Traditional Programs

Food for Thought; Religion's Impact on History; Confronting Shakespearean Dilemmas

Program Number: 21799 | Next Date: Jan. 11 - 16, 2015

Chocolate, Chicken Soup and Julia Child: Food for Thought and Thoughts about Food with Dr. Ellen Smith

Explore the origins, myths and realities of food and health, food on page and screen, old wives tales and America's contributions. We'll consider how food serves a literary and cinematic function as well as recent trends and obsessions.

Alexander the Great to Bin Laden: The Impact of Religion on History with William Lazarus

Religious turmoil dates back to the days of Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Emperor Julian, the Crusades, Kabbalah through today's Taliban. Examine the impact and consequences these and other religious movements have had on history.

Major Dilemmas in Shakespeare with Ruth Cole (NEW)

Shakespeare addressed major issues in life. In Richard III, he portrayed the king as evil. Yet revisionist historians see him as very qualified. Which is correct? In Hamlet, he gives his readers a three-way choice; in King Lear, the eternal question is wisdom/victim in the king's wise or unwise decisions.

More Information | Register Now

Female Authors of the 1800s; Fairy Tales for Adults; Hitchcock and His Players

Program Number: 21800 | Next Date: Jan. 25 - 30, 2015

Rebel Women: Famous Nineteenth Century Female Authors with David Robinson (NEW)

In the rigid world of England in the 1800s, a number of brilliant female authors emerged who challenged the hierarchy of male-dominated literature. This program traces the lives and great works of Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter, the Bronte Sisters and George Eliot. While we focus on their importance as authors, we'll also discuss how each of them challenged the narrow options available to women of their era.

Fairy Tales for Adults: Wisdom for the Young at Heart with Dr. Phoebe Smith

Fairy tales we remember from childhood contain psychological insights. But every culture also has tales meant for the second half of life that point us to wisdom and fulfillment. Let's explore and discuss new wisdom found in old stories.

Hitchcock and His Players: Life and Work of an Enigmatic Genius with Dr. Robert Smith

An exploration of the life and work of master director Alfred Hitchcock whose films continue to fascinate audiences worldwide, with special attention to four of his principle players: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. We'll see how the personality of this genius behind the camera often created tumultuous relationships with his actors, writers and producers and helped shape the structure of his films.

More Information | Register Now

What is "Faith"?; Evil and the Devil; The Origins of Buddhism

Program Number: 21801 | Next Date: Feb. 1 - 6, 2015

The Dynamics of Faith with Dr. Don Musser (NEW)

A study of religious faith. We'll focus on the multiple meanings of the word "faith," and a cluster of other words related to it; explore the core elements of the topic in various faiths; discuss the many issues of the topic, including "doubt;" and interact with aspects of the subject of particular interest to class members. The instructor has taught courses on faith at the university level.

The Idea of the Devil with Dr. Greg Sapp

A look at the concept of evil and the development of the idea of the personification of evil in the form of the Devil. We'll begin with ancient cultures such as the Egyptians and Persians but will largely focus on ancient Israel and Christianity.

The Origins of Buddhism with Dr. Chris Bell (NEW)

This course offers a historical and cultural survey of the Buddhist religion as it developed in Ancient India. Students will be introduced to important Buddhist doctrines, philosophies, ritual practices and forms of devotion. Special attention will be given to how the central concerns of Buddhism shifted over time. This course emphasizes the reading of primary texts in translation so that students can directly engage with major Buddhist ideas and practices.

More Information | Register Now

The Apostle Paul; How Jesus Became God; Biblical Heroines

Program Number: 21802 | Next Date: Feb. 8 - 13, 2015

The Apostle Paul with Dr. Don Musser (NEW)

An examination of both domestic and foreign policy decisions made by presidents from the 1930s to the present. How have those presidents been viewed by the American public and how have they been evaluated by the historical community?

How a Man from Nazareth became God with Dr. Greg Sapp

A historical look at Jesus of Nazareth, from being an ordinary Jewish carpenter to sharing equality with God in the eyes of his followers. Explore the origins of Jewish Messianism, the portraits of Jesus in the New Testament and doctrinal developments in the early Church.

When Women Were Heroic with Rabbi Merrill Shapiro (NEW)

Though the ages have colored the thinking of some as they read ancient texts, many of the women of the Bible are quite heroic and indispensable to the progress of their culture. Read the original texts without preconceptions and see one story, read again and filtered through the centuries that have passed and see a totally different point-of-view. Give some thought to returning to the roots of the role of women in societies both ancient and modern.

More Information | Register Now

How Photography and Painting Interact; Edwardian Fashion and Literature; Women and Art

Program Number: 21803 | Next Date: Feb. 22 - 27, 2015

Optic Nerve: The Relationship between Photography and Painting with Kevin Costello (NEW)

From its inception at the beginning of the nineteenth century, photography has influenced many styles of painting. At the same time painting affected photography and continues to do so. This series of lectures examines this relationship and its psychological ramifications regarding ideological persuasion and culture change. A central tenant of these lectures, therefore, is the influence of collective cultural memory and the role of iconography in the shaping of modern mythologies.

Thematic Elements of Downton Abbey: Fashion and Literature of Edwardian England with Kevin Costello

During the first decade of the twentieth century, Britain under Edward VII was a world power showing the first signs of decline. The elite rich and powerful were known for their elegance, luxury and moral looseness. The escapist lifestyle failed to comprehend and prepare society for the cultural and technological challenges ahead. The issues of this era are subjects of fascination to modern fans of the immensely popular British period drama Downton Abbey. Examine these themes with attention to the influence of art and literature on the public, focusing mainly on the fashion, music and literature of the period.

Women and Art with Dr. Roberta Favis (NEW)

This class will address a series of case studies of women artists from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Topics will include women artists of the Renaissance and Baroque ages, the subject of domesticity in art from Mary Cassatt to the twenty-first century, issues of gender and geography in the art of Georgia O'Keeffe, Emily Carr and Frida Kahlo, and representations of war by women artists from Victorian times to the Vietnam War Memorial.

More Information | Registration is not currently available.

More Information | Register Now

TV Comics of the 1950s; Music of the 1920s and 1930s; An Insider's History of American Musicals

Program Number: 21804 | Next Date: Mar. 1 - 6, 2015

Lucy, Uncle Miltie and Sid Caesar: TV Comics of the 1950s with David Robinson

In the early days of TV, these three very different comedians dominated the airwaves with their zany antics and brilliant humor. Re-examine some of their funniest moments and focus on their historical importance as television pioneers.

Music of the 1920s and 1930s with Dick Smolens

Both the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression of the 1930s produced some of our country's greatest music. Through vintage recordings and film clips we'll sample both the timeless songs and the performers from these two turbulent decades.

History of the American Musical Theater with Dr. Earnest Murphy

Relive the history of American musical theater through the voice and friendships of two-time Grammy winner Earnest Murphy. As a fellow artist and friend of Alfred Drake, Ethel Merman and Johnny Mercer enjoy an insider's recollection of musical theater.

More Information | Register Now