Institute for Retired Professionals, New School University,
INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY FICTION (0309)
10:00 Limited to 25
Coordinators: Florence Horenstein, Edna Steinberg
This study group explores diverse international contemporary fiction.
The works are challenging and from a variety of cultures. The contributions
of participants in the class discussion serve to illuminate the author's
meaning, character development, and style. Over the course of the semester
we read five novels and about 16 short stories. For the first session,
we read two short stories: "Seven Floors" by Gino Buzzati and
"The Artificial Nigger" by Flannery O'Connor. For the second
class, we also read short stories, which will be listed in the syllabus
issued the first day of class. For the third session, we read our first
and longest novel, The Famished Road, by Ben Okri. The short stories are
included in one anthology, Art of the Tale, edited by Daniel Halpern.
Over the course of the semester we read an average of approximately 150
pages per week.
Texts: Halpern, Daniel, ed., Art of the Tale (Penguin Books, 1987, ISBN:
0-14-007949-1, $16.95); Okri, Ben, The Famished Road (Anchor Books, 1993,
ISBN: 0-3854-2513-9, $15.00); Boll, Heinrich, Billiards at Half Past Nine
(Penguin Books, 1994, ISBN: 0-14-018724-3, $15.00); Kadare, Ismail, Broken
April (New Amsterdam Books, 1998, ISBN: 1-56131-065-4, $12.95); Barker,
Pat, Regeneration (Penguin Books, 1993, ISBN: 0-452-27007-3, $14.00);
Laxness, Halldor, Under the Glacier (Vintage, 2005, ISBN: 1-4000-3441-8,
Florence Horenstein and Edna Steinberg pursue their keen interest in fiction
by continuing a class they have coordinated for several years.
AFRICAN AMERICAN SHORT STORIES (0310)
10:00 Limited to 20
Coordinators: Corinne Butler, Carol Schoen
African-American writers have found in short fiction a genre that has
allowed them to capture their heritage, their sentiments, and their
aspirations. By selecting from a range of time periods, we can investigate
their evolving perspectives. We read stories by Chestnutt, Ellison,
Baldwin, Dove, and Danticat, among others. Reading averages 50 pages
Corinne Butler's enthusiasm for all genres of African-American literature
has led to the development of an anthology of interviews and dialogues
that she hopes to publish in the future. Carol Schoen has taught short
stories at the IRP for several semesters. She looks forward to this
chance to explore the diversity of American literature.
UNDERSTANDING CRITICAL ISSUES IN THE RISE OF CHINA (0311)
10:00 Limited to 25
Coordinator: Steve Liebmann
Economic reform has rocketed China into world prominence. Drawing upon
a broad range of sources, we seek to better understand this growth,
its implications, and the extraordinary domestic challenges facing this
nation of 1.3 billion people. This is not a broad survey course, but
rather an intensive study of critical issues. The study group itself
assists in determining the issues to be covered. Prospective subjects
range from whether a conflict with China is inevitable to worldwide
pollution from Chinese coal and why Taiwan matters. Class members are
expected to stay current with news from China, with one hour of weekly
readings from the coursepack and articles sent to them via email, and
are encouraged to do in-depth research reports.
Steve Liebmann's ten-year fascination with China has included travel
within the country and studies at The New School and Columbia University.
He -previously co--coordinated two study groups on Understanding Contemporary
FATHERS AND SONS OF MODERN DRAMA (0313)
10:00 Limited to 25
Coordinator: Harding Lemay
The great 19th-century European dramatists, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg,
and Anton Chekhov, paved the way for three major American playwrights,
Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, and Tennessee Williams. We explore one
play by each of these six writers and trace the similarities and differences
in their work and their illumination of the societies they lived in.
Readings average 50 pages per week.
Texts: Ibsen, Henrik, The Wild Duck/Hedda Gabler (Norton, 1997, ISBN:
0-393-31449-9, $12.00); Miller, Arthur, Death of a Salesman (Penguin,
1996, ISBN: 0-14-118097-8, $12.00); Chekhov, Anton, The Cherry Orchard
(Methuen, 2004, ISBN: 0-413-77403-1, $13.95); Williams, Tennessee, Cat
on a Hot Tin Roof (New Directions, 2004, ISBN: 0-8112-16012); Strindberg,
August, Five Plays (Univ. of California, 1983, ISBN: 0-5200-46986, $19.95);
Albee, Edward, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Signet, 2006, ISBN: 0-451-15871-7,
Harding (Pete) Lemay has written 12 produced plays, two published memoirs,
and -thousands of daytime television drama scripts. He has taught literature,
drama, and television serial writing at New York University, Hunter
College, and The New School.
