FICTION

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Joanna Davis-McElligatt is an Assistant Professor of Black Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the University of North Texas, where she is also affiliated faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. She is co-editor of Narratives of Marginalized Identities in Higher Education: Inside and Outside the Academy (Routledge, 2019), Narrating History, Home, and Dyaspora: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat (U of Mississippi P, forthcoming 2022), and BOOM! Splat: Comics and Violence (U of Mississippi P, under contract). She is currently at work on her first monograph entitled Black and Immigrant: Diaspora, Belonging, and Time in American Literature after 1965, a critical exploration of representations of immigrants of African descent to the U.S. from Afropolitans to Wakandan Americans. Her scholarly work appears or is forthcoming in south: a scholarly journal, The Faulkner Journal, Mississippi Quarterly, The Cambridge Companion to New Faulkner Studies (Cambridge UP, under contract), The Cambridge Companion to the American Graphic Novel (Cambridge UP, under contract), A History of the Literature of the U.S. South (Cambridge UP, 2021), and Small Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television (LSU P, 2017), among other places. She is currently serving as Member at Large for the William Faulkner Society.

How can we make sense of Faulkner's representations of Black life? Join Dr. Joanna Davis-McElligatt, Assistant Professor of Black Literary and Cultural Studies, for a critical exploration of Blackness, miscegenation, and creolization in William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses. Four Thursdays: Oct 7, 14, 21, 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

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Christopher Griffin is from Yeats country in south Galway. Christopher studied literature at Trinity College and University College in Dublin.  He has lectured at the Yeats Summer School in Sligo and in Yeats’ Ballylee and Coole Park. He taught courses in Irish literature at George Washington University for eight years and at Politics and Prose for almost 30 years.  He was a lecturer on 18 Smithsonian Journeys and at Smithsonian Associates.

Mrs Yeats and Mrs Joyce: More Miracle Than Bird by Alice Miller and Nora by Nuala O'Connor are two novels from the points of view of the wives of W. B. Yeats and James Joyce. Georgie Hyde-Lees and Nora Barnacle were two fascinating women in their own right and were essential to the lives and masterpieces of their famous husbands. How much of these novels is factual or fictional? This class will supplement these stories with facts from biographies of Georgie and Nora and relevant quotes from their husbands’ writings. Five Fridays: October 8, 15, 22, 29, and November 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET

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Supriya Goswami teaches courses in literature (with special focus on Africa and South Asia), culture, and politics at Georgetown University. She is the author of Colonial India in Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2012), which is the first book-length study to explore the intersections of British, Anglo-Indian, and Bengali children’s literature and defining historical moments in colonial India. She is currently working on her second book, Colonial Wars in Children’s Literature. She has also published in such scholarly journals as the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, South Asian Review, and Wasafiri.

Agatha Christie, the unparalleled grande dame of crime fiction, not only wrote prolifically but also with an astute understanding of people and places. This course explores two of her elegant and addictively readable detective stories. Two Thursdays, November 4 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET 

With

Brittany Kerfoot is the Director of Events at Politics and Prose and a staff writer for Eventbrite.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from George Mason University. Her writing has been published in The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, Driftwood Press, Madcap Review, and Eventbrite.com, among others. A former college English professor at her alma mater, she is at work on her first novel.

Join instructor and P&P’s Director of Events, Brittany Kerfoot, for a class on Sally Rooney’s third novel about all the ways people love and hurt one another. Explore plot, character, themes, and discuss how this book contrasts and compares to her previous two novels. Thursday, November 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

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Garrett Peck is an author, historian and tour guide living in Santa Fe. His eighth and latest book is A Decade of Disruption: America in the New Millennium. As a former Washingtonian, he frequently led tours through Politics & Prose. Garrett is currently working on a book about how Willa Cather composed Death Comes for the Archbishop, and is organizing Willa Cather Tours of New Mexico.

