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Fall 2022 Course Schedule

Early Registration for Fall 2022 ended Friday, July 15. Please note that study groups were assigned by lottery after early registration closed, and some study groups are now full.

Please click here to view the list of courses with space available before registering. After registering, please contact the BOLLI Program Coordinator at bolli@brandeis.edu or 781-732-2992 to enroll in courses.

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Fall 2022 courses begin the week of September 12 and run through the week of November 28. There will be no courses September 26-27, October 5, or October 10. There will be no classes on November 22, 23 and 24 in observation of Thanksgiving. Monday 5b courses will begin the week of October 31, Tuesday and Wednesday 5b courses will begin the week of October 24, and Thursday 5b courses will begin the week of October 17. View the fall 2022 schedule.

All classes will be on Zoom unless otherwise marked. All times refer to the Eastern Time Zone.

View the Fall 2022 Course Catalog.

Sort the course list by day of the week, class period, topic or duration.

If you have questions about what courses might be right for you, please email our team of course advisors at bolli@brandeis.edu.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

LIT4-10-Mon1
Whodunit?: The Massachusetts Murders
Marilyn Brooks

MUS7-10-Mon1
Leonard Cohen: A Pop-Star Poet
Julian Moreen

ART6-10-Mon1
Defining Art Today - A Look at Graffiti Over the Last 50 Years
Margaret Mukherjee

MUS12-5b-Mon1
The Piano Sonata: Ingenuity and Influence from the 17th to the 20th Century, Part I
Jared Redmond
5 week course - October 31 - November 28

MUS11-5a-Mon1
Mozart’s Magic Flute: A Guided Tour
Phil Radoff
5 week course - September 12-October 24
(No class September 26 or October 10)

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

LIT10-10-Mon2
Goethe's Faust: The Drama of Modern Man
David Kretz

H&G13-10-Mon2
Trading with Pariahs: History and Impact of Economic Sanctions
Keith Preble and Charmaine Willis

H&G14-10-Mon2
1930s America: Who Were "We the People?"
Quinn Rosefsky and Ollie Curme

LIT9-5a-Mon2
Exploring Lorrie Moore: Short Story Master of Darkness and Mirth
Marlene Hobel
5 week course - September 12-October 24
(No class September 26 or October 10)

LIT14-5a-Mon2
In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: Franz Kafka’s The Trial
Yun Ha Kim
5 week course - September 12-October 24
(No class September 26 or October 10)

MUS10-5b-Mon2
Why Pops is Tops: How Louis Armstrong Revolutionized American Music
Hankus Netsky
5 week course - October 31 - November 28

SCI7-5b-Mon2
Some Like It Hot: A Brief Tour of Thermodynamics
Franklin Segall
5 week course - October 31 - November 28
Please note that this course will take place in-person at 60 Turner Street.

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Break

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

LIT1-10-Mon3
Coming to America: Immigration in Literary Fiction
Lois Ambash

LIT8-10-Mon3
Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary or the Moral, Social, Literary, and Esthetic Scandals of the First “Desperate Housewife”
Hollie Harder

SOC1-5a-Mon3 Crossing the Line: American Comedy, Censorship, and Free Speech
Sascha Cohen
5 week course - September 12-October 24
(No class September 26 or October 10)

MUS2-5a-Mon3
Middle Eastern Arabic Music Traditions
Akram Haddad
5 week course - September 12-October 24
(No class September 26 or October 10)

MUS3-5b-Mon3
Journey in World Music
Akram Haddad
5 week course - October 31 - November 28

ART4-5b-Mon3 Cultural History of American Landscape Art, 19th Century to the Present
Jessica Landau
5 week course - October 31 - November 28

LIT4-10-Mon1 Whodunit?: The Massachusetts Murders

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Marilyn Brooks

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description From the gritty streets of Boston to the leafy suburbs of Newton, from the warm Cape sands to the cold Atlantic, from the mid-1800s to today, there is murder in Massachusetts. Police detectives, private investigators, and amateur sleuths in the books we read work to discover the murderer in each case, alone or with a team in order to bring closure and justice to those impacted by the crime. The books we will read were written by female and male authors and feature lead characters of both sexes. They include themes of thwarted love, jealousy, greed, and self-protection, all motives in the minds of those who commit the crimes as sufficient reasons to take the life of another individual. Some mysteries are part of a series, others are “stand-alones,” and we will discuss the authors’ choices and how they are reflected in the books. Interviews on YouTube will allow us to see many of the authors and to think about whether they look/talk/present themselves as we expect, and if not, why not. Some of the authors are familiar to most BOLLI members, others unfamiliar. Part of the fun of Whodunit? classes is being introduced to new authors and sharing viewpoints with other class members. This class comes with a warning--since the novels take place in the Commonwealth, many of the sites will be familiar to us, and we may never again look at these cities and towns in the same way.

