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: 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
Professor: Herbert Schneidau

What's really in the Bible? As opposed to what we've been told by well-meaning but often not well-informed parents, clergy, and others? This course provides an innovative look at many instructive and amusing aspects of this most consequential book in Western culture. It examines clichés and received wisdom about the text, with a view to replacing widely accepted readings with students’ own more informed and insightful revisionings of the book. Not your average Bible reading class, this course aims to explore many controversial and contested...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Eleni Hasaki

What were the key technologies and major technical achievements of classical Greek antiquity? This course examines crucial technological wonders from ancient Greece, focusing on: temple construction (the Parthenon), the mastery of fire for bronzes (the Delphi Charioteer) and ceramics (the Euphronios Vase), and the transformation of marble into sculptures (the Aphrodite of Melos). We will look at the qualities of the raw materials used, the technological know-how of ancient craftspeople, the scientific principles of their work, the...

Course Time and Dates:
FRIDAYS 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Richard Poss

Can a movie probe more deeply into theology than other works? Can it show the strengths and weaknesses of religious thought more directly, more dramatically? This seminar probes theology and film, examining movies with strong Christian themes. We will use film criticism and literary and art theories to look at and interpret movies that address the spiritual dimensions of life. The class will study classic directors like Buñuel, Pasolini, and Zeffirelli, tease out new meaning from familiar texts such as A Man for All Seasons and...

Course Time and Dates:
FRIDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, 27, April 3, 10, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Brian Silverstein

Is Turkey in Europe or the Middle East? Is this a question of geography, history, politics, or culture? This course explores all those sides of Turkey since the late 19th-century empire, focusing on the republican era after 1923. Turkey is one of the world’s most populous Muslim countries, a parliamentary democracy, a NATO member, and a candidate to join the European Union. The country is also not a postcolony--the Republic of Turkey emerged directly from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The seminars will be presented by Dr....

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 12, 26, April 9, and April 16, 2015
Dorothy Rubel Room

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