Announcing 10 New Releases
Announcing 10 New Releases
  • How Winston Churchill Changed the World

    Professor Michael Shelden, PhD

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Winston Churchill didn’t just live history—he made it. In How Winston Churchill Changed the World, join Churchill-biographer Professor Michael Shelden for a multifaceted, 24-lecture exploration of the statesman’s life, accomplishments, complexities, and failures. It’s an unforgettable journey through the 20th century in the footsteps of the man who helped humanity prevail during violent, dangerous times.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Winston Churchill didn’t just live history—he made it. In How Winston Churchill Changed the World, join Churchill-biographer Professor Michael Shelden for a multifaceted, 24-lecture exploration of the statesman’s life, accomplishments, complexities, and failures. It’s an unforgettable journey through the 20th century in the footsteps of the man who helped humanity prevail during violent, dangerous times.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  How Winston Churchill Changed the World
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Churchill and the Muse of History
      First, establish a strong sense of how Winston Churchill looked at the world, and what he brought to politics that made him stand out from the start of his career. Then, learn how the connecting thread of history helped inspire Churchill to deliver his iconic Finest Hour" speech." x
    • 2
      Young Churchill
      Survey the remarkable accomplishments of Winston Churchill's life before he turned thirty. Follow the future statesman as he fights on the frontier of India, takes part in the British army's last great cavalry charge, survives capture in South Africa's Boer War, and wins a seat in Parliament. x
    • 3
      Churchill, the Edwardian Titan
      Few British politicians have risen as far-and as fast-as Winston Churchill did during the first decade of his parliamentary career. Examine Churchill's meteoric ascent, including his conflicts with political veterans Arthur Balfour and Joseph Chamberlain, his time as a liberal statesman, and his relationship with Violet Asquith. x
    • 4
      Churchill's Rise to the Admiralty
      Focus on Churchill's career as First Lord of the Admiralty and his efforts to make sure the British navy could win battles in the North Sea. Central to this were technological developments (including a massive new gun for ships) and his knowledge of the newest twist in naval warfare: aviation. x
    • 5
      Churchill and Failure in World War I
      With the military disaster in Gallipoli and the Dardanelles during World War I, Churchill pushed his luck too far. Discover what led to this major failure and his subsequent resignation from government, as well as how he overcame this fall from grace by joining the fight on the Western Front. x
    • 6
      Churchill in War and Peace
      Gain insights into Churchill's return to government in 1917 as Minister of Munitions and, after the end of World War I, as War Secretary. Then, examine Churchill's fraught relationship with Prime Minister Lloyd George and the publication of his grand, four-volume history of the war years: The World Crisis. x
    • 7
      Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer
      As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill's primary job was to maintain Britain's economic prosperity. Here, learn how his efforts to cut wasteful spending, implement modest tax cuts, and return to the Gold Standard hurt the British economy in a way that would undermine most of his good work elsewhere. x
    • 8
      The Rise of Tyranny in the 1930s
      Take a step back to investigate just how tangled the relationship between Britain and Germany was becoming in the 1930s. Professor Shelden reveals how Churchill led an uphill battle to persuade his country about the dangers of Hitler and the Nazis-even as his fellow countrymen turned against him. x
    • 9
      Churchill as Author and Historian
      During the 1930s, Churchill kept his name and fame alive through his books and essays. In this lecture, explore some of his greatest works from the period, including Great Contemporaries (a dazzling study of major leaders of the day) and Marlborough: His Life and Times (a multi-volume biography of a famous ancestor). x
    • 10
      The Gathering Storm in Nazi Germany
      As international danger loomed on the horizon, Churchill knew the Royal Air Force would be the key to Britain's future. Learn how Churchill set in motion a chain of events that led to the legendary (and revolutionary) Spitfire, then examine how Churchill tried to save King Edward's monarchy from scandal. x
    • 11
      Churchill in the Age of Appeasement
      Explore just how pitifully disunited and disorganized the British government was as it stood on the verge of war with Hitler. How did the "age of appeasement" begin? What made Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain think he could do business with Hitler? How did Churchill continue to prepare for war? x
    • 12
      The Road to Dunkirk
      On May 8, 1940, a speech by David Lloyd George validating Churchill's premonitions of war with Germany led to Chamberlain's defeat-and Churchill's succession to the role of prime minister. But, as you'll learn, within a month of taking office Churchill faced one of his most serious challenges at Dunkirk. x
    • 13
      Churchill in Power
      When Churchill took power over the government, he knew he'd not only have to fight the Germans but also the simmering resentments within the Conservative Party. Take a closer look at cabinet battles and the famous speech to the House of Commons after the Dunkirk miracle" that effectively crushed Churchill's defeatists." x
    • 14
      Surviving the Nazi Blitz
      Explore how Churchill responded to the terror of the Blitz and how his long history of experience with aviation had a major impact on the war in the air. Then, conclude with a look at the wisdom of a particular-and overlooked-sentence from his famous speech of June 18, 1940. x
    • 15
      Turning the Tide against Hitler
      When did the course of war with Germany take the decisive turn for England that Churchill had hoped for? Why did his attention wander to Malaysia and Singapore? Why was the Suez Canal such an important lifeline for Britain? What was Churchill's long-term strategy for facing down the German juggernaut? x
    • 16
      Churchill and Roosevelt
      Learn how another historical giant-U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt-became the one vital person Churchill needed at his side to win the war. You'll learn what made these two men such effective partners, including their strong wills, their love of attention, and their hatred of being on the sidelines. x
    • 17
      Churchill and Stalin
      Turn now to Churchill's relationship with another historical giant: Russian leader Joseph Stalin. Why was Churchill's August 1942 trip to Moscow one of his most difficult wartime challenges? How did he and Roosevelt balance their desire to help an enemy of Hitler's without allowing Stalin more leverage than was prudent? x
    • 18
      Debating Churchill's Wartime Leadership
      Take a look at some of the more controversial decisions of Churchill's war record, including his possible delay of the D-Day invasion and the bombing campaign against Dresden and other German cities. Also, consider Churchill's early public stance against the threat to Jews under the Nazis. x
    • 19
      Churchill from Tehran to Yalta
      At the Tehran Conference, Churchill realized how small Britain was compared to the rising world powers of Russia and the United States. At the Yalta Conference, he discovered the only bond of victors is their common hate. Here, go inside Churchill's experiences at these critical diplomatic events from World War II. x
    • 20
      Peace, Churchill, and the British Voter
      In July 1945, at the height of his triumph over Hitler, Churchill was kicked out of office by the British electorate and replaced with Clement Attlee. Examine how Churchill's struggle to save Europe from despotism left Britain a minor world power instead of the major power it once was. x
    • 21
      Churchill on the Iron Curtain
      In this lecture on the dawn of the Cold War era, investigate how Churchill grew increasingly disappointed with Britain's postwar future-including its reduced power, influence, and economic prospects-and his realization that another ominous threat loomed over the world: Stalin and the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe. x
    • 22
      Churchill and Britain's Postwar Crisis
      As prime minister, Churchill had shared his government with Labour leaders. Learn what happened once Labour assumed power and walked away from that spirit of partnership. From a fiscal meltdown to rationing to British troops at war in Asia, ceaseless opposition became the rule of the day. x
    • 23
      Churchill's Return to Power
      Churchill devoted as much energy as possible in his second period as prime minister to cementing ties between the United States and Britain in response to the Soviet Union's rise as a superpower. Discover how he became a powerful, persuasive advocate for peaceful coexistence in the face of atomic destruction. x
    • 24
      Churchill and the Legacy of Freedom
      Was Winston Churchill really the indispensable man of the 20th century? Can one person even make that much of a difference in the course of history? Professor Shelden concludes his lecture series with a pointed consideration of provocative questions that most academic historians won't even go near. x
  • The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales

    Professor Patrick N. Allitt, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    No matter what you are hoping to discover in this magnificent region, The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales is the perfect guide. Taught by acclaimed Professor Patrick Allitt, a British-born scholar who teaches at Emory University, these 36 engrossing lectures give you an insider’s take on traveling through Great Britain.

    View Lecture List (36)

    No matter what you are hoping to discover in this magnificent region, The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales is the perfect guide. Taught by acclaimed Professor Patrick Allitt, a British-born scholar who teaches at Emory University, these 36 engrossing lectures give you an insider’s take on traveling through Great Britain.

