781-736-2992 | Request Info

Fall 2018 Course Schedule

Click here to view a PDF version of the Fall 2018 Course Catalog. 

Click here to view a sortable schedule of Fall 2018 courses. Sort by day, class period, duration (5 or 10 week), or category.

To view the course schedule, click on each day of the week.

Fall 2018 courses will begin the week of September 24 and run through the week of December 3, with a break the week of November 19. There will be no courses on Columbus Day, October 8. For the Fall 2018 schedule, click here.

If needed, make up classes will be held December 10-13.

Please be sure to click on the name of the course to read the description before signing up.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday


Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

LIT3-10-Mon1 
Whodunit? Murder in Scandinavia
Marilyn Brooks

SOC4-10-Mon1   
Manipulation: How Hidden Influences Affect Our Choice of Products, Politicians and Priorities
Sandy Sherizen

ART6-10-Mon1 
Chutzpah: Is the Art on Your Wall Real?
Quinn & Susan Rosefsky

LIT7-5b-Mon1
All That in Just Fourteen Lines: A Consideration of the Sonnet 
Miriam Goldman
5 Week Course – November 5 – December 10 

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

H&G10-10-Mon2 
Race Relations in America: The Role of the Supreme Court
Saul Schapiro

MUS3-10-Mon2  
A Guided Tour of Three Popular Verdi Operas
Phil Radoff

SCI2-10-Mon2
Exploring the Universe
Gary Feldman

SOC1-10-Mon2
Daddy, We Love You: Daughters Write Books About Their Fathers
Sophie Freud

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

ART1-10-Mon3
The Birth of Modernism in Bohemian Paris
Nancy Alimansky

LIT9-10-Mon3
Mothers, Madeleines, Music, and Memory: Reading Swann’s Way in Search of Marcel Proust
Hollie Harder

LIT11-5b-Mon3 
The Metaphor is the Message
Jeff Kichen
5 Week Course - November 5 - December 10

LIT15-5b-Mon3
More Great American Short Stories
Edward Selig 
5 Week Course - November 5 - December 10 

LIT17-5a-Mon3
A Revolution in Locality: Reading Emily Dickinson's Poetry, 1862-1864
David Razor 
5 Week Course - September 24 - October 29

 

LIT3-10-Mon1 Whodunit? Murder in Scandinavia

Leader – Marilyn Brooks

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

Description   In this third course on murder mysteries, we will continue the discussion of the fascination readers have with crime fiction. We will examine hard-boiled novels, cozy mysteries, and psychological thrillers, seeing how the different strands are all part of the same genre. Scandinavia is defined in its broadest terms, including now-separate countries that once “belonged” to modern-day Scandinavia. The novels will move us ever eastward. We will be reading books that take place in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland; thus, we will get an insight into societies that have similarities to each other but also differences. Our books will feature amateur and professional detectives, both men and women. Videos of the authors will be shown when available. We’ll share viewpoints and introduce others to new authors and ideas. Class members will act, in a way, as sleuths, examining the clues as to what makes a mystery worth reading and, as we all gather together in the “library,” perhaps come to a solution that satisfies us all.

Readings   Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg (Greenland)
The Undesired by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland)
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (Norway)
Hell Fire by Karin Fossum (Norway)
The Hanging Girl by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Denmark)
Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (Sweden)
The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe (Sweden)
Snow Angels by James Thompson (Finland)

Preparation Time   We will be reading eight novels during the ten-week course. Each book will take about four hours to read.

Biography   Marilyn Brooks has been a devoted mystery fan since her formative years when she discovered Nancy Drew and read the entire series through The Ringmaster’s Secret. She reads three or four mysteries a week and is equally devoted to private eyes, police investigators, and amateur detectives. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. She has been writing a weekly mystery review blog since 2010, marilynsmysteryreads.com; some of her posts have been reprinted in the BOLLI blog under the title Mystery Maven Marilyn.

