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Fall 2020 Course Schedule

 All Fall 2020 courses will take place online.

Click here to view a PDF version of the Fall 2020 Course Catalog. 

Click to sort the course list by day of the week, class period, topic or duration.

To view the course schedule, click on each day of the week.

Fall 2020 courses begin the week of September 14 and run through the week of November 16. There will be no courses on September 28 or October 12.  See the note below regarding make-up dates for Monday classes. For the Fall 2020 schedule, click here.

long8游戏5b courses will begin the week of October 19 and end the week of November 16, except Monday 5b classes which will begin November 2 and end November 30.

Monday 10 week and 5b classes will meet on November 23 and 30, with a make-up date December 7.

Please be sure to click on the name of the course to read the description before signing up.

All times are EST.





Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

The British Are Coming…NOT!!!
Sandy Bornstein
5 Week Course – September 14 - October 26
(No Class September 28 or October 12)


The Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Who Created the Digital Revolution 
Jerry Baum 
5 week course - November 2 – November 30


Why Sing Plays?-- Milestones
Art Finstein


Whodunit? Detectives with Disabilities
Marilyn Brooks

The World of Work: A History of US Labor and the Future of Work  
Mark Erlich 
5 week course - September 14 - October 26 
(No Class September 28 or October 12)


Words of Warning from Writers in Post World War II America 
Sue Wurster 

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Major Topics in Crime and Punishment  
Sandy Sherizen 

Manifest Destiny: America’s Long War of Conquest for the West
Fred Kobrick


Justice: What is the Right Thing to Do?
Will Grogan


TED Talks: Ideas You Can’t Ignore
Quinn Rosefsky and Susan Rosefsky


Crossing the Line: American Comedy, Censorship, and Free Speech 
Sascha Cohen 
5 week course - November 2 - November 30 

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm


Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

The Biology of Cancer and the Quest for the Cure 
Ollie Curme 


And All That Jazz: The History of a Great American Art Form
James Heazlewood-Dale

Desire, Deceit, and Dissipation in Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah 
Hollie Harder
What Caused World War II in Europe? Changing Historical Perspectives
Mark Seliber
5 week course - September 14 - October 26
(No Class September 28 or October 12)


Folk Art - Exploring Our Treasures
Margaret Mukherjee
5 week course - November 2 - November 30


 H&G1-5a-Mon1   The British are Coming...NOT!!!

Leader – Sandy Bornstein

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

5 week course - September 14 - October 26

      (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   Do you know how the American Revolution really started?  Everything you learned in high school is either wrong or incomplete. The colonists were not all heroes, and the British were not all bad guys. The truth is both more complex and more interesting.  Who were the people who settled in the Massachusetts Bay colony, and why did they come here? What did they find when they arrived?  What was daily life like?  How did they govern themselves? What roles did women play? How did the church influence their beliefs and practices? And why were the colonists of Massachusetts in particular so very ornery about their rights and liberties? Finally, how did frictions with England build up until misunderstandings, co-incidences and flat out mistakes allowed the war to start, when no one except Sam Adams wanted it? Using David Hackett Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride plus internet articles, we will discuss all of these questions. With luck we will finish with a ride on Lexington’s Liberty Ride trolley ($25), which will escort us on a narrated tour through Lexington and Concord, to experience the first day of the Revolution right where it took place.   

Readings   Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer & internet articles.

Preparation Time   Maximum 1 & 1/2 hours for classes when we are reading Paul Revere’s Ridelong8游戏 by David Hackett Fischer (60 pages.); otherwise, 1 hour per week.

Biography   long8游戏For 9 years Sandy Bornstein has been a guide on Lexington’s Liberty Ride, the narrated 90-minute trolley tour through the first day of the Revolution. She is particularly interested in the daily life of the colonists, and how their experiences and attitudes contributed to the outbreak of hostilities on April 19th, 1775. Sandy graduated from Brandeis and was Cantor and Music Director at Temple Isaiah in Lexington. She taught Middle School music in Sharon and was a professional soprano in the Boston area for many years. She taught voice at Harvard and still teaches privately.

