As a Jew from Asia Minor deeply influenced by his Greco-Roman environment and a zealous apostle to fledgling Christianity, Paul remains a source of fascination to scholars today for the complexity—and paradoxically, the simplicity—of his thought. Christianity began as an apocalyptic, messianic movement within Judaism during the first century of the Common Era. The focus of this class will be on our earliest evidence for this nascent movement: the apostle Paul and his letters. Together, we will explore Paul’s construction of his own sense of authority as a religious leader and expert, a founder of church communities, and how his legacy developed through those who sought to appropriate his authority over the years. We will approach the study of Paul chronologically—that is, according to the order in which the letters were written and how they help us (re)construct his biography. Together, we will examine some of the major themes in Pauline Studies (e.g., Paul’s biography; his relationship to Judaism; his attitude toward the Jewish Law/Torah; his understanding of the Resurrection; what he means by “body,” “flesh,” “soul,” and “spirit;” and questions of authorship/forgery). No prior knowledge is necessary, and all interested persons are welcome. While it is to be expected that everyone will enter with varying assumptions and expectations about early Christianity, it should be noted that we will adopt a historical approach to these texts, examining them in their historical, cultural, and social contexts. Please note, therefore, that we will not be reading these texts from confessional or devotional points of view.
In this course, we will take a deep dive into the critical issues that are emerging on the world stage and are facing the United Sates.
In this class we will focus on the many ways Shakespeare writes of love. In his comedies, tragedies, and late romances Shakespeare shows himself to be preeminent among English dramatists, giving voice to this transcendent emotion. “A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind,” he says through his character Berowne in Love’s Labours Lost. “And when love speaks the voice of all the gods makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.” We will celebrate love, the most universal and desired of human experiences. And we will take this journey with a writer who created characters to live out the dream of love and who, through their creator, are given words and images to express the inexpressible. (A limited enrollment class)
Whether memoir, fiction, poetry, or essay, the challenge becomes bringing the reader along the arc of the story into an envisioned or recalled world. The conflicts, triumphs, and defeats that form the backbone of storytelling are richly enhanced when our inborn senses are evoked. We will discuss how being attentive in our everyday life can be helpful for describing important elements in our story. Topics for suggested reading will include mindfulness, works related to the senses, and references relevant to individual projects. Each session will begin with in-class writing centered on vision, sound, touch, taste, or smell—followed by an opportunity for students to share what they have recently written. This class will help advance a current project, stimulate a new idea, or simply bring a strong start to a blank notebook. Feedback comes from class discussion and from the instructor’s comments returned on writings you send to her by e-mail.
This class is a continuation of the beginning level Spanish class. The language materials used are part of a new series authored by Dr. Urrutibéheity titled El Español Actual (Today´s Spanish). Intensive speaking practice continues to be the main feature of each class. Participants are encouraged to express themselves in Spanish and progress at their own pace. The grammatical structure of spoken Spanish is given more emphasis than in the preceding level. Special pronunciation and grammatical contrasts will be discussed. Participants will be given CDs with the contents of each lesson and will be expected to do written exercises to reinforce the learning of new vocabulary and structures. (A limited enrollment class)
Western psychology, like Western culture in general, has an obsession with youth. Most of the theory and research in developmental psychology has been focused on ages 0 - 18. This focus on youth is understandable from a physical perspective: infancy and childhood are marked by rapid physical, cognitive, and emotional changes. But do humans really reach their peak in their twenties only to be followed by a slow, inevitable decline? There is a smaller base of theory and research on the continued growth and development past early adulthood into full maturity. While there is an inevitable physical decline, the capacity for wisdom generation, for compassion, for the ability to learn new things continues throughout life. This class will focus on these positive changes.
