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: David Byrne

While many people living in Tucson and its surroundings are experienced outdoor aficionados, many lack an understanding of our near neighbors--those plants and animals that live close to us in our urban environment. Certainly we can choose to ignore the flora and fauna of our desert community and function reasonably well. Our lives are enriched, however, if we take the time to develop a better understanding of our companion species. Developing this awareness/knowledge ?is the goal of this course. Using ecology, the scientific analysis and...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. May 3- May 31, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Monica J. Casper

Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Batman, Captain America, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Black Widow--the list of America’s superheroes is long. Comic books, TV, and cinema have long built up the appeal of superheroes, and they remain popular. Embodiments of cultural meanings, social practices, and political imaginaries, superheroes tell us stories about ourselves. Historically, representations of superheroes have been connected to national security and the Cold War, changing gender roles, racial stereotypes, and environmental issues. In this...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. March 1 - April 5, 2016. No class on March 15.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: George Davis, Peter Kresan

The Colorado Plateau is a vibrant tectonic province renowned for its landscapes, geology, and beauty. It is in effect a living, dynamic museum of natural history, with its 3D “displays” covering nearly two billion years of history. Through lectures, photography, and choice rock and fossil specimens we will “see” the sedimentary strata as records of ancient landscapes and seascapes, and “read” earth deformation and volcanism as expressions of plate tectonics in action. Moreover, we will come to know this raw, exposed canyon country as an...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. February 10, 17, 24, March 2, 9, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Irene Bald Romano

Art has often been plundered or stolen during times of war, occupation, or even peace. This course explores the historical, political, and legal framework of specific moments when art has been taken. The class focuses on how art has been used for propagandistic purposes, as pawns in high-stakes politics, or as a “cash cow” in the legitimate or black market. It also looks at ethical issues of museum collecting, the debate over cultural property, and the dilemma of recovery or repatriation of stolen art. Case studies include the looting of...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. February 1 - 29, 2016.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: David Gibbs

U.S. intervention in underdeveloped countries raises many basic issues of international relations and foreign policy. The main purpose of this class is to provide students with an ability to examine such issues critically and in a historical context. Among the general areas we will look at are: the historical background that led to the emergence of the USA as a major power, beginning at the end of the 1940s; the role of covert operations during the Cold War; the Vietnam War and its long-term effects; the end of the Cold War; and the War on...

Course Time and Dates:
FRIDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 29 - April 8, 2016
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Peter Medine

This course encompasses Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, and King Lear. While addressing ourselves to such matters as language and theatricality, we shall approach plays primarily from the perspectives of plot and characterization. This line of inquiry will enable us to focus on the psychology and morality of the tragic protagonists and at the same time take into account the shape of the plays' action. Thereby we shall be able to move beyond the misguided...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. January 28 - April 7, 2016. No class on March 17.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Bella Vivante

The first great work of Western literature, Homer’s phenomenal epic The Iliad, sings of the Trojan War, its horrors and its glories. To the ancient Greeks war was a fact of life. Proving oneself in battle was fundamental to becoming a man. Despite modern Western beliefs that we can resolve conflicts diplomatically, war still confronts us. Today, facing an implacably savage enemy leaves many conflicted about the morality of warfare.

Greek warfare differed from modern practices: unquestioningly accepting that war was necessary...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 28 - April 7, 2016. No class on March 17.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Leslie P. Tolbert

The human brain, guiding our every thought and action, is as complex as anything we know. Its almost unimaginable complexity arises from minute interconnections between tens of billions of nerve cells. If we could map every connection among the cells, we still would have only a rough foundation for understanding brain function, because those connections are changing every moment of our lives. They are recording our experiences, our emotions, our plans for the future, and they are constantly repairing disruption and injury. Evidence is...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. January 26 - February 23, 2016.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Richard Cosgrove

Why study the Tudors? This dynasty has a special place in English history because it presided over the transition from medieval to modern (or so most historians, but not all, argue). In addition, the major figures, especially Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, have long fascinated historians and the general public. This period also contained the Reformation in England that separated the English church from the papacy in Rome.

The Tudors have transcended the sphere of history, for they are now the rock stars of contemporary media. In movies...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. January 25 - April 4, 2016. No class on March 14.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Fabian Alfie

Dante’s Purgatorio, as is well known, is not a standalone text; it is simply the second part of The Divine Comedy. In this course we will deal with Dante’s views on redemption and salvation as represented in his Purgatorio. Our focus will be 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 human beings can transcend their fallen nature (with divine assistance). We will cover the numerous historical personages and references in the work,...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. November 5 - December 3, 2015. No class on November 26, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room

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