ART HISTORY: THE ROMAN WORLD (0314)
12:20 Limited to 38
Coordinators: Hilde Jaffe, Kate Leff, Floranna Miller
The history of any period is reflected in the art produced by the people
of that time and culture. We study the many forms of art produced in
the Roman world, tracing the development of sculpture, architecture,
and painting from the time when Rome was no more than a cluster of small
villages until it became a powerful empire. Our focus will be on how
Roman values of strength, order, innovation, military conquest, and
luxury affected the art and architecture of the period. Slides are used
at each class session to illustrate the topics discussed. In addition,
independent museum visits are encouraged as appropriate.
Text: D'Ambra, Eve, Roman Art (Cambridge University Press 1998; ISBN
Hilde Jaffe was an art and design professor and administrator before
she retired, joined IRP, and began indulging her interest in cultural
and political history. Kate Leff was an English literature major with
many other interests: drama, art, and art history. She studied figure
drawing, oil painting, and etching at The New School for a number of
years. Floranna Miller is a retired college professor with a lifelong
interest in history and the many ways it is expressed in art. Hilde,
Kate, and Floranna have coordinated several years of art courses at
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS SEMINAR (0315)
12:20 Limited to 20
Coordinator: Sherryl Ann Feinstein
Each week a different member of the seminar takes full responsibility
for leading an in-depth discussion of that week's assigned essay from
The New York Review of Books. Provision of supplementary information
based upon prior study and/or research stimulated by the assignment
is encouraged. The essays selected reflect the range of subject matter
in The New York Review, which covers politics, history, science, and
philosophy, as well as the literary and visual arts.
Texts: The New York Review of Books, January and February 2007, $4.95
Sherryl Ann Feinstein has taught philosophy and has coordinated this
seminar in previous semesters. She looks forward to continuing these
intelligent and informed conversations and starting new ones.
PLAY IT AGAIN (0316)
12:20 Limited to 28
Coordinators: Naomi Klein, Susan Koeppel, Janet Rogenstein
We follow the same format as the previous study group, The Play's the
Thing, reading aloud scripts and scenes to fully appreciate the emotional
tone of plays and their characters. Emphasis is on class discussion
and analysis of contemporary short and very short one-act plays. We
explore how the plays communicate the contradictions, conflicts, and
absurdities of contemporary life and the human condition. Playwrights
include John Patrick Shanley, David Ives, and John Guare, with three
sessions devoted solely to Tom Stoppard. In addition to reading plays,
class members prepare brief reports on the work and career of the playwrights.
Videos are presented when available.
Texts: Coursepack; Lane, Eric and Shengold, Nina, eds., Take Ten: New
10-Minute Plays (Vintage, 1997, ISBN:
Naomi Klein had a career as managing director of a law firm. Susan Koeppel
was an account executive at Ogilvy and Mather and most recently was
in real estate sales. Janet Rogenstein's careers were in elementary
education and marketing management for Citicorp and the American Stock
Exchange. Naomi and Janet coordinated The Play's the Thing for the last
two semesters. Susan will be sharing her special interest in Tom Stoppard
with the class. All three share their love for the theater.
MILESTONES IN BIOLOGY: MEN AND WOMEN WHO TOOK THE GIANT STEPS
12:20 Limited to 25
Coordinator: Norma Grossman
The biological sciences have advanced at a delirious pace during the
past 150 years. In pursuing their visions, men and women of diverse
backgrounds have overcome personal misfortune and gender and racial
bias, as well as political, religious, and ethical pressures. Our goal
is to understand them and their achievements and to gain insight into
the changing nature of research. When applicable, we consider what has
gone before and what is known today. A coursepack of biographical selections
provides one component for discussion. The coordinator, with the help
of qualified class members, offers a historical perspective and clarifies
the scientific work.
Text: Coursepack; enclose a $15 check, made out to The New School, with
registration for coursepack, available in the IRP office.
Following a career in research and teaching the biological sciences,
Norma Grossman has been having the time of her life studying and coordinating
for the past 13 years.