Richard Holbrooke

Building on the Peace: Bosnia Two Years After The Dayton Accords

Thursday, January 8
Underwritten by: Butterworth Health System

As chief negotiator for the historic 1995 Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke brings an insider's perspective to the latest crisis in the Balkans. Ambassador Holbrooke discusses the dramatic negotiations that led to the signing of the Accords, and assesses their implementation as a means to stability and prosperity in the Balkans, historically an explosive region. His comments include the potential and the pitfalls of multi-national peacekeeping forces and of the American leadership role in Europe. He also describes his outlook for the 8,500 American forces stationed in Bosnia and the domestic political debate over America's role in Bosnia, in Europe, and in the world at large.

Learn more »


Friends of the Groom

A Second Book of Acts

Friday, January 9
Underwritten by: Carroll and Jeanette Bos

Thought-provoking, original Christian drama comes to The January Series with the appearance of Friends of the Groom, a nationally-known theatre group founded 16 years ago by Tom Long, the group's director, playwright, and chief storyteller. Committed to proclaiming the Christian message with a unique blend of humor, story, and challenging content, this award-winning, inter-denominational group of adult performers travels to congregations around the country using drama to build Christian community and to inspire individual faith. The group's name refers to the image of Christ as the bridegroom in the New Testament. For The January Series they will perform A Second Book of Acts, a blend of humor, confession, scripture, and three people's true stories of their encounters with God, written by Long, complete with a surprise ending.

Learn more »


Neil Postman

Questioning the Media

Monday, January 12
Underwritten by: Gainey Transportation Services, Inc.

Best-selling author and well-known cultural critic Neil Postman poses six questions for The January Series audience. The answers, he says, are individual and personal and not as important as the questions, which provide a defense against the intrusion of technology into our political, social and even spiritual lives. With characteristic wit and candor, Dr. Postman offers thought-provoking insight into our transformation from a society that uses technology to one that is shaped by it. Author of Amusing Ourselves To Death, which sold over 400,000 copies worldwide, Dr. Postman also wrote Technopoly, How to Watch Television News, and The End of Education. He is chair of the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University.

Learn more »

Van Baak

David Van Baak

Can Science Survive in a Post-Modern World?

Tuesday, January 13
Underwritten by: Creative Dining

Throughout the modern era, a time of unprecedented expansion of scientific knowledge the debate over truth was between science and religion. However, in today's post-modern era, a time in which new and unconventional ways of knowing are being offered by some thinkers, our perception of truth is being challenged. The debate has shifted. Science (including, but not limited to, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and anthropology) is now defending itself against post-modern ideology, which declares truth to be non-existent and science to be passe. Calvin College physics professor David Van Baak maintains that science is a reliable basis for truth in the material world and also a point of reference for collectively solving some of humanity's most pressing problems, such as energy supplies, global warming, and environmental pollution, to name a few.

Learn more »


Jean Kilbourne

Killing Us Softly: The Marketing of Alcohol, Tobacco and Diet Products

Wednesday, January 14
Underwritten by: Hope Network

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. She is the author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel, paints a gripping portrait of how this barrage of advertising corrupts relationships and feeds an addictive mentality.

Learn more »


Ian Wilmut

Cloning and the Question of Ethics

Thursday, January 15
Underwritten by: Miller, Johnson, Snell, and Cummisky

When a Scottish biological research team headed by Ian Wilmut successfully cloned a lamb named Dolly earlier this year, the world gasped at the possibility of repeating this breakthrough technology in humans. The ethics and impact of such a feat are contemplated and debated around the globe. Using exclusive video footage of the Dolly experiment, Dr. Wilmut outlines future applications of genetics research only recently considered science fiction, including growing organs and tissues in the laboratory, allowing scientists to correct genetic diseases in individuals and their offspring, and making possible animal-to-human organ transplants. While Dr. Wilmut admits that much remains unknown about the implications of cloning, he believes humans are a moral species and that misuse of this dramatic new technology will not occur.

Learn more »


Prague Chamber Orchestra

Valentina Lisitsa, Piano; Sergei Nakariakov, Trumpet

Friday, January 16
Underwritten by: Holland Home

A litany of accolades in the American Press from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle followed their twelfth North American tour last season. One American critic called the Prague Chamber Orchestra "a remarkably well-disciplined, excellent body of musicians in which each musician is a maestro." This world- renowned, 36-member ensemble begins its 1998 U.S. tour at The January Series with a repertoire ranging from baroque to today's leading composers. The Orchestra plays without a conductor, sustained instead by the superb musicianship of each player, unique in their exquisite precision, intonation, and balance. Two outstanding Russian soloists, the stunning pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, and the brilliant trumpeter, Sergei Nakariakov, complement this remarkable orchestra in its first appearance in West Michigan.

Learn more »


Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

Feminism is not the Story of My Life

Monday, January 19
Underwritten by: Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

In her most startling and courageous book, Feminism is Not the Story of My Life, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese reveals through insightful and extensive interviews with American mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives from diverse backgrounds that the feminist movement does not speak for all women. Listening to their stories, Dr. Fox-Genovese, who is Eleanore Raoul Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at Emory University, discovers a new kind of feminism, a "family feminism" based on the facts of women's lives. She describes this new feminism as a core belief that draws women together based on the things they have in common, that promotes their rights while taking into account their responsibilities, that trusts women to set their own priorities rather than try to live up to an unattainable ideal.

