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Spring 2018 Course Schedule | Wednesday

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

Click here to view a sortable schedule of Spring 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.

Spring 2018 courses will begin the week of March 5 and run through the week of May 14, with a break the week of April 2. There will be no courses on Patriot's Day, Monday, April 16. For the Spring 2018 schedule, click here.

If needed, make up classes will be held May 21-24

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






Time Class

Period 1
9:30 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.

Muscles and Movement
Location: Gosman Sports and Convocation Center
Leader TBA

Hidden Gems: Ins and Outs of Four Small Art Museums
Elaine Dohan 
5 Week Course - April 18 - May 16
*This course will run during Periods 1 & 2. 

Reel Literature #3: The Genius of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Master of Suspense           
David Moskowitz
* This course will run during Periods 1 & 2 on weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 will be Period 2 only. 

Get a Move On: How and Why Things Move the Way They Do
Jerry Baum
5 Week Course - March 7 - April 18
*Please note this class will not meet March 28, and will run until April 18.

Period 2
11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Ins and Outs of Four Small Art Museums
Elaine Dohan 
5 Week Course - April 18 - May 16
*This course will run during Periods 1 & 2. 

Reel Literature #3: The Genius of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Master of Suspense
David Moskowitz
*This course will run during Periods 1 & 2 on weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 will be Period 2 only. 

Up Close and Personal: Edward Hopper 
Nancy Alimansky
5 Week Course - March 7 - April 11

Current Events
Lois Sockol

The Advent of American Theater: The Dean and His Disciples
Lois Ziegelman


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Jessica Bethoney
5 Week Course - April 18 - May 16

12:35 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 p.m. to 3:35 p.m.

The Reluctant Ally: America’s Entry into World War II
Fran Feldman
5 Week Course - April 18 - May 16

Architecture: Learning to Look 
Lawrence & Caroline Schwirian
5 Week Course - March 7 - April 11

Yet Another Scene-iors Adventure
Becky Meyers

"All Power to the Soviets!" Russian History Between the 1905 and 1989 Revolutions
Kelsey Davis-Felder

Bob Dylan Revisited: Profile of a Nobel Laureate
John Clark
5 Week Course - March 7 - April 11 

Gym1-10-Wed1   Muscles and Movement                                               

Leader –  TBA 

Wednesday – Course Period 1 – 9:45a.m.-10:30a.m. 

Location    Gosman Sports and Convocation Center

There will be a $30 charge ($3 per class) to BOLLI Members. 

Registration for Muscles & Movement runs from January 16 through February 2. Spaces in the fitness course will be assigned by lottery and do not impact your study group assignments. 

Description  Have fun and keep moving through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscle integrity, balance, and range of movement. This class will use free weights, physio balls, resistance bands and other equipment to target the upper and lower body muscles. Build endurance for daily living. Maintain core strength to prevent back pain.  Develop or maintain flexibility to prevent injury. This class is appropriate for participants seeking low and/or medium intensity exercise. Weights and equipment will be provided. Strong body, strong mind, enduring spirit!

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ART4-5b-Wed1 Hidden Gems: Ins and Outs of Four Small Art Museums

Leader  –  Elaine Dohan 

Wednesday – Course Periods 1& 2 – 9:30 am to 12:35 pm 
5 Week Course – April 18 – May 16

Description    Most of us know about the famous art museums in the area.  The smaller museums are precious gems hidden all around Boston, each containing treasures we rarely see.  In this course we will visit four of these small museums in close proximity to our Turner Street BOLLI location. Among our adventures in the past we have visited the following: Addison (Andover Academy), Davis (Wellesley College), Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton) and the Rose (Brandeis University). Our first class will be a lecture on contemporary/modern art. On each of the subsequent four weeks we will meet at one of the museums listed above, and/or others of similar size and proximity. Trained docents will conduct tours of the current show at each facility.  Exact starting times and lengths for class meetings will vary from week to week, due to the museum openings and necessary travel time.  Each session will be scheduled for the first two periods on Thursdays and class members can expect to be back at Turner Street for Lunch & Learn and third period.  This is not a “repeat” course. Our emphasis will be on the new exhibits in each.

