MONDAY February 3 to May 12
Europe’s Past: The Renaissance Era
10:30 pm – 12:30 pm / Cira Vernazza
This course will explore the Renaissance era in Europe as a whole, from approximately 1350 to 1550, which was a time of great upheaval and renewal. We will focus on the dynamism of discovery, exploration and expansion, not only in geography but also in politics, economics, religion, art and science – a time when many ideas and institutions were challenged and changed.
Cultural Studies in American History: The Age of Andrew Jackson
1:30pm – 3:30pm Philip Suchma
The seventh President of the United States was a man of power and passion, who changed the executive office into the exalted position we see today. Andrew Jackson was far more than a politician – he was a husband and a horse trader; he fought the British and the U.S. Bank; he was a Westerner and a Unionist. Indeed, Jackson was and remains as complex a figure as we can find in American History. This course will examine Jackson through 2 perspectives: the individual and the image. Our discussion topics will include Jackson’s rise to fame through the Battle of New Orleans, the election of 1828, his impact on slavery and Indian removal, and the legacy of the Jacksonian figure who defined America’s antebellum period.
Studies in American Literature: American Identity through American Literature
1:30pm – 3:30pm Laura Greeney
This course examines some of the major dilemmas in the telling of our American story and in the development of our unique American identiry, as captured by our major American writers, including the early years as a British colony; the search for a distinctive American identity as a young nation; our confrontation of the moral issues of slavery; the growing realization of the needs and rights of American women, upward mobility and our attempts to create a “classless” society; and our ongoing struggles to create an inclusive, diverse society. Authors to be studied include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Mark Twain, Charles Chessnut, Will Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison.
TUESDAY February 4 to May 6
Theatre History: Broadway’s Golden Age
10:00am – 12:30pm John Erman
There was a period in the mid-1940’s and 1950’s, when the theatre blazed with marvelous performances from Kim Stanley, Julie Harris, Marlon Brando, Geraldine Page, Maureen Stapleton in works by great writers like William Inge, Robert Anderson and Edward Albee under the direction of some of the most innovative directors of the time such as Elia Kazan and Harold Clurman. This class will survey this golden age of American theater through films, live readings and analysis of such plays as Tea and Sympathy, Come Back, Little Sheba, among several others.
Europe’s Past: The French Revolution
10:30am – 12:30pm Marianne Geiger
Many date the beginning of the modern world to the French Revolution of 1789-1799. Everyone agrees the revolution changed both France and the world, for better or for worse, and therefore it is both studied and disputed, even now. This course examines aspects of the Revolution – as seen by scholars, film makers, and novelists – in order to arrive at a better understanding of what happened and to consider why these ten years continue to resonate so strongly. We will read William Doyle’s The Oxford History of the French Revolution and Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety. We will also view and analyze Sofia Coppola’s film, Marie Antoinette.
Cultural Studies: Know My Song Well – The Art and Lives of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan
1:30pm – 3:30pm Nina Goss
At age 79 and 72, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan are both in their fifthdecade as creative and performing artists, whose careers have spanned revolutions inculture, society and technology. Cohen and Dylan are customarily described as legends or poets or geniuses, but the actual scope of what they have been able to express through their songwriting and performances can’t be summarized. This class will examine the depth, breadth, history and cultural significance of their works. With different styles and career paths, both artists shared a gift for wresting beauty and meaning from language and astonishing level of energy and invention. From familiar songs like Blowin’ in the Wind and Suzanne to less familiar ones like Ain’t Talkin’ and The Traitor, we will listen our way through the human condition with these master craftsmen
Studies in Philosophy: Revealing the Inner Self
1:30pm – 3:30pm Robert O’Brien
A study of the journals left by 4 renowned figures of their own inner journey – from the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary worlds. All four lived in the midst of political conflict or religious turmoil. This compelled them to retreat inwardly to reflect on the meaning and direction of their lives and to persevere in fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions. Their “diaries of the spirit” have offered wise counsel to, and have had spiritual impact on, many others. We will read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, The Confessions of St. Augustine, the Diary of Soren Kierkegaard, and Dag Hammerskjold’s Markings.
WEDNESDAY February 5 to May 7
The Art of Film: Godesses of the Silver Screen
10:00am – 12:30pm John Erman
This class will explore the films which starred some of the leading actresses of their times – the goddesses which captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences around the world. We will view and discuss the films of Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Barbara Stanwyck, Simone Signoret, Shirley Booth, among others.
