All Courses

ENLIGHTENED LIVING: Staying Centered in a Stressful World

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Price: 300.00 USD
8 Weeks

02 - 01 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-01 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Too often, we are unconscious of the ways we operate, both in our thinking and our interactions with others. Other people and stressful situations can press our "buttons," leading to reactivity, negativity, and overall stress. Becoming conscious in new ways to the thoughts and perspectives that no longer serve us is the first step. In this class we will concentrate on these issues and more, including: • Conscious thinking: We will explore the stories that we are telling ourselves, dismantle old concepts, and learn ways to remain centered and unstressed, even in the midst of upheaval. We will concentrate on the “tapes” of our self-talk, and root out stress-causing and debilitative thinking using multiple techniques. • Conscious acting: We will develop a new understanding of the “crazymakers” in our lives. These difficult and often hard-to-understand personality types can draw us into unwanted drama, drain our energy, and cause us tremendous stress which continues long after our interactions with them. In this class, we will learn new ways to operate, working with boundaries, and creating specific behavior “templates” to use for difficult people and situations as they come up. • Conscious living: We will use wisdom teachings from the world's major spiritual traditions, scientific findings, the lenses of psychology and sociology, ideas from Aikido (a martial art) to simplify our lives through the principles of non-attachment, living in the present, understanding our true nature, energy banking, and more. By changing our consciousness, we can change our world. (This class is a part of a series of classes in which Liz Weiman explores the continuing journey spanning stress and serenity, dealing with difficult people and culminating in choosing freedom over fear. A limited enrollment class.)

ART AND THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE: From the Renaissance to the Present

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 05 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-02-05 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

These lectures will explore the complex interrelations between the arts—primarily but not exclusively painting—and science, from the 15th century to the present. We will begin by examining the essential role that painting played in the emergence of modern science during the Renaissance. We will discuss a number of relevant Renaissance artists while focusing on the work of Galileo Galilei. Galileo is the person who brought modern science into being and he accomplished this by virtue of his knowledge of the arts, in particular, his knowledge of perspective. Next we will survey the overall scientific-philosophical view of the universe developed by the likes of Descartes and Newton during the 17th and 18th centuries and the diverse reactions that artists had vis-à-vis this view. Along the way we will review the controversial thesis of David Hockney about the use of optical devices by painters since the 15th century. Next we will turn our attention to the profound crisis that science as well as the arts underwent at the turn of the 20th century. The scientific theories of Relativity and Quantum and Modern Art’s Cubism, Futurism, Abstraction, Surrealism did have an effect on each other. Finally, we will conclude our survey by perusing the standing of contemporary art in our increasingly computerized modern world.

iWORKSHOP FOR iPHONES, iPADS AND APPS: Tips and Tricks for Your Apples Smart Phones and Tablets

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Price: 300.00 USD
8 Weeks

02 - 05 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-02-05 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

New iPhones/iPads have just come out, along with new iOS operating system with many changes and different, sometimes confusing, features. These features are essential in order to decide to purchase a new device or use the new operating system more efficiently. The class starts with the basics and covers everything from how to navigate, work with settings, organize our screen, locate hidden features, use the camera and it's new features, and more. We will explore the latest changes and the glitches we may encounter using certain features or upgrading. We will learn the essential apps to unleash the power of our devices, which will make our lives easier. Participants are encouraged to bring their devices to class where we will have hands-on sessions exploring the latest and greatest tips, tricks, and apps for our mobile devices. (A limited enrollment class.)

LEGENDARY DIRECTORS: And Film as Their Art

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 05 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-05 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In this course, we will examine three legendary directors—Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Martin Scorsese—and their most iconic films, seeking to understand the films as the product of each of their singular artistic visions. Throughout the course, students will learn basic film theory and see how understanding directors of films as analogous to the authors of literature came to be the dominant paradigm in film analysis. In analyzing the work of major movie directors, we will define individual director’s directorial style and cinematic themes as well as determine what makes an influential director. We will consider these directors’ legacies and influence on the film industry. Students will leave the course with an understanding of how directors combine all elements of movie making (screenplay writing, cinematography, editing, sound, and managing actors’/actresses’ performances) to convey their own artistic ideas.

