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: Richard Poss

This seminar will examine mysterious moments, ancient and modern, which have come to the fore in humanity’s quest to understand our place in the cosmos.
 
We begin in prehistory, where from the oldest humans we have evidence of sophisticated astronomy.   How much did the earliest sky-watchers discover the motions of the heavens?  What did they record in stone for us to decipher?  We will study archaeoastronomical monuments in Europe and America to try to place ourselves in the minds of the earliest astronomers.  From there we...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. until noon October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 26, December 3, 10, 17, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Fabian Alfie

Using the recent translation by Jean and Robert Hollander, we will deal with Dante’s views on human nature as represented in his Purgatorio.  We shall discuss the nature of sin: how it is that appetites which keep the body and species alive are evil (i.e., lust and gluttony); and how it is that human beings can transcend their fallen nature (with Divine assistance).  We will cover the numerous historical personages and references therein, and the theology implicit to it.
Although Purgatorio is the second portion of Dante’s Comedy, it...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. July 10, 17, 24, 31, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: David Soren

Two years ago the Main Library of the University of Arizona was given a massive donation of original collections from the American Vaudeville Museum by its curators Frank Cullen and Donald McNeilly. This collection is one of the largest in the world. To commemorate this move, Dr. David Soren who coordinated the transfer will offer a course in the history and evolution of American vaudeville from its roots to superstars such as Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, The Nicholas Brothers, Annette Kellerman, Eddie Cantor and many more.

Dr. Soren...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. July 9, 16, 23, 30, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Norman Austin

The Odyssey gives us an adventure story of a Greek hero returning to his home in Ithaca after the Trojan War.  This could be a straightforward journey lasting three or four days at most.  But in the Odyssey the journey is expanded into a narrative of 24 books (= ancient rolls) and over a time period of ten years.  Home-coming is made into an epic theme.   The epic dimensions of this journey allow the poets to incorporate a variety of folktales of heroic encounters with nymphs of divine beauty and monsters such as only an epic hero could...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. June 6, 13, 20, 27, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Meg Lota Brown

How do Shakespeare and filmmakers who adapt his plays engage their audiences, construct meaning, and enable us to understand more fully our own culture and ourselves? This seminar will deepen our understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s drama and of his cinematic interpreters.  We will focus on the following plays from three different genres—comedy, tragedy, and history: Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV, Part II, and Henry V. Each of those plays will be paired with at least two film adaptations from...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Barbara Atwood

When Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that “the life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience,” he meant that law is a messy and imperfect invention reflecting the human condition.  This course will explore the imperfect nature of law today by focusing on cutting edge contemporary problems in legal interpretation and policy, with each covered by a distinguished faculty member from the College of Law, who is a well-known expert in the field.  Four distinguished faculty members from the College of Law will lecture on an area within...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Jay Rosenblatt

Franz Liszt (1811–1886) is one of the seminal figures of the 19th century. As one of the great piano virtuosos, he toured Europe from one end to the other, coming into contact with virtually all the prominent figures of the period. As a composer, he contributed to all the major genres and pioneered various innovations in form and harmony.
 
A series of four class sessions will consider Liszt, both in terms of biography and music. For the latter, our survey will begin with piano music (the first session), continue with...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Adele Barker

This course is for those who love to read ! Beginning with his memoir Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth and then moving into War and Peace, we will discuss the world that the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy created in his fictions against the backdrop of the social and political ferment that would ultimately lead to the 1917 revolution. Tolstoy attempted to find the family happiness in his novels that eluded him in his own life. Reading him is to gain insight into the unique role that literature played in political and...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. January 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 1, 8, 22, 29, April 5, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Peter Medine

I have put in [Ulysses] so many enigmas and  puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.  James Joyce
                                                                                                                           
While most of the great avant-garde art works of the early 20thcentury rest securely within the canon of modernist classics, Ulysses (1922) continues to challenge and, as the author had hoped, puzzle us. We are still struggling to become Joyce’s...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. January 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, March 7, 21, 28, April 4, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Patrick Baliani

What makes comedy comedy? Does the comedic aesthetic evolve across cultural and temporal barriers? How do interpretation and performance affect our understanding of the works? What does it mean that "comedy is deadly serious"? These are a few of the questions to be raised in the exploration of one major comedy each week, by Aristophanes, Plautus, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Moliere, Wilde, Shaw, Coward, and Frayn. Historical, social,
political, and psychological contexts will also be addressed. Professional actors will perform key...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, March 7, 21, 28, April 4, 2012
Dorothy Rubel Room

Pages