    View Lecture List (36)
    36 Lectures  |  The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales
    Lecture Titles (36)
    • 1
      Welcome to Britain
      See why Great Britain offers so much as a travel destination. From thousand-year-old castles and cathedrals to contemporary art museums and scenic hikes, there is something for everyone. Begin your tour with a look at the scope of all Britain has to offer-and a few off-the-beaten-path ideas for getting to know England, Scotland, and Wales. x
    • 2
      Prehistoric Britain
      Great Britain's history begins 5,000 years ago with a mysterious ancient people whose only vestiges are earthworks and stone circles like Stonehenge. Because of Stonehenge's massive popularity, you may want to consider visiting other ancient ruins such as Avebury or Maiden Castle. x
    • 3
      Roman Britain
      The next era in Britain's history is the Roman conquest. In the first century B.C.E., the Romans invaded and spread their territory to the Anglo-Scottish border. There, Hadrian's Wall marks the edge of the empire. Consider the Roman impact on Great Britain, from the city of Bath to the island's long, straight roads. x
    • 4
      Anglo-Saxon and Viking Britain
      After the Romans left Britain, a number of Germanic tribes stepped in to fill the power vacuum. With the help of the Venerable Bede and other contemporary sources, explore the Anglo-Saxon conquests. Then turn to the Viking attacks in the Middle Ages. Be sure to add Offa's Dyke and the monastery of Lindisfarne to your travel itinerary. x
    • 5
      Britain's Medieval Castles
      Medieval castles and cathedrals are some of the most striking sites in all of Britain. Here, survey the development of castles built between 1066 and 1500. As you reflect on the evolution of the stone keep and outer wall, concentric design, and more, your tour takes you to such crowd-pleasers as Tower of London, Caerphilly in Wales, Dover Castle, and more. x
    • 6
      Britain's Medieval Cathedrals
      Like the medieval castles, Britain's cathedrals are astounding sites and an absolute must for any visitor to the island. Here, Professor Allitt explores the major milestones in cathedral architecture, from the Romanesque style of Durham Cathedral to the gothic style of Canterbury. He also takes you to the world-renowned Westminster Abbey. x
    • 7
      Tudor Britain
      From the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485 to the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, Britain experienced severe political upheavals. Among other events, Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church to found the Church of England. Witness how the era's architecture-including Hampton Court Palace, Hardwick Hall, and Sulgrave Manor-reflected the political turmoil. x
    • 8
      Magna Carta and Civil War
      Continue your study of the political shifts during Renaissance Britain, a period when kings were gradually forced to share power with Parliament. This tension broke bounds in the 17th century, when Charles I, defeated in a civil war, was beheaded at the Banqueting House in London. After Oliver Cromwell's quasi-military dictatorship, the crown was restored to Charles II-but political tension persisted. x
    • 9
      Enlightenment Britain
      Some of the greatest sites in Britain today are products of the Enlightenment. Delve into some of Christopher Wren's architectural achievements, including the Royal Observatory and the splendid St. Paul's Cathedral. Then move beyond London to explore the great country estates of Kedleston and Calke Abbey. x
    • 10
      Industrial Britain
      Britain was home to the Industrial Revolution, driven by advancements in textiles, coal mining, and iron. Tour the country to see some of the monuments to industry, including Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, and the Big Pit in the South Wales village of Blaenafon. Visit and travel on the nation's canals and railways from the same era. x
    • 11
      Victorian Britain
      Victorian Britain is a fascinating architectural period, which witnessed a revival of many older styles, culminating in the Neo-Gothic. Visit such masterpieces of the Gothic Revival as Manchester Town Hall, St. Pancras Station in London, and the Museum of Natural History. Then tour Kensington, where the Royal Albert Hall commemorates Victoria's husband. x
    • 12
      20th-Century Britain
      Conclude your survey of British architecture with an overview of the 20th century-a period when, according to Professor Allitt, some of the nation's worst buildings were constructed. The early part of the century saw striking achievements, such as Arts and Crafts style country houses, but the post-World War II era was an age of Brutalist concrete, from which we are only just escaping today. x
    • 13
      Edinburgh and Glasgow
      Scottish nationalism is one of the more intriguing phenomena in today's headlines. Here, look beyond the news reports to investigate Scotland's two great cities: Edinburgh and Glasgow. While giving you a tour of the cities, Professor Allitt also introduces you to some of Scotland's most famous figures, including Walter Scott, Adam Smith, and David Hume. x
    • 14
      Wild Scotland: Beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow
      Continue your tour of Scotland with a look beyond the cities. You'll visit the Scottish Highlands, which is the least densely populated part of Europe, and explore the great history of this wild land. Your investigation takes you to the tragic and beautiful valley of Glencoe; the Spey Valley, a mecca for Scotch whiskey lovers; and the beautiful Scottish islands. x
    • 15
      North Wales
      Shift your attention to the other country within the nation. Beginning with Offa's Dyke and touring a ring of castles-including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Conwy Castle and Harlech-this tour of North Wales is an ideal introduction to the Welsh landscape, history, and heritage. x
    • 16
      Cardiff and South Wales
      Head south to the capital city of Cardiff, where impressive civic buildings and the National Museum of Wales await you. The architecture of this city is magnificent, and offers much to see, from the polychromatic fantasy rooms of Cardiff Castle to the dome over the National Museum. Then turn to the South Wales towns of Tredegar and Swansea, home of Dylan Thomas. x
    • 17
      The North of England
      England is a nation of regions, and the wild Pennine Hills in the north-Wuthering Heights country-is one of the must-see stops in your travels. Here, cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, and York were industrial dynamos in the 19th century-and the National Railway Museum in York is one of Professor Allitt's top-rated destinations for visitors. x
    • 18
      The English Midlands
      You might be tempted to skip the English Midlands, but if you have the time in your itinerary, the region has much to offer. Home to Josiah Wedgwood's pottery, quaint villages, and Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest, the Midlands have a fascinating heritage and offer an incomparable look into the British story. x
    • 19
      East Anglia
      Continue your survey of the great regions of England with a look East Anglia. A rural district that has inspired nature lovers and scientists for generations, East Anglia is also home to stately country houses such as Blickling and Houghton Hall and country towns like Norwich. This quiet region warrants at least a day's visit. x
    • 20
      England's West Country
      Look now to the dramatic landscape of the West Country. The sleepy villages of Somerset and Dorset give way to the colorful towns of Devonshire and Cornwall, which has become a magnet for visual artists. The hilltop island church of St. Michael's Mount and the ancient fortress of Tintagel should not be missed. x
    • 21
      The Museums of London
      In this lecture, trade the calm of the country for the bustle of the city. Professor Allitt takes you to some of the world's finest museums, including the British Museum, home to the controversial Elgin Marbles, once plundered from the Parthenon in Athens. You'll also visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery, and the Tate Modern. x
    • 22
      London's Streets and Parks
      Learn how to navigate London by tube and foot. Go inside the underground stations and learn why the tube is the best way to get around the city. Above ground, discover the urban retreats of Regent's Park and Hyde Park, and the shopping hub that is Regent Street. With so many museums, parks, and attractions, London has never been a more interesting and fun city to visit. x
    • 23
      Buckingham Palace and Parliament
      Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are two of the most popular tourist destinations, and they embody the government of Great Britain. See why these buildings are such a draw, learn about their architecture and renovations over the years, and reflect on the nature of Britain's constitutional monarchy. x
    • 24
      Oxford and Cambridge
      Step away from teeming London into the famous university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. Both house venerable academic institutions, each with its own distinct mood and atmosphere. Learn about some of the famous graduates from each university, and tour a sampling of their beautiful chapels, libraries, rivers, and gardens. x
    • 25
      Literary Britain: Chaucer and Shakespeare
      Great Britain is home to one of the world's great literary traditions-and literature is a terrific way to frame your tour through the island. In this first of four literary lectures, reflect on the work of two of Britain's most-prized poets, Chaucer and Shakespeare. Retrace the pilgrims' path of The Canterbury Tales, visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre beside the River Thames, and more. x
    • 26
      Literary Britain: The Romantics
      Continue your literary journey through Britain. From the great Scottish writers Walter Scott and Robert Burns to Wordsworth's evocative descriptions of the Lake District, the Romantic writers of the 18th and 19th centuries created an enduring mood and style that still resonate today. Also tour the quiet villages where Jane Austen worked and the Jurassic coast at Lyme Regis. x
    • 27
      Literary Britain: Poets and Novelists
      Shelley, Keats, and Byron are three of the world's finest poets, and their work is steeped in the history and landscape of Britain. Reflect on the land that inspired their finest works, and then turn to the world of the Bronte sisters in the North and Charles Dickens in the South, whose novels evoke not only the land but also the people of the 19th century. x
    • 28
      Literary Britain: The 20th Century
      Round out your study of British literature with a survey of the 20th-century masters. Check out the Baker Street of Sherlock Holmes, visit the rural Dorset villages of Thomas Hardy, and then pop over to Bloomsbury in London to see where Virginia Woolf and her comrades created a new kind of literature. x
    • 29
      Artistic Britain: Painters and Sculptors
      Britain has a distinguished artistic tradition along with a set of museums that house many of the world's greatest visual masterpieces. Examine the lives and works of some of the great painters and sculptors, including William Hogarth, Joseph Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth. x
    • 30
      Britain's Estates and Gardens
      Because of its mild and wet climate, Britain is well suited for flowers, and England has a proud history of gardening going back to the 1500s. In this visually rich lecture, tour some of the most stunning gardens in the nation today, including the Botanic Garden at Oxford University; Kew Gardens in London; and others, grand and obscure, throughout the provinces. x
    • 31
      Legacy of the British Empire
      From the 17th through the 20th century, Britain's empire spanned the globe, giving this small island an outsized role on the world's stage. But while Britain was making an impact in India, New Zealand, Canada, and elsewhere, these nations were having an impact on Britain. Explore the ethnic and cultural diversity in Britain today. x
    • 32
      Seafaring Britain
      Britain became a world power thanks to its domination of the seas in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit the historic dockyard in Portsmouth, where you can see some of the ships that helped put Britain on the map. Then discover some of the less well-known but equally impressive ports and ships, plus some of Britain's many coastal lighthouses. x
    • 33
      Britain's War Memorials
      As a world power, Britain fought many wars-which it has commemorated in many ways. Among other memorials, this lecture takes you to Blenheim Place (commemorating the Duke of Marlborough's defeat of a great French and Bavarian army in 1704) to Trafalgar Square in London (with its memorial to Horatio Nelson), to Hyde Park Corner (the best place to see war memorials in England), and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. x
    • 34
      Hiking England, Scotland, and Wales
      While you need a car, train, or boat to get a comprehensive tour of Britain, arguably the best way to explore the nation is by foot. England, Scotland, and Wales are home to some of the best hiking paths in Europe, from the Lake District that inspired the Romantic poets to the Southwest Coast Path to the demanding Pennine Way trail up the spine of northern England. x
    • 35
      Britain's Sporting Tradition
      Soccer, cricket, tennis, golf: These sports were invented in Britain and play a major role in the nation's culture today. Whether you are a rabid Man United nut or occasionally enjoy a match at Wimbledon, Britain has something for every sports fan-and the timing of sporting events may be something to consider when planning your great tour. x
    • 36
      How to Think about Visiting Britain
      Tourism is a good test of self-knowledge: Why do you want to travel in the first place? While Britain is an ideal place to travel, it behooves you to spend a few minutes reflecting on why you want to go there so that you plan the most meaningful trip. Professor Allitt ends with a few practical tips to help you get the most from your travels. x
  • Playing Guitar like a Pro: Lead, Solo, and Group Performance

