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

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
Professor: Jay Rosenblatt

Few composers have been as prolific in so many genres as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In this course we will survey a portion of this vast output from the unique perspective of specialists in the field, all professors at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music. The first session will be led by Jay Rosenblatt and will offer an overview of Mozart’s life, covering such topics as his years as a child prodigy, his difficulties with the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, and his final decade in Vienna. He will also introduce the class to the...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. November 2 - 30, 2015. No class on November 23, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Paul Ivey

This five-week course examines concepts that have become increasingly relevant to contemporary artists working in a variety of media over the past 50 years. It concentrates on more recent art, understood against the backdrop of modern art movements. In this class we will look at some of the broader theories, practices, and institutions that have emerged in the contemporary art world. Subjects include aura, the digital, photography, monumental and unmonumental sculpture, new image painting, time, science, the environment, personal and...

Course Time and Dates:
FRIDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. October 30 - December 4, 2015. No class on November 27, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Steven D. Martinson

Faust is alive and well. His emanations appear in literature, art, music, film, and cyberspace. Not only Adam and Eve but also Faust ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So he has excited the human imagination for centuries. But who was this mysterious alchemist or learned academician who dared transgress the borders of accepted knowledge and revel in the world of darkness that the Church condemned and warned against?

We will look for him on the Internet, in Marlowe’s Tragical History of Dr. Johann...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. October 5 - December 14, 2015. No class on November 23, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Norman Austin

What was the relationship of ancient Greek culture to early Christianity? This seminar will open with two topics of significance in the early development of Christianity: the image (or icon) and the Jesus story itself. The course will also include lectures on the tragic paradigm in Greek poetry (Homer and Sophocles) and a discussion of the soul in Plato's Phaedo. Then we trace the Hellenization of the ancient Mediterranean, beginning with the conquests of Alexander the Great and their influence on the diffusion of Hellenic...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. October 1- December 10, 2015. No class on November 26, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Meg Lota Brown

Many of Shakespeare’s most powerful, intelligent, and subversive characters are female. How were such vividly complex roles constructed in a culture that legally defined women as property on the grounds of their intellectual and moral inferiority? Given the early modern imperatives of feminine silence, chastity, and obedience, how is it that women impel Shakespeare’s plots, orchestrate conflicts, and—in many instances— impose “resolutions”?

This course will address the social and historical contexts of Shakespeare's women and how the...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 600 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. September 30 - October 28, 2015 (EVENING CLASS!) Please note that this course is NOT held in the Rubel Room in the Poetry Center, but in room # 410 of the Modern Languages Building instead. Convenient parking is available in the Second Street Parking Garage for $5.00 per class.
Modern Languages 410
Professor: Laura C. Berry

How can we best know the past, and how much can we really know of it?

This interdisciplinary course will seek answers to these questions in relation to mid-Victorian England. We will read primary material published around 1859, providing a “snapshot” of a particularly important moment in the middle of one of the world’s most interesting centuries. The readings will include two novels and diverse original texts drawn from political, economic, scientific, social, and popular writing. Expect authors as well-known as Karl Marx and as new...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. September 30 - December 16, 2015. No class on November 11 and 25, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room

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