Mort Künstler, "Absolution Before Victory," 2012.

Mort Künstler, “Absolution Before Victory,” 2012.
Oil on canvas. Collection of the artist.
©Mort Künstler Inc. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, January 7, 2015— Norman Rockwell Museum’s Four Freedoms Forum series returns on Thursday, January 15, at 5:30 p.m., with a look at the cultural legacy of war. The public forum will explore whether war has become an accepted response to conflict, and what cultural circumstances have established a climate for armed engagement. Featured speakers will include Dr. William H. Cohn, visiting professor of American Studies at Trinity College; Brian J. Trautman, M.Ed., history instructor, Peace and World Order Studies at Berkshire Community College; and Dr. J. Benjamin Taylor, assistant professor of Political Science at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Community conversation at the Four Freedoms Forums is free and open to the public.

William Cohn, Ph.D. is a retired college administrator and history professor. Dr. Cohn taught European history at Carnegie Mellon University, was assistant to the president of George Mason University, and served as associate dean of the business school at the University of Hartford. For the past 14 years he has taught graduate courses in American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Brian J. Trautman, M.Ed. is a military veteran, educator, writer and activist. Trautman is currently an instructor of Peace and World Order Studies at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications, such as Common Dreams, CounterPunch, Truthout and Professor Trautman’s research interests include peace education, nonviolent social change, counter-hegemonic education, and intersectionality. He is a member of several peace and justice groups, including Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice, and Veterans for Peace.

J. Benjamin Taylor is an assistant professor of political science at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts. Through the college’s Department of History, Political Science and Public Policy, professor Taylor has lead courses that examine the areas of political science research and methods, campaigns and elections, American political institutions, and political psychology.
About Four Freedoms Forums: Town Hall Meetings at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Join us to share your thoughts on the most compelling issues of our day. This series of Town Hall conversations inspired by Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings will explore aspects of our democracy and important social concerns in a rapidly changing and increasingly global world. Noted commentators will offer observations and inspire community discourse, with a reception to follow.

The tradition of Town Hall meetings has it roots in the founding of our nation where small New England communities would gather to invite citizen opinion and vote on matters of importance to the town. A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.

The Four Freedoms Forums are free and open to the public.