    Professor Colin McAllister, D.M.A.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Learn to play like the all-time greats! Master the techniques of some of the world’s most influential rockers, including Eric Clapton and David Gilmour; and jazz pioneers like Django Reinhardt and Antonio Carlos Jobim as Dr. McAllister leads you through a variety of styles, techniques, and musical genres—and non-musicians will treasure the anecdotes and backgrounds of groundbreaking guitarists. Whether you want to play like the greats or simply understand what makes the music you love so unique, this is your chance to experience the guitar in a whole new way.
    View Lecture List (33)
    Learn to play like the all-time greats! Master the techniques of some of the world’s most influential rockers, including Eric Clapton and David Gilmour; and jazz pioneers like Django Reinhardt and Antonio Carlos Jobim as Dr. McAllister leads you through a variety of styles, techniques, and musical genres—and non-musicians will treasure the anecdotes and backgrounds of groundbreaking guitarists. Whether you want to play like the greats or simply understand what makes the music you love so unique, this is your chance to experience the guitar in a whole new way.
    View Lecture List (33)
    33 Lectures  |  Playing Guitar like a Pro: Lead, Solo, and Group Performance
    Lecture Titles (33)
    • 1
      Lesson 1—Hot Lava: Van Halen’s Two-Handed Tapping
      Dr. Colin McAllister begins his second guitar course with one of lead guitar's most extravagant techniques: two-handed tapping. Using an original composition inspired by the legendary Eddie Van Halen, Dr. McAllister teaches this elaborate performance tool hands-on and step by step, in an accessible and easy-to-follow lesson. x
    • 2
      Hot Lava Backing Track—Lead
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 3
      Hot Lava Backing Track—Rhythm
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 4
      Lesson 2—Luna Negra: Soloing like David Gilmour
      Here, Dr. McAllister dissects the unique, blues-influenced soloing style of Pink Floyd's lead guitarist, David Gilmour. Along the way, he'll introduce you to some of the band's fascinating history before outlining two playing techniques: vibrato and string bending. As with the other lessons, it includes backing tracks at the end. x
    • 5
      Luna Negra Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 6
      Lesson 3—Barnhill’s Blues: Going Acoustic like Clapton
      Eric Clapton's concert for the MTV Unplugged series is one of the most famous ever played. In this lesson, you're invited to unplug and play bluesy swing rhythms and learn the Hendrix-inspired playing style that balances both lead and rhythm guitar with just one guitarist in order to help fill out the sound of any single-player performance. x
    • 7
      Lesson 4—Grant Green Street: Funk Rhythm and Licks
      Take a trip to 1970s Detroit and master the sound of Grant Green, a funk and blues guitarist for Blue Note Records whose personal life was as colorful as his talent on the six-string. Learn—and learn about—funk-style chord strumming as well as crosspicking, a melodic picking style partly owing its fame to bluegrass. x
    • 8
      Grant Green Street Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 9
      Lesson 5—Fantasía Ibérica: Celin Romero’s Rasgueado
      Dramatically switching genres, Dr. McAllister approachably demonstrates staples of classical acoustic guitar, including rasgueado, or playing with the fingernails; right-hand arpeggios, planting the right hand’s fingers on strings to nimbly traverse the guitar; pizzicato, or playing with the thumb while palm-muting with the hand’s outer edge; and tremolo, sustaining a note by finger-picking rapidly and repeatedly. x
    • 10
      Lesson 6—Sunday Drive: Leo Brouwer–Style Classical
      Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s one-of-a-kind Afro-Cuban classical guitar style provides the basis for this remarkable lesson. Interweaving slow playing with rapid hammer-ons and open-string licks, Brouwer’s trademark sound effortlessly switches from easy performance to challenging and back quickly and deftly—and it may have just the flair your next composition is missing. x
    • 11
      Lesson 7—Manitou Swing: Django’s Gypsy Jazz
      Dr. McAllister leads a masterful study of one of the greatest jazz guitarists in history—Django Reinhardt. Perfect the arts of staccato chords, fast vibrato, sliding, and other “Gypsy jazz” elements, and bring Reinhardt’s 1930s and 40s to life on your own six-string. x
    • 12
      Manitou Swing Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 13
      Lesson 8—Anselm’s Caper: Bebopping like Tal Farlow
      Start with George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” or the theme song from The Flintstones, then increase the tempo and add the frenzied playing of Charlie Parker or Tal Farlow. This is the structure for “rhythm changes” jazz. Don’t worry, Dr. McAllister comes through again with examples, theory, and practical use for the aspiring guitarist. x
    • 14
      Anselm's Caper Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 15
      Lesson 9—Blue 13: Wes Montgomery’s Octave Melodies
      Journey back to the meat and potatoes of improvisational music—the 12-bar blues structure—and spice it up with additional chord progressions and octave-based melodies popularized by jazz legend Wes Montgomery. Fine-tune your thumb strumming and master the style of this legend. x
    • 16
      Blue 13 Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 17
      Lesson 10—Moto Perpetuo: Andy McKee-Style Workout
      Andy McKee’s percussive use of the body of the steel-string guitar, coupled with his right-hand tapping and slapping harmonics, defies categorization. The first guitar sensation on YouTube, boasting 100 million views, Andy’s lovely and unconventional playing led him to open for Prince. Learn several of his innovative techniques today and how to “play outside the box.” x
    • 18
      Lesson 11—Way Beyond: Intervallic John McLaughlin
      Broaden your musical horizons with this lesson inspired by John McLaughlin, a prominent jazz fusion guitarist who featured on Miles Davis’s "Bitches Brew." Dr. McAllister uses McLaughlin as evidence to enlighten the viewer about cross-rhythms, interval-based music, and changing time signatures. x
    • 19
      Way Beyond Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 20
      Lesson 12—Sketch for Barbara: Pat Metheny’s Influence
      This lesson focuses on the modern jazz waltz, utilizing arpeggiated improvisation and cross-rhythms in the vein of Pat Metheny. Metheny is known for his blend of highly technical yet swinging play style in jazz and blues, adding a distinct flavor to each genre—especially during the changing musical scene of the 1970s and ‘80s. x
    • 21
      Sketch for Barbara Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 22
      Lesson 13—Cinq de Blanc: The Police’s Quintal Harmony
      Thanks to guitarist Andy Summers, most songs by The Police are instantly recognizable. His focus on fifth intervals and reggae-style playing gave the band their signature sound, and hits like “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take” give excellent context to this study and insight into your own songwriting. x
    • 23
      Cinq de Blanc Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 24
      Lesson 14—Tarsus: Power Arpeggios of Alex Lifeson
      Unleash your inner progressive-rock beast with this Rush-inspired exercise of shifting time signatures, power chords, and crosspicking. The intrinsic and dynamic qualities of the prog-rock subgenre are laid bare here in an easy-paced, digestible format for you to ramp up your technical game. x
    • 25
      Tarsus Backing Track—Lead
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 26
      Tarsus Backing Track—Rhythm
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 27
      Lesson 15—Samba Sonrisa: Playing Brazilian Style
      This lesson covers the lovely subgenre of Brazilian-style bossa nova. Bossa nova, which includes “The Girl from Ipanema,” surged in the early 1960s thanks to guitarist João Gilberto and pianist/composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. They developed its smooth acoustic plucking and syncopation into a cool, slowed samba irresistible to master guitarists. x
    • 28
      Lesson 16—Cumulus: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell
      Dr. McAllister teaches the viewer how to make use of open D tuning and switch between strumming and playing slur-based melodies, enabling him or her to emulate Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. “Cumulus” gives you the opportunity to adapt the full, rich sounds of the legendary artist and the 1960s-70s folk movement. x
    • 29
      Lesson 17—Gog Magog: Bluegrass and Flatpicking
      It’s quicker than a fighter jet and more intricate than an Agatha Christie murder mystery, but you’ve got this! Apply everything you’ve learned so far from this course about hammer-ons and pull-offs (or “slurs”), open notes, speed, and precision to tackle a lightning-fast—and seemingly intimidating—American musical creation: bluegrass. x
    • 30
      Gog Magog Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
    • 31
      Lesson 18—Whisper Creek: American Folk Music
      Ballads of America’s downtrodden. Post-Dustbowl hardships. Empty bottles. It may not seem flashy or glamorous at first glance, but the viewer crosses the finish line with this snapshot of a nation, a people, a time. Complete your journey of guitar edification with folk music—that most humble, somber, and sincere of American working-class genres. x
    • 32
      Bonus Lesson: Echo Park
      American Surf Guitar. Revisit the early 1960s sound of surf rock by freshening up on the rapid picking and steady 16th-note rhythms that dominated the beach. Dr. McAllister shows you how to play like Dick Dale and The Beach Boys, while enlightening you about everything from the Rendezvous Ballroom fire to Brian Wilson's nervous breakdown. x
    • 33
      Echo Park Backing Track
      Practice playing along with this backing track. x
  • Take My Course, Please! The Philosophy of Humor

    Professor Steven Gimbel, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In the 24 insightful and—yes—humorous lectures of Take My Course, Please! The Philosophy of Humor, Professor Steven Gimbel guides you through philosophical theories of humor, from blatantly obvious puns to sly twists of language. Rooted in the observations of thinkers like Aristotle and Sigmund Freud, this course will leave you with a stronger appreciation of the jokes you tell and the jokes you hear.

    View Lecture List (24)

    In the 24 insightful and—yes—humorous lectures of Take My Course, Please! The Philosophy of Humor, Professor Steven Gimbel guides you through philosophical theories of humor, from blatantly obvious puns to sly twists of language. Rooted in the observations of thinkers like Aristotle and Sigmund Freud, this course will leave you with a stronger appreciation of the jokes you tell and the jokes you hear.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Take My Course, Please! The Philosophy of Humor
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Universality of Humor
      Starting with the first “joke” most of us experience (“peek-a-boo!”), explore the underlying nature of humor in different cultures and at different times in our lives. Consider whether or not humor is culture-dependent, and how societies view humor as both an expression of life and a mark of vice. x
    • 2
      The Objectivity of Humor
      Most people would say that humor is subjective, but this claim is entirely false. In this lecture, Professor Gimbel explores the objectivity of humor by first considering what philosophers mean by “objectivity,” then by drawing several important distinctions between the subjective and objective notions of laughter, funniness, and humor. x
    • 3
      The Science of Laughter
      Consider some thought-provoking questions about laughter and its relationship with humor. What happens in the brain to trigger laughter? What environmental factors make it more likely for us to laugh at something? Why do human beings develop the ability to laugh? What social functions are served by our laughter? x
    • 4
      Truth and Humor
      Jokes aren't intended to be statements conveying new information about the world-and yet they can be true. Start building a clear definition of humor by examining the relationship between truth and humor, rooted in the four main philosophical accounts of truth: correspondence theory, coherence theory, pragmatism, and subjectivity. x
    • 5
      Comedy and Tragedy
      We’re told that “comedy equals tragedy plus time.” Here, probe the fascinating relationship between comedy and tragedy. Central to this lecture is Aristotle’s Poetics (in which tragedy and comedy are distinct forms) and the ideas of Arthur Asa Berger (who sees comedy as a reaction to a tragic world). x
    • 6
      Irony and Truth
      Perhaps the place where humor and philosophy most strongly overlap is with the notion of irony, and, in fact, a lot of humor employs irony. From the ancient Greeks to the ironic humor of the present day, consider how irony can make humor not just silly—but profound. x
    • 7
      Satires, Parodies, and Spoofs
      Visit a corner of the world of humor that takes itself very seriously: satire. Topics include ancient Greek satyr plays; the philosophies of satire put forth by Horace and Juvenal; Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal (one of the most famous modern works of satire); and the relationship between satire, parody, and spoofs. x
    • 8
      Stop Me If You've Heard This One: Jokes
      Most of the work involved in the philosophy of humor centers around jokes: speech acts whose structure and mechanisms are easy to see. Professor Gimbel guides you through some of the many logical mechanisms used to generate verbal humor, including accidents, burlesque, facetiousness, stereotypes, and more. x
    • 9
      Theories of Humor
      Begin your search for a theory of humor with an introduction to the philosophical methodology best suited for the task: analytic philosophy. This methodology, as you’ll learn, seeks rigorous and clean accounts of what we mean by the words we use—so we can tell which questions are real questions. x
    • 10
      Superiority Theory
      When we tell a joke, we're making fun of someone or something. In this lecture, investigate superiority theory: the view that humor is the expression of one's superiority over another. Consider ideas put forth by thinkers like Plato and Hobbes, as well as possible arguments against this theory. x
    • 11
      Inferiority Theory
      Inferiority theory, which is the inverse of superiority theory, posits that we find humor funny because we’re bringing ourselves down mentally to the level of the butt of the joke. Is this idea successful as a humor theory? Is it necessary—or sufficient? Find out in this lecture. x
    • 12
      Play Theory
      What makes play theory unique among humor theories is that humor is not in the joke (or the reaction to the joke) but in the relationship between joker and audience. Humor, as you'll learn, can be seen as a sort of play that makes for a well-lived human life. x
    • 13
      Relief Theory
      Turn now to relief theory (or release theory), a purely response-side theory of humor that focuses on how humor affects the mind of the listener. Thinkers you'll turn to for a better understanding of this include the Reverend Francis Hutcheson, Sigmund Freud, and contemporary philosopher Robert Latta. x
    • 14
      Incongruity Theory
      Take a poll of contemporary philosophers of humor and they'll overwhelmingly say they support the incongruity theory. Learn how this particular theory takes as its central concept the incongruity of two things that don't connect with one another, and how it helps us understand how verbal jokes work. x
    • 15
      Cleverness Theory
      Here, analyze Professor Gimbel's own theory of humor, called the cleverness theory. According to this theory, humor is a conspicuous act of playful cleverness in which there's no necessary connection between humor and laughter, and jokes can be used to make yourself attractive, to distract from the truth, and more. x
    • 16
      Humor Theory Revisited
      Take a more holistic view of the six different approaches to humor theory you examined in earlier lectures. Using a joke that introduces the lecture, Professor Gimbel walks you through how each humor theory would account for the humor of that particular joke to arrive at a possibly synthetic idea of humor theory. x
    • 17
      Humor Ethics: Boundaries and Limitations
      Is there a moral responsibility to think about when we tell a joke? Are there rules to joking? Are there only jokes certain people can tell, or times and places where joking is wrong? Can joking be a morally good act? These and other questions are the subject of this lecture. x
    • 18
      Who Can Tell Ethnic Jokes?
      In this lecture, take into philosophical consideration ethnic jokes, or jokes that have as their butt an entire group. Are they always impermissible? Are they just jokes? Are they only sometimes allowed? Work through the arguments for several versions of each possible stance, making the best case for each. x
    • 19
      Comic Moralism
      Some philosophers argue the morality of telling a joke depends on how funny it is. Others believe the funniness of a joke depends on its morality. Explore the quandary of comic moralism with a close look at three types of positions: comic moralists, comic immoralists, and comic amoralists. x
    • 20
      Situational Ethics and Humor
      Investigate three ways in which the situation may be relevant to the morality of joke-telling. You’ll consider the ideas of a comedic “waiting period” for a joke, the ethics of places where jokes are morally forbidden (like funerals), and topics that some philosophers consider to be ethically off-limits. x
    • 21
      The Necessity of Humor
      Ponder the notion of whether humor is not just good but necessary to human life. Using the work of thinkers like Kierkegaard, examine whether we’re wired for humor, and how the necessity of humor depends upon the picture we have of the human soul—or the human mind. x
    • 22
      Comedian Ethics
      Professor Gimbel offers possible answers to these questions about comedy as an art form: What are the moral differences when a joke is told by someone hired to entertain us? Should we hold comedians to higher moral standards, or do they get a longer moral leash because of their profession? x
    • 23
      Socially Progressive Comedy
      Another way to look at humor is as a (possibly skewed) instrument of change, a tool of liberation, and a means of progressive activism. Study the history of American humor as a way confront oppression and to humorously expose the inequities of society. x
    • 24
      Ridiculousness and the Human Condition
      Is it true that laughter is the best medicine? Conclude the course with the relationship between humor and living a good life. Using insight you've gained from previous lectures, consider how to think of humor as a medication allowing you to live your life to the fullest as a biological being. x
  • The Scientific Wonder of Birds

