New Releases!
New Releases!
  • The Great Tours: France through the Ages

    Professor John Greene, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    France ignites the imagination and dazzles the senses like no other country on Earth. In this thrilling travelogue, you’ll discover the 35,000-year-old cave paintings of Chauvet, the medieval castles of the Cathars, the palace of Versailles, and the sites where the French Revolution unfolded. You’ll also explore romantic Paris; the Loire Valley châteaux; and France’s food, wine, sublime art and architecture, and so much more.
    View Lecture List (24)
    France ignites the imagination and dazzles the senses like no other country on Earth. In this thrilling travelogue, you’ll discover the 35,000-year-old cave paintings of Chauvet, the medieval castles of the Cathars, the palace of Versailles, and the sites where the French Revolution unfolded. You’ll also explore romantic Paris; the Loire Valley châteaux; and France’s food, wine, sublime art and architecture, and so much more.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Great Tours: France through the Ages
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Point Zero: Charting Our Course
      Begin by contemplating the French art de vivre (“art of living”), and the timeless appeal that makes France the world’s most visited tourist destination. Take an overview of the course’s journey across the rich cultural landscape of France, and learn about the iconic figure of Charles de Gaulle. Finish with an aerial view over Paris, and a first look at its beloved monuments. x
    • 2
      The Birth and Rise of Paris
      Mine the layers of history that reveal how Paris evolved from an ancient settlement on the Seine to a Roman city and then the capital of France. Learn about medieval Paris through the Cluny Museum, the great cathedral of Notre Dame, and the royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle. Follow the growth of Paris and its architectural treasures through the Renaissance, to the reign of Louis XIV. x
    • 3
      The Splendor of Versailles
      Discover the remarkable palace of Versailles as the self-contained world of Louis XIV, the “Sun King.” Note how the landscaping surrounding the palace symbolizes features of Louis’s reign, and how the Versailles court prized royal spectacle and appearances. Take account of Louis’s patronage of the arts, and how he and his successor built extravagant private residences within the palace grounds. x
    • 4
      Paris in Revolution
      Examine the social, intellectual, and political background of the French Revolution of 1789. Visit key locations in Paris where the events unfolded, from a legendary coffee house to the site of the Bastille prison and the Place de la Concorde. Then map the turbulent epoch of Napoleon, and witness the lasting impact of his rule on both the look of Paris and the features of French society. x
    • 5
      Northeast to Champagne
      In your journey to the first of France's diverse regions, begin at the city of Rheims, and chart the fortunes of its glorious and historic cathedral. Learn about the beverage that gives this region its name, and about some of the area's great champagne producers. Visit the cemeteries and memorials that poignantly commemorate World War I, and a small town that is central to French identity. x
    • 6
      Normandy at War: Beaches and Bunkers
      Travel now to the northern French coast, where three dramatic events in world history took place. Learn first about the 1066 Norman invasion of England, and the role of the famous Bayeux Tapestry. Then visit Dunkerque (Dunkirk), site of the massive evacuation of Allied troops during World War II, and finally the beaches of Normandy, where the D-Day invasion of Nazi-held Europe unfolded. x
    • 7
      Normandy at Ease: Painters and Pilgrims
      The beauty and clear light of the Normandy coast became a magnet for 19th-century painters. Travel these shores in the footsteps of Claude Monet, then visit his home at Giverny, and learn about the inspiration for his famous paintings of water lilies. Sample the region's fine cheeses, apples, and apple brandy, and finish with the history and architectural wonders of the island citadel of Mont Saint-Michel. x
    • 8
      Brittany: The Wild West
      Investigate the Celtic culture of Brittany, starting in the walled port city of Saint-Malo, with its ramparts, forts, and seafaring past. Experience the wild beauty of the northern coast and note two contrasting cities: Quimper, with its Breton traditions and crêperies, and Lorient, with its superb seafood and dramatic World War II history. Also, view the enigmatic ancient megaliths of Carnac. x
    • 9
      The Loire Valley: Among the Chateaux
      Begin your tour of this famous region with the fabulous Chartres Cathedral and its masterpieces of stained glass. Trace the history of the Loire’s plethora of extraordinary châteaux, explore two of the most celebrated, and learn about some of the region’s notable citizens. Finally, visit the historic maritime city of Nantes, home to a remarkable 19th-century science fiction theme park. x
    • 10
      Bordeaux and the Coast of Aquitaine
      Ponder the mysterious cave paintings of Lascaux and Chauvet, considered some of the greatest treasures of prehistory. Then encounter the extraordinary figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the region that bears her name, and view the majestic architecture of the city of Bordeaux. Take in the renowned Bordeaux wine region and study the essential concept of “terroir,” a key to the quality of France’s finest produce. x
    • 11
      The French Basque Region and the Pyrenees
      Trace the origins of the Basque people and uncover their unique architecture and culinary traditions, seen in the picturesque city of Bayonne. Travel to the 19th-century resort town of Biarritz, the historic fishing port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Then, head into the Pyrenees and the town of Lourdes, a major site of religious pilgrimage and a lightning rod for the modern role of French Catholicism. x
    • 12
      The Camargue: Land of the Cathars
      Start your journey through the Camargue with a visit to the spectacular castles of the medieval sect known as the Cathars, as well as the town of Carcassonne with its fairy tale grandeur. Continue with the extraordinary urban landscape of Montpellier, and end at Albi, taking in its fortress-like cathedral, its memories of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and the delicious regional dish of cassoulet. x
    • 13
      Arles: A Jewel of Provence
      Near the Provençal city of Arles, contemplate two incredible feats of engineering: an ancient Roman viaduct and a 21st-century cable bridge taller than the Eiffel Tower. Stop at the “monarchist” village of Les Baux-de-Provence; then view the Gallo Roman architecture of Arles, see the sites that inspired Vincent Van Gogh, and discover Arles’ lavender fields and local food specialties. x
    • 14
      Along the Riviera: From Marseille to Cannes
      Here, explore the storied Côte d’Azur, starting with the history, culture, and noteworthy architecture of the industrial port of Marseille, France’s second-largest city. Sample the area’s signature dish, bouillabaisse; the game of pétanque; and the local liqueur, pastis. Finish at the summer playground of Cannes, city of literary history and of the world-famous film festival. x
    • 15
      Corsica: The Isle of Beauty
      Savor Corsica's blend of French and Italian cultures, starting in the capital of Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and a location of beautiful coastal scenery. Learn about the island's food and drink at the historic port of Bastia. Also, visit the citadel of Bonifacio, home to the renowned French Foreign Legion, and take in the island's beloved landscapes, flora, and nature trails. x
    • 16
      Avignon: From Popes to Produce Stands
      Learn the singular and colorful history of Avignon, home to the papacy in the 14th century, whose legacy is the city’s magnificent Palais des Papes, now the site of one of France’s most revered theater festivals. See how the rich Rhône valley’s produce is embodied in the region’s celebrated ratatouille and the Côtes du Rhône wines, and climb the legendary Mont Ventoux, Provence’s tallest peak. x
    • 17
      The French Alps, Lyon, and Beaujolais
      In yet another of France's distinct regions, experience the spellbinding vistas of Mont Blanc, western Europe's tallest mountain and the birthplace of rock and ice climbing. Then pay a visit to Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy, and encounter its famous chefs, eateries, and Beaujolais wine. Explore Lyon's historic neighborhoods, World War II history, and its proud invention of the cinema. x
    • 18
      Dijon and Burgundy: The Delicious Heartland
      Trace Burgundy's history as a politically independent duchy, and begin your visit at Dijon's Les Halles Centrales market, an exemplar of the lively culture of French street markets. Review Burgundy's dining specialties before traveling to Baune, with its medieval treasures and iconic wine auction. Learn about the region's famous citizens, from Louis Pasteur to Resistance heroine Lucie Aubrac. x
    • 19
      Alsace and Lorraine: France Meets Germany
      In this much fought-over region, take the measure of Lorraine's great heroine, Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc), and how she saved her country. Examine the oldest written document in a proto-French language. Then travel to picturesque Strasbourg, home to the European Parliament; savor Alsatian wine and German-style beer; and ponder Alsace's poignant roles in French military history. x
    • 20
      Paris Transformed: La Belle epoque
      Witness the massive 19th-century urban planning works of Emperor Napoléon III and city administrator Georges-Eugène Haussmann, which thoroughly altered the urban landscape of Paris, largely creating the city we know today. Against the sociopolitical background of the Second French Empire, take in the Grands Boulevards, parks, sewer system, and standout masterpieces such as the magnificent Opéra Garnier. x
    • 21
      Bohemian Paris: Artists and Expats
      Explore famous artists’ haunts of Paris, beginning with the neighborhood of Montmartre, where the quality of light and bohemian culture were a magnet for painters and writers during the Belle Epoque. Visit the cemeteries of Montmartre and Père Lachaise, the resting places of many famous Parisians and expats. Learn about the literary culture of Montparnasse and enjoy two of its most famous cafes. x
    • 22
      Paris: The Capital of Design
      Get to know Paris as a vital hub for the creative arts. First, visit the Cinémathèque Française and grasp the rich role of the cinema in Paris’s cultural life. Trace how photography came of age in Paris and take note of the many Parisian venues for photography. Discover Paris’s world-famous fashion houses, and visit the Sèvres porcelain factory and the Cordon Bleu culinary school. x
    • 23
      Paris and the Future
      Observe the ways in which Paris has responded to successive waves of modernization. Note how architectural wonders such as the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais came to be and tour the Métro, Paris’s much admired underground rapid transit. Then take account of groundbreaking public works such as the Centre Pompidou, the complex of La Défense, the Musée D’Orsay, and the Pyramide du Louvre. x
    • 24
      United France: Celebrating Together
      Conclude your tour with a look at some of France’s great national celebrations. First, visit the Stade de France, a shrine to French sports achievements. Learn about two essential events that conclude on Paris’s Champs-Elysées: the Tour de France and the Bastille Day parade. Finish with national cultural events such as the Fête de la Musique, the Fête du Cinéma, and the national Heritage Days. x
  • Cooking across the Ages