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 SCI1-5b-Mon1   The Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Who Created the Digital Revolution

Leader – Jerry Baum 

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

5 week course - November 2 - November 30

 Description   Computers. Can’t live with 'em, can’t live without 'em. Literally life-saving when predicting the path of a hurricane, frighteningly frustrating when they misbehave, capable of endless entertainment, these digital devices are intimately intertwined in our lives. How did this come to be? Where did these ubiquitous devices come from? How do they do what they do? Who invented them, if indeed we can we point to a single inventor, and what motivated those inventors? The eminent biographer and historian Walter Isaacson will guide us in understanding the birth and evolution of computer hardware, software, and networking. Along the way, we’ll meet some of the people who propelled the digital revolution: men, women, academics, military officers, basement and garage tinkerers, corporate engineers, farmers’ daughters.  Isaacson compares and contrasts the contributions of collaborators and of lone wolves, some likely familiar (Jobs and Wozniak, Turing) and some likely not (Mauchly and Eckert, Atanasoff). We’ll learn about the functions of some fundamental computer hardware components, about some basic concepts of computer software, and the interplay between hardware and software; a chicken-and-egg interaction. Isaacson starts the story of the digital revolution in the early 1800s with Ada Lovelace, a British Countess who reveled in the intersection of poetry and science. She laid down the fundamental concepts of today’s modern general-purpose computers and is credited with writing the first computer program. It took nearly 100 years for the technology to catch up with her ideas. This discussion course is intended for a non-technical audience. 

Readings   The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson. Published by Simon and Schuster. 2014.   500 pages.

Preparation Time   Approximately 100 pages/week, so 90-120 minutes. 

Biography   Jerry Baum is a science communicator, who can speak "science" to both technical and non-technical audiences.Those audiences have included high school students, research colleagues at conferences, and museum visitors. Jerry has BS and MS degrees in physics, with an undergraduate minor in education. He taught high school for ten years, where he emphasized lecture-demonstrations and hands-on laboratory experiences. Jerry spent twenty-seven years on the research staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.While there, he volunteered on two collaborations with the Museum of Science. For both, he played a key role ‘translating’ between the Lincoln engineers and the Museum staff members.

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 MUS2-10-Mon1   Why Sing Plays?--Milestones

Leader – Art Finstein 

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

10 week course - September 14 - November 16

(No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   In this course we will study 3 “milestone” musicals… works considered to be important landmark steps in the history of the American Musical Theater: The Fantasticks, Company, and Les Miserables. Each piece takes a different approach to musicalizing its subject matter. But all 3 make use of basic compositional principles established long ago in the world of opera and operetta. We'll define the basic traditions of musical storytelling, and then consider each show, focusing on the purposes, placement, structures and styles of songs, in an effort to discover a) how the creators' musical choices sharpen character and plot, and deepen the play's impact; b) in what ways these pieces might be viewed as milestones. The class will consist of presentations by the leader, group listening/viewing and discussion, and reading. No reports will be expected and no specific musical or theatrical skills are required. 

Readings    Selected readings will be provided by the SGL electronically. Scripts for The Fantasticks and Company are available through the Massachusetts Public Library system, and all 3 are available online.

Preparation Time   Reading and listening of 2-3 hours per week.

Biography   Arthur Finstein holds BA and MFA degrees in Music from Brandeis. He’s a retired Massachusetts Music Educator and has been the music director for more than 190 productions in the greater Boston scholastic, community and professional theater circuits over 40+ years. He has presented at statewide, regional and national conferences on Music and Theater Education, and continues to advocate for increased support for the creative arts, especially for Music and Musical Theater. 

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LIT2-10-Mon1   Whodunit?: Detectives with Disabilities

Leader – Marilyn Brooks

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Descriptionlong8游戏   Why do we read murder mysteries? What about them satisfies us? Is it the plot, the characters, the setting? Do we want to be frightened by one that’s hard-boiled, or do we want a cozy that we hope will end well for all concerned (well, except for the victim and the murderer, naturally)?  When we think of detectives, we think of strong, tough protagonists—men and women who can use their fists and brains to deal with any problems they face and thus solve the case. But what happens when the detectives are faced with physical/cognitive/psychological issues that have a major impact on their lives and their work? We will discuss these and other related issues when we read about detectives with PTSD, cognitive impairment, autism, and Tourette’s Syndrome, among other conditions. YouTube videos will help give us a sense of the authors whose novels we’ll discuss. We will share our viewpoints and hopefully introduce others to new authors and ideas. We will act, in a way, as sleuths, examining the clues as to what makes a mystery worth reading and, as we all gather together in the “library,” perhaps come to a solution that satisfies us all.  