TEXAS ART: Modern to Contemporary

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Price: 225.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 05 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-05 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In this course, we will explore the development of visual arts in Texas from the 1950s through today, focusing on Modern and Contemporary art, within a national and global context. We will examine the development and continued presence of abstraction in the Texas art scene, providing the context of modernist abstraction and its place in the history of Texas art. As mid-century abstraction was accepted by many of the most significant Texas artists working at that time, their work informed and influenced today’s contemporary artists; thus, we will look at contemporary artists working in Texas in relation to their predecessors and the artistic dialogues that continue across time. The course will be broken into three classroom seminars covering Early Texas Modernism, Post-War Texas Art, Modernism, and Contemporary, which will be followed by three field visits to prominent collections of Texas art in both private and public collections in the Houston area as well as artist studio visits. (Limited to 25 students)

ANCIENT KINGDOMS OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 06 - 2018, 01:30 PM - 03:30 PM 2018-02-06 01:30 PM - 03:30 PM

The legacy of ancient Israel and Judah, the civilizations that produced the Bible, is vastly out of proportion to its tiny geographical size and relatively short duration. In this course, I will tell the story of the rise and fall of the two states whose culture would eventually give rise to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, focusing on the six key crises that shaped their geopolitical destinies. We will consider not only key stories of the Bible, but also the vast amount of archaeological evidence that has accumulated in the past century or so. The course will be informed by the archaeological study trips I regularly take with undergraduate students. Students in this course will have the option to purchase a large full-color map of the land of the Bible for use during lectures.

ART "ISMS":Art History Movements in the Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 06 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-06 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class will take students on a journey of understanding the style and characteristics of major art history movements from the 19th century to the present. We will study art movements from Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Pointillism, and Symbolism all the way to Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, New Realism, Minimalism, and Hyperrealism. Emphasis will be not only on stylistic developments, but also on the way artists interacted with the ideas and values of their culture and time. Analyzing artworks from the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil will be an integral part of the class.

HOW MUSIC MAKES THE MUSICAL: More Musicals

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 06 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-06 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Musical Theatre is a true American art form—no other theatrical presentation can boast the same pedigree. Through extravagant singing and dancing, they capture our hearts and minds anew each season. The magic of the musical happens in the music—we are able to understand and empathize with the protagonists in a way that is deep, complex, and effortless. We will delve into your favorite musicals and learn how the composers and the playwrights crafted the shows that you love, why opinions differ so widely in the appreciation of this art form, and listen to some great music. The musicals we will cover in this session include Rodger & Hammerstein’s groundbreaking "Carousel", Cole Porter’s "Kiss Me Kate", Wilson’s "The Music Man", Bock & Harnick’s "Fiddler on the Roof", Sondheim’s "Into the Woods", and the international sensation "Les Miserables". You will be humming a tune after each class!

KEYS TO ENJOYING THE WRITER'S ART: Literary Romps and Productive Pauses

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Price: 175.00 USD
0 Weeks

02 - 06 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-02-06 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Is it Humorous?? Or Merely Funny?—Are you a raconteur or a rake? A silly-billy or a jokester? Do you deliver the punch line for a joke with aplomb or with an apology? Let’s look at the fiddle-faddle and hootchie-ma-coo of oral and written humor, and then end with a teenie-weenie-yellow-polka-dot bikini on a cow that jumps over the moon! (February) Writing Your Memories: How to do it with Verve—We want to leave behind our hard-won wisdom and precious memories, don’t we? Sometimes we may wish to commemorate a loved one or a dear friend. Learn the writer’s tricks that will elevate your ability to say what you want to say and focus on what’s important in your story. (March) Circling Back to Poetry: How to Use Poetic Craft in Prose—The world of literature exists to help all of us make meaning of life. Through books, we go places and understand the people who inhabit them by using the art of imagination—the greatest window through which to view the world. We will look at inspiring examples of great prose written using poetry’s greatest “tricks” to create enduring stories, characters, and places. (April) (A limited enrollment class)

WRITING YOUR LIFE AND TIMES

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Price: 425.00 USD
10 Weeks

02 - 06 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-06 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

You may gravitate toward autobiography, memoir, essay or journaling. You may span decades of family lore or focus on your own life and the people who influenced you or the experiences that gave you skills and wisdom. Your purpose may be to reveal challenges you’ve faced, share knowledge and values, or make people laugh. This class provides resources to strengthen your story and encouragement to develop your own storytelling “voice.” Reading recommendations are offered, along with tactics for cultivating memory, working around barriers, and managing the process. Feedback comes from class discussion and in writing via e-mail from the instructor. (A limited enrollment class)

PUTTING CURRENT IDEAS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE INTO REAL LIFE PERSPECTIVE

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Price: 500.00 USD
12 Weeks

02 - 07 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In this course, students will read and discuss two books from the current bestseller list in psychology and social science. The Undoing Project the latest book by Michael Lewis (author or The Big Short and The Blindside) is about the friendship and collaboration of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two psychologists who turned the world of psychology on its head. This will be followed by one of iconoclastic thinker Daniel Kahneman’s best-known works, Thinking Fast and Slow. Dr. Diddel will lead discussion of the material, adding additional information about the topic and guiding students into putting their spin on the material and how it applies to their lives. (A limited enrollment class)

