MEMOIR

With Karen Leggett Abouraya

This class will explore books by authors with a wide variety of disabilities – blind, deaf/blind, Down Syndrome, learning disabilities, visible and invisible. Some books focus on life with a particular disability, some on totally unrelated topics: we are constantly reminded that with a few limiting exceptions, these authors are exceptionally capable and often brilliant. The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center is sponsoring live captioning and ASL interpretation for this class. Four Mondays: February 5, 19 March 4, 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

With Janet Hulstrand

In this class we will look at Paris through the (necessarily rather unromantic) eyes of those who have lived the life of those who serve the rest of us in Parisian restaurants. Four Biweekly Thursdays: February 8, 22, and March 7, 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET Online

With Karen Leggett Abouraya

Sayyida Salme took a monumental step when she became Emily Ruete at the age of twenty-two in 1866, shattering rules, traditions, and expectations. After publishing Memoirs of an Arabian Princess about growing up in Zanzibar as Sayyida Salme, she then wrote a manuscript about her struggles as Emily Ruete in Germany. Called Letters to the Homeland, this manuscript has been newly translated and published by the Princess’ great-great-granddaughter Andrea Emily Stumpf. Join Stumpf and Karen Leggett Abouraya to discuss this exciting memoir. One Tuesday: April 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

with Heba F. El-Shazli

Join us for a journey into the world of migration, heartache, and loss in addition to building a new nation, identity politics, and the calamity of the loss of Jewish communities from the Arab Middle East. One Wednesday: May 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET Online 

WRITING

With Donna Hemans

Focusing on narrative structure and creative storytelling techniques, this workshop will help writers revise and polish their personal essay drafts. Four Mondays: February 26, March 4, 11, and 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Brittany Kerfoot

Give your characters a voice with this writing workshop focused on dialogue in fiction. We’ll read and discuss works with outstanding scenes of dialogue before diving into a workshop of your own scenes where both the students and instructor offer helpful feedback to make your dialogue sharp and engaging. Four Mondays: March 25, April 1, 8, 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

with Anna Godbersen

Join bestselling YA novelist Anna Godbersen to discuss the delights of coming-of-age literature, analyze the expectations and strategies of the genre, and begin to craft your own story. Four Thursdays: April 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Sophia Hall

Click. Shutter. Snapshot. Life is composed of seemingly ordinary moments that we preserve eternally through photograph, postcard, and portraiture. Join DC Youth Poet Laureate Sophia Hall for a seminar-style discussion and generative workshop of photographic poetry that transcends the ordinary by zooming into the specific. Three Sundays: April 14, 21, and 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET Online

 

With Julie Des Jardins

Do you have a story about a remarkable woman that you’ve always wanted to tell? Join Dr. Julie Des Jardins, historian and advisor to the National Women’s History Museum, in talking through the process of writing women’s stories and revealing to others the meaning in them that you know is there. Four Mondays: April 29, May 6, 13, and 20, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Randon Billings Noble

March is a transitional month, shifting from winter to spring – the perfect time to start or restart a journal. What’s thawing? What’s budding? What spring cleaning needs to be done – both internally and externally? In this class we’ll explore the many forms a journal can take through in-class writing and take-home exercises. No experience necessary – just a notebook, a pen, your honesty, and a sense of play. Four Mondays: April 29, May 6, 13, and 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET Online 

With María Fernanda

Is there a distant relative who you have long admired? Join award-winning poet María Fernanda as we shed a light on an auntie, an uncle, and more extended, or chosen, family who love us from afar. The vignette will be our vehicle. Three Wednesdays: May 8, 15, and 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

with Nevin Martell

Join veteran food writer and cookbook author Nevin Martell to learn the foundational skills necessary for writing a creative, compelling food memoir. Four Tuesdays: May 28, June 4, 11, and 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

FICTION

With Elaine Showalter

Winter is an ideal time to read the great  British novelist Graham Greene, and to explore his novels from the masterly, edgy studies of espionage, love, betrayal, and moral ambiguity, to the thrillers and comedies he called “entertainments.” Five Mondays: February 26, and March 4, 11, 18, 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET Online SOLD OUT