Readings   The Cuckoo’s Calling - long8游戏J. K. Rowling

Odds Against - Dick Francis 

Motherless Brooklyn – Jonathan Lethem

Love Story, With Murder - Harry Bingham 

A Cold Treachery - Charles Todd

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon 

Little Black Lies - Sandra Block 

After She’s Gone – Camilla Grebe

Preparation Time   long8游戏We will read a book each week, except for the first and last weeks of the course.  Nearly all the novels are between 300-400 pages. 

Biography   Marilyn Brooks has been a devoted mystery fan since her formative years, when she discovered Nancy Drew and read the entire series through The Ringmaster’s Secret. She reads three or four mysteries a week and is equally devoted to private eyes, police investigators, and amateur detectives.  She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. She has been writing a weekly mystery review blog since 2010, marilynsmysteryreads.com, and some of her posts have been reprinted in the BOLLI Banner under the title “Mystery Maven.” Marilyn has taught six previous Whodunit? courses

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H&G2-5a-Mon1   The World of Work: A History of US Labor and the Future of Work

Leader – Mark Erlich

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

5 week course - September 14 - October 26

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Descriptionlong8游戏   The story of labor is a rich and complex part of American history. Beginning in the late 19th century, unions fought to establish a presence in our political and economic life, facing violence and opposition. Following the Great Depression, workers organized on an unprecedented scale leading to a long period of prosperity in the post WWII era known as the Social Contract. Unions paved the way for millions of Americans to enter the middle class and established organized labor as the primary vehicle for social mobility. In the 1970s and 1980s union influence diminished as workers in unions declined from 35% to 10% of the workforce. The 21st century economy is defined by precarious conditions and limited job security. Some argue that organized labor is an obsolete institution; others maintain that worker organizations are needed now more than ever due to extreme income inequality and continued global corporate power. This class will follow the history of American labor starting in the late 19th century to the present. Each of the first four sessions will focus on a particular period – the birth of the union movement 1880-1920, the Congress for Industrial Organization (CIO) and the New Deal in the 1930s, the post-WWII social contract from the 1940s to the 1970s, and the decline of union membership from the 1980s to the present. The final session will look at what the future of work holds and possible directions for organized labor. The class will combine some lecture with class discussion.

Readings   Beaten Down, Worked Up by Steven Greenhouse and other material provided by SGL.

Preparation Time   long8游戏Less than 1 hour.

Biography   Mark Erlich is a Wertheim Fellow at the Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program after retiring as Executive Secretary-Treasurer (EST) of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters in 2017.  In addition to his career in the trades and the labor movement, Erlich has written and lectured extensively on labor issues.  He is the author of two books, With Our Hands: The Story of Carpenters in Massachusetts (1986) and Labor at the Ballot Box (1990), both published by Temple University Press.  He has also written dozens of essays, articles, and op-eds on labor history and contemporary union issues.

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LIT11-10-Mon1   W.O.W. – Words of Warning  from Writers in Post World War II America

Leader – Sue Wurster

Monday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

(No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   In the 1950s, when the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens were being trampled in Washington, several enduring pieces of American literature provided warning visions for the future.  Fueled by the flames of the anti-Communist fervor of the day, these works remind us of issues considered central to our American character—particularly, our passionate concerns regarding freedom of thought and expression.  But, of course, this led these writers to what may be an even more important question: if this right is so central to our cultural being, how and why have we allowed it to be threatened in times of turmoil?  Using this lens, we’ll look at two of Arthur Miller’s plays, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge, as well as Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s enduring work, Inherit the Wind.  In addition, we’ll focus on Ray Bradbury’s powerful novel, Fahrenheit 451long8游戏.  We’ll examine these works in their multi-layered historical contexts, explore the warnings provided in each, and focus on why they have endured as now classic pieces of American literature.  Overall, we’ll look at where we are today, in this election “season,” to see where we stand at this point.  Class sessions will consist of approximately equal portions lecture presentation, discussion, and—especially considering the fact that plays are written to be performed--the reading aloud of key scenes in order to bring each work more fully “to life.”

Readings   The Crucible and A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. “History Handouts” provided on course Google Site.

