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Fall 2018 Course Schedule | Tuesday

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

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.





Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

The Path to Hiroshima
Ed Goldberg
5 Week Course – October 30 – December 4

Sneaks, Peeks, Leaks and Geeks: The Dilemma of Secrecy and The Manhattan Project
Marty Kafka
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

Identity and Paradox in Isaac Babel’s Stories
Marina Cunningham 
5 Week Course - September 25 - October 23

Sex, Drugs and Politics: Contemporary Latin American Fiction
Gene Kupferschmid

What’s Justice Got to Do with It? Justice and the Right Thing to Do
Will Grogan

Let Your Imagination Go! Turning Life into Fiction
Betsy Campbell
5 Week Course - October 30 - December 4

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Let’s Get Real: Realist Art in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
Suzanne Art

Fall into Digital Photography with Your Smartphone
Nancy Katz
5 Week Course - September 25 - October 23

Make America Great Again? - Foreign Policy Great Decisions 2018
Howard Barnstone
5 Week Course - September 25 - October 23

WTF—What? The Fugue!
Stephen Middlebrook
5 Week Course - October 30 - December 4

The Human Endocrine System in Health and Disease
Allan Kleinman
5 Week Course - October 30 - December 4

Writing to Grow: A Course on Memoir
Marjorie Roemer

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Jackie Robinson, Boston, and the Integration of Baseball
David Nevard
5 Week Course – October 30 – December 4

Dante's Inferno
Len Aberbach

Dune: The Epic Novel That Inspired Star Wars
Dennis Greene

Education Without Borders: Self-Directed Learning in the 21st Century
Lance Eaton & Laura Hibbler
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

The Dead Don’t Lie: Forensic Anthropology for Amateurs
Diane Markowitz

H&G4-5b-Tue1 The Path to Hiroshima

Leader – Ed Goldberg

Tuesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
5 Week Course – October 30 – December 4
(No Class November 20 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   How did such an enlightened man as FDR come to approve and continually support the policy of dropping an atomic bomb? Much of the public debate about Hiroshima has dealt with the questions of moral imperative. Recent books have focused upon the evolving military strategy and the time-line that led to Hiroshima. Allied civilian and military leaders did not appear to be very concerned about the morality of dropping an atomic bomb. This is the viewpoint that we will consider. Like a cascading chemical or nuclear chain reaction: from Einstein’s letter, to Pearl Harbor, to the Manhattan Project, to the policy of unconditional surrender, to the firebombing of Tokyo and the Japanese rejection of Potsdam, the atomic bombing of Japan appears to have been inevitable. This course will be similar to the course presented by the SGL in 2012, and will end with a debate about the Potsdam Declaration and its impact upon the world. This course is not an effort to justify or attack the decision to use an atomic bomb. Instead, the purpose will be to understand the thinking of the Allied military strategists as the War in the Pacific unfolded. Differing points of view from participants are strongly encouraged. There will be interactive discussions, not lectures, and 5-10 minute class reports each week. Participants will need a basic knowledge of WWII.

Readings   Downfall by Richard Frank.
The SGL will supply a list of suggested and recommended readings before the start of the course. There will be additional readings posted onto a class eBoard.

Preparation Time   About 2 hours per week

Biography   Eddie Goldberg began life at an early age. His interest in American History with emphasis on American Presidents began at Cornell University, where he graduated with a major in American studies. However, following his father's strong advice, he soon found himself in medical school, became a physician, practiced internal medicine for 30+ years and finally retired in 2000. Since then, he has been able to return to his love of American history, spending much of his time at BOLLI.

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H&G5-5a-Tue1 Sneaks, Peeks, Leaks and Geeks: The Dilemma of Secrecy and The Manhattan Project

Leader – Marty Kafka

Tuesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

Description   After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. joined the war. Hoping to affect its outcome and save American lives, the U.S. government gathered scientists from Europe, Canada and the United States to develop and produce a new superweapon. The Manhattan Engineering District Project was conceived to engineer and produce the first weapon of mass destruction. The selection of three different remote geographic locations brought its own set of challenges. Research, development and final construction of the weapon were carried out in a nearly inaccessible desert mesa in Los Alamos, NM. 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 patrolled high-security fence. At the same time and in the same place, a small group of top-flight physicists, attracted to the philosophy of Communism and fearful of American hegemony, were spying for the Soviet Union while participating in this top secret endeavor. In this course we will explore in detail the cloak and dagger uncovering of these “leakers” and will discuss their impact on the testing and deployment of “the Gadget.” The course will be a combination of lectures, brief videos and guided discussions. No specialized scientific background in atomic physics or mathematics is required.