    Professor Ken Albala, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In Cooking across the Ages, award-winning Professor Ken Albala of the University of the Pacific takes us on a fascinating international journey through civilization across the ages and around the world—all through the lens of cooking. In 24 fascinating lectures while he cooks, Dr. Albala welcomes you into his own home kitchen, encouraging you to explore unfamiliar cuisines as a type of gastronomic time travel that will allow you to get a taste of history like you’ve never experienced before!
    View Lecture List (24)
    In Cooking across the Ages, award-winning Professor Ken Albala of the University of the Pacific takes us on a fascinating international journey through civilization across the ages and around the world—all through the lens of cooking. In 24 fascinating lectures while he cooks, Dr. Albala welcomes you into his own home kitchen, encouraging you to explore unfamiliar cuisines as a type of gastronomic time travel that will allow you to get a taste of history like you’ve never experienced before!
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Cooking across the Ages
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Understanding Culture through Cooking
      What can you learn about different cultural groups of people through the lens of their cookbooks? A lot, as Professor Ken Albala illustrates by looking at two chicken recipes 200 years and a continent apart. Learn to cook a recipe from the 1748 French cookbook Le Nouveau Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, and another from The Can-Opener Cookbook of 1953. x
    • 2
      Ancient Rome: Cooking with Apicius
      Are the recipes in De re coquinaria—the oldest complete recipe book in the Western tradition—bizarre and disgusting, or do they reflect a time of elegance and luxury? Historians have expressed a gamut of opinions. As you explore its sala cattabia, minutal of apricots, and botellum, you might be surprised to find three delicious, and even somewhat familiar, dishes. x
    • 3
      Imperial China: Soybeans and Dumplings
      Examine the Chinese Wei dynasty’s Qi Min Yao Shu, an encyclopedic manual containing “essential techniques to benefit the people” and learn about Chinese agricultural practices going back to antiquity. Explore the fermentation practices of the time, using both bacteria and mold, and follow a scaled-down recipe to create an intensely flavored fermented black bean dish. x
    • 4
      Medieval Egypt: Chickpeas and Phyllo Dough
      From 14th-century Egypt, explore recipes that reflect the interchange between the many cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean of the time—Alexandria, Venice, and Constantinople, just to name a few. Learn to make the sweet Byzantine specialty known as himmas kassa, and a super light and flaky phyllo dough stretched to the size of a table, just as Professor Albala remembers his grandmother doing. x
    • 5
      Feast like a Viking with Meat and Beer
      Explore the oldest-known cookbook in Medieval Europe, the 13th century’s Libellus de arte coquinaria. With its terse recipes of meat, fowl, fish, and sauces, it seemed to be written for a noble audience, not the common cook. Learn to make “hunter-style” fish pie with animal bones—and beer, much safer than drinking water at the time. x
    • 6
      Medieval France's Touch for Sugar and Spice
      Meet the first celebrity chef—Guillaume Tirel, known as Taillevent—who served in the 14th century as master chef in the French imperial courts. His Le Viandier was not an introduction to cooking but served as an aid to help people remember how to cook the classics. Dive into his recipe for a polysavory white stew of capons, along with individual tarts with banners for your guests. x
    • 7
      Renaissance Italy's Sweets and Pasta
      Explore the earliest printed cookbook, composed in Italy in the early 15th century and printed around 1470—making it one of the first generation of books in print on any subject. Learn to create its blancmanger, a combination of capon breast, white flour, rosewater, sugar, and almond milk that still exists today in Turkish cuisine. And discover how to make pasta by feel and texture, no measurements allowed. x
    • 8
      Crafting Aphrodisiacs from the Renaissance
      Renaissance medicine promoted the idea that some foods made you hot, some cold, some promoted healthy libido and reproduction, and some not. Explore the 1560 cookbook of Domenico Romoli, which combined recipes with medical advice. Learn to make his chickpea fritters, zeppole, and sofrito of chopped beef. x
    • 9
      Aztec Tortillas and Chocolate
      While no written recipes exist from Aztec culture—either because they were intentionally destroyed by colonial invaders or accidentally by the passage of time—we can infer what they ate and cooked from other literature that did survive, and by studying the ecology of the area. Master the secrets of an Aztec specialty: drinking chocolate poured from on high to create a special froth, as well as their turkey tamales. x
    • 10
      Papal Rome: Meat Rolls and Eggplant
      Explore the encyclopedic wonders of the Opera, a 1570 cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi. Unusual for its time, Opera was a cookbook written specifically to teach cooking. With directions and recipes from the Late Renaissance style, and using lavish and contrasting flavors, you will create delicious meat rolls, salami, and an eggplant dish. x
    • 11
      Dining with Don Quixote in Imperial Spain
      Spain became a gastronomic model for much of Europe in the 17th century, with its culinary influence becoming widespread even after suffering military defeat. As you cook its olla podrida, discover the riot of flavors—lamb, beef, pig’s feet, chestnuts, turnips, and more—in this “rotten pot” that became popular throughout Europe. x
    • 12
      Portugal and Japan: Cakes and Katsuobushi
      Explore the fascinating decades of exchange between Portugal and Japan in the 16th century-before Japan turned to cultural isolation-and discover which Portuguese foods are still part of Japanese cuisine today. Explore the process of creating fine dried fish flakes from skipjack tuna, and learn why the dried blocks of this fish are so prized that they're often even given as wedding presents. x
    • 13
      Vegetarian India: Jackfruit and Rice
      Explore the ethical vegetarianism of the Jain people in 16th century Kallahalli, today's southwestern India. As reflected in recipes from the Soopa Shastra, a cookbook commissioned by the local magnate of the area, the Jains used fresh, local ingredients to their best advantage. Learn to cook a stuffed cake, tamarind rice, eggplant, plantain, and a jackfruit soup. x
    • 14
      The Birth of French Haute Cuisine
      In every account of the birth of French haute cuisine, credit is given to Francois Pierre de La Varenne for charting the course forward. Among his many innovations was the creation of the roux, a combination of fat and flour used to thicken a sauce. Follow his lead in creating a flavorful bouillon from beef, mutton, and fowl; a potage of chickens garnished with asparagus; and soft cakes without cheese. x
    • 15
      Post-Puritan England: Hippocras and Cookies
      Did Lettice Pudsey create all the recipes in the 17th-century manuscript attributed to her? Or do as many as 13 others also deserve credit? Whatever the answer, Pudsey had great culinary skills and she wanted her peers to know it. Explore her hippocras, a delicious spiced wine, and the astounding flavors of her “capon in whit broth.” x
    • 16
      China's Last Dynasty: Elegant Simplicity
      Explore the fascinating cookbook of the great Qing Dynasty poet Yuan Mei. Writing Recipes from the Garden of Contentment as a reaction to the elite dining of the Chinese court, his recipes are relatively simple, traditional, and made to highlight the natural state of ingredients. Learn to cook his pork tenderloin, wheat gluten, and a simple rice porridge typically eaten for breakfast. x
    • 17
      Early America: Johnnycake and Pumpkin
      Amelia Simmons, universally recognized as the first truly American cookbook author, wrote recipes for “all grades of life,” from elegant households to the most humble farmer, in the democratizing spirit of the early Republic. Explore her recipes to create a cornmeal-based johnnycake, a type of corned beef, and a predecessor to the pumpkin pie. x
    • 18
      The French Canadian Tourtiere Meat Pie
      La Cuisinière Canadienne, published in 1840, was the first Canadian cookbook. The authors created the recipes they imagined the early 17th-century Quebec settlers would have eaten—and once in writing, they became the tradition. Discover the extraordinary flavors of the tourtière, a meat pie traditionally served on Christmas or New Year’s Day. x
    • 19
      Victorian Working-Class Meals
      Alexis Soyer, author of the 1855 Shilling Cookery for the People, gained popularity initially as the chef at a fashionable club in London, but later as an inventor and philanthropist who started soup kitchens during the Irish potato famine. Explore his recipes for vermicelli and macaroni, fried fish “Jewish fashion,” and beef pudding. x
    • 20
      Imperial Germany's Cabbage and Sauerbraten
      Henriette Davidis wrote the most popular German cookbook of the 19th century, Praktisches Kochbuch (Practical Cookbook). For the first time in history, with urbanization and the birth of a working class, she knew German women might not have learned to cook before marriage, so she wrote this book for them. Follow her recipes for a delicious red cabbage, sauerbrauten, and bread dumplings. x
    • 21
      Imperial Russia's Piroshki and Coulibiac
      Examine A Gift to Young Housewives by Elena Molokhovets, published during the Russian empire in the final decades before the revolution, featuring the foods eaten by the Russian elite. Learn to make pirozhki iz vermisheli, Salad Olivier (known simply as Russian salad outside the country), and the delicious sweet Blinchiki for dessert. x
    • 22
      Brazil and West Africa: Black Bean Stew
      Explore the rich cuisine of 19th-century Brazil with its indigenous American, West African, and Portuguese influences. From the Cozinheiro Imperial, first published in 1838, learn to cook vatapá with mandioca flour, green beans and shrimp, and a delicious black bean stew using every part of the pig, including tail and ears. x
    • 23
      America's Can-Opener Cookbook
      Discover the 1954 Can-Opener Cookbook, a reflection of the mid-century focus on all things convenient—a time when having a can on the pantry shelf was considered easier, more dependable, and more hygienic than fresh food. Follow the recipes to create quick crab meat Lorenzo, jambalaya, and a light blancmange made with instant vanilla pudding mix. x
    • 24
      The Foodie Era: Cooking with the World
      In the 1980s, when cooking became an official leisure activity and mark of cultural status, Nathalie Dupree, Jacques Pepin, and Martin Yan each had a television cooking show. These programs exposed people to great cooking and encouraged them to step into their own kitchens. Learn to create Dupree's macaroni pie, to bone a chicken Pepin style, and to cook the chicken thighs in a wok as Yan taught. x
  • America's Long Struggle Against Slavery

    Professor Richard Bell, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    America’s Long Struggle against Slavery is your chance to survey the history of the American anti-slavery movement, from the dawn of the transatlantic slave trade during the late 15th century to the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and beyond. Taught by Professor Richard Bell of the University of Maryland, these 30 eye-opening lectures give you an up-close view of a venal institution and the people who fought against it—and who often paid for their courage with their lives.
    View Lecture List (30)
    America’s Long Struggle against Slavery is your chance to survey the history of the American anti-slavery movement, from the dawn of the transatlantic slave trade during the late 15th century to the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and beyond. Taught by Professor Richard Bell of the University of Maryland, these 30 eye-opening lectures give you an up-close view of a venal institution and the people who fought against it—and who often paid for their courage with their lives.
    View Lecture List (30)
    30 Lectures  |  America's Long Struggle Against Slavery
    Lecture Titles (30)
    • 1
      Understanding the Fight against Slavery
      Begin your course with an exploration of the long war against slavery, which began centuries before the American Civil War. Professor Bell offers a survey of resistance among enslaved Africans in the 17th and 18th centuries and outlines five generational periods in the long struggle to end slavery. x
    • 2
      Origins of Slavery in the British Empire
      Slavery in the British Empire has its roots in the trading economy of the 16th century. See how the Englishman John Hawkins cut into the Portuguese slave trade in the New World, which led to the founding of the Royal African Company, the largest slaving operation in the Atlantic. x
    • 3
      Opposing the African Slave Trade
      The American slave trade began in Africa. It is an uncomfortable truth that African rulers and merchants played a hand in supplying slaves to Europeans. However, a look at the African continent also shows us the first strategies of resistance, from defensively trying to elude capture to offensive efforts to get away from the hellish confinement of European forts. x
    • 4
      Shipboard Rebellion and Resistance
      Leaving the continent of Africa, the second place for resistance was aboard the slave ships as they departed for the Caribbean. Although we have limited historical records, this lecture explores the suicides, runaways, and revolts on slave ships, as well as the efforts made by Europeans to control the enslaved. x
    • 5
      A Free Black Family in Colonial Virginia
      Shift your attention to the Chesapeake tobacco economy in the 17th century, a time when colonial law changed in a way that would promote the slave economy. First, you will meet Anthony Johnson, a freed slave who in turn held his own slaves. Then, see how Bacon's Rebellion paved the way for slave codes that changed the social order in Virginia. x
    • 6
      Quakers and Puritans Join the Fight
      Where were the moral voices among white Europeans speaking out against the heinous system of slavery? The American Quaker community had a long history of antislavery activism, from legal pamphlets to spiritual protests. Learn more about the Quaker community, its views on slavery, and its limitations in the early American economy. x
    • 7
      Thomas Thistlewood's Plantation Revolution
      One hallmark of the plantation economy in Barbados, Jamaica, and South Carolina is that black slaves outnumbered their white masters by a wide margin. As such, see how whites used dehumanizing tactics to control the slave population. Then review Tacky's Revolt, one of the largest slave rebellions in the British Atlantic world during the 18th century. x
    • 8
      Phibbah Thistlewood: Sleeping with the Enemy
      Among runaway slaves, men outnumbered women nearly two to one, but that doesn't mean women played no role in resistance. As this lecture will make clear, women practiced several strategies for resistance-critically important because of the prevalence of assault on plantations. A woman named Phibbah provides a fascinating case study. x
    • 9
      Slave Insurrections in the 18th Century
      Although there may have been several hundred slave uprisings in British North America and the United States, most of them were minor-or possibly even imagined by paranoid slave masters. Here, delve into the Stono Rebellion of 1739, which was the only significant armed challenge to slaveholders' supremacy on the mainland before the 19th century. x
    • 10
      Maroons: Those Who Escaped
      Runaway slaves in Virginia and the Carolinas had limited options. They could head for the coast or down to Spanish-controlled Florida, but some runaway slaves simply disappeared into the backcountry. Find out where these maroons" went, how they lived, and what dangers they faced if discovered." x
    • 11
      Three Quaker Activists
      Meet three important Quaker activists from the 17th and 18th centuries: a fiery hermit writer named Benjamin Lay, a shopkeeper and essayist named John Woolman, and a schoolteacher named Anthony Benezet, who set up Philadelphia's first Free African School. Reflect on the transformation in attitudes that was occurring during the 18th century. x
    • 12
      Slavery in the War for Independence
      While American colonists fought for independence against their British oppressors, the war provided free and enslaved African Americans an opportunity to fight their own war against slavery. Professor Bell introduces you to black militiamen and soldiers on both sides of the Revolutionary War, and reveals the setbacks they faced after the war. x
    • 13
      Taking Slavery to Court
      The American Revolution marked a watershed in the history of opposition to African slavery in America. In northern states, Pennsylvania led the charge in legal changes that would lead to gradual abolition. While abolition efforts failed in southern states, some individual slaves were able to strike deals with their masters for manumission. x
    • 14
      Charles Pinckney's Counterrevolution
      While many abolition efforts started to take hold after the American Revolution, an equally powerful revolution was underway to secure the slave system. Here, you will review the reprehensible three-fifths clause and other pro-slavery measures in the 1787 Constitution, which would take antislavery activists decades to undo. x
    • 15
      The Haitian Revolution
      Between 1791 and 1804, the Haitian Revolution tore apart a French Caribbean colony. As you will learn, not only was it the single largest slave revolt in the history of the world, it was the only one that had succeeded so far. Delve into this radical and violent revolution to meet the players and uncover what happened in these 13 astonishing years. x
    • 16
      Founding the Free Black Churches
      There is more to fighting slavery than achieving legal liberty, a simple truth that this country's first generation of free black leaders discovered in post-Revolutionary War northern cities. See how the expanding free black population in Philadelphia, New York, and elsewhere looked for ways to help themselves. x
    • 17
      The Second Middle Passage
      At the turn of the 19th century, social and economic conditions were shifting inside the United States, and President Jefferson signed into law an act prohibiting the importation of slaves. Learn about the mass migration of slaves from Virginia into the Deep South of Louisiana that resulted, and how this migration transformed the country. x
    • 18
      Our Native Country: Opposing Colonization
      Delve into the colonization movement, an effort that sprang to life in the 1810s to send black people from America to Africa. Consider the questions this movement posed for African Americans: Where was home? Were they African or American? Where did they belong? Investigate both sides of this controversial movement. x
    • 19
      David Walker, Nat Turner, and Black Immediatism
      Writer David Walker and insurrectionist Nat Turner transformed the debate about slavery in America. Their immediate words and deeds terrorized southern slaveholders as never before and forced legislators to articulate just how far they would go to protect the institution of slavery. Meet these extraordinary men and witness their actions. x
    • 20
      William Lloyd Garrison's "Thousand Witnesses"
      David Walker's words and Nat Turner's actions had a galvanizing effect upon white abolitionists, most notably William Lloyd Garrison. See how Garrison and others shifted from an attitude of slow, gradual change to a stance of immediacy. Survey an unprecedented campaign to challenge slaveholders' moral authority in the 1830s. x
    • 21
      Surviving King Cotton
      The mass migration of the Second Middle Passage changed the nature of resistance to slavery. Responding to the threat of separation from their families and opposition to their sale to the Deep South, slaves participated in multifaceted and unrelenting resistance. Survey this struggle and these troubling times. x
    • 22
      Roger Taney: Nationalizing Slavery
      Learn about the confounding life of Roger Taney, who as a young man turned his back on his family's tobacco plantation and manumitted many of his own slaves. Yet, as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he dramatically expanded the rights of slaveholders through infamous decisions such as Dred Scott v. Sanford. x
    • 23
      Frederick Douglass and Aggressive Abolition
      In the wake of a financial crash in 1837, Garrison's abolition movement was sidelined, but the 1840s and 1850s saw the rise of an even more radical and aggressive phase of American abolitionism. Meet Frederick Douglass, review his writings, and consider the depictions of suicide in antislavery writing. x
    • 24
      Harriet Beecher Stowe and Harriet Tubman
      Uncle Tom's Cabin was a blockbuster novel that depicted the flight to freedom. Consider this depiction from two very different vantages: the world of the author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the life of Harriet Tubman, who was at the center of immediate and decisive steps being taken by enslaved people. x
    • 25
      The Black Heart of John Brown
      John Brown's failed raid on Harpers Ferry is one of the most famous antislavery actions before the Civil War. Who was he, and why was this raid so important? Was it an act of revolution or terrorism? Reflect on the irony that he achieved in death what he so palpably failed to achieve in life. x
    • 26
      The Slaves' Experience of the Civil War
      From the beginning of the war, enslaved people understood it to be a war of freedom, a war to destroy American slavery. But President Lincoln's charge was simply to preserve the union. Find out how this tension played out on plantations and battlefields, in Congress and in the White House, during the Civil War. x
    • 27
      US Colored Troops: Those Who Served
      Continue your study of the Civil War with a look at the role of black soldiers. Review what life was like for them in a predominantly white army, and the ill treatment many received. Then shift your attention to the role of black women during the war, many of whom served as cooks and nurses in Union hospitals. Survey the incredible wartime career of Harriet Tubman. x
    • 28
      Fighting Slavery after Emancipation
      The end of the Civil War brought legalized slavery in the United States to an end, and 3.5 million freed slaves in the South stepped into an uncertain future. Dive into some of the many challenges Americans-white and black, southern and northern-faced in the subsequent years. x
    • 29
      Slavery by Another Name
      Although the 13th Amendment outlawed race slavery in America and the Civil War is far in the past, the legacy of slavery and the fight for equal protection and representation among black Americans has been an ongoing struggle. Reflect on the effects of Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, and the state of race relations in America today. x
    • 30
      Fighting Modern Slavery
      The history of the early 21st century may show racism is alive and well-but so, too, is slavery. Around the world, 20 to 40 million people are enslaved. To conclude this course, survey several case studies of slaves around the world and in the United States. What lessons can we draw from history? x
  • When Everything Fails: Surviving Any Disaster

