Renaissance Center at UMass Amherst Offers Free Courses to Area Residents

AMHERST, Mass. - The Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at the University of Massachusetts will offer the first in a series of community courses on Renaissance literature next month. The intensive month-long courses will be available at no charge to residents of the Pioneer Valley. They will be taught by retired UMass professors and will take place at the center (650 East Pleasant Street in Amherst). To enroll, call the center at 413/577-3600.

This is a chance for us to offer some of our valuable resources to the community," says Arthur Kinney, director of the center. "We are glad to be able to share what we have with area residents."

The first class, "Milton and the Millennium: Readings in Paradise Lost," will be taught by Stanley Koehler, emeritus professor of English, Wed. evenings at 7:30 p.m. starting April 1 for four weeks.

"Students in the class will read passages from John Milton’s epic poem describing the revolt of Satan, the creation of the world, the situation of Adam and Eve in Paradise, the temptation in the Garden, and the loss of Eden," says Koehler. "Discussions will deal with problems of the seventh-century Renaissance in England that continue to be of interest today, including the relationship between the sexes, the mixing of classical and religious themes in art, and the conflict of authority with the freedom of the individual."

Enrollment in the class is limited to eight people.

The second class, "Shakespearean Tragedy," will be taught by Normand Berlin, emeritus professor of English, Tues. evenings at 7 p.m. for four weeks starting April 7.

"Each session will focus on one of Shakespeare’s four great tragedies – Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth," says Berlin. "After brief remarks by way of introduction, we’ll discuss each play as a unique tragic mirror. We’ll do as much as we can in a very short amount of time, so that the plays must be read carefully before coming to our sessions."

Enrollment in the class is limited to 14 people.