Readings    Readings and/or videos for each museum exhibit will be sent by email to class members when exhibits are announced by the museum.

Preparation Time   1 to 2 hours

Biography   Elaine Dohan has led this course three times.  In the past she also co-led two literature courses and has served on several committees at BOLLI where she has been a member since 2000.  In a previous life she was a middle school teacher in Sudbury.

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LIT12-10-Wed1 Reel Literature #3: The Genius of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Master of Suspense

Leader  –  David Moskowitz

Wednesday – Course Periods 1& 2 – 9:30 am to 12:35 pm 
*NOTE: This course will run during Periods 1 & 2 on weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 will be Period 2 only. 

Description    This will be the third “Reel Literature” course offered by this SGL; its predecessors considered works of authors Graham Greene and Elmore Leonard. The concept involves studying the underlying literature one week and then, in the following week during a double period, collectively viewing the film adaptation to discuss what succeeds and what doesn’t, changes (additions/deletions) made, casting, role of soundtrack, etc. While the format remains unchanged, the focus instead now will be on the director/filmmaker as its common thread, essentially a reverse approach. The SGL has long admired the films of Alfred Hitchcock and has read many works on which his films were based, selecting five (4 novels, 1 short story) principally on their literary merits and moderate length, and how the movie reflects its source. So, our course treats five authors sharing one director. We will be studying how Hitchcock and the screenplay authors translated these works into film. Is there a truly distinctive Hitchcock voice? In reading these works do we, the reader, instantly sense what a wonderful suspense-laden film it might make? Is there a commonality in these films so that if we were unaware that they shared a director it could have been intuited? Hitchcock's stylistic trademarks include the use of camera movement that mimics a person's gaze, forcing viewers to engage in a form of voyeurism. Additionally, he frames shots to maximize anxiety, fear, or empathy, and used innovative forms of film editing. Members must read each work in its entirety before that work is discussed in class.

Readings    To Catch a Thief by David Dodge
It Had to be Murder by Cornell Woolrich [This is the short story on which Rear Window was based and will be distributed by SGL via email]
Vertigo by Boileau-Narcejak (In translation from D'entre les morts)
Psycho by Robert Bloch
Marnie by Winston Graham

Preparation Time   Per Goodreads, all 4 novels are under 250pp and collectively total 869pp. The only preparation time is to read these 4 novels plus 1 short story, so there is approximately 90 pages to read on average per week.

Biography   David Moskowitz is a graduate of Penn's Wharton School and Harvard Law School. His legal career was spent predominantly as a general counsel, including 11 years as Brandeis’ initial general counsel. This is his 9th BOLLI-led course (18th time leading), and sixth literature course. This course combines David's interests in both literature and film in a format that was successfully implemented with the novels of Graham Greene and Elmore Leonard. The SGL encourages dynamic, vibrant class discussions to which he adds humor.

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SCI1-5a-Wed1 Get a Move On: How and Why Things Move the Way They Do

Leader  –  Jerry Baum

Wednesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
Five Week Course – March 7 – April 18
(No Class April 4 for Spring Break)
*Please note this class will not meet March 28, and will run until April 18.

Description     We live in a world of moving objects, from human-sized (baseballs and cars) to gigantic (cruise ships and freight trains), from incredibly fast (bullets and planets) to stationary (a salt shaker or 60 Turner Street). Yet the motions of all these disparate objects can be described by only three laws: Newton’s Laws of Motion. We will start with Aristotle’s concepts of motion; concepts so ‘obvious’ that, even today, they are the way most people (mistakenly) understand the world. The course then skips two thousand years to the astronomers Copernicus, Brahe, Galileo, and Kepler (circa 1500-1600), who set the stage for the intellectual revolution of Sir Isaac Newton (c. 1700). Sir Isaac’s revolutionary ideas about moving objects form the majority of the course, as we come to understand how his three laws describe the motions you experience every day. We’ll conclude with a whirlwind visit to Einstein’s space- and time-bending theories of special and general relativity. No technical background is needed, just a willingness to observe and to think about motions in the world around you. The focus is on how Newton’s Laws of Motion explain your observations, using SGL presentations and demonstrations, and class discussions.  We’ll also see how scientists come to believe what they believe and how they test those beliefs. And we will learn that rockets don’t move because of “action-reaction,” there is no such thing as centrifugal force, and Einstein said one physical quantity is always constant, not relative.