Do you have a vision for what you want in your life but don't know how to manifest it into reality? Have you been longing for change in specific areas of your life but don't know how to take the first step? Do you find you can't get unstuck because you procrastinate, or have no energy or time? We will explore these different areas of our lives: • Create Your Best Health: learn the latest in mind-body research • Harness Your Energy: explore time-honored principles • Improve Your Relationships with Others: learn how to deal with difficult people • Develop a Relationship with Yourself: remain centered • Cultivate Peace of Mind: live in the present • Clear Clutter: make goals for the future This class is designed to make your next 12 months the most successful, productive, and transformative ever. (A limited enrollment class)
In this class designed for beginners, Dr. Urrutibéheity, a native speaker of French and Spanish, will use the textbook he has co-authored with Paris professor Brigittede Broin, LE FRANÇAIS CONTEMPORAIN, which is available at Copydotcom, 1201-F Westheimer, for $20. The materials in the textbook reflect the everyday speech of Paris. Class time will be exclusively devoted to oral communication and review in order to help students internalize the language materials. Participants will learn present-day French as spoken in France as well as new ways of reacting to life situations with French speakers. CDs of the lessons will be provided for participants at no cost. (A limited enrollment class)
The relation of the individual to society is the essential concern of the nineteenth-century novel. In "The Red and the Black", Stendhal justifies hypocrisy as a necessary mode of resistance to the oppression of the social codes in post-Napoleonic France. In "Bleak House", Dickens sees England’s Chancery Court not as an instrument of justice but as the epitome of the government’s torpor and corruption. However, he also sees in Esther Summerson a narrator who is at least the equal of the omniscient voice that otherwise seems to know everything—and Esther is capable of doing good in the world in a way that the big narrator is not. In "Crime and Punishment", Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov thinks the way to escape society is to transcend its laws. He learns, however, that crime doesn’t pay, but suffering does—suffering that is an essentially religious solution that Dickens flirts with and Stendhal never considers.
Award winning professor, Dr. Lisa Balabanlilar of Rice University’s department of history, will offer a lecture on the Mongol Empire, which in the 13th century stretched from Korea to Hungary. She will discuss the reasons for the success of these tribal semi-nomadic empire builders and will explore their legacy. She will also include some discussion of her July 2019 trip to Mongolia with the Rice Traveling Owls.
This class is intended for students who have had little or no previous Spanish. The emphasis is not on how much is “covered,” but on the internalization of that introduced in class, keeping in mind the fact that learning a second language in a non-immersion environment is a gradual process. The progress of the class will not be determined by the instructor but by the progress of the group. The first two classes will be a review of the first four lessons in the textbook—El Español Actual (2016 edition), authored by Dr. Hector Urrutibéheity. The textbook can be purchased at Copy.com, 1201 Westheimer. Please note that this is the only program in the city that provides students with CDs for each of the lessons introduced in class. (A limited enrollment class)
The best short stories leave you with a strong emotional response and a sense of awe at how quickly and masterfully a deft writer can create a world and connect you to its characters. What techniques help authors achieve these effects? And what, beyond word count, defines the unique, dynamic genre of the short story? How exactly does the length of a piece of writing connect to its expression as a work of art and our interpretation of it? In this course, we’ll consider “shortness” as a challenge authors undertake, investigating the ways they weave complex tales into brief, often pithy, masterpieces. Reading a global array of short stories, including selections from the U.S., Great Britain, Latin America, and Russia, we will also seek to understand the short story genre within its national traditions. What kinds of similarities and differences emerge when we make cross-cultural comparisons of 20th and 21st century short stories? We’ll investigate the ways genre and cultures converge to shape the stories we tell and the way we tell them.
Storytelling is taking someone on a journey in the past and then returning him or her to the present. We may not remember a person—we do remember their story. We are taught how to write our stories but what about learning how to tell them? Each of us is born a blank page and leaves life as a full book. Our rich experiences are made up of meaningful episodes that fill those pages. In this class award-winning educator, Houston radio personality, and Moth story slam champion Dr. Hank will help students craft the story that they want to tell. We will explore why humans are natural stoytellers, consider features required to craft a strong story, and examine ways to prepare and learn stories we wish to share. Through interactive exercises and learning to organize our rich experiences into a strong narrative, we can all become immortal through the best human connection—Storytelling. (A limited enrollment class)
Opera is the highest form of musical drama. At once romantic, inspired and nostalgic it is a roller coaster ride through the emotions. Full of thrilling highs and lows, we will delve into how music takes us to exotic places and turns us on our heads. The opera studied will include some works programmed by Opera in the Heights and Houston Grand Opera, including "Tosca", "Eugene Onegin", "La Boheme", "Marriage of Figaro", "Doctor Atomic", "Rigoletto", "Aida", and "Amal and the Night Visitors".