THE CHANGING WORLD: Future Trends in International Affairs

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Price: 250.00 USD
12 Weeks

02 - 07 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This course will examine the impact of the shifting balance of power between nations with the ascendancy of China, the re-emergence of “Imperial” Russia, the collision of Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the potential dissolution of the European Union—all of which set the backdrop for a fundamental change in the power and influence of the United States. We will seek to understand the seeds of radicalization of large segments of the global population who are thrusting themselves onto the world stage. We will discuss the expanding conflict in cyberspace that gives groups of cyber criminals, marginalized nations, and hacktivists the ability to directly challenge established world powers and in many cases prevail. We will explore the challenges we face as a global community as we confront a rapidly changing world

YEAR TWO IN THE TRUMP ERA

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Price: 250.00 USD
10 Weeks

02 - 07 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

As the Trump/Pence Administration heads into the second year of its term, we know a great deal more about the chief executive and his presidency than we did on January 20, 2017. We know that Trump is not going to change either his fundamental personality or modus operandi —And that is just fine with most of his base voters. As noted, despite struggles and setbacks in 2017, especially on the legislative front, the GOP core base remains solidly behind President Trump. Most base voters see setbacks as the fault of the GOP congressional leaders, not the President. That being the case, most elected Republicans, save those who are not running for any future office, are not going to join the “Never Trump” chorus because it would be political suicide to do so at this stage of his presidency. The biggest "winners" among the Trump supporters are the Christian values voters. With Justice Gorsuch and other conservative nominees in the pipeline, the President has delivered what he promised. The biggest "losers" in his 2016 coalition are the Independent and soft Democratic older working class voters who swung to Trump in 2016 but have gotten almost nothing that would address their concerns about jobs, wages, drug abuse, etc. in the first year of his presidency. Lacking a coherent policy perspective, especially in international affairs, Trump will continue to be extremely unpredictable in the area of foreign policy, but somewhat less so in defense policy because of his pattern of deferring to "his" generals in areas like Afghanistan and Iraq. These patterns suggest an interesting second year ahead!

BEYOND THE HOLOCAUST: The Complex History of German Jews from Napoleonic Times To Present Day

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

02 - 08 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-08 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The stellar rise of Jews in German society and the inconceivable end of German Jewry unfolded within the short span of one and a half century. When 14-year-old Moses Mendelssohn entered Berlin in 1743, he was subjugated to countless humiliating laws and regulations. Could he have ever imagined that about 150 years later one of his co-religionists, shipping magnate Albert Ballin, would regularly dine with the German Emperor in his palace, and that Albert Einstein was only one of numerous Jewish scientists to win the Nobel Prize? In no other country with the exception of medieval Spain were Jews so quickly and completely integrated into society than in Germany—the same country where they also faced complete destruction. The pinnacle of German achievements in science, the arts, and industry at the end of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century would not have been possible without the “German Citizens of Jewish faith” as they called themselves. Did the highly lauded “German-Jewish symbiosis” turn out to be a deadly self-delusion? How could a barbaric rule of only 12 years extinguish what had been part of German history for 2000 years? There is new Jewish life on German soil and numerous congregations sprout all over Germany. Is this a new beginning or a continuity of Jewish history in Germany? What does it mean to be a Jew in Germany in the year 2018? The course will trace and analyze the last 200 years of Jewish history in Germany and try to find answers to these questions.

DOSTOEVSKY AND HIS WORLD

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Price: 200.00 USD
8 Weeks

02 - 08 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-02-08 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This course examines the history of the Russian Empire through the life and work of one of the world’s greatest writers, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky’s life coincided with dramatic changes in the nineteenth century: industry developed at breakneck speed; empires colonized the world outside of Europe; nationalists gained unprecedented power; science promised endless progress; and, political radicals turned to violence and terror. His work explores many of the fundamental moral, philosophical, spiritual and political questions these changes posed, questions that typify Russian—and European—modernity. The life and work of Dostoevsky, therefore, is an illuminating lens through which to view major developments in the history of the Russian Empire and the modern world. Drawing on a variety of literary, historical and artistic sources, lectures will pay particular attention to Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment as a way of addressing larger questions about Russia. Reading the novel prior to, or in conjunction with, the course is recommended.

HOW THE NOVEL WORKS

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Price: 250.00 USD
12 Weeks

02 - 08 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-02-08 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Is the most important thing about the novel the narrator’s relation to the author, the plot’s beginning and end, or the importance of its moral themes? It is actually the narrator’s relation to the protagonist, then that protagonist’s relationships to the other characters in the system of their complementary and contending points of view, which therefore makes the middle part of the novel the most important part of the “plot.” So, to explore these and other formal issues, we will read a variety of classical modernist novels, most of them short, which play against each other and offer a variety of answers to these questions. The novel is a most capacious genre, including both Pride and Prejudice and Ulysses, and makes up its own rules as it goes along. • Introduction to Terms, Definitions, and Lionel Trilling • Chandler: The Big Sleep (Vintage) • Conrad: The Heart of Darkness (Penguin) • Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground (Modern Library) • Kertesz: Fateless (Northwestern) • Woolf: To the Lighthouse (Harcourt Brace) • Faulkner: As I Lay Dying (Vintage) • Jones: The Known World (Amistad) • O’Brien: The Things They Carried (Houghton Mifflin) • Roth: The Ghost Writer (Vintage) • Pushkin: Eugene Onegin (Penguin