    Professor Stephen Owen, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Living through a disaster is not a question of if—it’s a question of when. Are you ready? When Everything Fails: Surviving Any Disaster offers a practical guide for protecting yourself, your family, and your community. Taught by Professor Stephen Owen of Radford University, these 14 fast-paced lectures will arm you with information for planning ahead so you can prepare for the effects of a disaster or catastrophe.
    View Lecture List (14)
    Living through a disaster is not a question of if—it’s a question of when. Are you ready? When Everything Fails: Surviving Any Disaster offers a practical guide for protecting yourself, your family, and your community. Taught by Professor Stephen Owen of Radford University, these 14 fast-paced lectures will arm you with information for planning ahead so you can prepare for the effects of a disaster or catastrophe.
    View Lecture List (14)
    14 Lectures  |  When Everything Fails: Surviving Any Disaster
    Lecture Titles (14)
    • 1
      How Prepared Are You for a Disaster?
      Welcome to your journey of preparedness! Begin your course with a self-assessment. Explore the different types of disasters and reflect on your baseline. Do you know the hazards around you on a regular basis? Do you have plans for shelter or evacuation? What about communication? x
    • 2
      Developing a Preparedness Plan
      After reviewing a few basic concepts-such as the difference between an emergency, a disaster, and a catastrophe-Professor Owen walks you through the fundamentals of a good preparedness plan. From identifying risks around you to building physical and digital go kits," you are on your way." x
    • 3
      Identifying Hazards and Responses
      Prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, recover: This simple framework is a way of thinking, designed around FEMA's National Preparedness Goal, a recipe for identifying and preparing for potential hazards. From here, the next step is to equip yourself and establish a few practices that will serve you if-or when-disaster strikes. x
    • 4
      Making Decisions in a Disaster
      Decision-making is a critical component of surviving a disaster. In an emergency situation, your mind won't operate like it does in day-to-day life, which is why preparation and planning are so critical. Here, learn to size up emergency situations, guard against normalcy bias," and act appropriately under stressful circumstances." x
    • 5
      Essential Lifesaving Skills
      Knowing the basics of CPR, first aid, fire extinguishers, and more, might one day save a life-yours or that of someone around you. Take a look at some of the practical skills you would be wise to develop, from operating an AED to shutting off utilities. See where you should look for more comprehensive hands-on training. x
    • 6
      What to Do in a Fire
      A fire is one of the most common disasters you might encounter, and one for which you can readily prepare. Learn the basics of fire safety, from developing a home fire safety plan to specific things you can do to reduce your risk of fire in the home. This lecture also shows you the fundamentals of how fires work, including flashovers and backdrafts. x
    • 7
      When the Earth Shakes or Opens
      Depending on where you live, earthquakes may pose a serious threat to your life or property, and what makes them so frightening is they can strike without warning. Learn how best to stay safe during and after an earthquake. Then consider two other geologic hazards-volcanos and sinkholes. x
    • 8
      Surviving Hurricanes and Other Storms
      Take a crash course in some of the more common weather hazards, from hurricanes and tornadoes to floods and blizzards. We will all experience extreme weather at some point, and this lecture arms you with information about the dynamics of weather systems as well as precautionary measures you can and should take. x
    • 9
      Coping in an Active Shooter Situation
      We might associate the word disaster" with accidents or environmental hazards, but it can also include human-created activity, particularly violence. Active shooter situations are all too common, so preparation is crucial. Here, you will learn about situational awareness and the "run, fight, hide" response." x
    • 10
      Helping Others in a Disaster
      Shift your attention from specific types of disasters to the way communities respond. As you will find out in this lecture, one emergent behavior" following a disaster is a sense of community bonding and altruism. Examine a few of the ways you can help after a disaster, from volunteering to donations." x
    • 11
      First Responders and How They Work
      In this first lecture of three lectures on community infrastructure, you will review some of the public safety issues typical to many places, as well as how first responders operate within the community. Popular media often mischaracterize the roles of police, firefighters, and emergency medical services, so take a real-world look at what these organizations do in urgent situations. x
    • 12
      The First Responders Many Never See
      Police and firefighters may be on the visible front lines of a disaster scene, but communities require numerous individuals and agencies in order to respond effectively and recover. From scientists researching risks to public works departments or public health officials coordinating recovery, uncover society's hidden responders. x
    • 13
      How Disaster Response Is Coordinated
      Delve into the fascinating world of incident command. In the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, federal government officials saw the need for coordination among many players in an emergency. The Incident Command System (ICS) is a set of common languages and procedures that can help us all do our best during and after a disaster. x
    • 14
      The Challenges of Disaster Recovery
      When disasters strike, urgency pervades as individuals, emergency personnel, and local governments work to respond. But what happens after the crisis has passed? In this final lecture, consider the short- and long-term effects a disaster may have for individuals and communities. x
  • Language and the Mind
    Course  |  Language and the Mind

    Professor Spencer Kelly, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    What is our species’ greatest invention? Medicine, computers, space travel? Not even close. The innovation that underlies each of our past achievements and those we still aspire to is ... language. Learn why language is our ultimate invention—one that has allowed us to change the physical and social world around us in every conceivable way, and one that has fundamentally changed us, as well.

    View Lecture List (24)

    What is our species’ greatest invention? Medicine, computers, space travel? Not even close. The innovation that underlies each of our past achievements and those we still aspire to is ... language. Learn why language is our ultimate invention—one that has allowed us to change the physical and social world around us in every conceivable way, and one that has fundamentally changed us, as well.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Language and the Mind
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Language in Mind
      Explore the five components of language—pragmatics, syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonetics—and how they each contribute to the meaning of language. Learn the ways in which language is, and is not, similar to other systems in the body, and the specific reasons why learning a second language can be so challenging. x
    • 2
      Language as a System
      Explore the five components of language-pragmatics, syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonetics-and how they each contribute to the meaning of language. Learn the ways in which language is, and is not, similar to other systems in the body, and the specific reasons why learning a second language can be so challenging. x
    • 3
      Eleven Linguistic Universals
      While other animals have ways to communicate information, the universal properties of language distinguish us from all other species. Learn about the fascinating aspects of language we take for granted every day: our ability to use symbols, understand rules, generate novel utterances, speak about the past and future, and even purposefully lie. All of these universals, and more, have allowed language to become our greatest tool. x
    • 4
      Communication in the Animal Kingdom
      Could language be considered an organism whose only natural habitat is the human mind? Explore the fascinating results of our efforts to analyze and influence animal communication. What have we learned about our own relationship with language as we have studied honeybees, songbirds, vervet monkeys, chimpanzees, and dolphins? x
    • 5
      Genes, Brains, and Evolution
      While there is no single gene for language or any other complex human system, specific aspects of the human genome and our biology create the perfect biological environment for the development of language. Explore the important relationship between the brain’s Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas and the significance of the gene FOXP2. From an evolutionary point of view, could language be “a new machine built out of old parts”? x
    • 6
      How the Brain Created Language
      Did the human brain gradually evolve a specialized mental organ" designed for language? Or was language a product of cultural evolution? Take a deep dive into the fascinating arguments on both sides and examine our relationship to the human microbiome as an analogy. We aren't born with the bacteria in our microbiome, but our biology is extraordinarily receptive to them. And once combined, the relationship transforms us and our abilities-very similar to language." x
    • 7
      Gesture and the Origins of Human Language
      What did the very earliest forms of human language sound like? Chances are earliest language had less sound than you may think. Learn why many researchers believe hand gesture was actually our first attempt at language. From embodied brains to the widespread prevalence of gesture, from its human uniqueness to its many benefits for us, the evidence suggests that language was born in the body and grew up from there. x
    • 8
      Development: A Mind under Construction
      While scientists used to think of human development in terms of nature vs. nurture, it’s now commonly accepted that the human mind is the result of both, guided by the foundational process underlying all human learning—neuroplasticity. Discover the biological processes underlying how babies learn facial recognition and language, and the commonalities and differences between the two. x
    • 9
      Specializing in Speech Sounds
      Explore the brain structures of babies that give them their extraordinary auditory abilities, and why it's so difficult for adults to learn new languages. Discover how exposure to our native language actually changes our brain, removing our ability to access objective auditory information in the environment, and why we each perceive a uniquely distorted world. x
    • 10
      Navigating a World of Words
      Explore the several mechanisms babies use in the formidable task of identifying discrete words from the streams of sound in language. Look closely at their innate ability to employ the cognitive constraints of whole object assumption, mutual exclusivity bias, and taxonomic assumption. And learn why the sing-song rhythm and pitch of parental “baby talk” is exactly what babies need to hear. x
    • 11
      Learning to Play the Game of Language
      Explore many of the evolutionary features that help babies prepare for successful communication, including the social cues that help them identify specific word meanings in an almost limitless sea of options. Consider the power of pupillary contagion as it activates the brain networks involved in perspective taking and the crucial social skill known as theory of mind. x
    • 12
      Mastering the Structure of Language
      Explore the many ways in which the mind is wired from birth to see structure in language. Delve into how children utilize Bayesian learning to understand language—making predictions of meaning based on their current evidence and prior knowledge. This process, by which they update their future predictions in a never-ending loop, is the perfect innate mechanism for language acquisition—and more. x
    • 13
      The Brain as a Window into the Mind
      Learn about the three basic principles of the brain as the foundation of all human learning: neural specialization, the connectome, and the brain’s plasticity. Discover how the many developments in neuroimaging over the past 30 years—including ERP, MEG, and fMRI scans—have helped us better understand the relationships between brain mechanisms and behavior, both typical and atypical. x
    • 14
      How the Brain Comprehends Language
      Only recently have scientists had the tools to examine the neural processing of language. The results reveal a brain that has evolved to process language as a survival mechanism. Learn about the brain's dual-stream pathways and their benefits, the very latest research revealing that words activate practically every square inch of the brain's surface, and the details that are still being debated today. x
    • 15
      How the Brain Produces Language
      Explore the latest scientific research and theories related to the brain’s ability to produce speech—one of the most complex of all human activities requiring the coordination of an estimated 100 muscles in the lungs, throat, jaw, tongue, and face. And learn why we need to hear our own speech in order to successfully produce it, even as adults. x
    • 16
      Dancing Brains: The Social Side of Language
      See why language truly is an example of emergentism, and why language production cannot fully be understood without considering how human brains connect to each other. Then, probe the fascinating workings of the mirror neuron system, neural synchrony, and the significance of the N400 response, as you discover why face-to-face interactions are so crucial for optimal communication. x
    • 17
      How Writing Transformed the Mind
      Investigate how the plasticity of the brain allows us to “cobble together” a neural network for reading and writing as we mature, using dyslexia and synesthesia to illustrate this networking property. This network develops at different times for different people, but no one is born with it; our “reading brain” is truly a technological transformation. x
    • 18
      Sign Language: Language in Our Hands
      By exploring a version of language that operates in a different modality than speech, you'll develop a wider and deeper appreciation of what language actually is. You'll unveil many myths about sign language, as you learn about its fascinating development and linguistic components. Our relatively recent understanding of neural mechanisms reveals that language is language, regardless of modality. x
    • 19
      Embodied Language: Mind in Body–Body in Mind
      Witness how the arbitrary and abstract elements of language interact with the iconic and concrete expressions of the body. Remembering that language originally evolved within a face-to-face context, the revelation of recent studies is not surprising: The body influences all parts of language and we use the whole body to take meaning from what we hear. x
    • 20
      The Multilingual Mind
      What happens in the brain when we learn a language in addition to our native tongue? That depends on when that additional language is learned and its modality relative to the native language—i.e., are both languages speech, or is one sign? Discover the fascinating experiments that have revealed the brain’s “bilingual language control” function and the many ways in which it can go awry. x
    • 21
      Does Language Shape Thought?
      Since English speakers have relatively few words for snow, is it impossible for us to experience snow in all its forms? If an African tribe has fewer color names than English, is their vision different than ours? Does language influence our perception or does our perception influence language—or, could it work both ways? Investigate the fascinating arguments on all sides of this still-ongoing debate about language. x
    • 22
      Does Culture Shape Language?
      Journey through a series of fascinating experiments developed to determine whether or not language can influence thought independent of culture. Perhaps not unexpectedly—and working with individuals from preverbal infants to adults—these experiments reveal that language and culture both influence thought, often working in tandem. x
    • 23
      The Benefits of Bilingualism
      What are the potential by-products of speaking multiple languages? Learn what relatively recent research has shown about the ways in which having multiple languages opens up different emotional, cognitive, and social worlds, and how the mind travels back and forth between them. And consider the controversial claim that becoming a bilinguist can actually improve your cognitive reserve. x
    • 24
      How Language Makes Us Human
      Language is the ultimate tool humans use when we extend our minds beyond the here and now, and beyond what we have previously known. Learn how language has allowed humans to develop math, build a capacity for logic, categorize the world around us, develop the concept of metaphor, and construct narratives. While we take each of these functions for granted every day because they feel so natural, none would have been possible without language. x
  • Rise of the Novel: Exploring History's Greatest Early Works