Preparation Time   long8游戏1-2 hours of reading/viewing per week.

Biography   After earning B.S./M.A. degrees in Theatre & Communications from Ohio University, Sue Wurster taught at St. Cloud State University (MN), Elizabeth Seton College (NY), the Chapin and Calhoun schools (NYC), and Nashoba Brooks School (Concord).  She received fellowships from Northwestern, NYC’s New Actors’ Workshop (studying with Paul Sills), Bank Street College (studying with Jack Zipes), and Columbia University (studying with Howard Stein).  Sue served: as high school chair on the executive board of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education, as director of the New York State Forensics League, and as co-founding chair of the Massachusetts Middle School Speech League.

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H&G6-10-Mon2  Manifest Destiny: America’s Long War of Conquest of the West   

Leader – Fred Kobrick

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Descriptionlong8游戏   Americans have often defined themselves through the wars they have fought: the reasons they fought the wars, the principles fought for, and their consequences. In the Southwest of the early 1800’s, they clashed with Native Americans for decades, and with Mexicans as well, to win the Southwest and California. War and conquest dominated foreign and domestic policy, involved several US Presidents, and major figures such as Kit Carson. Casualties were high and endurance was tested. What really drove these wars, how were they won, and what did victory mean for the American character and way of life---both then, and now? It started with critical economic needs, and suddenly the term Manifest Destiny was born, and embraced by the masses, meaning, for those who believed it, that Americans were destined by God to spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent. If the American Carson embodied the spirit of heroic conquest, the Navajo leader Narbona personified the dignity of resistance. This incredible story of struggle between Americans descending from Europe and Native Americans indigenous to this place is central to American history. Was one side right, and the other wrong, or is it far more subtle and complex? In a fabulous history of it all, the great Hampton Sides both depicts and explains the great American struggle to fulfill Manifest Destiny. We will explore and discuss the events and the meaning of this sweeping American saga.

Readings   Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West. Hampton Sides. 498 pages.

Preparation Time   50 pages/week, 2 hours.

Biography   Fred Kobrick managed one of the top 5 mutual funds in the country for 15 years. He has a BA in economics from Boston University and an MBA in finance from Harvard. Fred has led a number of BOLLI classes, including Great Companies; and “Cotton, Capitalism, and Globalization”, and courses on China’s foreign policy. He has taught several graduate programs at Boston University on diverse topics such as finance, economics, the global history of slavery, and additional subjects from a book he has authored.

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SOC2-10-Mon2   Justice: What is the Right Thing to Do?   

Leader – Will Grogan

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

10 week course - September 14 - November 30
     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   We all find ourselves in situations where we wonder “What is the right thing to do?” Whether this is in our personal lives, in a general social situation, or in a broader political capacity, our beliefs about the nature of the ‘right’ ‘just’ or ‘fair’ course of action inform our behavior. In this course, we will examine our ethical intuitions alongside the prevailing theories of justice including utilitarianism, liberal egalitarianism, libertarianism, and communitarianism. Each week, students are asked to watch one of Harvard professor and Brandeis alumnus Michael Sandel’s online lectures from his renowned Justice course, and read a short excerpt from his book. We will use Sandel’s lectures and writing as a jumping off point for our discussions. In our classroom discussions, we will cover topics such as wealth and income inequality, access to education and healthcare, human rights, property rights, reproductive rights, and affirmative action. At the end of the course students will have developed a conceptual vocabulary with which to more clearly and precisely engage in debates about justice and the right thing to do. The goal is not to teach students what to believe, but to help them clarify and refine their own views by introducing them to canonical thinkers and ideas.

Readings   Michael Sandel, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010). Additional readings may be consulted but these will be optional and made available online as needed. 

Preparation Time   1-3 hours should be sufficient.

Biography   William Grogan holds a M.A. in Philosophy from Brandeis University and a B.S. in Theological Studies from Southeastern University. Previously at BOLLI, he taught the popular Summer Lecture Series, Existentialism at the Café in 2019 and An Introduction to Religious Existentialism in 2020. He is currently pursuing graduate work in the philosophy of religion at Harvard Divinity School and is a visiting instructor in philosophy and biomedical ethics at MCPHS University. 