WOMEN IN ART: The Renaissance to the Present

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Price: 250.00 USD
12 Weeks

02 - 08 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-02-08 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Though far from complete, the modern history of women in art can be seen as beginning with Linda Nochlin’s article “Why Are There No Great Women Artists?” published in 1971. Many exhibitions, books and articles soon followed. We will navigate this history, beginning in the Renaissance with Sofonisba Anguissola, the first Italian woman artist to become an international celebrity; followed by Lavinia Fontana, the first known woman painter to have a “normal” artistic career, working in all genres, leaving over 100 documented works. From then on, the known number of women artists steadily increases through the 17th century with Artemesia Gentileschi in Italy and Judith Leyster in Holland. The 18th century sees a further increase in both successful and famous women artists such as Rosalba Carriera, and Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. The 19th century development of modernism sharply increases the possibilities for women artists through the 20th century with many significant figures such as Käthe Kollwitz, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Lyubov Popova, and Georgia O’Keefe, to name but a few. The contemporary scene abounds with major women artists, too numerous to list here. As always, this course will be extensively illustrated with, as usual, many little-known and rarely seen works major women artists, too numerous to list here.

BREAKING NEWS IN 18TH CENTURY EUROPE:People, Places and Events

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Price: 225.00 USD
10 Weeks

02 - 12 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-02-12 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

The 18th century was a time of travel in Europe. The major wars of Louis XIV ended with his death, and Napoleon’s rise was far in the distance. While periodic conflicts took place between the Great Powers, most of the major cities were open to visitors. Travelers flocked to see the new sights and to attend and participate in the numerous civic and religious festivals, which transformed the city square and were enlivened by specially composed music and spectacular fireworks. (This class will not meet on April 2) To document these events, a new genre of painting arose in the form of Vedute, or “view.” Artists such as Canaletto, Panini, Hubert Robert and others documented the renewed architecture and appearance of the cities, as well as the dramatic celebrations which attracted the visiting throngs. The core of the idea for this course is a marvelous exhibition, "Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe", which was initiated by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and has traveled to Minneapolis and will open at the Cleveland Museum of Art at the end of February. The focus of the exhibition is the pageant of these historical events. However, in this course we will expand this idea in order to focus on the major cities of Europe—London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, to name a few, and the artists who provided our visual knowledge of them today.

THE RELEVANCE OF C.S. LEWIS TODAY

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

02 - 18 - 2018, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2018-02-18 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the twentieth century. In this lecture, Dr. Markos will consider the enduring legacy of C. S. Lewis, assess why he has had such a profound impact on twentieth-century readers, examine his remarkable range as an author, and survey the key events and people who helped shape his life, thought, and work. This is an important lecture as C.S. Lewis’ writings remarkably resonate in today’s uncertain world.

FLOOD RESILIENCE IN HOUSTON

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

03 - 04 - 2018, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2018-03-04 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

According to environmental attorney and professor, Jim Blackburn, “It is doubtful that any city in the United States, or the world, could have handled 40 inches of rain in 3.5 days or even 16 inches in 24 hours. However, the extent of damages and misery can be substantially reduced the next time. The task for Houston going forward is to adopt a series of policies and actions that can and will make a difference. Albert Einstein said, ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ This is Houston’s challenge—to think boldly and creatively to develop ideas and policies that are, indeed, different.” You will not want to miss this important lecture as it impacts all Houstonians!

PUEBLA, MEXICO: The New "Hot" Destination

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

03 - 11 - 2018, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2018-03-11 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

Last Fall, the Wall Street Journal named Puebla, Mexico as its #2 in its listing of top destinations for travel in 2018, this in spite of considerable damage by a violent earthquake in September. Just a two and a half hour car drive from Mexico City (and less than a two hour flight from Houston) Puebla is one Mexico's most historic cities, as well as being one of its most visually beautiful. It is the home of the gastronomic delight mole, talavara pottery, and Cinco de Mayo. Colonial churches abound, including an imposing cathedral adjacent to one of the most vibrant and beautiful central squares in the Americas. There are dozens of museums, including the amazing Museum of the International Baroque which opened last year and was designed by the Pritzker prize-winning architect, Toyo Ito. The huge and fascinating modern structure reflects the vibrant baroque style of the colonial city itself and has been called "the most important new art museum in North America." As if this were all not enough, Puebla is home to a new hotel that provides an extraordinary welcome to this jewel of a city. Travel with Barry to the virtually undiscovered PUEBLA, MEXICO!

