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Spring 2019 Course Schedule

Click here to view a PDF version of the Spring 2019 Course Catalog. 

Click here to view a sortable schedule of Spring 2019 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.

Spring 2019 courses will begin the week of March 4 and run through the week of May 13, with a break the week of April 8. There will be no courses on Patriot's Day, Monday April 15. 5b courses will begin the week of April 15, except Monday classes which will begin April 22 and run through May 20. For the Spring 2019 schedule, click here.

If needed, make up classes will be held May 20 - 23. 

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





Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

Overlooked: "Code Girls" and the Hidden History of Women in Technology
Susan Bradford

Whodunit?: Murder Most British
Marilyn Brooks

Sneaks, Peeks, Leaks and Geeks: The Dilemma of Secrecy and the Manhattan Project
Marty Kafka
5 Week Course – March 4 - April 1 

From Head to Toe: Some Perspectives on Fashion, Clothing, and Why We Dress the Way We Do                  
Margaret Mukherjee & Sue Wurster 
5 Week Course - April 22 - May 20

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Daddy, We Love You: Daughters Write Books about Their Fathers
Sophie Freud

They Have Always Been Here: A Look at Black American Artists
Miriam Goldman
5 Week Course - March 4 - April 1

James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guided Tour
Bruce Parks

Chutzpah: Is the Art on Your Wall Real?
Quinn Rosefsky & Susan Rosefsky

The Economics of the Climate Crisis and Solving Global Warming
Aneil Tripathy 
5 Week Course - April 22 - May 20

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Comics: History, Form, and Storytelling in the 20th Century
Lance Eaton

Frank Lloyd Wright:  Flawed Genius
Carl Lazarus
5 Week Course - April 22 - May 20

WTF: What? The Fugue
Stephen Middlebrook
5 Week Course - April 22 - May 20 

The Genesis of Modern American Architecture: 1870’s to 1920
Larry Schwirian & Caroline Schwirian
5 Week Course - March 4 - April 1

Critical Issues Facing America: Let's Practice Civil Discourse to Help Solve Them 
Jerry Wald
5 Week Course - March 4 - April 1

The King is Dead! Macbeth in Renaissance England
Emiliano Gutierrez-Popoca
5 Week Course - April 22 - May 20


H&G1-10-Mon1   Overlooked: "Code Girls" and the Hidden History of Women in Technology

Leader – Susan Bradford

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

Description   What do Halley’s Comet, Lord Byron, NASA trajectory paths, Shakespeare, atomic bomb calculations, Southern math teachers, and the Seven Sisters have in common? The answer is a connection to women who took part in the development of technology. For over 100 years women have had significant roles in developing technologies. From breaking secret codes, to computer programming, to tracking space shots – an understanding of women’s contributions is only recently emerging. While men may dominate computer science today, women played fascinating, often overlooked roles in the field’s early days. Who were some of these unmentioned women? What were they able to accomplish? Why were they not given the credit due them? Why are women today still not well represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)? This course will look at some roles women have played in technology. Liza Mundy’s book, Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II will provide a jumping off point to examine a wider issue. Other readings will include articles and videos emailed each week before class. Using lectures, readings, participant presentations, and discussions, we will look at the code girls and other women, what they accomplished, and the ways women’s roles evolved. We will conclude by asking: What is the future of women in STEM fields? Note: The actual science behind the technologies will not be included. 

Readings   Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy, Hatchett Books, 2017. The book will be supplemented by articles available on line and by email.

Preparation Time   Readings from Code Girls, articles and time to watch videos should take around 2 ½ hours each week.

Biography   Susan Bradford spent much her life in classrooms, first as a student and then later as a teacher and eventually as Assistant Principal at Maimonides School. She currently enjoys learning and discussing ideas at BOLLI. She has previously led BOLLI history classes on early explorations of North America and the countries along the Mekong River. Now, Liza Mundy’s book, Code Girls, has inspired her to investigate overlooked women in science and to develop this course.

