Past Courses

To view course videos click on the title of the past course.

Looking for our really old courses (going back to the founding of the HSP program)? You can find them in our Course Archive.

Professor: Bella Vivante

In this course we’ll explore Homer’s brilliant storytelling in The Odyssey: his tales of Odysseus’s struggles to return home after the Trojan War. While the poem highlights the hero’s fantastic adventures, the underlying meanings reflect profound social concerns: female and male identities, and their respective realms and relationships; revisiting The Iliad’s military-centered notions of heroism from social-oriented perspectives; the roles of gods; storytelling traditions, and more. The class looks at how these diverse...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. January 24 - April 4, 2017. No class on March 14.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Thomas Kovach

This course explores works from the postwar era by Jewish and German authors--both writings and films--from East and West Germany and Austria. In these works we will see differences among the three successor states to the Nazis, including the ways people dealt with guilt for Nazi crimes, but also with feeling victimized by the bombing of German cities and the division of Germany after the war. The Jewish texts stem mainly from the post-Unification era, when many Jewish writers reflected on how their parents felt shame about deciding to...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 23 - April 3, 2017. No class on March 13.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Noam Chomsky, Marvin Waterstone

This spring students of all ages will have the exciting opportunity to learn about and discuss politics with one of the greatest public intellectuals of our time, Noam Chomsky. Chomsky and UA emeritus professor Marv Waterstone will coteach a seven-week class titled “What Is Politics?” that is both a general education course for UA undergraduates and a Humanities Seminar class for community members. Connecting students from multiple generations and political outlooks, this course is sure to stimulate ideas, debate, and dialogue.

The...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. AND THURSDAYS 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. January 12 - March 2, 2017.
Environmental and Natural Resources Building 2 (ENR2), Room N120
Professor: Fabian Alfie

This class deals with the climax of Dante’s Divine Comedy. While Inferno depicts sin and evil, and Purgatorio portrays redemption, Paradiso illustrates the possibility of transcendence. Not only does a blessed soul understand the transcendent universe, but that person also transcends her or his fallen human nature. Using a facing-page translation, in this seminar we will cover the numerous historical personages and references in the work, and discuss its cosmological and theological basis. Dante’s ...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m.. to 4:00 p.m. October 26 - November 16, 2016.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
Professor: Jay Rosenblatt

This course continues to survey Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s vast musical output from the unique perspective of specialists in the field, all professors at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. Jay Rosenblatt leads the first session with an overview of Mozart’s life, focusing particularly on the music for, and inspired by, his association with the Freemasons. In another session Dr. Rosenblatt will continue last year’s discussion of Mozart’s operas. Subsequent sessions will be led by Brian Luce, Professor of Flute, who will...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. October 24 - November 14, 2016.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
Professor: Roger Nichols

This course traces the often-changing experiences American Indians had from just before the War for Independence to the twentieth century. It will focus on how they dealt with the expanding nation and its pioneer citizens. Their tactics varied from contact, cooperation, and competition to conflict with the newcomers. Major differences in how the two races saw their lands and resources explain the violence that resulted. The U.S. lacked any consistent policy for its treatment of the tribes; and even when its goals seemed humane, their...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. October 18 - November 15, 2016
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
Professor: Richard Poss

This survey of astronomy begins here on Earth and heads outward to the ends of the observable universe. We will explore the Sun, the Moon, and the most interesting planets in our stellar neighborhood. Comets, asteroids, the Kuiper Belt, and the Oort Cloud are the next topics we will consider as we assess our solar-system environment. From our local solar system we then move to star formation and the nature of the Milky Way galaxy. Neutron stars, debris disks, supernovas, black holes, and dark matter follow.

Are we alone? How do you...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. September 29 - December 8, 2016. No class on November 24.
Steward Observatory N 210, 933 N. Cherry Avenue
Professor: Thomas P. Miller

This course steps back from polls and punditry to reflect on broader historical developments. It considers women in politics, divisions between rich and poor, and ethnic minorities becoming the new majority. To deepen our analyses, we will consider writings on politics and ethics, including some that shaped the founding of the republic as well as recent research on political cognition and moral imagination. That research has brought us back to Hume’s view that “reason is a slave of the passions,” something abundantly apparent in the current...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. September 29 - December 8, 2016. No class on November 24.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
Professor: Bella Vivante

We initiate a year of exploring Homer by reading his scintillating epic poem presenting a few days near the Trojan War’s end: The Iliad. While the poem highlights battle and military matters, human complexities also emerge: conflict between military and domestic realms; women as war prizes or prized family members; the role of gods; concepts of heroism; ways of warfare; the oral tradition; creation of poetry; and more. The aim is to appreciate from multiple perspectives The Iliad’s exquisite poetry and its multilayered...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. September 29 - December 15, 2016. No class on October 27 and November 24.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
Professor: Donna Guy

Stereotypes of dictators, machismo, endemic drug violence, and staunch Catholicism are often applied to Latin America. Countries as different as Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil are lumped together despite varying ethnicities and economics. How can we tell the difference between the myths and the realities? How can a little island like Cuba so enrage the United States? This ten-week course approaches these questions topically. Lectures and selected readings explore topics such as the decline of Catholicism, democracy, the role of Jews and...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. September 28 - December 14, 2016. No class on October 12 and November 23.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street

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