MIND THE GAP: How the Jewish Writings between the Old and New Testament Help us Understand Jesus

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

03 - 18 - 2018, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2018-03-18 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

To understand Jesus of Nazareth, his apostles, and the rise of early Christianity, reading the Old Testament is not enough. In his new book, Mind the Gap, Rice religion scholar Matthias Henze argues that to understand the Jewish world from which Jesus emerged, we need to read ancient Jewish texts outside the Bible. These texts such as different Old Testaments, the Apocrypha and the Dead Sea Scrolls help explore the four-century gap between the Old and New Testaments and shed light on what the Jews of the Second Temple period and Jesus and his followers might have read. The New Testament assumes that we are familiar with Jewish beliefs and practices of the first-century Israel, when, in fact, most of us are not. But if Jesus was a practicing Jew, and if we know little about his Judaism, how can we understand Jesus, his life and message? This lecture and Matthias Henze’s book broadens the understanding of early Judaism and early Christianity.

ARTISTIC COUPLES

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

03 - 19 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-03-19 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The concept of the solitary artist, supported by a devoted wife or by a series of devoted but slightly more fickle female muses, be they models, mistresses or both, is well documented in the history of art. But there are also a number of remarkable artistic couples, where both partners were artists in their own right, and a number of these will be the subjects of our discussion. We will consider artists from many countries and different time periods and investigate the complexities of their special relationships. Did they support and inspire each other, did they work in the same manner, or were they competitive? How did they handle success and failure, and most importantly, how did their relationship define their work? The couples we will consider are William Bouguereau and Elizabeth Jane Bouguereau, the master of French academic realism and his American wife, a former student; the Danish Impressionists Michel Peter Ancher and Ann Brødum Ancher; Vassily Kandinsky, the Russian member of the Blue Rider group of German Expressionists, and Gabrielle Münter; the French Expressionist Robert Delaunay and his Ukrainian born wife, Sonia; Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar, painter, photographer, mistress and muse; Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the great Mexican muralist and his extraordinary wife.

WOMEN IN RELIGION

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Price: 225.00 USD
8 Weeks

03 - 19 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-03-19 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This course will explore the extraordinary role that women have played, and continue to play, in the world’s religions. Many standout women appear in the sacred texts and traditions of the religions —as prophets, oracles and disciples. Others appear as the religions unwind themselves throughout history and women become teachers, preachers, healers, saints and sages. In short, the religions of the world, although officially “founded” by men, would be mere shadows of their current iterations were it not for the women who championed them and, in many cases, illustrated the religions' highest ideals with their very lives. We will spend 8 weeks looking at the lives of these most amazing women.

WOMEN IN RELIGION

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Price: 225.00 USD
8 Weeks

03 - 19 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-03-19 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This course will explore the extraordinary role that women have played, and continue to play, in the world’s religions. Many standout women appear in the sacred texts and traditions of the religions —as prophets, oracles and disciples. Others appear as the religions unwind themselves throughout history and women become teachers, preachers, healers, saints and sages. In short, the religions of the world, although officially “founded” by men, would be mere shadows of their current iterations were it not for the women who championed them and, in many cases, illustrated the religions' highest ideals with their very lives. We will spend 8 weeks looking at the lives of these most amazing women.

THE AUVERGNE: France’s Volcanic Heartland

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

03 - 20 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-03-20 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Lying in the middle of the Massif Central, the ancient province of the Auvergne has a spectacular landscape of mountains formed by extinct volcanoes, some with dome-shaped peaks, others topped with craters. The scenery is sometimes rugged, sometimes pastoral with emerald green slopes dotted with the reddish-brown cows of the local Salers breed. Ancient villages of dark lava stone sit perched on peaks, clinging to slopes, or nestled in river valleys. The perfectly preserved village of Salers has a main square surrounded by eye-catching historic mansions and a web of narrow streets lined with old houses. The town of Le Puy-en-Velay lies in a basin punctuated by volcanic pinnacles, one of which serves as a pedestal for a 10th century chapel. Steep, cobbled streets lead to the cathedral listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and departure for a main pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Along the pilgrim routes are some of Europe’s finest Romanesque churches, renowned for their sculptural decoration, which is often enigmatic, but always captivating. Châteaux are scattered all over the Auvergne, some owned by the same family for centuries. They range from defensive fortresses to Renaissance or Classical-style residences filled with fine period furniture, paintings, and tapestries. Americans will find of particular interest the Château de Chavaniac-La Fayette, birthplace of the hero of our Revolution. This richly illustrated course will cover the history, architecture, gastronomy, and gorgeous landscapes of the Auvergne, a region unknown to most foreign visitors.