Back To Top


SOC4-10-Mon1 Manipulation: How Hidden Influences Affect Our Choice of Products, Politicians and Priorities

Leader – Sandy Sherizen

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

Description   We are all being manipulated daily in ways that are often invisible and unrecognized. Elements of manipulation are essential factors in our important decisions, yet it is often difficult to know who is in fact manipulating us or how they may be doing it. This course will explore the notion that manipulation is now so much a part of our lives that it is vitally important to gain an understanding of its impact in order to make appropriate and well-informed personal and societal decisions. We will explore a number of forms of manipulation to gain an understanding of how they influence our choices, among them: psychological, physical, interpersonal, economic, ideological, and technological. We will discuss fascinating examples of manipulation, such as placebo elevator buttons, consumer advertising, manipulative personalities, magic tricks, con artists, the lines at Disney World, lying, and neurological cognitive biases. Topics will also include how politicians create their brands, how the media select what they will cover, social media and public opinion as well as negotiating strategies and self-manipulation. Personal examples will also be solicited from class members.

Readings   SGL will prepare a packet of course readings composed of articles from the mass media, academic journals and policy papers. This will be distributed at the first class and reproduction costs will be collected.

Preparation Time   1-3 hours a week

Biography   Sanford (Sandy) Sherizen was trained as a sociologist, went bad and became a criminologist, and then really bad by becoming a computer security and privacy professional. He has taught at various universities, had various media engagements, led seminars and given speeches in many domestic and international settings. As ex-president, he is active at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury. Flunking retirement, he taught ESL to adult immigrants and serves on a patient research ethics and safety board at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. At BOLLI, he has taught courses on Your Privacy is at Risk, Crime Topics, and The Sociology of “Deviant” Behaviors.

Back To Top


 


ART6-10-Mon1 Chutzpah: Is the Art on Your Wall Real?

Leaders – Quinn Rosefsky & Susan Rosefsky

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

Description   You bought that Picasso because you liked it and were convinced it would appreciate in value. After all, the man who sold it to you, the auctioneer at Sotheby’s, was so convincing. As he recited the “provenance” for the work you knew the Picasso was a steal! You knew the painting would accrue in value on your wall at home! Too bad you had to pass on the Giacometti! What luck to have wandered into the auction house on that last trip to New York! And then the conservator touching up the painting told you that a speck of orange paint was unavailable at the time the Picasso was created. We believe what we want to believe. Many people, too many, know that. They routinely corrupt our minds and values. Even experts are fooled. We invite you to join with us to look at a $5 billion dollar industry, art fraud. In this ten week course, we will read several books, non-fiction and fiction. We will acquire insights into how con men, both past and present, think and thrive. Whether you are a serious collector or a casual museum-goer, you will gain a better appreciation of the value of what you are looking at.

Readings   The Art of the Con by Anthony M. Amore
Provenance by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Preparation Time   There will be two hours of text homework per week. On average, there will be 75-90 pages to read in a typical week.

Biography   A retired psychiatrist, Quinn Rosefsky has a lifetime interest in art. He grew up surrounded by works of famous artists, most of which were authentic. Once, in attempting to sell a few works at auction, Quinn was surprised when agents from Christies told him that several of the works were questionable and could not be accepted (Dali, Gainsborough). This piqued his curiosity as he had spent considerable time during his late career attempting to sort out real/authentic from false/fake. People with a lot of “chutzpah” were once his nemesis….until now!

Susan Rosefsky studied music in Sydney and London and taught piano for twenty years. She then worked at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston where she built a volunteer program for digitizing primary records. Family secrets and false information were almost daily encounters. Susan is intrigued by the exploration of fakes and forgeries and the questions they raise.

