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A – Epic Poetry: The Iliad

       Mondays, 10 AM – Noon | April 1 – May 20 | ZOOM

       Leader: Don Melander | Facilitator: Alice Nye

Because Glenn Stuart is doing The History of Troilus and Cressida in his Shakespeare course this term, we are offering this epic poetry course, even though Troilus and Cressida appear only as minor characters in The Iliad. (I use Richmond Lattimore’s translation, but any translation you choose will be fine for the course).

Don Melander is a Professor of English Emeritus at New England College, where he served as a professor of literature and humanities for over 50 years, including 3 English courses per year for 8 years in NEC’s AA and BA programs at the NH State Prison, and did stints as Director of the British Campus in Arundel, Sussex, Coordinator of the Arts, Literature, and Theatre Collegium, Curriculum Committee Chair, and VPAA. He holds a PhD in American Literature from Syracuse University.

B – Shakespeare: Richard III and The History of Troilus and Cressida

        Tuesdays, 1:30 – 3:30 PM | April 2 – May 21

        Location: Baker Free Library in Bow.

        Instructor: Glenn Stuart | Facilitator: Don Melander

Gregory Doran’s casting of Arthur Hughes in the role of Richard III in the Royal Shakespeare’s 2022 production marks the first time that company cast an actor with a disability in that role. In 2022 Gregg Mozgala, the artistic director of the Apothetae (who also happens to have multiple sclerosis) commissioned Michael Lew to write a modern adaptation of Richard III. Mozgala had already determined that the play be entitled Teenage Dick and was to be set in a modern-day American high school. Further, he stipulated that the play would feature two actors with disabilities (himself and Shannon DeVito). In the first 5 weeks of class, we will screen Doran’s production as well as the 1995 feature film starring Ian McKellen. Also, we will read Teenage Dick. Central to our discussions of the play will be questions raised regarding language and attitudes regarding disability. In the final weeks, we will turn our attention to Troilus and Cressida, variously regarded as a history, a tragedy, a comedy, a problem play, a romance, or all or none of the above. We will screen the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2018 post-apocalyptic production of this enigmatic and deeply troubling play.

Glenn Stuart is a Professor of Theatre Emeritus at New England College, where he taught for 38 years, designed 125 theatre and dance productions, and was founding director of the Open Door Theatre for which he designed and directed 20 productions, including King Lear, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, As you Like It, The Tempest, and The Taming of the Shrew.  He holds an MA in Theatre from the State University of New York, Albany, where he studied with Roger Herzel, Jack Burian, and Judith Barlow.

C – Ethics in Economics

        Tuesdays, 4:30 – 6:30 PM | April 2 – May 21 | ZOOM

        Instructor: Ali Reza Jalili | Facilitator: Amanda Marsh

This course focuses on the relationship between ethics and economics. Commonly, economics is thought to be a value-free subject squarely based on rational calculations. In this course, we will explore and challenge that idea. I argue that all economic assumptions, models, and recommendations, consciously or subconsciously, are based on some ethical framework.  Understanding this point enables us to be more careful about our economic policies, ranging from fair wages to welfare and environmental policies.

Ali Reza Jalili is a Professor of Business a New England College. Dr. Jalili earned a BS in accounting and finance from College of Accountancy and Finance in Tehran, Iran, an MBA from James Madison University, an MA in economics from UNH, an MSA concentrating in risk management from Bentley University, and a PhD in business economics from UNH. He has over thirty years teaching experience at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels specializing in business economics and experimental/behavior economics.

D – The Novel Reading Group

       Wednesdays, 1:30 – 3:30 PM | April 3 and May 1

       Leader and Facilitator: John McCausland

       Location: Tucker Free Library in Henniker

This discussion group meets throughout the year on the first Wednesday of each month. We are discussing books selected from Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize lists: works written in English and published in the UK or Ireland, formerly by Commonwealth authors but now globally. New members are welcome to join this on-going group any time. The April choice is Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist (1974), and the May choice is William Golding’s Rites of Passage (1980).

John McCausland has taught LINEC courses on the Bible, Chaucer, and the American novel. An Episcopal priest and one-time lawyer, he loves history, literature, theology, teaching, and learning.

E – How the Mountains Grew, a sequel to and an update on John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World

      Wednesdays, 1:30 – 3:30 PM | April 10 – 24 & May 8 – 22 and beyond

       Leader: Paul Hague | Facilitator: Don Melander

       Location: ZOOM

In this geology course, we will read and discuss John Dvorak’s How the Mountains Grew: A New Geological History of North America, Pegasus Boks, 2022. John McPhee wrote and published his essays on geology, originally in the New Yorker, during the 1980s and 1990s. Although he is not a geologist, he spent two decades traveling generally East to West on I-80 and learning from geologists how North America was formed (long before it was North America). John Dvorak does not discuss McPhee’s great book, but for those of us who know McPhee’s work, Dvorak provides an excellent sequel consisting of what geologists have learned in the last two decades. We will start our discussions on the dates listed above and, if necessary, continue and conclude them as long as it takes after the Spring Term has ended.