Readings    There will be some book recommendations for optional reading, but no books will be required. Some online reading and video viewing may be suggested.

Preparation Time    Maybe an hour or two: to observe and record examples of motions as you go about your daily activities, to read handouts and online articles, and to view online videos.

Biography   Jerry Baum is a science communicator, with the ability to speak "science" to both technical and non-technical audiences. Those audiences have included high school students, research colleagues at conferences, and museum visitors. Jerry has a BS degree in physics, with a minor in education, and an MS also in physics. He taught high school for ten years, to students with abilities ranging from AP-level to ‘non-academic,’ where he emphasized lecture-demonstrations and hands-on laboratory experiences.   He retired in Spring 2016 after twenty-seven years on the research staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  While at Lincoln, he volunteered on a team that collaborated with the Museum of Science to create an exhibit kiosk and played a key role ‘translating’ between the Lincoln engineers and the Museum staff members.

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ART1-5a-Wed2 Up Close and Personal: Edward Hopper 

Leader  –  Nancy Alimansky

Wednesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
Five Week Course – March 7 – April 11
(No Class April 4 for Spring Break)
*An identical course will also be offered on Thursday – Course Period 2 – during the second 5 weeks.

Description    This course will focus on Edward Hopper, an icon of American art, and will use the reading and supplementary materials as a background to analyzing his art.  Particular interest will be paid to the relationship between Edward Hopper’s personal life and his work.  For this reason the assigned reading will be substantial. We will use a definitive biography by art historian Gail Levin, considered to be an expert on Hopper’s life and art.  The source materials for Levin’s book are writings by Hopper’s wife, Josephine. The class time will be divided between discussion and lecture.  Together we will analyze the content, composition, color, value and other design principles of images (some of which are referenced in the text) that will be shown in class.  By the end of the course class members will gain an understanding of who Edward Hopper was, his complicated relationship with his wife and what motivated him in his work. This course repeats material from a ten-week course given a few years ago titled “Up Close and Personal: The Lives and Art of Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton and George Bellows.”

Readings   Edward Hopper, An Intimate Biography, Gail Levin, Alfred A Knopf, 1995 edition. Plenty of used copies on Amazon and also in the library. 

Preparation Time   About 100 pages a week. 

Biography   This will be Nancy Alimansky’s tenth teaching experience at BOLLI.  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 where she taught courses in management and technology as well as studio art.  For three years as a docent at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College she conducted tours for various exhibits.  Nancy has a B.A from Wellesley College where she majored in French, a M.A.T. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.B.A. from Boston College.  She has been a professional artist for more than 25 years.

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CE1-10-Wed2  Current Events  

Leader  –  Lois Sockol

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

Description    We live in a complex time when what happens in one part of our world affects us all, which requires us to stay informed as the world rapidly changes. This course is designed to inform, to discuss current news stories, and provide thoughtful analysis. In most sessions, our attention will be divided between world events and national news. Class members are encouraged to present reports, lead a class discussion on a current topic, and take part in group discussions. Interest in and keeping up to date with the news are the only prerequisites.

Readings   Access to newspapers, news magazines, and web sources will be required.

Preparation Time   1 to 2 hours

Biography   Lois Sockol taught children and adults for 25 years. Her undergraduate degree is from Boston University with a masters from Lesley College. The bulk of Lois’ professional years were spent in the Newton Public Schools where she taught children and was a consultant to teachers. She was an educational consultant to schools throughout New England. After retirement, Lois again became a student, and a writer of short stories. Four of her short stories have been published: one in a literary journal, and three online. Retirement allows Lois to feed her Current Events habit. BOLLI affords the opportunity to share with others who habitually follow the news.

