Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Continuing Studies Program (CSP) at Bard College will offer eight four-credit courses this spring from Wednesday, January 28, through Wednesday, May 19. Topics of the weekly courses include Dante, the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, literature, method acting, photography, women painters, and writing. Senior citizens pay only the registration fee of $30 (per course), plus any applicable laboratory or equipment fees. Other students may enroll either for credit or as auditors. The CSP office should receive registrations by Tuesday, January 27, accompanied by a $30 registration fee and tuition payment.

Justus Rosenberg, professor of languages and literature at Bard, will offer The Literary Imagination and History on Mondays from 7:00 to 9:20 p.m. Decisive historical events, influential philosophical theories, divine revelations, and revolutionary social, political, and scientific developments have inspired literary masterpieces. This course examines the extent to which some of these works accurately reflect the original ideas, settings, occurrences, and personalities or have been altered to accommodate the author’s ideology, creative imagination, and existing literary devices and conventions. Readings include Homer’s Iliad; Buchner’s Danton’s Death; Stendhal’s The Red and the Black; Tolstoy’s War and Peace; Anatole France’s "The Procurator of Judea"; Brecht’s Galileo; Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls; and selected poems by Mayakovsky, Yevtushenko, Brecht, and Aragon. Texts will be supplemented with tapes and slides to demonstrate similar transfigurations in music and painting.

Anne Bertrand-Dewsnap, adjunct professor at Bard, Vassar, and Marist Colleges, will teach the course Women Painters in the Western World and their Audience (1550–1950) on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:20 p.m. First, the class examines the careers of the most productive and influential women painters working in Europe and the United States between 1550 and 1950, including Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Adélaïde Labille Guiard, Rosa Bonheur, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Alice Neel. The class will then explore how the society in which they lived perceived women artists, and how the position of women in general affects the production of women artists. No background in art history is required.

Joseph Luzzi, assistant professor of Italian, will offer the seminar Dante on Tuesday evenings from 5:00 to 7:20 p.m. This course introduces students to the world and work of Dante Alighieri, considered by many to be the founder of all modern poetry. The close reading of the entire Divine Comedy ("Inferno," "Purgatorio," and "Paradiso") will consider such issues as the phenomenology of poetic inspiration, medieval theories of gender, Dante’s relationship with the literary ghosts Virgil and Cavalcanti, the sources and shapes of the human soul, and how the weight of love (pondus amoris) can save this same soul. Selections from Dante’s other works, including the story of his poetic apprenticeship (The New Life) and his linguistic treatise ("On Eloquence in the Vernacular"), are also read. The course is conducted in English, with readings in English translation; students have the option of reading the works in Italian.

Diana Ayton-Shenker, former director of the Human Rights Program at Hunter College, will teach the course Leadership and Legacy: Lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt, Tuesdays, from 7:00 to 9:20 p.m. This class reviews how Roosevelt overcame obstacles to grow into a leader whose achievements touched countless lives, changing the world in her time and for generations to come. Students also apply lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt to advance their own leadership potential. Drawing from Robin Gerber's book Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way, the class explores 12 specific strategies for leadership and will design a leadership project based on one or more of the strategies discussed in class.

Teresa Vilardi, director of Bard's Institute for Writing and Thinking, will lead the Writers Workshop: Writing About and From the Natural World on Thursdays, from 6:00 to 8:20 p.m. Many of our earliest memories are often associated with places in the natural world, and to explore why one is drawn to a specific place is often the starting point for memoir and for what is usually called "nature writing." But writing about the natural world also is an invitation to work as scientists, making close observations, asking questions about what is seen, making connections between one another and the world around us. Using the Mid Hudson Valley as its starting point, this workshop looks at different ways to write about the experience of the natural world, considering how one moves from the observation of data to the exploration of an idea. Experimenting with different ways of writing about place and the natural world will allow writers to form an environmental imagination. The main texts are participants' writing, complemented and enriched by a broad spectrum of American nature writing.

Bernard Greenwald, professor of studio arts at Bard, will offer A Painting Workshop on Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:20 p.m. This course is for beginners who need basic instruction in the art of painting and for more experienced artists who would like the stimulation and conviviality of working in a group. The class explores painting projects suited to every skill level based on the individual’s personal interests and provides a safe haven of encouragement and technical advice, so that each participant can realize his or her goals. The work is based primarily upon sources in nature, interiors, the figure, and the human head, as well as reproductions of old master paintings. Instruction includes drawing; using color to express light, volume, and weight; using paint handling and surface texture to enliven a painting; and tips on how to bring a painting from its blocked-out inception to resolution. Students can choose to work in oil or acrylic and will be encouraged to experiment with other media.

On Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., Naomi Thornton, visiting professor of theater at Bard, will offer a Workshop in Method Acting. Designed to teach specific acting skills and to make the student comfortable in front of an audience, the emphasis is on relaxation, concentration, and focus. The goals are spontaneity and freedom for the actor. Some group exercises and improvisations are included, but the work stresses individual attention. Dramatic material includes scenes, monologues, and poetry. The course is open to both beginning and advanced students.

Photographer Laura Gail Tyler will teach Basic Black and White Photography on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Designed as a basic introduction to its subject, the first half of the course focuses on the technical side of the medium, with demonstrations and assignments; the second half is critique driven. Space is limited to seven students. No experience in photography is necessary, although students should have access to a manual 35–mm camera and have an enthusiastic and flexible attitude. There is an additional $75 darkroom fee.

The Continuing Studies Program at Bard College was initiated in 1971 to meet the needs of adults in the region who have successfully completed some accredited college work and wish to earn a bachelor's degree. Students may register by mail for the evening and weekend 4-credit courses. Descriptions of traditional daytime courses can be found at In addition to the $30 registration fee (waived for senior citizens), tuition for the four-credit courses is $1,460; $438 to audit a course; or $30 per course for senior citizens age 62 or older. (Formal registration and permission of the instructor is required for senior registrants, and there may be additional applicable laboratory or equipment fees.)

For further information or to register, call the CSP office at 845-758-7508, e-mail, or visit the website: The College reserves the right to cancel any course due to insufficient enrollment.

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This event was last updated on 01-07-2004