Back To Top


H&G10-10-Mon2 Race Relations in America: The Role of the Supreme Court

Leader – Saul Schapiro

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description   This course is an expansion of the course taught in the Spring 2018 term entitled “From Somerset to Shelby: Five Cases That Framed Race Relations in the United States for the Last 350 Years.” It will cover in depth the same five cases reviewed in that course, including Somerset v. Stewart (1772), the infamous Dred Scott case (1857), Plessey v. Ferguson (1896), Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and Shelby County v. Holder (2013). These cases directly addressed the institution of slavery and legal relations between black and white Americans before and after slavery was abolished in the U.S. This expanded course will also explore how other non-white peoples fared in the American judicial system in three other Supreme Court cases: Chinese immigrants in the Chinese Exclusion Cases (1889), Native Americans in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903), and Japanese Americans in Korematsu v. United States (1944). Finally, the course will examine Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), in which a white applicant to medical school claimed that the school’s affirmative action admission policies discriminated against him on the basis of race.

Readings   There are no required books to be read for this course. The SGL will hand out copied materials consisting primarily of the opinions of the courts in each case. Some additional material will be provided to help participants better understand the decisions. Class members are encouraged to read as much about the cases as they like online in advance of each session to facilitate informed discussion.

Preparation Time   1-2 hours per week

Biography   Saul Schapiro graduated from City College of New York and Harvard Law School. Mr. Schapiro practiced law in the Boston area as a partner of his own firm for more than 40 years as a litigator and transactional lawyer. He has briefed and argued cases at every level of the Massachusetts State court system, including arguing numerous cases at the Supreme Judicial Court, and also appeared at the trial and appellate level of the Federal courts in Massachusetts. His trial experience includes civil and criminal cases. Mr. Schapiro represented the Boston Redevelopment Authority in major civil litigation matters for over 25 years, among other governmental and non-governmental entities. Mr. Schapiro also served as the supervising attorney for the Harvard Voluntary Defender program for eight years.

Back To Top


MUS3-10-Mon2 A Guided Tour of Three Popular Verdi Operas

Leader – Phil Radoff

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description   Among the best known--and best loved--of Verdi’s operas are the three first presented within a few years of one another in the early 1850s: Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata. This course will cover all three of these “Middle Period” masterpieces, from Overture to final curtain. We’ll also consider how the librettos differ from the plays by Verdi contemporaries (two French, one Spanish) on which they were based. The course will be primarily lecture and presentation, with written questions and related materials provided by email in advance of each session to guide participants’ reading and listening. Approximately three class periods will be allotted to each of the operas. To the extent time is available, excerpts of some of Verdi’s later operas will also be presented to show how Verdi’s music developed. Participants will need to have access to audio or video recordings of each of the three operas and, ideally, to the accompanying librettos in translation. All of these materials are readily available, new and used, from on-line vendors and the Minuteman library system. Performances may also be available online via YouTube or other providers.

Readings   Class members should try to obtain copies of the librettos in translation. Any version of the librettos is satisfactory.

Preparation Time   About two hours, including reading the emails and reading the portion of the libretto and listening to the portion of the opera assigned for each class.

Biography   Phil Radoff holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics and worked as a physicist for a few years before switching to law. As a lawyer he worked in private practice, for the US Government, and as inside corporate counsel before retiring in 2004 from Raytheon Company. Phil has been a participant in BOLLI courses for about 13 years. He has been an SGL since 2006 and has led a number of courses on the operas of Mozart, Wagner, and others. He has also given several hour-long opera talks at BOLLI and elsewhere.

Back To Top


SCI2-10-Mon2 Exploring the Universe

Leader – Gary Feldman

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description   Starting in the early 20th century, we discovered that the most fundamental laws of nature were like nothing we had imagined before. The special and general theories of relativity completely changed our notions of time and space. Quantum mechanics shredded our notion that nature is deterministic and exposed behaviors that can only be described as magic. Experiments on subatomic particles revealed a surprising simplicity mixed with a large dose of arbitrariness. In concert with these developments, astrophysicists used these tools to achieve new insights into the history and composition of our vast physical universe. And with these insights came new surprises, such as that 95% of the universe is composed of dark matter of unknown origin and a puzzling dark energy. Or clues that our visible universe, which is unfathomably huge on a human scale, may be only a microscopically small part of the full universe. We will explore all of these developments of the last 120 years in a non-mathematical manner and make no assumption of a prior knowledge of physics. We expect that everyone will gain from this course, even if it is only to marvel about realities that are far from our everyday experience and intuition. The nature of the material will require the course to be mainly lecture and demonstrations, but with adequate time for questions and discussion. 