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LIT15-10-Wed2 The Advent of American Theater: The Dean and His Disciples

Leader  –  Lois Ziegelman

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

Description     Until the early 20th century American theater could best be described as an oxymoron; in other words, there had been no significant body of theatrical works in America. Perhaps the only memorable performance took place on April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theater; and probably most people can’t even recall the name of the play. It was Our American Cousin. Then, in 1915 Eugene O’Neill arrived on the scene with a series of intensely absorbing plays. Inspired by O’Neill’s success, a number of brilliant playwrights emerged and American theater, no longer an oxymoron, attained world recognition. An opportunity will be provided for voluntary reading aloud of scenes from the plays by the “thespians” among us. This course will be mostly lecture with guided discussion.

Readings  Eugene O’Neill – Desire Under the Elms
Arthur Miller   – All My Sons
Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire
Susan Glaspell – Trifles
Thornton Wilder – The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden
Note: This play can be found in the library, but only in collections. To find it in the library, class members should look for one of these 3 collections:
Collected Short Plays of Thornton Wilder Volume 1
Thornton Wilder Collected Plays and Writings on Theater
Long Christmas Dinner and Other Plays in One Act

Preparation Time   2 hours 

Biography     Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D. Brandeis, is a Professor Emerita from Framingham State College, where she taught World Literature and Drama for thirty-one years. She is the recipient of five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has studied, taught and performed works ranging from Classical Antiquity through the 20th Century.

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SOC1-5b-Wed2 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Leader  –  Jessica Bethoney

Wednesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
5 Week Course - April 18 - May 16

Description   While other species have had to adapt to their environments or perish, Homo sapiens have managed to occupy the entire planet and adapt the environment to suit itself. Using Yuval Harari’s internationally best-selling book Sapiens as our guide, we will examine the unique features of our species that enabled this global feat and its implications for the future of our planet.  Together we will journey to the past to discover that the key to our success lies in our ability to cooperate fueled by the belief in “fictions” such as money, political systems and religion. And we will discover that it was the development of agriculture (which Harari calls “history’s biggest fraud”) that began the transformation of egalitarian hunter-gatherer culture into complex hierarchical societies with great wealth inequality. And finally, we will ride the time machine into a future in which Harari prophesies the melding of Homo sapiens with artificial intelligence in a final chapter that serves as a prequel to his latest opus--Homo Deus (man as god).

Readings   Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

Preparation Time   75 pages a week

Biography   Jessica Bethoney, a professor at Bunker Hill Community College, has two master’s degrees—one in Intellectual History from Brandeis University and the other from Tufts University in Counseling Psychology. For the past five years she has taught an honors seminar in evolutionary biology at Bunker Hill entitled “Wired for Culture” and prior to that taught courses in American Culture designed for students from other cultures. Professor Bethoney is also a certified intercultural trainer and has done numerous workshops for immigrants and refugees in understanding American culture. 

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H&G3-5b-Wed3 The Reluctant Ally: America’s Entry into World War II

Leader  –  Fran Feldman

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course - April 18 - May 16

Description   As German bombs rain down on Britain, bringing the country to its knees, Prime Minister Winston Churchill desperately searches for help from the United States, the only country that can save his homeland. To do so he enlists the support of three prominent Americans living in London during the darkest hours of the war. Edward R. Murrow, the head of CBS News in Europe; John Gilbert Winant, the U.S. ambassador to Britain; and Averell Harriman, the administrator of the Lend-Lease program in London, answer the call with courage, ingenuity, and passion. The course text, Citizens of London by Lynne Olson, vividly describes the three men’s efforts to persuade a very reluctant America to partner with Great Britain in resisting the Nazi onslaught in Europe. Some of the topics that will be examined during the term include the isolationism that pervaded America until December 1941, America’s lack of readiness for war, the personalities of Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, the role of the press, of diplomacy, and of the military-industrial complex during the war years, and the degree of cooperation among the Allies as the war progressed. Classes will be conducted by discussion with no lectures. NOTE: Study group members should be prepared to actively participate in discussions and to offer reports on relevant topics related to the war effort. 