Course Materials We will read a book a week for eight weeks, starting with the second class and continuing through the ninth. Any edition is fine. The print copies will range from 300-375 pages each.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, Steel Guitar by Linda Barnes, Invasion of Privacy by Jeremiah Healy, North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo, Defending Jacob by William Landay, Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen, and Promised Land by Robert B. Parker.

Preparation Time Each mystery will take three to four hours to read.

Biography Marilyn Brooks has been an avid mystery fan since discovering Nancy Drew in elementary school. Searching out the best books for her classes and her weekly blog, she reads three or four mysteries a week. She admires police detectives, private eyes, and amateur crime solvers equally. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Her blog, marilynsmysteryreads.com, has appeared online weekly since 2010. Some of her posts have been reprinted in the BOLLI Banner under the titles Mystery Maven, and she is a frequent contributor to the Mainely Murders Newsletter. Marilyn has taught ten previous “Whodunit?” courses.

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MUS7-10-Mon1 Leonard Cohen: A Pop-Star Poet

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Julian Moreen

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Leonard Cohen lived a life of contradictions: Even though he “never thought he could sing,” his iconic voice, crooner-like stage presence and his mesmerizing lyrics turned this gifted poet and writer from Montreal into an unusual pop star. Despite an unprecedented depth of lyricism, his songwriting has appealed to a worldwide audience. He was a nostalgic, yet hopeful, depressed, yet humorous person. He was a Jew, who used Christian imagery while practicing Buddhism. He was no stranger to the 60s hippie and sex-drugs-and-rock’n’roll way of life, but he was a suit-wearing gentleman, middle class and almost tame.

In this course, we look at Cohen through the lens of his work. We will get to know his albums, songs and poetry. We will examine how his music, his writing and his persona have evolved over the course of his life and how they influenced each other. We will ask ourselves how Cohen was able to transcend the boundaries normally separating high art and popular culture and what teachings we can find in his work and way of life.

Course Materials Poems, interview excerpts, articles and films as well as Spotify and YouTube playlists will be provided.

Preparation Time 1-2 hours / week

Biography Julian Moreen is a German singer-songwriter, pianist and music producer. While studying jazz piano, composition and conducting at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, he discovered the music of Leonard Cohen, which inspired him to fully commit to songwriting. He now works as a songwriter, producer and accompanist for jazz, folk, and pop artists. He has toured in Asia, Europe, and the United States, and has given university masterclasses in songwriting. He has won multiple awards as a jazz pianist and songwriter and is currently working on his debut album, which is due for release in 2022.

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ART6-10-Mon1 Defining Art Today - A Look at Graffiti Over the Last 50 Years

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Margaret Mukherjee

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Is Graffiti an eyesore or art? How has it changed over time? Consider how you picture the spray-painted subway trains in New York City from the 60s or how you visualize the image of the painted side of a downtown building? We will begin our study with a brief historical view of painted walls or murals over time, noting when murals moved from inside to the outside. Then, we will go to the 1960s where we will look at the spray-painted trains with graffiti, as it was called at this time, and the young creators or writers of this work: Daryl “Cornbread” McCray, Taki 183 and Julio 204. During the next twenty years, or phase two of the graffiti era, changes in methods, styles and the influence of the HipHop movement will be noted along with the work of Super Kool 223, Stan 153 and Tracy 168. The end of our study takes us to the 21st century and the work of contemporary graffiti artists in this country and abroad. We will study the work of Banksy (English), Jean Michel Basquiat (American), Blek le Rat (French), Shepard Fairey (American) and Lee Quinones (American). Our study of the graffiti era will conclude with some thoughts about art and the future: will more art be moving from the inside to the outside? And will the way we define art be changing?

Course Materials There is no assigned book. Instead, a website designed for our course will provide sources for background readings related to class discussions. Participants will be invited to submit their own images of public art for class discussion. And where possible, the SGL will seek to invite museum curators and others in the art world to visit the class via zoom to discuss with the class particular artists and their work.

Preparation Time About 1 ½ hours/week

Biography Margaret Mukherjee had a career in teaching which included great opportunities for travel (and work) in eastern Europe and Asia. Along the way, she enjoyed exploring new areas and discovering the arts and crafts of different cultures; she once had an import business of hand-loomed rugs from different regions of Romania. This will be her fifth BOLLI study group she has led in art history.

