James Baldwin is arguably one of the most important 20th century writers. His piercing commentary on race in America, sexuality, religion, and the role of literature is as rare as it is poignant for our times. In the course we will explore some biographical history, read and discuss two of his works, and view some media clips of him speaking on various issues. You may want to watch “I Am Not Your Negro,” the highly regarded film, before class begins. Further, should you take this class, be prepared to have your “buttons pushed” and your limits tested. Baldwin lets no one “off the hook.”
GROUP LEADER: Tim Burger is the rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Worcester and a lover of dusty, beleaguered bookstores. He earned a degree in English/Philosophy from the University of Georgia, Master of Divinity from General Theological Seminary in New York City, Master of Sacred Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York and is working on an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
BOOK (required): any edition of Go Tell it on the Mountain (read before first class) and Giovanni’s Room. Optional: James Baldwin: Collected Essays, and James Baldwin: Early Novels and Stories (The Library of America)
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609