Course Details

964: Discussion of Ragtime, the Novel by E.L. Doctorow and Comparison with The Film Based on It

July 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Ragtime is the best-known novel (because of the musical and film based on it) by the recently deceased renowned American writer E.L. Doctorow. Each of his novels is situated in a different decade of American history beginning in the 1860’s with The March. Ragtime takes place during the opening years of the 20th Century. The reactions of his fictional characters to interactions with historical ones serve as a means to portray the interrelationship between significant historical movements and events. Doctorow delights the readers by letting them in on his powerful and subtle social criticism concealed in his seemingly simple  declarative sentences. This will be a discussion class with emphasis on the historical events that his three fictional families from different social strata get involved in. For maximum benefit it is strongly suggested that class members read the book before the start of class. Also required will be to watch the film of the same name, available for rent on Fandango and other platforms.

Class Type: Reading and Discussion

Class Format: Online

Hours of Reading: 2+ hours/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Dorothy Marschak

Most of Dorothy Marschak's professional life was spent in Academia - Economics (Barnard and UCLA) and Statistics (UCB), with many grad courses also in her non-PhD areas. She also has worked with governments and in international development (as World Bank consultant). In 1998 she founded CHIME, an NGO she still leads.

Reading List:

Ragtime (E.L.Doctorow) | 1974: Random House | ISBN: 0-394-4901-1 | Required