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MUS12-5b-Mon1 The Piano Sonata: Ingenuity and Influence from the 17th to the 20th Century, Part I

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Jared Redmond

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

5 week course - October 31 - November 28

Description The piano sonata stands as one of classical music’s most beloved and ubiquitous genres, one that has challenged composers and delighted listeners from the late 17th century to the present day. Through an in-depth exploration of both famous and less familiar keyboard works by celebrated composers including Haydn, Beethoven, Domenico Scarlatti, C.P.E. Bach, Liszt and Prokofiev, we will first trace developments in European artistic style, patronage, and the technological evolution of the piano as an instrument. In contrast to a typical survey course, however, we will explore a few major sonata masterpieces in detail, discovering why these pieces are so special and speaking more deeply about each major watershed moment in the history of the keyboard/piano sonata genre. Finally, our study of these works will help us to discover what they illuminate or reveal about the creative process of composing itself. How do great artists respond to, challenge, build on, or rebel against the immense weight of influence and tradition handed down from their forebears? Since we will be referring to the musical scores of these pieces, please note that there will be some technical discussion of music, in both class sessions and some assigned readings. Ability to read music will certainly help but is not an absolute requirement!

PLEASE NOTE: This two-part course will continue next spring and cover late Beethoven through the 20th century. It will not be necessary to take part I to join next semester, but preference will be given to those who participate this fall.

Course Materials As in my previous courses, all readings and listening assignments will be provided by email, usually in the form of PDF attachments and YouTube links.

Preparation Time 2-3 hrs / week maximum. This will be mostly listening time, with 2-3 short (or 1-2 long) readings per week.

Biography Jared Redmond is a composer and pianist. Holding a PhD in Music Composition and Theory from Brandeis University, he has taught music at MIT, Hanyang University, and Seoul National University in South Korea, where he currently lives. His appetites for classical music are omnivorous, but he is especially devoted to contemporary music, the music of the late 19th - early 20th century, and to discussion of stylistic and technical influence among music of the canonical masters. He has led many courses for BOLLI, on topics including Russian Music, post-WWII music, music and architecture, classical music and politics, and musical Romanticism.

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MUS11-5a-Mon1 Mozart’s <Magic Flute<: A Guided Tour

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Phil Radoff

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

5 week course - September 12-October 24

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description This course will offer a detailed but non-technical presentation of The Magic Flute, Mozart’s final--and most popular--opera. Anyone who has seen Ingmar Bergman’s delightful film version (in Swedish) or Julie Taymor’s fanciful English language abridgement may already be familiar with some of the tunes, but there is more to this opera than meets the eye (or the ear) at first encounter. What is not immediately evident is that Mozart lavished on The Magic Flute a greater variety of musical styles than in any of his earlier works for the theater. During our five sessions we will see the opera in its entirety through one or more videos, supplemented by the Study Group Leader’s commentary on the music, the libretto, and the background of the opera. We will take note of the controversies surrounding the opera’s different interpretations and its apparent sexism and racism, not to mention the startling change in the audience’s perception of the principal characters as forces of good or evil. In addition we will consider how the membership of the composer and the librettist in the society of Freemasons may have influenced both the score and the libretto. Optional supplementary readings will enhance the students’ enjoyment and understanding of Mozart’s final gift to opera lovers.

Course Materials Students need to have access to any (preferably complete) recording (video or audio) of The Magic Flute as well as access to the libretto, preferably in both English and German. Fortunately, these items are available on-line at no cost; alternatively, there are a number of perfectly fine recordings (used and new) readily available for purchase from the usual on-line vendors. Optional supplemental readings in PDF format will be provided as attachments to the weekly emails.

Preparation Time About 30-40 minutes of listening plus half-hour to an hour of reading per week.

Biography Phil Radoff started his professional career as a physicist but soon decided to pursue a legal career, a decision he has never regretted. He has had a lifelong love of classical music that led to a particular interest in opera and especially the late operas of Mozart. Since joining BOLLI in 2005 Phil has led courses on operas of Mozart, Wagner, Rossini, Verdi, and Puccini. This will be his first exploration of Mozart’s Magic Flute.