    Professor Bruce E. Fleury, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Accompanied by exceptionally rich visuals, from vivid color images and diagrams to video clips of bird behavior, animations, and moving graphics, The Scientific Wonder of Birds unfolds as a thrilling and many-sided panorama of avian life. Ultimately, this course offers you remarkable insight into some of the most beautiful and extraordinary of living creatures.

    View Lecture List (12)

    Accompanied by exceptionally rich visuals, from vivid color images and diagrams to video clips of bird behavior, animations, and moving graphics, The Scientific Wonder of Birds unfolds as a thrilling and many-sided panorama of avian life. Ultimately, this course offers you remarkable insight into some of the most beautiful and extraordinary of living creatures.

    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  The Scientific Wonder of Birds
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Birds and Dinosaurs: The Origin of Flight
      Begin by contemplating the integral connections between birds and dinosaurs. Examine mounting evidence that birds not only evolved directly from dinosaurs, but also they are themselves dinosaurs. Consider how bipedal reptiles gained the ability to fly, becoming birds, and how the cursorial (from the ground) and arboreal (gliding) theories of the origin of flight may intersect. x
    • 2
      Birds and Boeings: The Magic of Flight
      Delve into the fascinating aerodynamics of bird flight. Grasp how a bird's wings operate as an airfoil; study the forces of lift, weight, thrust, and drag, and how birds take off, land, and glide. Then explore the astonishing properties of bird feathers, as they control speed, altitude, and direction. Learn about the structure, the types, and the many roles of feathers in bird behavior. x
    • 3
      Burning Bright: Avian Adaptations for Flight
      Discover the remarkable physiological features of birds that undergird flight. First, note how and why feathers evolved. Then, investigate the high metabolism of birds—they must burn energy at an astounding rate. See how birds are adapted for flight by many weight-reducing factors, and how their respiratory, circulatory, and excretory systems, as well as heightened senses, keep them airborne. x
    • 4
      Orientation, Navigation, Migration: Bird Road Trips
      Take account of the miraculous feats of navigation performed by birds, as they migrate huge distances with amazing accuracy. Uncover the ways in which birds use visual landmarks, magnetic fields, Sun position, and the position of constellations in their migratory travels. Consider why birds migrate, the diversity of their migration patterns and habits, and the perils of these epic journeys. x
    • 5
      Bird Brains: Tool Wielders and Snack Stealers
      Humans have tended to underestimate the intelligence of birds. Examine the structure of the avian brain and the extraordinary forms of intelligence birds show, such as memory, complex spatial mapping, and ingenious strategies in food foraging. Observe the role of instinct in bird behavior, their astonishing use of tools, and how bird behavior is correlated with the seasons. x
    • 6
      Birds of a Feather: Flocking and Foraging
      Track the intriguing behavior of birds when they form flocks or colonies. Grasp the diverse benefits of group foraging, and how birds form mixed-species foraging flocks. Investigate group roosting and breeding behavior, and study fossil evidence that suggests some dinosaurs nested just like modern wading birds. Assess why birds form colonies and investigate the advantages and perilous disadvantages of the colonies. x
    • 7
      Avian Turf Wars: Defending a Territory
      Witness the complex nature of competition among birds. Study “display” behavior, which sends a message regarding territory, courtship, or perceived threats. Observe the ways in which birds defend territory, for breeding and feeding, nesting and roosting. Note how territorial defense is highly ritualized and uses a series of recognized signals, and how birds’ territoriality enhances survival. x
    • 8
      Bird Songs and Calls: Music with a Message
      Explore the multifaceted phenomenon of birdsong, distinguishing between birds' songs and calls. Grasp the physics of song/call production, and how some birds can actually sing two songs at once. Learn about the innate versus the learned components of birdsong, how birds need to practice and perfect their songs, and the amazing variety of the individual and social functions of birdsong. x
    • 9
      Avian Mating: Lady's Choice
      Compare models which may explain female birds’ choice of mates. Observe how females “test” potential mates and how males provide a basis for choice, through courtship displays or offering prime territory. Study the intricacies of avian monogamy and polygamy; take account of pair bonding in birds, extra-pair mating, sexual role reversal, and the avian equivalents of “adultery” and “divorce.” x
    • 10
      Avian Mating: Singles Bars and Bachelor Pads
      Investigate three forms of avian polygyny, where one male mates with several females, and the factors that make it a useful adaptation. Then discover “leks,” courtship arenas where males compete for mates, and witness the dramatic courtship displays of some male birds. Marvel at the Australian bowerbirds, who build elaborate, decorated structures whose only purpose is to attract a mate. x
    • 11
      Nests and Eggs: A Home in the Sticks
      Learn how birds mate; then examine the structure of bird eggs, how they are laid, and how laid eggs develop. Observe how nests are constructed, the diverse materials used to build them, the types and functions of nests, and the range of ingenious avian nesting behavior. Finally, explore how birds incubate their clutch, and study brood parasites, who lay eggs in the nests of other birds. x
    • 12
      Parental Care: Bird Family and Friends
      Close with a look at the hatching process and the contrasting conditions for altricial chicks (born naked and helpless) versus precocial chicks (born ready to leave the nest). Delve into how birds feed their young, and the process of educating fledglings for life in the wild. Study the adaptations of siblicide (nestlings killing each other), unmated young who help raise broods, and avian communal breeding. x
  • Ancient Civilizations of North America