In this class, we'll explore three of Cather’s novels that derived from her Southwestern travels: The Song of the Lark (an outcome from her 1912 trip), The Professor’s House (inspired by her trip to Mesa Verde, Colorado in 1915), and her “best book” (her words), Death Comes for the Archbishop, which she researched and wrote during her 1925 and 1926 travels to Taos and Santa Fe. Three Fridays: November 5, 12, 19, from 3 p.m to 5 p.m. ET

With

Carrie Callaghan’s debut novel, A Light of Her Own, about 17th century painter Judith Leyster, was published by Amberjack in 2018. Her new novel, Salt the Snow (Amberjack, 2019), is about trail-blazing but little-known early 20th century journalist Milly Bennett and her years in 1930s Moscow and Spain. Carrie’s short stories have been published in multiple literary journals around the country, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

From the Spanish Civil War to Chile's military dictatorship, Isabel Allende's A Long Petal of the Sea covers a lot of ground, both historically and emotionally. Join author Carrie Callaghan in this one session spotlight class on the historical and artistic background of Allende's 20th novel. We'll explore how Allende develops her moving characters, and we will discuss what their journey means for all of us. Saturday, November 20, from 2 to 4 p.m.

With

Leigha McReynolds has a PhD in English Literature. Her dissertation was on science and the supernatural in 19th Century British Literature, but her current research focus is contemporary science fiction. In her teaching, Leigha uses science fiction to engage students across disciplines: she is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor for University Honors at UMD. She also runs a writing coaching business to help aspiring writers of all kinds achieve their personal and professional goals.

This year the Hugo Awards will be presented at DisCon III, which is also the 79th Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention), in our very own Washington, DC. While this class will discuss various SF texts, the central questions we’ll explore will be broader than an individual novel: how can SF tell a story? what makes a good SF story? why do we like what we like? and who gets to be included in these conversations? Three Mondays: November 8, 15, 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET

With

Aaron Hamburger is the author of the short story collection The View From Stalin’s Head (winner of the Rome Prize in Literature), the novels Faith for Beginners (a Lambda Literary Award nominee), and Nirvana is Here (winner of a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Forewords Indie Awards). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, O, the Oprah Magazine, Boulevard, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi. He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and George Washington University.

In this course, led by a contemporary novelist who was not only influenced by Roth but also met him while learning his craft, we'll explore four major works from Roth's canon--Goodbye, Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint, Sabbath's Theater, and American Pastoral--to analyze the evolution of his style and reckon with his complicated legacy. Six Wednesdays Bi-Weekly: September 22; October 6, 20; November 3, 17; December 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

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Verlyn Flieger is Professor Emerita in the Department of English at the University of Maryland, where for 36 years she taught courses in Tolkien, Medieval Literature, and Comparative Mythology. She is the author of five critical books on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, Splintered Light, A Question of Time, Interrupted Music, Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien, and There Would Always Be A Fairy Tale: More Essays on Tolkien. She edited the Extended edition of Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major. With Carl Hostetter she edited Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth, and with Douglas A. Anderson she edited the Expanded Edition of Tolkien On Fairy-Stories. With Michael Drout and David Bratman she is a co-editor of the yearly journal Tolkien Studies. She has also published two fantasy novels, Pig Tale and The Inn at Corbies’ Caww, an Arthurian novella, Avilion, and the short stories "Green Hill Country" and "Igraine at Tintagel."

Join Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger for a deeper look into Tolkien’s Tales From the Perilous Realm. What seems at first glance just playful Middle-earth spinoff has hidden punch that will delight or dismay or bewitch the reader. Or all three. Four Sundays: November 14, 21, (skip 28); and December 5, 12, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET

With

Nicole Miller's prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The Mays, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil. in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C.

No stranger to his doctor’s laudanum in the last months of his life, Charles Dickens’s imagination for the phantasmagoric, his mentality for murder, and his yen for enigma grew in this painful passage, leading the great author to touch pinnacles and crawl to depths he had never reached before. A true reliquary of everything Dickensian, The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be handled with cotton gloves as we pore over the text with scholarly care and a magnifying glass. Four Mondays: November 22, 29; and December 6, 13, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET

WRITING

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Armando Batista is a poet, performer and educator. The child of Dominican immigrants, he was born and raised in Washington Heights, NY. Armando earned his M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a B.A. in Theater from Temple University. He has written and performed two solo plays, and co-created other theatrical works. He previously taught a class on trickster poets at P&P, and continues to develop courses and workshops on creativity and writing, working with organizations like the Kennedy Center and Dominican Writers Association. His debut poetry chapbook, Cosmic Mesa, will be available from DWA Press (dominicanwriters.org) in early September. Armando’s poetry has been translated and published in the Mexican literary journal CRACKEN, and Death Rattle Writer's Fest/OROBORO vol. 5, and his essays are published in the online journals past-ten, The Maine Review, and The Abstract Elephant Magazine. 

