OFF CAMPUS STUDIES

Off-Campus Studies is a CWRU Laura & Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program offered in collaboration with ACE.

It began in 1947 as Living Room Learning, developed by Grazella Shepherd at Cleveland College who encouraged the Women’s Association, predecessor of ACE, to help design and promote classes.

The program features discussion-based courses based on common reading. Courses are 8 weeks long and meet for 90 minutes once per week in locations throughout Greater Cleveland, extending to Lake, Summit, and Lorain counties. Classes meet in homes, libraries, community buildings, retirement communities, and churches.

There are no written assignments or exams; rather the classes provide an open environment for lively discussion based on meaningful examination of shared texts. Leader-Teachers facilitate the discussion and provide academic background and context.

Off-Campus Studies is unique among continuing education programs because it is organized in collaboration with its participants. Designated Class Coordinators volunteer to serve as the liaison between the office and the study groups. The discussion groups select the courses with the help of the Class Coordinator and the office. Participation is open to everyone and groups welcome new members with enthusiasm.  Participants are responsible for securing their own books.

The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program welcomes the formation of new groups. Please call 216-368-2090 if you would like to establish a study group in your neighborhood. Sessions require a minimum of ten participants.

Check out the full list of Fall Off-Campus Studies below.

Off-Campus Studies Eastside

A Decade of Turmoil and Transition: The 1960s

Instructor:

Jim Lane

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

Put on your bell-bottoms and grab your granny glasses, tie-dyes and beads!  Let’s do a little back-to-the-future time travel to the seminal decade of the 1960s. Utilizing a compilation of articles originally published in the New Yorker, we will re-examine the confrontations over civil rights, economics, Vietnam, and lifestyles.  We will review the tragedies of the all too common assassinations and the problems and promises of psychedelics and protests. We will re-experience the highs of Telstar and Apollo 11 and the lows of poverty in The Other America and of the damage echoed in The Silent Spring.  And we will review our fascination with the entertainment and cultural icons of the era.

Book:

The 60s: The Story Of A Decade, The New Yorker (Henry Finder, editor)

When:

Sundays, September 17-November 5

5-6:30 p.m.

Location:

Private Residence, 13803 Cormere Ave., Cleveland

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Alfred Hitchcock: The Stories Behind the Suspense 

Instructor:

Terry Meehan

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

We will examine three of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and their literary sources. The written work will be discussed first, followed by a screening and discussion of the film adaptation.

Books: J. Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps

P. Highsmith, Strangers on a Train

C. Woolrich, Rear Window

When:

Mondays, September 18-November 6

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Location:

Gates Mills Community Room

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

Writers of the Harlem Renaissance

Instructor: 

Nancy Fleming

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

The Harlem Renaissance was a period between 1917 and 1933 when Harlem became a center for Black literature, music, and art.  Writers addressed diverse issues such as the importance of a Black intelligentsia, radicalism, identity, interactions between Black and Whites, biracialism, and whether to embrace folk tradition.  These issues will be explored in the selected readings.

Book:

The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader, David Levering Lewis, Editor, Penguin Books

When:

Tuesdays, September 26-November 14

7:30-9 p.m.

Location:

First Unitarian Church

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

Winston and Clementine Churchill

Instructor:

Pamela Belknap

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

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

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Location:

Landmark Centre Building

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

CONTEMPORARY FEMININE VOICES

Instructor: 

Joseph Jacoby

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

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

Ann Patchett, Commonwealth

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

10:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Location:

Breckenridge Village

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

Creating the Panama Canal 

Instructor:

Stanford Sarlson

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

The building of the Panama Canal was one of the twentieth century’s biggest engineering projects and  great triumphs.  A dream of centuries, the failed attempt rocked France to its very foundations, created a new country, The Republic of Panama, and put the United States on a role of global involvement. The story of its building is more dramatic and far-reaching than most people can imagine. David McCullough’s book is more absorbing than a novel and tells the whole story brilliantly.

Book:

D. McCullough, The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

When:

Fridays, September 22-November 10

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Location:

Judson Park

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Living the Law

Instructor:

Barbara Greenberg

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

Using the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights as our text, each class focuses on these treasured words and related landmark United States Supreme Court cases to illustrate how the decisions affect our daily lives.  As our laws are fluid, current events and cases bring additional connection to these historic documents and their words.

