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Three Novels of Education: "Adam Bede," "Great Expectations," and "If Beale Street Could Talk"

Saturday, April 27 at 9:30am to 12:00pm

Baker Downtown Center
975 High Street, Eugene, OR 97401

This four-week seminar will explore three novels of education (George Eliot’s Adam Bede Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, and James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk) through a balance of lecture and discussion, punctuated by clips from videos and by passages being read aloud for close analysis.

Discussion questions, as a backbone to the class, will be supplied for the works. Hopefully you will want to read more of these authors. Encouragement will be given to write on your own about them. Dr. Henry Alley will present various rhetorical essay strategies.

Also, through breakout group discussions, you will see how very much alive these works are in engaging your curiosity. With the first class, a sheet will be circulated allowing you to volunteer to read aloud in class. In the breakout groups, there will be an opportunity to volunteer to be secretary to the discussion and to report back to the class as a whole. This experience will be a chance to develop your writing skills. Throughout the month, good attendance is expected and student engagement will be encouraged at all times.

Editions of the texts used in the seminar are:

George Eliot’s Adam Bede. Penguin Classics (2007). Editor Margaret Reynolds.

Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Signet Mass Market (2009). Editor Stanley Weintraub.

James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk. Vintage Reprint (2006).

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Seminar


College of Arts & Sciences, History

Target Audience

General Public



General Community: $135 / OLLI Members: $95


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