This Year's Great New Courses!
This Year's Great New Courses!
  • World War II: Battlefield Europe

    Professor David R. Stone, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    Designed in partnership with HISTORY® and using a distinctly European perspective, World War II: Battlefield Europe provides a fresh lens through which to study major battles, larger-than-life personalities, twists of fate, and tales of intrigue. Over 24 lectures, a military historian reveals the strategic decisions behind U-boat assaults, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the fall of Berlin, and so much more.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Designed in partnership with HISTORY® and using a distinctly European perspective, World War II: Battlefield Europe provides a fresh lens through which to study major battles, larger-than-life personalities, twists of fate, and tales of intrigue. Over 24 lectures, a military historian reveals the strategic decisions behind U-boat assaults, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the fall of Berlin, and so much more.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  World War II: Battlefield Europe
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Battle of Moscow, December 1941
      Start this series with an examination of what Professor Stone sees as the critical turning point of World War II: the Battle of Moscow in December 1941. At the opening of the fight, Hitler stood on the verge of total victory; by the end, a massive Soviet counteroffensive marked the beginning of the end for the Nazis. x
    • 2
      Anti-Semitism and the Nazis
      Hitler's effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe is a central part of the way we think about Nazism and World War II. Here, investigate the evolution of anti-Semitism in Europe from a belief system rooted in religion to a new form of anti-Semitism that was racial and biological-an evolution that paved the way for the Holocaust. x
    • 3
      Tearing Up the Treaty of Versailles
      What elements in the Treaty of Versailles made it a priority for Hitler to undermine and destroy? What factors kept other global powers from stopping Hitler's rise to power? What made the Spanish Civil War a symptom of World War II? How did the fate of Czechoslovakia weaken Stalin's faith in an alliance with the West? x
    • 4
      The War Begins, 1939
      With Germany's land grab in 1939, Britain and France reluctantly concluded that Hitler was bent on European domination. Follow the story of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, the dramatic invasion of Poland in September 1939, and the rise of a new kind of German warfare called blitzkrieg (lightning war")." x
    • 5
      The Nazis Rise to Power, 1922-1933
      Adolf Hitler launched a catastrophic war that killed an estimated 60 million people. What brought this murderous individual-and his murderous ideology-into power in Nazi Germany? In this lecture, Professor Stone puts the rise of Nazi Germany in context of the European environment of the 1920s and 1930s. x
    • 6
      The Fall of France, Spring 1940
      Investigate how Hitler achieved such a rapid and smashing initial advance in World War II. Topics include Germany's campaigns in Denmark and Norway, the collapse of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government, the French defeat in the Battle of the Meuse River, and the rise of the Vichy regime under Marshal Philippe Petain. x
    • 7
      The Battle of Britain-and the Blitz
      Study the strategic decisions during one of the most dramatic chapters in World War II: the Battle of Britain. Why did Britain keep fighting from a seemingly hopeless position? Why did Hitler attempt to use air power to drive Britain out of the war? How did the island nation eventually deliver Hitler his first real failure? x
    • 8
      Britain and Germany's Standoff at Sea
      Here, explore how Grand Admiral Erich Raeder and Karl Donitz shaped Germany's surface and U-boat fleets, how Germany and Britain faced a whale-elephant" problem during the war at sea, and how the daring British attack on the naval base at Taranto in 1940 hinted at the attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor a year later." x
    • 9
      Hitler, Stalin, and Operation Barbarossa
      By the spring and summer of 1940, the Hitler-Stalin Pact was under real strain. Go inside the strategic decision-making behind Hitler's decision to break his non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union and to ignite Operation Barbarossa in a grand (and flawed) effort to invade and conquer Stalin's Russia. x
    • 10
      Roosevelt, Isolationism, and Lend-Lease
      Follow the transition in the United States from a period of isolationism in the 1920s to preparations for possible war with Germany in 1940. Topics include the five neutrality acts designed to prevent the United States from being drawn into war, the push for U.S. rearmament in the late 1930s, and the Plan Dog Memorandum: a classic piece of military strategy. x
    • 11
      North Africa and the Battle of el-Alamein
      Trace the Mediterranean and North African campaigns through 1943, with a focus on Mussolini's ambition to create a new Roman empire-an ambition that would collapse into ignominious failure. Also, investigate the mechanics of the climactic battle of el-Alamein and the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa code-named Operation Torch. x
    • 12
      The Battle of Stalingrad, 1942-1943