Material: United States Constitution, Bill of Rights

When:

Mondays, September 18-November 6

10:30 a.m.-noon

Location:

South Franklin Circle

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register 

 

The Right to Privacy

Instructor:

Barbara Greenberg

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

There is a continuing conflict between individual rights and those of the community for public safety, security and health and welfare.  As well, issues of personal choice are in conflict with the first amendment issues of free speech and religion.  The United States Supreme Court has spoken on some issues and others are to be decided.  We will look at the areas of most recent concern: technology, public health, and personal and family issues.  Our discussions will include a review of decisions from the United States Supreme Court involving these areas and the Bill of Rights which gives us the basis for our right to privacy.

Material: U.S. Bill of Rights

When:

Tuesdays, September 19-November 7

2:oo-3:30 p.m.

Location:

Judson Manor

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

Little Known Stories of The Great War

Instructor:

Stanford Sarlson

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

The First World War was the forerunner of all modern wars.  Many inventions saw their first use in this war and, all but poison gas, became common usage forever more in all future wars.  They all have interesting stories, which this course will explore.  Additionally, the failed Gallipoli campaign, the forerunner of grand global strategies, will also be discussed. This war, arguably never ended, but just slumbered, only to start up again in 1939.

Books:

Erik Larson, Dead Wake

Diana Preston, A Higher Form of Killing

excerpts from David Butler’s Lusitania and Barbara Tuchman’s The Zimmerman Telegram

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

10:oo-11:30 a.m.

Location:

Cleveland Skating Club

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Small Jazz Combos

Instructor:

George Havens

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

Historically, jazz started with small jazz groups and they had a major innovative role in the evolution of jazz over the past 100 years. Major contributors ranged from Jelly Roll Morton to Miles Davis.

Material: Recorded examples and reference booklets

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

10:30 a.m.-noon

Location:

Hamlet Village Clubhouse

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register 

 

 

Presidential Past Tense 

Instructor:

Jim Lane

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

What can we learn from the lives of former chief executives? What challenges did they face? How did they react to those challenges? What goals and programs did they attempt to establish? How did they succeed or fail? What were their personalities like and what shortcomings plagued them? What qualities of leadership did they possess or lack? Two authors explore how several former Chief Executives faced the tensions of a new Cold War world, numerous assassinations, Civil Rights strife and success, a new war in Asia, dissent at home, and the meltdown of their hopes and dreams.

Books:

Clint Hill, Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford

Chris Whipple, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs f Staff Define Every Presidency

When:

Fridays, September 22-November 10

10:30 a.m.-noon

Location:

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register 

 

 

 

Off-Campus Studies Westside

Elizabeth I: Pirate Queen and Spymaster

Instructor:

Betty Zak

Description:

The Vatican and others called her a Pirate Queen and a master of spies as she transformed England into an imposing empire. Discover her power and intrigue, her swashbuckling mariners who terrorized the seas and the brilliance of a spymaster who exploited double agents, deciphered codes and laid a foundation for international espionage.

Books:

Susan Ronald, The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire

Stephen Budiansky, Her Majesty’s Spymaster.

When: Mondays, 10:00- 11:30 a.m.

September 18- November 9

Location: Bay United Methodist Church

Pricing:

Members: $82

Nonmembers: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

In Search of the Sacred In India

Instructor:

Joe Konen

Description:

This course provides an opportunity for participants to sample the rich and varied religious traditions and expressions across the geography and history of India by reading William Dalrymple, whose essays take us to hidden corners of the vast Indian landscape to meet “modest souls seldom mentioned in the headlines” but whose lives embody some of the many threads that make up the tapestry of India’s religions.  Book: William Dalrymple, Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

When:

Tuesdays, 10:00- 11:30 a.m.