Let’s envision a grand strategy for U.S. foreign policy for the 21st century. What are our goals? Where are the threats? How will the impact of militarism, climate change, globalization, migration, trade, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, technology, and shifting alliances inform the direction of the future? How will our goals align with or confront those of our peer adversaries China and Russia, our allies, and independent emerging powers? We will explore the challenges and join in the conversation!
Since the dark ages, the “Seven Deadly Sins”—envy, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, lust, and pride—have existed as a guide for the faithful on a path to Heaven and a warning to offenders of the pains of hell. Whether one still thinks of them in a religious context as being “sins” or sees them from a secular perspective as vices, these seven undesirable habits of thoughts and behavior can prove deadly—or at least destructive or harmful —to our physical, social, and mental well being. The “Seven Deadly Sins” or vices still have relevance in the 21st century, because they each have something to teach us about how we can avoid personal and social pain in a world that seems to be increasingly unconcerned with morality and ethical behavior. In this course, psychologist Dr. Roberta Diddel will take students through the history of the “Seven Deadly Sins,” why and when they developed, and how Christians understood their meaning before the modern age of Enlightenment (18th century). Students will look at the role they played (and may still play) in the functioning of society, and then examine each “sin” one by one, considering its relevance in contemporary society. These seven definitions of “what not to do” can be used as a guide for directing our approach to relationships, establishing personal standards of moral behavior, and making the complex ethical choices we face nearly every day. In this contemporary age of the erosion of manners, honesty, principled behavior, and honor, we may never have needed it more.
This lecture series will trace the development of the institution of prophecy in the biblical societies of ancient Israel and Judah. We will consider the distinctive careers of nine key figures— Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Haggai, and Zechariah—in the context of the political fortunes of the ancient biblical states, the evolution of the Israelite religion and the emergence of scripture as a central feature. We will also consider the broader cultural impact of the Hebrew prophets from the New Testament to the Qur’an and Handel to Martin Luther King, Jr.
It's no secret that the Houston area is one of the most diverse urban areas in the country. But what does that diversity look like in real life, especially when it comes to religion? In this class we will explore four religions in Houston by introducing each religion from an academic point of view—as well as exploring how these religions manifest themselves as vital communities in Houston. We'll not only examine key terms, concepts, and beliefs, but also explore practices, communities, and our future as a city of multiple religions. The class will culminate with a site visit to a house of worship, making the connection between our classroom learning and lived community.
Long before pop musicians such as Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel introduced worldbeat in the 1980s, nineteenth-century European composers were already fascinated with indigenous music, both from their own nations and from exotic locales. They usually did not have access to authentic folk music at first hand, but they incorporated what they did hear, and what they imagined, into their music. In the age of European nationalism, musical folklorism became a way for composers to distinguish their own culture on the one hand, and to explore the cultures of distant lands on the other. In this course we will study the impact of folklorism and exoticism on 19th century instrumental music and opera. We will listen to the music of a wide range of composers, including Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Bizet, Bartok, Glinka, Chopin, and Mahler.
Religion has been a part of the American political experiment since the country’s very beginnings. During nearly every major event or stage of the country—the colonial period, the early post-Revolution years, the various stages of westward expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, the various social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, to 21st century grapplings with technology and late-stage capitalism—through all of them, religious belief and practice has informed the actors who drove these events into the national history. In this course we will look at the distinct ways in which religion was and remains an integral part of the relatively short American political experiment. In doing so, we will see more clearly how, regardless of our own personal faith practices, those of us born and/or raised in this country have a specific religious consciousness “baked” into us simply from breathing in the so-called “American Dream." (This four-session class will meet September 11, October 9, November 6, & December 11.)
Religion has been a part of the American political experiment since the country’s very beginnings. During nearly every major event or stage of the country—the colonial period, the early post-Revolution years, the various stages of westward expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, the various social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, to 21st century grapplings with technology and late-stage capitalism—through all of them, religious belief and practice has informed the actors who drove these events into the national history. In this course we will look at the distinct ways in which religion was and remains an integral part of the relatively short American political experiment. In doing so, we will see more clearly how, regardless of our own personal faith practices, those of us born and/or raised in this country have a specific religious consciousness “baked” into us simply from breathing in the so-called “American Dream." (This four session class will meet September 11, October 9, November 6, & December 11.)