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SOC8-10-Mon2   TED Talks: Ideas You Can’t Ignore

Leaders – Quinn Rosefsky and Susan Rosefsky

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   “TED Talks: Ideas You Can’t Ignore” is a video collection of short talks presented by a wide variety of people who have done interesting research or who have compelling stories to tell. TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, began as a conference featuring talks on technology, entertainment, and design. For this course, the SGLs have selected some of the best TED Talk videos and have organized these selections into five categories: cognitive issues; race & prejudice; how to function at our optimum level; social justice; and how to live with science & technology. The videos are fascinating, provocative, informative and sometimes entertaining. In this discussion-driven course, the goal is to provide fresh insights and knowledge as well as to inspire. Examples of what the class will explore include the following: Do schools kill creativity? (2006, Sir Ken Robinson)  If you had to choose between a roof over your head or your right to vote, which would you choose? (2013, Dambisa Moyo) Would you have coffee with someone who sent you hate mail? (2018, Oziem Ceki) What happens to your immune system when you get too little sleep? (2019, Matt Walker) What moral decisions should driverless car owners make? (2016, Iyad Rahwan) Is Facebook a threat to democracy? (2019, Carole Cadwalladr) Videos and targeted readings will be the springboard for class discussions. This is not a lecture course and will depend on participants’ familiarization with homework.

Readings   long8游戏One to two articles per week which will be available via our website along with two short videos to watch in preparation for each class. There will be several questions to ponder each week relative to the readings and videos.

Preparation Time   long8游戏1-2 hours per week.

Biography   Susan Rosefsky studied music in Sydney and London and taught piano for twenty years. She then worked at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston where she built a volunteer program for digitizing primary records.

Quinn Rosefsky is a retired psychiatrist, whose practice focused on children and adults. He spent the final years of his career working with Native Americans. In retirement, he enjoys creativity (writing and watercolor) and the process of putting together and leading or co-leading BOLLI courses.

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 SOC9-10-Mon2   Major Topics in Crime and Punishment

Leader – Sandy Sherizen

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   Why is there so much crime? We will examine various important questions on what causes crime, who commits it and why, how the criminal justice system functions, and crime control strategies. Our examination will include crimes against people and property, cyber-crime and cyber-security and the uniqueness of white-collar crimes. The classes will be highly interactive.  Questions will be sent to everyone prior to each class. The SGL will start with an overview of the major issues and then open up our discussion for your questions and comments. An exciting discussion is expected. 

Readings   The SGL will provide readings. 

Preparation Time   3-4 hours per week.

Biography   Sanford (Sandy) Sherizen was trained as a sociologist, went bad and became a criminologist, and then went really bad by becoming a computer security and privacy professional. He has taught at various universities, has had various media engagements, has led seminars, and has given speeches in many domestic and international settings. As ex-president, he is active at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury. Having flunked retirement, he taught ESL to adult immigrants and now serves on a patient research ethics and safety board at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. At BOLLI, he has taught a variety of courses on crime and social deviance.

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 SOC1-5b-Mon2   Crossing the Line: American Comedy, Censorship, and Free Speech

Leader – Sascha Cohen

Monday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

5 week course - November 2 - November 30

Description   “It’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately,” argued George Carlin, one of American comedy’s most iconic performers, who was arrested for public indecency in 1972. Carlin was not the only humorist whose language landed him in legal trouble during the 20th century. Counter-cultural legend Lenny Bruce also made headlines for his extended obscenity trials. Writers of boundary-pushing satire such as Hustler and MAD magazines found themselves in frequent conflict with censors. This was also true of TV shows including the Smothers Brothers and All in the Family. This class explores the intersection of American comedy and censorship to open a dialogue over broader questions about contested speech, power, political dissent, and public opinion that resonate in the present day. It will include a combination of lecture, presentation, and discussion of primary sources.

Readings   Ronald K. L .Collins and David M. Skover, The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon. Additional readings will be provided by the SGL via email or link.

Preparation Time   long8游戏Class members will read 2-3 articles or book chapters (about 45 pages total) per week. 

Biography   Sascha Cohen is a long-time fan of stand-up comedy, and is currently completing her doctoral dissertation, “The Comedy of the Culture Wars: American Humor, Feminism, and Gay Liberation, 1969-1989” in the History department at Brandeis. She has taught classes on comedy in the American Studies department, written satire for McSweeneys and Reductress, and published articles about humor for outlets like Playboy, Smithsonian, The Forward, and TIME. She grew up in Los Angeles. 