      Turn now to the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the epic struggles of World War II-and in all of military history. Professor Stone puts the dramatic Stalingrad campaign into a broader strategic context and reveals how the German army's losses made a possible victory in Europe impossible to imagine. x
    • 13
      Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Europe
      Take a step back from the chronology of World War II to think about how European countries occupied by Nazi Germany both collaborated with and resisted their occupiers. You'll look at heroic examples of resistance and espionage in Norway, the French resistance against Germany, and important partisan movements in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. x
    • 14
      The Holocaust
      In the second half of 1941, Hitler decided to murder every Jew in Europe. How did the extermination camp system operate? How did one escapee manage to inform others about the horrors of Auschwitz? What could the Allies have done to stop (or even slow down) the Holocaust? x
    • 15
      U-Boats and the Battle of the Atlantic
      First, explore the development of submarine warfare and the typical stages of a submarine encounter in the Atlantic. Then, examine how German U-boats caught the United States off guard and how British intelligence helped ships avoid German wolf packs." Lastly, take a closer look at the strategy of the Battle of the Atlantic, where the Allied struggle was finally won." x
    • 16
      The Allies Invade Italy: Sicily to Anzio
      Was the Allied invasion of Italy a strategic necessity or, as many at the time suggested, a sideshow? Consider both sides in this lecture on Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, and two key battles-at Monte Cassino and Anzio-that illustrate the incredible tenacity of Allied soldiers, but also the uninspired generalship that led to an enormous waste of lives. x
    • 17
      Strategic Bombing over Germany
      While precise figures are difficult to determine, it's estimated that some 500,000 lives in Germany were lost to Allied bombing. In this lecture, ponder the costs and rewards of strategic bombing during World War II in terms of dollars and human lives. Should Britain and the United States have invested their resources in something else? x
    • 18
      Allied Industry, Spying, and Wonder Weapons
      Discover the ways that intelligence (from spying to espionage to assassination) contributed to the Allies' ultimate battlefield success. Follow Germany's desperate search for miracle weapons like the V-2 rocket. Explore why the real miracle weapon of World War II wasn't a weapon at all, but mass industrial production. x
    • 19
      Soviets, Germans, and the Eastern Front
      Learn how military events on the Eastern Front from 1943 to 1945 drove political deal-making between the Germans and the Soviets. Focus on Operation Citadel, the German counteroffensive at Kursk; how Germany's smaller allies, including Hungary and Romania, got off Hitler's sinking ship; and the largest operation of World War II (which followed 17 days after D-Day), the Soviet offensive in Belorussia that resulted in the biggest defeat in German military history. x
    • 20
      D-Day at Last, June 1944
      Go behind the scenes of the most iconic military operation of the war: the D-Day invasion of mainland Europe. Focus on Germany's strategy for defense against the coming invasion (including debates over fighting before or after the Allies arrived ashore) and the Slapton Sands landing exercise, where hundreds of Allied soldiers died after an attack by small German attack craft known as E-boats. x
    • 21
      Hitler Runs Out of Options, Fall 1944
      Follow the progress of Allied forces as they steadily ground down German formations, reinforcements, and supplies. Finally, reach the last major German offensive of the Western Front at the Battle of the Bulge, which carved a hole 60 miles deep and 30 miles wide in the American line. x
    • 22
      Soviet Push to Berlin and Yalta Power Play
      With overwhelming advantages in men, tanks, and artillery, the Soviets smashed through German lines in Poland and made their way toward Berlin. Learn how this push set the stage for the momentous agenda at the Allied leadership conference in Yalta, where plans were made to stop a future Germany from starting another global war. x
    • 23
      Eisenhower's Endgame in Europe
      Why did Hitler keep fighting even when he knew all hope was lost? Why did his generals and their armies stick with him? How did the Allies finally bring an end to German resistance? How did Eisenhower and the Soviets debate the terms of surrender? Find out in this penultimate lecture. x
    • 24
      War's End: Picking Up the Pieces
      From the fate of everyday Germans and captured German leadership to the creation of NATO and the European Union, take stock of the global situation at the end of World War II. It was a time that would see a system of cooperation for the Allies-as well as the dawn of a lengthy Cold War with the Soviet Union. x
  • Liberty on Trial in America: Cases That Defined Freedom

    Professor Douglas O. Linder, J.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    In Liberty on Trial in America: Cases That Defined Freedom, you will learn how liberty increased in our country when individuals sued for freedoms and when cases were brought specifically to test the limits of the Constitution. In 24 fascinating lectures, Professor Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law takes you behinds the scenes of the trials that recognized many of the liberties we enjoy today.