    Professor Edwin Barnhart, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Most of what we’ve been taught about the native cultures of North America came from reports authored by the conquerors and colonizers who destroyed them. Now, in Ancient Civilizations of North America, Professor Edwin Barnhart, Director of the Maya Exploration Center, reveals the astounding true accomplishments of these ancient cultures—vibrant cities, agriculture, art, large-scale earthen pyramids, astronomical observatories, and the source of some of our most basic “American” values.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Most of what we’ve been taught about the native cultures of North America came from reports authored by the conquerors and colonizers who destroyed them. Now, in Ancient Civilizations of North America, Professor Edwin Barnhart, Director of the Maya Exploration Center, reveals the astounding true accomplishments of these ancient cultures—vibrant cities, agriculture, art, large-scale earthen pyramids, astronomical observatories, and the source of some of our most basic “American” values.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Ancient Civilizations of North America
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Unknown Story of Ancient North America
      Pyramids. State-of-the-art highways. Productive scientists, artists, and engineers. These, and much more, were ancient North America. But having left no written record, and considered of no value by European conquerors many centuries later, these societies seemed destined to remain a mystery. Now, we are finally able to reveal their fascinating truths. x
    • 2
      The First Human Migrations to the Americas
      DNA evidence points to Asia, and only Asia, as the origin of all human migration to North America. While there were many migration episodes, each episode involved passage across the Bering Strait. Sites of ancient habitation have been found all across the continent, under water and on dry land. See why, even with current technologies, scientists cannot yet agree on the ages of these sites. x
    • 3
      Clovis Man: America's First Culture
      Explore Clovis, the very first American culture, which is identified by the Clovis point, a specialized megafauna-hunting tool that became the most widespread technology in the paleo-world. The Clovis populated the Americas from coast to coast, from Alaska to South America. Although the culture became extinct around 12,000 years ago, you will see how some of the Clovis people evolved into the last Paleo-Indians, the Folsom. x
    • 4
      The Archaic Period: Diversity Begins
      When the megafauna died out across the continent about 10,000 years ago, Paleo-Indian culture began to diversify regionally. Better understand why some groups developed hunting and gathering culture in a seasonal round pattern, while others fished from temporary camps. Also, see what DNA research reveals about one ancient sedentary people with resources plentiful enough to support 350 generations of habitation. x
    • 5
      Late Archaic Innovations
      In this lecture you will see how, about 5,000 years ago, the creative, yet disparate, peoples of North America developed corn agriculture, permanent houses with storage and cooking pits, religion, art, pottery, ceramics, metallurgy, and basket weaving. Further explore the only innovation common to these many different cultures: an increase in cemetery sites and formalized treatment of bodies in burials. x
    • 6
      Poverty Point: North America's First City
      About 3,500 years ago, while most North Americans were still nomadic, see how one group of ancient people developed a planned community on more than 900 acres to accommodate 4,000 to 5,000 inhabitants. Designed with exceptional engineering skills, the fascinating city of Poverty Point functioned for 1,000 years and included one of the oldest pyramids ever built on Earth. x
    • 7
      Medicine Wheels of the Great Plains
      Medicine wheels—wagon-wheel type arrangements of stones on the ground—vary in their number of spokes and size; are difficult to date; and although some are precisely aligned to the solstices, the majority have no known astronomical significance. Survey what we do know about their function and meaning, which almost certainly changed over time, just like the human populations who built them. x
    • 8
      Adena Culture and the Early Woodlands Period
      In modern-day Ohio, the continent's first coherent civilizations evolved about 3,000 years ago, bringing together previously far-flung Archaic practices. Meet the Adena, the first ancient American culture with wide-ranging influence. Known for their conical burial mounds and shared concept of an afterlife, they also might have been the continent's first habitual tobacco smokers. x
    • 9
      The Hopewell and Their Massive Earthworks
      Here Professor Barnhart introduces you to the Hopewell culture, a civilization that thrived for over 700 years. You will see how they influenced all the peoples of eastern North America with trade networks, an art tradition, and the practice of burying their most important dead in earthen mounds. Their knowledge of mathematics and astronomy allowed them to build massive earthwork complexes in sophisticated geometric patterns in present-day Ohio. x
    • 10
      The Origins of Mississippian Culture
      About 1,200 years ago in eastern North America, populations gathered their farms and living structures behind defensive walls. Explore Mississippian culture and see how it introduced an increased use of the bow and arrow along with a large body of art, extensive trade networks, and mythological creation stories remembered today in bits and pieces by a multitude of surviving indigenous nations. x
    • 11
      The Mississippian City of Cahokia
      Covering more than 3,000 acres and with an associated population of about 50,000, understand why Cahokia, the largest ancient city in what is now the US and Canada, became a model for the region. Its fascinating and complex life included stratified social organization, burial mounds, deeply held religious beliefs, sophisticated artwork, woodhenges to mark the solstices and equinoxes—and ritual human sacrifice. x
    • 12
      The Wider Mississippian World
      After the fall of Cahokia, witness how Mississippian civilization flourished across eastern North America with tens of thousands of pyramid-building communities and a population in the millions. Look at the ways they were connected through their commonly held belief in a three-tiered world, as reflected in their artwork. Major sites like Spiro, Moundville, and Etowah all faded out just around 100 years before European contact, obscuring our understanding. x
    • 13
      De Soto Versus the Mississippians
      In 1539, Hernando de Soto of Spain landed seven ships with 600 men and hundreds of animals in present-day Florida. Follow his fruitless search for another Inca or Aztec Empire, as he instead encounters hundreds of Mississippian cities through which he led a three-year reign of terror across the land-looting, raping, disfiguring, murdering, and enslaving native peoples by the thousands. x
    • 14
      The Ancient Southwest: Discovering Diversity
      Uncover what archaeology has revealed about the ancient peoples of the southwestern deserts. Survey the variety of strategies they used depending on their specific locale—from farming in flood plains to building elaborate irrigation canals—and how they developed into multiple distinct, but not isolated, cultures. See why today we recognize three core, and two peripheral, ancient cultures of the area. x
    • 15
      The Basketmaker Culture
      Once natural selection produced a strain of drought-resistant corn, the peoples of the desert gave up their nomadic existence and began to build more permanent structures. Examine the first sedentary cultures of the American Southwest—the possible precursors to the Pueblo—and understand why baskets, which had been invented many thousands of years earlier, significantly increased in importance as the only portable storage solution before the advent of pottery. x
    • 16
      The Mogollon Culture
      As the Mogollon people increased reliance on agriculture, the size and density of their villages also grew, the largest having more than 100 pit houses arranged around multiple kivas. But as you will discover, they're probably best known for their exquisite pottery bowls. Take a look at how, while neighboring cultures were still experimenting with geometric designs, the Mogollon painted sophisticated scenes of animals, humans, and supernatural creatures. x
    • 17
      The Hohokam: Masters of the Desert
      Learn about the Hohokam, a people who made beautiful art, employed cooperative decision making with strong centralized leadership, and developed extensive public architecture. But see why their real claim to fame was building more than 700 miles of sophisticated irrigation canals—the largest and most highly-engineered irrigation system constructed in the Pre-Columbian New World—segments of which are still visible today. x
    • 18
      The Ancestral Pueblo
      The dominant culture of the southwest was the Ancestral Pueblo. For the past 1,300 years, their settlements have exhibited an apartment-like room block pattern, from small farmsteads to cities with thousands of people. Examine how both the architecture and the short lifespans of earlier villages reflected the reality of the area's scarce resource base, promoting cultural traditions born of environmental adaptation. x
    • 19
      The Chaco Phenomenon
      Chaco Canyon contains the most sophisticated architecture ever built in ancient North America—14 Great Houses, four Great Kivas, hundreds of smaller settlements, an extensive road system, and a massive trade network. But who led these great building projects? And why do we find so little evidence of human habitation in what seems to be a major center of culture? Answer these questions and more. x
    • 20
      Archaeoastronomy in the Ancient Southwest
      The people of the ancient Southwest were skilled astronomers, incorporating astronomical alignments in their architecture with impressive displays of light and shadow. Learn how discoveries of the Sun Dagger and the Chimney Rock lunar observatory—as well as the alignment of Great Houses miles apart along lunar maximum lines—could help reveal the true purpose of Chaco Canyon. x
    • 21
      The Periphery of the Ancient Southwest
      As you delve further into the ancient Southwest, you will see why the ancient farming cultures of the region did not spread into surrounding areas where farming was either unnecessary or impossible. Instead, nearby groups lived a more nomadic life, relying on hunting and gathering, and minimal occasional farming. Over time, each group developed its unique artwork, perhaps none as fascinating as the desert Intaglios of the Patayan. x
    • 22
      Late Period Cultures of the Pacific Coast
      From southern California to Alaska, witness a vast array of complex hunter-gatherer cultures that thrived along the Pacific Coast for centuries before European contact. In this most densely populated area of the continent—and its most culturally and linguistically diverse—peoples developed highly stratified societies, sophisticated systems of resource distribution and trade, advanced methods of food storage, and unique artwork. x
    • 23
      Late Period Cultures of the Great Plains
      The peoples of the Great Plains were broadly divided into the bison hunters in the west and the semi-sedentary farmers in the east. But with the European introduction of the horse, gun, and new diseases, you will shift your attention to how each of five main culture areas began to transform and how these changes shaped the homogenized, oversimplified view of American Indian cultures. x
    • 24
      The Iroquois and Algonquians before Contact
      At the time of European contact, two main groups existed in the northeast—the hunter-gatherer Algonquian and the agrarian Iroquois. Delve into how the Iroquois created the first North American democracy as a solution to their increasing internal conflicts. Today, we know much of the U.S. Constitution is modeled on the Iroquois’ “Great League of Peace” and its 117 articles of confederation, as formally acknowledged by the U.S. in 1988. x
  • Renaissance: The Transformation of the West

    Professor Jennifer McNabb, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In the 48 lectures of Renaissance: The Transformation of the West, award-winning Professor Jennifer McNabb guides you through centuries of exhilarating change in Europe, focusing on often-unexplored or overlooked areas, including the role of women in the Renaissance, the lives of the poor and elite, Renaissance home and family life, and the connections between the Renaissance and the Reformation.

    View Lecture List (48)

    In the 48 lectures of Renaissance: The Transformation of the West, award-winning Professor Jennifer McNabb guides you through centuries of exhilarating change in Europe, focusing on often-unexplored or overlooked areas, including the role of women in the Renaissance, the lives of the poor and elite, Renaissance home and family life, and the connections between the Renaissance and the Reformation.

