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Outbreak: A Closer Look at 12 Diseases that Changed our World

Megan Rudock
Mondays, 6 pm – 8 pm
September 9 – October 21 (no class on September 30)
Class Location: Footnote Coffee and Cocktails



The purpose of this course is to examine 12 major epidemics that have changed the course of  history. Each week will cover a different disease. Come pursue a  deeper scientific and historical understanding of notorious plagues that wiped out entire populations. We will travel back in time to examine personal accounts of terrifying outbreaks, follow the path of scientific discovery to identify and characterize new pathogens and learn how these epidemics altered the outcomes of wars, were used as bioterrorism agents hundreds of years ago, and changed our world forever.

No required reading for this or any Lifelong Learning class. Books listed below are just for personal/general reading to be enjoyed by anyone interested in learning more about  what will be discussed in class.

The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston
Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused it by Gina Kolata
Viruses, Plagues, and History by Michael B.A.Oldtone
The Epidemic Streets: Infectious Disease and the Rise of Preventative Medicine, 1856- 1900 by Anne Hardy

Dr. Megan Rudock is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department.  She was trained in Chemistry at University of Georgia, receiving her doctoral degree in Human Genetics and Genomics from Wake Forest. Academically, she is interested in comparing the effectiveness of discovery-based teaching methods, such as Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) and Flipped Classroom models, with more traditional teaching methods in general chemistry and biochemistry courses. With research backgrounds in population genetics, genetic epidemiology and public health sciences; Dr. Rudock has a continued personal interest in human disease, its scientific and medical basis, and how disease has changed the course of human history.


Lions, Humidors & Chairs Oh My! Furnishings Reynolda

This class is currently full. Please contact us to be wait listed.

Amber Albert
Thursdays, 10 am – 11:30 am
September 19, 2019 – October 24, 2019
Class location: Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Note: Special $110 Pricing due to shorter (90 minutes) class time. 

Class in Session.


Learn how Katharine Smith Reynolds furnished her iconic 1917 residence. Reynolda’s Manager of Community and Academic Learning, Dr. Amber Albert, will introduce you to the international inspirations, American interior designer, and urban department stores that shaped Katharine’s vision for her Winston-Salem home. Along the way we will
“hunt” (carved) lions and catch a whiff of tobacco from R.J. Reynolds’ humidor! Alongside museum staff, Lifelong Learning students will enjoy special access to Reynolda’s archive and collections. Each class will begin with a lecture and, after a short break, adjourn to the historic house or collections storage to examine Reynolda’s artifacts following best practices of museum professionals.

Amber Albert earned her PhD in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University. Her research interests include rural decorative arts and the early material culture of southern Appalachia.

Understanding Palestine & Israel: Contested Pasts and Presents

This class is currently full. Please contact us to be wait listed.

Co-taught by faculty in Wake Forest University’s Middle East and South Asia Studies Program and Jewish Studies Program.  Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, Dr. Michaelle Browers, Dr.Charles Kennedy, Dr. Monique O’Connell, Dr. Leann Pace, Dr. Penny Sinanoglou and Dr. Charles Wilkins

Tuesday evenings from 6 pm-8 pm
August 27, 2019 through October 1, 2019
Class Location:  Brookstown Campus



This collaboratively-taught course investigates the long and often contested histories of the region that is simultaneously known as Palestine and Israel. It begins by examining this history from ancient times through the Middle Ages and discusses how competing historical narratives have factored into contemporary debates over national sovereignty. Subsequent sessions explore the rise of Jewish and Palestinian Arab nationalisms, British rule over Palestine after World War I, the founding of the state of Israel and the Palestinian Nakba in 1948, and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

No required reading for this or any Lifelong Learning class. Books listed below are for  personal reading to enhance your class experience

Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews And Arabs And The Ghosts Of Catastrophe by Jo Roberts
Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History by Nur Masalha
A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel by Gunrun Kramers

Understanding Palestine & Israel will bring together seven faculty members from Wake Forest University’s Middle East and South Asia Studies Program and Jewish Studies Program to provide a wide range of disciplinary approaches and scholarly perspectives to the study of this contentious issue. By the end of the course, participants will have received a comprehensive and integrated introduction to this region and the means to understand contemporary debates on the conflict.

Opera: What’s all the Shouting About? Mary Stuart-A Bel Canto Beheading

James Allbritten
Wednesdays 10 am – noon *except where noted below.

Wed. Sept. 18, Wed. Sept. 25, Wed. Oct. 2, *Tuesday, Oct. 8,  **Wed. Oct. 16-no morning class (class will receive a ticket the Wed. evening Student Night  performance at Stevens Center), &  Wed. Oct. 23.

Class Location- Brookstown Campus



In this installment, we’ll examine Donizetti’s Tudor tragedy, Maria Stuarda or Mary Stuart, leading up to Piedmont Opera’s performance of the opera in October. Donizetti is well known for his tragic Lucia di Lammermoor and his comic Elixir of Love – but English history? Mary Stuart is actually one of three operas he wrote all upon the lives of the English Queens. First, we’ll spend some time getting to know our two leading ladies, Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, from a historical perspective. Then we’ll look at the challenges Donizetti faced, and the skill he used to turn Mary’s tragedy into his triumph. Included in the class is a ticket to the Student Night performance of Piedmont Opera’s Mary Stuart, which will be conducted by your instructor!

