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Community invited to free lecture by world bread expert in UW class

June 19, 2014

Bread – that kneaded, crusty, baked staple filled with grainy goodness – will be the focus of a June 26 lecture by Peter Reinhart, one of the world’s foremost bread authorities.

Peter Reinhart

Peter Reinhart

The free lecture, “Bread, Meaning and Transformation,” will be delivered at 6 p.m. in room 113 of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Psychology Building, 1202 W. Johnson St.

Area residents will be able to join UW–Madison students in the class, titled Food, Meaning and Spirituality, learning from Reinhart while enjoying savory smells and flavorful bites — something just a bit different than the usual lecture class. The lecture is open to the public, with no registration required. 

Reinhart is the author of six books on bread baking, including the 2008 James Beard Award-winning “Whole Grain Breads.” He also was a featured TED presenter. 

The class, offered by Corrie Norman, associate director of the Religious Studies Program, provides an interesting look at food. During the class – which is full, other than for the Reinhart lecture – scholars, cooks, and food aficionados will examine how people make meaning through food, and the spiritual dimension of everyday life.

“Through film, literature, and activities such as eating, of course, we will learn about the intersections between food and faith in a number of cultures and contexts – both religious and secular,” says Norman.

Members of the class are using “Cooked,” the new book from Michael Pollan, as reading that supports the lectures taught by a faculty member, local chefs, and food providers. A conversation with Pollan over Skype during the last class also is scheduled.

After each lecture, the group will walk a block to The Crossing, 1127 University Ave., where UW Slow Food interns will involve class members in hands-on collaborative culinary demonstrations and tasting events.

Food, Meaning and Spirituality is part of the annual University Summer Forums program that invites community members to join summer evening classes for personal learning about contemporary issues at no cost and with no earned credit.

Community members learn alongside degree-seeking UW–Madison students taking the courses for credit.

Second Summer Forum class

A second Summer Forum class, called Decoding the Energy Industry, will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, from July 15 to Aug. 7, 6-8 p.m.  

Those interested in that class are still welcome to register online. 

The energy industry class will examine how energy works, whether it’s derived from wind, solar, coal, natural gas or other sources. It also will explore how it affects homes, work and daily lives. The class will meet at 1610 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive.

UW-Madison engineering Professor Michael Corradini and Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait of the Wisconsin Energy Institute will lead the class.

The course will focus on new and complex dimensions of the technologies used to create electricity and how the technologies impact public policy, economics, engineering and the environment.

Leading campus researchers and nationally recognized guest speakers will provide the foundation and language necessary to engage in meaningful discussions and make informed choices about our energy options and use.

“We intend to explore the most pressing topical areas of interest to our society and empower the forum attendees to consider real world solutions to address energy issues,” says Corradini.

“The University Summer Forums connect the local community to the campus through very timely and exciting socially relevant topics,” says Jeffrey Russell, UW–Madison vice provost of lifelong learning and dean of the Division of Continuing Studies.