Spring 2016 Course Descriptions, Registration

For a single fee of $255, you can take unlimited classes!

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Middle East: More of the Same

Two major problems in the historically unstable Middle East have risen to the top: the escalating barbarism and power of ISIS, and the Syrian civil war that has already killed over half a million people and has displaced millions more. Now several factors are adding to the instability: Europe is tightening its borders as refugees flee towards the West, Israel faces random terrorist attacks, the lifting of sanctions on Iran poses the possibility of realizing its nuclear ambitions, and the upcoming U.S. presidential election is anything but normal. Invited experts will share their insights and prognosis for the future of the region.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •  April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24   •   8 sessions

Irwin Hochberg, CPA, is president of Bloom Hochberg & Co. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Zionist Organization of America.

Potpourri of Priceless Poetry and Prose

Our esteemed literature faculty members come together in this special session to make the case for their favorite literary figures, real and fictional. Spanning five centuries, objects of their fascination include Machiavelli’s The Prince, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Oscar Wilde, Gustav Aschenbach, Depression era protest poets, and Dorothy Parker.

Tue 1:00-2:15 pm   •  April 5   •   1 session

Manfred Weidhorn, Pilar Rotella, Louise Terry, Lisa Commager, Barry Wallenstein

Poetry For Pleasure

We will read and discuss a wide range of fine poetry, with close readings of “classic” poems, along with some modern and contemporary examples. Our aim will be to discover what makes a “successful” language performance. In other words, we will discuss these works’ emotional truth, unity of expression and their pleasure-providing use of language.

Tue 1:00-2:15 pm   •   April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24   •   7 sessions

Barry Wallenstein, Emeritus Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the City University of New York. Author of seven collections of poetry, most recently Drastic Dislocations: New and Selected Poems and Tony’s Blues, a bilingual e-book. At the Surprise Hotel and Other Poems will be out in this spring. Barry is also an Editor of American Book Review.

A Hundred Years of American Short Stories

In the years since World War I, the style and content of American short stories have shifted frequently and dramatically, reflecting the changes that have taken place in our world. We will read and analyze about a dozen stories published between 1917 and 2014, and consider whether, how, and why we can (or cannot!) relate to even the earliest of them, and indeed, to the most recent. Our text is 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

Tue 2:30-3:45 pm   •  April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24   •   8 sessions

Lisa Commager was a writer and editor for UNICEF in Kathmandu and an editor at Orbis Publishing in London. When she returned to New York, she taught literature and writing in private high schools and, for ten years, at Hunter College.


Myths for the Ages: Antigone

The story of Antigone and her heroic struggle to assert the primacy of family ties over the laws of the state have exerted a powerful influence on Western literature. We will examine four plays and a novel that retell and reinvent Antigone’s plight within a variety of contexts – in Nazi-occupied France, post-World War II Germany and present- day Afghanistan. The persistence of the Antigone myth attests to the continuing relevance to the dilemmas faced by those who must make difficult choices in difficult times. Assigned reading: Sophocles, Antigone (Robert Fagles translation recommended); Jean Anouilh, Antigone; Bertolt Brecht, Antigone; Seamus Heaney, The Burial at Thebes; Joydeep Roy-Battacharya, The Watch. Read as much as you can of Sophocles for the first class.

Wed 12:15-1:15 pm   •  April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25  •   8 sessions

Pilar V. Rotella, PhD in Comparative Literature, University of Chicago. Taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Saint Xavier University, University of Chicago, Sarah Lawrence College, Chapman University; continuing education at University of California-Riverside, Marymount Manhattan College and New York University.

The Hero, the Antihero, and the Hapless: A History of Movie Genre and Subversion

Genres have developed as a way of marketing movies as both entertainment and art. We will look at the ways in which heroes, antiheroes and dolts have become avatars for narrating stories which both speak to individuals and appeal to mass audiences.

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •  April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25   •   8 sessions

Robert Hensley-King, visiting research scholar at Boston College, has written on the intersections of film and politics. He has extensive international academic experience, including Harvard, the University of Edinburgh and Ghent University, and has worked in Europe and North America as an independent filmmaker and broadcaster.

Perception, Awareness and Creating New Realities

We will explore cognition and perception from a neurological, philosophical and spiritual perspective. How do we know what we know, and how do we ever know what we don’t know? What are the paradigms of thought that lock our belief system into certain patterns and how can we change? Lively discussion will be part of the class, along with slides, film clips, and years of research by the teacher.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   April 6, 13, 20, 27   •   4 sessions

Alan Steinfeld teaches adult education on topics devoted to creativity and perception. He hosts a cable program, “New Realities,” seen every Monday night on WLNY, Channel 57, and is the founder of NewRealities.com, a website for body, mind and spirit.

