FICTION

Verlyn Flieger John Rateliff

Join Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger and Hobbit editor John D. Rateliff as they explore how "a hole in the ground" led Bilbo Baggins to J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-earth and took his readers with him. Four Sundays: September 11, 18, (skip 25th) and October 2, 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT Online

With Amber Clark

The course provides an opportunity to read, study, and discuss Herman Melville’s 1851 novel, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale We’ll examine the novel for its literary merit, including the sometimes-elusive nature of its narrator, its symbols, references, and thematic concerns. Six Tuesdays: August 30, September 6, 13, 20, 27, October (4th no class in observance of Yom Kippur), 11th, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. EDT Online SOLD OUT

With Kimberly Clarke

This two week course will cover two historical fiction novels from 2021 Nobel Prize winner in Literature Abdulrazak Gurnah: Paradise (1994), nominated for the Booker Prize and the Whitebread Prize for Fiction, and his most recent novel, Afterlives (2020). Two Thursdays October 13 and 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Carrie Callaghan

The world may know Mary Shelley and her famous monstrous creation, but her mother, early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, remains more obscure. Her fiercely independent life, however, burned brightly if too briefly, and this deeply moving novel, Love and Fury, invites readers into Mary Wollstonecraft's unique story. This class will explore the story that author Samantha Silva deftly tells and use it to discuss Mary Wollstonecraft's life and legacy. One Sunday, October 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. ET Online

With Leigha McReynolds

While vampires have been present in folklore for ages, the Vampire of genre fiction was a Victorian invention. In the 1870s, Sheridan Lefanu created a compelling, sexy, and surprisingly modern female vampire in his novella “Carmilla.” At the end of the nineteenth century, Bram Stoker in Dracula synthesized vampire lore to create a story that would shape monsters through our current moment. Join this discussion-based, seminar-style class to explore how these authors use the vampire to explore Victorian anxieties. Four Thursdays: October 6, 13, 20, 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET

With Sean Blink

In this seminar, we will read the novel closely and consider it from a variety of angles—as the final great Russian novel of the nineteenth century, as a passionate but flawed defense of tradition, as a sophisticated literary experiment exploring multiple genres, as a grim portent of twentieth century violence, and as an enduring influence on literature. One Monday and Five Wednesdays bi-weekly: first class starts Monday, October 3 (moved in observance of Yom Kippur), 19; November 2, 16, 30, December 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

With Carrie Callaghan

Join historical novelist Carrie Callaghan for this one-session class will dive into Perry's novel that the New York Times called "a novel of almost insolent ambition." We will consider Perry's complex characters and the tension between faith and science that they evidence -- or do they? Note: New Date: One Sunday, November 6th, from 2 to 4 p.m. ET Online

With Victoria Pedrick

Discover what moved the ancient audience as they watched these women welcome their husbands home with vengeful violence, and ponder what truths these plays still teach us about power and danger as wives claim to fight for the integrity of their home. Six Tuesdays: October 11, 18, 25, and November 1, 8, 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Christopher Griffin

James Joyce’s Dubliners is often considered the greatest collection of short stories. Joyce published his Dubliners after nine years of hope and failure to do so. Hemingway said that "the influence of Joyce's work was what changed everything, and made it possible for us to break away from the restrictions." Five Fridays: October 21, 28, and November 4, 11, 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET Online 

With Kara Keeling

Peter Jackson’s film trilogy of The Lord of the Rings are among the most widely viewed movies of all time. Join us for an in-depth conversation about Jackson’s vision in his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece. Three Sundays: November 20, 27, and December 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Online

With Carrie Callaghan

In his most sweeping novel yet, Anthony Doerr takes us from 15th century Constantinope and environs to modern day Idaho to an interstellar transport in an indistinct future. This ambitious novel gathers inspiration from the ancient Greek stage onward, and weaves a captivating story that asks poignant questions about sacrifice, literature, and hope. Our two-session class will explore those themes as evidenced in the novel as well as some of Doerr's source material. Two Wednesdays: November 30th and December 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. ET Online

With Kornblatt and Beck

Join the conversation between former D.C. resident Joyce Kornblatt (author of, among other novels, The Reason for Wings) and Evelyn (“Evi”) Torton Beck, Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies as they explore the layers of this complex novel. Two Thursdays: December 1 and 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET Online

With Nicole Miller

Travel into the mists of time to revisit a classic which has inspired countless readers to become writers themselves— and see for yourself why “Great Expectations” rose to the high-water mark of the Victorian novel to become the household word of a century. Five Mondays: November 14, 21, 28, and December 5, 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. ET Online

POETRY

With Gigi Bradford

"Elizabeth Bishop is frequently described as one of the best-loved 20th Century poets in English,” writes Jonathan Post in Elizabeth Bishop: A Very Short Introduction. Bishop was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976. Join us as we delve into Bishop’s masterful poems of simple language and everyday events that reveal a mind in the act of discovery. Two Tuesdays: October 4 and October 11, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. ET Online