    View Lecture List (24)

    In Liberty on Trial in America: Cases That Defined Freedom, you will learn how liberty increased in our country when individuals sued for freedoms and when cases were brought specifically to test the limits of the Constitution. In 24 fascinating lectures, Professor Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law takes you behinds the scenes of the trials that recognized many of the liberties we enjoy today.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Liberty on Trial in America: Cases That Defined Freedom
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Trial of Anne Hutchinson
      There was no toleration of religious dissent in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600s; you either accepted Puritan orthodoxy, or you could leave. And there certainly was no room for religious argument for a woman! When Anne Hutchinson shared with others her religious ideas and gathered a following, the governor put her on trial for heresy. Explore the trials, defense, and punishment of the woman sometimes called “America’s first feminist.” x
    • 2
      The Trial of John Peter Zenger
      Freedom of speech was not a recognized liberty in the early years of American colonies. Speech critical of the powers that be could land one in legal trouble—even if everyone involved agreed the statements were true. Explore the colonial history of the press freedom, voter suppression, and attempts to influence juries as they all came together to affect the libel trial of John Peter Zenger. Did this landmark freedom of the press case actually set any precedent? x
    • 3
      Two Slave Trials
      The citizens of the newly formed United States could not agree on the overall moral issue of slavery, but they were willing to take up its more narrow legal issues. Gain a greater understanding of the many ways in which the legal system supported the institution of slavery by examining the trials of two slaves: Anthony Burns, whose freedom was eventually purchased by abolitionists, and Celia (no last name), who was hanged. x
    • 4
      The Trial of John Brown
      John Brown was an abolitionist who believed he could end slavery by arming the slaves. His plan, however, came to a tragic end at Harper's Ferry, VA, when guards were killed as he seized the federal armory and only a few slaves joined his revolt. Instead, Brown was charged with treason, murder, and slave insurrection. Learn how John Brown's trial and execution nevertheless played a significant role in the eventual end of slavery in the United States. x
    • 5
      The Trial of Susan B. Anthony
      Susan B. Anthony believed she was a citizen of the United States according to the Fourteenth Amendment—and, as such, she believed she had the right to vote. But in 1872, the law was not on her side. So when she dropped her ballot into the box at the West End New Depot in Rochester, NY, on Election Day, she was arrested. Learn about the trial that brought nationwide attention to the issue of women’s suffrage. x
    • 6
      The Trial of the Haymarket Eight
      Labor tensions were already at the boiling point in Chicago, when someone threw a bomb into a group of police officers. Although the bomb thrower was never found, eight defendants were tried by a jury handpicked by the bailiff, and seven were found guilty and sentenced to death—for the crime, it was claimed, of inciting violence. Explore the ways in which this trial became a key event in the history of free speech in America. x
    • 7
      The Trial of John T. Scopes
      In 1925, Tennessee enacted a law making the teaching of evolution in any state-supported school a crime. John Scopes was a young science teacher at the time who agreed to serve as a test case for the law, defended by Clarence Darrow. Explore the heated opinions expressed on both sides and how the trial's publicity brought the issue directly into American homes. x
    • 8
      The Sweet Trials, Race, and Self-Defense
      In 1925, Dr. Ossian Sweet, an African American, bought a home for his family in a white neighborhood of Detroit. When a white crowd gathered around the house and violence broke out, one member of the crowd was killed. Police charged everyone in the Sweet home with premeditated murder. Explore Clarence Darrow's defense, and what the trial revealed about American society at that time. x
    • 9
      Jehovah's Witnesses and Flag-Salute Cases
      Between 1938 and 1946, the Supreme Court handed down 23 opinions involving civil liberties issues raised by Jehovah's Witnesses. Explore two of those cases, both of which address whether or not Jehovah's Witnesses can be forced to salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. Learn why the Court came down first on one side of the issue, and then the other. x
    • 10
      Korematsu v. United States
