My head is full of ideas when I leave this class; I can’t wait to come back next week.

Evergreen Forum: Spring 2021 Course List

Evergreen Forum corporate sponsors for Spring 2021:
Capital Health, Homewatch CareGivers,
NightingaleNJ Eldercare Navigators,
Penn Medicine Princeton Health & Home Health,
and Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law

Second (or more) course registration open on January 19

Courses begin the week of February 22

REGISTER HERE

If the course of your choice is full, please add your name to our waitlist.

Request to be added to the waitlist here.

DOWNLOAD OUR NEW ONLINE PRINTABLE BROCHURE HERE

(Click on course title for full course description)

THE ADMINISTRATION OF DONALD J. TRUMP: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY?

Leader: Stanley Katz
Fridays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

How are we to understand the historical significance of the Trump presidency? To what extent should the Trump administration be understood as an evolution of the traditional Republican Party? Or was Trump simply a disrupter of tradition, soon to be ignored by the Party? To what extent did Trump change the international role of the United States from that of international hegemon to that of an island fortress? Can we yet tell what Trump’s political legacy will be?


ADVENTURES IN GEOLOGY, AND MORE

Leader: Lincoln Hollister
Thursdays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

This class has four units which are based on the recounting of adventures while achieving scientific objectives. The first unit will be on the discovery of a new form of matter, the quasicrystal, as described in the book The Second Kind of Impossible by Paul Steinhardt. The second unit will be on the Apollo explorations of the moon with emphasis on the study of the moon rocks at Princeton. The third will be on the formation of continental crust in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. The fourth unit will be on the origin of the Himalayas, based on geologic studies in the Kingdom of Bhutan.


BOGIE: THE ACTOR AND THE ICON

Leader: Judith Walzer
Wednesdays: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The course will review several of Humphrey Bogart’s films: the characters he played, his development into a major film presence, his effect on the cinema of his time, and his position as an iconic figure in our popular culture. The course will focus on his life, his personality, his acting, and his role as an admirable hero, even while playing tough and/or bad characters. How did moviegoers respond to him and what did this reveal about our times? The course will focus on discussion of memories and perceptions as well as the “readings” of the films.


CHURCHILL, ROOSEVELT, AND STALIN: THE WAR THEY FOUGHT AND THE PEACE THEY SOUGHT

Leader: Lloyd Gardner
Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

There is never-ending interest in the problematic World War II Alliance that defeated the Axis Powers. How did it come about? It was certainly not inevitable after the turmoil of the 1930s, and the suspicion of those “appeasement” years. The Big Three and their aides worked out temporary political solutions while managing a multi-front war. This course will examine both its successes and failures. After victory, was the Cold War inevitable? The course will look into all these questions.


COSMOLOGY

Leader: Matias Zaldarriaga
Fridays: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

This series of lectures/seminars will describe ongoing research in cosmology and astrophysics being done at the Institute for Advanced Study. The course will use elementary physics and mathematics.


EXPLORING CULTURE AND VALUES WITH SHORT MODERN ESSAYSWAITLIST

Leader: Susan Matson
Tuesdays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Using Best American Essays of 2017, the annually celebrated series by Houghton-Mifflin, students will explore wide-ranging topics of personal and social significance—from the beginning of the universe to the aftermath of suicide, smokers’ rights, how pornography does or does not advance women’s interests, and more. A goal will be not only to articulate one’s own opinions and better understand why we think as we do—but also to be open to perspectives different from our own: “Thinking is not to agree or disagree: that is voting” (Robert Frost). Ground rules: be civil, think critically, appreciate!


EXPLORING THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN ART

Leader: Linda Hayes of the Princeton University Art Museum
Fridays: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Using the Princeton University Art Museum’s extensive holdings as a backdrop, docents from the museum will examine different ways artists over time and across cultures have depicted the great outdoors. Each session will have a particular focus: seascapes, cityscapes, gardens, mountains, and celestial art. One session will be devoted exclusively to sculpture. Each class will begin with a docent presentation followed by small group discussions.


EXPLORING THEMATIC ELEMENTS IN SHORT STORIES

Leader: Gretna Wilkinson
Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

With seminar-style analytic discussions, this course will explore key elements in short stories by examining texts in the light of various literary, social, psychological, and other thematic contexts. Writers to be covered include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jamaica Kincaid, James Baldwin, John Updike, Shirley Jackson, Alice Walker, Edgar Allen Poe, and Kate Chopin.


