Institute for Retired Professionals, New School University, New York

CLASSIC LESBIAN LITERATURE (0335)
10:00 Limited to 20
Coordinator: Harriet Sohmers Zwerling
From Sappho on, lesbianism has been a topic of interest to writers of both sexes. Literature from the 1700s refers to "romantic friendships" between women, relationships we would now describe as lesbian. Male authors*Balzac, Henry James, Proust to name only a few*wrote searchingly on the theme. Within the contemporary cultural context of ascendant feminism and our growing acceptance of homosexuality, lesbian literature has gained respectable status in women's studies programs at major universities. We read four classic 20th-century novels, written by lesbian and bisexual women that reflect in diverse ways the reality of lesbian partnerships. Discussions touch on gender roles, imagery, feminist philosophy, exoticism, and more. Other significant authors, such as Gertrude Stein, Anaïs Nin, and Colette may be assigned as subjects of reports by participants. Readings average 80*100 pages per week.
Texts: Hall, Radclyffe, The Well of Loneliness (Anchor, 1990, ISBN: 0-385-41609-1, $10.45); Woolf, Virginia, Orlando (Harcourt, 1993, ISBN: 0-156-70160-x, $10.40); Barnes, Djuna, Nightwood (Faber and Faber, 2001, ISBN: 0-571-20928-9, $9.10); Highsmith, Patricia, The Price of Salt (Norton, 2004, ISBN: 0-393-32599-7, $11.00).
Harriet Sohmers Zwerling has been an expatriate, a teacher, and, always, a writer. This will be her first venture as a coordinator.

GREAT DECISIONS: SECTION TWO (0336)
10:00 Limited to 20
Coordinator: Peter Goldeman
The Great Decisions Program has been in existence since 1954. It is the largest nonpartisan public education program on international affairs in the world. The briefing book, published annually by the Foreign Policy Association, is the basis for our discussions of many of the most timely and challenging issues of U.S. foreign policy today. This year's featured topics include the Middle East, climate change, Mexico, migration, South Africa, war crimes, central Asia, and children's rights.
Text: The Great Decisions Briefing Book (available for $15 in the IRP office).
Peter Goldeman, a retired engineer, has been part of an IRP team that has explored some of the knottiest subjects they could think of. Now, he leads a group exploring U.S. options in a changing world.

WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP: BEGINNER (0337)
10:00 Limited to 14
Coordinator: Joan Iaconetti
Beautiful but elusive, transparent watercolor can be a difficult medium to master. Open to both absolute beginners and those who have taken the course before, this class simplifies the medium via explanation, step-by-step demonstration, and individual attention. We practice basic techniques (wet in wet, dry brush, layering washes, etc.) through copying simple landscapes, classic paintings, and in-class still lifes. We also look at color mixing, composition, and painting from personal photographs. A detailed list of supplies/optional books is provided before the first class. Weekly painting homework is assigned. No drawing talent or experience is necessary.
Confused and frustrated by teachers who never explained watercolor's unique demands, Joan Iaconetti designed this workshop for those with minimal or zero watercolor experience. She paints for personal enjoyment and occasional profit.

WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP: ADVANCED (0339)
11:30 A.M.*1:00 P.M. Limited to 12
Coordinator: Joan Iaconetti
This class is open to those who have completed at least three semesters of the Watercolor Workshop and to those who are already proficient in watercolor or a similar painting medium. Each study group member works on his or her own painting projects, receiving individual help and demonstrations of relevant techniques. Several structured exercises in advanced techniques are also offered. At least two hours of painting at home each week is required.
Joan Iaconetti has taught the basic Watercolor Workshop for five semesters, teaches private classes in advanced watercolor, works in acrylics, and is a widely published writer and travel photographer

LEIBNIZ, SPINOZA, AND THE FATE OF GOD IN THE MODERN WORLD (0338)
10:00 Limited to 18
Coordinator: Sharon Girard
Leibniz, the ambitious believer, secretly meets with Spinoza, the dangerous ex-communicated heretic. Thus begins a story told with lucidity and wit that quickly becomes a philosophical and historical, but also human, page-turner. Consider the dinner party from hell, the missing money at Spinoza's death, his clandestine circle. Consider also Leibniz' maneuvering to expunge Spinoza's name from history, his Egypt plan. Why did their doctrines concerning Substance matter so much? Leibniz, defending "like a lawyer who knows his client is guilty," perceives dark implications in Spinozism, yet he survives among contemporary critics of modernity. Spinoza emerges as a deeply moral and politically modern philosopher, an early architect of the secular state, an enemy of transcendence and theocracy. His legacy shines ever brightly. Students lead parts of sessions.







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