Van Gogh, Civil War, Volcanic Massifs Topics of Lifelong Learning Courses

Olivia DrakeAugust 24, 20115min
Wesleyan has been devoted to liberal learning since its founding in 1831. The Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning is the latest extension of this mission — a dedication to the improvement of human well-being by means of education throughout the course of life.

Enrollment for the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL) Fall 2011 semester is open.

WILL is chartered to provide educational opportunities outside of formal degree-granting programs to members of the broader community. WILL classes are taken for interest, not for credit. Classes are small with an informal atmosphere.

Faculty include Wesleyan faculty, emeriti faculty, and similarly qualified members of the community. The courses are short, intellectually-stimulating and lively.

The course offerings cover the arts, social sciences, literature, science and mathematics.

Six courses and one all-day program are included in the fall listing, which include: I Love a MysteryThe Paintings of Vincent van Gogh: Images for LifeDürer, Rembrandt, Picasso: Reconsidering the Masters at the Davison Art CenterShakespeare’s Cleopatra, Egypt’s Harlot Queen?Art and Geology of Old Volcanic Massifs in Connecticut” People don’t do such things!”-Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Civil War Narratives Come Alive.

In the course, The Paintings of Vincent van Gogh, students will explore the artist's radical change of style in Paris and Arles.

The one-day program, Civil War Narratives, will give particular attention to the engagement of Middletown and Connecticut residents in that epic struggle—on the battlefield and on the homefront. The afternoon will be spent on a guided tour of sites in Middletown of significance to the war. The program will be taught by Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, professor of American studies, emeritus at Wesleyan; David Naumec museum consultant and adjunct history instructor; Dione Longley, former director of the Middlesex County Historical Society in Middletown; Deborah Shapiro, executive director of the Middlesex County Historical Society; and Peter “Buck” Zaidel, collector of Civil War objects and images.

Karl Scheibe, director of the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, is overseeing the institute.

Enrolled students will have access to the academic resources of Wesleyan, including Olin Library. Classes, which cost between $50 and $130, are conveniently scheduled in the afternoons and early evenings.

Most courses will be held in the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty on Lawn Avenue. For more information on the program, e-mail or call 860-685-3005.