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LIT10-10-Mon2 Goethe's Faust: The Drama of Modern Man

Study Group Leader (SGL) – David Kretz

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is for German culture, what Shakespeare is for the English world. But Goethe also coined the term ‘world-literature,’ and his own work has since been absorbed by many languages around the globe. Faust is his Hamlet, a dramatic exploration of some of the deepest questions of human existence, both timeless and timely. Goethe lived through a series of epochal shifts like the American, French, and incipient Industrial Revolutions. He saw the old, feudal world ending and the modern world coming into its own. His writings give expression to these momentous developments and do so with such acuity and success that the time of 1750-1830 is often now referred to as the Age of Goethe. Faust never ceased to inspire other artists: writers (Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann), painters (Eugène Delacroix), and musicians (Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler). Virtually every scene features lines that have become sayings in German. Why is that? Arguably, because Faust interrogates the basic promises and contradictions of modernity. What do science and democratic freedoms have to offer us that we never had before? Can this new age – with its scientific knowledge and democratic community – replace the saving power once exercised by religious communities? What costs do they come with, even in their most benign and successful versions? These are still questions we are living with. What can we learn from one of the first and greatest authors to contemplate them? Through a close reading of the play our own answers will emerge.

Course Materials Goethe, Faust I & II, translated by Stuart Atkins, Princeton Classics, 2014.

ISBN-10: 9780691162294.

Preparation Time One hour, 10-15 pages.

Biography David Kretz grew up in Vienna, Austria, where he began his studies in philosophy, literature, and intellectual history. After completing degrees in Berlin and Paris, he began his work towards a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where he is affiliated with the Department of Germanic Studies and the Committee on Social Thought. David works primarily on German philosophy of history, philosophical anthropology, and poetics. Living and working between languages, he retains an active interest in questions of translation. He greatly enjoys teaching and has taught classes on Hegel and Thomas Mann, among others, and, most recently at BOLLI, on Rilke.

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H&G13-10-Mon2 Trading with Pariahs: History and Impact of Economic Sanctions

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Keith Preble and Charmaine Willis

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has earned it the label of “pariah” leaving it isolated in the international community. The invasion has brought renewed attention to the role of economic sanctions in US foreign policy and the foreign policies of other countries and international organizations. As countries impose economic sanctions of unprecedented severity on Russia, we must ask: are economic sanctions effective? If not, why does the US government continue to employ them? How does the use of sanctions affect countries impacted by them and countries imposing them? We look at what economic sanctions can and cannot accomplish, when and if they can be effective, and how countries deal with and adapt to economic sanctions. Using a case study approach, we explore the use of economic sanctions against a small group of “international pariah states” to help us understand the use and sometimes abuse of economic sanctions: Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea. We then conclude the course with a discussion of the use of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and discuss whether the use of sanctions will achieve their goals and what the future holds for US-EU-Russia relations.

Course Materials All materials, including policy reports and printed articles will be available online through a Google site.

Preparation Time 2 hours per week.

Biography Charmaine N. Willis is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research interests include international security, US base politics, social movements and protests, and political violence, with a regional focus on East Asia. Her dissertation project examines the interplay of social movement framing and political opportunity structures in the context of anti-US-military movements in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

Keith Preble holds a PhD in political science from the University at Albany, SUNY. His dissertation, “Economic Sanctions and Opportunism,” explores how countries exploit commercial and political opportunities when economic sanctions are imposed. He conducts research on economic sanctions, strategic trade controls, European politics, and US foreign policy.

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H&G14-10-Mon2 1930s America: Who Were "We the People?"

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Quinn Rosefsky and Ollie Curme

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description We think of the 1930s as the period of the Great Depression, the aftermath of the stock market crash. Yet out of this calamity arose what Tom Brokaw described as "The Greatest Generation," those men and women willing to give their lives for freedom in WWII. How did the events of the 1930s shape and mold the character of these Americans? Who were “We the People” at a time when 25% of the workforce was unemployed and migrants (Okies) fled the Dust Bowl hoping for a better life in California? How could such heroes arise from an era peppered with gangsters, hobos, political demagogues, and isolationists turning a blind eye to fascism? What motivated the Supreme Court Justices, known as the Four Horsemen, who ruthlessly aimed to strike down FDR’s New Deal?

The 1930s saw multiple attempts meant to portray and ameliorate what was happening to society. These efforts can be seen through the lenses of photographers bringing to life the squalor afflicting the poor; in the journals of writers hired by the government to travel across the country questioning ex-slaves, bus drivers, and farmers; in the articles of intellectuals whose essays debated everything from art to communism; and in the works of artists hired by the government to capture the soul of America. Additionally, movie theaters provided weekly 25-cent escapes from the heavy burden hanging over the land. Come with us on a journey back in time to explore the soul of America. Help discover parallels with the present.