Paul Hague is a retired geologist who spent many years conducting geophysical surveys to illuminate what lies beneath. An avid reader, he always has a book going, sometimes two or three. He first joined LINEC in the early 2000s and, believe it or not, taught a course on Joyce’s Ulysses. He’s also a film buff and is always eager to learn something new and to satisfy a curious and skeptical mind.

F – Gouverneur Morris: The Most Interesting Founding Father

      Thursdays, 10 AM – Noon | April 11 – May 9

      Location: Hopkinton Town Library in Contoocook

      Instructor: Dick Hesse | Facilitator: Don Melander

A 23-year-old aristocrat, Gouverneur Morris was called upon to frame the New York Constitution separating it from England. He served as liaison to General Washington in defending New York against the British Army. He proved to be the best writer and thinker in the Continental Congress and developed a plan to save the Army from disintegration. There’s more! Morris worked on a plan to finance the Revolution, became the most outspoken member of the Constitutional Convention, and wrote the final draft of the Constitution. He would live another active 25 years including experiencing the French Revolution. Oh, and by the way, he was a notorious ladies’ man.

Dick Hesse is a retired lawyer and law professor who holds a master’s degree in American History. He has presented history courses for the NH Humanities Council, LINEC, OLLI and AIL over the past 40 years.

G – Philosophy 101

      Thursdays, 1:30 – 3:30 PM | April 4 – May 23 | ZOOM

       Leader: Lisa Melander | Facilitator: Don Melander

We will continue to respond to philosophers and the philosophies we encounter in our ongoing reading of Paul Kleinman’s book Philosophy 101: from Plato and Socrates to Ethics and Metaphysics, an essential Primer on the History of Thought and Tom Butler-Bowdon’s book 50 Philosophy Classics. We will encounter hedonism, Aquinas (again), “hard determinism,” Rousseau, Realism, Kant, Bentham & Berlin, Bohm and Butler, Chomsky and Cicero, Confucius and Cicero.  “Maybe”—a good philosophical word.

Lisa M. Melander holds a BA in philosophy from NEC, where she was a student of the late R. Peter Sylvester, and an M.Ed in education from Plymouth State U. She has served as a 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teacher in public and private schools. Lisa was a math coach mentoring teachers and developing math intervention/enrichment programs for several schools. In recent years, Lisa has designed and taught professional development courses for educators and worked with school districts on curriculum mapping. Currently, she works as a math tutor. Her teaching has been richly informed by her studies of philosophy and poetry.

H – In Darwin’s Footsteps

      Thursdays, 4:30 – 6:30 PM | April 4 – 25 | ZOOM

       Instructor: Eric Simon | Facilitator: Amanda Marsh

This course serves as a companion to a journey to the Galapagos Islands to be led by Eric from May 19 to 28 but anyone is welcome to participate (whether traveling or not). The first hour of each two-hour meeting will be spent discussing the travels and ideas of Charles Darwin, with particular emphasis on his theory of evolution by natural selection as originally revealed by his time visiting the Galapagos in the 1830s. This hour is of general interest to any learner. The second hour will be spent discussing logistical details of the trip and so is appropriate only for those participating in the trip. No prior knowledge or experience of biology or evolutionary theory is presumed.

Eric Simon, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Biology and Health Science at New England College, where he teaches introductory biology, human biology, and tropical marine biology. Dr. Simon has also taught a series of international travel courses, including field trips to Belize, the Galapagos, Tanzania, Cuba, the Amazon River, and Patagonia. Dr. Simon received a BA in biology and computer science and an MA in biology from Wesleyan University and a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard University; and he is the author of a widely used series of college textbooks with over 2 million books in print that help teach biology in over 40 countries. He also enjoys teaching adult online learners at LINEC.

I – The Films of Ingmar Bergman

     Fridays, 10 – noonish or so | April 5 – May 24 and beyond

      Location: Baker Free Library in Bow

      Leader: Don Melander | Facilitator: Paul Hague

Like Akira Kurosawa, the great auteur Ingmar Bergman’s films are difficult to watch, because of both their psychological depth and their being spoken in Swedish, so that we have to read subtitles while watching cinematically intense black and white movies. We will screen 13 Bergman films: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Virgin Sprins (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1963), The Silence (1963), Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), The Serpent’s Egg (1977), and The Magic Flute (1975 in color). If Scenes from a Marriage (1974) and Fanny and Alexander (1982) are available on TV, we may add these movies to the list. Before starting this course, you may wish to screen Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), which is available on YouTube.

Don Melander developed and taught a course at NEC called “Literature as Film, Film as Literature”. In the 1980s, he and a colleague in history team-taught period courses in American culture in which they explored the possibilities of using movies as cultural “texts”. During the last decade of his career at NEC, he taught the film course for the Communications program.