Let’s envision a grand strategy for U.S. foreign policy for the 21st century. What are our goals? Where are the threats? How will the impact of militarism, climate change, globalization, migration, trade, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, technology, and shifting alliances inform the direction of the future? How will our goals align with or confront those of our peer adversaries China and Russia, our allies, and independent emerging powers? Let’s explore the challenges and join in the conversation!
The world of wine has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. Today, wonderful wines come from sources that were at one time virtually unknown to rest of the world. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming to select a wine to serve at Thanksgiving or take to a dinner party. Are there seasons to wine releases – particularly from different regions? What wines are the best quality and value from newer regions? In this series we will extend our knowledge of wine grapes and wine regions. As we look at how wines of these grapes reflect the geography and technology of their regions, Mr. Keating will continue to demonstrate that quality and value are compatible. Learn when to buy, what to drink now, and what can be cellared and aged. Each class will begin with 30 minutes of background and continue with 60 minutes of tasting and discussion of eight to ten wines. Join us as we discover wine gems from around the world.
Science impacts our lives every day, but we do not always know the details behind the amazing processes that shape our existence. In this class, we will discuss some big questions in biology, and some of the research achievements that are applied to making our lives better. We will explore questions such as—What does it mean to be human? How do we inherit or develop instinct? What are genetically modified organisms and are they bad for us? Are probiotics really all that they are cracked up to be? Is gene therapy really the future of medicine? Join us this fall to ponder these exciting and relevant topics in biology.
A band of medieval princes from the steppes and forests of Eastern Europe built one of the largest empires in history. This course traces the centuries-long history of the Russian empire, from its beginnings in the 10th century, to its violent collapse at the dawn of the 20th century. Lectures will provide a thorough sweep of Russia’s dramatic past, and offer a historical foundation for understanding some of today’s most important geopolitical questions.
Military historian John Bradley will focus on the great campaigns of the German-Soviet War during World War II—the bloody land war of Barbarossa, Blue and Bagration, and the key battles such as Moscow, Stalingrad, and Kursk. As the largest war in modern history and one of the four wars contained within World War II, it devoured soldiers and civilians alike as large armor and infantry units supported by huge numbers of guns and aircraft gave no quarter as they clashed in ferocious combat over large distances, in cities, and in horrible weather. Mr. Bradley will set up the story by outlining the development of the German and Soviet forces; amplify it by highlighting the leadership actions of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin and their key generals; and broaden it by relating the campaigns to those in North Africa, Italy, and Western Europe. In addition, he will discuss options not taken, the terrible atrocities, and the tragic legacies of the war.
Mark Ryan and Ginger Clarkson had the honor of hosting His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, during his visit to Yale University in 1991—an experience that they found personally transformative. Drawing especially on that visit, Mark Ryan and Ginger Clarkson will discuss His Holiness’s remarkable capacity to lift the spirits of those around him, relating it to his teachings on such themes as compassion, suffering, happiness, forgiveness, gratitude, acceptance, generosity, human interconnectedness, the fundamental goodness in human nature, and the relationship between intellect and a “good heart.” They will share observations on how the Dalai Lama’s embodiment of delight, humor, humility, kindness, and inner peace—reinforced by his spiritual practices and his cultivation of joy and positive emotions—shapes his complicated and demanding participation in worldly affairs.