Course Materials Weekly homework includes articles, scanned portions of books, and other readings plus questions that will be the basis for class discussion. All materials are located on the course website. There will be two movies to rent on Prime video, each available for under $5.

https://sites.google.com/view/1930s-american-mind/home

Preparation Time Except for the two movies, averaging about 90 minutes each, weekly preparation time (fifty pages to read on average) is about two hours.

Biography Quinn Rosefsky is a retired psychiatrist. He spent the final years of his career working with Native Americans. In retirement since 2012, he has enjoyed creativity (writing and watercolor) and the process of putting together and leading or co-leading BOLLI courses.

Ollie Curme has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and an MBA. He has been retired since 2005 and has led numerous study groups in adult learning programs. Ollie is a member of BOLLI’s Study Group Support Committee (SGSC.)

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LIT9-5a-Mon2 Exploring Lorrie Moore: Short Story Master of Darkness and Mirth

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Marlene Hobel

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

5 week course - September 12-October 24

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Let me introduce you to Lorrie Moore, a master of contemporary short stories. She writes in crisp, clear prose, often with a lyricism or insight that can pause your breath and with wry word play that draws a chuckle, even while portraying dark feelings or tense moments. No speculative fiction, no magical realism, no romanticism—just probing exposure of the human condition in fairly ordinary (though sometimes quirky) people. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s how critics characterize her: “America’s first lady of darkness and mirth,” “an especially intimate and approachable voice, that of an intellectual who doesn’t mistake solemnity for seriousness and actually seems to be enjoying herself,” “her ability to make so many startling, painful, funny, universally true observations about life's closely intertwined stings and salvations,” and “toeing the line between tragic and comic with a grace few writers manage.” We will look at the short story form and how to read one closely. We will read stories of motherhood, outsiders, love, and regret. We will see how different narrative voices affect a story, including the curiosity of second-person narration. We will hear from Moore about her writing approach and process. I am a Lorrie Moore enthusiast, not a scholar, so each session is a facilitated discussion where we learn from each other. So, how about it? Let’s read and explore some of her short stories together.

Course Materials Collected Stories by Lorrie Moore, Everyman’s Library/Alfred A. Knopf, 2020. $27 new; readily available used on Amazon, but allow 2 weeks for delivery. The stories are also available separately online, and I will provide the URL for each story. However, to facilitate discussion, it’s best that we all work from the referenced edition of the book. A course Google site will provide syllabus, assignments, additional readings and videos.

Preparation Time We’ll typically read two short stories per week, and students are encouraged to read each story at least twice (first for the gist, second for a close read and analysis). Some other brief articles and videos are optional. Roughly 2-4 hours/week.

Biography Marlene Hobel began her professional life teaching English writing and curiosity to first generation college students at an open admissions college in South Carolina. Next, she taught reading to youthful offenders in prison, where she felt like she was incarcerated daily. She escaped into the corporate world, and had a long career in marketing and business communication, culminating in many years as vice president of corporate communications for a global environmental engineering firm. She has a B.A and an M.A in English Literature and an Ed.S. in Counseling. She joined BOLLI in Spring 2017.

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LIT14-5a-Mon2 In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: Franz Kafka’s <The Trial

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Yun Ha Kim

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

5 week course - September 12-October 24

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description In Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial (1925), we find the most compelling representation and development of themes that have come to define the “Kafkaesque” universe, such as the mysterious and nightmarish workings of bureaucracy and law. This class will query The Trial relying on two larger interpretive concepts. The first is the idea of “singularity,” which one might define as the experience of being singled out, of being radically alone in one’s struggle with existence, of being sui generis. The second is the idea of “the decisive moment,” which Kafka’s characters either succeed or fail to seize. At the same time, while respecting Kafka’s uniqueness as a writer, the class will nevertheless try to contextualize his work within a larger literary-historical lineage of writers and artists that precede or succeed him. While some secondary readings will be provided, participants’ own reflections on and impressions of Kafka’s texts will form the focus of the class.

Course Materials The Trial by Franz Kafka. Breon Mitchell, translator. The Schocken Kafka Library. 1999. ISBN-10: 9780805209990. Additional materials will be provided on a class website or by email links.

Preparation Time 2-3 hours per week.

Biography Yun Ha Kim received her BA in Comparative Literature from Yonsei University, Seoul. After graduating from the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, she returned to the University in 2019 to begin her doctoral studies in the Germanic Studies department. She enjoys reading modernist writers, especially in the Germanic and East Asian tradition, and frequently works at the crossings of literature, visual arts, and history.