Exploring the latest work of poet Tomás Morín in Machete, we will begin to see how a voice becomes its own through the experiences, quandaries, passions, struggles, and fragmented humor of its beholder. Each class will offer a mini lecture with dynamic discussion and a writing prompt to help participants explore and shape their poetic voices. New dates TK. Please note: Class is now postponed till winter 2022.

With

Sarah Ruhl is a playwright and writer of other things. Her fifteen plays include In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), The Clean House, and Eurydice. She has been a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Tony Award nominee, and the recipient of the MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Her plays have been produced on- and off-Broadway, around the country, internationally, and have been translated into many languages. Her book 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write was a New York Times Notable Book. Her other books include Letters from Max, with Max Ritvo, and 44 Poems for You. She has received the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Samuel French Award, Feminist Press Under 40 Award, the National Theater Conference Person of the Year Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a Whiting Award, a Lily Award, and a PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for mid-career playwrights. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tony Charuvastra, who is a child psychiatrist, and her three children. You can read more about her work at SarahRuhlPlaywright.com

Paula Vogel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose plays include Indecent (Tony Award nomination for Best Play), How I Learned to Drive (Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, OBIE Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot’n’Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession and A Civil War Christmas. She is the founder and co-curator of Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate, an online reading series currently produced in partnership with McCarter Theatre Center. Lifetime achievement awards include: American Theatre Hall of Fame Award, the Obie Award, and NY Drama Critics Circle Award. She is honored to have three awards dedicated to emerging playwrights in her name: The American College Theatre Festival's Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, the Paula Vogel Award given annually by the Vineyard Theatre, and the Paula Vogel Mentor’s Award by Young Playwrights of Philadelphia. She was the 2019 inaugural UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Hearst Theater Lab Initiative Distinguished Playwright-in-Residence. She is currently serving as judge for the Yale Drama Series 2021 and 2022 competitions. Her plays are published in six volumes by TCG Press and she teaches playwriting workshops throughout the United States and abroad. www.paulavogelplaywright.com

Join the acclaimed playwright, poet, and author Sarah Ruhl for an afternoon of experimental writing and exercises to fine tune your writing craft in an inter-genre workshop. One Saturday: November 6th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST

With

Kate Reed Petty's first novel, "True Story," was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and was nominated for a Stoker Award and a Shirley Jackson Award. Her short fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Electric Literature, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere, and her short films have screened at the Maryland Film Festival and won an award in Narrative Magazine. Kate is also the author of the graphic novel, "The Leak" (2021). She teaches writing at the School of Visual Arts, and lives in Baltimore.

Write a short story in a month! In this hands-on workshop, we’ll play with generative exercises to break through writing blocks, generate new prose, and polish a story into a solid first draft. This class will be fun and appropriate for both first-time and experienced fiction writers — or anyone looking for creative new writing techniques. Four Mondays: October 18, 25 and Nov 1, 8 from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. ET - SOLD OUT

With

Kate Reed Petty's first novel, "True Story," was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and was nominated for a Stoker Award and a Shirley Jackson Award. Her short fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Electric Literature, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere, and her short films have screened at the Maryland Film Festival and won an award in Narrative Magazine. Kate is also the author of the graphic novel, "The Leak" (2021). She teaches writing at the School of Visual Arts, and lives in Baltimore.