    Professor Leo Damrosch, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In the 24 lectures of Rise of the Novel, you will take a journey from the birth of the novel to the height of the form in the mid-19th century—and better understand what this literary form can tell us about human nature and our unquenchable thirst for great stories. With Professor Emeritus Leo Damrosch of Harvard University as your guide, you will dive into some of the most notable works that helped create and shape the novel over the course of more than three centuries.
    View Lecture List (24)
    In the 24 lectures of Rise of the Novel, you will take a journey from the birth of the novel to the height of the form in the mid-19th century—and better understand what this literary form can tell us about human nature and our unquenchable thirst for great stories. With Professor Emeritus Leo Damrosch of Harvard University as your guide, you will dive into some of the most notable works that helped create and shape the novel over the course of more than three centuries.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Rise of the Novel: Exploring History's Greatest Early Works
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Rediscovering the Novel
      Dive into the study of the novel with a look at what defines this particular form and how it emerged from earlier types of storytelling. Novels seek to make sense of human behavior in ways that can be more comprehensible—and more enjoyable—than those we can find in real life. Get an overview of the essential nature of novels versus other literary forms. x
    • 2
      Roman Novels: Satyricon and The Golden Ass
      Travel back to ancient Rome and look at two works of prose fiction that would influence later writers: The Satyricon and The Golden Ass. Though their structures and tropes are fundamentally different from most modern novels, their impact can be traced through some of the works that later came to define the novel. x
    • 3
      Don Quixote and the Picaresque Novel
      Turn now to the work considered to be the foundational novel in the Western tradition, Don Quixote. Beginning with a look at the picaresque storytelling that prefigures Quixote, you'll see how the novel fits into a larger literary tradition while it also presented something new that would eventually become the preeminent mode of modern fiction. x
    • 4
      Don Quixote: A Deeper Look
      Don Quixote is actually two novels in one—with the first part published in 1605 and the second part in 1615, later combined into the single work we recognize today. Examine the ways the second part shows the evolution of the novel through Cervantes’s movement away from the picaresque and into a smoother, more cohesive narrative with deeper themes than the first part. x
    • 5
      La Princesse de Clèves and the French Novel
      La Princesse de Clèves is the first great novel in French and precedes English novels by about 40 years. Here, you will take a look at how a novel written by an aristocratic woman created a benchmark for the novel form. Also, you will examine why its style and psychological assumptions differ dramatically from the later novels that would be inspired by a middle-class reading public and its values. x
    • 6
      The Realistic Novel: Robinson Crusoe
      Published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is a fantasy masquerading as realism. Look at the ways Defoe uses first-person perspective and the trappings of autobiography to craft a character that has achieved an almost mythical status in Western culture. Take a closer look at the structure and style of this influential story and why it became so popular. x
    • 7
      The Satiric Novel: Gulliver's Travels
      Dive into the satirical journey of Gulliver’s Travels, a work that brilliantly combines novelistic realism and fantasy, to powerful effect. Gulliver also reflects the growing influence of novels, with Jonathan Swift borrowing—and parodying—elements from Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. How did a story involving giants and anthropomorphic horses help shape the novel as we know it? x
    • 8
      Manon Lescaut: A Tale of Passion
      Originally appended to a much larger work, the tragic French novel Manon Lescaut presents two ways of looking at passion: as self-destructive obsession or as a heroic assertion of transcendent love. Explore how Prevost’s novel looks at the tension between different sets of values in a rapidly changing world and why interpretations of the story—including major operatic adaptations—have shifted over time. x
    • 9
      Joseph Andrews: An Epic Parody
      Shift from the tragic to the comic with a look at Joseph Andrews. Originally conceived as a parody of Samuel Richardson's popular epistolary novel Pamela, Henry Fielding's humorous epic took on a creative life of its own through a witty narrator, optimistic viewpoint, and palpable affection for his characters. x
    • 10
      The Psychological Novel: Clarissa
      In his immense novel Clarissa, Samuel Richardson offers a unique window into the inner experience of individuals as told in their own words. See how this tragic novel, conveyed in a series of letters, allows a deep look into personal psychology while also commenting on the wider society's changing perspectives on love, marriage, and personal choice. x
    • 11
      The Great Comic Novel: Tom Jones
      Tom Jones is widely considered Henry Fielding's masterpiece. Both richly imagined and endlessly entertaining, the novel is a comic journey that is rooted in Fielding's optimistic view of human nature. In the first of two lectures on this work, get an introduction to the themes of the novel and how it compares to other works from the same period. x
    • 12
      Plot and Structure in Tom Jones
      In this second lecture on Tom Jones, continue your examination of Fielding's techniques and intentions as Tom hits the road on a series of picaresque-inspired adventures. Explore how the many secondary storylines are integrated into the fabric of the larger story, with a surprise ending that encourages us to ponder how we interpret the events of our own lives. x
    • 13
      Philosophical Satire in France: Candide
      Together with Gulliver's Travels, Candide ranks among the greatest satires ever written. This witty, overtly artificial novel takes jabs at both political and religious authority through a series of deliberately implausible events. Reveal the philosophy that underpins Voltaire's work as you look at episodes from this influential story. x
    • 14
      Comic Travel Letters: Humphry Clinker
      Turn now to The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, which combines different elements—travel narrative, family drama, epistolary character study—to create a narrative that gives multiple perspectives on shared experiences. See how this comic novel uses satire to examine relationships, morality, religion, and more with surprising depth and candor. x
    • 15
      English Metafiction: Tristram Shandy
      How does a plotless, metafictional narrative full of digressions become a cult hit and a precursor to modernist fiction? Look at the ways Lawrence Sterne plays with language and the structure of the novel itself to create an exuberant work full of double entendres, bizarre circumstances, and heartfelt emotion to create the indelible Tristram Shandy. x
    • 16
      French Metafiction: Jacques the Fatalist and His Master
      Inspired by Tristram Shandy, Denis Diderot set out to create a deeper and more challenging metafiction in Jacques the Fatalist and His Master. Discover why this ambitious novel was not published in the author's lifetime, as you explore the ways it critiques the social and philosophical issues of his day and blurs the boundaries between author and reader. x
    • 17
      The French Romantic Novel: Julie
      Begin your exploration of Jean Jacques Rousseau's novel Julie, or the New Eloisa by relating it to his brilliant social and political theories. Then, explore the searching examination of love and friendship that made this the most popular novel of the entire 18th century. x
    • 18
      The Amoral Novel: Les Liaisons dangereuses
      Les Liaisons dangereuses is an amoral book with a moral message—namely, to offer a critique of the selfish cruelty of the French aristocracy in the 18th century. Professor Damrosch shows how Laclos uses the epistolary form to create uncertainty rather than reveal truth as he constructs a story of sociopathic manipulation and cruelty. x
    • 19
      Pride and Prejudice: The Best English Novel?
      One of the most beloved novels of all time, Pride and Prejudice shows a master novelist at work. See how Jane Austen revolutionized third-person perspective by ingeniously merging it with the consciousness of individual characters. Then, dive into the social and economic context of the novel and what it has to say about women's inner lives and struggles. x
    • 20
      Emma: Better Than the Best English Novel?
      Take another look at the work of Jane Austen, this time with her comedic coming-of-age novel Emma. Ostensibly the story of a rich girl who spends her time meddling in other people's lives, Emma masterfully uses setting, character, and free indirect discourse to show an intelligent heroine learning how to truly know herself and better understand the people around her. x
    • 21
      The German Romantic Novel: The Sorrows of Young Werther
      Turn now to 18th-century Germany for a look at a novel that would become an international sensation: The Sorrows of Young Werther. Through this work, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe would capture the disaffection of a generation of young people and create a new movement in literature, a genre of rebellion against conformity that would become Romanticism. x
    • 22
      The Horror Novel: Frankenstein
      Few could have guessed that a horror story written by a teenage girl would become a powerful myth with global impact, but that is exactly what Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein did. Travel back to 1816, the “year without a summer,” to trace the origins and influence of this iconic novel as an exploration of philosophy, science, and the eternal human battle with mortality. x
    • 23
      A French Masterpiece: The Red and the Black
      Stendhal, a former military administrator and diplomat, published The Red and the Black in 1830. The novel is a challenging, many-layered narrative that was too new and too experimental to be popular in its own time. Look at the ways Stendhal interrogates French society after the fall of Napoleon and uses irony to confront the conformity and ambitions he saw as detrimental to personal happiness. x
    • 24
      An English Masterpiece: Middlemarch
      George Eliot’s Middlemarch is regarded by many as the greatest novel in the English language. A story about choices and human relationships, it explores the limitations that can shape a human life in unexpected—and sometimes tragic—ways. Bring your study of the novel to an end with a look at why this sprawling, emotionally rich story is so often considered the height of the novel form. x
  • George Orwell: A Sage for All Seasons

    Professor Michael Shelden, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    In George Orwell: A Sage for All Seasons, join Orwell’s authorized biographer, Professor Michael Shelden, for a 24-lecture journey through the life and times that shaped this profound writer and his eerily prescient masterpieces like Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Blending literary analysis and biography, this course is a one-of-a-kind portrait of the modern world’s greatest champion of individuality.

