Skip to Main Content
CWRU Links
Siegal Lifelong Learning

Literature + Writing

Literature + Writing

Sundays, January 14-March 4 | 5:00-6:30 p.m.


Joseph Jacoby, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


It would be fun and instructive to sample several of the flood of outstanding books written by women in recent years. We begin with Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, a study of a formidable but flawed New England woman. We continue with the remarkably original voice of Penelope Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Gates of Angels, set in 1913 Cambridge, England. We conclude with Ann Patchett's Commonwealth, a fascinating work based on her own family.  Books: Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge, Penelope Fitzgerald, The Gates of Angels, and Ann Patchett, Commonwealth


Private Residence, 13803 Cormere Ave., Cleveland | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Mondays, January 15-March 5 | 1-2:30 p.m.

Charlene Mileti, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Maurizio Viroli brings to life the fascinating writer of THE PRINCE, "who was the founder of modern political thought. Niccolò Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are classics, but Viroli sugggest's that his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of life -- his deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as a modern citizen in a republic, as a responsible family member, as a good person. On these subjects Machiavelli wrote no books: the text of his philosophy is his life itself, a life that was filled with paradox, uncertainty, and tragic drama."

Book: Maurizio Viroli (trans. Anthony Shugar), Niccolo's Smile: A Biography of Machiavellii; Niccolo Machiavellii, The Prince


Gates Mills Community House | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Tuesdays, January 16-March 5 | 10-11:30 a.m.

Terry Meehan, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Three of the top espionage writers of the mid-twentieth century were well acquainted with the secret world of spycraft. Both Ian Fleming and John le Carré were spooks for British Intelligence, while Len Deighton lived next door to Anna Wolkoff a Nazi mole whose arrest he witnessed. Three of their best novels have been adapted to the screen, resulting in movies that are highly regarded by audiences, critics and even grumpy ex-spies.

We will begin with a lively discussion of the novel itself followed by a screening of its film adaptation. Then we’ll take a close look at how successfully the filmmaker transformed the book’s ideas and characters into cinema.

Books and Movies: Ian Fleming, From Russia with Love, Film directed by Terence Young (1963); Len Deighton, The Ipcress File, Film directed by Sidney J. Furie (1965); John le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Film directed by Martin Ritt (1965)


Rocky River Public Library | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, January 16-March 6 | 1–2:30 p.m.

Joseph Jacoby, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


In this book discussion course, participants examine English novelists who are profoundly interested in issues of ethics and morality. Iris Murdoch's classic work examines a group of well-intentioned, but muddled idealists in the Gloucestershire countryside. The past collides with the present in Julian Barnes' novel about the tragic death of an intimate friend. Ian McEwan's newly published novel explores the clash of religious and secular world views in the law courts of contemporary London.

Books: The Bell, I. Murdoch; The Sense of an Ending, J. Barnes; The Children Act, I. McEwan


Private Residence: 6814 Rosemont Ave., Brecksville 44141 | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Wednesdays, January 17-February 28 | 1–3 p.m.


Linda Tuthill, Instructor in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


We will examine different genres of nonfiction, with its great range of possibilities, and write in response to assigned reading. Participants share work in class and receive constructive feedback. Newcomers are welcome.


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $90; Nonmembers: $110 | REGISTER > 

Thursdays, January 18-March 8 | 10-11:30 a.m.


Pamela Belknap, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Two new biographies present fresh, contemporary perspectives on hero Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine, who was indispensable to his life and important to Great Britain. Discuss their unique personalities, fascinating marriage, and critical contributions to their nation. Compare and contrast with the lives of the Roosevelts.

Books: Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History; Sonia Purnell, Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill


Middleburg Heights United Church of Christ | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, January 18-March 1 | 1–3 p.m.

Linda Tuthill, Instructor in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


Poet Gregory Orr writes: And words, words / In a poem or song / Aren’t they a stream / On which your feelings float? On poetry afternoons the words of our poems become a stream through sharing. Bring 15 copies of a poem you have written to the first session. Newcomers are welcome. 


St. Paul's Episcopal Church | Lifelong Learning Members: $90; Nonmembers: $110 | REGISTER >


Mondays, January 22-March 12 | 10:30-noon

Barbara Greenberg, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Jodi Picoult’s novel Small Great Things focuses on racial tensions in a small hospital that flood out into the larger community. Using this book as our central theme, our classes will discuss the wide range of discrimination in our country today, and whether legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, has made any difference in America up to now and what the implications are for the future. Are we the same as we were?

Book: Jodi Picoult, Small Great Things


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Wednesdays, January 31-April 18 | 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Wednesdays, January 31-March 7
Through a combination of close reading, critical analysis, and research inquiry, the class will navigate a rigorous exploration of what makes The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark – a play over four hundred years old – the enduring drama that it is?
In short, we’ll consider Hamlet not only as a literary text but also as a vital dramatic script, one crafted with language and theatrical action to challenge and thrill a socially and economically diverse audience. To this end – in addition to extensive reading – the course will critically examine a number of film adaptations of Shakespeare’s work.
INSTRUCTOR: John Orlock, Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities, Department of English, Case Western Reserve University

No classes March 13, 14, 15 – CWRU Spring Break

Wednesdays, March 21-April 18
This course will be a quick and tuneful survey of the music of the 1960s. We’ll look at some of the major trends, figures, and themes to arise in pop music while the Baby Boomers were coming of age, and explore everything from the hysteria of the British Invasion to the tragedy at Altamont.
INSTRUCTOR: Daniel Goldmark, Professor of Music, Case Western Reserve University


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $115; Nonmembers: $135 | REGISTER >