Legal Strategies to Protect Senior Assets

Long-term care can wipe out seniors’ assets unless they take steps in advance to protect themselves. This course outlines legal strategies for maintaining quality of life. Session 1: trusts to protect your home and your money, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Pooled Income Trusts. Session 2: estate planning and protecting disabled family members, advance directives, power of attorney, and the healthcare proxy.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •  May 4 and 18   •   2 sessions

David Cutner is co-founder of Lamson & Cutner, P.C., an elder law firm with offices in New York City and Westchester. An advocate for the elderly and disabled, he is the author of numerous articles and special reports for seniors and their families, and regularly appears on various media outlets.

MoMA Talks: What is Modern Art Anyway?

Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Mondrian, Pollock, Warhol – these artists are now household names, but how do they relate to one another? A Museum of Modern Art educator will highlight major artworks and artistic movements that fall under the umbrella of “modern art,” with particular emphasis on the first half of the 20th century.
Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   May 11   •   1 session

MoMA Educator for Prime Time, a new initiative that rethinks how the museum can support a fulfilling aging process defined by creativity, curiosity, connectedness and continued growth. The program offers older New Yorkers a variety of free special events, including gallery conversations on special exhibitions, studio programs, walking tours, and film screenings.

Jazz Piano: Why Errol Garner Matters

Our favorite jazz aficionado, Don Semenza, is back to tell us about Errol Garner, pianist and composer of songs that live on. Too Marvelous for Words, which Garner recorded so brilliantly, also describes him. Now, nearly 40 years after his death, the originality of his style still matters in the jazz world. Don will show clips of performances, including such standards as Misty. Find out why renowned jazz critic Martin Williams once called Garner a melodic genius and why Henry Mancini (composer of Moon River) said that “of all the jazz pianists,” he “was the greatest.”

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •  May 25   •   1 session

Don Semenza, musician. A native New Yorker, Don grew up in Greenwich Village where he discovered his love of jazz. He studied the Lenny Stristano system with Frank DeLong. Don continues to play piano at community functions for his own and their enjoyment.


From Page to Screen: The Two Janes, Jane Eyre and Jane Austen

Why have the novels about and by the Janes endured, continuing to fascinate readers and movie audiences in the modern era? We’ll read and watch film versions of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (The books are available to CL&L students with a 20% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave, 68-69 Sts.)

Thu 10:30-11:45 am   •   April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26   •  8 sessions

Louise Terry, MA, Columbia University; college English instructor; Education Director, Accent on Language School.

Politics 2016

The primaries are almost over – but will that mean the candidates have been chosen, or will it be down to the wire at the party conventions? Will the “establishment” prevail? What issues will shape the upcoming presidential election? Closer to home, what will happen at the city and state levels? These and other questions will be discussed at this lively, spirited class.

Thu 1:00-2:15 pm   •   April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26  •   8 sessions

Lawrence Geneen formerly Chief Operating Officer of the American Management Association and Executive Vice President of Johnson and Higgins. He is currently a risk management consultant.

What Is It Really Like to Live in a Socialist Democracy?

The “S”-word is regularly thrown around in the U.S. as an attack on liberals, and now we have a “democratic socialist” running for the presidential nomination. A Swede who is currently a New York resident describes what day-to-day life is like for citizens in that country, offers observations on Americans’ perceptions (and misperceptions) of the system and her doubts about exporting socialism to the U.S. Would you believe that the income tax agency, where she worked, is one of the most beloved in Sweden?

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •  April 7   •   1 session

Kajsa Kjellander is a Swedish communications professional who recently moved to New York. She previously worked as a communications strategist at the Swedish Tax Agency, also as a communications and public relations consultant, primarily for governmental agencies and Swedish government projects.

Makers of History

A look at some of the most dynamic people who have changed the course of history, for good or ill: Churchill, Hitler, Napoleon, Galileo and other influential personalities.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12   •   5 sessions

Manfred Weidhorn, Professor Emeritus of English at Yeshiva University. He has published a dozen books and over 100 essays on such historical figures like Shakespeare, Milton, Churchill, Galileo, Napoleon, Robert E. Lee and Jackie Robinson, as well as on cultural history, and the relationship between religion and science.

Professional Political Survey Analyst Answers Our Polling Questions

How well do the polls predict the “horserace” of elections? How reliable is polling today in this era of cell phones and low response rates? Beyond the numbers, what can polls tell us about the underlying reasons for Americans’ attitudes and choices? Come with your questions for an expert with extensive survey experience at The New York Times and a major research center.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   May 19   •   1 session

Marjorie Connelly, Senior Fellow at the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. She supervises monthly polls NORC conducts with The Associated Press, consults with the AP on the presidential election exit polls. Previously editor of The New York Time’s survey unit, where she spent 35 years. B.A., Journalism, New York University.

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