Readings   The Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene’s best-selling popular book. Also class notes written by the SGL, which will include some mathematical appendices for those who want to understand more quantitative details.

Preparation Time   About an hour a week. We will read short excerpts of the Brian Greene book.

Biography   Gary Feldman, a retired professor of physics at Harvard University, is still active in experimental research on elementary particles. At Harvard, in addition to teaching upper-level undergraduate courses in electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and elementary particles, for the past two decades, he has offered a far-ranging General Education course for non-scientists on the subject of “Time.”

Back To Top


SOC1-10-Mon2 Daddy, We Love You: Daughters Write Books About Their Fathers

Leader – Sophie Freud

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description   We shall read four books that daughters have written about their fathers’ lives. One father is a famous writer, one is an emigrant from Egypt, one has changed into a woman and one is a survivalist. All the books are memoirs. We shall learn about these fathers’ unconventional lives and the impact they had on their daughters. The study group leader regards herself as a catalyst, initiating lively discussions through providing a structure and asking (hopefully) intriguing questions regarding the characters, their relationships and the contexts in which they live. This is not a didactic course, rather students will learn from each others’ ideas. It is a heavy reading course and the reading for each class is essential. A somewhat similar course was given in 2009 but three of the four books are new books.

Readings   Faludi, Susan (2016) In the Darkroom, Metropolitan Books.
Lagnado, Lucette (2008) The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, A Jewish Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World. Harper Collins, Publisher.
Styron, Alexandra (2011) Reading my Father, Scribner.
Westover, Tara. (2018) Educated, Penguin Random House.

Preparation Time   125-150 pages per week.

Biography   Sophie Freud, born in Vienna, came to the U.S. at age 18. She received a BA from Radcliffe/Harvard, an MSW from Simmons and 20 years later, a PhD from the Heller School at Brandeis. After about 10 years of clinical social work practice she became a professor of social work at the Simmons College School of Social Work and stayed there for 30 years while also giving courses and workshops all over the United States and Europe. Sophie has given at least 15 different courses at BOLLI. Indeed, inventing new courses has become her old age pastime. Books have been Sophie’s cherished companions as reader, book reviewer and author. 

Back To Top


ART1-10-Mon3 The Birth of Modernism in Bohemian Paris

Leader – Nancy Alimansky

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Description   When Picasso first arrived in Paris in 1900 he found a group of progressive artists living and working in Montmartre. During the next ten years he met and befriended artists who would revolutionize 20th century art. In this course we will study the experimental work of Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Braque, Derain, Vlaminck and Modigliani. There will be a particular focus on how these artists influenced each other and on the conflicts that arose among them. We will also consider the important contribution that Gertrude Stein and her family made during this movement. The class time will be divided between discussion and lecture. We will look at images, some of which have been referenced in the text; using the reading and supplementary materials as background, we will analyze the content, composition, color, value and other design principles. By the end of the course, participants should have a better understanding of the modernist movement, gain insight into the lives of the various artists and increase their appreciation of the work.

Readings   In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art, Sue Roe.

Preparation Time   30 to 50 pages of reading/week. Study questions to answer. Various short videos to watch.

Biography   This will be Nancy Alimansky’s 13th teaching experience at BOLLI and the third time she will be offering this course. All her BOLLI courses have been very well received. Nancy has spent most of her professional life in the classroom. For 26 years she was an Associate Professor at Lesley University and taught courses in management and technology as well as studio art. For three years she was a docent at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College where she conducted tours for various exhibits. Nancy has a B.A from Wellesley College where she majored in French, an MAT from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an MBA from Boston College. She has been a professional artist for more than 29 years.