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MUS10-5b-Mon2 Why Pops is Tops: How Louis Armstrong Revolutionized American Music

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Hankus Netsky

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

5 week course - October 31 - November 28

Description Known as "Satchmo," "Satch" and "Pops," Louis Armstrong was not only an entertainer but was arguably the most significant American musical artist of the early twentieth century. He revolutionized how his instrument, the trumpet, was played, invented the harmonically-based 32 bar improvised solo, revolutionized the rhythms used in popular singing, and consolidated "hot jazz," "sweet jazz," and blues into an undeniably artistic genre. Through readings and guided listening, we will consider the impact of his musical innovations and their influence on virtually every significant American musical artist who followed him, in particular, Bix Beiderbecke, Lester Young, and Billie Holiday. Our class discussions will include the relationship between novelty and virtuosity in the development of musical genres and the role of race in American arts and entertainment in the early 20th century.

Course Materials Materials will be provided as online links. The following book is a good resource but not required: Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings (Oxford Studies in Recorded Jazz) by Brian Harker ($25.95 paperback)

Preparation Time One hour (optional)

Biography Dr. Hankus Netsky is co-chair of New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation Department and founder and director of the internationally renowned Klezmer Conservatory Band. He has composed extensively for film, theater, and television, collaborated closely with Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, Joel Grey, Theodore Bikel, and Robert Brustein, and produced numerous recordings. His essays have been published by the University of California Press, the University of Pennsylvania Press, the University of Scranton Press, Hips Roads, Indiana University Press and the University Press of America. Temple University Press published his book Klezmer, Music and Community in 20th Century Jewish Philadelphia in 2015.

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SCI7-5b-Mon2 Some Like It Hot: A Brief Tour of Thermodynamics

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Franklin Segall

Please note that this course will take place in-person at 60 Turner Street. If warranted by changing health circumstances, in-person courses may be moved online. We will make every effort to deliver in-person courses, but your safety is our top priority.

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

5 week course - October 31 - November 28

Description Mankind has had the benefits of warmth derived from heat since time immemorial. We have only had the benefit of physical power produced from heat since the late 18th century. When the steam engine was created to harness the mechanical power of heat the industrial revolution began and civilization was changed irrevocably. The academic study of heat and work is called thermodynamics. When this scientific field was created in the 19th century, discoveries were made that far transcended its original engineering focus. What propels heat to move from hot objects to cold ones? How are different types of energy related? What is matter composed of? Why does time flow in one direction? This five-week course will be anchored by a recently published book, Einstein’s Fridge, by Paul Sen. We will cover a significant portion of this book by reading several chapters each week. Class sessions will be devoted to discussion of the assigned reading as well as supplemental explanations of the remarkable and profound principles of thermodynamics. No prior knowledge is assumed. Come with curiosity and a willingness to learn. A little math may be employed in class to illuminate some of the big ideas that comprise thermodynamics.

Course Materials Einstein’s Fridge by Paul Sen. William Collins,2020. ISBN 0008262837

Preparation Time 1-2 hours per week

Biography Frank Segall, a retired physician, has maintained a decades-long interest in the physical sciences. Frank majored in mathematics as an undergraduate and he also studied physics and engineering at the college level. These subjects were largely set aside when his medical training began. As a physician, Frank taught nephrology (kidney medicine) at the bedside or in the lecture hall for 37 years. As a BOLLI SGL, Frank created and taught the ten-week course “Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein: A Brief History of Electromagnetism.” This is his fourth year at BOLLI.

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LIT1-10-Mon3 Coming to America: Immigration in Literary Fiction

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Lois Ambash

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description The vast majority of Americans came here from someplace else—we, or our parents, or our ancestors, stretching back generations. Some, to our country’s shame, were kidnapped, brought here in chains, and enslaved. But most Americans came as immigrants—sometimes to escape violence or persecution at home; more often, to seek freedom and opportunity for themselves and their children. History recounts the facts of the immigrant experience, but literary fiction more deeply reveals its texture, the richness and complexity and confusion of adjusting to a strange culture and struggling to belong.

This course begins and ends with E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, the great American novel in which reimagined historical figures of the early 20th Century share the page with characters entirely of Doctorow’s invention. The novel intertwines themes of immigration, race, class, patriotism, and the notion of America itself. In between, we’ll read three other novels: Julie Otsuka’s The Buddha in the Attic and Colm Toibín’s Brooklyn, whose protagonists journey to America at the behest of others, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, whose sophisticated protagonist is very much her own woman. As we consider the novels from a literary perspective, we’ll also keep in mind a guiding question: What insights do these brilliant works of fiction offer us about the country we live in now?