    View Lecture List (24)

    In George Orwell: A Sage for All Seasons, join Orwell’s authorized biographer, Professor Michael Shelden, for a 24-lecture journey through the life and times that shaped this profound writer and his eerily prescient masterpieces like Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Blending literary analysis and biography, this course is a one-of-a-kind portrait of the modern world’s greatest champion of individuality.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  George Orwell: A Sage for All Seasons
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Real George Orwell
      Begin your in-depth encounter with George Orwell by going back to the dramatic moment in May 1937 when he was almost killed by a bullet wound to the throat. As you'll learn, it was a defining moment that would remake the author and lay the groundwork for his obsession with individual freedom-and his fear of political tyranny. x
    • 2
      George Orwell, Child of the British Empire
      Examine George Orwell's early life as the son of a man who spent his entire working life helping to perpetuate the worst evils of the British colonial system in the empire's Opium Department. Orwell learned early on how corrosive lies and omissions can be when politeness blunts the truth. x
    • 3
      Orwell's Edwardian Idyll
      How did a stubborn sense of English eccentricity take root in the young George Orwell? Find out in this lecture on the author's boyhood at the town of Henley-on-Thames, which gave Orwell a vision of what he wanted to preserve in the face of a 20th century spinning out of control. x
    • 4
      Orwell's Unsentimental Education
      In many ways, George Orwell's school life was a preview of the more ruthless world of oppression he'd set down in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Focus here on a savagely ironic essay by Orwell about his years at St. Cyprian's boarding school, Such, Such Were the Joys," under the rule of the monstrous bully Mrs. Wilkes." x
    • 5
      Orwell, Eton, and Privilege
      Here, Professor Shelden covers George Orwell's years as a King's Scholar at Eton. It was this academic institution where the young man would discover the intellectual freedom of novels by H. G. Wells, the rush of the rugby-like Wall Game," and a haughty indifference to the carnage of World War I." x
    • 6
      Orwell the Policeman
      At age 19, George Orwell threw himself into a colonial career with the Indian Imperial Police-a job for which he was profoundly unsuited. In this lecture, learn what drew Orwell to turn his back on England and serve the empire in Burma, administering a large police operation overseeing matters of life and death. x
    • 7
      Orwell and the Imperial Burden
      In Burma, George Orwell developed a powerful insight: that imperialism enslaved both its subjects and its masters. See this insight at work in the most famous essay to come from Orwell's police experience, Shooting the Elephant," which offers a convincing portrait of a young imperial master who has lost respect for his job." x
    • 8
      Orwell's Lost Generation
      Follow George Orwell to Paris, which helped him drain away some of the anger and disappointment with his years in Burma. Though he's rarely grouped with the Lost Generation of American writers in avant-garde Paris, Orwell, nevertheless, immersed himself in that world so thoroughly it would become the subject for his first book. x
    • 9
      Orwell, Poet of Poverty
      Down and Out in Paris and London transformed George Orwell into one of the 20th century's most eloquent champions of the economically oppressed. Along with a close look at the writing and reception of the book, you'll explore an annotated copy of a first edition and what it reveals about the blending of fiction and fact. x
    • 10
      Orwell and the Battle of Fact and Fiction
      George Orwell struggled mightily to find his voice as a writer in a literary world that valued fiction over fact. Uncover the strain of his awkward efforts to build fictional stories in the novel Burmese Days (a scathing treatment of the English elite in Burma) and A Clergyman's Daughter (an attempt to enter the mind of an ordinary English woman). x
    • 11
      Orwell and England in the 1930s
      Professor Shelden takes you inside two literary works shaped by George Orwell's experiences in 1930s England. The first, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, was a novel that, in effect, criticized Orwell's own tendencies toward self-absorption. The second, The Road to Wigan Pier, would document the plight of the working people and push Orwell closer to socialism. x
    • 12
      Orwell and the Left
      Discover why The Road to Wigan Pier marks the opening battle of George Orwell's long struggle to reconcile the demands of the doctrinaire Left with his own hopes for a world of greater personal freedom and social responsibility. Also, learn about Orwell's surprising marriage to Eileen O'Shaughnessy in the spring of 1936. x
    • 13
      Orwell and the Spanish Crucible
      In the summer of 1936, Spanish workers took up arms to oppose General Franco's revolt against the country-and George Orwell went to observe and write about the war for the British press. Follow Orwell as he quickly becomes not just an observer, but a fighter who himself takes up arms against Franco. x
    • 14
      Totalitarianism and the Lessons of Barcelona
      A nearly fatal wound in the throat from a sniper's bullet. A heartbreaking series of betrayals from his comrades in arms. Learn why George Orwell's experience in Spain became, for him, a painful lesson in ideological purges, propaganda battles, and Soviet skullduggery that would also open a path to the greatest literary works of his career. x
    • 15
      Orwell and the Last Days of Peace
      Focus on Homage to Catalonia: George Orwell's first real masterpiece, and a book that refuses to accept easy answers. This autobiographical work, a report on the terrible things being done in the name of a Spanish revolution hijacked by Stalin, became a passionate defense of individuals resisting oppression in the name of liberty. x
    • 16
      Orwell at the Outbreak of World War
      In 1939, George Orwell published a novel that served as a farewell to his youth and to any remaining vestiges of pre-war innocence: Coming Up for Air. Examine the novel's provocative road to publication, learn about the Orwell family's wartime misfortunes (including the death of a relative at Dunkirk), and consider how Orwell inspires us today. x
    • 17
      Orwell and the Art of Propaganda
      First, read between the lines of The Lion and the Unicorn, a short book written during the darkest days of the Blitz that serves as a hopeful antithesis to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Then, follow George Orwell's career as an assistant for the BBC, where he was reintroduced to the sobering facts of how large organizations wield the power of censorship. x
    • 18
      Orwell and the Cultural Underground
      Through a series of popular and esoteric essays and reviews, George Orwell became associated with a cultural underground of writers and artists who thrived during the war years. Unpack what some of these fascinating pieces have to say, including Politics and the English Language," an attack on jargon and euphemism in public discourse." x
    • 19
      Orwell and the Fight for Animal Farm
      In just 30,000 words, George Orwell risked his reputation to expose the evils of the Soviet system (and the human character). The result was Animal Farm, a satire of Swiftian proportions that remains a trenchant guide to power politics and how tyranny rises. Place this landmark work in the context of Orwell's beliefs-and fears. x
    • 20
      Orwell's Wife and the Life of Writing
      In this lecture, Professor Shelden brings together the moving story of the last days of George Orwell's wife, Eileen, with the story of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. He considers Eileen's influence not just on these two important works, but also on Orwell's trenchant psychological observations of human nature in his writing. x
    • 21
      Politics and the English Language
      Here, you can spend time in the company of two of George Orwell's most important postwar essays: Politics and the English Language" and "The Prevention of Literature." Both essays, which appeared in 1946, offer an elegantly simple argument: The corruption of society and politics begins, first and foremost, with the corruption of language." x
    • 22
      Orwell's Island Escape
      Almost all of Nineteen Eighty-Four was written on the remote island of Jura, a place where George Orwell could use the past to model his vision of the future. In addition to Orwell's life in seclusion, you'll examine Nineteen Eighty-Four's connection with Gulliver's Travels and Orwell's connection to two women: Celia Paget and Sonia Brownell. x
    • 23
      1984: Big Brother and the Thought Police
      Spend an entire lecture immersed in the world of George Orwell's masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Read this powerful novel as a great work of political and social insight, a timeless vision of man's inhumanity to man, and also an autobiography of Orwell's personal character. Above all, the novel proclaims, the rights of the individual must be sacred. x
    • 24
      Orwell's Long Farewell
      Conclude these lectures with a look at the last years of George Orwell's life, including his marriage to Sonia Brownell and his death from tuberculosis. Also, investigate a curious posthumous controversy surrounding a possible spymaster and a notebook of Orwell's filled with the names of people in the West he considered Crypto-Communists."" x
  • Writing Your Story
    Course  |  Writing Your Story

    Instructor Joyce Maynard,

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Discover how to translate your life into captivating, resonant stories with Writing Your Story, by acclaimed memoirist Joyce Maynard. In 26 lessons with the feel of a friendly, collaborative writing workshop, you’ll explore how to identify the right stories to tell; examine tips and tricks with language, dialogue, and description; and find inspiration for everything from cultivating a writing practice to handling rejection.
    View Lecture List (26)
    Discover how to translate your life into captivating, resonant stories with Writing Your Story, by acclaimed memoirist Joyce Maynard. In 26 lessons with the feel of a friendly, collaborative writing workshop, you’ll explore how to identify the right stories to tell; examine tips and tricks with language, dialogue, and description; and find inspiration for everything from cultivating a writing practice to handling rejection.
    View Lecture List (26)
    26 Lectures  |  Writing Your Story
    Lecture Titles (26)
    • 1
      What Happens When We Keep Secrets?
      Many of us have a story about ourselves that we want to tell, but some of us are scared to tell the messy, complicated truths about a human life. In this introductory lesson, discover why it's the moments of discord and conflict-moments we often try to keep secret-that make for the most memorable personal memoirs. x
    • 2
      Name Your Obsessions
      What if you have no idea what to write about? One strategy for getting started that you'll learn about here is making a list of all your obsessions in life. Once you've done that, it's time to go a little deeper, and ask: Why are you obsessed with the things on your list? x
    • 3
      Stick to Your Story
      When sitting down to write the story of our life, we have a tendency to talk about other people (say, our fascinating grandmother) or to simply run through a resume of big events. In this lesson, learn the importance of sticking to your story-not someone else's-and taking your reader on an adventure. x
    • 4
      Identify Your Journey
      Here, Maynard teaches you how to move your personal story along by identifying the journey it will take. You used to be A, and now you are B. It's a simple formula, but when you plug in variables from your life, it indicates motion and change. It can also become the skeleton of the story you have to tell. x
    • 5
      Take Your Story Apart
      You've identified what you want to write about. Now what? It's time to take your story apart. Consider the importance of the point of view from which you plan to write. Are you looking back on earlier events? Are you writing as if you were living an event in the moment? x
    • 6
      The Landing Place
      Using powerful examples from essays by authors and columnists, discover why it's so important to determine where your reader lands at the beginning of your journey. What makes a unique point of entry for a personal essay? Is it always smart to begin at the very beginning? x
    • 7
      The Honesty Question
      Writing a good personal story is, first and foremost, about having courage. Here, learn why it's not your job to take care of all the other characters in your life and why every good memoirist writes as if they were an orphan-an idea that's at the core of exceptional memoir writing. x
    • 8
      What's the Worst That Can Happen?
      In this inspirational lesson, Maynard helps you come to terms with the anxieties that can plague a writer setting out to tell a personal story. Even if what you end up writing stays in a drawer forever, you'll have told the truth-and you'll be a different person for it. x
    • 9
      Descriptive versus Interpretive Language
      Turn now to some important tools that can help create drama, tension, color, and surprise in your writing. Here, the focus is on descriptive versus interpretive language. Discover why it's more important to use language that allows readers to make their own assessments of the pictures you paint with words. x
    • 10
      Diagramming the Sentence
      Diagramming your sentences isn't just about old fuddy-duddy grammar. It's about identifying whether or not you're accomplishing what you're trying to do in your writing. Maynard diagrams some student sentences to highlight how they do (and do not) tell a story in the most powerful, dramatic way possible. x
    • 11
      The Importance of Economy
      So many of us, when writing, want to check the word count to make sure we have the most words down possible. But good personal writing isn't about how many words you use-it's about using the right words. In this lesson, learn the benefits of writing as if every word you use costs you five dollars. x
    • 12
      Dialogue and Rhythm
      How do you create rhythm in your writing? What goes into powerful dialogue? Learn the answers to these questions in this lesson that tackles how to write dialogue that sounds like real life (but better) and how to employ-and improve-the rhythm of your writing by varying the length of your sentences. x
    • 13
      Six Common Mistakes Writers Make
      In this lesson, Maynard runs you through six common (and easily fixable) mistakes writers make. Among these red flags you'll learn to keep an eye out for: the glaring overuse of the verb to be" and an overdependence on adverbs and exclamation points to do all your work for you." x
    • 14
      The Paragraph
      Forget what you might have learned in school about topic sentences and five-paragraph essays. Here, come to see the paragraph as a real tool of your writing that can do so much more than you imagined. Learn how to write powerful paragraphs, when to start a new paragraph, and some good signs your paragraphs are moving your story forward. x
    • 15
      Building the Arc
      According to Maynard, every sentence is its own little story-which means there's drama in every single sentence you write. In this lesson, learn how to build around the powerful parts of an idea or scene or moment or even a word, so that the arc of your sentence guides the reader to a powerful ending. x
    • 16
      The Test of a Good Memoir
      At the end of the day, the most important part of a good memoir is that it's written in the voice of a narrator (you) the reader likes and trusts. That's the focus here, along with Maynard's answers to audience questions about overusing the word I," using repetition to emphasize something, and more." x
    • 17
      The Container
      You have a big story to tell and, once you start writing, it spills out all over the place. So what do you need? A container to put that story in. Come to see why short personal essays-which explore a big idea in a small, particular scene-make the perfect form for building your chops in hopes of writing a longer book. x
    • 18
      Two Containers from Scratch
      Which containers are right for which stories? In this second lesson on the importance of containers for your writing, Maynard invites some of the writers from her audience to help them craft the right containers for their personal stories-and the big idea that encapsulates them. x
    • 19
      Developing Your Container
      Here, continue exploring the concept of containers that allow you to explore global ideas. Central to this lesson is developing the container for a big story about a privileged family that looks good on the outside, but in reality is troubled by alcoholism and fighting parents. x
    • 20
      Dissecting a Good Container Essay
      Join Maynard as she dissects a container essay she wrote in 2016 for the Modern Love" column in The New York Times. In the piece, "What Luck Means Now," she uses a single day in Boston to explore the big global idea of her marriage and the possibility of losing her husband." x
    • 21
      The Writing Life
      What are the habits of a productive writing life? Discover some sources of inspiration from Maynard's own experiences. And while simple habits (like grinding coffee) aren't the magic bullet that will suddenly make your writing lyrical and successful, they can help you better navigate uncharted creative territory. x
    • 22
      Creating a Writing Practice
      Cultivating a daily writing practice is important, whether you end up writing 1,000 words or just 50. Here, learn ways to create the kind of practice that suits you-whether it's working to music to create a mood, getting enough exercise, practicing journal writing, or blocking out the internet. x
    • 23
      What Gets in Your Way?
      Writing about myself is narcissistic." "My family wasn't dysfunctional." "Everything's already been said before." "Nothing big ever happened to me." "I have no time." In this lesson, Maynard dispels these and other common thoughts that can get in your way when you sit down to write your personal story." x
    • 24
      The Not-Writing Process
      You've spent a lot of time in this course exploring the writing process-now, Maynard discusses the not-writing process. Why is it so important to take time to think before we write? What are the benefits of opening yourself up to feedback? Is there such a thing as writing way too soon? x
    • 25
      Criticism and Rejection
      Two of the biggest fears of any writer are criticism and rejection. Many times, they can freeze us, stop us from working, and make us feel like there's no point in pursuing our work. This lesson teaches you strategies to absorb and handle a part of writing (and publishing) that's common to everyone. x
    • 26
      What Happens When We Tell Our Truth?
      While you've covered a lot of ground in the preceding lessons, conclude this course with a spirited exploration of the hardest part of writing. It's not the craft-it's the leap of faith that requires you to believe in yourself, in your own value, and in the compassion of your readers. x
  • The Pagan World: Ancient Religions Before Christianity