      In 1942, two months after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed an executive order requiring that all Japanese Americans move to “relocation camps” as a matter of national security. Fred Korematsu refused, was arrested for violating an “exclusion order,” and convicted. Learn how Korematsu carried his fight against what he thought was an “un-American” law all the way to the Supreme Court, and why the decision ultimately went against him. How did history and subsequent Courts treat this decision? x
    • 11
      Segregation on Trial
      In 1892, the Supreme Court, in a case involving the conviction of Homer Plessy for sitting in a section of a Louisiana train designated for “whites only,” established the principle of “separate but equal.” Learn about Charles H. Houston, the African American lawyer who made it his life’s work to challenge Jim Crow laws and who won a critical Supreme Court victory in the case of Gaines v. Missouri, paving the way for the Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Houston’s work for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to end segregation led his successor, Thurgood Marshall, to say he was just carrying Houston’s bags—and that Houston was the Moses who charted the legal path to racial equality. x
    • 12
      The Lenny Bruce Trials
      Today, Lenny Bruce is considered a trailblazer of American stand-up comedy addressing the now-common themes of politics, sex, and religion. But in the 1950s and '60s, he was considered an obscene subversive, and arrested numerous times. Explore the ways in which Bruce and the First Amendment affected each other. Today's authors, publishers, poets, and comedians owe a debt of gratitude to Bruce. x
    • 13
      The Evolving Right to Marry
      Richard Loving wanted to do nothing more than to marry the woman of his dreams. But Richard was white, and Mildred, according to the commonwealth of Virginia, was “colored,” which made it illegal for them to marry. Learn how the case of this modest, unassuming couple went all the way to the Supreme Court, and how the Court’s ruling eventually led to marriage equality for same-sex couples, as well. x
    • 14
      Wisconsin v. Yoder
      In the 1960s, the Amish had several disagreements with the state concerning their children's education. But most important, they did not believe their children should be required to attend school past the age of 16. Explore the conflicting views and goals of these parents, schools, and state. Learn how the issue made it to the Supreme Court, which conflicting liberties were considered, and why the Court decided in favor of the parents. x
    • 15
      Furman v. Georgia
      Public support for the death penalty in the United States has historically ebbed and flowed. In 1972, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment as then administered was unconstitutional, many legal experts—including some justices—believed that would end the death penalty. Learn why that was not the case, and explore the deep complexities of the law as it relates to capital punishment. x
    • 16
      The Trial of Daniel Ellsberg
      Is it legal for an individual to copy top-secret documents and release them to the press? Is it legal for agents of the government to break into a psychiatrist’s office to look for information about a criminal defendant? Can the government legally stop a newspaper from publishing classified material? Explore how these questions—and their answers from the courts—affected the country’s political life during the Nixon administration, and ultimately led to the president’s resignation. x
    • 17
      The Road to Roe v. Wade
      Norma McCorvey knew two things: She was pregnant and she did not want the baby. Desperate for an abortion, she agreed (under the name “Jane Roe”) to take the case to court, and ultimately the Supreme Court. As you learn about the famous decision that resulted, you’ll also gain a better understanding of the many other ways in which American courts have intervened in personal decisions related to sterilization and birth control, as well as abortion. x
    • 18
      The Right to an Intimate Life
      Should the government interfere in activities in your bedroom? Well into the 20th century, every state had laws prohibiting at least one sexual act, even between heterosexual married couples in the privacy of their own home. Explore the numerous lawsuits and trials that eventually extended the protection of privacy to include intimacy, regardless of sexual orientation. x
    • 19
      The Ruby Ridge Trial
      Do we Americans have the freedom to isolate ourselves, hold and express views considered racist and hateful by the majority, and stockpile legally purchased weapons? Do we have the liberty to sell a sawed-off shotgun? Explore the complex story and resultant trial that started with Randy and Vicki Weaver wanting to separate themselves from mainstream society, and ended with three dead at Ruby Ridge. x
    • 20
      The Trials of Jack Kevorkian