Readings   Source materials, including Internet resources and links, will be distributed by the SGL prior to classes.

Preparation Time   60-90 minutes/week

Biography   Martin P. Kafka is a retired psychiatrist whose career included clinical practice, multiple publications, many national and international lectures on human sexuality (sexual addiction and sexual offending)- but nothing on the history of the atom! During the past several years, he has developed an interest in the history of science with particular focus on the discovery and development of the atom. His avocations include jazz piano, digital photography and travel.

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LIT4-5a-Tue1 Identity and Paradox in Isaac Babel’s Stories

Leader – Marina Cunningham

Tuesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

Description   Regarded as one of the most illustrious short story writers in the Soviet Union of the 1920s and 1930s, Isaac Babel was abruptly silenced by the regime and murdered in 1940 during the Stalinist purges. His writings were forbidden, he was designated a “non-person” for almost a generation, and his complete works were not available until the 1990s. Nevertheless, he is one of the most admired and studied writers in present-day Russia and in the West. Babel’s work is difficult to categorize. He wrote of Jewish gangsters in Odessa, Red Cavalry sacking of shtetls in Poland, pogroms in Odessa and the identity conflict of being a Jew among Cossacks and an intellectual amid violence and brutality. He was humorous, terse, ironic, lyrical, colorful, and brutal. Babel had an extraordinary ability to juxtapose discordant concepts and fuse them together with dramatic results. Within one story he intermingled brutality with humanity, pogroms with irony, violence with beauty, victims with victimizers, and the teachings of Maimonides with the pronouncements of Lenin. Three meetings of this course will be devoted to the Red Cavalry series, one to the Odessa Tales and one to Babel’s childhood stories. To appreciate Babel, one has to understand the historical context in which he lived and wrote, his identity as a Jew in Soviet Russia, the autobiographical nature of his stories and, importantly, the language and craft that created his genius. Each session will combine a brief background lecture and provide topics for discussion in class.

Readings   Babel, Isaac. The Essential Fictions. Edited and translated by Val Vinokur. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-8101-3595-6. Additional readings in the form of articles and/or reviews will be provided.

Preparation Time   Class members will read 2-4 stories (approximately 15 pages total) for each class. The stories are short but require careful reading. Including supplemental materials, preparation time is estimated at 2-3 hours for each class.

Biography   Marina Cunningham was born in Shanghai. She holds a BA in Spanish Language and Literature (University of Illinois) and a PhD (Northwestern University) in Slavic Language and Literatures. She taught Russian language and literature at Northwestern, William Paterson, and Montclair State universities. For 20 years, before retiring in 2016, she was the chief international officer at Montclair State, responsible for fostering global education and advancing international objectives across the campus. She was the recipient of numerous international fellowships, awards, and grants, frequently presented at conferences on international education, and led faculty study groups to Russia, Ecuador, and China.

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LIT12-10-Tue1 Sex, Drugs and Politics: Contemporary Latin American Fiction

Leader – Gene Kupferschmid

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

Description   Contemporary issues are the backdrop for today’s Latin American novel: corruption, political conflict, autocratic government, the role of the press, drugs, sex scandals and the presence of the United States. We will read about and discuss these and other issues as they appear in five relatively short novels by acclaimed Latin American writers: Roberto Bolaño (Chile), Leonardo Padura (Cuba), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia) and Julia Alvarez (Dominican Republic). We will discuss each novel over two class sessions, guided by questions that will be provided in the syllabus. The SGL will distribute additional reading material on the historical and political context for some of the books.

Readings   By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño, New Directions Press
Havana Fever by Leonardo Padura, Bitter Lemon Press
The Neighborhood by Mario Vargas Llosa, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Riverhead Books
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, Algonquin Books.