    Professor Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity, you will meet the fascinating, ancient polytheistic peoples of the Mediterranean and beyond, their gods and goddesses, and their public and private worship practices, as you come to better understand the foundational role religion played in their daily lives. Because their religion circumscribed almost all aspects of life both inside and outside the home, it makes a wonderful lens through which to gain a deeper knowledge of their world.
    View Lecture List (24)
    In The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity, you will meet the fascinating, ancient polytheistic peoples of the Mediterranean and beyond, their gods and goddesses, and their public and private worship practices, as you come to better understand the foundational role religion played in their daily lives. Because their religion circumscribed almost all aspects of life both inside and outside the home, it makes a wonderful lens through which to gain a deeper knowledge of their world.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Pagan World: Ancient Religions Before Christianity
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Early Pagan Religion in Mesopotamia
      Explore the ways in which the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia tried to understand, worship, and cultivate supernatural forces in the world around them. Learn how the Enuma Elish, the great Mesopotamian creation myth, mirrors human concerns we still address today-power struggles, gender issues, family discord-as it explains the origin of the world, its organization, and humanity's place in it. x
    • 2
      The Rigveda and the Gods of Ancient India
      While most of the early religions of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome have been supplanted over time, the early religions of India are still thriving today. Explore the ancient Rigveda, one of the four sacred texts of modern Hinduism. An ancient collection of Sanskrit hymns, it is alive with riddles, paradoxes, and as-yet-unsettled doctrines that leave plenty of room for stimulating speculation. x
    • 3
      State Religion in Ancient Egypt
      Explore how the Egyptian Book of the Dead and a pyramid inscription reveal the existence of Atum, the creator god who rose from primordial chaos to create himself and nine additional gods. But what happens to Atum when the cities of Memphis and then Karnak rise to power? Learn how political power and religion were interwoven in ancient Egypt. x
    • 4
      From Myth to Religion: The Olympian Deities
      While the modern world often thinks of the Greek gods and goddesses as myth, they formed the basis of religion in ancient Greece. Learn about this relationship between myth and religion and explore the fascinating puzzle of Zeus. Could Zeus have been a single god with many persons," perhaps somewhat similar to the single god of Christianity which exists in three persons? Or were there many different gods, each known as Zeus?" x
    • 5
      Household and Local Gods in Ancient Greece
      The daily life of the average ancient Athenian family wasn't dominated by the gods who lived on Mt. Olympus, but by the gods who protected their front door and hearth and blessed the marriage bed. Discover the many ways in which these household gods were woven into the fabric of daily life and who was responsible for the household religious activities. x
    • 6
      Feeding the Gods: Sacrificial Religion
      From the Mediterranean regions to ancient India, animal sacrifice played a central role in the relationship between people and their gods. Learn about the required elements for a proper honorific, atoning, or sacramental animal sacrifice. Discover the many ways in which the sacrifice benefitted the peoples involved-and what the gods required of the animal. x
    • 7
      Prayers, Vows, Divination, and Omens
      For these ancient peoples, signs from the gods existed everywhere-from the shape of sacrificial animal organs and the properties of smoke when they were burned, to the sudden appearance of birds in the sky, dreams, and more. Explore the many ways in which the people and their gods communicated with each other, and why no army would move forward to the battlefield without their soothsayers and priests. x
    • 8
      Delphi and Other Greek Sanctuaries
      Major sanctuaries attracted people from all cities and states and served to unite the Greek world. Explore the fascinating Temple of Apollo at Delphi and the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus. In addition to the expected altars, you might be surprised to learn about the sporting events, libraries, hospitals, and even racetracks at these significant shrines. x
    • 9
      Cults and Mystery Religions
      Public worship celebrations-such as the annual Panathenaic festival honoring the goddess Athena-provided a political benefit in unifying citizenry. But in addition, some gods were worshipped in private cults requiring membership and initiation rites. Learn about the benefits of such membership, both in this world and the next, particularly for women. x
    • 10
      Philosophical Critiques of Paganism
      While most ancient Greeks worshipped, sacrificed, and celebrated as the state preferred, others had their own ideas. Explore the fascinating outlier philosophies of the Pythagoreans, Orphics, Stoics, Epicureans, and more. Most of these small, isolated groups were not a threat to the state's status quo. But if the state felt threatened, it reacted forcefully, as in the execution of Socrates. x
    • 11
      Greek Funerary Practices and the Afterlife
      The ancient Greeks considered it a solemn religious duty to prepare the bodies of their dead, burn the bodies, and then bury them with a variety of household or military objects. Even long after burial, people continued to bring offerings to the dead, including food and drink. Explore why these rituals were significant to the state and became a powerful force for conservative values opposed to innovation. x
    • 12
      Egyptian Influences on Ancient Religion
      Egyptian religion had a significant impact on the religions of the Mediterranean world, particularly Greek and Roman. Based on pyramid texts, coffin texts, and spells written on papyri, learn what these ancient peoples believed about the potential for a soul to become immortal, the location of the afterlife in the West, and why the dead needed nourishment from the living. x
    • 13
      Ancient Roman Ancestor Worship
      How did the descendants of the shepherds and criminal outcasts who founded Rome on the hills above malaria-infested swampland conquer the entire Mediterranean? According to the Romans themselves, their single greatest strength was their religion. Learn about the cultus deorum and how precise relationships with dead ancestors, as well as the gods, allowed the conservative Roman culture to flourish. x
    • 14
      Gods of the Roman Household
      Roman gods were involved with every aspect of daily life. Explore the great pantheon of gods that influenced everything from doors hinges to meals to sex. Learn how women's religious activities reflected their societal roles in that patriarchal culture-from the involvement of four goddesses and two gods to oversee the consummation of marriage, to the use of terra-cotta uteruses as votive offerings. x
    • 15
      Gods of the Roman State
      Rome was remarkable in antiquity in that this sexist, classist, and slave-owning culture incorporated conquered peoples into the Roman body of citizens. Discover how they also incorporated the gods of the conquered in a practice known as interpretatio Romana. Of course, summoning a deity from an enemy city was a formal process, as you'll see through the fascinating stories of Juno and others. x
    • 16
      Priests and Ceremonies in the Roman Republic
      Whose responsibility was it to care for the plethora of Roman gods and goddesses, maintaining appropriate worship and relationships? Learn what roles the four collegia of priests, the pontiffs, and the Vestal Virgins played in Roman religion. They played a crucial role in maintaining stability by calming the deities and keeping them on the side of Rome. In fact, the state's survival depended on them. x
    • 17
      Religion, Politics, and War in Rome
      Is it possible that one of the world's greatest empires was based in great part on the art and science of birdwatching? Absolutely. The calls of the raven and owl, flight patterns of eagles and vultures, the eating styles of chickens-all were signs from the gods. Explore the college of priests, the Sybilline Oracles, and the detailed rituals of divination required before state officials could take any decisive action. x
    • 18
      Rome's Reactions to Foreign Religions
      Rome incorporated many of the gods of its conquered peoples. But it could not tolerate people assembling on their own to worship without state supervision, or sexual activity that could undermine property rights. Examine the Bacchanalia, and see why Rome considered worshippers of Bacchus an existential threat to the state, and why the practice was violently suppressed. x
    • 19
      The Roman Calendar and Sacred Days
      The college of pontiffs was responsible for keeping track of all the gods and their holidays; the necessary public festivals and the seasons; as well as the days, weeks, months, and cycles of the Moon. But by historical times, the calendar was completely out of sync. Learn how and why Julius Caesar reorganized the calendar into a version very close to what we use today. x
    • 20
      Julius Caesar: A Turning Point in Roman Religion
      Julius Caesar began his public religious career as a teenager, and early in his political career announced that he was descended not only from kings, but from the gods Venus and Mars. Learn how he used his priesthood and political success (based in part on disregard for constitutional conventions) as well as military and financial success (primarily drawn from plunder and the slave trade) to become a dictator and have the Senate declare him a god after his death. x
    • 21
      Emperor Worship in Rome
      The deification of Julius Caesar represented a turning point in Rome's religion. The polytheistic, state-sanctioned pantheon made room for new gods: the Caesars. Learn how and why Octavius, Caesar's adopted son, instituted a monarchy that appeared to be a republic, and how the worship of his family and his personal authority transformed traditional religion. x
    • 22
      Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians
      Before Christianity, two major monotheistic religions existed in the ancient Mediterranean area. Explore the similarities and differences between Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and emerging Christianity, and how the empire initially accommodated their teachings and actions. You'll also learn about the grievances on all sides. x
    • 23
      Popular Religions of Late Antiquity
      In late antiquity, even after the initial emergence of Christianity, the majority in Rome and Italy held to the traditional religion and ancient gods. Explore the relationships between paganism, Manichaeism, and Isis worship at the time of the rise of Christianity and learn why Rome's rulers could not accept or tolerate Christianity. x
    • 24
      The End of Paganism in the Roman Empire
      Individually, it was relatively easy for people to convert to Christianity because it offered many familiar aspects of traditional religion-life after death, community gatherings, a sacred meal, etc. But at the state level? Explore the many fascinating reasons why, after so many centuries of success with its own state-sponsored religion, the Roman Empire finally adopted Christianity as its official faith. x
  • The Greek World: A Study of History and Culture

