Global politics lectures in Northampton

  • Jake Greenburg, seen in 2015, is chairman of the Five College Learning in Retirement Great Decisions committee which arranges a program of global politics lectures in Northampton. JOAN CENEDELLA

For the Gazette
Published: 4/10/2016 11:51:04 PM

Five College Learning in Retirement every April offers a series of five public lectures on important events in global politics. The topics are chosen by a committee after the membership is polled to express which issues interest them the most.

Five College Learning in Retirement works with the Foreign Policy Association, based in New York City, which sends them eight possible topics. Keeping the poll in mind, the local Great Decisions committee picks five of them. They then begin to recruit local experts to agree to speak on a given topic, and as many Five College Learning in Retirement members are former academics themselves, they have a wide net of contacts.

The lecturers usually come from the Five Colleges, but the committee also looks for experts outside of western Massachusetts. Jake Greenburg, chairman of the committee, says that faculty members are enthusiastic about being invited and many have offered to come back for another event.

Lively question and answer periods follow each discussion.

Here is the schedule for the rest of this month.

April 15 – Professor Philip Khoury, MIT, on “Middle East: From the Arab Spring to the Rise of ISIS.” Khoury is an expert on the Middle East and has lectured previously for the Great Decisions on the Arab Spring.

April 22 –  Professor Javier Corrales, Amherst College, on “Cuba and the U.S.” Corrales is an expert on Cuba, Venezuela and Argentina.

April 29 – Visiting lecturer Laura Reed, University of Massachusetts, on “The United Nations.” Reed’s research focuses on foreign policy, transnational security and disarmament initiatives.

All lectures are held at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The admission charge is $15 per discussion or $50 for the entire series.

For further information and online registration, visit the Five College Learning in Retirement website at or call 585-3756.

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