Preparation Time   The books range in length from 150-300 pages and we will spend two weeks discussing each. Students can pace themselves accordingly.

Biography   Gene Kupferschmid retired from two careers: teaching in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Boston College and writing textbooks for the teaching of Spanish language, literature and culture. She has held two NEH fellowships, has lived in Argentina and Mexico, and has traveled widely in Latin America

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SOC2-10-Tue1 What’s Justice Got to Do with It? Justice and the Right Thing to Do

Leader – Will Grogan

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

Description   The question, “What is the right thing to do?” is one everybody faces. Whether we are discussing our personal lives, society, or government, we all have beliefs about what is just and how we should live. In this course, we will explore these intuitions alongside Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel to understand the weighty concept of justice. Each week, we will watch one of Sandel’s online lectures from his renowned Justice course at Harvard and engage in discussion about contemporary social issues to challenge our intuitions about justice and sharpen our reasoning about ethical questions. Following Sandel, we will explore topics such as affirmative action, income distribution, assisted suicide, surrogacy, same-sex marriage, abortion, stem cell research, debates over human rights and property rights, and more. Students will be expected to watch the corresponding lectures by Michael Sandel prior to class each week; classroom time will be split between an in-class presentation of Sandel’s material and discussion of the important and exciting topics introduced by each week’s lecture.

Readings   Michael Sandel, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010).
Additional readings may be consulted but these will typically be optional and made available online as needed.

Preparation Time   1-3 hours each week

Biography   William Grogan is a graduate student at Brandeis University where he is currently pursuing his MA in philosophy. Having helped teach ethics in the past, William is particularly interested in the way our underlying philosophical commitments inform our everyday beliefs and our ability to reason consistently with these commitments. Beyond ethics, his research interests include epistemology, philosophy of mind, and existentialism. William holds a BS in Practical Ministries from Southeastern University where he studied divinity, philosophical theology, religious epistemology, and ethics.

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WRI1-5b-Tue1 Let Your Imagination Go! Turning Life into Fiction

Leader – Betsy Campbell

Tuesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
5 Week Course - October 30 – December 4
(No Class November 20 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   Fiction might begin with a memory, a dream or an experience. It could start with a news story, a moment observed, or a conversation overheard. Whatever the source, the aim of the fiction writer is to use imagination and narrative skills to transform life experience. Writing fiction differs from writing memoir in that fiction writers are not bound by the facts. They are free to select, change, expand or modify life experiences into stories that entertain or enlighten the reader. In this class we will write from prompts chosen to focus on aspects of narrative writing such as point of view, dialogue or characterization, as we explore ways to transform real life into fiction. Participants will write a short piece each week, read their work in class, and provide feedback for one another in a supportive atmosphere.

Readings   There is no text for this course. SGL will provide relevant hand-outs.

Preparation Time   A piece of writing of about 500 words is expected each week.

Biography   Betsy Campbell has always enjoyed writing and working with aspiring writers of all ages. She began her teaching career as a high school English teacher and then spent twenty-five years teaching kindergarten and first grade. She has led writing classes at BOLLI since 2014. She has taken numerous writing courses, attended conferences and led teachers’ workshops on writing. She has published stories and articles in The Boston Globe, The Vineyard Gazette, Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, Storyteller Magazine. One of her stories was included in the anthology Final Fenway Fiction. Betsy has a BA from Brown University, an MAT from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an MA from Lesley University.

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ART2-10-Tue2 Let’s Get Real: Realist Art in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Leader – Suzanne Art

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

Description   Just mention the art of the 19th and early 20th centuries and most people will think of the avant-garde – anything from impressionism to fauvism to cubism and beyond. And yet, it was the realist artists of that period whose names were best known to their contemporaries. While the avant-garde was, broadly speaking, still waiting to be discovered by the general public, realist paintings sold like hotcakes. Realist artists depicted the world as they saw it. They were chroniclers of their times, and their paintings are invaluable resources for those who want to learn about the everyday lives of people of all levels of society during three overlapping historical periods: the Belle Époque in France, the Gilded Age/Progressive Era in the US, and the Victorian/Edwardian period in England. In this course, we will study the evolution of realist art, beginning with the painters of the Barbizon School and then focus upon such French artists as Julian Breton, Edouard Manet, and Gustave Caillebotte. We’ll discuss the works of such American artists as Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, as well as expats like James Whistler and John Singer Sargent, who spent most of their time in England. We’ll conclude with the painters of the Ashcan School, who brought to life the struggles of the lower classes of New York City. There will be a combination of presentation by the SGL and class discussion.