INTERCULTURAL ISSUES: Developing Awareness to Understanding People

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

03 - 22 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-03-22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

We live in an increasingly interconnected world, where ones' values and actions influence and are influenced by others. If we look at the spread of information, ideas, media, capital, and cultural artifacts we can see the boundaries and borders that have historically separated one country or one group from another are becoming more and more penetrable. As people come together from different backgrounds, understanding how societies are based around fundamental patterns of culture becomes essential at all levels of human interaction, from the interpersonal to the international. In this course, we will unpack the concept of culture. Drawing on insights from anthropology, psychology, business communication, political science and international relations, we will explore the different ways to answer the question, "What is culture?" In this course, we will be introduced to various dimensions and processes of culture like values, perspectives, traditions, and interpretations of time and space. Our goal will be to engender curiosity and empathy, while advancing intercultural understanding.

2018 Sterling Lecture with Peter Zeihan

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Price: 150.00 USD
0 Weeks

03 - 23 - 2018, 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM 2018-03-23 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

Join The Women's Institute for this exciting, new event featuring STRATEGIST, THINKER, FUTURIST, SPEAKER—Peter Zeihan! 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. at River Oaks Country Club Valet Parking and Lunch included. Geopolitical Strategist Peter Zeihan is a global energy, demographic and security expert. Zeihan’s worldview marries the realities of geography and populations to a deep understanding of how global politics impact markets and economic trends, helping industry leaders navigate today’s complex mix of geopolitical risks and opportunities. With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types. In his career, Zeihan has ranged from working for the US State Department in Australia, to the DC think tank community, to helping develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. Mr. Zeihan founded his own firm — Zeihan on Geopolitics — in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities and the U.S. military. His freshman book, "The Accidental Superpower", forecasts the coming collapse of the global order. It debuted in 2014. His newest project, "The Absent Superpower", published in December 2016, highlights what comes next. Underwritten by Cynthia and Stephen Brown and Mary Lee and Jim Wallace

2018 Sterling Lecture with Peter Zeihan—Patron Tables

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Price: 2,000.00 USD
0 Weeks

03 - 23 - 2018, 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM 2018-03-23 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

Join The Women's Institute for this exciting, new event featuring STRATEGIST, THINKER, FUTURIST, SPEAKER—Peter Zeihan! 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. at River Oaks Country Club Patron Tables include a Reserved Table for 10, Valet Parking and Lunch. Geopolitical Strategist Peter Zeihan is a global energy, demographic and security expert. Zeihan’s worldview marries the realities of geography and populations to a deep understanding of how global politics impact markets and economic trends, helping industry leaders navigate today’s complex mix of geopolitical risks and opportunities. With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types. In his career, Zeihan has ranged from working for the US State Department in Australia, to the DC think tank community, to helping develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. Mr. Zeihan founded his own firm — Zeihan on Geopolitics — in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities and the U.S. military. His freshman book, "The Accidental Superpower", forecasts the coming collapse of the global order. It debuted in 2014. His newest project, "The Absent Superpower", published in December 2016, highlights what comes next. Underwritten by Cynthia and Stephen Brown and Mary Lee and Jim Wallace

MASTERWORKS OF ROMANTICISM

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

04 - 03 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-04-03 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Romanticism was a period (ca. 1750s-1850s) marked by revolutions: the American Revolution, French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and the dozen or more revolutions of 1848. While the vast majority of Romantic writers weren’t directly involved in any armed conflicts, they contributed to the revolutionary spirit of their day through their poetry and prose—which we now know was revolutionary in its own right. Romantic writers gave voice to a new set of values and beliefs that not only challenged the prevailing social norms, but also unmasked broad social anxieties about the place of the individual in society, the rise of industry, and the degradation of the natural world. In this course, we will read seven masterworks of British and American Romanticism by seven representative authors in these traditions. Ranging from poetry and songs to novels and essays, the selected texts will provide a sense of the breadth and depth of Romanticism in both its British and American forms. We will devote the first three weeks to our British Romantic authors and the last three weeks to our American Romantics. We will seek both to understand these individual texts in terms of their content, form, and historical context, as well as think about the nature of cultural movements like Romanticism more broadly. The authors and texts covered in this course include: • William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) • William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads (1798) • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818) • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature” (1836) and “Self-Reliance” (1841) • Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854) • Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)

TODAY'S MARKET: Will the Boom Times Continue?

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Price: 165.00 USD
5 Weeks

04 - 03 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-04-03 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

More than ever, investors are concerned with the high valuations in today’s stock and bond markets. William E. Frisco, Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Advisor, will examine the major areas of risk to your investment portfolios and show you investment strategies to minimize these risks. In this course, Mr. Frisco will examine how to manage investment risks, generate income for retirement, and diversify your growth portfolio to minimize volatility. Sustainable, responsible and impact investing that considers environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate competitive financial returns and positive societal impact will also be detailed. He will discuss the threat to your bond portfolio if the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates; political issues and how mid-term elections may impact the markets; and, the potential for a disruption in global trade as trade issues escalate. Mr. Frisco will also analyze new tax legislation and its impact on your investments. Topics will include: • How to determine what asset allocation is right for you; • Guidelines for withdrawal strategies in retirement to ensure you don’t deplete your assets; • And, how to generate competitive returns with sustainable, responsible, and impact investing.

THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION: Improving Health, Longevity, and Quality of Life

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Price: 275.00 USD
6 Weeks

04 - 05 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-04-05 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Scientists are discovering more and more that there are complex biological links between the stresses in our lives, our nervous system, and our immune function. In fact, one of the fastest growing areas of medical research measures the impact of positive and negative emotions on the immune system. Unfortunately, the stresses of modern life cause so many of us to operate in a continual state of the "fight or flight response", during which specific biochemical reactions occur and cortisol is released throughout the body. Elevated cortisol levels have been found to interfere with memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, and higher blood pressure. At the same time, the extensive research into the mind-body connection has confirmed the medical, mental, and psychological benefits of certain stress-reducing practices that can improve our health. In this class we will cover the landmark mind-body research of such scientists as Robert Ader, Bob Fellen, Candace Pert, and others. In addition, we will learn cutting-edge stress reduction techniques such as cognitive behavior mindfulness, MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction), and integrative breathing. In addition, we will learn and experience simple ways to work with Eastern practices such as QiGong, Tai-Chi, Yoga breathing, and guided/non-guided meditation. By understanding the mind-body connection and by using specific stress-reduction techniques, we can profoundly affect our overall health, longevity, and quality of life. (A limited enrollment class)

LIVING THE ONLINE LIFE: Exploring Social Media, Shopping Online, and Protecting Your Privacy

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Price: 250.00 USD
5 Weeks

04 - 09 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-04-09 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

It's been more than 23 years since the Internet came into widespread use and in that time the Web has seamlessly been incorporated into our daily lives. Security and privacy issues, scams, malware, phishing, and intrusive ads have also accompanied such positive features as connectedness, convenience, and entertainment. How can we navigate the line between being connected and at the same time stay safe from hacking, identity theft, and malware? In this workshop, we will review the basic practices for navigating the Web using search engines, saving/printing website pages, shopping and ordering from online sellers, renting and streaming movies, and more. We will also discover some great tips on using such social media apps as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. We will cover important security and privacy strategies to keep our data and information safe while allowing us to confidently use the Internet in ways that enhance our lives. Participants in this class are encouraged to bring their devices to class where we will have hands-on sessions. (A limited enrollment class)

JESUS AND THE GOSPELS

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

04 - 11 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-04-11 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

In this class, we will explore several early Christian Gospels from the perspective of modern academic scholarship, with an emphasis on their historical and social context. This course will focus primarily on the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The final two weeks are devoted to examining several non-canonical texts such as the Gospels of Thomas, Philip, Judas, and Mary. We will read the relevant ancient texts together in translation and explore themes of conflict and diversity within emerging Christianity as it developed from an apocalyptic Jewish sect into a separate religion composed primarily of non-Jewish followers. While it is to be expected that everyone will enter with varying assumptions and expectations about the Bible in general, and the New Testament in particular, it should be noted that we shall adopt a historical approach with respect to all of the texts we will cover, including those of the New Testament. This means we will be examining them in their original historical, cultural, and social contexts. Please note, therefore, that we will not be reading these texts from confessional or devotional points of view.

ADVANCED SPANISH CONVERSATION: El Español Contemporáneo

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Price: 325.00 USD
6 Weeks

04 - 16 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-04-16 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is designed for students who have completed prior Spanish classes at The Women’s Institute 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 varients 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)

THE BEST OF THE SHAKESPEARE COMEDIES

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

04 - 17 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-04-17 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In the past few decades a number of Shakespearean comedies have been made into entrancing films. Like the original plays, these presentations are a treat for popular and esoteric audiences alike. Kate Pogue has chosen six of her favorite comedies to watch in their entirety: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, making this course a joyful, mini Shakespeare Festival. The films have been directed by the best of the best—Franco Zefferelli, Trevor Nunn, and Kenneth Branagh. If this summer is not the right one for you to travel to Stratford or London, or if you’ve always wondered why people love Shakespeare and would like to find out, come and be transported and amused as we enjoy the best of the Shakespeare comedies. (*The extra 30 minutes is for viewing the films. A limited enrollment class)