With Maria Frawley

Join George Washington University professor Maria Frawley as we revisit some of Jane Austen's most beloved novels. Eight Thursdays: February 8, 15, 22, 29, March 7, 14, 21, 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET Online

With Joanna Davis-McElligatt

Join Joanna Davis-McElligatt as she leads this class through Zadie Smith’s first novel, White Teeth (2000), and her most recent, The Fraud (2023). We will explore her construction of the Atlantic world, from England to Jamaica, as well as their entanglements with places beyond, including Australia and India, and work toward an understanding of her construction of empire, race, and gender. Four Tuesdays: March 5, 12, 19, 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online 

With Michael Moore

Join Michael F. Moore, award-winning translator of Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed as he dives into the historical background of two seminal works on the southern Italian experience; Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard and Carlo Levi's memoir Christ Stopped at EboliFour Wednesdays meeting bi-weekly: March 6, 20, and April 3, 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Verlyn Flieger

What is The Lord of the Rings? It has been called a fairy tale, an epic, a romance, and a tragedy. Join Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger in a discussion to explore J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as all of the above—a complex fabric whose narrative threads run over, under, around and through each other as they weave the story.  We’ll follow the threads one by one as they lead Sam through a fairy tale, Merry and Pippin to a romance, Aragorn to an epic, and Frodo to the tragedy that both climaxes in and foreshadows the end of his story. Three Sundays: April 7, 14, 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET Online 

With Helen Hooper

Halldor Laxness is both a writer’s writer and one of Iceland’s cherished national treasures. He won the 1955 Nobel prize in Literature, was widely read in his day, and though his fame has faded he continues to be the favorite of authors and literature nerds everywhere. Four Wednesdays meeting bi-weekly: March 13, 27 and April 10, 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET Online 

With Carrie Callaghan

George Orwell’s wife Eileen was an integral part of his creative and publishing life, but she remains unknown to most readers. Join us as we explore Orwell’s autobiographical Homage to Catalonia and then compare it to Anna Funder’s breathtaking Wifedom: Mrs. Orwell’s Invisible Life. Note New Dates: Two Sundays: April 28 and May 5 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET Online

With Leigha McReynolds

First contact. For you, does that mean E.T. or Pocahontas? In this discussion-based, seminar-style class we’ll read two science-fiction, first contact novels: the classic The Mote in God’s Eye (1974), by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven, and the recent A Half-Built Garden (2022), by Ruthanna Emrys. We’ll explore how these novels represent universal human experiences and, at the same, respond to their specific historical contexts. Two Mondays: April 29 and May 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

SALON

With Clint Smith

Across the country are innumerable places that have direct ties to slavery—our schools, our streets, our prisons, our cemeteries, our cities—places that illustrate how some of this country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view. In this talk, #1 New York Times bestselling author Clint Smith discusses how the history of slavery has shaped the contemporary landscape of inequality, and shares what he learned from trips to different historical sites throughout the country that are tied to slavery’s legacy. Please note Salon date has changed from Thursday, March 28th to Wednesday, March 27th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Den Coffeehouse - SOLD OUT

With Andrew Imbrie

Join us for an engaging and eye-opening talk by Andrew Imbrie on the fascinating world of Artificial Intelligence. One Friday: April 12th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Den Coffeehouse

HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY

Take a personal look into the remarkable life of LaDonna Harris, Comanche activist and national civil rights leader and the role that she has played in Native and mainstream American history since the 1960s.

This program will feature a film (link shared in advance to view) and a discussion panel. The panel features Laura Harris (Comanche), Executive Director of Americans for Indian Opportunity and Robin Wall Kimmerer (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) author of Braiding Sweetgrass. Our moderator will be filmmaker Julianna Brannum, joined by Jason Asenap (Comanche), writer, filmmaker, and published film critic and Lee Francis (Laguna Pueblo), aka Dr. IndigiNerd, who opened the first ever Indigenous Comic and Bookstore—Red Planet and founder of the annual Indigenous Comic-Con. One Friday: March 29th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online.