Course Materials Ragtime by E. L.Doctorow (preferred edition: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007 reprint, ISBN 978-0812978186). The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (preferred edition: Anchor Books 2012 edition, ISBN 978-0307744425). Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (preferred edition: Scribner media tie-in 2015 edition, ISBN 978-1501106477). Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (preferred edition: Anchor Books 2014 ISBN 978-0307455925).

Preparation Time 1.5 to 4 hours per week (page range: 75 to 175 pages, depending on book)

Biography Lois Ambash has been a reference librarian, a dean, a professor, and a consultant. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English, master’s degrees in public policy and library science, and an interdisciplinary PhD in American culture. Her most fulfilling professional endeavors have involved working with adult learners, whether college students, new speakers of English, or colleagues here at BOLLI. This is her third BOLLI course.

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LIT8-10-Mon3 Gustave Flaubert’s <Madame Bovary<, or the Moral, Social, Literary, and Esthetic Scandals of the First “Desperate Housewife”

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Hollie Harder

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

10 week course - September 12-November 28

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Often considered the first feminist novel, Madame Bovary is at once a must-read, bucket-list novel and a book that calls into question the value of reading itself: at a time when traditional social and religious morals were supposed to be reinforced by literature, Gustave Flaubert writes a literary masterpiece that seems to do the exact opposite. In many ways a succès de scandal, Madame Bovary originally earned notoriety because of its challenges to cultural platitudes and its subversion of the edifying role of literature. In the course, we will take a deeper look into this account of the banal existence of a mid-nineteenth-century French housewife in Normandy and uncover the truly scandalous aspects of this novel: Flaubert’s distinction between social success and personal fulfillment, his separation of beauty and esthetics from the morals of virtue and goodness, his innovative narrative style that paves the way for the psychological novel of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and his refusal to judge Emma Bovary for believing the stories she reads in novels. A seminal work of modern realism, Madame Bovary remains an essential cultural and literary reference.

Course Materials Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Adam Thorpe, translator. Modern Library (2013). Paperback: 464 pages. ISBN-10: ‎0812985206. ISBN-13: ‎978-0812985207. Additional materials will be provided by e-mail and on a class website.

Preparation Time Participants will read approximately 45 pages per week.

Biography Hollie Harder is a professor of French and Francophone Studies at Brandeis University and teaches courses at all levels in language, culture, and literature. She has published articles on the works of Marcel Proust, Emile Zola, Honoré de Balzac, and Michel Houellebecq.

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SOC1-5a-Mon3 Crossing the Line: American Comedy, Censorship, and Free Speech

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Sascha Cohen

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

5 week course - September 12-October 24

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description ​​“It’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately,” argued George Carlin, one of American comedy’s most iconic performers. Carlin was arrested for public indecency in 1972, but he was not the only humorist whose language landed him in legal trouble during the 20th century. Counter-cultural legend Lenny Bruce also made headlines for his extended trials for obscenity. Writers of boundary-pushing satire that appeared in publications such as Hustler and MAD magazine found themselves in frequent conflict with censors. This was also true of TV shows including The Smothers Brothers, Maude, and All in the Family. This class explores the intersection of American comedy and censorship to open a dialogue over broader questions about contested speech, power, political dissent, and public opinion that resonate in the present day. It will include a combination of lecture, presentation, and discussion of primary sources. Clips from various documentaries, sitcoms, and films will be shown in class.

Course Materials Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover, The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon. Top Five Books, 2012 (digital edition). There are two different digital editions: The Enhanced Digital has audio that includes performances, interviews, etc., and is available from Google Books or Apple Books. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have only the non-enhanced digital book without audio. You may use any version of the book for the course. It is also available used for a low price, in the 2002 hardcopy format with CD. Additional weekly readings will be provided by the SGL via email.

Preparation Time Class members will read 1-2 articles or 3 book chapters per week.

Biography Sascha Cohen, PhD, is a long-time fan of stand-up comedy, and completed her doctoral dissertation, “The Comedy of the Culture Wars: American Humor, Feminism, and Gay Liberation, 1969-1989,” in the History department at Brandeis. She has taught classes on comedy in the American Studies department, written satire for McSweeneys and Reductress, and published articles about humor for outlets like The Atlantic, Playboy, Smithsonian, The Forward, and TIME. She grew up in Los Angeles.

