MONDAY September 16 to December 9
Studies in Music History: Bach and his Contemporaries
10:30 pm – 12:30 pm / Kathryn John
In this course, we will explore the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, the positions that he held throughout his career, and the locations in which he lived and worked. We will also examine and compare the lives and works of other Baroque composers such as Handel, Vivaldi, and Buxtehude and their influences on and interactions with Bach.
Europe’s Past: The Italian Renaissance
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Cira Vernazza
A change in the European mentalité became evident by the year 1350 and this course explores that change in the Italian peninsula, where it was first born, nurtured and exploded. This course will focus primarily on the political, economic and social developments in the Italian city-states, kingdoms and principalities of the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as the influence of prominent figures, writers, princes, families, rulers and mercenaries of the time.
TUESDAY September 17 to December 10
Studies in English Literature: The World of the Brontës
10:30 pm – 12:30 pm / Laura Greeney
This course explores the work of the two best-known Brontë sisters, Charlotte and Emily, and their lesser-known sister, Anne. In our close reading of their works, we will seek to answer the following questions: How did three women living isolated lives in a remote part of Yorkshire, often with only each other for company, manage to write such enduring, risk-taking, and sometimes scandalous novels, all before reaching the age of 40? Why do these novels still speak to us more than 150 years after their publication? Why have these novels proven so difficult to adapt to the screen? How have the Brontës become a “cottage industry” of mythmaking and fantasy projection? We will read Emily’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Villette, and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Art and Architecture: France’s Masterpieces from the Medieval to the Present
10:30 pm – 12:30 pm / Bannon McHenry
This course will discuss the art and architecture of France from the medieval era to the present day. It will include an examination of Romanesque and Gothic styles; French Renaissance art, buildings and monuments; the arts during the reign of the Bourbons; 19th century revival styles; and the 20th century works of Le Corbusier, Renzo Piano at the Pompidou Center and I.M. Pei at the Louvre.
Creative Writing: From Thought to Cyberspace
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Nina Goss
In this course, we will practice the methods of preparing and composing a 15-page polished piece of writing or a series of linked writings with the goal of dissemination on the internet. The focus will be on prose – memoir, reflection or fiction. We will progress from brainstorming through preliminary sketches and drafts to workshopping and revision and we will culminate with publishing your work on a blog of our own making or a free online publishing site. This class will give each student the chance to see a substantial writing project develop to its completion, which will then be shared with the broader writing community in cyberspace.
Studies in Philosophy: Love and Friendship
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Robert O’Brien
From ancient times until our own, philosophers have reflected on the nature of love and friendship. Beginning with Plato’s classic work, The Symposium, and Aristotle’s account of friendship, we shall briefly note some opposing views on the possibility of love (Buber and Sartre); follow the adventures of the mythic great lover, Don Giovanni; and conclude with two widely read and acclaimed works – Rollo May’s Love and Will and C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves.
WEDNESDAY September 18 to December 11
The Art of Film: The Films of Darryl Zanuck
10:00 am – 12:30 pm / John Erman
This class will explore the films produced during the tenure of Darryl Zanuck, who was by far the most intelligent of the major studio heads in Hollywood’s heyday. He was notable for being an advocate for the use of film to engender social reform and he championed such important films as Gentlemen’s Agreement, Pinky, The Razor’s Edge and All About Eve.
Topics in History: The Evolution of American Constitutionalism
10:30 am – 12:30 pm / C. Howard Krukofsky
The U.S. Constitution is one of the extraordinary codes of law in history, the culmination of the development of liberty within a self-governing republic, and the model for modern democratic government. Yet the course of its interpretation has been contentious and often divisive, revealing fundamental schisms between liberalism and conservatism, between citizenship and partisanship, in the quest for an American identity. This course will focus on the evolution of American constitutionalism over the past two centuries, addressing the history of constitutional interpretation in the context of the political, economic and social developments in the American experience.
Religion and Culture: Sacred Texts of India and China
10:30 am – 12:30 pm / Byron Shafer
A close study of key sacred texts of India and China which illustrate some of the teachings, ethics and rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. We will use the classic work of Huston Smith, The World’s Religions and Robert Van Voorst’s Anthology of World Scriptures: Eastern Religions.
