at the Glass Museum at 9 a.m. After a guided tour and free time at the Glass Museum, we bus at noon to downtown Corning for lunch on your own and, perhaps, some time at the Corning Outlet Store. We meet at the Rockwell Art Museum in downtown Corning for a guided tour at 2 p.m. We leave for Binghamton at 4:30 p.m. Class is limited to 54; separate check required.

Lyceum Fall Dinner: La Dolce Vita [$33] Wednesday, Oct. 16: 5 p.m.
Our Fall Dinner this year is Italian themed! The menu includes Italian Antipasto, Garlic Bread, Sauteed Scaloppine with lemon sauce, Cannelloni, Risotto Alla Milanese, Sliced Zucchini with garlic and tomato, and Raspberry Ices! Come and enjoy traditional Italian song stylings. Guests welcome. Deadline to register is Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Lyceum-Binghamton University Faculty Lecture [N/C] Thursday, Oct. 17: 2 p.m.
Wendy Martinek, Binghamton University professor of political science and recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award, will deliver the Second Annual Binghamton University Faculty Lecture. Her research centers on judicial selection and decision-making in state and federal appellate courts. Her book, with P. Corley and A. Ward, American Judicial Process: Myth and Reality in Law and Courts (2015), forms the basis of her lecture, which treats timely judicial issues, including recent Supreme Court appointments.

Artist’s Workshop at Roberson Museum Clayworks [$50; includes all materials and firings] Friday, Oct. 18: 10 a.m.−3:30 p.m.
In this one-day workshop, participants will learn the basics of preparing clay extrusions to weave a basket. There will also be instruction in handbuilding a slab plate and cup.  These pots will be glazed and fired by the instructor to be picked up at Roberson at a later date. No previous clay experience required. Note: Class is held at Roberson Museum and is limited to ten (10). Separate check required and registration confirmation must be presented in class. Deadline to register Friday, Oct. 4.  Bring your own lunch.

Tosca by Giacomo Puccini [$51] Sunday, Oct. 20: 3 p.m.
Presenter: Tri Cities Opera at the Forum. We have been able to reserve 35% discounted tickets for Puccini’s opera Tosca at the Forum in downtown Binghamton. The production will be in Italian with English text projected above the stage. The opera is about political intrigue and romance in the days of the Napoleonic wars. Deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 14. Registration confirmation must be presented.

How George Washington Started the French and Indian War [$5] Monday, Oct. 21: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: George B. Cummings, Interim Exec. Dir. for Tri-Cities Opera. The presentation will cover the period from when young George Washington was chosen to deliver an ultimatum to the French in the Ohio country, to the defeat of the French at Montreal thus ending the French and Indian War.

Self Defense for Seniors [$5] Monday, Oct. 21: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Madeline Bay, Dep. Chief of Police, NYS University Police-Binghamton. A physical self-defense class in which participants will learn some basic, modifiable skills, with the opportunity to punch and/or kick pads. Both men and women are encouraged to attend. This class, though physical, will not be physically taxing. Student should dress in comfortable/non-restricting clothing and closed toed shoes (sneakers/soft soled preferably). Since we may be punching pads, large rings should be removed prior, too, if possible. Class is limited to 15; separate check is required.

Human Experience of the Technoscape [$5] Monday, Oct. 21: 5:30−7 p.m.
Presenter: Dr. Amanda Patterson. Exploring the future of human experience through I, Robot, Neuromancer and Mindscan. These novels demonstrate that humans can survive the technoscape by becoming cyborg. Reading the novels is recommended but not required; editions are not specific.

What’s in a Word [$10] Tuesdays, Oct. 22, 29: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: George Lohmann, Retired English Teacher. English is approaching the 600,000 word mark, more than any other language. How do words enter language? How is English different? Reviewing the fascinating story of the history of our language will give us a whole new perspective on language.