Write a short story in a month! In this hands-on workshop, we’ll play with generative exercises to break through writing blocks, generate new prose, and polish a story into a solid first draft. This class will be fun and appropriate for both first-time and experienced fiction writers — or anyone looking for creative new writing techniques. Four Thursdays: Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, and Nov 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m ET  *SOLD OUT*  To be added to the waitlist email classes@politics-prose.com

With

Andrea Seiger is a guidebook author, domestic and world traveler, tour guide, and one who will eat almost anything at least once. She works in tourism and teaches continuing education for au pairs with Borough of Manhattan Community College. Andrea has lived in Brazil and traveled extensively across the Americas, including thousands of miles on the Mayan Route in Mexico and driven the Pan American highway from Ohio to Costa Rica as a child with her family. Oh yes, and Europe, Ghana and China too. All of these adventures left her with indelible food stories. She loves to road trip and road food is one of her favorite things – you never know what you will find to eat and drink as you travel. Next up, the Amtrak dining car.  

Food has a way of transporting us back to a place or to the company of special people. Food reminds us who we are, where we are from and our cultural heritage. Food triggers memories of family, friends, and moments in our past, like the aromas of Grandma’s holiday kitchen or Mom’s decked out tables or Dad’s Sunday morning waffles. Three Wednesdays: November 3, 10, 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET

With

Sarah Pleydell MFA debuted her solo ‘tiny house play’, “The Power Behind the Comb”, in Washington, D.C. this past summer. She is the author of two books: The Dramatic Difference, which won the American Association for Theatre Educators' book of the year award, and the critically acclaimed novel, Cologne, which was a staff pick at Politics and Prose and selected for the Oxford Literary Festival. A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, she was a senior lecturer in University Honors at the University of Maryland, College Park for thirty years. (www.sarahpleydell.com)

Dorothy Neumann is a pioneer in the small professional theatre circuit, having directed in the Washington area for over 37 years. She received three Helen Hayes nominations for Outstanding Direction—for Top Girls, Johnny Bull (both Horizons productions) and Unidentified Human Remains… at Signature—and served as artistic director for D.C. Stage and Goosebump Theatre. An artistic associate at Source Theatre, Horizons and Signature in past years, Dot has taught at The Theatre Lab almost since its inception and particularly enjoys teaching Intro to Acting. She joined the seasonal staff at Clear Space Theatre Company in Rehoboth where she has directed Cabaret; Shirley Valentine; La Cage Aux Folles; On Golden Pond; Love, Loss and What I Wore; and The Vagina Monologues. She recently was part of the artistic team at Clear Space for ‘Night, Mother. In addition to her directing, Dot published Truth Serum, a book of poetry available on Amazon.

Actor/writer, Sarah Pleydell and Helen Hayes nominated director, Dorothy Neumann, have designed a low-stress, hands-on workshop suitable for those with prior theatre experience and others who just want to get their feet wet. This participatory, interdisciplinary workshop uses techniques from the theatre arts to breathe life into personal stories. Three Sundays: November 7, 14, and 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. ET

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Don George  is the author of the award-winning anthology The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George, and of  How to Be a Travel Writer, the best-selling travel writing guide in the world. Don is currently Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel, and has been Travel Editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, Salon, and Lonely Planet. He has visited more than 90 countries and has written more than a thousand articles for print and online publications. He has been honored 17 times in the Society of American Travel Writers’ annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism competition. In addition to his writing and editing, Don has taught travel writing at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the San Jose State University MFA Program in Creative Writing, and has spoken about his writings and travels at corporations around the world, including the New York Times and Google. Don is the co-founder and chairman of the acclaimed annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. He has been interviewed as a travel expert on NBS, CBS, ABC, and NPR, and leads tours around the world for National Geographic. 

National Geographic Travel Editor at Large Don George has been crafting compelling, award-winning travel stories for four decades. Author of the best-selling guidebook “How to Be a Travel Writer,” Don will use specific examples and in-class discussions to teach you how to shape and craft your best travel tale. Three Mondays: November 8, 15, 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET 

With

Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her collection Be with Me Always was published by the University of Nebraska Press in March 2019 and her anthology of lyric essays, A Harp in the Stars, is forthcoming from Nebraska in October 2021. Other work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York Times, The Rumpus, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Currently she is the founding editor of the online literary magazine After the Art and teaches in West Virginia Wesleyan’s Low-Residency MFA Program and Goucher's MFA in Nonfiction Program. You can read more at her website, www.randonbillingsnoble.com.