Learn more »


Eugene Genovese

From Marxism to Christianity

Tuesday, January 20
Underwritten by: John and Mary Loeks and Mark and Carol Muller

As a teenager in Brooklyn, New York in the 1940s, Eugene Genovese recruited workers for the Communist Party. Educated at Columbia University, he became one of America's greatest historians. He remained an avowed Marxist until his conversion to Roman Catholicism in December of 1996. He is author of the 1970s best-seller Roll, Jordan, Roll, a definitive book on slavery and its theological roots. Genovese and his wife have been called "the royal couple of radical academia," but they consider themselves conservative traditionalists. Dr. Genovese sheds light on the inspirational power of Marxism while attempting to identify the fatal flaw that brought it to its knees with the collapse of the Soviet Union. With unabashed trepidation, he explores from his own experience the relationship between intellectual conviction and the power of faith.

Learn more »


Ignat Solzhenitsyn

Variations on a Waltz of Diabelli by Ludwig van Beethoven

Wednesday, January 21
Underwritten by: Lawrence D., Sr. and Dolores Bos

One of the world's most gifted young artists, 25-year-old Ignat Solzhenitsyn enjoys a brilliant career as both pianist and conductor. Born in Moscow, son of Russian Nobel Prize winning novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Ignat Solzhenitsyn stands on his own as a musician of rare talent. For The January Series, Solzhenitsyn will perform one of the most astonishing monuments of keyboard literature, the 33 Variations on a Waltz of Anton Diabelli by Ludwig van Beethoven. This 55-minute work stretches the possibilities of the piano and the variation form to the extreme. The "Diabelli Variations" is a testament to the extraordinary power of Beethoven's mind, which was able to take apart a banal dance by a forgettable composer and create a musical masterpiece of breathtaking scope.

Learn more »

Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson

Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line

Thursday, January 22
Underwritten by: Hospice of Michigan

Hailed as a "hip-hop intellectual who effortlessly fuses academic lectures with urban hip-ism," Michael Eric Dyson is a professor at Columbia University's Institute for Research in African American Studies. He is one of America's most distinguished and visible public intellectuals and respected social critics. He is also a Princeton-educated scholar, an ordained Baptist preacher, a loving husband, and a former welfare dad who knows from firsthand experience what it means to be a black man in America when you can't find a job, provide for a family, or make a loving relationship work. His latest book, Race Rules sheds a clarifying light on the intricate dynamics of race relations in the U.S. today. Dr. Dyson tells why he has added his voice to the chorus of voices about race, which he believes continues to dominate American society.

Learn more »


Jonathan Spence

China Today and the Shadow of the Emperors

Friday, January 23
Underwritten by: Pioneer, Inc.

Today's China is a behemoth on the move, flexing its muscles off the coast of Taiwan and reclaiming Hong Kong from British rule. With everyone on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai appearing to have cellular phones and with immense new construction projects rising everywhere, China would seem to be a thoroughly modern nation getting ready for the 21st century. But the heaviness of China's oppressive past lingers into the 1990s, as evidenced by restricted freedoms in the cities, a desperate life in the countryside, arbitrary arrests, and censorship of the culture. Moreover, China's secretive leadership and a timid central bureaucracy are reminiscent of the China ruled by emperors hundreds of years ago. Jonathan Spence, Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, explores how history has shaped modern China and whether China's rulers today are ready for what is to come in the next 100 years.

Learn more »


John Witte

From Sacrament to Contract: The Transformations of the Western Family

Monday, January 26
Underwritten by: Butterworth Health System

Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He is the recipient of the 2008 National First Freedom Award for his contributions in advancing religious liberty in the United States. He is a specialist in legal history, marriage, religious liberty and the life of John Calvin. He is the author of 21 books and countless publications. He has won dozens of awards for his teaching and research. In this presentation he will address John Calvin's political legacy and its enduring lessons for us still today.

Learn more »


Elizabeth Drew

Whatever It Takes: The Real Struggle for Political Power in America

Tuesday, January 27
Underwritten by: Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt and Howlett

Author of ten books and a frequent guest on NBC's Meet the Press, Elizabeth Drew is a recognized expert on money and politics and how they affect the average U.S. citizen. In 1996, while working on her most recent book, Whatever It Takes: The Real Struggle for Political Power in America, Ms.Drew witnessed and wrote about new abuses of the campaign finance system and talked with politicians, interest groups, and activists from across the political spectrum who would do"whatever it takes" to insure victory on Election Day. With keen insight into what's wrong with today's campaign finance system, Ms. Drew draws on years of experience as a Washington observer to discuss what has and hasn't been done to correct it.

Learn more »


Clifford Stoll

Silicon Snake Oil: A Skeptical View of Computing

Wednesday, January 28
Underwritten by: MC Sports

Clifford Stoll is best known for work in tracking down the hacker Markus Hess in 1986, and his book which documents the event -- 'The Cuckoo's Egg.' After graduating from the University of Arizona with a PhD in 1980, he worked as the chief assistant engineer at WBFO, a Buffalo-based radio station. He worked here until beginning his investigation into Markus Hess, at which point he became employed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  In addition to 'The Cuckoo's Egg,' Stoll also wrote 'Silicon Snake Oil' and 'High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian.' The keynotes by Clifford Stoll provide fascinating insight into his exciting and interesting career and life experiences.

Learn more »