      Jack Kevorkian believed strongly that individuals should have the right to end their pain and suffering, and with his inventions of the “thanotron” and the “mercitron,” Kevorkian helped hundreds do just that. Legally tried, having escaped conviction time after time, a final trial proved his undoing. Explore Dr. Kevorkian’s work on behalf of an individual’s right to euthanasia, why he believed he was taking a stand for liberty, and why he was eventually convicted of second-degree homicide. x
    • 21
      Boy Scouts of America v. Dale
      Do private organizations have the right to exclude members based on criteria that many—maybe even most in society—find objectionable? When the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) expelled scout leader James Dale because he way gay, Dale challenged the BSA’s authority to use sexual orientation as a basis for exclusion. In a case pitting Dale’s claimed right to be free from discrimination against the associational rights of the Scouts, the Supreme Court sided with the Boy Scouts. Examine why the U.S. Supreme Court decided as it did, and the effects and implications of its ruling. x
    • 22
      Kelo v. City of New London
      Does a city have the right to use eminent domain to take private property and sell it for private development if the city believes that development will improve the city’s economy? Learn how Susette Kelo’s refusal to sell her “little pink house” in New London, CT, led to a Supreme Court case addressing what she described to Congress as “eminent domain abuse”—and why she lost the case. x
    • 23
      The Citizens United Case
      U.S. candidates have a long history of trying to outraise and outspend their opponents to win elections. This has meant, oftentimes, that big corporations and wealthy donors determine election outcomes and, at least potentially, gain an opportunity to influence the votes and policies of the candidates they helped elect. In response, Congress had repeatedly tried to curtail such “corrupting” activities. Explore why, then, in 2010, the Supreme Court declared any ban on political spending by corporations to be unconstitutional—and why, at the same time, most polls show strong support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling. x
    • 24
      Liberty for Nonhumans?
      Many Americans were initially excluded from “liberty and justice for all.” Is it possible that future trials will result in greater liberties for apes, cetaceans, and elephants? Learn how “Tommy” became the first chimpanzee to have a suit for his freedom filed on his behalf and why one judge on the New York Court of Appeals says the issue of fundamental rights for nonhuman animals is not going away. x
  • Understanding the Old Testament

    Professor Robert D. Miller II, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    The Old Testament is one of the foundational documents of Western civilization. In this course, you’ll study a selection of the major books of the Old Testament, probing their meaning and relevance. Among these, you’ll explore the prophets, the wisdom literature, and the apocalyptic literature, finding their deeper historical and religious import, as well as their sublime literary treasures.
    View Lecture List (24)
    The Old Testament is one of the foundational documents of Western civilization. In this course, you’ll study a selection of the major books of the Old Testament, probing their meaning and relevance. Among these, you’ll explore the prophets, the wisdom literature, and the apocalyptic literature, finding their deeper historical and religious import, as well as their sublime literary treasures.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the Old Testament
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Old Testament as Literature
      Consider the historical and literary contexts of the Old Testament, and take an overview of this course. Then, study the events contained within the first six days of creation. For each day, note what was created, how God evaluated it, and how the events of the days are interconnected. Also, observe how the events establish an elaborate pattern and what that pattern meant to ancient Israelites. x
    • 2
      The Genesis Creation Story
      Look at the creation of humanity according to Genesis Chapter 1, and in particular, at how we interpret the idea that humans were made in the image and likeness of God. Then learn about the unique seventh day- the Sabbath-and how the Sabbath was also a day of creation. Investigate the intriguing question of the authorship of the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch or Torah. x
    • 3
      What God Intended for Adam and Eve
      Here, delve into the story of the Garden of Eden. Grasp God's purpose in creating humans as beings that are both material and spiritual. Consider the significance of the god-like role given to Adam to name other creatures. Learn how woman was created as a counterpart (and even rescuer) of man, and how the creation story accounts for a world that is not what God intended. x
    • 4
      When Things Go Wrong in the Garden of Eden