With Annie Finch

Join Annie Finch in this class that follows the sonnet from its Renaissance origins through its uses in contemporary poetry. We will touch on the sonnet’s structures, sounds, and uses and consider some intriguing questions.  Four Mondays: October 31, Nov 7, 14, 21 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm ET Online

With Indran Amirthanayagam

Out of silence Paz makes words. On the blank page he paints constellations of syllables and rhythms. During these four weeks, we will observe with Octavio Paz, as he studies the pachuco in Los Angeles, as he contemplates eros and love, and as he penetrates the shadows and the silence in profound poem after profound poem. Four Tuesdays: November 1, (skip 8th), 15, 22, 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time Online

WRITING

Chloe Miller Michael Rosengart

Long time fitness instructor Michael Rosengart and writing teacher Chloe Yelena Miller will lead you through a sequence of physical and creative exercises that will help you in your writing practice. Your mind will be more focused and open to discovering new memories or connections, resolving issues in your writing and writing something new. One Saturday: October 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT In person at Connecticut Ave classroom.

With Sarah Pekkanen

You’ve always dreamed of writing a thriller. This class will teach you how to do it. #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen will guide you through the world of writing a thriller – from the craft of creating a nail-biting work of fiction to the business side of landing an agent and working with a publisher. One Wednesday and Two Mondays: October 12, 17, 24 From 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET Online

With Chloe Miller

We will start each class with free writing (brainstorming, writing in response to a prompt or writing.) There will be the option to share some of what we wrote together and ask questions. Craft suggestions, exercises and resources will be offered. Four Tuesdays: Oct. 11, Oct. 18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon ET NOTE: CLASS MEETS at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

With Mary Hall Surface

Step inside rich works of art and discover new tools for exploring point of view, tone and mood in your writing in this interactive online course led by Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon. Two Saturdays: November 5 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET Online

With Brittany Kerfoot

Using published works of short fiction as our guide, this workshop will jumpstart the creative process for new writers or focus the skills of more experienced writers looking to round out a current writing project. Four Mondays: November 7, 14, 21, 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET Online

With Howard Norman

SOLD OUT This workshop is for writers who are at any stage of their memoir. We will all be responsible for reading each other’s work thoroughly and bringing a lively sense of inquiry, opinion and possibility to the table—conversation is vital. Four Mondays: November 21, 28, and December 5, 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET Online

With Pleydell and Weissman

This class is the latest iteration of the leaders’ popular Unexpected Knowledge workshops in which they use the concrete and the ordinary to help writers discover themselves. Class time is divided between writing and discussion. Students will share their work in breakout sessions. Two Sundays: December 4 and 11 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. ET Online

POLITICS & PLACE

With El-Shazli and Nozimova

A brand new geographic area and course yet with ties to the Middle East through the spread of Islam to Central Asia. Central Asia is composed of the following countries Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan (an honorary member). Join us on this literary adventure into Central Asia to further uncover the intricacies of history, politics, culture, and people. Four Mondays: September: 19 and October 10, 17 and 31 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET Online

With Heba F. El-Shazli

The river Nile has nourished many peoples and their civilizations along its banks over the centuries and inspired many stories, tragedies, violence, power, and control… this course will travel along the Nile and meet the people, their stories, and cultures along the way – south to north. Join us on this literary journey along the Nile River through historical books, novels, and mystery. Five Mondays: January 23, February 6 and 20, March 6 and 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. ET Online

LIFESKILLS

With Jerry Webster

Join Jerry Webster as he guides the class through two Buddhists teachers; Thich Nhat Hahn and Joanna Macy in the quest to find mindfulness and activism. Four Wednesdays: Oct. 19, 26 and Nov 2, 9, from 6:30 to  8:30 p.m. ET Online

NONFICTION

With Janet Hulstrand

France was under Nazi occupation from 1940-45. This was a time of great privation and suffering for the French: it is a period of time that has left its mark on the people in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. In this class we will learn about how the French people began to put their lives—and their country—back together after the war. Five Fridays: September 30, October 7, (skip October 14) October 21, (skip October 28) November 4, November 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. ET Online 

With Frank Ambrosio

Join Philosophy Professor Frank Ambrosio for a close reading of the importance and fascination Simone Weil. Genuine originality is almost unimaginable today in the moral, political and religious dimensions of our lives and societies. We rightly sense that were it to appear, it would be strange and deeply disturbing. This is the importance and fascination of Simone Weil. She puts a human face on the suffering of those who are starving for justice, for truth, for human dignity and love - in other words, all of us – and challenges us to allow our attention to dwell on what is all around us, yet remains unseen. Six Thursdays: November 3, 10, 17, (no class 11/24- Thanksgiving), and December 1, 8, 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY

With Richard Bell

Seen through American eyes, July 4, 1776 marks a triumphant moment: the birth of a bold new nation committed to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Through British eyes, the American Revolution looked quite different. This four-part course will examine America through the lens of Britain’s Empire. Four Fridays: October 28, November 4, 11, 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. ET Online