Continued Learning @ UE Courses

The University of Evansville is offering the following courses through our Continued Learning at UE program in Spring 2024. Complete the registration form to secure your spot in a course today.

SESSION ONE: February 14 – March 20 (No classes week of March 4)

The Great American Novella: Reading Two Short Masterpieces

Register Now for The Great American Novella: Reading Two Short Masterpieces

Price: $55
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: University Library, LI 203
Instructor(s): Mark Cirino, PhD

In this course, we will read two short, fascinating novels of the 1920s: A Lost Lady by Willa Cather and Passing by Nella Larsen.

These two novels will allow us to savor the beauty of the language and intense drama of the storytelling. We will also discuss the timeless themes these writers introduce, including race, gender, setting, modernity, morality, and more.

The goal for this class is to promote enjoyment of the material and to yield the treasures of close-reading literary texts. We are covering shorter works in order to emphasize the depth of understanding rather than to be overwhelmed by a heavy weekly reading burden.

This class welcomes everyone, from experts in the field to those who have never heard of these works or even these authors. Devoted readers are welcome, as are those who wish to get some inspiration to enhance their reading habits.


  • A Lost Lady by Willa Cather Vintage Classics 9780679728870
  • Passing by Nella Larsen Penguin Classics 9780142437278

Dr. Mark Cirino is Professor, Chair, and the Melvin M. Peterson Endowed Chair in English at the University of Evansville. He is the author and editor of several books about American literature, most recently One True Sentence: Writers and Readers on Hemingway’s Art (co-edited with Michael Von Cannon). His forthcoming edition of Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms will be published in 2025 by Norton. He teaches American literature at UE.

Women You Missed in History Class

Register Now for Women You Missed in History Class

Price: $55
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: University Library, LI 203
Instructor(s): Danielle Williams

Women are often skipped in history class unless they are queens or villains. But hundreds of women had an impact on history. Here are some of their stories.

Materials/Readings: Something a bit different for this class, I’ll be referencing Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath. Not a textbook or a literature book, this is an illustrated collection of short biographies of some of “history’s boldest heroines, hellions, and heretics”. The textbook is not necessary to attend the class, although it is an amazing book with some incredible illustrations. If you’re interested in the class, you’ll be interested in this book!

We will draw for names of some of the women missing from history and each person will provide a brief biography of the woman they researched for the week. I hope this will be a fun exercise, but you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. Just come to the class and learn something new.

Danielle Williams is the Technical Services Librarian at the University of Evansville and manages all the behind the scenes work in the library. As a transplant from Oklahoma, Danielle has worked at UE for over 23 years and has taught courses throughout her tenure at UE. While not a historian through profession, she has always had a keen interest in history, and has taught Food as American History, Fairy Tales, and Politics and Privacy.

The Second World War (Thursdays)

Register Now for The Second World War (Thursdays)

Price: $55
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Koch Center, Room 101
Instructor(s): James MacLeod, PhD

Covers the causes, nature, and consequences of the Second World War, with a focus on the personal/social/cultural/literary aspects rather than strictly military history. Includes a focus on the Evansville experience, and the experience of combat in the Pacific.


  • John Keegan, The Second World War (2005 paperback edition)
  • James MacLeod, Evansville in World War II (2015) Dr MacLeod is happy to provide signed copies for $22
  • E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa (2007 paperback edition)

Dr. James MacLeod chairs the Department of History, Politics, and Social Change at UE and has taught courses in WW2 since 1995. He is the author of Evansville in World War Two, which was published in 2015, and The Cartoons of Evansville’s Karl Kae Knecht, published in February 2017. In 2016 he wrote and co-produced a 2-part documentary on Evansville in World War II for WNIN PBS titled “Evansville at War”. In 2000, he published a book on 19th-century British religion, The Second Disruption, and has also written over 30 other scholarly publications. He has delivered hundreds of public lectures, has won many awards for his teaching and scholarship, and was UE’s Outstanding Teacher in 2009. In 2021 he received the Indiana Historical Society’s Hubert Hawkins History Award in recognition of his distinguished service and career in local history. His latest book is a history of the city for the History Press entitled Lost Evansville, published Fall 2023.

SESSION 2: April 3 – May 2

Help! I Want to be a Writer

Register Now for Help! I Want to be a Writer

Price: $55
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: University Library, LI 203
Instructor(s): The Kandel Sisters

Is writing easy? Sometimes, but certainly not always. Is publishing easy? Umm, no. Here’s an anonymous quote, “If Moses were alive today, he’d come down from the mountain with the ten commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.” In this five-week course we will address the pitfalls, the pain, the hard work, the joys, the successes, the thrill of writing. This class will include how to begin, the 7 components of writing, traditional vs indie publishing, interactive writing, writing to leave a legacy, and some practical how-to sessions.

Materials/References used for the course: Indiana University Writer’s Workshop, Ruth Culham, 6+1 Traits of Writing.

The Kandel Sisters: Kris, Karen, Kathie, and Linda are sisters who are a little north of middle age and a bit south of rigor mortis. They write and speak together and have indie published three devotionals: Take a Deep Breath…It’s Christmas, Catch Your Breath…It’s a New Beginning, The Resurrection…It’s Breathtaking, as well as an adventure book targeting middle grade students which teaches the 6+1 writing traits in a book entitled Kandellight Antiquities: The Adventure on Rodentia Drive. Their book, Get on Your Knee Replacements and Pray, launched in April 2019, and was published by FaithWords, a division of Hachette Publishing. Three new books launched in fall of 2023, Scarred, a romance novel, Revelation: A Treasure Hunt, a 90-day devotional through the book of Revelation, and a companion study guide. All four sisters are graduates of Malone University, Canton, Ohio, with degrees in education. They have over 100 years of combined teaching experiences. All are moms, grandmothers, Bible teachers, and authors.

