The English-Speaking Union

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Online Happy Hour Series

Welcome to ESU Happy Hour! The ESU has planned a series of programs to connect and reach out to our members through programs that are engaging, fun, and informative on a wide variety of topics. Happy Hour programs bring to you guest speakers live and free of charge.  Speakers may also suggest a unique cocktail for you to create and enjoy at home. These programs are designed so ESU members and guests can learn and interact with our outstanding speakers. Many speakers will provide exciting participation opportunities with fun give away books and products at the end of each program.

We invite members to suggest topics for future ESU Happy Hour Programs at this link. Cheers!

Watch Previously Recorded Programs


Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 4 PM (EDT)
Weird Moby-Dick with Dr. Hester Blum

Moby-Dick has a monumental reputation. Less well known are the novel's unexpectedly weird, funny, tantalizing, messy, and wondrous moments. Hester Blum will discuss her new Oxford edition of Melville's best-known novel, which is designed to be an edition for the 21st century: one that recognizes that each generation of readers will remake classic novels anew.

Moby-Dick. Second Edition. Herman Melville Edited by Hester Blum Oxford World's Classics. Edited by a leading Melville scholar, past president of the Herman Melville Society, and a participant in the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, the world's last surviving wooden whaleship and the sister ship to the Acushnet, in which Melville sailed.

Hester Blum is Professor of English at Penn State. She is the editor of the new Oxford World's Classics edition of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, and the author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives and The News at the Ends of the Earth: The Print Culture of Polar Exploration, among other volumes. Blum is past president of the Herman Melville Society, and her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She participated in the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, the world's last surviving wooden whaleship and the sister ship to the Acushnet, in which Melville sailed.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 4 PM (EDT)
Architecture in London, 1066-1800 with Dr. James Glass

Hosted by the Indianapolis Branch

Join architectural historian Dr. James Glass for an illustrated review of the major themes in architecture that appeared in London between the beginning of Norman rule in 1066 and the end of the 18th century.  We will explore Norman, Gothic, Tudor, Renaissance, Baroque, English Palladian, and Neo-Classical architecture and meet architects who designed leading palaces, churches, houses, and public institutions in London over 700 years, including Inigo Jones, Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, James Gibbs, Lord Burlington, William Kent, Sir William Chambers, and Robert Adam. 

Dr. James A. Glass is currently Principal of the firm Historic Preservation & Heritage Consulting LLC. Earlier in his career, he served twice as Director of the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer and for 13 years as Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Ball State University. He has also served as a member of the Board of Advisors, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and on the boards of Indiana Landmarks and the Indianapolis Propylaeum. Glass holds a Ph.D. in architectural history and historic preservation planning from Cornell University, an M.A. from Cornell in the history of urban development, an M.A. in Latin American history from Indiana University, and a B.A. in history and Spanish from the University of Indianapolis.

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