Next year Americans will vote in the 59th presidential election. The 2020 contest holds potential to be among the most interesting, and consequential, in recent history. Since the 1970s, our political system and much of the electorate have become deeply polarized along party lines as reflected in the fact that many parents now tell pollsters they would be more deeply upset if their children married a member of the other party than would be the case if they exchanged vows with a person of different religious faith. Nearly three years into the presidency of Donald J. Trump this polarization has intensified. A large majority of voters have strong and opposing views of the 45th President. 2020 promises to be a bruising, hard-hitting contest in a nation where political coalitions are shifting. Older white, blue-collar voters and most rural residents have moved toward the Trump Republican Party, while more affluent educated voters in cities and suburbs, along with Millennials and Gen Zers, have shifted toward the Democrats. But before we get to the 2020 General Election, the major parties have to settle on their nominees. President Trump has solidified his control of the GOP. The always remote possibility of impeachment and conviction or removal has disappeared, so, barring health issues, the Republican Party appears to have its candidate. Quite the reverse on the Democratic side—20+ candidates have entered the fight for their nomination. The winnowing down of that large field will be in full swing by the Fall of 2019. We expect five or six viable candidates to survive this process and still be in the race before Americans start voting in February 2020. This class will closely follow the pre-primary process of elimination that will elevate a few contenders from the most diverse field of presidential aspirants in the nation’s history, while pushing others down and, in some cases, out of the race before any votes are counted.
The story of Houston’s founding and growth is one of the most remarkable urban histories in America. Established as a frontier capital in 1836, the city relied on a mix of ambition, dedication and—at times—sheer luck to transform itself into a regional trade center and, later, an international port and energy hub. In this lecture, we will examine Houston’s history, exploring the forces that have driven its development through the years and some of the dynamic people who helped build the Bayou City we know today.
In the English peerage, the title of Earl is third in rank—after Duke and Marquess—but, in historical terms it is the oldest and most important title. Its name derived from an old Norse and Anglo-Saxon term for a powerful governing individual, often second in power only to the King himself. From the reign of Richard II, the title was generally hereditary as well. Today, there are almost 200 active, titled Earls and four Countesses—an Earl’s Consort—in their own right, and we will consider a number of these active Earldoms in the course; but we will also take into consideration several of the earlier, powerful and often, infamous figures of the past whose titles reflected their continued status and authority in the long, colorful history of Britain. A principal part of this course will be the inclusion and discussion of a number of significant and often little-known country houses, vital reflections of the status and power of these important figures who are properly addressed as “Our Right Trusty and Right Well Cousins.”
The 2016 midterms were dubbed the “Year of the Woman,” but did you know that Life magazine first declared 1972 the “Year of the Woman”? This course places the current groundswell of women candidates, strategists, and active voters in historical context, tracing out the history of women in politics since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Historians are asking, in this centennial moment, very pointed questions we will explore together: How much did women’s suffrage matter? Why did getting the vote not lead to gender parity in politics? And why have diverse women’s access to voting rights and political power been uneven?
When Pierre-Auguste Renoir passed away in 1919 at the age of 78, he was one of the most beloved of the Impressionist painters, celebrated for his lively depictions of the charming side of life in Paris with works like his Dance at the Moulin de la Galette and the Luncheon of the Boating Party. He is recognized as the foremost portraitist among the Impressionists. Especially beautiful women from all strata of society inspired him throughout his long career. Although criticized for a certain superficiality in his choice of subjects, Renoir was nonetheless an innovative and multifaceted painter. This lecture will not only take a fresh look at the different phases of his stylistic development, but also examine his great popularity with American collectors. Many of his finest works were acquired by American private collections and museums, fetching far higher prices than works by his friend and colleague Claude Monet. As we honor his achievements today, one hundred years after his death, it seems appropriate not only to celebrate his life, but also to assess his posthumous fame.
Don’t miss these individual and unique lectures with Richard Murray reporting on the current political climate.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver Wherever we are in the ever-evolving answer to this question, our weekly work together will help us realize the next steps in our plan(s) and how to achieve them. Creative reading and writing will guide us in exploring very individual and universal parts of the self—those that have saved and supported us as well as those that hinder and bind. We will begin with the more conscious and practical self-states like the Protector, Critic, Pleaser, Playful Child, and Perfectionist. These will lead to the more instinctual (often disowned) energies that, when understood and managed, can help us gain the resilience and emotional flexibility to better navigate next steps in our lives. Although sharing discoveries will be on a volunteer basis only, our group journey will inevitably catalyze our understanding of how amazingly versatile and resilient we are. The final part of our work will be to configure and deploy our internal maps to get us more swiftly and safely to our greater good. (A limited enrollment class)
Originally built as a fortress to protect Paris in 1190, the Louvre was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace, and it is today one of the best known museums in the world. Dr. Anna Tahinci, who worked at the Louvre, takes us on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Louvre, its history, collections, and challenges the "Louvre brand" faces in the 21st century— globalization and the export of French art and culture (Louvre Abu Dhabi) , the necessity of being profitable due to less governmental support, and the introduction of contemporary art in the context of a rich cultural heritage.