    View Lecture List (48)
    48 Lectures  |  Renaissance: The Transformation of the West
    Lecture Titles (48)
    • 1
      The Spirit of Renaissance
      How did the Renaissance—as it occurred in Italy and in other parts of Europe—pioneer a new way of thinking about history itself? Who, exactly, was the typical “Renaissance Man”? Get answers to these and other questions about the Renaissance’s powerful fusion of classical and medieval worldviews. x
    • 2
      Rebirth: Classical Values Made New
      Here, consider how the key contexts and values of the European Renaissance set the stage for a new era of questions. The two chief examples you'll use to chart the origins of the European Renaissance are the Black Death and the letters of Petrarch. x
    • 3
      The Medieval Roots of Italian Renaissance
      Discover why the Renaissance first bloomed in, of all places, Italy. First, look at the politics and economics of medieval Italian states. Then, explore how the legacies of antiquity gained traction throughout the peninsula. Finally, consider the influence of trade revivals, a dynamic social order, and the profits from holy wars. x
    • 4
      The Rise of the Humanists
      Focus on one of the most-challenging foundational concepts of the Renaissance: humanism. Professor McNabb outlines how and why education underwent its extreme makeover, explores the fields that dominated this new way of learning, and introduces you to humanist schools and schoolmasters. x
    • 5
      Renaissance Florence: Age of Gold
      Florence, defined by hierarchy and inequality, has become synonymous with the Italian Renaissance. How did this happen? Here, you will explore the complex political journey of this “most noble” of cities from model republic to six decades of domination by the iconic Medici family, and back again. x
    • 6
      Renaissance Venice: More Serene Republic
      Dive into the byzantine history and legacy of Venice during the period of the Renaissance, when the city managed to prosper even without that most valuable of commodities: land. Learn how Venice was shaped by its merchant elite, how it joined the ranks of Italian city-states, and how Venice experienced humanism. x
    • 7
      Renaissance Rome and the Papal States
      Investigate how the new learning in Rome challenged the wisdom of centuries of spiritual authority as the capital of Christianity. While exploring Rome's papal history, encounter the noble family who considered it their birthright to wield control over the city: the infamous Borgias (including Cesare and Pope Alexander VI). x
    • 8
      Renaissance Italy's Princes and Rivals
      In this lecture, turn to the other great power players in Renaissance Italy, including the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily and the duchy of Milan. Then, examine the eclipse of the age of the republics by the age of the tyrants: elite families who used cunning to obtain—and maintain—positions of authority. x
    • 9
      Renaissance Man as Political Animal
      Renaissance Man can perhaps best be understood as an educational and political ideal, someone as schooled in warfare as he was in classical antiquity. Here, meet three men whose lives and works exemplify different iterations of the Renaissance Man in action: Niccolo Machiavelli, Baldassare Castiglione, and Leon Battista Alberti. x
    • 10
      Women and the Italian Renaissance Court
      Step inside 15th- and 16th-century Italian courts to investigate how a number of smart, powerful, and cunning women helped steer the course of the Renaissance. Among the women you'll meet are Isabella d'Este, noted for her trendsetting sense of style and substance, and the Italian poet, Veronica Franco. x
    • 11
      Painting in the Early Italian Renaissance
      Using the careers and works of artists like Masaccio, Giotto, and Botticelli, discover how early Renaissance painting innovated and celebrated the experience of being human. In addition, you'll examine the business side of art, including matters of patronage that were central to artists during the Italian Renaissance. x
    • 12
      Painting in the High Italian Renaissance
      Turn now to the High Italian Renaissance era of painting, credited with a veritable artistic revolution in the art form. During this time, artists like Leonardo and Michelangelo were celebrities who rubbed shoulders with the rich and powerful. Not to be overlooked: the role of women painters, including Artemisia Gentileschi. x
    • 13
      Italian Sculpture, Architecture, and Music
      Learn how Renaissance architects and city planners—including Donato Bramante, Sebastian Serlio, and Andrea Palladio—imbued sculpture and architecture with tremendous ideological and practical power. Then, discover how Renaissance musicians helped move music out of the religious sphere and into the princely courts. x
    • 14
      Letters in the Italian Renaissance
      In this lecture, examine the lives and careers of a trio of fascinating Renaissance authors who used their words to help write the Renaissance into the pages of history. Professor McNabb covers the merchant, Francesco Datini; the artist-biographer, Giorgio Vasari; and the Florentine historian, Francesco Guicciardini. x
    • 15
      Renaissance Statecraft: A New Path
      Venture to the other side of the Alps for a closer look at what’s known as the “Northern Renaissance.” You’ll chart the political evolution of the region from barbarism to feudalism to feudal monarchy, explore why feudal monarchies trended toward weakness, and get a brief overview of power struggles among northern kings. x
    • 16
      European Renaissance Monarchies
      Turn the lens on the monarchical rivalries of the Northern Renaissance, which changed the course of Western politics as much as the rivalries in Italy. Focus on the rule of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the rise of the Tudors in England, and the waxing power of France. x
    • 17
      The Birth of the Christian Renaissance
      Consider the development of humanist thought in the north, which commingled with the idea of a Christian rebirth and a reordering of society's morals that planted the seeds for the Reformation. Among the inquisitive and critical Christian humanists you'll encounter are Erasmus and Thomas More. x
    • 18
      Northern Renaissance Art and Music
      Using works by Matthias Grünewald, Jan van Eyck, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, and others, explore how northern artists breathed artistic life into themes of faith, duty, and fidelity. Then, visit the court of the dukes of Burgundy for a look at the music of Guillaume Dufay. x
    • 19
      Northern Renaissance Literature and Drama
      Meet the Northern Renaissance authors and playwrights who offered entertainments and edification in the page and on the stage—authors who would become some of the greatest writers in Western history. These geniuses include François Rabelais; Miguel de Cervantes; William Langland; Geoffrey Chaucer; and, of course, William Shakespeare. x
    • 20
      Did Women Have a Renaissance?
      Examine the “woman question”: the contemporary debate about Renaissance women’s abilities and deficiencies. The question, as you’ll learn, was really about access to education. Along the way, you’ll consider whether we can say women had a renaissance of their own—and why that issue still matters today. x
    • 21
      Renaissance Life: The Rural Experience
      In the first of several sketches on the conditions of Renaissance life, explore the geographical setting where the vast majority of the European population lived at the time: the countryside. You'll look at festivals and feast days, types of settlements, the competition for land, and the peasant rebellions that followed. x
    • 22
      Renaissance Life: The Urban Experience
      How exactly do we define “urban” during the Renaissance? How did three, early modern institutions—craft guilds, confraternities, and public drinking establishments—help to define the urban experience? Find out in Professor McNabb’s fascinating lecture on the urban experiences of rich and poor alike. x
    • 23
      Renaissance Life: Crime, Deviance, and Honor
      Continue exploring daily life during the Renaissance by turning to issues of personal crisis—and their consequences. In studying crime, deviance, and Renaissance attitudes toward honor and shame, you’ll discover how early modern communities and authorities sought to order the world and project their morality. x
    • 24
      Renaissance Life: Marriage
      Marriage during the Renaissance was a major component of the “good life” during the period. It was also a complicated affair shaped by the intersection of private desires with more practical considerations. Delve into the ways Renaissance societies constructed marriage, and how marriage customs differed depending on geographic location. x
    • 25
      Renaissance Life: Home and Hearth
      What was domestic life like during the Renaissance? Get a feel for it with this lecture that highlights several topics related to home and hearth. These topics include: food culture (with a focus on baking), the practicalities of dress, the details about childrearing, and the role of servants and retainers. x
    • 26
      Renaissance Faith: Medieval Contexts
      Examine the two medieval heavyweights whose legendary disputes illustrate some key points about faith and power in the Renaissance world: King Philip IV of France and Pope Boniface VIII. Then, learn how new and revitalized orders—including Ci stercians and Franciscans—attracted adherents in astonishing numbers. x
    • 27
      Renaissance Faith: The Papacy
      The particular conditions of 15th- and 16th-century Italy allowed the popes to augment their power and fashion themselves as rulers. Here, explore papal programs designed to cement Rome as Christendom's true capital (after a century of geographic dislocations) and their architects, including Nicholas V, Pius II, and Sixtus IV. x
    • 28
      Renaissance Faith: Religious Uniformity
      Take a closer look at the ways in which European political authorities dealt with matters of faith in their drive to enhance authority. You'll learn about English theologian John Wyclif's challenges to traditional Christian authority, the persecution of European Jews, and the birth of the Inquisition. x
    • 29
      Luther: Breaking the Christian Consensus
      The Renaissance is vital to understanding how Martin Luther took on the church and not only survived but thrived, initiating a protest movement that put an end to more than 1,000 years of Christian consensus. Start considering Martin Luther as a man of a very particular historical moment. x
    • 30
      Radical Reform in Renaissance Europe
      Professor McNabb highlights the many fractures that strengthened the shockwaves Martin Luther created in Christianity—some of which he couldn’t foresee or control. Learn the importance of the Anabaptists, the tumult of the German Peasants’ War, and why Martin Luther resists easy demonization or lionization. x
    • 31
      Renaissance and Reformation: Connections
      Turn your attention to various calls for a reformation of faith identifiably shaped by the new learning of the Renaissance and the ideas of Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin. Calvin's ideas traveled on to Scotland, where the Reformation, working in tandem with powerful men, toppled a monarch from the throne. x
    • 32
      English Reformation
      Embark on an exciting look at the causes, processes, and consequences of the Tudor reformations, featuring some of the most famous personages in English history, including Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, and Elizabeth I. What made this path to reform so different from events playing elsewhere on the European continent? x
    • 33
      Catholic Reformations: The Road to Trent
      Why didn’t the Catholic Church defeat the Reformation? Why didn’t it do more to stop Martin Luther? Cultivate a new way of thinking about the papal response to the theological revolution—epitomized by the Council of Trent, which created a Roman Catholic identity. x
    • 34
      Catholic Reformations: Spiritual Revival
      In the face of the slings and arrows of Protestant reformers, the Catholic Church lauded a number of individuals whose commitment to the “true faith” offered a balance to the Reformation that threatened to bury Catholicism. Learn how men and women became exemplars of piety during the Catholic Reformation. x
    • 35
      Reformation Culture: Continuity and Change
      Get a feel for what it was like to be a Protestant or Catholic in Reformation Europe. Your focus here: the culture wars that accompanied this period, including the rise of iconoclasts like Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, the use of vernacular language in religious services, and the dawn of Baroque art. x
    • 36
      Renaissance War and Peace: Diplomacy
      In the first of several lectures on the interaction among the states of early modern Europe, learn how diplomacy operated in a Europe increasingly characterized by religious dissention and violence. Central to this subject is the important role of permanent ambassadors and other diplomatic figures. x
    • 37
      The French Wars of Religion
      Religious violence kept France in its grip for an entire century. Discover how the French Wars of Religion sparked both bloodshed and a new way of thinking about the relationship between individuals and the figures of power to whom they owed allegiance (a favorite topic of Renaissance writers). x
    • 38
      The Dutch Revolt
      Witness a number of factors you've examined in other lectures collide in a fascinating (if also, destructive and costly) way during the Dutch Revolt. You'll also see a glimmer of the new demands of early modern warfare and the role of print in presenting a platform for action. x
    • 39
      The Spanish Armada
      Get the full story behind the Spanish Armada by paying attention to three key issues: the rivalry of Philip of Spain and Elizabeth I of England, the Spanish Armada's fateful engagement with the English in the summer of 1588, and the untidy consequences of Spain's defeat. x
    • 40
      The Thirty Years' War
      Welcome to ground zero of religious warfare during the Age of Reformation: The Thirty Years' War, which would engulf most of the European continent. By the end of this lecture, you'll learn how this struggle drew the map of Europe that would exist until the French Revolution. x
    • 41
      Renaissance at Arms: The Military Revolution
      What, exactly, constitutes a military revolution? What are the four major changes that happened between 1560 and 1660 that transformed warfare? How did a typical warrior from the 15th century compare to his counterpart 200 years later? How did large gunpowder weaponry influence other military developments? x
    • 42
      Renaissance and the Birth of Modern Science
      Professor McNabb guides you through the intersection of Renaissance values and patronage with the new ways of thinking about the universe brought about by the Scientific Revolution. See how many of the activities and individuals associated with this period exhibit key dynamics of the Renaissance covered in other lectures. x
    • 43
      Renaissance and Magic: Witchcraft
      Between 1450 and 1700, somewhere between 40,000 to 60,000 people were executed on charges of witchcraft. Why did ideas about demons and witches have such an appeal in early modern Europe? How did these beliefs produce a new type of criminal to be targeted by secular and spiritual authorities? x
    • 44
      Renaissance Encounters with Islam
      From the Reconquista to the collapse of Christian Constantinople to the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, examine the relationship between Christians and Muslims during the early modern period—a relationship of competition and coexistence that shaped the development of the Western tradition. x
    • 45
      Renaissance and Exploration: Motives
      The Age of Discovery can be thought of, in many ways, as a Renaissance project. Here, you'll learn many of the values, motivations, and conflicts that fostered preconditions for European exploration, including a curiosity about the natural world, technological innovations, and the underlying quest for glory and riches. x
    • 46
      Renaissance and Exploration: New Horizons
      How did Portugal and Spain set out to build overseas empires? Examine the first round of European expansion in the Americas and the Indian Ocean basin in the broader contexts of the Renaissance. Along the way, follow the journeys and discoveries of explorers like Christopher Columbus and Francisco Pizarro. x
    • 47
      Early Modern Power: The New Global Rivalries
      Turn now to other European states joining the race for global empire. Consider the developments of three states—the Dutch Republic, Britain, and France—in an age of change, and learn how they helped spell the demise of the Ancien Régime and the birth of the modern world. x
    • 48
      Renaissance Legacy: Burckhardt and Beyond
      Return to the critical question that started this entire course: Have we reached the end of the Renaissance? Professor McNabb uses this concluding lecture to reflect on the meaning of the Renaissance for its contemporaries, for subsequent historians like Jacob Burckhardt, and for us in the 21st century. x
  • Crashes and Crises: Lessons from a History of Financial Disasters