      In the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, explore how ancient Israelites understood the nature of sin. Follow Adam and Eve's transgression in eating the forbidden fruit and note how this act disrupts both the relationship between the two humans and between humanity and nature. See how the ultimate consequence of the humans' actions is the loss of fellowship with God. x
    • 5
      Abraham, the Father of Three Faiths
      In a deep look at the figure of Abraham, the spiritual father of three major religions, examine the features of the Covenant made between God and Abraham as Abraham embarks on his legendary journey. Study the three promises God makes, and what God asks of Abraham. Learn about the paradox embodied in God's command that Abraham sacrifice his son, and what this signifies about the nature of faith. x
    • 6
      Moses and the Exodus
      Read the Call of Moses to liberate the Israelites in Egypt and observe how it resonates with the call of other Biblical prophets. Investigate the Hebrew name of God, Yahweh; how God's nature is expressed in the name; and why Jews did not speak or write it. Finally, take account of scholarly controversy regarding interpretations of the Ten Plagues and the meaning of the Exodus from Egypt. x
    • 7
      The Ten Commandments
      Consider why the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, has a significance beyond that of the other 603 commandments in the Torah, and note how the Ten are numbered within different religious traditions. Examine each of the commandments and grasp how these directives by God were intended not to constrain humanity, but to guarantee freedom, of the community and of each individual. x
    • 8
      The Covenant Code in Exodus
      The Covenant Code contains some of the oldest laws of ancient Israel. Read the Code's many laws, on subjects from religious regulations to social justice, noting that they are considered divine in origin. Compare the Code to the laws of other ancient Near Eastern societies. Learn how, more than legal codes, the laws functioned as moral education regarding notions of human justice. x
    • 9
      Leviticus at a Crossroads
      The book of Leviticus sets out the ways Israelites were to live as God's people. Delve into three sections of the text, beginning with sacrificial practices. Examine five types of ritual sacrifice and the motives or purposes of each. Investigate the Manual of Impurities, which includes dietary rules on the purity of food. Then learn about the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year. x
    • 10
      Deuteronomy to Kings
      Take account of the context of Judges, within the Old Testament books that reveal the story of the Israelites in the Promised Land. Assess different accounts of how the Israelites came to the land of Canaan. Then witness the violent cycle in which they fell into idolatrous behavior, then wound up in enslavement, followed by God sending them a series of charismatic leaders (judges") to free them." x
    • 11
      The Book of Judges
      Follow the unfolding narrative of Judges, as the leaders sent to free the Israelites themselves fall from virtue. Study the stories of Gideon and his son, Abimelech, and note archaeological discoveries that show amazing similarities to the biblical story. Conclude with the trials of Jephthah and Samson, and the tragic conclusion of Judges, as Israel descends into immorality and violence. x
    • 12
      The Books of Samuel
      Chart the origins of prophecy in ancient Israel, with prophecy seen during ecstatic, trancelike spiritual practices. Observe how Samuel, the last judge, initiated monarchy among the Israelites, appointing Saul as king. Trace the disastrous reign of David, and the story of Bathsheba. Then meet the wise Solomon, builder of the first temple to Israel's God, where worship-significantly-focused on a text, not an image. x
    • 13
      The Books of Kings
      Examine the role of the prophet in ancient Israel as the conscience of the nation. Study the life of the prophet Elijah, his actions to affirm the supremacy of God, and his later disillusion and disobedience to God. Grasp Elijah's role in the fall of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah to Assyria and Babylon, a story which, nevertheless, ends on a note of hope. x
    • 14
      Biblical Short Stories: Ruth and Esther
      Discover the genre of the biblical short story: Old Testament books that recount single plots, often focusing on displaced women. Learn the story of Ruth, of the land of Moab-Israel's hated enemy, who survived in Bethlehem through loyalty and resourcefulness. Also, encounter the Jewish, Persian Queen Esther, who saved her people by honoring her Jewishness while being queen of a gentile society. x
    • 15
      Amos, Prophet of Justice
      Explore the preaching of the prophet Amos and his passionate theme of justice for the poor and vulnerable. Note how, as an outsider, Amos brings the northern kingdom of Israel to task for its crimes against the poor, seen in acts such as debt slavery, distortions of justice, and the treatment of concubines. Contemplate Amos's three woes" against Israel, and also his concluding vision of hope." x