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SCI2-10-Mon3   The Biology of Cancer and the Quest for the Cure

Leader – Ollie Curme

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm       

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States; approximately 40% of us will get cancer and 22% will die of it. Since Nixon established the National Cancer Institute in 1972, over $100 billion has been spent on cancer research. Today our knowledge of the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer is exquisite, yet improvements in cancer mortality have been modest, mostly due to smoking cessation and early detection. Why is cancer such a difficult disease to treat and when can we expect to see more significant progress? That’s what we’ll discover in this course. We’ll start with a historical framework, understanding the major clinical approaches to treatment. We’ll then delve into the biology and genetics of cancer, learning what causes the normal cellular machinery to go awry. We’ll link that to the epidemiology of cancer, looking at which environmental factors play a role in cancer development. With an understanding of molecular mechanisms of cancer, we’ll look at the variety of new, targeted therapies that have been introduced recently as well as the new immunotherapies that attempt to harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer.  Be assured there is great hope for the future; we’ll learn of new therapies that should have a major impact over the next decade. This course is inherently technical, but does not presume any prior knowledge; people comfortable with New York Times science articles should be comfortable with the readings.

Readings   long8游戏All readings will be provided on a course web site. Approximately 20 pages of readings per week with links to supplementary materials.

Preparation Time   long8游戏Preparation will consist of about 20 pages of scientific readings taking approximately two hours per week.

Biographylong8游戏   Ollie Curme has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and an MBA. He has been retired since 2005 and has led numerous study groups in adult learning programs; this will be his fourth at BOLLI.  He has made a hobby of researching cancer treatments for about twenty years.

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 MUS3-10-Mon3   And All That Jazz: The History of a Great American Art Form

Leader – James Heazlewood-Dale 

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   This course explores the timeline of jazz, one of America’s greatest art forms. This is a listening focused class, so there is no requirement to have a background in music theory, only your ears and your ideas to discuss what you hear. The aim is to have a better understanding of where jazz came from, and learn about what the great jazz musicians did to explore and develop this medium. We will be listening to important recordings from throughout the different eras in jazz, and you will gain a better understanding of how jazz was born and developed throughout the 20th century. It will focus on the musicians who innovated the art form by focusing on selected recordings that encapsulate the exciting dimensions of this era. Each class will begin with a presentation on jazz’s evolving social context followed by lecture and discussion of the music itself. Topics will include early jazz, swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, jazz fusion and the great jazz vocalists. By listening to the recordings of some of the ‘greats’ like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and many more, we will be able to hear how each achieved their own unique approach to this important and influential art form.

Readings   The SGL will provide links to online articles and other resources.

Preparation Time   long8游戏Roughly 30-45 minutes per week.

Biography   Growing up in Australia, James discovered a passion for playing jazz double bass. He was accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium with a full scholarship. After receiving first class honors he relocated to Boston to study at Berklee School of Music and New England Conservatory on full scholarships. He has played with some of the world’s top jazz musicians such as Maria Schneider, Aaron Goldberg, Kurt Elling, Monty Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Donny McCaslin, George Garzone, Dave Douglas. He continues to be active in the Boston music scene. James is currently a PhD candidate at Brandeis University in musicology.

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 LIT4-10-Mon3   Desire, Deceit, and Dissipation in Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah

Leader – Hollie Harder

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

10 week course - September 14 - November 30

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

 Description   Why is Proust often called the greatest French novelist, comparable to England's Shakespeare or Spain's Cervantes or Argentina's Borges? How can Proust's seven-tome novel, which explores the seamy undersides of human existence, have the reputation of being a witty, enchanting, and philosophical book that lends readers a distinctive lens (a "Proustian lens") through which to see life in fundamentally new and innovative ways?”  In Sodom and Gomorrah, volume four of Proust's masterpiece, the kaleidoscopes of society, sexuality, and politics continue to turn and change shape, bringing titled aristocrats and ambitious members of the bourgeoisie into contact in previously unimaginable ways. Desire, regardless of its orientation, proves to be blinding; it instills fears and insecurities, and it pushes characters to commit acts of deep cruelty. Suffering lies at the heart of this volume, inflicted not only by jealousy and suspicion, but also by the seemingly irretrievable loss of time due to death, and by the dissipation and apparent silence of artistic creation. Tensions that grow from love and longing underscore the power of passion and highlight how, despite their differences, humans caught in the web of overwhelming emotion have much in common. The course is designed to accommodate first-time and experienced readers of Proust, and familiarity with the first three volumes is not assumed or required. The SGL will provide an overview of the preceding volumes (Swann's Way, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, and The Guermantes Way) before the first class.