FROM THE DARK AGES TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT: 1000 YEARS OF GREAT ART; 750 AD TO 1750 AD

Leader: Wendy Worth
Tuesdays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The evolution of art has never been as exciting as in the thousand years between 750 AD and 1750 AD. What has been referred to as the Dark Ages is really a progression of light in various mediums: architecture, from fortress-like churches to buildings of stained glass and arched ceilings filled with luminescence; paintings, from the flat frescos to paintings in oil capturing 3-dimensional space and psychological themes; from flat gold leaf portraits of saints to perspective laden landscapes and awe-inspiring religious themes and portraits. The course will follow this path from Giotto and his intense blue heavens, Van Eyck’s careful compositions, Botticelli’s beautiful women, through Leonardo’s dreamy images, and Caravaggio’s decadent paintings. Also covered will be the frosty landscapes of Bruegel, intellectual representations of Rembrandt, a peek into Vermeer’s intimate rooms, and the indulgent themes of the Rococo masters like Watteau. This class will offer a stimulating journey through a thousand years of inspiring art.


GLOBAL CHANGES: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Leader: Anne Soos
Mondays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

In this science-oriented class we will discuss the following topics: evidence of climate change, what determines climate, the earth in the past, the growth and demographics of the human population, global warming and ocean acidification, the loss of biodiversity, global change and social justice issues, and the politics of climate change denial. Classes will consist of lectures, discussions, suggested readings, and occasional videos. A well-regarded environmental science textbook will be recommended to students wanting to learn more than is covered during class. This book is available electronically.


GREAT DECISIONS WAITLIST

Leaders: Karen Coates and David Redman
Tuesdays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

A roundtable discussion course centered on eight important issues of American foreign policy as selected by The Foreign Policy Association:

The Role of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
Global Supply Chains and National Security
China and Africa
The Korean Peninsula
Persian Gulf Security
Brexit and the European Union
The Fight Over the Melting Arctic
The End of Globalization?

Each class will be set up with a number of opening questions, followed by robust group discussion, moderated by the co-facilitators. A final, ninth session will provide an opportunity for the class to summarize themes and implications and draw some over-arching conclusions. Basic information on each topic will come from the Great Decisions briefing book, supplemented by other materials. Most importantly the course will rely on the unique life experiences and perspectives of class members. The facilitators may occasionally be able to engage an outside expert on one of the topics to help frame the issues.

Important Note: This course is accompanied by Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decision Booklets. Due to the pandemic, PSRC will not be distributing the booklets and recommends that participants order them directly from the FPA: https://www.fpa.org/great_decisions/?act=gd_materials.


THE GREAT WAR, WHICH CAME TO BE KNOWN AS WORLD WAR I

Leader: Robert Nolan
Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

World War I was a paradox. People called it “Great” although it brought unimaginable loss. Empires toppled and societies reeled as dim leaders and woeful generals accepted staggering amounts of dying and killing “to preserve national honor.” The strongest nation in postwar Europe had lost the War, so victors created a “peaceful” League of Nations as a counterbalancing military alliance. This “Old World” War spawned revolution, and from it the Communist bloc, the modern Middle East, America’s international primacy, and World War II emerged. When understood, World War I is fascinating. This course will do its bit to make it so.


HUMAN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS — CANCELLED

Leader: Myra Weiner
Mondays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

This course will examine six of the world’s worst man-made disasters caused by companies due to human error, expediency, saving money, and other reasons. The class will review the historical background details, the health and environmental effects, the legal responsibility to victims, and ramifications and changes to regulations due to the key disasters. Chemical toxicity to humans and environmental species will be detailed. The disasters include Love Canal (USA); Minamata Bay (Japan); Seveso (Italy); Bhopal (India); Deep Water Horizon (USA) and Chernobyl (Russia), all occurring in the last seventy-five years. No knowledge of science is required.


JAMES JOYCE’S ULYSSES WAITLIST

Leader: Lee Harrod
Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

This course will be an interactive journey through the 20th century’s greatest novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses. The course will combine lecture, discussion, and performance to bring alive the joy, humor, pathos, and art of this lovesong to human nature.


MORE PLAYS OFF THE PAGE: RICHARD II

Leader: Barbara Herzberg
Wednesdays: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Traditionally, this course is meant to be “stand-up and let’s act it out according to how the Globe was set up.” To adapt to Zoom, it will be a discussion/close reading/and try-to-act-it-out course, where parts will be assigned in advance so that participants will be able to give their best interpretations. The class will attempt to mimic the dimensions and shape of the Globe Theater in order to imagine what Shakespeare may have had in mind when he wrote it. This play was chosen because its language, imagery, and characterizations are astounding, and because it has less action than some of the other histories. (In fact, Richard calls off the tournament in the first act.) The course strives to bring this wonderful piece to life on Zoom; and to encounter this play from the INSIDE rather than from the outside as with critical comment and round-the-table talk.

Richard II is one of Shakespeare’s most beautiful and insightful plays about power, rightful rule, and who should have it. (Text will be a Folger Library mass media text: ISBN to follow.)


