For Immediate Release                      Contact:   Gail Towns              or           Tara Strickland
                                                                                   732.987.2266                          732.987.2291

Famous Irish Writers Focus of New Course at Georgian Court

McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning Offers Seven New Classes for Spring 2010

Lakewood, N.J., Feb. 8, 2010—The influence of literary greats like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and W. B. Yeats are the focus in 20th-Century Irish Innovators, a new course offered by Georgian Court University’s McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning. The class, which meets on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to noon from February 26–April 9, is one of seven courses offered this spring through the institute, a program tailored for participants ages 50 and over who enjoy college-level learning. Course registration is $120 per person and open only to members of the McAuley Institute. The class will meet in the Ruggiero Room on the Lakewood campus.

20th-Century Irish Innovators kicks off the second series of courses—each taught by GCU professors and lecturers—since the institute launched in September 2009.

“From Dublin to London, Paris, and to the world-at-large, these authors have inspired a legacy of Irish innovation that is still at work,” says Hannah Means-Shannon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of literature at GCU. “The authors we’ll study contributed to modern literature as we know it,” she says, “and a lot of the avant-garde aspects that influence books today came out Ireland. The country has produced authors who are naturally innovative and willing to experiment in ways that other cultures might not.”

Participants also will examine the works of George Bernard Shaw and Seamus Heaney as they discuss the ways social unrest and early 20th century reform shaped the authors’ views on Ireland.

Dr. Means-Shannon, who recently taught a McAuley course on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, looks forward to hearing students’ thoughts about the writers and their work.

“The students who come to us through McAuley have a much more widespread educational background. What they’ve heard or read in previous years is highly eclectic, and often they’ve traveled to Ireland, England, Paris, and other places. When you bring these students together, you get a wildly different perspective on the course subject.”

Howell resident and McAuley member Terri Wheat completed one of McAuley’s first courses, American First Ladies: Not Elected, But Not Without Influence, in December 2009. It was an experience that she continues to share with others.

“As a class, we were involved from the very beginning,” says Mrs. Wheat. “The dialogue back and forth was great. In high school or college, there wasn't a lot of exchange between student and professor. This was definitely hands-on learning.”

Mrs. Wheat and other participants found that the McAuley classes were academically challenging, but also offered chances for them to broaden their insight on specific topics, challenge preconceived ideas, and establish new friendships.

An annual membership fee of $25 opens the door to thought-provoking topics taught by experienced professors year round. Institute members take classes on GCU’s historic Lakewood campus, enjoy select meet-and-greet events with headline speakers and entertainers appearing at GCU, and attend two social networking events, among other benefits. They also weigh in on future McAuley.

Spring 2010 McAuley Institute offerings include:

20th-Century Irish Innovators
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Fridays, February 26–April 9 (no class March 5 or April 2)
Cost: $120 per person

Insight into Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
An introduction to complementary and alternative healing methods like humor and laughter, breath work, meditation, guided imagery, body movements, and homeopathy.
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. on Mondays, March 8–April 12 (no class April 5)
Cost: $120 per person

Musical Vienna: The City of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Beyond
An exploration of the lives of great composers and the city that was their home.
1:00–3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 24–April 28
Cost: $140 per person

The Goulds and the Gilded Age
Meet in Georgian Court’s historic Mansion and study the culture of the legendary Gould family, American class structure at the turn of the 20th century, and more.
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Fridays, April 16–May 14
Cost: $120 per person

Japanese Calligraphy as Mindfulness Practice
Explore the holistic experience of Japanese calligraphy, major stroke styles, phonetic letters and ideograms, and modern works.
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. on Mondays, April 19–May 17
Cost: $120 per person

Drawing What We See, Not What We Know
A drawing workshop to help participants express graphic ideas though line, form, and value. Explore the mysteries of the most ordinary yet amazing things that exist around us.
1:00–3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 2–30
Cost: $120 per person

Vive La France!
For anyone who has ever been enchanted by the verve, beauty, and singularity of France, this series of presentations on Gallic history, language, culture, and cuisine will provide food for thought and for the imagination.
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Fridays, June 4–July 2
Cost: $120 per person

To register for the McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning and any of the classes listed above, contact GCU’s Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or You may also visit our Web site at for a printable registration form.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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