An innate element in human nature compels us to tell stories. And yet, every writer has experienced the wall—the overwhelming details of life, the fear of not having the precise words, and the fear that the precise words will alter one’s life in unexpected ways—these are the unwanted barriers that prevent us from sharing our stories. This class is designed to break through these barriers by providing the impetus for writers to pursue their thoughts, ideas, experiences, and imagination. By exploring the characteristics of a variety of genres, students will have the opportunity to perfect their unique voice and style. Each week participants will engage in reading and writing exercises designed to hone their skills. In addition, students will have the opportunity to share their stories in a receptive environment designed to produce writing confidence. Students will also receive written critiques from the instructor. (If available, please bring an example of your writing to the first session. A limited enrollment class)
This course is intended for art enthusiasts and those who are interested in the inner workings of Houston’s extensive fine art scene. Guided by art historian, appraiser, and owner of the William Reaves/Sarah Foltz Fine Art Gallery (dedicated to the promotion of Texas art), participants will be given the unique opportunity to visit the treasures our city has to offer. For the first class, we will meet at The Women’s Institute for a brief introduction to the course; the remaining four classes will be spent visiting remarkable galleries, some of which may be “off the radar” for class participants. (For former class members of Ms. Foltz, please note that new galleries and artists are included in this class. A limited enrollment class)
Too often we overlook the “dating” of our home’s living areas, kitchens, bathrooms, and even outdoor space. To avoid becoming hopelessly outdated and for fresh inspiration, come and see the latest trends in home design. As the heart of the home, the kitchen should be a welcoming place for the family to gather to enjoy meals, conversation, and comradery. We will look at the latest appliances, finishes, surfaces, and color combinations for a stunning kitchen “do-over.” For the master bath as a personal oasis and soothing retreat, there are many new finishes and fixture options that can take a bathroom from “boring to soaring,” especially with new integrated technology that offers a variety of luxurious choices, creating comfort and convenience for millennials and seniors alike. And what about the “great outdoors?” A well-designed backyard can be a relaxation retreat replete with beautiful plantings, a water feature, a shade structure, and temperature control options. Whether a major remodel or simple update is in your plans, it’s wise to keep an eye on what’s trending to get the most out of renovation dollars. This Sunday lecture will help anyone merely curious about the latest trends and those planning updates and remodeling.
Using his life-time career in public service and foreign affairs, Ambassador Untermeyer will draw upon his experiences and observations to examine a number of 20th century personalities and the obstacles that they faced, and overcame, on their way to leadership. In this course we will look at how Franklin Roosevelt dealt with physical disability through solid determination; how Eleanor Roosevelt conquered shyness and self-doubt by forcing herself to do the things she feared; how Winston Churchill survived disaster and defeat by refusing to give in; how Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated what one person can do; how Katharine Graham assumed sudden significant leadership of the Washington Post by simple concentration on the job at hand; how T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) fulfilled his mission by deftly “leading from behind”; how Lyndon Johnson escaped poverty and obscurity by creating his own opportunities and using the help of mentors; and how Margaret Thatcher achieved power by steadfastly “ignoring facts.”
The great explorations of the natural world of the United States occurred primarily from the early 1700s to the late 1800s.This period was the zenith of discoveries of the ecosystems and wildlife in this virtually unknown new world. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, the establishment of Yellowstone as the United States’ and the world’s first National Park, and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad were a few of the phenomenal and historic events of this era. The documentation of previously unknown plants, animals, insects, birds, and ecosystems generated great interest here and in other countries—becoming the foundation of the Natural History of the United States and the Naturalists who trekked the wilderness collecting plants and animals for the emerging sciences. We will first learn of the key European figures whose writings influenced many of the people who became explorers, plant collectors, ornithologists, and naturalists in the emerging scientific community of the United States. In addition, we will make our own discoveries of the struggles, perils, and unique lives of the key founding Naturalists during this formative era—people such as John James Audubon, Ferdinand Lindheimer, Mark Catesby, and Alexander Wilson. We will explore a truly exciting and revelatory period of history!
