WRITING WORKSHOPS

With

Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, and The Hopefuls. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years, and now, she lives in Washington D.C. and teaches at George Washington University.

This class is perfect for writers developing their chops, who want to use writing exercises and story analysis to gain more confidence and skill. Five Wednesdays: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

With

Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, and The Hopefuls. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years, and now, she lives in Washington D.C. and teaches at George Washington University.

 

Each writer will have the opportunity to submit one piece of work during the four-week period and will receive a written critique from the instructor. Four Tuesdays: July 10, 17, 24, 31, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m Sold Out! To be added to the class wait list, please email classes@politics-prose.com

THE WRITING LIFE

With

Mary Hall Surface is a teaching artist, playwright, and theatre director and producer. She is on the faculty of Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom and presents workshops nationwide in creative writing and drama as a Kennedy Center teaching artist. Her plays have been produced at theatres, museums, and festivals throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Canada, including 17 productions at the Kennedy Center. She has been nominated for nine Helen Hayes Awards, receiving the 2002 Outstanding Director of a Musical. Mary Hall has published 12 plays, 3 original cast albums, 2 collections of scenes and monologues, an anthology of her plays and numerous articles. She was the founding artistic director of the DC’s Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival and is a member of Arena Stage’s 2017 Playwrights’ Arena. The National Gallery of Arts’ Writing Salon was featured last April in The Washington Post Magazine.

Discover a rich lens for exploring character and memoir by stepping inside of two paintings in a new course presented by the instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon. Two Thursdays: July 26 & August 2, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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 & Prose in Washington D.C.

In this class we will discuss a selection of essays from both the first and second series of the Common Reader, and do brief writing exercises to tease out the hidden essayist in all of us.  Three Thursdays: July 26, August 2, 9, 3:15-5:15pm

With

Elaine Showalter is Professor Emerita of  English at Princeton University. She is the author of ten books and a frequent reviewer for periodicals in the US and UK. This is her third  P&P class on the novels of Philip Roth.

In honor of a great American writer, Philip Roth, who died on  May 22, we will read two of his late novels, The Plot Against America (2004) and his final book, Nemesis (2010).  We’ll be talking about his life and literary influence as well as the art and message of these powerful books.

Two sections of the same course are offered. Dates listed as follows:

(Afternoon option) Four Tuesdays, September  11, 18, 25,  October 2, 2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.

(Evening option)Four Thursdays, September 13, 20, 27, October 4, 7:00 —9:00 p.m.

LOSE YOURSELF IN FICTION

With

Elizabeth Pittman holds a doctorate in English from George Washington University. She has taught literature and composition at several universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. She specializes in African American literature and contemporary multi-ethnic fiction.  

Min Jin Lee’s second novel, Pachinko, an epic tale about four generations of a single Korean family living in Japan, has struck a chord with American readers. This ambitious novel explores history through the perspective of those most often lost to it. Although the novel is a product of over thirty years of Lee’s labor, its urgent exploration of empathy and compassion resounds for readers in 2018 as we grapple with the pressing social and geopolitical conflicts of our moment. August 8th and 10th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With

Leigha McReynolds received her PhD in English Literature from The George Washington University. Her dissertation was on science and the supernatural in 19th Century British Literature, but her current research focus is contemporary science fiction. She has published and presented on science fiction texts ranging from Ursula K. Le Guin’s short stories to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. Currently, Leigha is a professor in the writing program at The George Washington University where she uses science fiction to engage students across disciplines.

In remembrance of the late Ursula K. Le Guin, we’ll read her most famous, and arguably most influential, science fiction novels: The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. Through her anthropological science fiction, we will explore how gender, economics, and environment shape our societies. Three Tuesdays: August 14, 21, 28, 6 p.m. 8 p.m.

With

Alexander Sens has been a professor at Georgetown University since he received his PhD in Classics in 1991, and currently occupies the Markos and Eleni Kounalakis Chair in Hellenic Studies. His research and teaching focus on Greek poetry, and in particular on that of the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods. He's especially interested in how poets of these ages engage with the antecedent literary tradition in order to create meaning. His most recent book, co-authored with his colleague Charles McNelis, is The Alexandra of Lycophron: A Literary Study (OUP, 2016)

This course will focus on Homer's Odyssey, and in particularly on Emily Wilson's new translation of the poem.  It will proceed by a mixture of lecture and discussion, always with a focus on close reading, and will cover general questions of epic composition and transmission as well as specific issues attending the poem, including its construction of heroic values and its treatment of issues of gender and sexuality. Three Wednesdays: August 15, 22, 29, 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

With

Virginia Newmyer has lectured frequently for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and in Great Britain on a wide variety of topics in British history and literature. She also teaches OLLI courses at American University, as well as at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and Jupiter.

Dr. Susan Willens, emerita professor of English at George Washington University, also teaches at the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and other literature classes.

For more than 10 years, Virginia and Susan have been holding classes at Politics & Prose that examine the threads that join British fiction and history.

In a class featuring lecture and discussion, students will study this 1969 historical novel, which tells a compelling story with power and originality. Contemporary audiences will learn that The French Lieutenant's Woman was a pioneer of narrative style and is still as stunning and engrossing today. Three sections of a single 2-hour course offered: September 24 (1876-1), 26 (1876-2), 27(1876-3), 1:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.

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, and last taught at Politics & Prose in 2017, covering Henry James’ stories and plays.

J.M. Coetzee’s brilliant career progresses from one mystifying phase to another, challenging readers to grasp the sense of each new project and to try to see him whole. We will read and discuss two books: Disgrace and Summertime. Four Mondays: Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

POLITICS & PLACE

With

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 Government 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)

This series of three classes will continue its exploration of Middle Eastern literature and politics by reading the famed Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006), who is the only Arab-Egyptian writer to have been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Three Fridays: September 7, 21 & October 5, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

With

Supriya Goswami has taught courses in children’s literature, Anglophone world literature, and nineteenth-century British literature and Empire at California State University, Sacramento (2002-2007), and, more recently, at George Washington University and 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.

In this course, we will consider the historical, political, and cultural context of the British Empire and its impact on fiction and film from (and about) South Asia. We will begin by watching Gurinder Chadha’s Partition drama Viceroy’s House  and then read fiction from India (Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things) and Sri Lanka (Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost) as examples of how the “empire writes back. Three Tuesdays: September 18, 25, and October 2, 11 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.

With

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 Government 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)

This is another series of classes in continuing the series on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to explore the fascinating literature by authors from differing communities writing about the anxiety and alienation of migration – forced or voluntary – both come with a high price of leaving one’s home, family and community…the worry or threat of losing one’s identity and culture is at stake. Six Fridays: October 12, 26; November 2, 16, 30; and December 14,  1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

MEMOIR

With

Howard Norman received the Lannan Award in fiction. He is the author of eight novels and three memoirs.  His new novel, The Ghost Clause, will be published in July of 2019.  Many of his books are set in the eastern Canadian Maritimes, especially Nova Scotia, although The Ghost Clause is set in his farmhouse in Vermont.  He has taught for thirty years in the MFA program at the University of Maryland, and is also on the summer faculty at the New York State Writer's Institute. He presently is at work on a new novel and a book in the Writer on Writers Series, about Peter Matthiessen.

Join winner of the Lannan Award in Literature, Howard Norman, and guest writers, for a workshop, THE READING AND WRITING OF MEMOIR.  Half of this course will consist of informal lectures about four memoirs, and the other half will focus on the writing of workshop participants. Four Tuesdays: September 18, 25, October 2, 9. 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.