PEOPLE AND STORIES: THE POWER OF WORDS WAITLIST

Leader: Ellen Gilbert
Tuesdays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

“The values and principles that sustain our civilization are under siege. If we listen to another person’s story, if we tell our own story, we start to heal from division and hatred.” — Isabel Allende

Inspired by the People and Stories/Gente y Cuentos program founded by Sarah Hirschman in 1972, participants in this online series will read and discuss a different short story each week. The story selections, by writers like Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Louise Erdrich, Gish Jen, James Joyce, Jamaica Kincaid, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Tim O’Brien, Tillie Olsen, Hernando Tellez, and Alice Walker. They embody the best qualities of enduring literature: rich in artistry, they revel in life’s complications, wonders, and ambiguities. No preparation is required. The facilitator will email a copy of each week’s story to everyone in the group just before class. After hearing it read aloud during the online session, participants will be encouraged to examine the issues and themes; tensions and contrasts; shadows; poetics; sounds of each story and, perhaps of most interest right now, how these stories resonate with this challenging time in all of our lives. All ages and backgrounds are welcome; diversity is critical to meaningful conversations.


PERSPECTIVES ON OPERA

Leader: Harold Kuskin
Thursdays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

This eight-session course is designed to be enjoyed by opera newcomers and those knowledgeable about opera. Each session consists of a lecture and extensive videos. The first session will repeat, with some new material, the 2020 opera basics class, including discussion of vocal categories and techniques, the role of the conductor, and how the Metropolitan Opera House functions. The subject matter of the remaining seven sessions is entirely new and includes: expressions of love in opera, how to listen to and understand 20th and 21st century operas, the Faust Legend in opera, and a two-session romp through Wagner’s Ring Cycle.


POETS AMONG US

Leader: Lois Marie Harrod
Wednesdays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

This course, for people who are pretty sure they don’t like poetry, is bound to change their minds. A discussion fest, the class features sessions with six lively local poets (Penelope Schott, Sharon Olson, Gretna Wilkinson, Judith Dowd, Maxine Susman, and moderator Lois Marie Harrod) as well as selected clips from the 2020 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. The six poets will read and discuss their own poems and poems by other poets whom they particularly admire. Participants will read and discuss a book by each poet and, if they wish, write a response poem for the last session.


POLITICS IN THE HEBREW BIBLE (OLD TESTAMENT) WAITLIST

Leader: Michael Walzer
Mondays: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The course is addressed to one key question: is there room for human politics and prudential decision-making in a world ruled by an omnipotent God? Topics include the idea of the covenant, the three legal codes, the inner-biblical argument about monarchy, the role of the prophets, wisdom and revelation, and the anti-politics of some biblical writers.

There will be six two-hour sessions, each consisting of two half-hour lectures and two half-hour discussion periods. There will be suggested readings—fairly short biblical texts—for each session.


SCIENCE IN THE NEWS

Leader: Bob Robinson
Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

Science in the News is a course designed for all those who wish to become more informed about current scientific and medical topics. It covers a wide range of fields while striving to remain easily accessible to people of varying backgrounds and current knowledge. A variety of sources are used, and pertinent references are provided for each of the topics covered. All are welcome, regardless of experience. Presentations by class participants are encouraged, but not required.


SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY OF HISTORY WAITLIST

Leader: Lawrence Danson
Mondays: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This class includes four plays about English history that trace the reign of Richard II, the most lyrical and sometimes most fatuous of rulers; through the troubled times of Henry IV, a king overshadowed by his raucous but also calculating son Hal (and Hal’s fat, witty, doomed companion, Falstaff); through the heroics of Henry V, in whom we can still see traces of the callow, even callous Hal. No previous knowledge of English history is required: Shakespeare tells all that is needed. Close attention will be paid to the language—or the various languages—of the plays, sometimes reading passages out loud, or watching video clips, and closely analyzing them.


THE SUPREME COURT AND THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY

Leader: Philip Carchman
Tuesdays: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Found nowhere in the text of the Constitution, the right to privacy has served as the underpinning of some of the most important rulings of the Supreme Court. This four-week course explores the history and development of this right. The course will examine court decisions that explain and expand the right to privacy and how its application impacts on the daily lives of all from the bedroom to the boardroom.


UNDERSTANDING HUMAN EVOLUTION

Leader: Peter Smith
Mondays: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Where humans have come from and where they are going are endlessly engrossing questions. This course provides the underpinnings and evidence for the current understanding of human origins, and evolution (which is more than a theory). The main theme will be the evolution of hominins over several million years from archaic primates to their current world dominance. Not only are there bones and stones to trace the path, there are also now developing tools in genetics to integrate with the paleontological evidence. A projection into the future of human evolution will also consider global climate change, overpopulation, and the nature of societal organization.


WEATHER, CLIMATE, AND IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Leader: Bill Stern
Tuesdays: 10:00 a.m. to noon

This course will cover a variety of topics related to the atmospheric structure, weather, and climate. Discussions will involve meteorological fundamentals such as the crucial role of moisture in the development of clouds, precipitation processes, key circulation patterns, and how climate change could alter the circulation. This course will also study weather events including: extra-tropical storms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and how these phenomena might be influenced by climate change. In addition, challenges of forecasting these meteorological phenomena and other weather/climate variability will be explored.

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