A lyric essay. Sounds intriguing – but what exactly is it? Come explore the more experimental side of the essay by reading – and sketching – flash, segmented, braided, and hermit crab essays. (Hermit crab essays? Yes!) Find out more with Randon Billings Noble, essayist and editor of the new anthology of lyric essays A Harp in the Stars. Four Wednesdays: November 10, 17, (skip 24), and December 1 and 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET

POETRY

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Annie Finch, poet, author, and performer has written or edited nearly twenty books including Spells: New and Selected Poems, The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self, Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, and A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry. She earned a Ph.D from Stanford University, has lectured at universities including Harvard, Oxford, and Toronto, and has taught widely. Annie is the Director of PoetryWitchCommunity.com and may be found on Twitter @poetrywitch and Instagram @thepoetrywitch. For more information, please visit anniefinch.com.

Join renowned poet and witch Annie Finch for a spine-chilling exploration of the uncanny ballads, spooky lyrics, and strange lives of two of the most creepiest—and most skillful—poets ever to write in English—Edgar Allan Poe and Helen Adam. This Class has been postponed please email classes@politics-prose.com for more info.

With

Melanie (Penny) Du Bois did her undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard, has lived in Europe, and taught literature at universities there and here. She has directed a reading group in Washington since 1989. Her recent Politics and Prose classes have been on the work of Coetzee, Penelope Fitzgerald, Tolstoy, Grossman, and Proust.

Adam Zagajewski, a Polish poet, became an exile, and then a traveler, teacher, and internationally celebrated writer to ensure “a space for the imagination." Zagajewski’s work invites the reader to share the rich cultural history of the Western world while treasuring the personality of the individual mind. We will share our thoughts about his work and honor his memory. Two Tuesdays: November 9 and 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. ET 

With

 Kate Eastwood Norris is a multiple Helen Hayes Award winning actor, director and educator who has performed and taught Shakespeare consistently throughout her 27-year career. She also received an MFA in Shakespeare & Performance from Mary Baldwin University and an MA in Engaged Humanities with an emphasis in Jungian Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her greatest goal is to reveal to both students and audience members alike that no matter who they are or where they come from, Shakespeare can offer valuable insight into both their world and their personal experience. 

The world Shakespeare lived in one vastly different from our own. Why do his plays still resonate so deeply within us or even hold any relevance at all? By applying the fundamentals of Jungian psychology to Shakespeare’s work, an explanation is revealed that goes beyond plot or character into the way humans both make and experience art. Two Tuesdays: November 9 and 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET

With

Frank Ambrosio is Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. After studies in Italian language and literature in Florence, Italy, he completed his doctoral degree at Fordham University with a specialization in contemporary European Philosophy.

He is the founding Director, with Edward Maloney, of the Georgetown University “My Dante Project” a web based platform for personal and collaborative study of Dante’s Commedia. In 2014, he acted as lead instructor for the launch of an ongoing web-based course (MOOC) on Dante offered by EDX (http://dante.georgetown.edu) which currently has been utilized by over 20,000 students.

His most recent book is Dante and Derrida: Face to Face, (State University of New York Press) (Link)

He has received five separate awards from Georgetown University for excellence in teaching. He is the former Director of the Doctor of Liberal Studies Program, and in 2015, he received the Award for Faculty Achievement from the American Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.

In October 2009, The Teaching Company released his course, "Philosophy, Religion and the Meaning of Life," (https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/philosophy-intellectual-history/philosophy-religion-and-the-meaning-of-life.html) a series of 36 half-hour video lectures which he created for the "Great Courses" series. At Georgetown, he teaches courses on Existentialism, Postmodernism, Hermeneutics, and Dante.

In addition to his work at Georgetown, he co-directs The Renaissance Company with Deborah R. Warin, leading adult study programs focusing on Italian Renaissance culture and its contemporary heritage. http://www.renaissancecompany.com/

For those willing to undertake the steep ascent of Dante’s seven-story Mountain, nowhere in the legacy of human culture is the process of becoming a “whole person” more closely observed or rendered with deeper psychological and social insight than in the cantos of Dante’s Purgatorio. It is certainly possible to read, understand and enjoy Purgatorio without having read the Inferno. Six Tuesdays: October 26; November 2, 9, 16, [23 - no class], 30; and December 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online Class. 