October 18, 2019, Robert Greenberg: "How to Listen to and Understand Music: Music as a Mirror." Dr. Robert Greenberg is Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances. A graduate of Princeton University, Professor Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley. November 15, 2019, David Lampton: "The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds." David Lampton is George and Sadie Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and Chairman of The Asia Foundation. His book, after which this lecture is titled, is the only one to be based on extensive interviews with elite political leaders, diplomats, and others in China, the United States, and countries on China's periphery. January 17, 2020, Denise Budd: "Why Art Matters: Creation and Destruction, from Ancient Times through Today." This lecture will look at selected works of art from antiquity through the 20th Century, examining not only the importance of the works themselves, but the way that their destruction, or attempted destruction, demonstrates the power of images. Dr. Denise Budd received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2002, and she has taught courses over the past two decades that cover the entire history of art at Columbia University and Rutgers University. February 21, 2020, Jonathan Turley: "A Fishbowl Society: The Diminishing Privacy of Americans in the Twenty-first Century."Professor Jonathan Turley will explore the legal and technological changes that have laid the foundation for a fishbowl society in which citizens can be objects of continual surveillance. He is a nationally recognized legal scholar and commentator who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. A graduate of Tulane Law School, Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades.
An opportunity for you and your friends to sit together.
Louis XIV is often viewed as a distant, cold tyrant who ruled France to satisfy his ego, creating a chronicle of lavish parties, wasteful extravagance, and useless wars that had no basis in sound statecraft. In this interpretation, his palace at Versailles was an expression of an ego that would only be outdone in French history by the excesses of Napoleon, who ruled less than a hundred years after the death of Louis. This narrative creates an attractive drama – particularly for English historians – but it is not accurate. The reign of Louis XIV, though at times marked by excess and tragedy, deserves a more balanced appraisal. In this lecture we will debunk some of the myths about Louis XIV and his rule. Though no saint, Louis was often wise in his choices, and his leadership was based on sound principles that made his kingdom more powerful and better administered than any other in Europe.
Film has the ability to project powerful images of a society in ways conventional academic medium cannot. This is particularly true in learning about India, which is home to the largest film industry in the world. This course explores images of Indian society that emerge through the medium of film. Our attention will be focused on the following: historical India before the partition, during the partition, social structure, family dynamics including arranged marriages, and today’s India. Participants will watch an assigned movie before the class meets. During class, content discussions will be held to flesh out the nuances of the movie. Parts of the movie will be played back—but not in its entirety. (This class is skipping November 25.)
This course will focus on breaking stories and broader trends in U.S. foreign policy. Subjects could include the Trump Administration's approach to foreign affairs; the ongoing tragedy of Syria; U.S. and North Korean tensions; the Iran nuclear deal; Moscow's policies in Europe and the Middle East; the short to medium term prospects for Chinese-American conflict; or any myriad of other issues that could emerge onto the international scene. The object throughout is to have an open, thought-provoking discussion that will allow students to move beyond sound bites in order to better understand the international challenges we face as a nation.
Two of the most often-used features of iPhones and iPads are the Camera and Photos apps. The smartphone’s camera is quite sophisticated and can result in some very professional-looking photos. However, there are so many fun and powerful camera tools which offer many more options when taking pictures and can improve the quality of photos exponentially. Many of us don't know how to edit, share, organize, or back up our photos. In addition, few of us understand how to work with iCloud and Dropbox photo storage—not to mention knowing how to post the best pictures on social media. In this class we will learn how to unlock the potential of the camera and photo apps on our smartphones!
This class is designed for students who have completed prior Spanish classes at WIH or who possess, in their estimation, an advanced command of the language. News articles from all over the Hispanic world will be used as main conversation topics. Idiomatic expressions not commonly found in text books will be introduced gradually. In addition, some grammar points rarely found in text books will be discussed and practiced. Differences between variants of Spanish will be analyzed and special emphasis will be placed on the Spanish spoken in Mexico. Class participants will be expected to purchase a DVD of a well-known Spanish-language film designated by Dr. Urrutibéheity. Segments of the film will be discussed during several class periods. (A limited enrollment class)
Start sketching by the end of your first class! With pencil in hand and some basic information and demonstrations, you will learn tools to get you on your way. Develop your artistic skills over these few weeks and open up a world of creativity. This class is designed to inspire you to get started. As with any skill such as playing an instrument or cooking – the more you practice – the better you’ll get!