Reading   All assignments will be online. They will include short biographies and articles on historical background as well as videos featuring art historians and curators discussing specific works of art.

Preparation Time   Average preparation time will be about an hour and a half

Biography   Suzanne has always loved art and history. Her favorite pastime is “experiencing” the paintings in art museums. She has a BA in history, an MA in the French language and literature, and an MA in teaching. She taught history for 16 years at a private school. During that time, she also wrote a series of twelve history books, a major feature of which is the study of art in a given culture. She has taught five art history courses at BOLLI.

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ART4-5a-Tue2 Fall into Digital Photography with Your Smartphone

Leader – Nancy Katz

Tuesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

Description   We will review the composition basics of good photography and learn how to apply them to your smartphone. Composition techniques that all pros use include: rule of thirds, diagonal lines, shooting from a low angle and more. We will then spend one session discussing and shooting each of the following: Portraits, Reflections, Black and White and Macro using your smartphone editing tools and an editing app that you will download. We will always return to the composition basics. There will be homework assignments. You must know how to use the camera on your phone, as this will not be a class in teaching you how to use your smartphone camera. Rather, it will be a class where we will learn to see like a photographer and apply editing tools that will enhance the quality and beauty of your fall images. You can use any smartphone but must know how to operate it. The SGL will send links to websites with information on basic smartphone operations in her welcome letter. Always study your own camera’s website and hints on your camera. A tripod would be helpful but not required. We will post and share our images through an online blog. At the end, the teacher will create a book of images that will be available for viewing at BOLLI.

Reading   A list of readings will be provided the first day of class. Most important is reading your phone’s website and instructional materials, including any online videos. A visit to a museum with a photo collection is highly recommended but optional. A list of museums will be provided in class.

Preparation Time   Average preparation time will be about an hour and a half

Biography   Nancy Katz, of ZaZaCreative Photography, holds a BA in sociology from UMass, Amherst and a MEd from Western Maryland College. She studied landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, and has taught darkroom photography and adult education digital photography in NJ and Boston. She has photographed extensively for newspapers and magazines and exhibited her photographs, including a series on the Jewish community of Cuba. Most recently, she was a guest artist at the Apple Store on Boylston Street, Boston. She is currently a docent at The Vilna Shul, Boston Center for Jewish Culture in Boston, MA. www.zazaphoto.co

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H&G2-5a-Tue2 Make America Great Again? - Foreign Policy Great Decisions 2018

Leader – Howard Barnstone

Tuesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

Description   Here’s your opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of today’s fateful foreign policy issues. In this course we will use materials from the Great Decisions Discussion Program which is the largest discussion program on world affairs. These materials are especially designed to support adult learning. In class we will view expert testimony professionally produced by the program, and discuss and seek to gain clarity about the foreign policy choices before us. Great Decisions 2018 topics will comprise a total of five topics including, “The waning of Pax Americana?” “Russia's foreign policy”, and “China and America: the new geopolitical equation”. In addition other potential topics for discussion are “Media and foreign policy”; “U.S. global engagement” and “The military and global health: progress and challenges”.

Reading   There is a briefing book that accompanies this class that students will purchase. The cost is $30.

Preparation Time   Reading the appropriate briefing topic chapter is the primary preparation for the class, about an hour of preparation for each class.

Biography   Howard Barnstone spent 25 years in the financial information technology business where he led the company in areas of strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnerships. He has applied these skills in pro bono consulting activities for several not-for-profit organizations and is a member of Newton’s Economic Development Commission. In his free time, he is a self-appointed Secretary of State to those who will listen to him and dabbles in making furniture.