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LIT1-10-Mon1   Whodunit?: Murder Most British

Leader – Marilyn Brooks

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

Description   Why do we read murder mysteries?  What about them captures our interest? Is it the plot, the characters, the setting? Do we want to be frightened by one that’s hard-boiled or do we want a cozy that we hope will end well for all concerned (well, except for the victim and the murderer, naturally)? Many mystery fans began with books from the British Isles, partly because the genre achieved most of its early readership with novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dame Agatha Christie. In this course we will read both of these authors and will also venture farther afield, reading mysteries that take place in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We will contrast and compare the differences in the novels that reflect the similarities and differences in the four parts of the British Isles. YouTube videos or online interviews will help give us a sense of the authors whose works we’re reading. We will share our viewpoints and hopefully introduce others to new authors and ideas. We 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   Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (England)
  (eight short stories will be chosen before the first class session)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (England)
After the Fire by Jane Casey (England)
Garnethill by Denise Mina (Scotland)
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (Scotland)
Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham (Wales)
The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville (Northern Ireland)
Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty (Northern Ireland)

Preparation Time   Except for the first and last weeks, we will read one work a week. Each will be between 270-375 pages.

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, and some of her posts have been reprinted in the BOLLI Blog under the title Mystery Maven Marilyn. She has taught three previous WHODUNIT? courses.

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H&G2-5a-Mon1   Sneaks, Peeks, Leaks and Geeks: The Dilemma of Secrecy and the Manhattan Project

Leader – Marty Kafka

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
              5 Week Course – March 4 – April 1

Description   After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. joined the Allied war effort. Hoping to affect its outcome and save American lives, the U.S. government gathered scientists and engineers from Europe, Canada, and the United States to develop and deploy new super weapons. The Manhattan Engineering District Project was conceived to produce the first weapons of mass destruction-atomic bombs. The selection of three remote geographic locations for research and development of completely novel technologies brought its own set of challenges. Advanced research, final assembly and initial testing of the weapon were carried out in a nearly inaccessible desert mesa, Los Alamos, New Mexico. Shrouded in secrecy and dubbed “Project Y,” the Manhattan Project site at Los Alamos had thousands of employees and functioned as a small city surrounded by a high security fence and armed guards. At Los Alamos, a small group of atomic physicists, attracted to the egalitarian philosophy of Communism and fearful of the possible development of American hegemony, were passing top-secret classified information to the Soviet Union. In this course, we will explore the cloak and dagger uncovering of these leakers and discuss their impact on the Soviet’s race to develop its own nuclear weapon. The course will be a combination of lecture, videos, readings and class discussion. The SGL will also suggested topics for brief reports by interested class members. No specialized scientific background in atomic physics or mathematics is required.

Readings   The SGL will distribute some chapters from Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America by John Earl Haynes & Harvey Klehr. Yale Nota Bene, Yale University Press. 1999 (available in paperback and digital formats). Purchase of this text is not required. Historical videos available via the internet will also be assigned and viewed.

Preparation Time   1-2 hours/week

Biography   Marty Kafka is a retired psychiatrist whose professional interests included multiple publications, national and international lectures and private practice. His specialized interest was human sexuality (sexual addiction and sexual offending evaluation and treatments). During the past several years, he has developed a passionate interest in understanding the birth of the Atomic Age and its implications. His avocations include jazz piano, digital photography and travel with his wife, Karen.

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H&G3-5b-Mon1   From Head to Toe: Some Perspectives on Fashion, Clothing, and Why We Dress the Way We Do

Leaders – Margaret Mukherjee & Sue Wurster

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
              5 Week Course – April 22 – May 20

Description   Why do we dress in the way that we do? And if we dress for similar reasons, why do we make such different choices when it comes to our clothing? When and how do fashion changes slide into place and become accepted as the norm? In this course, we will consider these and other questions regarding the impact of clothing on culture and vice versa. Over the course of five weeks, we will focus on how a variety of historical, technological, social, economic, and even psychological factors have contributed to our current fashion culture. We will take a historical look at the functions and forms of clothing as well as the differences between clothing, costume, and fashion. We will consider how we communicate through our clothing, particularly with regard to identity, status, power, and authority. And of course, we’ll focus on the aesthetic ideals in dress, looking at conformity vs. individuality when it comes to our fashion choices. In addition, we’ll examine some of the technological advances as well as economic trends that resulted in changing clothing trends. All along the way, we’ll be digging into our own closets to help us figure out why we dress the way we do, considering where our own fashion footsteps forward…“from head to toe”…just might take us in the years to come. Although many ideas regarding the field of fashion and clothing pertain to both female and male, our class discussions will focus primarily on females.

