COURSES Fall 2022 / Old Courses

List of course that have run in the past.

A PASSAGE TO INDIA

Coordinators: Lynnel Garabedian, Sandy Kessler

Continuing our fall course on the fiction of E. M. Forster, the focus during the spring term will be his novel, A Passage to India, considered by many scholars to be Forster’s masterpiece.

AFRICAN CONTINENT

Coordinators: Ann Goerdt, Bob Gottfried, Bob Reiss

In the fall semester we will add to the information that we provided about Africa in the spring. As we present specific countries, including Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tunisia, we will continue to address their history, economy, health, education, and social aspects. We will also present overviews of Africa that may focus on specific groups of countries as we address topics such as the relations between African countries and their former colonizers and the influence of China on the continent.

ANTISEMITISM: PAST, PRESENT, FACTS, MYTHS

Coordinators: Harriet Finkelstein, Marian Friedmann, Bob Reiss

This course will explore antisemitism from ancient times to its current manifestation. It will be interesting to anyone of any faith, race, or background who wants to understand fully the magnitude of hatred toward a people and how it can distort and destroy both soul and society.

BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES

Coordinators: Stephen Baker, Pete Weis

Defining a nation-state and its subnational components requires physical delineation acknowledged by those within and beyond its geographic limits. Establishment of boundaries is vital, and borders and boundaries have often been a key component of history.

FASCINATING ISLANDS

Coordinators: Stephen Baker, Pete Weis

In this course we will explore some fascinating islands. These are widely scattered throughout the world in oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers as well as scattered in time with references from antiquity to the future.

HOUSE OF MIRTH

Coordinators: Patricia Geehr, Arlene Curinga

Edith Wharton, the first woman to win a Pulitzer, is known for depicting the “tragedies and ironies” of life among members of the middle class and aristocratic New York society in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will read The House of Mirth, her first literary success. Through themes of gender, class, love, and friendship, Wharton depicts the destructive results of the pursuit of wealth and misplaced values that are still evident today. Recommended text: Scribner, paperback edition 2020.

HOWARDS END

Coordinators: Lynnel Garabedian, Sandy Kessler

E. M. Forster was a distinguished writer of novels, short stories, and essays whose career spanned several decades. During the fall semester the class will read one of his acclaimed novels, Howards End. Forster’s book sensitively explores conflicts of class and culture, politics, human relationships, and personal responsibility in a pre-World War I society that questions traditional English values as three families struggle to understand each other.

INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

Coordinators: Pete Weis, Jim Brook

This course continues with that which has become familiar in our everyday lives, for better or worse. The history of these inventions, as well as the impacts on our lives and on our planet, will be presented. And new this semester: inventions by women.

LITERARY HEROINES

Coordinators: Bryn Meehan, Sheryl Harawitz, Lois Klein

Why have some female characters stayed with us long after the last page? Do we still admire them? We’ll revisit favorite literary characters from our early reading years, for example, Nancy Drew and Scout Finch.

MOZART’S WOMEN

Coordinators: Larry Shapiro, Linda Downs

We think of Mozart’s father as the dominant influence in his life, but there’s more to the story. Inspired by Jane Glover’s book of the same title, Mozart’s Women will look beyond the stereotype of a child genius dominated by his father to show how Mozart’s life and music were shaped by his relationships with women, from the first efforts of a child composer to the great “dark comedy” operas, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte. The course will blend biography, history and music.