Back To Top


LIT7-5b-Mon1 All That in Just Fourteen Lines: A Consideration of the Sonnet

Leader – Miriam Goldman

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

5 Week Course – November 5 – December 10
(No Class November 19 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   From Shakespeare to Milton to Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats, from Frost and Cullen to Allen Ginsberg and Frederick Seidel, poets have been captivated by the sonnet. They have been challenged by the limitations of its structure and by the desire to use the form in ever more expansive modes. In this course we will examine the traditional patterns and we will see how poets have utilized these structures through the centuries for quite different purposes and with quite varied content. We will read some very well-known poets, as well as lesser known ones. We will be able to share our thoughts as we read some wonderful poems. Any oral reports would be voluntary.

Readings   The Making Of A Sonnet: A Norton Anthology by Eaven Boland and Edward Hirsch; W. W. Norton & Company, 2009; available new and used online.

Preparation Time   Approximately one hour each week to read 5-10 poems

Biography   Miriam Goldman graduated from Brandeis with a major in comparative literature. She taught English and creative writing at the secondary level for many years before spending the second part of her career at Boston University School of Education. At BOLLI, she has taught a writer’s workshop and several art history courses.

Back To Top


LIT9-10-Mon3 Mothers, Madeleines, Music, and Memory: Reading Swann’s Way in Search of Marcel Proust

Leader – Hollie Harder

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Description   Why is Proust called the greatest French novelist, comparable to England’s Shakespeare or Spain’s Cervantes? How can Proust’s seven-tome novel, In Search of Lost Time, have the reputation of being at once a literary leviathan and a witty, enchanting, and profound book that gives readers a Proustian lens through which to see life in fundamentally new and innovative ways? As Swann’s Way, the first volume of this opus, unfolds for us, we will identify principles that structure Proust’s literary, social, cultural, historical, and artistic world of turn-of-the-century France and the avant-garde perspectives that fundamentally call into question and reshape that world. This course is designed to accommodate first-time as well as experienced readers of Proust. In our discussions that will draw from art, literature, history, culture, sociology, and psychology, participants will discover, for example, how this novel distinguishes itself from traditional nineteenth-century works, as well as the ways in which Proust's writing signals a fundamental shift in modern sensibilities; they will uncover the secret of the famous "madeleine" scene and develop a working definition of the adjective "Proustian"; and they will come away with a deep appreciation for Proust's range of humor and for his delight in the everyday world that is woven throughout this deeply intellectual, aesthetic and philosophical work. In keeping with Proust's notion that all readers, when they read a book, are the readers of themselves, members' contributions to our discussions will play a central role in our analysis of this deeply engaging novel.

Readings   Swann's Way (volume 1 of In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust
Edited and Annotated by William C. Carter, Yale University Press, 2013.
ISBN: 030018543X (it is important that students get this version)

Preparation Time   Members will read about 50 pages per week during the ten-week discussion. Reading questions and an outline of central themes for each reading section will be distributed beforehand so that members can use them to guide their reflections about the text before we meet.

Biography   Hollie Harder is Professor of French and Francophone Studies outside the tenure structure and Director of Language Programs in Romance Studies at Brandeis University. She has published on Proust, Zola, and Houellebecq, and she directs two Proust discussion groups at the Boston Athenaeum. She is currently at work on a project about the Proustian character Albertine as a modern-day Amazon figure.

Back To Top


LIT11-5b-Mon3 The Metaphor is the Message

Leader – Jeff Kichen

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course – November 5 – December 10
(No Class November 19 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   The Metaphor is the Message will explore how metaphors influence our thoughts and emotions, our identity, our communications with one another, and our actions. The primary focus will be on metaphors as written and spoken words, although we will acknowledge the role of visual and musical metaphors. Our course will begin through defining metaphors and a discussion of selected theories on metaphors. Next an investigation of metaphors in religious texts will be considered. Through examples from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Koran, we will explore “God-Talk” and ponder how metaphors become theology over time. In turning to novels and poetry, we will first look at George Eliot’s use of metaphors in the 19th century and then James Baldwin’s use of metaphors a century later. Regarding poetry, we will discuss how metaphors concerning female identity have changed from the 19th to the 21st century. Leaving literature, we will encounter medical and scientific metaphors, first in relation to race and racism and then how metaphors are used to talk about diseases, such as cancer, health behaviors, and the course of illness. The last section of our course will examine metaphors in political discourse as presented in the media with emphasis on how metaphors are used to influence our political opinions. As an example, we will discuss the smoking-gun metaphor that emerged during Watergate and trace its path from metaphor to idiom to ideology. The course will conclude with an exercise that selects the most important new political metaphors.

