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: Fabian Alfie

Dante’s 700-year-old masterpiece the Divine Comedy still attracts great attention. For centuries readers have been drawn to his vivid description of the afterlife. This course will explore the first portion of the Divine Comedy, Inferno, in its entirety. The class will focus on the organization of his hell, from lesser to greater sins, the numerous historical personages and references in it, and its implicit theology. We will also look at Dante’s narrative, discussing how the actions of his characters and their...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. Nov. 13, 20, Dec. 4, and 11, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Jay Rosenblatt

Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the great masters of the Classical and Romantic eras in music, and no genre summarizes his achievement better than the string quartet. This course will examine 16 works spread evenly throughout his early, middle, and late styles. The first six quartets reveal his consolidation of Mozart’s and Haydn’s techniques, the five middle quartets demonstrate his expansion of form and mastery of harmony, and the final five quartets, along with the “Grosse Fuge,” invite us into the experimental realm of the deaf and...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, and 17, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Paul Ivey

This course examines the issues, artists, and theories surrounding the rise of Postmodernism in the visual arts from 1970 into the twenty-first century. We will explore the emergence of pluralism in the visual arts against a backdrop of the rise of the global economy. And we will look at the “crisis” of postmodern culture, which critiques ideas of history, progress, and personal and cultural identities, as well as embracing irony and parody, pastiche, nostalgia, mass or “low” culture, and multiculturalism.

In a chronological fashion...

Course Time and Dates:
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. until noon Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Lynda Zwinger

One of the most popular and beloved novelists in the English language, Jane Austen wrote novels that have beguiled and challenged readers for two centuries.

For some, Austen is our beloved "Aunt Jane," chatting with us about tea parties, excursions in pony phaetons, and ill-advised epistolary relationships. For others, she is a subversive ironist whose piercing vision of human foibles offers us reflections relevant to our own lives and times.

How did this seventh child of a provincial clergyman, a single woman who lived an...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 9:00 a.m. until noon Oct. 2, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20, Dec. 4, 11, and 18, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Patrick Baliani

The tragicomedy genre, so prevalent in our day, has actually been evolving for many centuries. While one can take a primarily aesthetic approach to any genre--what makes comedy comedy?--here we will include a fuller consideration of history, stressing the social, political, and philosophical contexts of the particular plays.

How does a certain “age” or “culture” perceive tragicomedy? What are the roots of this standpoint, and how does it evolve across cultural and temporal barriers? How do interpretation and performance affect our...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. until noon Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19, Dec. 3, and 10, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Charles Scruggs

According to George Kennan, the Great War was “the seminal event of the Twentieth Century.” The war triggered both the Russian Revolution and the Irish Rebellion, and ended by toppling monarchies and destroying empires.

But perhaps the “shock of the new” that most surprised was the horror of modern, mechanized warfare. T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front are probably the most famous postwar texts, but they are only two of many brilliant literary works the war...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 1:00 -4:00 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2, 9, and 16, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Malcolm Compitello

The city has been the motor of progress in modernity and the crucible of many of the social movements that have contested the darker underside of the modern. This seminar will explore how cities came to reside at the center of the modern project, how they have been transformed over time, and what those transformations might mean. It will also examine how the work of artists, most importantly film makers, react to the urban process, and how their creations contribute to understanding the complex dynamic that forms the culture and politics of...

Course Time and Dates:
TUESDAYS 9:00 a.m. until noon Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2, 9, and 16, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Doug Weiner

How did our globalized economy and international culture come to be?

The “Rise of the West” idea has long suggested something innately superior about “Western civilization.” But there are better grounded ways than appeals to cultural or racial superiority to explain the emergence of today’s world, based as it is on European economic power, market logic, science and technology, and to a significant extent, culture. We will learn the central roles of biogeography, epidemiology, patterns of trade, geopolitics, and pure accident in the “...

Course Time and Dates:
WEDNESDAYS 9:00 a.m. - noon August 6, 13, 20, 27, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Peter Medine

Jane Austen's portrayals of Regency England's provincial life provide fascinating commentary on social and economic issues as well as the characters' psychology and emotional lives. Throughout this class we will attend to the ironic presentation, where the narrative's implicit meaning often differs from what is literally expressed.  Such approaches will bring into focus the education of the main characters through the trials of their experiences. While the novels conform to the comedic mode, in which the principals ultimately realize their...

Course Time and Dates:
FRIDAYS 9:00 a.m. until noon August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room
Professor: Melissa Tatum

The role of tribal governments within the United States is not well understood, largely because most schools do not teach it. This course is designed to fill that gap. Each class will explore a different aspect of how tribal governments fit within the federal system. The first session looks at how historic and modern structures of tribal governments relate to the U.S. government. The next class focuses on issues of cultural property and sacred sites. The third meeting dispels the myth that tribal economic development consists primarily of...

Course Time and Dates:
THURSDAYS 10:00 a.m. until noon July 10, 17, 24, 31, 2014
Dorothy Rubel Room

Pages