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MUS2-5b-Tue2 WTF—What? The Fugue!

Leader – Stephen Middlebrook

Tuesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
5 Week Course – October 30 – December 4
(No Class November 20 for Thanksgiving Break)

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.

Reading   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 seven 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, 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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SCI3-5b-Tue2 The Human Endocrine System in Health and Disease

Leader – Allan Kleinman

Tuesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
5 Week Course – October 30 – December 4
(No Class November 20 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   This course introduces study group members to the human endocrine system – its key elements, how it works and how it fails. We will cover the major glands that make up the endocrine system and how they keep our bodies in balance; the diseases that occur when the endocrine system breaks down (e.g., diabetes); and the interaction of the endocrine system with other bodily systems, such as the immune, nervous, digestive and reproductive systems. We will also cover how diseases of the endocrine system are diagnosed and treated by alternative, integrative and non-Western medical practitioners. We will end by exploring the future of endocrinology and current research trends. Classes will be a mix of presentations by the SGL and class discussion. Reading assignments will be given each week from newspaper articles and non-technical magazines such as Scientific American. Class members will be encouraged to bring in articles they find that are related to the endocrine system. Each class will build on previous weeks’ material.

Reading   No textbook will be used. Readings will be from newspaper articles and journals will be provided by the study group leader in the form of internet links and email attachments of the actual articles.

Preparation Time   Preparation time for each class will be from one to two hours. Readings will be from 10 to 20 pages and there will be guidance questions. Optional presentations by class members will take additional time.

Biography   Allan Kleinman had a career as a systems analyst. Over the past 20 years, however, he has been following his interest in the coming genomics revolution and has organized professional-level lectures on bioinformatics for engineers. Allan takes courses at The Jackson Laboratory during summers in Maine, learning how today’s research will bring tomorrow’s cures. Over the last 12 years he has attended classes both at BOLLI and at the Osher program at UCSD. He has led courses on energy, wine, individualized medicine, the human immune system and translational medicine.

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WRI2-10-Tue2 Writing to Grow: A Course on Memoir

Leader – Marjorie Roemer

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

Description   This will be the fourteenth iteration of this course. The design is simple. We all commit to writing each week and bringing about 500 words to share at each meeting. Each class offers a prompt, which can be used, ignored, or reshaped. The prompts are only suggestions, sometimes a new way to shape the materials you are working with. They try to focus on the concrete, the dramatized, the immediate. Many of this semester’s prompts will come from Mary Louise Holly’s Writing to Grow. Our work together is to encourage and to support the effort of each member of the group. To that end, our response to writing is always based on listening generously, trying to understand what is being said, or what is almost said in the writing. Because our work rests on coherence and trust, regular attendance is necessary. Sometimes missing a class is unavoidable, but please don’t sign up for this class if you plan in advance to miss several sessions. You don’t have to be a skilled writer to participate. You just have to be willing to explore and to be supportive of others’ explorations. Participants’ comments about the course always praise the power of the group, the value of hearing one another’s work, and the warm responses offered by the class members.

Reading   There will be a course packet. It usually costs $5.

Preparation Time   We write 500 words a week. Time varies from person to person and assignment to assignment. I spend about an hour writing and some time re-thinking.

Biography   Marjorie Roemer holds a BA from Bennington College, an MA from New York University, and a PhD from Brandeis, all in English and American literature. Her teaching career began in New York City in a public junior high school. It has since taken her to Brookline HS, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Cincinnati, and Rhode Island College. She has worked as an English professor, Director of Writing Programs, and the Director of the Rhode Island Writing Project.

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H&G8-5b-Tue3 Jackie Robinson, Boston, and the Integration of Baseball

Leader – David Nevard

Tuesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course – October 30 – December 4
(No Class November 20 for Thanksgiving Break)

Description   In 1947, Jackie Robinson, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was the first player to break the “color line” in Major League Baseball. This historic event could have taken place in Boston, but the Red Sox lost that chance. In fact, they were the last team to have a black player when they brought up Pumpsie Green in 1959. Ever since then, there have been lingering questions about the racial policies of the team and its owner, Thomas A. Yawkey. These questions have been raised by baseball fans and by professional ball players who have expressed a reluctance to play in Boston. In February 2018, the Red Sox petitioned Boston to change the name of Yawkey Way back to its original name of Jersey Street. "Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all," the team said in a statement. The City of Boston approved the name change on April 25, 2018. A key event in understanding the team’s racial attitudes is Jackie Robinson’s little known 1945 tryout at Fenway Park. This course examines the events surrounding that tryout and examines racial attitudes of the team and its owner, Thomas Yawkey. Mr. Yawkey died in 1976 after owning the Red Sox for 43 years.