NONFICTION

With

Nicole Miller's prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The Mays, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil. in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C.

Hailed as a masterpiece of 20th century nonfiction, Nabokov's Speak, Memory is as much thought- experiment as memoir, stretching time across language, image, and symbol. In this class, we will be relishing the style and synesthesia of Speak, Memory, lingering over small morsels of prose, travelling from “sun fleck to sun fleck,”  as we read for effects and “the awakening of consciousness” in the author, as well as ourselves. Three Saturdays: November 6, 13, 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET

POLITICS & PLACE

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Heba F. El-Shazli is an Egyptian-American and an avid lover and reader of literature from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is an assistant professor of political science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Master’s Degree Program at the Center for Democracy and Civil Society. Heba teaches courses on governments and politics of the Middle East and North Africa, Islam and politics, international relations, and the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. She has a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) with a specialization in Governance and International Affairs from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Master’s degree from Georgetown University. She was the Director of MENA programs at the Solidarity Center (2004-2011) and the Deputy MENA Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 2001 until 2004. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (www.cfr.org).

A literary journey with Moroccan female voices and one American observer and novelist. I hope you will be able to join me on yet another virtual journey through Morocco’s history, society, culture, and politics through these authors’ voices. Five bi-weekly Mondays: September 20; October 4, 18; November 1, 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET 

With

Carol Leonnig is a national investigative reporter at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 2000, covering Donald Trump’s presidency and previous administrations. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on security failures and misconduct inside the Secret Service. She also was part of the Post teams awarded Pulitzers in 2018, for reporting on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and in 2014, for revealing the U.S. government’s secret, broad surveillance of Americans. Leonnig is an on-air contributor to NBC News and MSNBC, the coauthor of A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America, and the author of Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service.

Join Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist Carol Leonnig as she hosts  on, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trumps Catastrophic Final Year. Listen and learn as she takes you through her and her co-author Philip Rucker's work during that chaotic time filled with urgent and tumultuous news. Two Wednesdays: November 10 and 17 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET

HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY

With

Evelyn Torton Beck holds Ph.D.s in both Comparative Literature and Clinical Psychology. She is Women’s Studies Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland and an Alum Research Fellow with the Creative Longevity and Wisdom Initiative at the Fielding Graduate University. She has pioneered numerous interdisciplinary courses on topics as diverse as Women in the Arts, Mothers and Daughters, Jewish Women in International Perspective, Women and the Holocaust, Death and Dying in Modern Literature, Lesbian Studies, Gender, Power and the Spectrum of Difference, and Feminist Perspectives on Psychology, among others. She has also written and lectured widely on the intersections of sexism, racism, anti-semitism, and homophobia. For her life’s work  in interdisciplinary fields she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria this September; the ceremony was postponed by a year because of Covid. 

Franz Kafka, Czech writer, and Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter, are unquestionably among the most influential artists of the 20th century whose work still reverberates into the 21st.  By juxtaposing close readings of selected stories and paintings, we will come to understand the work of each artist more fully and deeply. Four Sundays: October 10, 17, 24, 31, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST Online  

With

Reuben Jackson is an Archivist with the University of the District Of Columbia’s Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. From 1989 until 2009, he was Archivist and Curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Collection. Reuben is also the author of a volume of poetry entitled Scattered Clouds (2019, Alan Squire Publishing).

Frequently referred to as The Empress Of The Blues, vocalist Bessie Smith's short but fruitful career moved the world with sensual, swinging, and intoxicating recordings of pop standards. Come join Reuben Jackson as he explores Smith's poignant, wry and sometime bawdy legacy with you. One Sunday: November 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. ET
With

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award and the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Join University of Maryland historian Richard Bell, and your fellow readers, for guided discussions about three fascinating books from the revolutionary era. Three Fridays: December 3, 10, and 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET