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Workforce Development & Continuing Education

Literature and Writing Courses

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Lifelong Learning  Class Schedule How to Register

Lifelong Learning Literature and Writing Courses

Lifelong Learning courses are designed primarily for students age 50 and over. Not all listed courses are offered each semester. See schedule of Lifelong Learning classes to find current schedules, location, dates, and costs.

Shakespeare’s Star Power, LLI-709 – Hours: 12

Shakespeare’s current place in mass culture—popular film and DVDs—will be the subject of this course. We will also analyze the impact of such stars as Joseph Fiennes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, and Al Pacino, to name only a few, on our conceptions of Shakespeare, the dramatist, and his fictional characters. Where should these films be placed between the scholarly world and the world of popular culture? Can we begin to answer questions about Shakespeare’s enduring popularity beyond the stage? We will watch parts of Shakespeare in Love; Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet; and Al Pacino’s The Merchant of Venice. We will also read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. This course is designed for anybody with an interest in Shakespeare, film, and/or popular culture. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Varieties of Romantic Experience, LLI-717 – Hours: 24

This course is for anyone who loves to read and think about literature as a representation of human experience. We will consider a variety of kinds of literature and some non-fiction, ranging from Chaucer to the present day, that tell of the many ways in which people love, both happily and unhappily. Works considered will include plays of Shakespeare and Shaw and Albee, novels by Jane Austen and Thomas Mann, poetry by many hands, and memoirs of marriage. In each work we will focus on both the attitude toward the human experience the writer conveys and the literary strategies he or she uses to convey those ideas. Class members’ own expression of the way their experiences and views of human nature intersect with those of the authors will be an important part of the course. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

American Essays of the 20th Century, LLI-702 – Hours: 20

“Here is a history of America told in many voices,” writes author and editor, Joyce Carol Oates to introduce The BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS of the Century, edited by Oates and Robert Atwan. In this course, we will read and discuss selections from this anthology to learn what writers as varied as Mark Twain, John Muir, Gertrude Stein, Robert Frost, James Baldwin, Rachel Carson, and Saul Bellow have had to say about topics such as the environment, social problems, and even literary matters. Essays are by nature, personal, en- gaging, and persuasive, and so we will explore what these writers say, as Oates puts it, about “where we’ve come from, and who we are, and where we are going.” Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Literary Café, LLI-707 – Hours: 12

In a relaxed cafe setting, where lively discussion will pre- dominate over a lecture format, participants will explore different literary genres: autobiography, a short story, poetry, and a novel. Anyone who enjoys reading will enjoy this course. We will begin with an overview of the literary genres of autobiography, which is often fictionalized and plays at the border of fact and fiction; the short story form, poetry, and the novel. We will read Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family; a short story by Alice Munro; poems selected by the participants themselves; selections from the narrative poem, Gawain and the Green Knight; and the novel, Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. Please note that after October 9th, we will meet every two weeks. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Exploring Fantasy Fiction, LLI-719 - Hours: 8

Join us for a celebration of the fantasy novel. Take a tour of some of the great classics and bestsellers in fantasy. Discover the secrets behind the construction of fantastic realms, magical creatures, enchanted objects, and mystical forces. See what happens when Hollywood adapts fantasy stories for the big screen. Best of all, go home with an awe-inspiring fantasy Recommended Reading list! Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Federico Garcia Lorca and Modern Spain,  LLI-704 – Hours: 9

Federico Garcia Lorca, whose tragic death in 1936 (at the outset of the Spanish Civil War) moved the world, produced a remarkable body of lyric and dramatic works. In this course, conducted in English, we will read three of his best-known tragedies: Yerma, Blood Wedding, and The House of Bernarda Alba, as well as a few of his better-known poems. Our readings will be enhanced by Lorca’s Andalusian background and culture—including gypsy flamenco music, bullfighting, and contemporary Spanish composers—together with related arts such as symbolism and the surrealism of Salvador Dali. We will explore the history surrounding Lorca and the fall of the Republic to the Nationalists who seized power under General Francisco Franco. Required text: Federico Garcia Lorca, Three Plays: Blood Wedding, Yerma, The House of Bernarda Alba ( or at bookstores). Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Writing Memoirs, Writing Memories, LLI-543 – Hours: 12

Whether you wish to pass on the family heritage to your grandchildren, tell some of the funny stories or interesting events of your life, or if you want to explore your past in order to discover your own reality, writing is a wonderful way to begin. Writing for a group of other people who have stories to tell and who also are working to find the best way to tell them is a good way to begin and to keep going. This class will focus on individual writing, sharing, and encouragement. We will share ideas, experiences, and some of the frustrations and the fun of the writing process. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Poetry of Robert Frost, LLI-048 – Hours: 9

Join instructor Lesley Lee Francis, Robert Frost’s grand- daughter, in exploring the poetry of this four-time Pulitzer Prize winner from a variety of perspectives. This class is enriched by her extensive publications and personal experience in discussing the poet’s verse, including Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Mending Wall, and The Road Not Taken. Required text: Robert Frost: Collected Poems, Prose and Plays, The Library of America, 1995. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

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