ROMANCING THE 20TH CENTURY

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

05 - 01 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-05-01 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How does the twentieth century treat love and passion on the page? Truth be told, the past century is known for its rebellion against traditional emotional expression, which modernist and postmodernist writers replaced with abstractions, distancing themselves from the more tender connections between people. Despite this aversion to feeling, however, authors were writing romantic texts, although of a different texture than the likes of, say, Jane Austen. What are the defining characteristics of the twentieth-century romance? How do authors express sexual desire, abiding love, romantic jealousy, and romantic sorrow? We’ll begin with short stories by Faulkner and Raymond Carver, then read selections by D. H. Lawrence, Daphne du Maurier, Jean Rhys, and Michael Ondaatje. For the final session, the class will vote on whether to read and discuss Nicolas Sparks’ The Notebook or Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Either way, we’ll have a viewing party at the end of the six weeks to watch one of these films/episodes, eat popcorn, and discuss the translation of romantic text to romantic film. Week 1 • “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner (1920) • “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love,” Raymond Carver (1981) Week 2 • Lady Chatterley’s Lover and “The Fox,” D. H. Lawrence (1928 and 1922) Week 3 • Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier (1938) Week 4 • Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (1966) Week 5 • The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje (1992) Week 6: Student Choice • The Notebook, Nicolas Sparks (1996) OR • Outlander, Diana Gabaldon (1991)

ILLUMINATING THE PSYCHE THROUGH THE ARTS: Art as Lens to Relationships with Others

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Price: 300.00 USD
8 Weeks

05 - 02 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-05-02 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This course will bring together the Arts and Psychology—an exuberantly illuminating and catalyzing pair—in order to create a portal into understanding the conundrums of human behavior. We delight in duos that reciprocally enhance: food and wine; Simon and Garfunkel; warp and woof; Toklas and Stein; Yin and Yang; Freud and Jung. Our smorgasbord will include: • Poetic cataclysms of Nobel prize-winning Wislawa Szymborska managed by Tich Nhat Hahn’s meditative practice and Steven Hayes’ Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). • Pia Melody’s epic research on redemptive connection through healthy boundaries excavated by excerpts from Grace Paley’s short stories and Rebecca Solnit’s memoires. • Maggie Taylors’s fantastical photo collages mapping the stress/trauma response in Bessel van der Kolk’s foundational book The Body Keep the Score. Ultimately, this course is designed to provide safe passage—sometimes quiet, sometimes boisterous—to better understand the complexities of our lives, individually and collectively, through combinations that compliment and oppose; distill and topple; shore up and expand. Each class will combine current psychological and neurological theory with the visual and literary arts. Writing, collage, and drawing will also be a part of our work together, though always optional. Ultimately, group discussions and experiential opportunities will open a space for better understanding the dynamics of relationships with others and with ourselves. (A limited enrollment class)

SHOPPING WISELY

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Price: 225.00 USD
4 Weeks

05 - 02 - 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2018-05-02 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Do you purchase clothes or accessories, and then bring them home only to find they go with nothing in your closet? Or do you have nothing but black handbags and white blouses, but want to add some ‘spice’ to your look? This class is going to force you to look at the items you buy in another light. We will actually go shopping in stores and you will learn how to shop for items that will update and work in your closet in a variety of looks. We will discuss why a particular item is a good addition and why another is not. This will be a fun-filled and very hands-on class! (A limited enrollment class)

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE NEWS

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Price: 150.00 USD
4 Weeks

05 - 02 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-05-02 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This course will focus on an in-depth discussion of 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, and the short to medium term prospects for Chinese-American conflict. 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.

NON-WESTERN INFLUENCES ON EARLY MODERNISM

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Price: 200.00 USD
8 Weeks

05 - 03 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-05-03 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

At the beginning of the 19th century progressive artists began to recognize that the Greco-Roman, Renaissance tradition had become depleted. This coincided with colonial expansion, especially French into North Africa, and closer contact with the Islamic world. Artists such as Delacroix, Ingres, and Chasseriau introduced Arabic subject- matter into their paintings. With the opening up of Japan in the 1840’s, Japanese prints arrived in Europe and became influential in the development of Impressionism, indeed, the influence of Japanese wood-block prints on Manet, Whistler, Degas, Monet, and Renoir had a profound influence on Impressionism. A third influence begins with the work of Gauguin, working outside of Europe in Tahiti. French colonial expansion into sub-Saharan Africa brought many superb African artifacts to Paris where they were collected by the turn of the century. Picasso, Braque, and many other artists incorporated African imagery into their works, not only in France but beyond, as in the works of the German Expressionistists, such as Nolde and Kirchner. Later, in the 20th century, American artists looked to indigenous tribal art for inspiration, most notably Georgia O’Keefe and Marsden Hartley, followed by Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists. Without these non-Europea influences the development of western modernism would have been profoundly different. This new course will examine this topic, using many unusual rarely seen images.

INTRODUCTION TO WATERCOLOR

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Price: 300.00 USD
6 Weeks

05 - 09 - 2018, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2018-05-09 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Have you ever wanted to paint with watercolor? Basics and skills are the fundamental building blocks of watercolor painting and confidence will be gained as we learn these. The class will begin by learning to mix and make your own colors along with the various watercolor painting techniques. Small studies will be presented to practice each new skill as they are introduced. This class is for beginners and others who want to "brush" up on their skills. Materials will be furnished. (It is important to attend the first class. A limited enrollment class.)