Spring 2021


All courses will be taught on-line via Zoom.

Gabriel García Márquez and Magical Realism


Professor Emerita of Spanish

Tuesdays, March 9, 16, 23: 10:30am – 12 noon

The fiction of the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez appealed to readers worldwide with his singular mix of realism and the fantastic. His novel One Hundred Years of Solitude combined his childhood memories of oral storytelling and biblical tales with an acute analysis of a society forged in plunder and conquest. The course will include readings and discussion of his novella No One Writes to the Colonel, short stories like “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, “Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon”, and selections from the beginning of One Hundred Years of Solitude. We will explore as well parts of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s biography and the context of Colombia and Latin America in his lifetime. 

Gwen Kirkpatrick is Professor Emerita of Spanish, taught at Georgetown from 2004 to 2020, at UC Berkeley (1982-2003), among other institutions.

Her field is Latin American literature and culture from the 19th to 21st centuries, and her publications have focused on poetry, gender studies, and visual culture; her teaching has included courses on the modern novel, the Mexican Revolution, and TransAmerican studies.

Herman Melville and Flannery O’Connor


Thursdays, March 11, 18 and 25: 10:30 am –12:00 noon

Both Melville and O’Connor challenged their contemporary readers’ expectations for literature, Melville for his doubts about Christianity, and O’Connor for her devotion to Roman Catholicism. This year is the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, and for the first two classes we will look at 12 chapters from Moby Dick from the complete 135, plus “Bartleby the Scrivener.” For the first class we will look at chapters 1, 10, 28, 36, 37, 41, and 42. The second class will cover chapters 87, 93, 119, 134, 135 and “Bartleby the Scrivener.” The third class will discuss five short stories from O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find: “The River,” “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” “A Late Encounter with the Enemy,” “Good Country People,” and “A Good Man is Hard to find”.

Paul R. Lilly is Professor Emeritus, SUNY Oneonta.  Paul R. Lilly has taught at the Universities of Fordham, Virginia, and SUNY at Oneonta.

He has received Fulbright Awards to teach in Spain, Belgium, and India, has published Words in Search of Victims: The Achievement of Jerzy Kosinski, essays on Faulkner and others, poems, and short stories.

Contemporary Challenges to Democratic Governance focusing Primarily on Presidential Systems


Wednesdays, March 17, 24 and 31: 10:30 am -12 noon

Drawing on the experiences of the oldest independent republics in the world, those of Latin America and the United States, the course will examine the historic challenges to democratic consolidation, and the contemporary crisis of democratic governance.  Session one will examine the differences between parliamentary, presidential and mixed forms of democratic governance.  Session two will describe the evolution of democratic governance in Latin America and the United States with a particular focus on the Post-Cold War era.  Session three will examine the 21st Century Challenges to democratic governance in the Americas and how they compare to the threats to democracy in the rest of the world, while noting the reforms that are necessary to strengthen democracy in Latin America and the United States.

Arturo Valenzuela founded and directed the Center for Latin American Studies in the School of Foreign Service. Ph.D. from Columbia University, previously taught at Duke University. He is a specialist on the origins, consolidation and breakdown of democratic regimes and United States -Latin American Relations.

Under President Barack Obama he was Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, where he led US diplomatic relations with the countries of the Americas. During President Clinton’s second term he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council. In President Clinton’s first term he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in charge of US relations with Mexico. Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Controversies in Global Business


Thursdays, April 8, 15 and 22: 10:30 – 12 noon

Most economists and some business executives believe that international trade and foreign direct investment are good for the economy, good for business, and good for some but not all consumers. In the last few years we have seen a sea change in the environment of international business. Some of this change is due to Trump but some predates him by a decade. In this course we take an objective look at some of the current trends, issues, and controversies in three domains of international business: Trade, investment, and government policy. We necessarily give some attention to theoretical frameworks, but our interest is always directed to practical and actual outcomes.

Stanley Nollen is Professor Emeritus Nollen’s field of research and teaching is international business.

He studies firms and industries in emerging market economies and has directed foreign study programs in Delhi, Bangalore, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul, Prague, and Oxford. His most recent book published by Stanford University Press with the World Bank, analyzes the export success of the Indian software industry. Professor Nollen teaches courses in international business and in macroeconomics, including topics of international trade, foreign direct investment, the firm’s strategic alliances, government trade policies, and exchange rates. He has won MBA teaching awards four times. Professor Nollen has twice received Fulbright awards in Delhi and in Prague. He was an academic visitor at the London School of Economics and at Universiteit Antwerpen. He has published articles in the Journal of International Business Studies, International OrganizationJournal of Development Studies, Industrial Relations, and Harvard Business Review.  

LGBTQ+ Memorials: Definitions and Case Studies


Tuesday April 6, 13 and 20: 10:30 am – 12 noon

This course will focus on the emergence of LGBTQ+ memorials.  The first such monuments appeared in Europe in the 1980s.  In the decades since, over fifty have been constructed in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain, Israel, United States, Uruguay, and Australia.  The course will include a study of history, key definitions, and two case studies.

Ronald M. Johnson received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Illinois.  He taught in the Georgetown University Department of History from 1972 to 2015.

His fields included race, gender, and cultural topics. Ronald Johnson is a specialist in nineteenth-century (19th) American cultural history with an emphasis in gender, race, and post-Civil War culture.  He is the co-author (with Abby Arthur Johnson) of Propaganda and Aesthetics: the Literary Politics of African American Periodicals in the Twentieth Century (University of Massachusetts Press, rev. ed. 1992) and is currently working (with Abby Arthur Johnson) on a cultural history of Congressional Cemetery, Washington D.C. as the first national cemetery in the United States. 


Indigenous Peoples and Environment:

Engaging Cultural Wisdom for Ecological Challenges


Wednesdays, April 14, 21, 28: 10:30 am – 12 noon.

Concern about human-environment interaction is a key component of global conversation and action alliances. As considerable attention is given to guidance from science, knowledge from other sources are deeply compatible with public ambitions for a sustainable, healthy world. One such source is wisdom of resilience from indigenous peoples passed down through cultural beliefs and practices, stories, and their imprints on history. The focus of this course is to explore the cultural wisdom of indigenous peoples as it relates to perceived ecological challenges today.

Bette Jacobs is a Distinguished Scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. She is Professor, Health Systems Administration; and a Fellow and Visiting Professor at Campion Hall University of Oxford. 

A Native American whose body of work spans community, academic, service, and corporate leadership, she is recognized for contributions in successful start-ups, financial integrity, and interdisciplinary innovations. She served with distinction as Dean for the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies for 11 years.