    Professor Connel Fullenkamp, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD
    Professor Connel Fullenkamp of Duke University guides you through four centuries of economic disasters—from tulip mania in the 1600s to the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Each of his 24 lectures covers a notable incident of financial misfortune or folly. He explains basic economic concepts and inoculates you against the gullibility, overconfidence, and herd mentality that have lured many to financial ruin.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Professor Connel Fullenkamp of Duke University guides you through four centuries of economic disasters—from tulip mania in the 1600s to the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Each of his 24 lectures covers a notable incident of financial misfortune or folly. He explains basic economic concepts and inoculates you against the gullibility, overconfidence, and herd mentality that have lured many to financial ruin.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Crashes and Crises: Lessons from a History of Financial Disasters
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Fintech, Crypto, and the Future of Disaster
      Professor Fullenkamp begins the course with the enormous influence of technology on today’s investing, which brings with it a frightening potential for crashes and crises. Cover the Flash Crash of 2010—a dip in the market that was hugely amplified by programmed trading. Then, delve into the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which rely on an innovation called blockchain technology. x
    • 2
      The Con Men Charles Ponzi and Ivar Kreuger
      Investigate two of the most notorious con men who ever lived: Charles Ponzi, after whom the Ponzi scheme is named, and “Match King” Ivar Kreuger, who employed an elaborate variant of Ponzi’s swindle. Analyze the three ingredients that most Ponzi schemes share. Above all, learn to identify and be wary of investments that are too good to be true. x
    • 3
      A Boom in Busts
      Contrast the freewheeling financial market of today with the staid system of the immediate post-World War II era. Were financial markets more stable in the past than they are now? How did the present system evolve? What type of market is normal: the steady and predictable kind or the chaotic and sometimes destructive one? In answering these questions, discover why we live in an era of busts. x
    • 4
      The Tulip Bubble
      The 17th-century tulip bubble is a classic case of futures trading run amok. But how much did tulip mania resemble today's speculative markets, as opposed to ordinary gambling? Learn the truth behind this notorious financial bubble, while reflecting on the problem of deciding a fair price for an asset, such as tulip bulbs. Also, consider how bubbles start and end. x
    • 5
      The South Sea Bubble
      Relive the “Wild West” days of the British stock market in the early 18th century, when a financially-strapped government and a public craze for investing created ideal conditions for one of history’s most brazen stock manipulators. Trace John Blunt’s use of the South Sea Company—and bribery—to generate a stock-buying frenzy, making him fabulously rich—until the bubble inevitably burst. x
    • 6
      The Mississippi Bubble
      Delve into the details of the Mississippi bubble, an early 18th-century financial crisis sparked by speculation in the anticipated wealth of French Louisiana. Learn how the bubble’s instigator, John Law, a Scottish gambler and convicted murderer, gained control of the French economy and pushed ideas that were ahead of their time—so far ahead that they plunged France into economic collapse. x
    • 7
      Holes in the Ground: Mining Stock Frauds
      Mining companies were the internet start-ups of the 19th and early 20th centuries, offering a chance to strike it rich—or, more likely, go broke. Focus on the swindling strategy of George Graham Rice, who earned a fortune (and several prison terms) by manipulating mining stock. Discover that Mark Twain and future president Herbert Hoover both had close brushes with shady mining ventures. x
    • 8
      The Panic of 1907
      Until 1920, panics were a recurring feature of economic life in the United States. What caused them and how were they cured? Investigate the Panic of 1907 and the part played by legendary banker J. P. Morgan in stemming a threatened wave of bank failures. The gold standard was an obstacle to managing panics, and the Federal Reserve System, established in 1913, proved to be a powerful antidote. x
    • 9
      Hyperinflation in Germany and Zimbabwe
      Plunge into the economic nightmare of hyperinflation, learning how it happens, when it ends, and the policies that put nations at risk. The classic case of hyperinflation is post-World War I Germany, which faced a multitude of demands on a financial system already crippled by the war. Also, analyze the mistakes that sparked hyperinflation in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s. x
    • 10
      The Crash of 1929
      Dissect the notorious Wall Street crash of 1929, starting with the economic conditions that led to a feverish speculative boom during the “Roaring ’20s.” Survey investment practices of the day, some of which are now outlawed. Trace the rise in stock prices into the fall of 1929, when a normal market correction seemed underway. Probe explanations for why it suddenly turned into a crash. x
    • 11
      The Great Contraction of 1931–1933
      In a financial disaster called the Great Contraction, one-third of all banks in the United States failed between 1931 and early 1933. Examine the causes of this collapse in confidence, which also affected building and loan associations, made famous in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Appraise government attempts to stem the crisis, which led to legislation including the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. x
    • 12
      The Savings and Loan Crisis
      Wade into the quagmire that trapped savings and loan institutions in the 1980s and ’90s. Once a thriving, low-profit source of home mortgages, the industry fell victim to a combination of high interest rates, well-intentioned government deregulation, and a wave of predatory, unscrupulous managers. The ensuing debacle left the American taxpayer with a bill of $160 billion in 1995 dollars. x
    • 13
      The Crash of 1987
      Meet a modern-day Frankenstein’s monster, a human creation on the loose— in this case, computerized trading. Discover how the rage for portfolio insurance controlled by computer algorithms, combined with a rapidly rising market and skittish investors, sparked the Black Monday crash of October 19, 1987, during which the Dow Jones index lost 23 percent of its value. x
    • 14
      Japan's Lost Decade
      In the 1980s, the Japanese economy seemed unstoppable. Then, it came to a screeching halt, miring the nation in more than two decades of economic stagnation. What went wrong? Analyze Japan’s postwar brand of capitalism, focusing on how its regulatory, political, and banking systems created a “bubble economy”—until the global economy and regulatory climate abruptly changed and the bubble burst. x
    • 15
      Bankers Trust Swaps
      Learn the ropes for interest rate swaps, the most popular financial derivative in the world. Then, see how a complex form of swaps, brokered by Bankers Trust in the early 1990s, led to huge losses for some famous corporations and an ensuing round of bitter lawsuits. The case holds lessons for anyone investing in financial instruments that they don't fully understand. x
    • 16
      Asia, Greece, and Global Contagion
      Analyze the cause of currency crises, using the 1997 collapse of the Thai baht as test case. Uncover why such events can happen suddenly with little chance for a government to stop the precipitous fall in its currency's value, and also why the U.S. dollar is not immune. Consider the role of currency speculators, such as George Soros, who famously broke the Bank of England in 1992. x
    • 17
      The Orange County, California, Bankruptcy
      Discover how an elected official with a self-admitted seventh-grade proficiency in math earned fabulous returns as treasurer of Orange County, California, and then plunged the system into the largest municipal default in United States history up to that time. His strategy—and downfall—relied on two financial instruments: repurchase agreements and inverse floater bonds. Track down where he went wrong. x
    • 18
      The Dotcom Bubble
      The rise of the internet in the 1990s spawned companies that existed only online; had never earned a profit; had no rational business plan; and, yet, generated enormous enthusiasm in their initial stock offerings. Learn why the market ignored time-tested standards and suffered the inevitable crash. Focus on the role of intangible assets in the dotcom boom and its aftermath. x
    • 19
      Rogue Traders at SocGen and Barings
      Test Professor Fullenkamp's theory that all rogue traders are the same by studying two infamous insiders: Jerome Kerviel, who cost the French bank Societe Generale more than $6 billion, and Nick Leeson, whose errant trading bankrupted Baring Brothers. Find out how trading firms are organized, and pinpoint the Achilles heel that allowed both men to go rogue. x
    • 20
      Unhedged! Long-Term Capital Management
      Long-Term Capital Management was a hedge fund with everything going for it: well-heeled investors, a dream team of economists and managers, and banks willing to loan hundreds of millions of dollars with no questions asked. In 1998, it all went terribly wrong in a debacle that threatened to take down Wall Street. Spotlight the basic rules of finance that were ignored by LTCM and its banks. x
    • 21
      The London Whale and Value at Risk
      Explore a risk-management tool called value at risk, or VaR. Developed by economists at J. P. Morgan in the 1990s, VaR estimates the largest loss that a given investment strategy can be expected to sustain under normal market conditions. Chart the successes of this model—and its spectacular failure in an incident involving a high-rolling trader nicknamed the “London Whale.” x
    • 22
      The Goldilocks Economy and Three Bads
      In the 1990s and early 2000s, the U.S. economy was enjoying a long spell of economic growth that struck economists as just right. But that was before the “three bads” surfaced: bad monetary policy, bad private-sector behavior, and bad financial regulations. See how self-interest and overconfidence blinded investors, borrowers, and regulators to the financial crisis that exploded in 2007–2008. x
    • 23
      Subprime Debt and the Run on Wall Street
      Inspect the unprecedented run on the international financial system in 2007–2008, which led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Learn the ins and outs of subprime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations, and structured investment vehicles, which fueled a U.S. housing-construction boom that involved most of the world’s major financial institutions. x
    • 24
      China's Shadow Banks
      China was largely unaffected by the 2007–2009 global economic meltdown. But that doesn’t mean it’s immune to crises. Focus on China’s shadow banking, which is the provision of banking services by non-bank institutions. The practice is not as sinister as it sounds, but it is subject to abuse. In China’s case, the widespread use of shadow banking courts trouble that could lead to financial disaster. x
  • A New History of the American South

    Professor Edward L. Ayers, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD
    To know the history of the American South is to come to terms with a historical drama of global consequence. In this course, you’ll relive the story of the South through essential episodes such as: the forging of the slave South, Southern prosperity and the cotton economy, the lives of the enslaved, the breakdown of the Union and the wartime South, emancipation and Reconstruction, and the making of the New South.
    View Lecture List (24)
    To know the history of the American South is to come to terms with a historical drama of global consequence. In this course, you’ll relive the story of the South through essential episodes such as: the forging of the slave South, Southern prosperity and the cotton economy, the lives of the enslaved, the breakdown of the Union and the wartime South, emancipation and Reconstruction, and the making of the New South.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  A New History of the American South
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Geography of the American South
      Begin by previewing the four parts of the course that will recount the dramatic saga of the American South. Then, learn about the prehistory of the region, from its geographical features to the ancient peoples that settled it. Delve into the history of the chiefdoms that dominated the region before the arrival of Europeans, and trace the decimation of native populations that followed. x
    • 2
      The World of Slavery
      Investigate the complex origins of slavery in Africa, in social systems where human beings became commodities of exchange. Learn how the Atlantic slave trade was initiated by the Portuguese, and how it evolved into a system of vast economic gain, supplying labor for New World plantations. Note how Britain's American colonies were originally intended to function by means of English labor. x
    • 3
      Slavery Becomes American
      Examine economic conditions within Virginia before slavery, and growing discontent among English indentured laborers. Trace the rise of slavery in the British Caribbean, the factors that made it a practical business model in Virginia, and how colonists rationalized slaveholding. Observe how Virginia set the blueprint for slave society in what would become the American South. x
    • 4
      The Southern Colonies Take Root
      Learn about the apogee of the Atlantic slave trade, and how enslaved people adapted to their plight. Witness how Barbados planters spurred the colonization of the Carolinas as a thriving, slave-based rice economy, and follow the founding of Georgia and how it became a slave society. Take account of the society of the flourishing planter elite, and the factors that led to the American Revolution. x
    • 5
      Southern States in the New Nation
      Grasp how the events of the American Revolution affected the Southern colonies and their population of the enslaved. Learn about the implications of the new federal government and Constitution for the Southern states and slaveholders, and how Congress both granted concessions to the slave system and sought to restrict it. Follow the gradual emancipation of slaves in the Northern states. x
    • 6
      War, Uprising, and Southern Solidarity
      In the early 19th century, massive changes took place in the territories that became the South. Study the series of wars the new nation fought with the British, Native American factions, and escaped slaves in areas of what became Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Note how the advent of these multiple conflicts involving both Native Americans and enslaved blacks ultimately forged a new unity among white Southerners. x
    • 7
      The Birth of the Cotton South
      Witness the dislocations, rebellion, and surging population of the enslaved in the South following the American Revolution. Learn how Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi were settled, and how both cotton and sugar became defining commodities of the Southern economy. Then, delve into the mechanics of the slave trade, in the large-scale importation of slaves into the lower South. x
    • 8
      Evangelical Faith in the South
      Here, assess the role of religion in the culture of Southern society and in the culture of slavery. Learn how British Anglicanism came to be replaced in the South by evangelical Christianity. Observe how this faith included blacks, and became a source of strength and survival for the enslaved, yet also reinforced, for whites, the social status quo and the conceptual justifications for slavery. x
    • 9
      Rebellion, Renewal: Tightening of Slavery
      Follow two significant slave rebellions in the early 19th century: the aborted South Carolina revolt led by the freed slave Denmark Vesey, and the famous Nat Turner rebellion in Virginia. Take account of the ensuing Virginia debates on slavery, culminating in harsher laws restricting blacks. Also, study the brutal, forced removal of Native Americans in the Southern states from their traditional lands. x
    • 10
      Arguments for and against Slavery
      Learn about the heated controversy over the admission of Missouri to the union as a slave state, and how this crisis polarized the country as never before. Trace the rise of abolitionism and antislavery societies, and the violent backlash of anti-abolitionists. Then, examine pro-slavery thought in the South, both secular and religious, within the context of pre-Civil War Southern intellectual life. x
    • 11
      A Restless South: Expansion and Conflict
      Relive the highly charged events surrounding the settlement of Texas by Americans and the Mexican-American War. Witness how the debate over slavery in former Mexican lands became a blistering national drama. Also, grasp the impact of the railroad and telegraph on the South, and the ways in which these technological innovations accelerated the divisions between North and South. x
    • 12
      Life in the Slave South
      Discover how American slavery became more diverse as it expanded over a huge area. Consider the wide variety of trades engaged in by the enslaved, and the complex mix of white and black cultures in the South. Learn more about the mechanics of slave trading, the terrible treatment of those sold, and how slaves lived and worked both on plantations and farms and within Southern cities. x
    • 13
      Sovereignty and Slavery in the American West
      With the slave economy booming in the 1850s, chart the escalation of antagonism between North and South. Observe the struggle within Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, and its eruption into violence, including the actions of abolitionist John Brown. Also, follow the Supreme Court case involving the slave Dred Scott, as it exacerbated the breakdown of North/South relations. x
    • 14
      The Complex Road to Secession
      Begin by exploring the presidential election of 1860, as it comprised the estrangement of North and South. Then, follow the Southern actions of secession, which many in the South resisted, the events surrounding Lincoln taking office, and the crisis at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Conclude by considering two key ways of thinking about the Civil War and what precipitated it. x
    • 15
      Elemental Loyalties and Descent into War
      Trace the events that led to the opening shots of the Civil War. Learn about both sides' initial strategy for the conflict, the mobilization of armies, and the role of women in the war effort. Take account of the crippling impact of the war on the Southern economy, and grasp the inconsistencies, justifications, and misconceptions on both sides that fueled the unfolding of the war. x
    • 16
      End of War and of Slavery
      Learn about how slaves fared and adapted as the war progressed, and how Union forces made use of the enslaved to further their aims. At the war's conclusion, examine the actions of freed blacks, and their efforts to secure basic rights. Contemplate the divisive national climate during the initial phase of Reconstruction, as many Southerners appeared to deny the matters that the war had decided. x
    • 17
      Reconstruction and the Freedmen's Bureau
      Study the work of the Freedmen’s Bureau, as it oversaw the transition from slavery to a wage economy, amid fervent resistance to attempts to remake the South. With the passage of the 14th Amendment and the Reconstruction Act, trace the era of “Radical Reconstruction,” as enmity, violence, and electioneering gradually returned the Southern states to Southern Democratic control. x
    • 18
      The Landscape of the New South
      Far-reaching structural changes transformed the South following Reconstruction. Follow the huge expansion of railroads, which connected Southern towns and cities, as well as North with South. See also how the rise of country stores changed the economic and cultural landscape. Observe the remarkable proliferation of new villages and towns across the South, and the rise of Southern industries. x
    • 19
      Farmers and the Rise of Populism
      Witness the advent of modern agriculture in the South, and how enterprising rural workers could achieve land ownership. Grasp how overcrowding, falling prices for crops, and competition led to terrible hardships for farmers. Then, delve into the highly charged era of Populism, as farmers organized to redress their problems in a bitter struggle against monopoly capitalism. x
    • 20
      The Invention of Segregation
      Trace the origins of legal separation between the races, a defining trait of the South through much of the 20th century. First, examine the issue of segregation regarding railroad travel, and the first wave of segregation laws. See how segregation then spread to include numerous social gathering points, and how sexual contact between the races became a contested issue on both sides. x
    • 21
      Lynching and Disfranchisement
      Study the climate of violence in the New South, amid widespread economic and political turmoil. Observe how lynching became, for whites, a means of countering weak governments and terrorizing blacks into submission. Then, learn how the South embarked on a constitutional disfranchisement of black voters, constructing legal means to limit suffrage and ensure white supremacy. x
    • 22
      Religious Faith in the New South
      Delve into the remarkable growth of religion in the late 19th-century South, and how the region came to be known as the “Bible Belt.” Learn about the proliferation of religious revivals, and the rise of the “holiness” movement, Pentecostalism, and the Church of God, religious factions that sought a more-vital faith, challenged tradition, and ultimately spread across the world. x
    • 23
      Literature and Music of the New South
      The making of the New South unleashed extraordinary creative and artistic energies. Investigate the vibrant musical culture of the postbellum South, and the African musical elements that converged in the birth of ragtime and jazz, as well as the evolution of blues, country music, and gospel. Also, see why writings ranging from The Tales of Uncle Remus to W.E.B. DuBois's Souls of Black Folk achieved global popularity. x
    • 24
      The Legacies of the Southern Saga
      Finally, explore the fabric of life in the South as the 19th century ended and the 20th began. Investigate the work of educator Booker T. Washington; the impact on race relations of the Spanish-American War; the Plessy decision, giving government sanction to segregation; and the emerging Cult of the Confederacy. Contemplate the South as a place of ongoing movement, struggle, and renewal. x
  • iRest: Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation

