New York City - Course Info


Emerson’s Circle: Transcendentalism in America

 Paul Kane '84 B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Mondays, March 6 - April 10, 3:00 -4:25 pm

Location: Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017

Course Description:

At the beginning of the essay, “Circles,” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, “Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn.”  This course will circle around Emerson and those transcendentalists and anti-transcendentalists who were part of his intellectual circle in mid-nineteenth century America.  In addition to Emerson’s writings, in prose and poetry, we will take up work by Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and some lesser-known writers of the period.  The few decades we will be considering saw the flowering of our nation’s classic literature and we will endeavor to discover why that was the case.


Educated at Yale University (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.), he also studied at the University of Melbourne (M.A.) as a Fulbright scholar to Australia in 1984-85, and was the Schweitzer Prize Preceptor in Poetics at New York University in 1985.  Other awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as grants from the Australia Council, the Bienecke Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  He has taught at Yale University and Monash University (Australia) and, at Vassar, offers courses in the American Culture and the Environmental Studies programs.  His teaching interests include topics in American and British literature, from the eighteenth to twenty-first century; literary theory and history of criticism; poetry; creative writing; literature and the environment; literature and philosophy, literature and religion; and Australian and other post-colonial literatures.



Strategies to Promote Optimal Vitality

Wendy Hurwitz,’83 (Yale),’89 MD (Yale School of Medicine)

Mondays, March 6 - April 10, 4:30 - 5:55pm

Location: Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017

Course Description:

Did you know that there is growing scientific evidence that cognitive decline and dementia may be prevented, reduced or reversed?

Based on the latest information, come learn easy, simple, drug-free things you can do that may help prevent, reduce, or reverse cognitive decline, and strategies to promote healthy aging. 

Topics will include not just cognition, but also eyesight (including macular degeneration and cataracts), arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and other aspects of well-being. In addition, there will be opportunities to explore the concepts of energy and intuition.  We will also explore the topic of peace: what is it, how do we get it, and how do we maintain it? We will explore the relationship between peace in oneself and peace in the world.

It's never too early or too late to begin.


Dr. Wendy Hurwitz 

A graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Hurwitz is a nationally recognized expert on stress. A former medical researcher for ABC News, Dr. Hurwitz is an expert in two fields: Mind/Body Medicine and Energy Medicine. She teaches both professionals and students in medicine, psychology, and the allied health professions, and has lectured at Harvard Medical School, Yale University School of Medicine, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, NYU, and Fordham University.  Dr. Hurwitz is the author of the chapter Energy Medicine in the textbook Micozzi, M (ed):  Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, Philadelphia, 2001.   She has a forthcoming book on stress.

Dr. Hurwitz is a former member of the Medical, Scientific, and Academic Council of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine; member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine; Fellow of the American Institute of Stress; member of the International Positive Psychology Association; member of the American Counseling Association; and an American Red Cross Local Disaster Volunteer.  Dr. Hurwitz helps organizations and individuals achieve peak performance by enhancing vitality and wellness. She translates the latest and most sophisticated scientific research on stress and energy into practical, easy-to-use techniques people can use to maintain and enhance vitality even under the most trying circumstances. Dr. Hurwitz has provided training for AT&T, Unilever, Lowe Worldwide, the FDNY, and has been an invited guest speaker at the United Nations.



Innocence and Experience in British Romanticism

Priscilla Gilman '93 BA '02 PhD  

Location: Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017

Mondays, March 6 - April 10, 6:00 -7:30 pm

Course Description:
In this course, we will read some of the most important and influential works of British romanticism with a focus on ideas of innocence and experience.  Questions we'll address: how do romantic writers variously define innocence: as childhood, unspoiled nature, the ideal, purity, goodness, insight, clarity of vision, blindness, and/or ignorance?  How and why is innocence lost?  What is lost and what is gained as a result of the transition from innocence to experience?   Topics will include: the Romantics' revision of Milton's Paradise Lost, their interest in the psychology and philosophy of memory, their glorification of children and childhood, their reverence for nature, their critique of both rationalism and crude gothic superstition, their emphasis on feeling, sensibility, and pathos, their views on radicalism and revolution.  Together, we'll read closely some of the greatest poems in the English language by poets including Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge, and Shelley and two novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Jane Austen's Persuasion.  Most readings will be taken from the anthology Romanticism: An Anthology, edited by Duncan Wu.


Priscilla Gilman is a former assistant professor of English at Yale and Vassar and the author of The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy (Harper), a memoir filled with the romantic poetry she specialized in as an academic.  Priscilla grew up in New York City and graduated from The Brearley School and Yale summa cum laude with exceptional distinction in the English major. She went on to earn her masters and Ph.D. in English and American literature at Yale, and spent two years as an assistant professor of English at Yale and four years as an assistant professor of English at Vassar College before leaving academia in 2006.  The Anti-Romantic Child, Gilman’s first book, was excerpted in Newsweek magazine and featured on the cover of its international edition. It was an NPR Morning Edition Must-Read, Slate‘s Book of the Week, selected as one the Best Books of 2011 by the Leonard Lopate Show, and chosen as a Best Book of 2011 by The Chicago Tribune. The Anti-Romantic Child was one of five nominees for a Books for a Better Life Award for Best First Book and was awarded the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, rewarding the best in family-friendly media and literature.  Gilman writes about literature, parenting, autism, and education and reviews fiction and literary non-fiction for the Daily Beast, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times’ Motherlode, The Chicago Tribune, MORE, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Redbook, the Boston Globe, and Huff Post Parents.  Gilman is the parenting/education advice columnist for #1 best-selling author Susan Cain's new Quiet Revolution website and a Scholar/Facilitator for the New York Council for the Humanities.  She teaches literature classes at Mt Sinai Medical School and leads book groups and private writing workshops in New York City.  A prize-winning teacher and with a background in the performing arts, Gilman speaks frequently at schools, conferences, and organizations about parenting, education, and the arts.