Readings   1. James Geary, I Is An Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World, Harper Perennial, 2012, ISBN-978-0061710292.
2. Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors, Picador, 2001, ISBN 978-0312420130.
Handouts will be provided at no charge accessible online or as hard copies according to individual class participant preference.

Preparation Time   I anticipate each week’s required reading will be approximately forty to fifty pages. In addition, I will provide study questions for class discussion. Thus, preparation time will range from 2.5 to 3.0 hours per week.

Biography   Jeff Kichen has been a BOLLI SGL since 2013. He has led BOLLI history courses on health care reform and the history of medicine. He has also led literature courses on Toni Morrison, George Eliot, and Lafcadio Hearn. He is currently an instructor in Public Health at the University of Massachusetts. One of his current research interests is the use of metaphors in health and medicine. He was formerly Vice-President of Strategy and Planning for the Massachusetts Medical Society and Director of Health Care Policy at The Roche Associates. He has degrees in public health and history.

Back To Top


LIT15-5b-Mon3 More Great American Short Stories

Leader – Edward Selig

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course – November 5 – December 10
(No Class November 19 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   Publications of short stories by individual authors or in anthologies proliferate these days, prompting the question: “Which ones are most worth reading?” Drawing upon a selection from a single volume, 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore & Heidi Pitlor, this course will explore elements of form and content that make a story great. We will study and discuss the following stories, two in each of the five sessions: The Gay Old Dog by Edna Ferber; Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Cracked Looking Glass by Katherine Ann Porter; The Enormous Radio by John Cheever; I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen; Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin; Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor; Pigeon Feathers by John Updike; Harmony of the World by Charles Baxter; and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander.

Readings   100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore & Heidi Pitlor, (Houghton Mifflin 2015).

Preparation Time   30 pp, 2 hrs/week

Biography   Ed Selig majored in English Language and Literature at Yale, where his senior thesis was published by the Yale University Press. He graduated Summa cum Laude and then studied for two more years at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. His professional career centered for thirty years upon the practice of environmental law and dispute resolution.

Back To Top




LIT17-5a-Mon3 A Revolution in Locality: Reading Emily Dickinson's Poetry, 1862-1864

Leader – David Razor

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course – September 24 – October 29
(No Class October 8 for Columbus Day)

Description   Appreciating Dickinson’s poetry hinges upon the reader becoming immersed in her sense of locality. In offering you the opportunity for such an immersion, this class will also focus on specific poetic traditions- local languages- going back to Donne, Milton and Herbert and forward to Eliot and the modernists. This course will draw from the writing of 1862-64, during which time Dickinson’s productivity as a writer skyrocketed, and the American Civil War reached its apocalyptic height. We will take up this historical moment and its meaning for us as readers of this amazing poetess.

Readings   A packet of material will be distributed by the SGL at cost.

Preparation Time   2 ½ - 3 hours

Biography   David Razor is writing a PhD dissertation on 19th-Century American Literature at Brandeis. He has presented papers at the Herman Melville Society and the American Literature Association. In addition to teaching writing courses at Brandeis, recently David was awarded the University Prize Instructorship. His course, “Separated by a Common Language,” focused upon the transatlantic exchange between American and British novelists, especially the relationship between Nathaniel Hawthorne, George Eliot and Henry James. Before Brandeis, David taught AP English and British Literature at a Los Angeles area high school and served as a Master Teacher for the California State University.

Back To Top


Learn More

View our events calendar for the latest list of upcoming learning opportunities.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

You're invited to visit us and learn what BOLLI is all about.