    Instructor Molly Birkholm,

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Tap into the power of a unique form of research-based meditation in the 24 classes and full-length practice sessions of iRest: Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation. Alternating between the theoretical and experiential, between the philosophical and the scientific, iRest® trainer Molly Birkholm empowers you with the knowledge and skills to help alleviate everyday stress and life-altering trauma.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Tap into the power of a unique form of research-based meditation in the 24 classes and full-length practice sessions of iRest: Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation. Alternating between the theoretical and experiential, between the philosophical and the scientific, iRest® trainer Molly Birkholm empowers you with the knowledge and skills to help alleviate everyday stress and life-altering trauma.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  iRest: Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Introducing iRest Yoga Nidra
      One of the most important principles in iRest is that of welcoming: inviting you to explore whatever arises as a part of your human experience. Begin your journey with a look at how stress affects the body, the roots of yoga nidra, and the 10 steps of iRest you'll practice throughout the course. x
    • 2
      iRest Foundations: Philosophy and Practice
      Take a closer look at the foundations of iRest from philosophical and practical perspectives. What texts and teachings form the basis of yoga nidra? How do you set up the right practice space? What time of day is the best time to practice iRest? Is it OK to fall asleep during your practice? x
    • 3
      Creating an Inner Resource
      Your Inner Resource is a haven of peace and serenity—a felt sense of well-being deeply rooted inside your body. In this lecture, Ms. Birkholm shows you how to cultivate and connect with your Inner Resource, which is one of the most essential parts of your iRest practice. x
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      iRest Practice: Inner Resource
      Start tapping into your personal Inner Resource. Join several other students as Ms. Birkholm guides you through a helpful session designed to help you develop an internal experience of well-being that can help you transition from the anxieties of your outside life to the calm of your meditation practice. x
    • 5
      The Power of Intention and Heartfelt Desire
      Two tools you can use to live as your best self (however you define that) are intention and heartfelt desire. Explore these second and third steps of iRest Yoga Nidra as a way to move closer to reconnecting with your true self and living the life you want most. x
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      iRest Practice: Intention
      Explore your intention and heartfelt desire in this extended iRest practice session. By identifying them at the start of the practice, putting them away, and returning to them again at the conclusion of your practice, you'll perhaps experience these two aspects of iRest Yoga Nidra in entirely different ways. x
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      Learning to Listen to Your Body
      Learn how to think of your body as a symphony of sensations and signals. After a brief overview of the different layers of consciousness in iRest, focus on the first: the physical body. Benefits of attuning yourself to your body include heightened sensory awareness and pointers into your true nature. x
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      iRest Practice: Body Sensing
      Practice allowing yourself to receive the different messages your body's trying to send you. As a way to help you explore your body more deeply (and to gauge some of its benefits), this iRest practice session invites you to continually tense and relax your body (physically or mentally). x
    • 9
      Exploring the Power of the Breath
      Ms. Birkholm reveals what your breath can tell you about your health and peace of mind. Start by learning the yogic and scientific perspectives on breathing. Then, turn to breathing exercise techniques you can incorporate into your iRest practice, including breath counting, Ferris wheel breath, and alternate nostril breathing. x
    • 10
      iRest Practice: Breath Sensing
      The focus of this practice session is on a deep meditation using the principles of breath sensing you learned in the previous lecture. Join several other students and see some of the ways sensing and controlling your breath can influence your physical and mental experience during your practice. x
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      Feelings and Emotions as Messengers
      Another step of the iRest protocol is thinking of your feelings and emotions as “messengers” that tell you how your body and mind are experiencing the world. Learn to differentiate between feelings and emotions, examine the entire spectrum of emotions, and learn to work with opposite emotions. x
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      iRest Practice: Feelings and Emotions
      Put the previous lecture’s principles, strategies, and insights to use in a helpful meditative experience led by Ms. Birkholm. Welcome different emotions and feelings into your body—whichever ones happen to arise during your iRest Yoga Nidra practice—as if they were simply visitors in your home. x
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      Finding Deeper Wisdom in Your Beliefs
      In this lecture, Ms. Birkholm shares proactive tools for what you can do when you feel limited by your thoughts. You'll encounter the fundamentals of cognition, the Laws of Opposites and Awareness, and the five kanchukas (or thoughts) that can be found at the root of all human suffering. x
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      iRest Practice: Beliefs
      Get better acquainted with some of the beliefs you have as a way to become more aware and accepting of your whole experience. Through this helpful iRest practice session, you'll explore ways to use your thoughts and beliefs to direct you toward creating the life you want to lead. x
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      Discovering Uncaused Joy
      In this lecture, learn ways you can live in a joyous equanimity that exists independent of objects. Through methods including the “three blessings” (writing down three things that went well and why) and “day’s reviews” (reflecting on unfinished events), better realize the ever-present joy in your life. x
    • 16
      iRest Practice: Joyful Well-Being
      How can you better open yourself up to experience peace? It starts with this iRest Yoga Nidra practice session designed to help you cultivate joy. Join Ms. Birkholm and several other students as you, together, tap into the power of the anandamaya kosha stage of iRest. x
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      Cultivating Awareness
      Turn to the goal of iRest practice: cultivating awareness. Feel into the “I-thought” the same way you do your breathing. Take a closer look at the continuum of awareness, which stretches from your perception of the self as separate to pure awareness, in which all sense of self dissolves. x
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      iRest Practice: Awareness and Peace
      In this illuminating iRest practice session, you and several other students will take time to explore what it's like to move into witnessing awareness and come closer to fully embodying enlightenment and deep connection in your life. How far along the continuum of awareness can you move? x
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      Using iRest for Sleep
      Focus on something Ms. Birkholm takes extremely seriously: sleep. First, get tips on turning your bedroom into a sanctuary for sleep. Then, learn two important techniques to help you get a restful night's sleep, and cap it with a brief practice session designed to help you fall asleep. x
    • 20
      Using iRest for Pain Relief
      Walk through the 10 steps of the iRest protocol as they pertain to dealing with chronic pain, whether it's physical (a car accident) or emotional (the loss of a job). Ms. Birkholm shows that, in order to manage pain, you need to approach it from multiple angles. x
    • 21
      Using iRest for Stress Management
      The key to overcoming anxiety, as you'll learn here, is by becoming a source of connection, strength, and resiliency. And this is where iRest plays a critical role. To give you a taste of this, Ms. Birkholm includes a short iRest practice session designed to help you tackle stress. x
    • 22
      Using iRest for Healing Trauma
      Move beyond life's ordinary stressors to look at how iRest can help heal major trauma in your life. Start by going over the basics of how trauma affects the body and mind. Then, examine how you can use iRest principles to integrate your experiences and counteract their traumatic effects. x
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      The Science behind iRest Yoga Nidra
      What about iRest Yoga Nidra makes it effective? It’s all rooted in the scientific research that supports the practice of iRest and illustrates how and why meditation is so healing. Take a closer look at how the five components of mindfulness—including intention and disidentification—work together. x
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      iRest Yoga Nidra for Everyday Life
      Conclude the course with a lecture on the tenth step of iRest, during which you come back to life in deep connection with a deep sense of peace. Enjoy a lasting feeling of empowerment at how iRest can help you become the fullest expression of your true self. x