Canterbury Characters II [$10] Tuesdays, Oct. 22, 29: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter:  Meisha Lohmann, PhD, Binghamton University English instructor. The enduring popularity of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is often ascribed to its rich characterizations. Come discuss the “General Prologue,” as well as the tales of the Knight, the Miller, and the Reeve, and meet some of Chaucer’s most fascinating creations.

The Eastern Bluebird [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 23: 10 a.m.−noon
Leader: Sarah Haddow, NYS Bluebird Society, Broome County Bluebird Coordinator. This class will include interesting facts related to its history, habitat, life cycle, challenges of the Bluebird as well as ways to help conserve the Bluebird for future generations. In addition, how to set up and properly monitor a Bluebird trail will be shared. Displays will include one emphasizing the importance of a good nest box and how to properly set it up to provide protection against predators; a second display will focus on the importance of planting native plants that help sustain the Bluebird and nest recognition of other cavity nesters.

Armchair Travel [$20] Wednesdays, Oct. 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13: 1−3 p.m.

Oct. 23:  Scotland and Ireland, East to West
Presenters: Sally and Ralph Erb. A musical tour led by Pat and Kathleen Kane, beginning in the Scottish Highlands and ending in Southwest Ireland. The Jacobite train, Guinness Brewery, the Aran Islands and Killarney.

Oct. 30: Behind the Great Wall...My Perceptions & Biases
Presenter: Sadev Dhillon. In the summer of 2018, my husband and I embarked on a memorable trip to China. We invite you to accompany us through photographs and our experiences/anecdotes. I will discuss how my own personal biases colored my understanding of the country and its people.

Nov. 6:  A Lot of the Lot
Presenter: Henry Miller-Jones. A highly personal memorial tour of the Lot valley in southern France from Toulouse to Condom with a splash of Armagnac ending with a genuflection in Paris in 2004.

Nov. 13: Northern California
Presenter: George Lohmann. Beginning and ending in San Francisco, taking in four National Parks, we will explore the natural and cultural highlights of northern California. Particular focus will be placed on the floral delights of both urban and natural settings.

Tornadoes, Floods and 50 Below, Oh, My! [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 23: 5:30−7 p.m. 
Presenter: Ed Nizalowski. The weather is a normal topic of conversation in upstate New York but certain weather events have made the news and the historic record. Although the focus is Tioga County, both Broome and Tioga have experienced their share of extreme weather events from the Year Without a Summer (1816) to the Flood of 2011.

James Stephens and the Irish Literary Revival [$20] Thursdays, Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14:  10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Mary Donnelly, Assoc. Prof. English; Chair, Teacher Education and Early Childhood Education. James Stephens, the diminutive Protestant nationalist, was one of the great lost lights of the Irish Literary Revival.  His skillful blending of myth, fairy tale, and quotidian, sometimes even gritty, reality captures the essence of his historical moment: steeped in the past, but relentlessly facing the present.  We will read four of Stephen's short works: The Crock of Gold (1912), The Charwoman's Daughter (1912), The Demi-Gods (1914), and The Insurrection in Dublin (1916).

Great Decisions [$20] Thursdays, Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14: 1−3 p.m.

Oct.24: Refugees and Global Migration
Leader: Dave Cingranelli, Prof. Political Science, Binghamton University, Co-Director Human Rights Institute. Today, no countries have open borders. Every state in today's global system has its own laws and policies about who is permitted to cross its borders, and how they will do so. Who determines whether someone is a refugee or a migrant? How have different countries, including the United States, reacted to migration? How effective are the international laws, policies and organizations that have evolved to assist and protect refugees and migrants?

Oct. 31: The Rise of Populism in Europe
Leader: Chris Rounds, PhD. Mass migration, and the problems associated with it, have directly abetted the rise of populist parties in Europe. Opposition to immigration laws was the prime driver of support for Brexit, it brought a far-right party to the German Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s, and propelled Marine Le Pen to win a third of the vote in the French presidential election. In addition to calling for stronger borders, however, these parties are invariably illiberal, anti-American, anti-NATO and pro-Kremlin, making their rise a serious concern for the national security interests of the United States.