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MUS2-5a-Mon3< Middle Eastern Arabic Music Traditions

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Akram Haddad

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

5 week course - September 12-October 24

(No class September 26 or October 10)

Description Arabic music encompasses many rich and varied styles. In this course you will enjoy beautiful melodies and danceable rhythms and explore ancient instruments still in use today. There are many types of Arabic music: the folk and classical traditions, the music of Arabic cinema, wedding music, and new genres. We will cover important developments in the history of this music and listen to classical recordings from the past hundred years. In addition, we will explore the traditional instrumental music ensemble as well as vocal traditions from a variety of countries and will learn about the emotional effect of musical expression in Arabic cultures. This course will provide insights into the creative imagination of composers and performers who transformed traditional Arabic musical genres. Even after a hundred years their unique voices still resonate within the Arab community and with enthusiasts around the globe. No prior knowledge of or experience with any of the topics is necessary.

Course Materials Course materials including reading (PDFs), audio and video materials will be provided by email or Google drive.

Preparation Time 1- 2 hours for listening and reading

Biography Composer and pianist Akram Haddad studied at Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he received his Master's Degree in music composition. He has previously taught at Jerusalem Academy of Music, Haifa University, and Ono College. He recently earned his Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory in Boston. He has composed and orchestrated music for orchestras, chamber ensembles, psychoacoustics, and chorus. His music has been featured in numerous theatrical and cinematic productions. He has been recognized as a composer deeply in touch with the music of his Arabic heritage and the richly complex contemporary global musical landscape.

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MUS3-5b-Mon3 < Journey in World Music

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Akram Haddad

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

5 week course - October 31 - November 28

Description Journey through traditional and contemporary music in five greatly varied areas of the world: India, Mali, Turkey, Japan and Brazil. How can we explain music as a “cultural phenomenon”? How is music a universal language? What are the fundamental issues in studying “world music”? What is a “music culture”? What are soundscapes, and how are they related to music cultures? We will listen to the music and learn about the musical traditions and their social and cultural contexts. This course will also explore how these music genres have been affected by Western (European and American) music and sometimes vice versa. Come for a broad view of music as both a human activity with social functions and as artistic expression. No prior knowledge or musical ability is required.

Course Materials All materials will be provided by email or Google drive, including reading materials (PDFs), and audio and video links.

Preparation Time 1-2 Hours/Week

Biography Composer and pianist Akram Haddad studied at Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he received his Master's Degree in music composition. He has previously taught at Jerusalem Academy of Music, Haifa University, and Ono College. He recently earned his Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory in Boston. He has composed and orchestrated music for orchestras, chamber ensembles, psychoacoustics, and chorus. His music has been featured in numerous theatrical and cinematic productions. He has been recognized as a composer deeply in touch with the music of his Arabic heritage and the richly complex contemporary global musical landscape.

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ART4-5b-Mon3 Cultural History of American Landscape Art, 19th Century to the Present

Study Group Leader (SGL) – Jessica Landau

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

5 week course - October 31 - November 28

Description How does the history of landscape art in the United States shape the way we look at the actual landscapes in which we live? To consider what makes a place or a view beautiful, we will begin with Hudson River School painters, like Thomas Cole and Thomas Moran, who had romantic visions of the natural world. Next, we will think about the outsized influence the landscapes of the American West have had in how the United States defines itself, through the work of Western painters like Frederic Remington and photographers such as Timothy O’Sullivan. Week three will focus on more urban environments and planned landscapes, including the work of landscape architects like Frederic Law Olmstead, which complicate what we understand as “natural.” In week four, we will discuss the representation of the National Parks through the lenses of artists such as Ansel Adams, to unpack the notion of wilderness. We will wrap up by looking at contemporary artists such as Kent Monkman, Juane Quick-to-See-Smith, and Trevor Paglen, who challenge the histories and definitions of landscape art. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to think about and share their own experiences in and around American landscapes, seeking to deepen their relationships to the lands on which they live, work, and play.

Course Materials All course materials will be provided on a class website and will primarily be articles, book chapters, podcasts, and videos.

Preparation Time Approx. 20-40 pages of reading and/or listening to podcasts and watching videos 20-60 minutes in length each a week

Biography Jessica Landau is an Assistant Instructional Professor in the MA Program in the Humanities and Art History at the University of Chicago. Her research looks primarily at images of wild animals and wilderness from the United States and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries to gain a deeper understanding of the role of visual culture in conservation history. Her teaching interests include museum studies, and she has held curatorial, executive, and educational positions at several museums including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Brinton Museum, in Wyoming.

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