Essays & Essayists

2011 - 2020

Emily Auerbach

March 11, 2013: “Pride, Prejudice, and Proliferation: A 200th Birthday”

Respondent: Joseph Wiesenfarth

William Aylward

December 14, 2015: “Discovering Troy”

Respondent: Barry Powell

Mary Helen Becker

October 13, 2014: “Gregory of Tours: Sixth-Century Bishop, Historian, and Saint”

Respondent: Jim Ebben

Kathryn Binau

September 12, 2011: “Food Allergies—Genetics or Environment?”

Respondent: Christopher Frautschi

Harvey Black

December 9, 2019: “Science Reporting: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—More or Less”

Respondent:  Steve Paulson

Paul Boyer

October 10, 2011: “Are Corporations Persons? Reflections on the Fourteenth Amendment, the National Cash Register Company, and a Boyhood in Dayton, OH”

Respondent: Christopher Frautschi

Thomas Broman and Erika Janik

February 13, 2017: “How Does ‘Public History’ Reach its Public? The Case of Wisconsin 101”

no respondent

Daniel Bromley

November 13, 2017: “Why Aldo Leopold Has Failed: Rescuing Environmentalism from Moral Obligations”

no respondent

Joyce Bromley 

March 14, 2016: “Barriers to German Reunification”

Respondent: Sabine Gross

Joshua Calhoun

December 14, 2016: “Shakespeare’s First Folio”

Respondent: no commentator

Donna Carnes and Pauline Boss

September 12, 2016: “The Myth of Closure”

Respondent: no commentator

Craig Christianson

December 10, 2012: “Recent Research on Near-Death and the Experience of Dying”

Respondent: Rick Langer

Charles Cohen

May 11, 2015: “A Nice Jewish Boy Redacts a Translation of the Qur’an”

no respondent

May 9, 2011: “Jews and Muslims in Christian America”

Respondent: Paul Boyer

Jane Collins

December 10, 2018: “The Politics of Value”

Respondent: Michael Bell

Kate Corby

October 9, 2017: “From Idea to Embodiment: An Open Rehearsal and Peek into Contemporary Choreographic Processes”

no respondent

Katherine Cramer

September 11, 2017: “The Politics of Resentment in the Contemporary United States”

no respondent

David Daniel 

February 8, 2016: “An Interactive Evening of Poetry”

Respondent: Emily Auerbach and Donna Carnes

Samuel Dennis

February 12, 2018: “Landscape Design as Social and Cultural History: A Long View”

Respondent: Ann Smart Martin

Robert Dott, Jr.

April 13, 2015: “Roadside Geology of Wisconsin”

Respondent: David Mickelson

Donald Downs

March 14, 2011: “Free Speech and Academic Freedom at UW-Madison and Beyond: Where to Draw the Line?”

Respondent: Charles Cohen

Jordan Ellenberg

May 9, 2016: “How Not to be Wrong: Why Math is Important”

no respondent

Jo Estep

March 11, 2019: “Behind the Panels: An Examination of the Creation of Comics/Graphic Novels”

Respondent:  Amber Cohen

Nicole Fenske (substitute for Patrice Streicher)

September 17, 2018: “Functional Medicine”

Respondent: Jennifer Gurske

Jean Feraca

May 13, 2013: “Teaching Plato’s Allegory of the Cave”

Respondent: UW Odyssey Project Students

Charles Franklin

November 10, 2014: “Understanding the Wisconsin Electorate of 2014”

Respondent: Jessie Opoien

Ann Frautschi

October 7, 2013: “Colonial Cooking”

Respondent: Orange Schroeder

Margaret George

February 11, 2019: “Fiddling Around with Nero, or, Fake News from Rome”

Respondent:  William Aylward

November 9, 2015: “The Emperor Nero”

Respondent: Norman Gilliland

Norman Gilliland

May 11, 2020: “What Has Radio Done for Music?”

Respondent: Trevor Stephenson

May 12, 2014: “Go Ahead and Write Your Novel—I Dare You”

Respondent: Margaret George

February 13, 2012: “What is Wrong with Classical Music?”

Respondent: Emily Auerbach

Robert Graebner

April 9, 2018: “Walter Graebner: Time-Life London Bureau Chief and His Relationship with Winston Churchill”

Respondent: Gen. Lewis B. Harned

December 8, 2014: “The Northwest Passage: An Historical, Cartographical, and Climatological Tour”

Respondent: Andrew Winters

Joan Hall

November 12, 2012: “The Dictionary of American Regional English: On Beyond Zebra”

Respondent: Joseph Wiesenfarth

John Hall

September 14, 2015: “Americans’ Colonialism”

Respondent: Cary Miller

December 12, 2011: “The U.S. Army and Indian Removal”

Respondent: Miranda Johnson

Lee Hansen

February 11, 2013: “Diversity at the UW: An Assessment”

Respondent: Phil Certain

Ronnie Hess

March 9, 2020: “Duck Soup, Or the Fine Art and Science of Culinary/Food Writing”

Respondent: Grazia Menechella

Jack Holzhueter

May 13, 2019: “Aslak Lie: A Final Report on a Fifty-Year Obsession”

Respondent: Peter Thurlow

Tom Howe

September 9, 2019: “Waste, Salvation, and Melancholia: Unexpected Legacies of the American Civil War”