Readings   Reading and video materials will be available on a “Head to Toe” Google site.

Preparation Time   Approximately 30-45 minutes of reading/viewing/closet mining per week

Biography   Margaret Mukherjee has a BS degree in Human Ecology from Cornell, an MA in Textiles, Clothing and Related Arts from Michigan State and a PhD in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University. She has had a long academic career here in the US and internationally, having conducted faculty workshops in Ukraine, South Korea, and China. She has also been the recipient of Fulbright grants to teach in Romania, Vietnam, and Azerbaijan.

After earning BS/MA degrees in Theatre & Communications from Ohio University, Sue Wurster taught speech at St. Cloud State University (MN), writing at Elizabeth Seton College (NY), drama and theatre at the Chapin and Calhoun schools (NYC), and Drama/Speech/English/Humanities at Nashoba Brooks School (Concord). When it comes to theatre, costumes and props are favorite ventures. “My basement is a treasure trove of strange items…” she muses, “like my Rosie the Riveter lunchbox.”

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LIT2-10-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 five books that daughters have written about their fathers’ lives. One father is an emigrant from Egypt, one has changed into a woman, one is a survivalist, one breaks the incest taboo, and one is a survivor of a concentration camp.  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 other’s ideas. It is a heavy reading course and the reading for each class is essential. A course with the same theme with all but one different books was given in 2009. An identical course was given Fall semester 2018.

Readings   Westover, Tara. (2018). Educated, Penguin Random House
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
Harrison, Kathryn (1997).  The Kiss. Random House
Friedman, Carl (1994). Nightfather. Persea Books.
Alexandra Styron. “Reading my Father.” The New Yorker, Dec. 10, 2007
3 hand-outs will be sent to the students

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.

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ART2-5a-Mon2   They Have Always Been Here: A Look at Black American Artists

Leader – Miriam Goldman

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
              5 Week Course – March 4 – April 1

Description   While black American artists are represented by galleries and in museums and partake in all aspects of artistic life today, this has certainly not always been true, especially prior to the 1950s. This course will look at individual black artists and artistic styles from their beginnings in the seventeenth century through the later part of the twentieth century. We will focus on the impact of societal conditions of each period on artists and artistic movements, and on how African-American artists related to other American artists and other influential art movements, particularly those in Europe. The emphasis will be on painting although other visual arts may be considered.

Readings   The SGL will suggest supplemental material.

Preparation Time   About one hour or as interest dictates.

Biography   Miriam Goldman graduated from Brandeis with a major in comparative literature. She taught English at the secondary level for many years before spending the second part of her career at Boston University School of Education. She has always had an interest in art history and in the influence of historical events and societal mores on the arts. At BOLLI, she has led several courses in literature and art, including a survey of painting in the U.S., colonial art, and the Armory show. She also paints.

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LIT3-10-Mon2   James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guided Tour

Leader – Bruce Parks

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

Description   Considered to be one of the great works of literature and the first modern novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses is well known although few have read it. Joyce pioneered and perfected so many new and innovative literary styles that the novel could stand as a textbook in its own right. Yet the story is a simple story of the spiritual search of a son and a father. Using Homer’s Odyssey as a template, Joyce created a mysterious text which once unraveled, reveals itself to be a very touching and funny book. One always finds new and deeper meanings with each reading. The class will be a combination of lecture, discussion and in classroom listening to a recorded reading of the novel.  No prior knowledge of Joyce or Ulysses is required. Those who already know the book are invited as well.

Readings   Ulysses by James Joyce, Modern Library Edition, ISBN 0-679-60011-6

Preparation Time   Average of 50 pages per week.

Biography   Bruce Parks received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in English from the City College of the City University of New York (CCNY). At CCNY Bruce studied with Anthony Burgess, taking classes with him in writing, Joyce and Shakespeare. Burgess taught Ulysses by reading the novel out loud to the class, explaining the text as he went along. Bruce’s plan for this course is in part to replicate this experience. Bruce enjoyed a successful career in engineering, and now spends his time reading and writing, as well as taking classes at BOLLI.

