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: Peter Medine

This seminar will concentrate on eight of Shakespeare's comedies, among them Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and The Tempest. The approach will assume that comedy is a genre distinguished not by light-hearted humor or triviality but by structure of plot. The action moves from conflict and separation to resolution and union, and the plays typically end in betrothal or marriage. But whatever its romance, Shakespeare's comedy is serious and psychologically realistic. The plays explore the hazards of...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. January 26 - April 6, 2017. No class on March 16.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Susan Karant-Nunn

This course surveys the Reformation. Beginning with Europe at the end of the fifteenth century, we discuss why Martin Luther broke with the late-medieval Roman Catholic Church, and explore traditional and novel theologies and ecclesiastical practices. We touch on other actors and movements like the Swiss Reformation (Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin) and the English Anglican/Puritan reforms. In addition, we look at smaller nonconformist ways of thinking like the Anabaptists and their martyrdom at the hands of Protestants and Catholics alike....

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 26 - April 6, 2017. No class on March 16.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Mary Beth Haralovich

Set decorators call it the art of silent storytelling--how art direction and production design (everything on screen) establish and convey character and story. We examine this “narrative space” through three topics. “Life Stories” that range from personal to epic: class relations in WWI prisoner of war camps (Jean Renoir, La Grande Illusion); a father-daughter relationship in 1960s Japan (Yasuhiro Ozu, An Autumn Afternoon); and ethnicity in Paris suburbs (Mathieu Kassovitz, La Haine). “Meditations on Landscape”...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. January 25 - April 5, 2017. No class on March 15.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Bruce Chamberlain

This course explores the background and the groundbreaking stylistic features of Stravinsky’s most famous works: Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Les Noces. Considered the epitome of early 20th-century composition, these works defined musical syntax for generations of composers. Les Noces, the least known of these works, is a ballet cantata, calling for four pianos, 11 percussionists, four singing soloists, mixed choir, and corps de ballet. Rarely performed due to its...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 25 - February 15, 2017
Dorothy Rubel Room
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

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