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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.

Literature: Food For Thought

The Bible—Literary and Historical Perspectives LLI-868 16 Hours

Explore the fascinating and complex historical and literary background of the Bible. Like all great literature, much of the Bible reflects a human drama involving the search for the nature and meaning of what it is to be human and how the individual and communities seek connection to transcendent meaning and value. Discuss the connection between biblical and world events while examining the literary characteristics of the Bible within the context of ancient literature.

Contemporary Literature LLI-867 20 Hours

New Selections! Who are the new literary voices? Where do new writers find a way to be heard? Many began and continue to be published by the small presses. In this class, students will read and discuss prize-winning contemporary works published in the 2015 anthology of the Pushcart Prize XXXIX, Best of Small Presses. This class is a continuation of the fall class, but is not dependent on it, and welcomes anyone interested in reading and discussing contemporary works.

Film and Literature LIT-002 37.5 Hours

Study films and the literary sources upon which they are based. Learn to read and view different aspects of literature made into film/video. Special attention will be given to the problems of adapting literature to film and the basic differences between them.

Introduction to World Literature I, LIT-016 - 37.5 Hours

Learn drama, poetry, fiction, and other prose forms from the Ancient World, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance with an emphasis on appreciation of literature as an expression of the human spirit. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Literary Café, LLI-707 – Hours: 12

In a relaxed cafe setting, where lively discussion will predominate 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. Literary Café reading selections will vary each semester. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Latin American Literature: Magic Realism LLI-892 12 Hours

Magic realism is the best known literary export from Latin America, yet it is more than that: a spiritual map of the hemisphere in fiction. Take an in-depth look at this literary genre by reading works by Alejo Carpentier, Isabel Allende, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Explore how the historical themes transformed into the rich, colorful mythology of magic realist short stories and novels. Students will read and discuss a selection of articles, interviews, short stories, and two novels to gain a deep understanding of magic realism impact in world literature.

Living a Legacy: The American Jewish Experience through Literature LLI-858 8 Hours

American Jewish experiences may vary, but the struggle to stay loyal to tradition, homeland, and community in the face of progress, the “New World,” and individuality weaves through them all. This course nuances the struggle by reading Jews’ contributions to the United States’ literary tradition.  Students will work thematically and chronologically through letters, legal documents, poetry, memoirs, songs, and short stories written by and for American Jews. In addition, students will investigate how Jews respond to their changing positions in American society. All texts will be read in English.

Local Authors of Montgomery County History, Places, & People LLI-918 4.5 Hours

In this course, students will explore how local Montgomery County authors chose their subject and topics; why they wrote about them; how they researched their topics; how they went about writing the manuscripts; and the subsequent lecture and teaching opportunities afforded them as a result. The authors also will discuss their varying processes of becoming published, both with local and regional publishers. Discussion, with question and answer time, with be included. The instructors will bring copies of their books as examples and for information.

Mythology: The Human Quest for Meaning LLI-904 12 Hours

Like any artistic endeavor, myths represent a common human effort to find meaning, purpose, and value in the world. In this class, students will explore the human desire for connection and relationship-to each other and to the cosmic, sacred, transcendent powers that make life sometimes beautiful, sometimes terrible, but always meaningful and purposeful. The course explores the classical mythology of ancient Mesopotamia, Israel, India and Greece, as well as more modern traditional peoples of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Some Great Novels of Our Lifetime LLI-828 12 Hours

Academic Novels. Novels set in colleges and universities constitute a substantial category of fiction. During this course, students will read six of the best, including, subject to some modification, Richard Russo’s Straight Man, Kingley Amis’ Lucky Jim, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, David Lodge’s Changing Places, John Williams’ Stoner, and Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members. Be prepared to laugh through most of these gems. Richard Russo’s Straight Man should be read before first class.

The Short Story, LIT-005 - 37.5 Hours

Study the short story in world literature with emphasis on the literary form. Discussions will concentrate on literary analysis of short stories from a variety of critical perspectives.
Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Who Was King David… Really?! LLI-927 12 Hours

While understood to be the ancestor of the Messiah, King David began his career as something of a renegade, ran into trouble with Bathsheba and faced numerous palace intrigues. The reign of his youngest son and successor, Solomon, was also full of plots and betrayals, leading to the breakup of the United Kingdom established by his father. Nonetheless, the dynasty David established lasted 400 years—longer than any ancient dynasty—and thereby became a symbol of peace, security, independence, and western civilization’s model of divine kingship for all time. This course will explore the archeological, historical and literary developments that underlie the remarkable story of the Davidic dynasty.

Women in Literature—A Multicultural Perspective LLI-891 37.5 Hours

An introduction to literature by and about women from a multicultural perspective, focusing on women’s diverse experiences and backgrounds. Representative texts are studied in their historical and sociopolitical contexts. Students read, analyze, and respond critically to literary works in class discussions.

World Literature by Women: Women and Empire LLI-882 12 Hours

Analyze Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, Annie John by Jamaica Kinkaid, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ, Wide Sargasso Sea by JeanRhys, and Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. Issues of migration, ethnicity, class, oppression, andthe shaping of identity will engage us throughout this course.All lovers of literature, especially those drawn to discussionsabout the novel’s treatment of difficult political and ethicalissues, will enjoy this course.

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 are also 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.


Contact Us:
  • Natasha Sacks, Program Director
  • Tracy Ritenour, Program Assistant
  • Lynda Schrack, Program Assistant
  • Montgomery College, Workforce Development & Continuing Education
  • 12 South Summit Ave. 4th Floor
  • Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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