Noncredit cultural classes coming to Western Nevada College |

Noncredit cultural classes coming to Western Nevada College

Special to the Nevada Appeal

Coming in January are seven new courses offered by WNC Community Education in literature, art, drama and lifelong learning.

Linda Whitehill, coordinator of Community Service and Continuing Education, announced the new offerings at WNC Carson campus to begin Friday, Jan. 13.

“We are delighted to add these unique courses to our program,” said Whitehill. “Four separate courses in drama, poetry and classics will be offered weekly on Fridays beginning Jan. 13 through March 24, and three courses will be offered on Saturdays beginning Jan. 14 through March 25 in world art, dramatized conversations with great men and women of the past, separate courses in great drama, poetry, classic novels and the joys of life-long learning. All courses will be held on the Carson City campus of WNC.”

The seven new courses are as follows.

“We are delighted to add these unique courses to our program.”Linda WhitehillCoordinator of Community Service and Continuing Education

Classics of Western Literature: The course explores everything from ancient wisdom through the explosion of culture in Renaissance learning, from searing skepticism and the birth of modern science, the vibrant self-criticism and enduring value of Western thought. It will begin with the life and death of Socrates, the ancient Greek historians, Renaissance philosophy and culture, the rise of skepticism, humanism, science and philosophy in the modern era.

Eight Great Novels: An entertaining in-depth close-up of the best novels you may not have read — yet! From Nabokov and Bellow, Fielding and Balzac, Thomas Hardy to Elmore Leonard, a kaleidoscope of hilarity, pathos and disaster from the earliest master novels to the grit and grim humor of the modern street.

The Catered Sonnet: A combination of food, poetry and conversation to end your busy week with delight. Take lunch with an hour dedicated to the best sonnets from Petrarch through Shakespeare to Don Paterson. Hear, recite, savor and discuss the magic worked by the great poets in the malleable and maddening limits of the sonnet form. Invented in the 14th Century, the sonnet celebrates beauty using a demanding poetic form you’ll recognize instantly. All the great poets since Petrarch have striven to craft the best sonnet. This course savors it all.

Plays of Shakespeare: A look at one of the world’s greatest poets, dramatists, humanists, playwrights, wits, critics, and humorists. The course is a guided tour of six plays of Shakespeare, three tragedies and two comedies: “King Lear,” “The Tempest,” “Macbeth,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Othello.” It includes dramatic recitations by skilled actors, crafted talks on the plays and conversation about the action, meaning, irony and wisdom of these treasures.

Joys of Life-Long Learning: A course designed for people for whom learning is something they do easily, naturally and continuously. Such people seldom think of it as learning. To them, it’s part of pursuing goals, solving problems, confronting circumstances and seeing opportunities. And the whole process is a source of pleasure and satisfaction. The course forms a group of learners interested in what exactly makes learning joyful. Bringing their experiences, background and accomplishments to the task of how we improve the learning process we use, each participant will learn styles untried but effective, expand goals for learning and identify where learning is difficult and how it might become effortless. Proven techniques, new styles, prodigies of learning, ultra-learning, interstitial learning and the well-spring of motivation to learn only scratch the surface of this course.

Conversations with the Past: The course places students in the audience for a conversation between two famous, notorious or illustrious men and women of the past. Brought to life are men and women who marked their age, reenacting through conversation the great minds and personalities of a bygone day. What can we learn from them ? What would surprise them about your questions? You will be our audience and, if you wish, have the opportunity to ask our guest a probing or provocative question. Audiences are often shocked or thrilled at the fresh perspectives from the past. Imagine a conversation between Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, Frederick Douglas and Herman Melville, Sacagawea and Dona Marina, Teddy Roosevelt and Tom Paine. And the fun in watching it play out.

Masterpieces of World Art: The course explores what makes an ancient or modern masterpiece of visual art. Innovations in technique that change an entire art form, or the trend-setters of styles that last for centuries, or the power to convey transcendent meaning and evoke deep emotions in spectators across the ages are some keys to the puzzle. The course looks at painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing, photography and urban locales to focus on this precious heritage we have received from the past. Each masterpiece will be displayed in a variety of formats to enrich the visual experience. Hear a brief lecture on the technical aspects of the workmanship, the style and period of the artist and the work, and the impact of the art on contemporary audiences, critics and the modern perspective. Especially if you have seen these objects in person, the course will value your impressions, reactions and evaluation of the art.

The courses are designed for the sheer pleasure and self-improvement of all who attend. Format is relaxed, open and fun with focused conversation, well-crafted presentations, dramatizations, insights, questions, impressions and a lively environment ideal for anyone hungry to learn, grow and understand the treasures of our culture and heritage. Every group of dedicated learners creates a dynamic synergy of mutual respect, shared appreciation, inspiration and thirst to delve, understand and savor learning. And each group is unique in its pace, needs, direction and comfort. Each individual reacts deeply and powerfully to great art, classics of literature and cultural treasures.

The Symposium is sponsored by the Friends of WNC and does not confer any degree, certificate, credit or residency hours at Western Nevada College.

For more information about the new courses, go to, or email Registration is open for all adults and young people age 15 and older.