    • 16
      The Prophet Isaiah in Three Movements
      Examine the three distinct sections of Isaiah: first, the prophet's stern denunciation of social injustice, and his intimation of a new era of peace under a messianic king; next, a promise of restoration and redemption for Israel, through the figure of the Suffering Servant"; and finally, the vision of a post-exile Jerusalem, where all peoples are included within the worship of God." x
    • 17
      Jeremiah, Persecuted Prophet
      Within the life and preaching of the prophet Jeremiah, study the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 7, regarding his temple sermon" preaching against idolatry, injustice, and fraudulent worship. Witness the prophet's response to his later persecution, and his struggle against his own call to be a prophet. Also read the hopeful prophecy in which God offers a new covenant to Israel, a covenant of forgiveness which will be everlasting." x
    • 18
      Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature
      In approaching the prophetic oracles and stories of the book of Daniel, delve into the genre of Apocalyptic literature-revelation which discloses a transcendent reality. Note the appearance in Daniel of the figure of the Son of Man," a divine, human-like being enthroned by God. Study the story of Daniel's exile to Babylon and take account of its message for diaspora Jews." x
    • 19
      How Scholars Study Psalms
      Uncover the musical nature of the book of Psalms, which were prayers that were originally sung, and how the Psalms embody the words of humans to God. Study the poetic features of the Psalms, highlighting parallelism (correspondence of lines). See how these patterns structure the Psalms and help to decipher meaning. Learn about the titles of the individual Psalms and what they tell us, and how the Psalms fall into five sections or books."" x
    • 20
      The Music of the Psalms
      In a second look at Psalms, investigate the primary psalm genres-hymns, thanksgivings, and laments- taking account, in each, of who is speaking within a given Psalm and with what intent. Also delve into lesser genres, such as wisdom psalms, pilgrimage songs, and penitential psalms. Discover how psalms are structured, and how these beloved prayers express the gamut of human emotions. x
    • 21
      Proverbs in the Bible: Wisdom Literature
      As context for the book of Proverbs, discover the Old Testament genre of wisdom literature" and the varieties of knowledge it encompasses. In the first, nine sections of Proverbs, study the use of paired metaphors that guide the reader's understanding. Examine the use of personification in Proverbs to express wisdom: as referred to as a woman, as present with God at creation, and as equivalent to the nature of the universe." x
    • 22
      Job's Suffering and Understanding
      Immerse yourself in the mysteries of the book of Job, first identifying its biblical genre and unusual literary structure. Witness God's wager with the accuser, who questions Job's faith, and see the unfolding of the guiltless Job's ensuing tribulations and reckoning with God. Contemplate the many historical explanations of God's actions, and what the narrative suggests about divine providence and human value. x
    • 23
      Ecclesiastes and the "Vanity of Vanities"
      Grapple with the fascinating and elusive text of the book of Ecclesiastes. In the apparent bleakness of Qohelet's words, grasp why many through the centuries have found the book depressing. With a careful and rigorous reading, plumb the verses for their deeper meaning: a singular vision of affirmation, reaching beyond the futility of human life to an authentic joy in the gifts of God. x
    • 24
      Slaying the Dragons of the Old Testament
      Conclude by examining a recurrent image within the Old Testament: the figure of the dragon as the personification of evil. Look back through the entire Old Testament at the metaphor of dragon-slaying, at the hands of God, and explore its appearance within earlier mythic traditions. Through multiple textual references, see how this unusual metaphor constitutes an analogy for human suffering and redemption. x
  • Understanding the New Testament

    Professor David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Join Professor David Brakke, an award-winning Professor of History at The Ohio State University, for Understanding the New Testament. In these 24 eye-opening lectures, he takes you behind the scenes to study not only the text of the New Testament, but also the authors and the world in which it was created.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Join Professor David Brakke, an award-winning Professor of History at The Ohio State University, for Understanding the New Testament. In these 24 eye-opening lectures, he takes you behind the scenes to study not only the text of the New Testament, but also the authors and the world in which it was created.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the New Testament