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ART1-10-Mon2   Chutzpah: Is the Art on Your Wall Real?

Leaders – Quinn Rosefsky & Susan Rosefsky

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

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 your 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 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: $7-12 (ISBN-978-1-250-10860-9
Provenance by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo: $5-15 (ISBN-978-0-14-311740-7)
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro: $6-9 (ISBN-978-1-61620-316-0)

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 the works of famous artists, most of whose works were authentic. Once, long ago, in attempting to sell a few inherited works at auction, Quinn was surprised when the agents from Christies told him that several of the works they were looking at 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.

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H&G4-5b-Mon2   The Economics of the Climate Crisis and Solving Global Warming

Leader – Aneil Tripathy

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
              5 Week Course – April 22 – May 20

Description   Climate change is a complex problem that leaves many struggling to know where to begin to try to be part of the solution. Maybe you have started to be more diligent in your personal recycling and consumption choices, but do you wonder what strategies there are to deal with climate change at a societal and global level? In this course you will learn how we can re-engineer our financial system to build the world we need to adapt to climate change and ensure a brighter future for coming generations. This course begins with the theories and ideas behind environmental economics. We then look at how an economic response to climate change has been framed in global public policy circles, particularly through the 2015 Paris Agreement and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. From the policy response, this course then moves to examples of climate finance markets, including markets for carbon, cap and trade, and green bonds. Our final class will look at how sustainability is measured, in both public and private organizations, and communicated through people, institutions and markets. This course is heavily class discussion focused and will include several guest presentations by practitioners in sustainability and climate finance. By the end of this course you will have a sense of the possibilities and challenges of organizing an effective response to climate change at the global level, and what role you can have in supporting these responses.

Readings   The course materials will be provided as PDF files.

Preparation Time   1 hour, approximately 20 pages a week

Biography   A double Brandeis alumnus, Aneil completed a BA in anthropology and an MA in Global Studies. He is currently a PhD Candidate in anthropology, focusing on the development of the green bond market, and is a visiting researcher at the Pentland Center for Sustainability in Business. Aneil has worked with the Climate Bonds Initiative as a researcher and executive associate, and is a cofounder of the anthropology podcast This Anthrolife, He has been a visiting PhD researcher at Cass Business School as well as an associate member of the Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability (CAOS) at University College London.

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LIT4-10-Mon3   Comics: History, Form, and Storytelling in the 20th Century

Leader – Lance Eaton

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

Description   Reading comics is unlike any other experience. The interplay of images and text create a unique feeling that adults and children have enjoyed for well over a century. Today, comics enjoy what is known as its “Platinum Age” as blockbuster films and best-selling graphic novels; yet, in their classic form, they have long been quartered to the dustbin of popular culture. From their birth as comic strips and evolution into comic books, graphic novels, and now webcomics, they have experienced a rich history where they have both influenced and been influenced by culture. This course explores comics in three main veins. The first arc will explore the history of comics in the United States from their emergence in the 1890s to the present. The second arc explores how comics work as a communication medium and what that means for creators and readers. The final arc engages participants to consider what constitutes high literary and artistic value within comics and therefore, what comics may be considered the cornerstones of a growing comic canon. Upon completion, we will be able to define comics, contextualize artists and writers from different eras, describe the different technical and artistic elements of creating comics, describe the reading experience of comics, and articulate the merits of powerful storytelling in comics. 

Readings   McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
Van, Lente F, and Ryan Dunlavey. The Comic Book History of Comics: The Birth of a Medium IDW Publishing.
***Class members will be provided with a substantial list of graphic novels and encouraged to borrow at least 3 during the course from their local libraries.

Preparation Time   2-3 hours of readings, video, and comics

Biography   Lance Eaton is an instructional designer at Brandeis University and part-time instructor at North Shore Community College.  He has taught courses on history, literature, and popular culture for the last decade.  He has also presented and published articles on comic books, monsters, adaptation, audiobooks and much more.  

