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: Lynda Zwinger

In this class we will begin to see for ourselves what James contributed to the art to which he devoted his entire life. The course will include lectures on the history and form of the English and American novel, Henry James’s life and times, selected passages from James’s prefaces to the famous New York edition, and an introduction to foundational formal and theoretical concepts we will need for our exploration. James wrote for many kinds of readers: those looking for a good story, his fellow artists, and for his ideal reader—who, not...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. September 27 - December 13, 2016. No class on October 25 and November 22.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
Professor: Albrecht Classen

Medieval literature was not simply doom and gloom. It also had a strong sense of hope, happiness, and love, embodied best perhaps in the Holy Grail and courtly love. As in all other literary eras, we can also find many tragic or religious works. But one of the hallmarks of medieval literature, at least in its secular form, is the search for happiness, individual fulfillment, and love, all perhaps best captured by the term “quest.” Think of the quest for the grail, quest for the social ideal of a courtly knight, and quest for love. Happiness...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. September 26 - December 12, 2016. No class on October 3 and November 21.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street
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:
FRIDAYS 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM September 30 - December 16, 2016. No class on November 11 and November 25.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Doug Weiner

The Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union played defining roles in the twentieth century, yet are poorly understood. To help us to better grasp their history, this course will integrate the best scholarship and currently available evidence to provide a broad picture of Soviet history that makes the most sense today. We will begin with the context of the Bolshevik seizure of power. Among other topics, the course will cover the relationship of Marxism to Soviet ideology and practice, the rise of Stalin, the Soviet economy, ethnic policy,...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. August 3 - August 24, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Peter Medine

This seminar will focus on the ideal political state as it is represented in More's Utopia (1516) and Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726). There are no incontrovertibly valid answers to the question of what constitutes the ideal state and how it may be realized, and neither Utopia nor Gulliver Travels pretends to advance them. The works are fictional, and the methods are literary—a Platonic dialogue and a prose satire. Each work advances two arguments, one that affirms the ideal political state and...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. August 2 - August 30, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: David Soren

In this course Professor David Soren presents four of his most significant accomplishments from his fifty-year career in archaeology (Oxford University has cited his work as among the fifty greatest archaeological discoveries of all time). First, he will discuss his excavations at Kourion, Cyprus, where he uncovered a Greco-Roman city buried by the devastating earthquake of July 21, 365, which triggered tsunamis so powerful they demolished the Greek coast. Next, he will tell the story of the agony of Roman emperor Augustus, which caused him...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS July 7 - July 28, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Malcolm Compitello

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes has undoubtedly profoundly influenced the techniques, form, and meaning of modern art. From his innovations that revolutionized making etchings to the form and content of his historical and allegorical painting, Goya’s influence on artistic creation is immense. This course will study that influence and examine how Goya’s view of the world and his thought emerged. We will see how his paintings and etchings evolved into a systematic criticism of the antiquated nature of Spain’s institutions and way of life. We...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS June 29 - July 27, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Laura C. Berry

Sherlock Holmes never actually said “Elementary, my dear Watson!” There have been more than 60 Holmes films, including one in which he is portrayed by a mouse, one by a dog, and at least one as a woman. Arthur Conan Doyle, the original author, was a medical doctor, a freemason, and a believer in spiritualism and clairvoyance. These and other curious facts will be explored (or should we say “detected“?) in this seminar, as we examine a cross-section of the many adaptations of Doyle’s iconic detective. We will begin by reading many of the...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. June 7 - June 28, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Eleni Hasaki

What were the key technologies and major technical achievements of classical Greek antiquity? This course examines two crucial and interconnected industries: ceramics and bronze-working. The two crafts are often discussed separately, but in this course we will focus on their deeply rooted connections. We will examine the qualities of the raw materials used, the technological know-how of potters and bronze-smiths, the pyrotechnological principles of their kilns and furnaces, as well as the social, political, economic, and cultural milieus...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. June 1- June 22, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Melissa Tatum

The Civil War was not only pivotal moment in American history, it was a key moment in the development of American music. Even as the war was ripping the country in half, the military was bringing together soldiers from differing ethnic and musical backgrounds. The resulting comingling of instruments, songs, and styles has been called the first recognizably “American” folk music.

This is not a history class or a music class, but rather is an examination of the connection between music, history, and place. It is a class about how a...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. May 5 - May 26, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room

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