James Allbritten is the General Director and Principal Conductor at Piedmont Opera, where he has served for 13 years. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Allbritten began his operatic career with Kentucky Opera. An accomplished tenor, he studied voice with legendary singers Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Giorgio Tozzi, and Margaret Harshaw. As Artistic Director of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Allbritten led numerous performances including Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and Puccini’s La Rondine.

Around the World in 10 Films

Dr. Woodrow Hood
Tuesdays, 6 pm- 8 pm
October 15 – November 19
Location-  Wake Downtown class room #4802


A critical approach to the study of cinemas from around the world, our course is summarized by Nowell-Smith’s attribution of a kind of noble resistance to the term “world cinema”: “much of the history of cinema in other countries has consisted of attempts by the indigenous industries to thwart, compete with, or distinguish themselves from American cinema.” Our study of these films will explore how many cultures resist Hollywood identities in favor of local ideas and perspectives. This course has been developed out of two years of work supported by the WFU Humanities Institute.

10 possible international films to be viewed/discussed:

The Salesman
3 Idiots
Hunt for the Winderpeople
The Wailing
The Secret in Their Eyes
Land of Mine
IP Man

No required reading for this or any Lifelong Learning class. Books listed below are for  personal reading to enhance your class experience

Remapping World Cinema: Identity, Culture, and Politics in Film
by Stephanie Dennison (Editor), Song Hwee Lim (Editor)
Transnational Cinema: An Introduction by Steven Rawle

Woodrow Hood is the Director of Film and Media Studies and a Full Professor in the WFU Department of Communication. His recent publications include work on monster movies, classic silent film, and music festivals. His current projects include working with AI technology in composing film music and a study of the films of Guillermo del Toro.

Behind the Berlin Wall

This class is currently full. Please contact us to be wait listed.

Dr. Molly Knight
Thursdays, 1 pm- 3 pm
October 17- November 21
Class Location:  Brookstown Campus


To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this course will examine the history and culture of East Germany from 1945 until its official reunification with the West in 1990. We will discuss East German politics, entertainment, and everyday life, from the surveillance methods of the secret police to the peaceful revolution that brought down the Wall. We will also discuss the ways in which East Germany has influenced contemporary German culture. How is this country which no longer exists remembered in the present day — and how do its former residents make sense of their identity in a reunified Germany?

No required reading for this or any Lifelong Learning class. Books listed below are for  personal reading to enhance your class experience.

Stasiland by Anna Funder
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck

Molly Knight is Assistant Teaching Professor of German and has been at Wake Forest since 2011.  Her teaching and research areas include contemporary German literature and popular culture, film, and gender studies.

Madmen, Medicine, and Monsters: The Science of 19th-Century Gothic Fiction

Beth Ann Way
Thursdays, 4 pm- 6 pm
September 5, 2019 – October 10, 2019
Class Location: Brookstown Campus


In the 19th century, science and the arts were not the “two cultures” that we think of today. Rather, they were fluid disciplines.  In this course, we are going to explore how three prominent 19th-century fiction writers engaged with the science writings of their day in their novels. We will read three major works of Gothic fiction including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, along with excerpts by natural philosophers and scientists whose writings and discoveries not only influenced the novels’ compositions but also their explorations of imagination and the brain, gender, sexuality, race, and religion, just to name a few. Students will gain a better understanding of how these three Gothic novels, as more than just fiction thrillers, show the immediate and pervasive influence of scientific and medical thought of their time. Science readings will include works by Erasmus Darwin, Humphry Davy, Luigi Galvani, Charles Darwin, Henry Maudsley, and Cesare Lombroso.

Reading Material.  Please note that NO reading for any Lifelong Learning class is ever required.  However the texts and schedule below are recommended to enhance your class experience


Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). Ed. D. L. Macdonald & Kathleen Scherf. 3rd Edition. Broadview Press, 2012. ISBN: 9781554811038

Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ed. Martin A. Danahay. 3rd Edition. Broadview Press, 2015. ISBN: 9781554810246

Bram Stoker, Dracula. Ed. Glennis Byron. Broadview Press, 1998. ISBN: 9781551111360

Reading Schedule

Week 1     Mary ShelleyFrankenstein, Volume 1 & Appendix B: “Darwin & Davy”
Week 2     Frankenstein, Volumes 2 & 3
Week 3   Robert Louis StevensonThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (all) & Appendices H: “Degeneration and Crime” & K: “Victorian Psychology”6
Week 4   Bram StokerDracula, Chapters 1-9 & Appendices C: “Transylvania” & D: “London”
Week 5   Dracula, Chapters 10-18 & Appendices E: “Mental Physiology” & F: “Degeneration”
Week  6   Dracula, Chapters 19-27 & Appendix G: “Gender”

Dr. Beth Ann Way received her PhD in English from the University of Georgia, her MA from Durham University in England, a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, and her BA in English from Wake Forest University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at WFU in English, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Global Village, Lifelong Learning, and Liberal Arts Studies (MALS).  Dr. Way specializes in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, women’s and gender studies, and the Gothic. She has published works on Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Mary Seacole and has an article forthcoming in European Romantic Review on two plays about ghosts and witchcraft in 18th-century Scotland by Scottish playwright Joanna Baillie. Dr. Way’s current book project examines how six British Romantic women writers negotiated a male-dominated literary marketplace by deploying multi-generic forms in their works to claim authority as writers and to analyze modes of sincerity.