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ART4-5b-Mon3   Frank Lloyd Wright:  Flawed Genius

Leader – Carl Lazarus

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
               5 Week Course – April 22 – May 20

Description   Nearly 60 years after his death, Frank Lloyd Wright is still America’s best-known architect. He designed more than 1,000 buildings, of which 532 were completed, some in the 21st century. He also designed furniture and stained glass for his buildings. Wright pioneered the Prairie School of Architecture, the Usonian house, and open floor plans. His ideas of Organic Architecture and green buildings resonate today. His genius and creativity were matched only by his ego: “Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasions to change.” “Honest” might not be the right term; Wright was often a teller of alternative facts and frequently didn’t pay his bills. In this course we will look at both his works and his life, the influences that shaped him and how he influenced other architects.  We will view slides and videos of his most interesting buildings, many of astonishing beauty, and discuss common themes in his works.  Short student reports on different aspects of his work will be strongly encouraged.  Classes will be a mixture of lecture and discussion.  In addition to the regular class meetings, there will be an optional field trip to Wright’s Zimmerman House in New Hampshire.

Readings   The Vision of Frank LLoyd Wright, Thomas A. Heinz, 2016, Chartwell Books.  Hardcover or paperback. There will also be links provided to short online materials.

Preparation Time   We’ll cover about 80 pages per week of the book, but a majority of this is pictures, so it will not be a heavy reading load.

Biography   Carl Lazarus studied chemistry at Yale and biochemistry at Brandeis, but subsequently studied computer science at MIT and made his career in information technology.  He wrote software and managed software development for the health care industry, and later managed various online services.  He has been a lifelong fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, visiting numerous Wright buildings around the US and reading avidly about Wright. Carl has led a variety of BOLLI courses starting in 2015, most recently on energy prospects and challenges for alleviating climate change.

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MUS1-5b-Mon3   WTF:  What? The Fugue

Leader – Stephen Middlebrook 

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
              5 Week Course – April 22 – May 20

Description   In this class we will learn how the fugue developed in the Baroque era and how composers after J.S. Bach studied his work and added to the development of this complex but beautiful form of counterpoint. Most of the work will entail listening at home to selections on YouTube and then discussing what we have discovered as we look for fugal writing in works by the great composers .This is not a technical course and members do not need to read music.  Our goal is to recognize and appreciate a fugue when it appears in a piece of music.

Readings   We will watch/listen to YouTube videos. Assignments will include selecting a particular piece or pieces of music from a list and be ready to discuss them in class. Any readings will be accessed online.

Preparation Time   1-1.5 hours per week.

Biography   Stephen Middlebrook has taught music in several overseas schools, visited the homes and graves of great composers, and sung in 7 different choruses around the world. He is a retired K-12 teacher and school head.  He is learning how Bach’s music influenced later composers and how Bach came to be the composer he was.  He has sung works like the St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Creation and Mozart’s Requiem, all of which have stunning fugues in them!  He is quietly working to start a concert choir here in Waltham. Stephen is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and has an MS in Special Education from the University of Western Michigan.

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ART3-5a-Mon3   The Genesis of Modern American Architecture: 1870’s to 1920

Leaders – Lawrence Schwirian & Caroline Schwirian  

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
              5 Week Course – March 4 – April 1 

Description   The architects of our new American nation borrowed from the European styles of classical architecture. In the 1870s to the early 1900s, a number of events, inventions and people led to the creation of our own “American” architectural styles. In New England, H.H. Richardson, inspired by Romanesque architecture, modified and adapted it to become Richardsonian Romanesque. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that consumed 17,500 buildings and left 100,000 homeless, architects flocked to Chicago to help rebuild.  Inventions such as the passenger elevator, the Bessemer process for making steel and innovations in construction methods allowed architects the freedom to build higher and more economically. To explore this exciting time in the development of modern architecture we will look at its beginnings inspired by Richardsonian Romanesque, the effect of the Chicago World’s Exposition of 1893, the First Chicago School with the development of early skyscrapers. Primary architects to be discussed are: H. H. Richardson, Fredrick Law Olmsted (landscape architect) and architects of the First Chicago School: William Le Baron Jenny, Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham and his City Beautiful Movement, and John Wellborn Root. We will touch on Frank Lloyd Wright’s very early career and the influence of the Arts and Craft Movement. The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion.                

Readings   Assignments will be a combination of website articles and videos.