Readings   Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust (volume 4 of In Search of Lost Time). Previous Proust classes have used the Carter edition (from Yale University Press), but the fourth volume has not yet been published. If it is not out by the fall, we will read the Modern Library edition.

Preparation Time   We will read and discuss 70-75 pages per week.

Biography   Hollie Harder is Professor of French and Francophone Studies (outside the tenure structure) at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She teaches all levels of French language, literature, and culture, and she is the Director of Language Programs in French and Italian in the Department of Romance Studies at Brandeis. Her most recent work on Marcel Proust is “On the Beach and in the Boudoir: Albertine as an Amazon Figure in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time,” published in French Forum, Fall 2019.

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 H&G12-5a-Mon3   What Caused World War II in Europe? Changing Historical Perspectives

Leader – Mark Seliber

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

5 week course - September 14 - October 26

     (No class September 28 or October 12)

Description   What were the main factors that caused the most widespread and destructive war in the history of the world to break out in Europe in 1939? Immediately after war’s end, this question was generally answered with two words: “Adolf Hitler.” But in the seven decades that have followed, much historical research and thought have led to a much more extensive and nuanced approach to this subject. Before the first class, we will each submit a short list of causes, based on our own knowledge and beliefs. We will discuss the compiled list and then be guided over the first four classes by British historian P.M.H. Bell’s book The Origins of the Second World War in Europe, which provides a comprehensive and balanced look at the roles of ideology, economic issues and foreign policy/military strategy. Each class will focus on a few of the possible causes, and the SGL will strongly encourage active participation and short reports by students. Then we will have a formal ranked vote of causes after the fourth class and summarize the results and form our conclusions during the last class.

Readings   The Origins of the Second World War in Europe long8游戏by PMH Bell, Pearson Education Limited, Third Edition, 2007.

Preparation Time   70 pages per week.

Biography   Mark Seliber received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics at Harvard College and a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University.  He worked for 35 years as an actuary, the last half of that time at MetLife.  Although math was his best subject in school, his favorite subject was always history.  Immediately after retiring 3 years ago, he and his wife Rachel joined BOLLI.  He has enjoyed many study groups here, in history and several other subjects and has appeared in the CAST and Scene-ior theatre productions.

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 ART6-5b-Mon3   Folk Art - Exploring Our Treasures

Leader – Margaret Mukherjee

Monday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

5 week course - November 2 - November 30

Description   What is folk art? What gives folk art its charm and us so much pleasure? How does folk art differ from fine arts? During our five week course we will endeavor to answer these questions by studying examples of tangible folk art as contrasted with intangible folk art forms such as music, dance and narratives. Through studying the design of individual pieces, we aim to learn more about their history and the cultural values they represent. We will look at some traditional pieces and consider how these forms may have changed over time; we will also examine emerging forms. The objects of our study will be American folk art as well as examples from parts of Europe and the Near East. These objects often represented cultural values and were passed lovingly within families and communities from generation to generation. The course will be organized according to the different media or material used to create a folk art object such as paper, yarn and fabric, wood and clay. Participants will be encouraged to share the history of their family treasures. It is anticipated that this course will increase our understanding of folk art as a reflection of its time, that is, its history and its values.

Readings   Readings and video materials will be available on a “Folk Art” Google site. These will consist of excerpts from both  articles and books, including publications from several folk art museums in the US. Photographs of folk art objects will be included.

Preparation Time   long8游戏Approximately 30-45 minutes of reading/viewing per week.

Biography   Margaret Mukherjee has a BS degree in Human Ecology from Cornell, an MA in Textiles, Clothing and Related Arts from Michigan State and a PhD in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University. She has had a long academic career in teaching here in the US and abroad in countries in Europe and Asia. On these visits and also on visits to family in India, she has had numerous opportunities to shop the local markets!

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