Topics in History: Launching the American Century 1900-1940
10:30am – 12:30pm C. Howard Krukofsky
America at the turn of the 20th century was a nation in transition, and in contradiction. In a continuing quest for identity, American society faced the tensions between internationalism and isolationism, prosperity and economic collapse, progressivism and conservatism. From the anvil of the Progressive Movement, the Jazz Age, the Depression and the New Deal were forged the foundation of the “American Century.”
Classical Studies: Six Ways to Tell a Story – the Forms of Greek and Roman Narrative
10:30am – 12:30pm George Shea
This class will read and discuss 6 Greek and Roman narrative texts in translation – a classic epic, The Odyssey by Homer; a saga, The Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes; a romance, Daphnis and Chloe by Longus; a political epic, The Aeneid by Virgil; a naturalistic and satirical novel, The Satyricon by Petronius; and an allegorical and psychological novel with embedded short stories, The Golden Ass by Apuleius. We will enjoy the content of each work, but also examine the forms and techniques employed by each kind of narrative. Finally, we will ask what these works tell us about the cultures that produced them and how their forms responded to those cultures.
Studies in Music History: Vienna – City of Dreams
1:30pm - 3:30pm Kathryn John1:30pm – 3:30pm Kathryn John
What made Vienna the “City of Dreams” in modern Europe? What were the masterworks – from symphony and symphonic poem to solo sonata and string quartet, from opera and oratorio to song cycles and individual lieder – produced by the musicians, who chose to live, perform and compose in Vienna? We will examine the city’s social, political and musical worlds as these affected and inspired Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, Brahms and Liszt, Mahler and Schoenberg and their contemporaries during the “long 19th century” from about 1775 to 1925 in Vienna.
THURSDAY February 6 to May 8
America’s Past: Highlights of 20th Century U.S. Foreign Relations
10:15 am – 12:15 pm / Juliana Gilheany
This course will be an in-depth examination and analysis of major crises in America's global involvement during the second half of the 20th century. In order to understand how these major events influenced our nation's international relations, we will study the following crises -- U.S. - Soviet relations from the Cold War 1945 to the Soviet Union's fall 1991; U.S. - Israeli relations from the recognition of Israel 1948 to the Middle East mediations of American presidents; U.S. - China relations from the Communist victory 1949 through Nixon's opening to China 1972; the Vietnam War 1954-1973; U.S. - Cuban relations from 1959 through the current Embargo.
Issues in Psychology: Psychology and the Arts
10:30 am – 12:30 pm / Marie Sheehan
This course will study the psychological consequences resulting from culturally and socially driven conflicts. The focus will be on 20th century man's endless war against weakness and despair in a world of alienation. We will read and view works by Eugene O'Neill, John Steinbeck and Graham Greene to explore their characters' development and psychological issues. Readings will include Long Day's Journey Into Night, Of Mice and Men, and The Power and the Glory, among others.
Studies in Art History: The History of Glass in Art
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm / Sharon Suchma
This course will look at the evolution of glass as an artistic product. Glass is one of the oldest forms of sculpture in the world and has been celebrated for its beauty and its uniqueness as a material that can be fragile or hard, liquid or solid, making its artistic possibilities endless. The lectures will be loosely chronological, highlighting key moments in its history and will include such topics as ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian beads and enamels; strained glass in Islam and medieval Europe; centers of glass production in Venice and Bohemia in the early modern period; the turn of the century workshops of Tiffany and Steuben, and the Studio Glass movement that started in the 1960s. Consideration will be given to the way technology has affected the expectations and forms of glass.
Studies in Social Science: The Sociology of the Whodunit
1:30pm – 3:30pm Robert Spiegelman
Whodunits rank atop our finest films and by exploring them sociologically, we can answer the question – Why? This course will journey with filmmakers, whose works wrestle with important social issues – race, class, gender, celebrity, freedom, integrity, cities and the environment –and will propel us through today’s Ozark Mountains (Winter’s Bone); pre-WWI Germany (The White Ribbon); wartime Morocco (Casablanca); Argentina’s Atacama Desert (Nostalgia for the Light); 1930’s Los Angeles (Chinatown); America’s gas fields (Gasland); post-Katrina New Orleans (Beasts of the Southern Wild); the haunted Tex-Mex border (Lone Star); a search for the “vanished” Great American Novelist (Stone Reader); the Warsaw Ghetto’s secret sharers (A Film Unfinished); the Gilded Age (The Age of Innocence); the 2008 financial crisis (Inside Job); and a surprise current release. We will apply sociological concepts to turn these Whodunits into Whydunnits. Students will view films at home (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) or in the Fordham library; then we will review and analyze many film clips in class.