Nov. 7: Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics
Leader:  Victor Skormin, Distinguished Service Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Binghamton University. Cyber conflict is a new and continually developing threat, which can include foreign interference in elections, industrial espionage and attacks on infrastructure. Russia has been accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States and China is highly committed to using cyberspace as a tool of national policy. Dealing with cyber conflicts will require new ways of looking at 21st-century warfare. Is the United States prepared to respond to such threats?

Nov. 14: Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future?
Leader: TBA. Nuclear weapons have not gone away, and the Trump administration has brought a new urgency, if not a new approach, to dealing with them. The President has met with Vladimir Putin as the New Start Treaty with Russia comes up for renewal in 2021, the first presidential summit ever with Kim Jong-un occurred to discuss denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula, and President Trump has decertified the Obama nuclear deal with Iran. To what degree should past nuclear talks guide future U.S. nuclear arms control negotiations? Can the art of the deal apply to stabilizing our nuclear future?

Lyceum Goes to The Birds! [$17] Sunday, Oct. 27: 7:30 p.m.
Presenter: Fab Arts Co. at the Cidermill Stage. Daphne Du Maurier’s classic story about a pair of strangers taking refuge in an isolated house from masses of attacking birds.  Their sanctuary is threatened by the arrival of another refugee and the internal threat of paranoia in this acclaimed thriller. This is a special event for Lyceum members and includes a discounted ticket price and after show talk-back with the cast. If 50 people register, the group gets a photo shoot with the cast. If 70 register, Lyceum members get a complimentary drink during the performance. Deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 18. Guests are welcome! Registration confirmation must be presented.

Susquehanna Region Prehistory - New Discoveries [$5] Monday, Oct. 28: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Nina M. Versaggi, Sr. Research Associate, Public Archaeology Facility, Binghamton University. Recent investigations of archaeological sites in the Susquehanna Valley and neighboring regions have contributed new information to our knowledge of pre-contact Native American history. This course will explore new discoveries and interpretations of the ancient past in our valleys.

WSKG [$5] Monday, Oct. 28: 1−3 p.m.
Presenters: Charles Compton, Dir. of Radio; John Bell, Dir. of Development & Marketing, WSKG. Learn how the news is gathered locally and nationally, timed, and how programs are selected. How WSKG is funded, how funds are divided, and how much is shared with national programs will also be discussed.

Broome Age-Friendly Project Update [$5] Wednesday, Oct. 30: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Lucia Esposito, Program Coordinator with the Broome County Office for Aging. Broome County is committed to becoming an Age-Friendly Community. In pursuit of that goal, the Office for Aging completed a Needs Survey last Spring in which many Lyceum members participated. This presentation will describe the outcomes from that survey.  We will discuss emerging trends and the needs and issues reported by Broome County seniors.

George’s Books: Memory Wall [$15] Fridays, Nov. 1, 8, 15: 10 a.m.−noon
Leader:  Karen CrisafulliMemory Wall is a collection of short stories exploring the theme of memory by Anthony Doerr, the Pulitzer Prize winner of All the Light We Cannot See. Written in beautiful prose that reads like poetry, the stories are moving, very human and relatable to readers who have had a lifetime of experience and understand the role that memory plays in their lives. Read the first story, “Memory Wall,” for the first class. Class limited to 25; separate check required.

Binghamton University Greenhouse Tour [$5] Sunday, Nov. 3: 1−3 p.m.
Tour leaders: Laurie Kasperek, Curt Pueschel, and John Titus, Dept. Biological Sciences, Binghamton University. Visit one of the finest greenhouses in the entire 64-campus State University of New York system. The E.W. Heier Teaching Greenhouse is comprised of desert, temperate zone, and tropical habitat rooms, with a special collection of fossil tree stumps from the world’s oldest known forest (ca. 390 million years old).  Plant adaptations to different habitats, and rare and unusual plants will be featured.  Note: Class is limited to 20; please do not register if you have previously taken this class. Separate check is required.

