Marco Polo and Jane Austen, Waupaca Foundry and ancient body armor are among the topics to be covered this winter by Winchester Academy.
Winchester Academy will present eight free programs from Feb. 3 through April 28.
Programs are held at 6:30 p.m. Mondays at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
• Feb. 3 – Joe Janssen, social studies department chair and instructor at Waupaca High School, will discuss “The Silk Road Journey of Marco Polo.”
In the 13th century, Marco Polo traveled along the Eurasian trade route now called the Silk Road. Venturing farther into China than any European, his stories opened Western eyes to a wider, more extravagant world than they had previously known. This transcontinental trade route, stretching from Venice to Beijing, is both ancient and modern and has impacted the world with the spread of goods, technologies and culture.
• Feb. 24 – In their program, “Waupaca Foundry: Past, Present, and Future,” Joey Leonard, vice president of human resources, and Jim Larsen, who held the same position until he retired, will offer an update on changes and the outlook for the future at the largest employer in Waupaca County.
• March 3 – Jared Hanlin, assistant professor of theater at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, will present “Theatrical Proving Grounds: Directing The Crucible at UWSP.”
Hanlin will describe his experience directing Arthur Miller’s literary classic. He will offer a behind-the-scenes look at how theater is created.
The Crucible will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, March 1-2 and March 6-8 with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 2 at UWSP Jenkins Theatre. For tickets, call 715-346-4100.
• March 17 – Dr. Patricia Williams will present “From the Internet to Drug Traffickers: Patron Saints in the 21st Century.”
Emerita professor of interior architecture at UW-Stevens Point, Williams will examine how the Christian tradition of “patron saints” has been re-designed for use in popular culture today. It includes a look at novelty art and craft products that exploit interest in ritual behavior.
• March 24 – In “Classical Kevlar: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor,” Gregory S. Aldrete will discuss linothorax, a body armor developed by the ancient Greeks.
Aldrete is a professor of history and humanistic studies at UW-Green Bay. He will speak about his six-year project recreating, and testing with ancient weapons, linothorax, employing only the materials and techniques that would have been available to the Greeks. He will also display a reconstructed linothorax as part of the program.
• April 7 – Timothy Spurgin will present “The Enduring Jane Austen.”
Spurgin is an associate professor of English and a professor of English literature at Lawrence University. He returns to Winchester Academy to share his insights into the enduring appeal of 19th-century British author Jane Austen.
• April 14 – Dr. Scott Hebbring will examine “The Impact of Genetics in Medicine.”
Hebbring is an associate research scientist at the Center for Human Genetics at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. He will explain how genetics contributes to human health and the new methods he is developing to identify genes that are linked to diseases.
• April 28 – The 25th annual MREA Energy Fair will be the topic of Nick Hylla’s program.
Hylla is executive director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. He will speak about the strides being made in renewable energy.
To be notified of each program by email, submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Winchester Academy website is http://winchesteracademywaupaca.org.