Respondent: Matt Blessing

 

Len Kaplan

October 14, 2019: “Job: A Folksy Tale That Continues to Bite”

with Rob Czierwin, Andy Gricevich, and Jeffrey Rothstein

Moira Krueger

September 9, 2013: “Recalls: Historical and Personal Perspectives”

Respondent: Kevin Kennedy

Margaret Lewis

December 8, 2013: “Are There Enough Women in Politics?”

no respondent

Monica Macaulay

April 11, 2016: “Native Language Revitalization in Wisconsin”

no respondent

Ron McCrea

March 12, 2018: “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Contributions of Women”

Respondent: Anna Andrezjewski

April 8, 2013: “Discovering the Hidden Taliesen”

Respondent: Bill Tischler

Jim McKeown

February 10, 2020: “Ancient Medical Curiosities:  Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Health Arts of Greece and Rome”

Respondent: Hanna Golab

Gene Miller

September 8, 2014: “Divine Kingship in Ancient Egypt: Art and Writing as the Propaganda of Pharaohs”

Respondent: Emily Auerbach

Leonora Neville and Sarah Thal

April 3, 2017: “Songs from the Road not Taken: Amateur Reflections on Coloratura”

no respondent

John Nichols

November 12, 2018: “Election Wrap-Up, Analysis and Implications”

Respondent: Laura Dresser

Richard Olson

November 14, 2011: “Scandinavian Mystery Novels”

Respondent: Mary Helen Becker

Martha Greene Phillips

May 14, 2018: “Border Country”

Respondent: Stanley Temple

Joseph (Jay) Ranney

April 8, 2019: “A New Birth of Freedom?’ Wisconsin and the Age of Expressive Individualism”

Respondent: Dean Strang

Carl Rasmussen

April 9, 2012: “Monstrous Fictions: Reading Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion Against the American Religious Right”

Respondent: Catherine Rasmussen

Catherine Rasmussen

March 14, 2011: “Trollope and The Warden”

Respondent: Emily Auerbach

Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

July 13, 2020 (rescheduled from April 13): “The Ideas that Made America: A Brief History”

Respondent: Charles Cohen

Sue Riseling

November 11, 2019, “The Challenge of Protecting the University”

Respondent: Kristen Roman

Veronica Rueckert

September 14, 2020: “Outspoken:  Why Women’s Voices Get Silenced and How to Set Them Free”

Respondent: Mary Lang Sollinger

John Schaffer

October 8, 2018: “So, What Exactly IS Jazz Anyway?”

Respondent: Johannes Wallman

March 9, 2015: “The String Quartets of Bela Bartok”

Respondent: Matt D’Anbrosio

Sarah Schaffer

October 10, 2016: “From Poem to Song: How Variant Musical Settings Offer Interpretive Insights”

Respondent: Robin Chapman

April 14, 2014: “Commissioning New Music: From Concept to Premiere”

Respondent: Sally Chisholm

Michael Schuler

November 9, 2020: “Whither Humanism? A Brief Survey of its Religious and Cultural Despisers”

Respondent: Michael May

November 11, 2013: “In the Absence of Authority”

Respondent: Michael May

Nick Schweitzer

March 10, 2014: “Evolution in the Courts”

no commentator

September 10, 2012: “Returning Home: The Causes and Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”

no respondent

Dan Shea

October 12, 2020: “Thoughts on Opera in Madison Since the 1960s”

Respondent: Karlos Moser

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

December 14, 2020: “Mapping Blackness: An Intimate
Cartography”

Respondent: Dr. Ethelene Whitmire

Charles Snowden

October 12, 2015: “How Human Fatherhood is Informed by Non-Human Primates”

Respondent: Lauren Papp

May 14, 2012: “The Evolutionary Origins of Music”

Respondent: Robert Graebner

Trevor Stephenson

December 11, 2017: “Chopin and Debussy on a Mid-Nineteenth-Century Viennese Piano: Trevor Stephenson Discusses the Sound World of an 1855 Bösendorfer Grand”

Respondent: Norman Sheppard

February 16, 2015: “From Quills to Hammers: The Evolution of the Piano”

Respondent: Norman Sheppard

Carol Toussaint

April 11, 2011: “The Very Idea of It: An Editing Lesson for a Lifetime”

Respondent: Ellen Foley

Olga and Vadimir Trubetskoy

March 13, 2017: “Mikhail Tsvet and His Discovery of Chromatography, a ‘process that separates molecules but unites people’”

no respondent

Andrée Valley

October 8, 2012: “The Art of Exaggeration”

Respondent: Jim Smith

John Valley

February 10, 2014: “Zircons from Hell?”

Respondent: Robert Dott, Jr.

Michael Wagner

November 14, 2016: “Wrap-up Analysis of the 2016 Elections”

no respondent

Craig Werner and Doug Bradley

May 8, 2017: “‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place’: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War”

no respondent

James Zellmer

March 12, 2012: “15 Seconds – SIS vs. the Legacy Media”

Respondent: Richard Askey

Note: Complete lists of essays and essayists and entertainers of the Club, as well as of members and officers from 1877 to 1977, will be found in The Semi-Centennial Book of the Madison Literary Club, 1877-1927, and in The Centennial Book of the Madison Literary Club, 1977. Essays are held by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.