The Nature of Gravitation and other Fundamental Forces [$10] Mondays, Nov. 4, 11: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: Jerrold Aronson. We will use a history and philosophy of science approach to study causation as it occurs at the most fundamental level of nature. We will try to understand how causation takes place from ancient Greek times to modern day physics, with an emphasis on gravitation.

Black Holes: The First Image [$10] Mondays, Nov. 4, 11: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Bob Pompi, Retired Physicist. Last April the world was amazed to see the first image of a black hole. We will discuss the formation of black holes as a result of stellar evolution and then explore the supermassive black holes located at the center of most spiral galaxies.

James Joyce’s “The Dead”: the Short Story and the Movie [$10] Tuesday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.−noon and 1-3 p.m.
Presenter: Don Blake, retired administrator and faculty member, Binghamton University. T.S. Eliot considered “The Dead,” the final short story in Joyce’s 1914 collection Dubliners, to be the greatest short story of the 20th century. Academy Award winning-director John Huston, aware that he was dying, chose to make the story into a film starring his daughter Angelica. Let’s explore the themes of love, loss and Irish identity.  Recommended reading: “The Dead” by James Joyce.

Declutter Your Life [$5] Tuesday, Nov. 12: 10 a.m.−noon.
Presenter: Joan Sprague. Do you have clutter? Many of us do. Some of it is sentimental and meaningful; some just plain unnecessary. This presentation will help participants get motivated to start the process of downsizing. It takes time and patience; remember, it took a lifetime to accumulate the things we have.

Cognitive Bias [$5] Tuesday, Nov. 12: 1−3 p.m.
Presenter: Lisa Coniglio. Understanding the thinking process, particularly cognitive bias (a thinking shortcut that can often lead to self-deception) is crucial in becoming a critical thinker. What may seem “obviously” true may not be and vice versa. Discover how cognitive bias works.

This View of Life, Completing the Darwinian Revolution [$5] Wednesday, Nov. 13: 10 a.m.−noon
Presenter: David Sloan Wilson, Dist. Prof. of Biological Sciences and Anthropology, Binghamton University. "This view of life," a phrase taken from the final passage of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, refers to an evolutionary worldview that is already making sense of everything associated with the word "biology" but needing to be expanded to include everything associated with the words "human," "culture" and "policy." Only then will the Darwinian revolution be complete, the implications both deeply philosophical and immensely practical. Participants are encouraged to read Wilson’s book (This View of Life, Completing the Darwinian Revolution) beforehand; plenty of time will be provided for Q&A.

Upstate NY Dairy Farmers and Their Environments [$5] Friday, Nov. 15: 5:30−7 p.m. 
Presenter: J. Ladd Yost. Are cows destroying the planet? Is there a future for family dairy farms in Upstate New York? What are the economic and social environments doing to them? What are small farms doing to and for the physical environment? Does it matter to non-farmers?

Registration Form

Refund and Course Credit Policy

Because we must pay for trips and dinners in advance of the event, we cannot offer refunds after the deadline stated in the catalog unless you are able to find someone to take your place at the dinner or on the trip.

All classes, even in inclement weather, will take place unless the instructor decides to cancel or the university is closed due to a state of emergency. If this happens, the Lyceum office will contact all the people registered for the class that day, first via email and then by phone. The office makes every attempt to contact class members in a timely way. If a class is canceled, a reschedule date is arranged. If you cannot attend the reschedule date, you will be issued course credit for the class which must be used by the end of the Spring semester. A list of course credit is kept in the office and you can ask about your course credit balance at any time.

This is the last semester in which we can offer course credit or accept it towards payment of course fees. If you find you must miss a course, contact the office in advance of the course and you will be issued course credit. This can only be done if you notify the office in advance of the course you will miss. We are unable to issue credit for a class that has already occurred. You must be a current, registered member of Lyceum to use course credit.

Do not attend a class if you have not registered for it and received a course confirmation. If you have any questions, call the office at 607-777-2587 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday or email

Thank you, and enjoy the program!