Community Classes: Adult
Informal classes for the community. Free of charge and open to all.
Registration is required by phone at 413-577-3600 or by email.
Shakespeare with Normand Berlin. Tuesdays, 7-9pm, April 2, 9, 16, 23. Cheney Room at the Center. We will discuss two Roman plays--the cool Julius Caesar and the hot Antony and Cleopatra. Please read the plays beforehand.
Italian literature with Nina Cannizzaro. Renaissance Forbidden Texts. Wednesdays 5-7pm, Cheney Room at the Center. 6 sessions, March 13th and 27th. April 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. No familiarity with the Italian language or literature expected or needed.
Some of the topics to be broached include: Medieval condemnation of books and individuals vs. post-Reformation censorship; competing claims (between church and state) to cultural supremacy; Latin as a forbidden language; Vernacular as a forbidden language; prohibition against pursuit of knowledge into sacred things or of Bible outside of papally sanctioned intermediaries; tacit cultural prohibition to interpret Aristotle independent of Thomistic commentary; the new intellectual access to occult secrets of ancient hermetic, alchemical and magical doctrines via 15th-c. Florentine Platonism [For which we will read Marlowe's Dr.Faustus]; the processes of cultural control pre- and post- printing press; authority, copywrite, print privileges; correctors, expurgators, inquisitors; prohibition of single title vs. an author's opera omnia; prohibitions (obliterato memoriae); the merging of the Inquisition in 1542 with the Holy Office/Sant'Uffizio, the new congregation whose mandate was the compilation of the Index of Forbidden Books (1559); the foundation of the Jesuits and crises of authority and cultural legitimacy; license and the Renaissance private academy and forbidden societies (Areopagitcal, Rosicrucian; Academies of Secrets, of Night, etc.).
Garden Design in the time of Shakespeare: Labyinths, Mazes and Grottos with Ellen Kosmer. Tuesdays, 3-5 p.m. April 2, 9, 16 and 30. This seminar will explore the influence of Italian gardens on those in France and England in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.