September 19- November 7

Location: Lakewood Methodist Church

Pricing:

Members: $82

Nonmembers: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Alexander Hamilton: Founding Father 

Instructor: 

Jim Van Horn

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

“Illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, aide-de-camp to Washington, battlefield hero, member of the Constitutional Convention, leading author of The Federalist Papers, head of the Federalist Party, first treasury secretary who created our tax and budget systems, Customs Service, Coast Guard, and central bank  “….(he) figures prominently in almost every major political episode of late eighteenth century America.”  Author Ron Chernow offers us the opportunity to explore and discuss the impact of this amazing individual on his times and the formation of this new nation.  Book: R. Chernow, Alexander Hamilton

When:

Tuesdays, September 19-November 7

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Location:

Starr House

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

THE MOONSTONE: A MASTERPIECE MYSTERY

Instructor:

Cheryl Wires

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description: 

T.S. Eliot praised The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins as “the first…and the best of modern English detective novels.” Literary critics concur, crediting Collins, along with Edgar Allan Poe, with creating the detective genre. The moonstone, a sacred diamond stolen from an Indian shrine and bequeathed to a beautiful young woman, mysteriously disappears from her English country house. Collins, writing in 1868, developed a number of elements, which have become popular conventions in contemporary detective fiction.

Books: Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone; Andre Lycett, Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation, selected chapters

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Where:

Middleburg Heights Church

Pricing: 

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

CONTEMPORARY FEMININE VOICES

Instructor: 

Joseph Jacoby

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

It would be fun and instructive to sample several of the flood of outstanding bookswritten 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

Ann Patchett, Commonwealth

When:

Mondays, September 18-November 6

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Location:

Rocky River Public Library

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

Anne Tyler: Teller of Tales

Instructor:

Phyllis Asnien

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Tyler has written “I am addicted to the sensation of living lives I would not experience in reality.”  The author’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is a funny, wise tale of a family who keeps trying to get it “right.”  Tyler’s twentieth novel, A Spool of Blue Thread, is an example of her quirky, crackling wit.

Books:

Anne Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and A Spool of Blue Thread

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

10-11:30 a.m.

 

Location:

Westlake United Methodist Church

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Off-Campus Studies Southside   

Shining a Light on the Poor White Underclass

Instructor:

Barbara Parr

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

A spotlight on the white underclass recently has produced several new books on the topic.  We will read and discuss the memoir of young JD Vance, which has hit the NYT best- seller list.  Moving back in time, we will discuss the mid-20th century experiences of Jeannette Walls.  Both Vance and Walls were born and raised in the depths of profound poverty and family dysfunction.  Both explore the causes and consequences of being part of the American underclass.  Finally, we will revisit the iconic novel, Huck Finn, a troubling and important book, which is written in the vocabulary and syntax of the uneducated son of the town drunk.  Each of these books will allow us to examine a part of our American society that has, until recently, been largely ignored.

Books:

JD Vance, Hillbilly Elegy 

Jeannette Walls, Glass Castles

Mark Twain, Huck Finn

When:

Tuesdays, September 19-November 7

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Location:

Brecksville United Church of Christ

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes

Instructor:

Nancy Fleming

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes are two of the most talented writers of the Harlem Renaissance.  Their writings still resonate and inspire.  A novel and a selection of short stories by Hurston will be read as well as short stories and poems by Hughes.

Books:

Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Complete Short Stories, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008

Langston Hughes, The Ways of White Folks, Vintage Classics 1990.  (Langston Hughes’ poems provided by Leader-Teacher)

When:

Tuesdays, September 26-November 14

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Location:

Private Residence, 6814 Rosemont Ave., Brecksville

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

America and the Holocaust: Lost Opportunities

Instructor:

Sol Factor

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

In the years 1933 to 1945, America failed to become the haven for those attempting to escape from Nazi persecution. The State Department, under Breckinridge Long, used numerous tactics to avoid granting visas to those most desperate.  Antisemitism was prevalent both in the government and among the American people. The American press, in many cases, either hid news stories emanating from Germany on back pages and featured them only when it was impossible to hide the news. In 1944, the government finally established the War Refugee Board. Using Deborah Lipstadt’s book, we will examine the actions and inactions of the government under FDR toward the plight of the Jews of Europe. This is no simple story as the economy, the government and even Jewish groups in the U.S. all played a part in this story of inaction.

Book: D. Lipstadt, Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945

When:

Wednesdays, September 20-November 8

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Location:

Rosemont Country Club

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register

 

 

Winston and Clementine Churchill 

Instructor:

Pamela Belknap

Leader-Teacher, Off Campus Studies

Description:

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

When:

Thursdays, September 21-November 9

1:30-3:00 p.m.

Location:

Laurel Lake Community Room

Pricing:

Member cost: $82

Nonmember cost: $97

Click Here To Register