Current Courses

Current Courses

All of our current courses are closed. Click the "upcoming" tab above to explore and register for next term's courses!

Closed Courses

Spring 2019

In Session

Roger Nichols
TUESDAYS
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Jan 15 to Feb 12

Most of the people in the world know something about the American West. Usually popular ideas about it come from the work of novelists, artists, performers, filmmakers and TV producers, who created a mythical time and place where self-reliant pioneers overcame physical hardship, dangerous Indians, and environmental challenges to populate the region. Reality suggests a different picture. Hundreds of thousands of homesteaders failed, the vast majority of would-be miners never struck it rich, and most pioneers never met hostile Indians. Yet, at the same time reality really did follow the...

Spring 2019

In Session

John Milbauer
THURSDAYS
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Jan 17 to Feb 7

Why is it that much classical music written after 1910 remains difficult for audiences? The answer lies partially in the splintering of compositional languages throughout the 20th century, languages that can leave listeners unnecessarily flummoxed and dissatisfied. In this class, Dr. Milbauer will lead—from the piano bench—a sweeping tour of compositional movements from the turn of the 20th century to the present, finding windows into understanding by linking newer composers with their better-known antecedents and by referencing visual arts, physics, literature, philosophy, dance, and...

Spring 2019

In Session

Richard Poss
FRIDAYS
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Jan 18 to Apr 5

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the central conflict of the twentieth century. Our approach to the topic will be roughly chronological and will attempt to treat each of the major theaters and battles, themes, and ideas of the conflict. We will trace its origins in the aftermath of WWI, see the growth of fascism, the expansion of the Japanese Empire, and the rise of Hitler. In an effort to cover all the theaters of the war, both in Europe and in the Pacific, we will first examine the campaigns and battles in a conventional “military history” sense. In addition to this, we...

Spring 2019

In Session

Elizabeth Chesney Zegura
TUESDAYS
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Jan 22 to Apr 2

This course will focus on Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron, a collection of putatively “true” stories inspired by Boccaccio’s Decameron. Composed in the 1540s, the entertaining Heptaméron is puzzling on several counts. That the Queen of Navarre, sister of King Francis I and a woman known for her piety, would pen such racy tales—about adultery, trickery, clergy abuse, and murder—is surprising in and of itself. We will explore this conundrum throughout the course. In particular, we will examine realistic elements within the stories, which offer glimpses of everyday Renaissance life; the...

Spring 2019

In Session

Grace Fielder
WEDNESDAYS
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Jan 23 to Apr 3

The Balkans has typically been described stereotypically and which countries belong in the Balkans today remains contentious. In this course, we will examine the Balkans from a variety of perspectives: the cultural-historical background of the Balkans as a geopolitical construct, as well as the ethnic, national, and religious identities as interpreted by the people themselves, governing entities, and outside observers. Documentary and narrative films by Balkan filmmakers will enhance our exploration of the various social, historical, and cultural factors that influence a group's conception...

Spring 2019

In Session

Paul Ivey
WEDNESDAYS
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Jan 23 to Apr 3

This course will explore the culture, counterculture, and art of the long decade of the 1960s. Our focus will center on youthful artists in the United States, beginning with Abstract Expressionism and ending with Performance art and what critic Lucy Lippard called the “dematerialization of the art object.” Social history, semiotic analysis, literary and film theory, and art history will inform class discussions. Themes include the Cold War and Beat culture, the rise of Minimalism and Pop Art, psychedelic experience, the prominence of advertising and the marketing of “cool,” student...

Spring 2019

In Session

Steve Smith
THURSDAYS
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Jan 24 to Feb 21

Water is the most important resource associated with ecological and human well-being, economic productivity, and security. Stresses are placed on the Earth’s water resources by climate change, population growth, conflicts, and other social changes. Achieving a sustainable use of water may be the most critical issue of natural resource management now facing many societies. This course addresses the science and technology underlying sustainable water use. We will discuss water use within energy generation, domestic supplies, and agriculture while highlighting water use and modification along...

Spring 2019

In Session

Norman Austin
THURSDAYS
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Jan 24 to Apr 4

This seminar examines Virgil’s Aeneid as well as the pivotal and turbulent context that led to its creation. The course begins with an introduction to the political turmoil that encompassed the fall of the Roman Republic and Octavian’s rise to power as Augustus Caesar, supreme ruler of the Roman Empire. It will then turn to explore the influence of Greece on the development of Roman culture and on Virgil’s development as a poet. Virgil’s objective in the Aeneid was to provide a mythic narrative to explain the Roman people as a continuation in Italy of the Trojans celebrated by Homer. The...

Spring 2019

In Session

Lynda Zwinger
MONDAYS
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Jan 28 to Feb 25

In this course, we will focus on learning to read three of Faulkner’s most celebrated novels: The Sound and the Fury (1929), Light in August (1932), and Absalom, Absalom! (1936). “Learning to read,” means learning to analyze, interpret, and enjoy. We will ask ourselves such questions as:  What do these texts contribute to our understanding of American Literature? What contributions have they made to the novel as a genre? How are we to tease out the meaning and deployment of time, history, race, and the south in these prodigious texts? We will engage the novels as close readers, pondering...

Spring 2019

In Session

Mary Beth Haralovich
MONDAYS
10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Jan 28 to Apr 8

To study film language is to explore how films use narrative structure, visual style and sound design. We will begin at the beginnings of film, from the 1890s through the 1910s feature, the European art film movements of the 1920s and the arrival of sound. With this grounding in camerawork, editing, sound, action, and motifs, we will turn to examine the theory and practice of stylistic devices that developed in the second half century of film history -- neo-realism, distanciation, and feminist film. Throughout the course we will screen films* that use film language in deliberate ways to...

Spring 2019

In Session

Pearce Paul Creasman
THURSDAYS
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Feb 28 to Mar 28

This course will examine the sites that were most critical to the development of ancient Egyptian civilization and have yielded its most spectacular discoveries. Archaeological sites such as the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza, the Valley of the Kings & King Tutankamun's tomb, and the treasures of Tanis will be explored and their significance in Egyptian history explained. The course will focus on the archaeological evidence for each site or clustered group of discoveries with an emphasis on the time between the Predynastic Period (ca 4500 BC) and the New Kingdom (ca 1000 BC).

Spring 2019

In Session

Charles Scruggs
MONDAYS
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Mar 11 to Apr 8

“No person ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he/she is not the same person.” If this is the human condition according to Heraclitus, what remains permanent in the midst of change? This course will explore the twin themes of permanence and change as they are expressed in William Wordsworth’s Intimations Ode and four American novels: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Nella Larsen’s Passing, and Philip Roth’s The Human Stain. We will consider the specific cultural context and key concerns of each text. Themes to be...