On the eve of America’s entrance into World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt made his famous “Four Freedoms” speech, elucidating the rights of people around the world to have the freedoms of speech and religion as well as freedoms from fear and want. The artist Norman Rockwell’s iconic artistic responses to these freedoms will be the focus of this lecture. Using his unique blend of illustration and realism, Rockwell portrayed FDR’s freedoms in an approachable way, visualizing and defining the freedoms so that average Americans could understand their importance. The remarkable transformation of those Four Freedoms from abstract words into concrete images and from an optimistic rhetorical concept into a living statement of human rights and dignity is a dramatic and inspiring story. The lecture will highlight the upcoming exhibition, "Norman Rockwell: American Freedom", at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
What could the financial crises in Ancient Rome in 33 CE possibly have in common with ex-Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Great Recession of 2008-09? Much more than we can imagine! In this course we will study the complex economy and financial markets from the ancient world to the present in an effort to provide us with a foundation to trace the major developments in financial markets throughout history. We will examine the major panics and crashes including the Tulip mania in 17th century Holland; The South Sea Company in 18th century London—and the subsequent downfall of Isaac Newton; the first financial bubble in the U.S.; the railroad mania of the 19th century; the crashes of 1929 and 1987; the technology bust of 1999; and the most recent meltdown in real estate and stocks in 2008-09. The challenge will be to determine what is historically similar and what is different between the crises of the past and those closer to the present to help us to be prepared for and anticipate the panics that will inevitably arise in the future. Included in the course will be the most cutting-edge research from professors in economics and history from colleges and university throughout the world.
Acclaimed as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) renewed the ancient art of sculpture by boldly bringing it into the 20th century. Dr. Anna Tahinci, who defended her Ph.D. at the Sorbonne on Rodin’s lifetime collectors, explores how Rodin broke the rules of Academic sculpture, how he interacted with his contemporaries (including Camille Claudel), how he responded to the values and ideas of the culture of his time, and why the origins of modern sculpture are traced to him.
Victims of the Holocaust still speak through fragments—letters, poems, songs, art—bits and pieces of things that accidentally survived. Better still, a few surviving diaries bring us the words of Emanuel Ringelblum, Chaim Kaplan, Moshe Flinker, Anne Frank, and a handful of others—but so few. In The Janowska Road, Leon Wells (only nineteen-years-old at war’s end) explains: “Everything depends on who…writes the history…History is usually written by the victor…Their every word will be taken for gospel. [T]hey may wipe out our memory altogether as if we had never existed, as if there had never been a Polish Jewry, a Ghetto in Warsaw, a [concentration camp]. Not even a dog will howl for us. But if we write the history of this period of blood and tears …who will believe us?...Nobody will want to believe us because our disaster is the disaster of the entire civilized world.” This is the incredible story of how the truth was saved and recovered. This is how we know what we know about the Warsaw Ghetto and the life of those who perished. This is the story of the secret archives that survived despite the best efforts of the Nazis to write the Jews out of history.
Notre-Dame de Paris may not be the most beautiful French cathedral, but it is certainly the best known and most beloved by people of all religious faiths. The spectacle of Notre-Dame engulfed in flames has kindled a renewed interest in this cathedral that symbolizes France’s Christian heritage. Built between the mid-12th and early 14th centuries, Notre-Dame illustrates the evolution of Gothic architecture. It’s located on the eastern part of the Île de la Cité. On the opposite side of the island, the Sainte-Chapelle was a palatine chapel (part of the royal palace), and, above all, a reliquary chapel to house the relics of the Passion of Christ. The most famous of these was the Crown of Thorns, which King Louis IX purchased from the emperor of Constantinople. After the Revolution, the Crown was kept in the treasury of Notre-Dame. It was miraculously saved during the fire. This richly illustrated lecture will examine the architecture and history of these World Heritage monuments.
Don’t miss these individual and unique lectures with Richard Murray reporting on the current political climate.