Readings    Citizens of London by Lynne Olson

Preparation Time    Approximately 80 pages of reading a week 

Biography   Long interested in government and history, Fran Feldman majored in government at Smith College, received a Master of Arts in Teaching (in history) from Yale, and taught social studies in middle school. Later, in California, she embarked on a second career editing cooking, gardening, crafts, and home improvement books for Sunset Books. After returning home to the Boston area, she worked as an administrator and financial trainer in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. Her passions include golf, traveling, and volunteer work. Previously at BOLLI she taught "The Remarkable Roosevelts" (Franklin and Eleanor) and “Allies and Adversaries: Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.”

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ART7-5a-Wed3 Architecture: Learning to Look    

Leaders  –  Lawrence & Caroline Schwirian

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
5 Week Course - March 7 - April 11
(No Class April 4 for Spring Break) 

Description    In the first century BCE Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio identified three elements for a well- designed building: firmitas, utilitas and venustas or firmness, commodity and delight. Frank Lloyd Wright is quoted as saying “The mother art is architecture; without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our civilization.” Goethe said “I think of architecture as frozen music,” and Churchill “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” There are as many definitions of architecture as there are architects, poet/playwrights and politicians. This will be a survey course; the architectural movements of the past one-hundred fifty years will be reviewed. We will also discuss in class how a number of noted architects have tried to articulate the essence of architecture and how their buildings reflect their design intent. We will look at a number of buildings in the Boston area and discuss why they are considered by architects to be worthy of note. There will be some lecture but classes will be primarily interactive discussions based on the previous week’s homework. Homework each week will consist of videos from PBS and YouTube as well as occasional readings. 

Readings   Readings will be listed in the class syllabus and will be from the world wide web.

Preparation Time    90 minutes per week homework viewing videos + occasional reading

Biography   Lawrence and Caroline Schwirian met in architecture school at Case Western Reserve University. As licensed architects for over forty 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 spearheaded the effort to create the Auburndale Local Historic District in Newton. They have given many talks on the history of Auburndale as well as walking tours and are involved with historic preservation. Now semi-retired, their firm, Caroline and Lawrence Schwirian Architects, provides consulting, 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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DRA1-10-Wed3 Yet Another Scene-iors Adventure

Leader  –  Becky Meyers

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

Description     This spring we will study one or more contemporary one-act plays, and the semester will culminate in a dramatic presentation for Lunch & Learn. Exactly which play or plays we present will depend upon the makeup of the class.  Candidate plays include Feathertop, a dramatization by Maurice Valency of a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Other possibilities are works by Christopher Durang, Richard Greenberg, David Hare. In recent years our troupe has included both “old-timers” and “new-comers”. Even more “newbies” will be welcomed enthusiastically. Over the past few years, the Scene-iors classes have become quite adept at dramatic presentations, but new class members bring new sets of skills and insights that enrich the theatre experience for everyone! Study group members should plan to attend all sessions, especially the dress rehearsal, and of course the presentation scheduled for the last Thursday of the semester, May 17. Neither memorization nor prior theatre experience is required. Enthusiasm for drama and commitment to the team are all that’s necessary. As always, the Scene-iors would like to welcome folks who are just dying to be on stage, as well as others a little shyer who are more comfortable participating backstage and out of the spotlight! In addition to acting roles, the off-stage roles include such things as: Dramaturg: historical context and interpretation, Set Designer: stage layout and furniture, Choreographer: blocking (movements on stage), Property Manager: acquisition of props, Technician: sound, lighting, computer effects, Costume Designer: acquisition of costumes, Stage Manager: overall coordination, Publicist: announcements, posters, programs. 

Readings    SCRIPTS:  Works will be selected from contemporary anthologies such as Plays in One Act, edited by Daniel Halpern (Harper Collins, 1991 paperback, ISBN-10 #0-88001-490-3, ISBN-13 #978-0-88001-490-8).  Once the class make-up is known and the choice of play(s) is made, acting editions of the individual pieces can be purchased from Amazon for usually about $10 each. 
SELECTED READINGS:  SGL will provide links to online reading materials and/or Xerox copies of selections from texts about dramatic techniques, games and exercises.

Preparation Time     Class members will hopefully re-read/study the scripts every week.  There may be additional readings provided by the SGL or available online, no more than 10 pages per week.  During the last couple of weeks there will probably be extra rehearsals in small groups, at times which are convenient for the participants.