    Professor Robert Garland, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    The ancient Greeks, more than any other early culture, have given us the template for Western civilization. This course takes you from the great Classical and Hellenistic eras through Greece’s dramatic modern history. You’ll discover Greek culture in examples such as: Athenian democracy; Greek religious beliefs; Greek drama, epic poetry, and philosophy; and Greek sculpture, vase painting, and architecture.
    View Lecture List (24)
    The ancient Greeks, more than any other early culture, have given us the template for Western civilization. This course takes you from the great Classical and Hellenistic eras through Greece’s dramatic modern history. You’ll discover Greek culture in examples such as: Athenian democracy; Greek religious beliefs; Greek drama, epic poetry, and philosophy; and Greek sculpture, vase painting, and architecture.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Greek World: A Study of History and Culture
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Why Study the Greek World?
      Examine the many compelling reasons to study the ancient Greeks, from their phenomenal art and architecture to their philosophy, religion, and inventions of drama and democracy. Consider how we identify the Greeks, in cultural, historical and linguistic terms. Finally, note the influence of Greece's landscape and physical environment on the development and character of Greek civilization. x
    • 2
      Bronze Age Greece: Minoans and Myceneans
      Trace the origins of human habitation on the mainland and islands of Greece. Study the Bronze Age cultures of the Cycladic islands; the famed Minoan civilization centered on Crete, with its palaces and religious ritual; and the Mycenaean civilization, with its monumental architecture and cultural artifacts. Learn about Mycenae's connection with the Trojan War, and what may have led to its collapse. x
    • 3
      Dark Age and Archaic Greece
      Grasp the contours of Greece's Dark Age (1100-750 B.C.E.), an era of restricted trade and a breakdown of centralized power. Take note of the achievements of this epoch, such as iron technology, the Greek alphabet, and the advent of the Olympic Games. In the following Archaic Period, chart Greece's geographical expansion, creation of city-states, invention of coinage, and movement toward democracy. x
    • 4
      Classical Greece: The Age of Pericles
      Take an overview of Greece's Classical Age, an astonishing period of human accomplishment, which the course will treat in detail. Explore defining events of the period, from the 479 B.C.E. defeat of the Persians, through the period of the Peloponnesian War, to the emergence of Macedonia as a great power and the exploits of Alexander. Learn about major innovations of the era, and discover the unique nature of Spartan society. x
    • 5
      Alexander the Great: Greek Culture Spreads
      The conquests of Alexander the Great gave birth to the world we call Hellenistic. Observe how Alexander's military expansionism brought a vast geographical area under the influence of Greek civilization. Note how the conquered peoples embraced Hellenistic culture, how Alexander's empire fragmented after his death, and how the majestic city of Alexandria became a major center of learning. x
    • 6
      Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and Baghdad
      Explore the fascinating and conflicted relationship between the Greeks and their Roman conquerors. Take account of the profound impact of Greek culture on Rome, and how the Romans both despised and admired the Greeks. Witness the founding of the Byzantine Empire, its flourishing of scholarship and theology, and the major role of Islamic scholars in preserving and disseminating Greek learning. x
    • 7
      Modern Ideas of Ancient Greece
      With the fall of Constantinople in 1453, learn how the Greeks fared under Ottoman rule. Then trace the processes through which Europe rediscovered classical antiquity. Grasp the philosophical spirit of the Renaissance, which brought a sudden interest in the ancient Greeks. Chart the huge influence of Greek mythology on Western art, and how Greek literature was widely disseminated in the West. x
    • 8
      The Birth of the Greek Nation-State
      Here, follow the struggle of the Greeks under the Ottomans, which became a bloody political movement for Greek independence. See how European intellectuals, artists, and Europe's major powers supported the movement, leading to the founding of the nation-state of Greece in 1830. Track Greece's territorial expansion through the ensuing century, and its tumultuous modern history up to the present. x
    • 9
      Greek Mythology: Monsters and Misfits
      Delve into the nature and roles of mythology in Greek civilization. Explore the subject matter of Greek myths, as they figure in literature and art. Contemplate the function of mythology, as it helped the Greeks interpret the world and come to terms with the dark side of human experience. In particular, study the figure of the hero, and the features and meaning of the hero's journey. x
    • 10
      Greek Religion: Dangerous Gods, Tricky Heroes
      For the ancient Greeks, every human activity contained a religious dimension. Examine the underlying worldview of the Greeks' polytheistic religious beliefs, and where we find it represented in literature. Look at each of the major Greek gods, and their characteristic roles and qualities. Grasp the very human moral and psychological attributes of the gods, and what constituted piety and impiety. x
    • 11
      The Sensuality of Greek Sculpture
      The sublime sculpture of the ancient Greeks is among their most enduring cultural artifacts. Study the six periods of Greek sculpture, from the Archaic through the Classical and Hellenistic. In each, look at masterful examples, noting how the practice of sculpture constantly evolved. Take account of sculptural techniques, and how the sculptors achieved such sensual appeal and expressive power. x
    • 12
      The Perfection of Greek Architecture
      Study the primary forms of Greek architecture, which emblemize Greek civilization and have profoundly impacted architecture in the West. Visit the Acropolis of Athens as the ancient Greeks would have seen it; take in the magnificent features of the Parthenon, as well as those of other temples and civic structures. Learn also about Greek domestic architecture, house plans, and town planning. x
    • 13
      The Monumentality of Greek Painting
      Encounter the major styles of Greek vase painting, in examples by master painters such as the Dipylon Master and Exekias, noting their remarkable iconography portraying social ritual, war, and mythological scenes. Learn about black and red figure technique, the use of incised decoration and brushwork, and the superlative qualities of Greek painting in both conception and realization. x
    • 14
      Homer's Humanity: The Epic Experience
      In exploring the genius of Homer, learn first about the features and tradition of epic poetry. In key excerpts from the Iliad, grasp Homer's great humanity and insight into the human condition. See how the Iliad functions as a meditation on mortality, war, idealism, and loss, and how the Odyssey comprises a journey of self-realization. Witness Homer's enduring influence in the modern world. x
    • 15
      Greek Theater: Producing and Staging Plays
      Uncover the origins of Greek drama, and how it evolved into the form of a chorus and masked actors. Learn about early theater festivals; the elements of a Greek theater; and how plays were selected, financed, and performed. Finally, study the rituals of theater going, the use of key theatrical devices and stage machinery, and the story of how the Greeks' iconic plays survived into the modern era. x
    • 16
      Greek Drama: Laughter and Tears
      In this second look at Greek drama, examine individual plays that epitomize the genre of tragedy, such as Aeschylus's Oresteia and Prometheus Bound, Sophocles's Antigone and Oedipus the King, and Euripides's Trojan Women and Medea. Explore the nature of tragedy, its meaning for audiences and existential function in the Greek world. Then investigate the sublime comic plays of Aristophanes. x
    • 17
      Greek Politics, Law, and Public Speaking
      Radical, participatory democracy was established in Athens in the 5th century B.C.E. Study the mindset and features of Athenian democracy, as it empowered every citizen to speak and vote, and required citizens to participate in civic affairs. Assess ancient and modern critiques of Greek democracy. Then study ancient Athenian legal practice, highlighting the system of trial by jury. x
    • 18
      Greek Historians: The Birth of History
      Take the measure of two of ancient Greece's greatest historians. Begin with the work of Herodotus, often called the father of history"; grasp the qualities of his history writing, and how he established the first principle of historiography: impartiality. Continue with Thucydides, credited with establishing the discipline of scientific history and the political theory of Realpolitik." x
    • 19
      Greek Philosophy: Man and Nature
      Look into the origins of the great philosophical tradition within ancient Greece, and the contributions of the early, pre-Socratic philosophers. Then examine the work of the philosophical giants Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, taking account of the core ideas, the teaching methods, and the influence of each. Conclude by exploring two major Greek philosophical traditions: Stoicism and Epicureanism. x
    • 20
      Greek Science: Discovery and Controversy
      Investigate the many contributions to science of the ancient Greeks, as well as the great obstacles to free inquiry that early scientists faced. Study Greek achievements in astronomy, followed by medicine, highlighting the methods and doctrines of the Hippocratic school. Also learn about the cult of the healing god Asclepius, in which rational inquiry and faith healing existed side by side. x
    • 21
      The Greek Way of Waging War
      The art of war was integral to ancient Greek culture. Delve into warfare as portrayed in the Iliad, observing the highly ritualistic nature of Homeric combat. Continue with the classical warfare of the hoplites; phalanxes of heavily armed soldiers; and learn about hoplite tactics, strategy, and weaponry. Study Athens's mighty naval forces, and assess the changing rules of battlefield conduct. x
    • 22
      Greek Language, Literacy, and Writing
      Examine the structure of the ancient Greek language, how it embodies and expresses thought, and how common linguistic devices express the Greek mindset. Learn about the evolution of writing in Greece, and the wealth of information available to us from ancient papyri. Finally, take account of literacy in ancient Greece, and our indebtedness to literate slaves who were copyists and transcribers. x
    • 23
      Eating and Drinking among the Greeks
      As a final perspective on Greek culture, take a spirited look at Greek food and drink across the ages. Observe how the ancient Greeks ate, considering their diet, meal rituals, staple foods, and a signature Spartan dish. Learn about Greek food today, sampling a spectrum of standout dishes and traditional foods and wines. Then, visualize an ancient symposium," or traditional drinking party." x
    • 24
      What Does Greece Mean to Us Today?
      Begin this final lecture by reviewing criticisms leveled against the ancient Greeks, and aspects of Greek society which are hot button" issues for the modern world, such as the repression of women and the elitist nature of their society. Conclude with five compelling reasons for studying the Greeks, from their areas of unsurpassed excellence to the beauty and wonder of their civilization." x
  • 1066: The Year That Changed Everything

    Professor Jennifer Paxton, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, Instant Audio, DVD
    With 1066, Professor Jennifer Paxton's exciting and historically rich six-lecture course, experience for yourself the drama of this dynamic year in medieval history-centering on the Norman Conquest of England that would dramatically reshape both English and Western history. Taking you from the shores of Scandinavia and France to the battlefields of the English countryside, this course plunges you into a world of fierce Viking warriors, powerful noble families, politically charged marriages, tense succession crises, epic military invasions, and more.

    View Lecture List (6)
    With 1066, Professor Jennifer Paxton's exciting and historically rich six-lecture course, experience for yourself the drama of this dynamic year in medieval history-centering on the Norman Conquest of England that would dramatically reshape both English and Western history. Taking you from the shores of Scandinavia and France to the battlefields of the English countryside, this course plunges you into a world of fierce Viking warriors, powerful noble families, politically charged marriages, tense succession crises, epic military invasions, and more.

    View Lecture List (6)
    6 Lectures  |  1066: The Year That Changed Everything
    Lecture Titles (6)
    • 1
      The Norman Conquest through History
      What makes 1066 such a pivotal year in the history of Western civilization? How has the meaning of the Norman Conquest been debated and interpreted over time? And how did two weddings-between the English king Aethelred and the duke of Normandy's sister, Emma, and then, after the death of Aethelred, Emma's marriage to the Danish king Cnut-lay the groundwork for this tumultuous moment? Find out in this lecture that provides crucial information for grasping the Norman Conquest. x
    • 2
      England and Normandy before the Conquest
      Take a closer look at the half-century between the Danish conquest of England in 1016 and the fateful year of 1066-a chaotic time when power was up for grabs. Two figures were crucial during this time. The first: Edward the Confessor, who succeeded to the English throne in 1042 but was dominated by the powerful Godwinsons. The second: William the Bastard, the ruler of Normandy, who brought the Norman nobles under control and then set his sights on conquering England. x
    • 3
      The Succession Crisis in England
      Investigate how the relationship between Edward the Confessor and William the Bastard put England and Normandy on a collision course when the childless King Edward had to plan the succession to the English throne. You'll focus on Edward's plans for succession, meet the contenders to the throne, and learn how Harold Godwinson achieved victory at the Battle of Stamford Bridge-only to face another invasion of England from the south. x
    • 4
      The Battle of Hastings
      Revisit one of the most important moments in English history: the Battle of Hastings, after which the island nation-and the entire Western world-would never be the same. Dr. Paxton reveals how the Normans mustered up enough men and ships for their invasion; investigates some intriguing mysteries and controversies about the invasion; explains the tactics of medieval warfare; and provides a blow-by-blow account of the battle. x
    • 5
      Completing the Conquest
      It took several years for William the Conqueror to consolidate the gains he made at the Battle of Hastings. Learn how he used a combination of diplomacy and clever military tactics to take control of London without a fierce battle; how he won over the church so that he could get himself crowned king; how he spent the early years of his reign responding to various rebellions in the northern part of the country; and more. x
    • 6
      The Aftermath of the Conquest
      Why does the Norman Conquest matter? Take a closer look at the relationship between the Normans and the English in the generations immediately following the conquest, with a focus on the myriad ways that Norman and English culture intermingled. You'll realize the ultimate legacy of this vital year: the transition of England into the European mainstream. x
  • The Great Questions of Philosophy and Physics

    Professor Steven Gimbel, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Dr. Steven Gimbel of Gettysburg College shows how physics and philosophy work together to reveal the true nature of the universe. Physics makes the discoveries and philosophy interprets the results. Those results have been very odd since the turn of the 20th century—with relativity, quantum theory, and Big Bang cosmology overthrowing our conventional picture of reality.
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    Dr. Steven Gimbel of Gettysburg College shows how physics and philosophy work together to reveal the true nature of the universe. Physics makes the discoveries and philosophy interprets the results. Those results have been very odd since the turn of the 20th century—with relativity, quantum theory, and Big Bang cosmology overthrowing our conventional picture of reality.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  The Great Questions of Philosophy and Physics
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Does Physics Make Philosophy Superfluous?
      Trace the growth of physics from philosophy, as questions about the nature of reality got rigorous answers starting in the Scientific Revolution. Then see how the philosophy of physics was energized by a movement called logical positivism in the early 20th century in response to Einstein's theory of relativity. Though logical positivism failed, it spurred new philosophical ideas and approaches. x
    • 2
      Why Mathematics Works So Well with Physics
      Physics is a mathematical science. But why should manipulating numbers give insight into how the world works? This question was famously posed by physicist Eugene Wigner in his 1960 paper, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences." Explore proposed answers, including Max Tegmark's assertion that the world is, in fact, a mathematical system." x
    • 3
      Can Physics Explain Reality?
      If the point of physics is to explain reality, then what counts as an explanation? Starting here, Professor Gimbel goes deeper to probe what makes some explanations scientific and whether physics actually explains anything. Along the way, he explores Bertrand Russell's rejection of the notion of cause, Carl Hempel's account of explanation, and Nancy Cartwright's skepticism about scientific truth. x
    • 4
      The Reality of Einstein's Space
      What's left when you take all the matter and energy out of space? Either something or nothing. Newton believed the former; his rival, Leibniz, believed the latter. Assess arguments for both views, and then see how Einstein was influenced by Leibniz's relational picture of space to invent his special theory of relativity. Einstein's further work on relativity led him to a startlingly new conception of space. x
    • 5
      The Nature of Einstein's Time
      Consider the weirdness of time: The laws of physics are time reversable, but we never see time running backwards. Theorists have proposed that the direction of time is connected to the order of the early universe and even that time is an illusion. See how Einstein deepened the mystery with his theory of relativity, which predicts time dilation and the surprising possibility of time travel. x
    • 6
      The Beginning of Time
      Professor Gimbel continues his exploration of time by winding back the clock. Was there a beginning to time? Einstein's initial equations of general relativity predicted a dynamic universe, one that might have expanded from an initial moment. Einstein discarded this idea, but since then evidence has mounted for a Big Bang." Is it sensible to ask what caused the Big Bang and what happened before?" x
    • 7
      Are Atoms Real?
      Compare proof for the reality of atoms with evidence for the existence of Santa Claus. Both are problematic hypotheses! Trace the history of atomic theory and the philosophical resistance to it. End with Bas van Fraassen's idea of constructive empiricism," which holds that successful theories ought only to be empirically adequate since we can never know with certainty what is real." x
    • 8
      Quantum States: Neither True nor False?
      Enter the quantum world, where traditional philosophical logic breaks down. First, explore the roots of quantum theory and how scientists gradually uncovered its surpassing strangeness. Clear up the meaning of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which is a metaphysical claim, not an epistemological one. Finally, delve into John von Neumann's revolutionary quantum logic, working out an example. x
    • 9
      Waves, Particles, and Quantum Entanglement
      Quantum mechanics rests on an apparent category mistake: Light can't be both a wave and a particle, yet that's what theory and experiments show. Analyze this puzzle from the realist and empiricist points of view. Then explore philosopher Arthur Fine's natural ontological attitude," which reconciles realism and antirealism by demonstrating how they rely on different conceptions of truth." x
    • 10
      Wanted Dead and Alive: Schrodinger's Cat
      The most famous paradox of quantum theory is the thought experiment showing that a cat under certain experimental conditions must be both dead and alive. Explore four proposed solutions to this conundrum, known as the measurement problem: the hidden-variable view, the Copenhagen interpretation, the idea that the human mind collapses" a quantum state, and the many-worlds interpretation." x
    • 11
      The Dream of Grand Unification
      After the dust settled from the quantum revolution, physics was left with two fundamental theories: the standard model of particle physics for quantum phenomena and general relativity for gravitational interactions. Follow the quest for a grand unified theory that incorporates both. Armed with Karl Popper's demarcation criteria, see how unifying ideas such as string theory fall short. x
    • 12
      The Physics of God
      The laws of physics have been invoked on both sides of the debate over the existence of God. Professor Gimbel closes the course by tracing the history of this dispute, from Newton's belief in a Creator to today's discussion of the fine-tuning" of nature's constants and whether God is responsible. Such big questions in physics inevitably bring us back to the roots of physics: philosophy." x
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

