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: 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
Professor: Irène d'Almeida

By studying literature and cinema, students in this course will learn about various African cultures, traditions, and institutions. The class will show how French-speaking African writers and film-makers use literature and films to build narratives concerning African cultures and societies. At the same time, their work offers a counternarrative to persistent images of life in Africa. Our focus will be on West Africa, which forms a cultural entity, and three themes that correspond to three historical periods: first, “Ancient Africa,” with an...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. September 30 - December 16, 2015. No class on November 11 and 25, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Susan A. Crane

This course addresses the twentieth-century genocide that was the Holocaust, the attempted annihilation of European Jews and other designated racial and political opponents led by the Third Reich in Germany. We will review the horrific events of the Holocaust and explore the current scholarly understanding of this history: What does it mean to remember the Holocaust today?

The Holocaust continues to be relevant, and not only for surviving victims and perpetrators. We will consider how and why the Holocaust has been remembered in the...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. September 29 - December 15, 2015. No class on November 10 and November 24, 2015.
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Melissa Tatum

In the 1800s the newly created United States of America was seized by what was labeled “Manifest Destiny”--a deep-seated drive to expand from coast to coast. This drive encountered several obstacles, ranging from the challenges presented by geography and travel to the fact that large segments of land were already claimed by America’s indigenous people. The impulse toward a unified continent was also derailed by the Civil War and the division between the states. The military played a significant role in conquering the West and, obviously, in...

Course Time and Dates:
FRIDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. August 7, 14, 21, 28, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Peter Medine

This seminar begins by putting Dubliners and Portrait of an Artist into their social and literary contexts. We will then spend two meetings on each work. Though in different genres—the short story and the education novel—they are companion pieces in significant ways. Dubliners illustrates the oppression of Irish Catholics by British Protestants and by Irish Catholics themselves through the strictures of the institutionalized Church. A Portrait tells the tale of an individual who refuses to submit to...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: David Soren

Join anthropologist and classical archaeologist David Soren for an overview of ancient Rome. Moving from the Early Iron Age to the so-called fall of the Roman Empire, the course will also look at the mysterious people known as the Etruscans. It will delve into Republican Rome’s development into an international powerhouse, drawing cultural inspiration from the ancient Greeks. The rise of Imperial Rome features propaganda-master Octavian, conqueror of Antony and Cleopatra, and heir to Julius Caesar. Finally, the class looks at the latest...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. July 8, 15, 22, 29, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Laura C. Berry

Virginia Woolf famously said that Middlemarch is “one of the few English novels written for grown-up ­people.”  It is also frequently said to be the best nineteenth-century novel written in English and the most perfect example of classic British realism. Its capacious scope, depth of compassion, and careful attention to the details of human experience transcend its Victorian origins; it continues to attract ardent devotees almost 150 years after its publication. In this course we will examine the language of Middlemarch...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. June 2, 9, 16, 23, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room

Pages