Preparation Time   Approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hour per week.

Biography   Lawrence and Caroline Schwirian met in architecture school at Case Western Reserve University. As licensed architects for over 40 years, they have worked for a number of prestigious architectural firms in the Boston area including The Architects Collaborative, SOM, Stubbins, Don Hisaka, Sasaki, Shepley Bulfinch and Goody Clancy. Larry has taught at Boston Architectural College, Wentworth Institute and New England School of Art and Design. They live in an architect-designed house dating from 1849 and are involved with historic preservation. They spearheaded the effort to create the Auburndale Local Historic District in Newton and have given many talks on the history of Auburndale as well as walking tours. Now semi-retired, their firm, Caroline and Lawrence Schwirian Architects, provides consulting and are involved with historic preservation and design for small commercial and residential work. Having worked primarily on the more technical side of architecture, they look forward to helping others to better understand the essence of architecture.

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H&G5-5a-Mon3   Critical Issues Facing America: Let’s Practice Civil Discourse to Help Solve Them

Leaders – Jerry Wald  

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
              5 Week Course – March 4 – April 1 

Description   This course will examine key challenges confronting our democracy, including immigration reform, income and wealth disparity and our health care system.  In order to assess these issues, we will rely primarily on in-depth guides provided by the National Issues Forum in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation. This material is specifically designed to highlight the important decision points and policy considerations for each matter in a substantive and nonpartisan manner. The course will also consider and apply the principles of civil discourse. The goal is to create an open democratic environment for the airing of all views in order to arrive at the best solutions. Class members should be receptive to looking at matters deliberatively, analytically, civilly and even differently. 

Readings   Comprehensive guides for each topic issued by the National Issues Forum in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation. These can be ordered from the National Issues Forum website for a modest cost. Additional selected material may also be examined.

Preparation Time   About 20-30 pages with possible podcasts or videos. Preparation time should be about 2 hours per week.

Biography   Jerry Wald was an attorney for 34 years in Chicago and Connecticut. In his retirement, he devotes time as a board member for the Harry Chapin Foundation and a volunteer for the Newton Food Pantry. He is also a mentor in both an English literacy program and a college program for prisoners. Jerry enjoys kayaking, hiking and reading. He graduated from the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago Law School.

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LIT5-5b-Mon3   The King is Dead! Macbeth in Renaissance England

Leader – Emiliano Gutierrez-Popoca

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
               5 Week Course – April 22 – May 20

Description While Macbeth is among Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies, even its most studious readers may not fully appreciate what transpires in its pages. Yes, the deed is murder; the victim, a king, sovereign in his realm. However, to Shakespeare and theater-goers of Renaissance England, this killing was more than a political act; it was “unnatural,” an inversion of the cosmic order. How could Macbeth have done such a deed, given all that he believed about the moral fabric of the world? And how did Shakespeare’s audiences react in the theater upon witnessing it?  

The contrast between Shakespeare’s time and our own is stark:  today regicide is a familiar feature of history -- just consider the fate of Charles I in the English Civil Wars (1649), of Louis the XVI in the French Revolution (1789), or Czar Nicholas II in the Russian Revolution (1918). Can we still understand Macbeth as Shakespeare intended it? To answer this latter question we will consult three different film adaptations by Polanski 1971, Nunn 1979, and Kurzel 2015 to see how these outstanding artists responded to this seminal question.

Reading and Films  Any annotated edition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is acceptable.  The SGL will be using the Cambridge University Press 2008 edition.  Watching the film adaptations in their entirety is NOT a requirement in this class.  However the Polanski 1971, Nunn 1979 and Kurzel 2015 versions of Macbeth are readily available in libraries and from streaming services.

Preparation Time   Two to three hours per week

Biography  Emiliano Gutiérrez Popoca is a PhD Candidate in English at Brandeis University. He studies Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and is especially interested in the conversations between literature and the society and culture of Shakespeare’s time. His interests include Elizabethan and Jacobean theater, seventeenth century religious and love poetry and English-Spanish poetry translation. He currently teaches a writing seminar on narrators and perspective in literature and film at Brandeis. He received his BA and MA in English from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he was also Adjunct Professor, and taught literature, writing and ESL courses.

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