Readings   Pumpsie & Progress: The Red Sox, Race, and Redemption, by Bill Nowlin (Rounder Books May 25, 2010)
There will also be articles taken from books, magazines, and newspapers, which will be copied and distributed to the class. There will not be a charge for this.

Preparation Time   2 hours

Biography   David Nevard attended UMass Amherst and spent 35 years in information technology for a large corporation. From 1985 through 2002, he was editor of a baseball newsletter called A Red Sox Journal, published by the Buffalo Head Society. The newsletter is now in the collection of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. David lives in Worcester and has been a BOLLI member since 2014. He previously led the BOLLI course called “Europe’s Lost and Found: Displaced Persons after World War II.” This course combines his interests in baseball and history.

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LIT1-10-Tue3 Dante's Inferno

Leader – Len Aberbach

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

Description   Following the Homeric epics and Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy is both an expansion and culmination of the epic tradition and perhaps the greatest literary work of Western civilization. The Inferno, the first of three divisions of the Comedy, is the most accessible to modern readers. In this poem of stupendous genius, Dante’s objective is to delineate the pathway to salvation and God. In doing this, he draws on his extensive knowledge of classical literature, the New and Old Testaments, Christian theological writings, and European literature up to the 1300’s. The course will focus on selected cantos and characters that illustrate Dante’s design and structure of Hell, his classification of the sins that consigned inhabitants to Hell, and the punishments that they endure for eternity. Should you decide to join me on the journey through this great classic, I guarantee that it will be fascinating. It will also be much more understandable and accessible than you might imagine. Some familiarity with Virgil’s Aeneid will be helpful, but is not required. Also bear in mind that it is important to attend all classes but especially the first two.

Readings   Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi.
Students must purchase the translation by John Ciardi in order to participate in this study group. This translation is available very inexpensively in paperback at Amazon.

Preparation   Time The poem consists of 34 cantos, approximately 120-140 lines per canto. In an absolute sense, that is not a lot of reading, but careful reading is required to maximize understanding and to respond thoughtfully to questions that will be sent to class members each week. All of the cantos will be read but not necessarily discussed in detail in class. A reasonable expectation is 2-4 hours per week but it may vary widely for individuals.

Biography   Len Aberbach has been a member of BOLLI almost since it started and has led a number of study groups on the Homeric epics, The Aeneid and classical mythology. His interest in this area largely began after joining BOLLI and has little connection to his education and work experience, which includes a PhD in Chemical Engineering and technology-based business general management. Becoming an SGL at BOLLI provided Len the opportunity to develop a new area of interest requiring substantial focus, study and effort on his part. Leading study groups covering the great epic poems of Western civilization continues to satisfy that need.

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LIT8-10-Tue3 Dune: The Epic Novel That Inspired Star Wars

Leader – Dennis Greene

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

Description   Dune is Frank Herbert’s epic novel of political intrigue and betrayal, ecological challenges, anti-imperialism, eugenic programing, and messianic deliverance. It was published in 1965 and its countercultural messages attracted a large following on college campuses. Its popularity spread from there, and it is now considered by many among the greatest, if not the greatest, novel in the science fiction genre. Dune won both the Nebula and Hugo awards, the two most prestigious science fiction prizes, and has sold millions of copies. The action takes place on Arrakas (called Dune), which is the sole source of “mélange,” the most valued substance in the universe. This “spice” can prolong life, increase certain mental abilities, and is essential to the navigation of space. Scores of well-drawn characters are involved in a complex struggle to control Arrakas. Imperial soldiers, an evil baron, a hidden population of formidable desert dwellers, gigantic sand worms, the eugenic plan of an ancient religious sisterhood, and the emergence of a messianic rebel leader all combine to make a fun read. The storytelling is intense. Herbert admits to being greatly influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars and by the life of T. E Lawrence (of Arabia) when writing Dune. George Lucas, in turn, admits that Dune greatly influenced his Star Wars. Reading Dune with a group is a perfect way to enhance the experience. Class time will be devoted to lively discussion and both first time readers and repeat readers are encouraged to enroll.