With Christopher Griffin

This course is an introduction to Keefe’s Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, which begins with the abduction of a young Belfast widow and mother of ten. By examining the tangled web of this disappearance, Say Nothing wrestles with “the Troubles.” Protagonists and events include the Price sisters, Stephen Rea, Gerry Adams, Thatcher, Clinton, Mitchell, Boston tapes, ambushes, bombings, reprisals, internment, hunger strikes, sectarian assassinations, trauma, and the 1998 Belfast Agreement. Three Fridays: April 5, 12, 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

POETRY

With Richard C. Sha

Join Professor Richard Sha while he tackles Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, and his Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Shelley’s  “Mont Blanc,” “Ode to the West Wind,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” and Keats’ major Odes. Three Tuesdays: March 19th, 26th, and April 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Indran Amirthanayagam

Allen Ginsberg was the hardest queer worker on the American lathe, in its poetry, and he was a friend and model. In this course we will read widely in his Collected Poems, and also discuss his song lyrics, his interpretations of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, and his deeply moving elegies to his parents. Four Wednesdays: April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Frank Ambrosio

Readers and critics alike almost universally praise Dante's Paradiso for the sublimity of its poetry, but sublimity comes at a price. Trying to imagine ourselves toward the outermost limits of human hope at the brink of real Mystery is beyond our capacity as earth-bound pedestrians. Dante had the same experience and his greatness lies in never forgetting that poetry's task is give human beings wings. Six Thursdays: March 28, and April 4, 11, 18, 25 and May 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

With Chloe Yelena Miller

Join writer Chloe Yelena Miller to discuss two novels about early motherhood, The Possibilities by Yael Goldstein-Love and Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder. In each novel, the mother’s fears and primal instincts become real (or not?). Both authors will be joining the class discussion. Two Thursdays: May 9 and 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET Online

With Chloe Yelena Miller

Join poet Chloe Yelena Miller as she leads a close reading of Sarah Kain Gutowski’s new poetry collection, The Familiar, to explore feminist expectations of the split female self during a midlife existential crisis. This class will feature a visit from the author. One Friday: April 26 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET Online

 

 

POLITICS & PLACE

With Margaret L. Andersen

At a time at great national division when we urgently need to understand the nation’s racial challenges, this course will examine how life histories, especially those of people of color, can generate interracial empathy and help us understand how people succeed despite the odds. Join nationally-known sociologists Margaret Andersen and Maxine Baca Zinn to learn how life histories can transform knowledge about racial inequality and help us identify factors that enable interracial understanding and individual achievement. Two Thursdays: March 14 and 21 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET Hybrid Online and In-Person Connecticut Ave. Condo Classroom

With Steven Steinbach

Join Steven Steinbach – teacher, lawyer, and constitutional historian – for a series of discussion-based classes focused on the Constitution and constitutional controversies, past and present. Four Tuesdays (biweekly): April 2, 16, 30, and May 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online.

LIFESTYLE

With Kathy Jentz

Join Kathy Jentz, editor and publisher of the award-winning Washington Gardener Magazine, to learn how to prepare your garden for the spring. One Monday: April 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

NONFICTION

With Janet Hulstrand

In this class we will explore how Paris has served as a muse for four American women: Gertrude Stein, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis. Five Fridays: April 5, 12, 19, 26 and May 3, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET Online

MEDITATION & PHILOSOPHY

With Jerry Webster

Happiness can be elusive, but through Buddhist practice, this meditation class featuring the works of Dan Harris and Sylvia Boorstein will focus on not only how to survive but how to thrive. Four Tuesdays: April 30, May 7, 14, and 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

CLASSICS

With Aaron Hamburger

Join author Aaron Hamburger as he goes on a deep dive into an American literary landmark and the book that shaped him as a fiction writer, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Two Tuesdays: May 7 and 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET ONLINE