Biography     Becky Meyers has re-invented herself while at BOLLI, after working 20 years at Brandeis in the biochemistry department.  Back then she was a “lab tech” but now she has been reborn as a “drama queen”.  She has taken many play-reading courses at BOLLI, and acting classes with a professional director which featured dramatic games and exercises as well as performance. For several years Becky has led the Scene-iors drama club during the Spring semester.  She has directed an adaptation of Rashomon, and works by Leonid Andreyev, Clifford Odets, Susan Glaspell, David Ives, A R Gurney, Tennessee Williams and Christopher Durang.

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H&G2-10-Wed3 "All Power to the Soviets!" Russian History Between the 1905 and 1989 Revolutions

Leader  –  Kelsey Davis-Felder

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

Description     This course will survey the history of twentieth-century Russia, from the 1905 Revolution to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It will cover ten major topics in Soviet and post-Soviet history, and will incorporate historical and literary texts and visual media (film, propaganda posters, etc.) into lectures and class discussion. The course objective is to better understand modern-day Russia by studying the country's history and culture. Therefore, the course will be guided by the following questions: What can Russia's recent history teach us about its present and how have American interpretations of Soviet history clouded our perceptions of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation? This course is discussion and lecture based. 

Readings    Course packet, to be distributed by instructor
Required: Abraham Ascher, Russia: A Short History, 2nd edition, Oneworld Publications, 2009, ISBN: 978-1851686131 (many used and new copies available on Amazon - $5-20 respectively)
Recommended: Gregory L. Freeze, Russia: A History, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2009, ISBN: 978-0199560417 (many used and new copies available on Amazon - $5-20 respectively)

Preparation Time     Average 50 pages per week (combination of textbook and literature in course packet). Approx. three hours.  

Biography     Kelsey Davis-Felder is a PhD student in history at Brandeis University, specializing in Russian religious history. She received her master's degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Columbia University in 2015. In 2012, she graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville with bachelor's degrees in history and literature. Her dissertation will research Russian religious communities in Harbin (current capital of the Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China) in the early twentieth century.

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MUS2-5a-Wed3 Bob Dylan Revisited: Profile of a Nobel Laureate

Leader  –  John Clark

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
Five Week Course – March 7 – April 11
(No Class April 4 for Spring Break)

Description     This course will explore the important works of American musical legend, Bob Dylan. We will look at five periods of Dylan’s career, beginning with his roots in traditional country, blues, and folk music throughout his formative years and again in the nineties. We will continue through watershed periods in the sixties and seventies, from his political protest phase up through the Christian albums. Finally, as a postscript, we will sketch Dylan’s activities this century as he continues to tour and record, writes the first installment of his autobiography, dabbles in film and radio, and becomes the subject of a feature film and a documentary. The Study Group Leader will be adapting a historical context approach to lyrical analysis using some combination of lecture and discussion. His presentations will include still photos, quotes and embedded audio and video. Timeline, lyric and additional reading handouts will be provided. Listening and viewing and guided journaling will be assigned for the week preceding each class session. 

Readings   Suggested text is Andy Gill’s Bob Dylan: The Stories Behind the Songs, 1962-1969. This offers excellent background and commentary for half the course. It can be purchased on abebooks.com or Amazon used books for around five dollars. For the second half, readings will be assigned from various other biographies and critical writings with PDFs supplied by the instructor.

Preparation Time     Participants will spend 2-3 hours at home working on the following:
- Listen to featured songs and journal their reflections and responses
- Watch featured videos and record observations and impressions of live performance
- Read featured commentary and timeline as background to the week’s presentation

Biography     John Clark grew up in rural Ohio, attended college in Illinois and graduate school in Massachusetts in the seventies. During the eighties he worked in the music business in Nashville in various capacities. After moving to Atlanta in 1992, he taught high school for six years and adult education for more than twenty years for Emory University and Mercer University; then the past three years for various programs in the Boston area. He created and taught classes on Bob Dylan, music of the 50s and 60s, Americana music and a series called Lyrics as Literature. He guest hosted on several Atlanta radio stations and boasts a combined record/CD collection of over 7,000 recordings. 

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