Readings   Dune, by Frank Herbert (863 page paperback)
Selected handouts of commentary

Preparation Time   100-125 pages of light reading per week. Starting Dune prior to commencement of class will reduce the burden. 2-3 hours per week

Biography   Dennis Greene has been an active member of BOLLI for three semesters. He spent five years working as an engineer, and then 40 years as a business attorney. His first teaching experience was as an SGL last semester, when he taught an introductory course on science fiction literature. Prior to that, his only credential for teaching this subject is enthusiasm and 60 years of experience as a pop culture geek and junkie. Dennis saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in 1951 and has been hooked on speculative fiction ever since.

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EDU2-5a-Tue3 Education Without Borders: Self-Directed Learning in the 21st Century

Leaders – Lance Eaton & Laura Hibbler

Tuesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course – September 25 – October 23

Description   Work, school and the library – these used to be the places where most learning took place. But now, in the 21st century, with the rise of digital technology, learning has exploded into new and different arenas. We have moved from the learning of formal institutions to the informal learning of 5-minute videos, list-servs, and an endless array of learning materials and communities online. This course will work primarily as a guide for participants to navigate and experiment with learning opportunities, communities, and tools available to them in the digital world. As the course progresses, participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate a toolbox of resources and learning strategies on how to pursue any topic of interest.

Readings   No book purchases required. Reading & viewing materials will be provided at the start of the course.

Preparation Time   Participants can anticipate about two hours of work each week that will be broken up among some readings, some exploring of content, and some writing around their learning plan (which they will demonstrate in the final class).

Biography   Lance Eaton is an instructional designer at Brandeis University, a doctoral student at UMASS Boston, and a part-time faculty member at North Shore Community College. He also writes for several magazines and websites. He has master degrees in instructional design, public administration, and American studies. He has written and presented on a variety of topics around learning including universal design for learning, online teaching and learning, course design, pedagogy and the online world, among many others.

Laura Hibbler is the Manager of Library Instruction at Brandeis University and serves as the library’s liaison to the History, American Studies, and African & Afro-American Studies departments. She has a Master of Science in library science and is currently enrolled in the Instructional Design & Technology program at Brandeis.

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SCI4-10-Tue3 The Dead Don’t Lie: Forensic Anthropology for Amateurs

Leader – Diane Markowitz

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

Description   It is widely known among forensic anthropologists that the dead don’t tell lies – but they do tell tales. In this course, we’ll learn how human skeletal remains can tell us who they were: their age and sex, their infirmities and the diseases from which they suffered. Ultimately we’ll examine clues to when and how they died. Each of these, as well as other subjects, will compromise the topics of nine classes. At the end of each class, we’ll examine a real case in which the clues we’ve studied have led to forensic evidence (evidence that can be presented in court). This may include archaeological cases. At the last meeting, the class will be presented with a fictitious case to solve – one that will require the application of all the techniques and information the class has previously learned.

Readings   The primary reading source for this course is Flesh and Bone, by Miryam Nafte. The Third Edition. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press. The 2016 edition is highly recommended over the 2009 edition. The Kindle version and secondhand copies are available online for less than the new paperback one. A small packet of supplemental readings will also be distributed in which real cases will be described.

Preparation Time   60-90 minutes per week or about 35 pages

Biography   Diane Markowitz practiced dentistry for 13 years before receiving a PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. She worked for 20 years at Rowan University, teaching physical anthropology, human biology, medical anthropology, and forensic anthropology. She also taught New Jersey State Police how to distinguish human from animal bone. Her research concerned growth and obesity among children of migrant Latino agricultural workers. She retired in 2011 and is now professor Emerita.

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