    Instructor Ben Willmore, Photoshop Expert

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    In 20 helpful, illuminating lessons, Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC: The Complete Guide teaches you everything you need to become confident and efficient in using Lightroom. Join popular software instructor Ben Wilmore, a member of the Photoshop® Hall of Fame, as he offers a detailed boot camp that’s also an enduring resource for building and honing your photo editing skills.

    View Lecture List (20)

    In 20 helpful, illuminating lessons, Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC: The Complete Guide teaches you everything you need to become confident and efficient in using Lightroom. Join popular software instructor Ben Wilmore, a member of the Photoshop® Hall of Fame, as he offers a detailed boot camp that’s also an enduring resource for building and honing your photo editing skills.

    View Lecture List (20)
    20 Lectures  |  Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide
    Lecture Titles (20)
    • 1
      Bootcamp Introduction and Overview
      In this first lesson, start getting your files into Lightroom with a few key basics. Learn the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. Pick up basic terminology like “libraries” and “smart previews” and “RAW.” Then, get yourself into the Lightroom mindset by learning key differences between Lightroom and Photoshop. x
    • 2
      Importing Images and Customizing Lightroom
      Dive into Lightroom's myriad import tools. Learn what different import options mean, then create your own import preset for easily importing images and saving them in your preferred folder scheme. Afterward, learn to customize your workspace, from the tools you see to the image data visible in your library. x
    • 3
      Understanding Catalogs and File Management
      Lightroom is also an excellent tool for organizing images. That organization starts with a Lightroom catalog. Here, dig into catalogs, from how many you need to what files you need to edit photos on the go. Also, avoid the headaches that come when Lightroom can't find your photos. x
    • 4
      Baseline Raw Image Adjustments
      Jump into the editing process by digging into the basic RAW adjustments inside the Basic panel in the Develop module. Walk through what each tool does along with some behind-the-scenes insights. Also, uncover hidden tricks like how to quickly see what parts of your image are a true black. x
    • 5
      Creating Finalized Files and Printing
      Lightroom has, so far, only recorded all your changes as a text file. Learn how to turn that edited Lightroom preview into a finalized file for printing and sharing. Learn the different export options, as well as advanced tools like adding a watermark. Then, explore Lightroom's Print module. x
    • 6
      Organizing Your Images and Managing Projects
      Lightroom works with the folder structure on your hard drive. But what if you want more structure than that? Learn how to organize photos with Collections, Lightroom's “playlists,” as well as how to use the Smart Collections, which automatically update themselves, and Collection Sets. x
    • 7
      Making Your Images Searchable with Keywords
      Using searchable keywords, you can find an image from any collection in a matter of seconds. In this lesson, Mr. Wilmore walks through adding keywords to images, then using those keywords inside Lightroom for different tasks. Plus, learn advanced keyword tools, like adjusting one keyword in every image using the term. x
    • 8
      Fixing Isolated Problems
      Lightroom adjustments don't have to apply to the entire image. Some of Lightroom's most well-loved tools are local adjustment options. Join Mr. Wilmore for a guided tour of the Lightroom tools that can help you perfect your images in small pieces. Among them: the adjustment brush and the graduated filter. x
    • 9
      Image Adjustment Techniques
      Sometimes an image isn’t great on the first try—it needs to be tweaked. In this lesson, explore Lightroom's editing tools that exist beyond the Basics Panel and local adjustments. Here, Mr. Wilmore walks through adjustments like sharpness and noise reduction, along with correcting common types of distortion. x
    • 10
      Fine Tuning Your Image
      Go beyond the Basics Panel and dig into the creative tools for fine-tuning your image. First, learn how that histogram in the corner can guide your edits. Then, custom color your image using hue, saturation, and luminance. Also, dig into tools for vignetting (or correcting a natural vignette from the lens) and working with curves. x
    • 11
      Facial Recognition and Map Viewing
      Shooting with a GPS-enabled camera or manually adding location keywords allows Lightroom to literally put your images on the map. Learn the fun ways to use the Map module. Then, discover how Lightroom can actually recognize the people in your photographs and how to best use the Adobe Sensei facial recognition inside Lightroom. x
    • 12
      Adjustment Workflow: BW, HDR, and Panoramas
      In this lesson, investigate the tools Lightroom packs in for specialty edits. Start with controlling the black-and-white conversion of color images, then learn how to merge high dynamic range, or HDR, images without leaving the software. Finally, stitch multiple photos together with a panorama merge. x
    • 13
      Organizing Your Keywords
      Sure, adding keywords can be time-consuming—but we live in a world where keywords are the norm, not the exception. And organizing your keywords can help speed up the process, allowing you to easily find images without as much time commitment. Here, Mr. Wilmore walks through organizing keyword lists and creating related keywords. x
    • 14
      How to Find Any Image Quickly
      Lightroom has powerful search tools—powerful enough that, when using the tools properly, the software can find any image in five seconds or less. Here, Mr. Wilmore walks through all the different search tools and options for narrowing down the results to quickly find that specific image. x
    • 15
      Showcasing Your Work: Slideshows and Books
      What happens when it's time to display your work? Adobe Lightroom has built-in tools to help you show off multiple images. In this lesson, explore how the software's Slideshow tool works, from creating an impromptu slideshow to customizing the results. Then, learn how to create photo books directly inside Lightroom. x
    • 16
      Image Adjustments: Start to Finish Workflow
      Now that you've dug through all the adjustment tools, it's time to watch closely to learn how they work together. Follow Mr. Wilmore's editing process as he puts all the tools together from start to finish and gives you tips and tricks to go from original image to finished photograph. x
    • 17
      Lightroom to Photoshop and Back
      Most of Lightroom's photography plans also include Photoshop—and there are times where those Photoshop tools are essential. Thankfully, Creative Cloud programs are designed to work together. Here, Mr. Wilmore explains the process of adjusting a Lightroom image in Photoshop, all the while keeping the Lightroom catalog up to date. x
    • 18
      Basic Troubleshooting
      Sometimes, things go wrong with programs. Why is Lightroom doing this? Why won't Lightroom do that? In this lesson, gain the tools you need to troubleshoot common Lightroom problems. Mr. Wilmore walks through the most common Lightroom problems you might face, many typically experienced by students and learners like you. x
    • 19
      Advanced Tips and Tricks
      Lightroom can certainly be used by beginning photo editors, but it can also be an essential tool for advanced photo editors as well. Here, discuss topics like working on two computers. Then, launch into some advanced tips and tricks to get the most out of your Lightroom subscription. x
    • 20
      Workflow Refinement and Final Summary
      In the final lesson of this workshop, put the final pieces together with tips to refine your workflow, from ways to share photos to a friend's smartphone to syncing with Lightroom Mobile to using web galleries. Then, wrap up with a recap before leaving as a fully-fledged Lightroom guru. x
  • America after the Cold War: The First Thirty Years

    Professor Patrick N. Allitt, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    America after the Cold War: The First Thirty Years offers you the chance to step back and look at the complex and ever-evolving story of the United States from 1990 to 2019. Taught by esteemed professor and Great Courses favorite Dr. Patrick Allitt of Emory University, these 12 fascinating lectures tie all the threads of contemporary life together and give you a rich understanding of the world we live in today.
    View Lecture List (12)
    America after the Cold War: The First Thirty Years offers you the chance to step back and look at the complex and ever-evolving story of the United States from 1990 to 2019. Taught by esteemed professor and Great Courses favorite Dr. Patrick Allitt of Emory University, these 12 fascinating lectures tie all the threads of contemporary life together and give you a rich understanding of the world we live in today.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  America after the Cold War: The First Thirty Years
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      1990: America's New World Order
      The end of the Cold War was an inflection point in history. No one expected the rapid collapse of the Soviet Union, but starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything changed. Delve into the American story in the early 1990s, when conflicts in Kuwait and Bosnia tested America's new role in a post-Soviet world. x
    • 2
      The Clintons and the 1990s
      Bill Clinton's presidency dominated the domestic news in the 1990s. From his dramatic showdown with Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress's Contract with America" to the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Clinton's subsequent impeachment trial, this was a presidency of high drama. Survey this tumultuous decade in American history." x
    • 3
      A New Millennium, George W. Bush, and 9/11
      The end of the Cold War may have reshaped the world order, but 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror completely transformed America. Go back to the contested election of 2000 and trace the events leading up to the terrorist attack on American soil on September 11, 2001. Learn why 19 hijackers of three airplanes attacked America, and what happened next. x
    • 4
      The U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
      Historians will long discuss and debate the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As you will learn here, the war in Afghanistan had some justification, given the role of al-Qaeda in 9/11. Professor Allitt also reviews the facts surrounding the war in Iraq-the path to war, the deterioration on the ground, and the war's effect on the United States. x
    • 5
      The U.S. Economy: Long Boom to Big Crash
      The 1990s through the mid-2000s have been called the great moderation," a period of generally low inflation and stable growth. Within that period, the dot-com boom and bust created ripples, but it was the mortgage crisis that struck a seismic blow to the U.S. economy. Witness the booms and busts of this fascinating period in business." x
    • 6
      Obama, Hope, and Polarization
      In 2008, America was tired of war and entering a deep recession. President Obama was seen as a beacon of hope, yet his administration soon ran into intractable foreign and domestic challenges. Examine the major events of his presidency, from the bank bailouts and health care reform to the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS. x
    • 7
      African American Paradoxes after 1990
      Despite progress from the Civil Rights movement a generation earlier, race is a dominant theme in American history through the 1990s and 2000s. Here, Professor Allitt investigates the paradoxes and racial conflicts of the last 30 years, from the Rodney King riots to the Black Lives Matter movement. He also spotlights positive developments. x
    • 8
      Science and Technology in the Internet Age
      The last 30 years of American history have been a golden age of inventions. The personal computer, social media, the smart phone, and apps have changed everything about how we operate in the world. Meanwhile, scientists of all kinds-astronomers, paleontologists, geneticists-have redefined our understanding of humans and our place in the universe. x
    • 9
      U.S. Energy Independence and Climate Change
      Industrialization requires energy, but energy comes with a host of negative side effects, from local pollution to global climate change. Explore the shifting status of energy in the U.S. through the 1990s and 2000s, from the Kyoto Protocol to the IPCC and from cap and trade" policy efforts to policies promoting solar, wind, and hydroelectric power." x
    • 10
      Putting U.S. Education to the Test after 1990
      Is America a society where no child is left behind? As this analysis of American policies toward education demonstrates, the U.S. education system leaves much to be desired, even as our universities remain among the very best in the world. From standardized tests to charter schools, take a tour of America's school system. x
    • 11
      A New Golden Age of American Culture
      From the old guard of Philip Roth and Saul Bellow to the next generation of novelists-Donna Tartt, Junot Diaz, Viet Thanh Nguyen-American fiction is livelier than ever. But it isn't just books: Television, the visual arts, architecture, and even theater (with productions like Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton) are enjoying an artistic golden age. x
    • 12
      The Trump Upset
      History truly is full of surprises-and is still being written. In this closing lecture, you'll survey one of the most surprising political events in recent decades: the election of President Donald Trump. From his use of social media to controversial policies and more, review the milestones of Trump's presidency (so far). x