Classical Studies: The Evolution of a Superpower – Ancient Rome
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / George Shea
In this course, we will examine ancient Rome’s rise to power, questioning why and how it was able to impose order on and dominate Italy and then the Mediterranean basin and much of the Middle East and northern Europe. We will then explore how it maintained that order and what implications that undertaking held for its own social and political systems and institutions. Finally, we will consider the decline of Rome, the loss of its empire and the causes of that loss. Students will be encouraged to consider and discuss parallel issues that relate to America’s present role as a superpower, noting both similarities and differences.
THURSDAY September 19 to December 12
America’s Past: The History of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court in History
10:15 am – 12:15 pm / Juliana Gilheany
This course examines how the U.S. Supreme Court has developed as an institution as the justices have confronted, dealt with, and often shaped the economic, political, religious and social movements of the nation and its people over the last two and a quarter centuries. We will look at the dynamics of the court under its 17 Chief Justices – from its origins under John Jay, through the 19th century under Marshall and Taney, to Warren and Rehnquist in the 20th century and the John Roberts’ court of today.
Issues in Psychology: Psychology and the Arts – the Writer as Psychologist
10:30 am – 12:30 pm / Marie Sheehan
This course will examine some of the key works by modern American writers to explore important psychological issues, such as lust, alienation, betrayal, possessive mothers, and the shame and struggle of the immigrant experience. Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge and After the Fall, Pete Hamill’s Why Sinatra Matters, and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and The Rose Tattoo will be read and analyzed.
Cultural Studies in American History: Re-creating Recreation – Vice and Play in 20th Century America
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Philip Suchma
The onset of modernity in the U.S. meant that all citizens were subject to the “tyranny of time” – the time clock and the quantified workday. Still, Americans wanted to play and they actively discovered and expanded new uses for their free time. Challenges and changes to traditional ideas of rest and recreation help us better understand the developing needs and desires of American urban society. In this course, we will examine the evolution of new leisure and recreation activities by studying several distinct concepts, such as burlesque theatres in the Puritan city; blue laws and Sunday baseball; Prohibition era speakeasies; casinos on the rivers; and Disney in Times Square.
Studies in Art History: The Arts of the Middle Ages – History, Fantasy and Faith
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Sharon Suchma
This course will survey the architecture, sculpture, painting, manuscript illumination, mosaics, ivories and metalwork of western Europe and Byzantium from the early Christian period and the rise of the Holy Roman Empire to the late Gothic and early Renaissance periods. Key to understanding these works is the way they represent, and function within, a dynamic visual culture which stemmed from an oral and illiterate society. We will consider the rise of urban centers, monasteries, universities and courtly conventions with regard to artistic expression and the burgeoning development of civic identity and history as a contemporary event. There will also be an emphasis on understanding the way the various art projects speak to both personal experience, whether devotional or imaginative, and to more collective public ideologies. Works from the Met Museum, the Cloisters, and the Pierpont Morgan Library will be highlighted in lectures to encourage visits to the art works themselves.
Studies in Social Science: A Sociology of The City in Words and Images
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Robert Spiegelman
What’s “the city” anyway? This course will answer this question with a sociological exploration of some key urban places, mainly New York City, with memorable trips to Los Angeles, Detroit, Tulsa, New Orleans and Jackson as well as abroad to old stalwart Paris and new world cities like Shanghai, Dubai and Mumbai. The course covers vital urban concerns, historical debates, recent controversies and sociology’s core concerns -- issues that combine race, class gender and the environment. Among New York City topics, we will examine the epic battle between master builder Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, as well as the still unresolved “Why-dunnit?” that saw the downfall and rebirth of the Bronx. And lastly, we will explores the “new urbanity,” using vivid feature and documentary films as well as visual media, including ads, virtual mapping, consumer “eyeware,” video games, and fresh “breaking news” stories across our chosen locales. A list of impressive films will include clips from My Brooklyn/The Battle for Brooklyn (New York City), New York (from Ric Burns’ PBS epic), Chinatown (Los Angeles), Detropia (Detroit), District 9 (Johannesburg), Slum Dog Millionaire (Mumbai), and When the Levees Broke (New Orleans).