Winter 2020

Course offerings for the Winter 2020 semester include selections in Classics, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Social Science and Writing.


Ancient Greek Heroes

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Although Herakles is famous for his strength and his labors, how well do we really know this ancient Greek hero, son of Zeus, who became a god after his death? What about his less famous exploits? Did he really kill his children? And what about Theseus, who killed the Minotaur and retrieved the Golden Fleece? What are the other stories about him? What did these heroes represent to the Greeks of the Classical era? Which traits made them heroes in the eyes of the Greeks? 


Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519): 500 Years Later

12 weeks, Mondays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

In this year 2019, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, what can we still learn from him? What marks his works, his genius, his life as worthy of remembrance? Engineer, anatomist, painter, designer, inventor, writer, dreamer—what drove Leonardo to study and create and wonder with such verve in so many different endeavours? How did his various interests and projects interrelate?

Revolution and Reform During the Age of Romanticism (1815-1848): A Trans-Atlantic View

12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Why did the post-Napoleonic era witness such a proliferation of reform movements and revolutions (on both sides of the Atlantic)? The Romantics, children of the Enlightenment philosophes, added passion to the Enlightenment belief that progress was possible. The philosophes wrote, but Romantic reformers actively struggled for their utopian dreams.


Thinking Historically

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

The past lies within every aspect of the present. How can we become more conscious of it? How do we bridge the gap between the present we live in, and the infinite and unorganized “everything that ever happened” before us? Can understanding our ties to the past help us live in the present? History, that is, the recollection of past human experience, vitally helps us to grapple with such questions.


Joseph Conrad: Life & Legacy

12 weeks, Monday, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Maya Jasanoff won the 2018 Cundhill History Prize with her book, The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World, we will read as our core text. How did Conrad pioneer out understanding of the forces that shape our modern world? Was Jasanoff persuasive in arguing that Conrad did not merely embody the soul of his time, he foresaw our own? What can we learn from  Conrad's insights into his own era of globalization and rapid technological change, as reflected in his novels and short stories? 

Poets on Poetry, Yesterday and Today: Toward the Open Field

8 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Recently in the United States, the NEA reported that nearly 12 percent of adults read poetry in 2017; that’s roughly 28 million people! Those numbers are up by 5 percent from a previous survey in 2012. On the other hand, fiction reading appears to be down. So why this growth in poetry reading from the general public and why now? In the book, Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950, we look at the words of poets themselves as a guide to explore the joys and complexities of the art form.

Who Are You?: Mythopoeia and the Perilous Realm in the Works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien

12 weeks, Thursdays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

When Alice first meets the Caterpillar in Wonderland, he asks her a seemingly simple question: “Who are you?” Why does she find it difficult to reply? Did she lose her identity when she fell down the rabbit hole? Carroll’s tales have served as an inspiration and a springboard for many storytellers, including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.


Enjoying Jazz (Part II)

24 weeks, Mondays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Where does jazz come from? How did it evolve into one of 20th century’s most important musical genres? Who are the most important jazz artists? What are the significant recordings in jazz? How should one listen to jazz? All these questions and more will be addressed in a compelling, year-long exploration, with discussion leader and jazz guitar player François Ouimet.


The Bittersweet Honesty of Rachel Cusk Part I

12 weeks, Mondays, 18:15 PM - 20:15 PM

Rachel Cusk has written two memoirs about the upheaval she experienced during the transition to motherhood and the subsequent dissolution of her marriage. Hailed by many as honest and truthful, they were so severely censured by some that Cusk was unable to write for a period of time. Then, over the last five years, she produced a trilogy of novels widely praised as an important innovation in the writing of fiction. 

Invitation à la philosophie: Au café existentialiste

12 weeks, les mardis, 18:15 - 20:15

Dépassé, l’existentialisme ? On l’a cru naguère, mais les questions posées par des penseurs aussi différents que Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Beauvoir, n’ont rien perdu de leur pertinence : Qu’est-ce que je fais de ma vie ? Cette vie a-t-elle un sens ? Dois-je m’engager au plan politique ou dans diverses causes ? Qu’advient-il alors de ma liberté ?


Fiction Writing Workshop

12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Are you an aspiring fiction writer? This introductory workshop for new and emerging writers of fiction will help you to develop compelling characters and tell their stories in vivid, entertaining prose. Through weekly short assignments, readings, and in-class discussions, we will explore the many elements of good fiction, such as character, dialogue, setting, point of view, and plot. The final assignment, a short story, will build on and combine all of these elements.


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