Chaucer’s Wife of Bath: Imaginary Woman with a Real-World Legacy

Register Now for Chaucer’s Wife of Bath: Imaginary Woman with a Real-World Legacy

Price: $55
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: University Library, LI 203
Instructor(s): Sara Petrosillo, PhD

How can a literary character move from the page to our minds with such charisma that she ceases to be merely fiction? Chaucer’s most famous character, the Wife of Bath, is the first in a long line of fictional female characters in British literature who have captured our hearts and minds and made us wonder: who are you? Marion Turner’s award winning The Wife of Bath: A Biography seeks to answer that question by examining Chaucer’s star character over the course of 700 years, from the real medieval housewives and businesswomen who inspired her creation in the 14th century to her 21st century influences. We will read excerpts of The Canterbury Tales together in class. Outside of class, we will read Turner’s “entertaining and enlightening, funny and provocative” biography and discuss the chapters in class over the five weeks. Thanks to Turner’s book and our class discussions, students are sure to walk away with an inspired list of reading recommendations to take them into the summer!


  • The Wife of Bath: A Biography, by Marion Turner (hardcover ISBN: 9780691206011; Paperback (9780691206035) comes out on March 5, 2024!
  • The Canterbury Tales, translated and abridged by Sheila Fisher (ISBN: 9780393427899)

Sara Petrosillo received her BA in English and Italian Literature from Colby College, and her PhD in English from the University of California, Davis. Her scholarship focuses on medieval literature and feminism and she has published articles on medieval poetry and drama in the Journal for Medieval and Early Modern Studies; Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory; Medieval Feminist Forum; and in a 2018 essay collection, Animal Languages in the Middle Ages: Representations of Interspecies Communication (Palgrave-Macmillan). Her book about the cultural influence of falconry on medieval reading practices, Hawking Women: Falconry, Gender, and Control in Medieval Literary Culture, was released in 2023. She teaches first year seminars, the first half of the British literature survey, world classics, renaissance and 17th century writers, the Romantics, and medieval literature. She also chairs and teaches the introductory class to the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies program. She received UE’s Exemplary Teacher Award in 2021.

Painting with Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir (Four-week class)

Register Now for Painting with Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir (Four-week class)

Price: $55
Date: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Location: Krannert 2nd Floor, FA 204
Instructor(s): Michelle Peterlin

This class will study the painting techniques of Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir. Students will paint the base painting in one class and then finish it using paint and pastels in the second class for each painter.

Materials needed:

  • 8 x 10 canvas board
  • 8 x 10 sturdy watercolor paper
  • acrylic or watercolor paints in tube (cake watercolors are discouraged)
  • a variety of small to medium paint brushes
  • a soft pastel set (no oil pastels)
  • a small water container
  • 1 roll of toilet paper

Michelle Vezina Peterlin is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she studied under legendary painters John Grillo and Leonard Gongora and received a degree in painting. She was born and raised in Gardner, Massachusetts. Currently, she resides with her husband in Evansville, IN. She has been a professional artist for over 30 years and currently exhibits her work throughout the United States.

Bird Lovers’ Landscaping in Any Size Plot or Pot (Thursdays)

Register Now for Bird Lovers’ Landscaping in Any Size Plot or Pot (Thursdays)

Price: $55
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Koch Center, Rm 100
Instructor(s): Sharon Sorenson

This course will focus on the why and how of planting native, especially for the survival and attraction of birds, bees, and butterflies, "birdscaping" no matter the size of one's available property, from acres to patio pots.

Week 1: Summarize research reflecting the necessity of native plants and describe how the research applies to personal landscaping, including small-space planting on patios, decks, and balconies.

Week 2: Detail the importance of incorporating biodiversity using various plant species and offer suggestions for incorporating additional native plants into either new or established landscaping and/or adding pots to landscaping for mini-gardens and landscape highlights.

Week 3: Explain how to choose plants with a purpose, especially to aid in the survival of birds, bees, and butterflies but also to create attractive landscapes, noting especially that not all natives are created equal, including parameters for plants in pots.

Week 4: Detail how to plant perennial natives in containers and how that process differs from that for traditional annuals--what kinds of pots, what kind of drainage, what kind of soil, what kind of "fertilizer."

Week 5: Recommend, illustrate, and detail specific native plants and their soil/water/light requirements, noting their specific wildlife purposes, focusing recommendations on those most likely to survive winters in pots.

Materials/Readings: None required. Helpful resources include D. Tallamy's Nature's Best Hope and Sorenson's Planting Native to Attract Birds to Your Yard

Sharon Sorenson has been a passionate birder since an early age and has gardened for birds, bees, and butterflies for over 35 years and now "gardens" on a 10' x 12' patio. She's authored 23 books, including Planting Native to Attract Birds to Your Yard and two broader references, Birds in the Yard Month by Month and How Birds Behave. Recipient of the Earl Brooks Award for the Advancement of Conservation of Natural Resources in Indiana, Sorenson has been writing a biweekly "For the Birds" newspaper column since 2002, has conducted over 200 birding workshops and lectures, and for 15 years has taught a popular monthly birding class free to the public at Evansville Central Library. Find her almost daily Facebook posts about birds and their habitats at SharonSorensonBirdLady.