This course will remind you of the introductory English courses taught in days of yore. We will read novels, poems, and plays in order to ask ourselves what are the essential differences between them. • Henrik Ibsen, "Hedda Gabler" • Henrik Ibsen, "Ghosts" and a "Doll House" • Anton Chekhov, "Uncle Vanya" and "Three Sisters" • J.M. Coetzee, "Life and Times of Michael K" • Nadine Gordimer, "July’s People" • Alice Munro, "Dear Life" • Edward P. Jones, "All Aunt Hagar’s Children" • Tom Stoppard, "India Ink" • Tom Stoppard, "Arcadia" • Philip Larkin, "Collected Poems" • Robert Has, "Apple Trees at Olema" • Leftover Poems!
In 1929, the U.S. stock market experienced the most devastating crash in its history, beginning a long depression that would continue until the American entry into World War II in 1941. In contrast to the “roaring” jubilancy and widespread economic prosperity of the 1920s, the 1930s was a decade of poverty and struggle. American culture, however, flourished both because and in spite of the Great Depression. Art began to take more inspiration from the average, struggling American, ushering in an age of Social Realism that infused art with political statement. Led by F.D.R., the government supported writers and visual artists. Big band swing took over from hot jazz, and dancing styles increased in athleticism. “Talkies” became the norm, and 1939 is still considered one of the greatest years in film due to the releases of The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. In this course, we’ll study the history, literature, music, art, and film of the vibrant but complex 1930s with an eye for how this decade helped define contemporary American culture.
This class will meet once a month to discuss eight literary works. We will meet the fourth Tuesday of each month, from September to May, excluding December. The selections have been made from novels, collections of short stories, and memoirs that have received critical acclaim from peers, reviewers, and the reading public. Led by author and writing instructor Nancy Geyer, the course will differ from a lecture format in that class members will be encouraged to participate in the discussion of the monthly book assignment. It is patterned on the classic formula of book clubs that became popular in the early 20th century and continue to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on characterization, plot, structure, dialogue, style, and atmosphere. The book selections and dates follow: (A limited enrollment class) • September 25 "Leonardo Da Vinci" – Walter Isaacson • October 23 "A Man Called Ove" – Fredrick Backman • November 27 "Little Bee" – Chris Cleeve • December No Meeting • January 22 "West with the Night" – Beryl Markham • February 26 "Hillbilly Elegy" – J.D. Vance • March 26 "My Name is Lucy Barton" – Elizabeth Strout • April 23 "One Day" – David Nicholls • May 28 "Blue Highways" – Heat Moon