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Paradox of the New Testament
      The New Testament is comprised of 27 books by more than a dozen authors, yet it is also presented as a single, unified text. How do you resolve the paradox of one book versus many? In this opening lecture, see how historians view the New Testament and why they are excited by its diversity of voices. x
    • 2
      The Jewish Origins of Christian Faith
      Before delving into the New Testament, you first must look at ancient Judaism for context about the birth of Christianity. Here, explore key stories and themes of the Old Testament-including God's covenants with Abraham, Moses, and David, as well as Jewish eschatology-to understand the world of Jesus of Nazareth. x
    • 3
      1 Thessalonians and Paul's Ministry
      The New Testament includes many types of narrative, among them gospels, epistles, and revelations. In this first lecture on Paul's epistles, you will reflect on the chronologically earliest book of the New Testament. Examine the structure of a Pauline letter, and find out what his mission of evangelism was all about. x
    • 4
      The Salvation of Gentiles in Galatians
      Continue your study of Paul's epistles with a detailed look at his letter to the Galatians. In it, he offers a scathing rebuke to a congregation he believes has backslid after his departure. Find out why he believed it was so important to establish faith in Jesus as the one and only quality that gets you into heaven. x
    • 5
      Romans on God, Faith, and Israel
      Paul's letter to the Romans is his theological masterpiece. Because he had never been to Rome, he wrote this letter to introduce himself and his teachings to lay the groundwork for his arrival. Unpack the key message of his theology-namely, that one is made righteous solely through faith in Jesus Christ. x
    • 6
      Community Conflicts in 1-2 Corinthians
      In this first of two lectures about Paul's letters to the Corinthians, you will consider one tension inherent to Christian congregations. In Paul's theology, everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord, yet Corinth was a prosperous and diverse city. How did Paul reconcile economic, intellectual, and educational diversity with religious unity? x
    • 7
      Worship and Leaders in Paul's Congregations
      The two letters to the Corinthians give us great insight into Paul's theology, but they also provide interesting historical evidence for how early Christian congregations operated. How did believers worship? Who were the church leaders? What were the roles for men and women? Find out what the letters tell us about the community. x
    • 8
      Paul's Theology on Slavery and Christ
      Although Paul's letters to Philemon and to the Philippians are very different, they have two important things in common. Paul wrote them both from prison, and they each concern slavery. Gain insight into Paul's views around imprisonment, as well as his ideas about Christ's humanity and divinity. x
    • 9
      Adapting Paul's Teachings to New Situations
      Not all of Paul's letters were composed by the apostle himself. The three Deutero-Pauline" letters (2 Thessalonians, Colossians, and Ephesians) likely date to the years after Paul's death. In content, they seek to reassure readers that a series of events must occur before the end times arrive and that faith in Christ is all that is necessary for salvation in the present." x
    • 10
      Jesus as the Suffering Son of Man in Mark
      Shift your attention from Paul's epistles to the gospels, starting with the Gospel According to Mark. After reviewing what historians know about the author and the book's composition, Professor Brakke surveys the time of Jesus' ministry and death and explicates the key themes of Mark's gospel. x
    • 11
      Jesus as the New Moses in Matthew
      The unknown Christian who wrote the gospel now called Matthew presents a different theological portrait of Jesus and his ministry than Mark. Whereas Jesus in Mark is a mysterious figure, Matthew emphasizes Jesus' divinity. In this lecture, compare the two gospels and what scholars believe about their composition. x
    • 12
      The Church in the Gospel of Matthew
      Continue your study of the Gospel of Matthew, which gives us the only mention of the word church" in all of the four gospels. Consider Matthew's interest in forming and leading the church, and reflect on the conflict, in Matthew, between the Jesus who teaches Jewish law and the Jesus who critiques Jewish leaders." x
    • 13
      Luke and Acts on God's History of Salvation
      The Gospel of Luke is the first book in a two-volume work, the second being the book of Acts. Luke presents himself as a historian, so consider the two-volume Luke-Acts as a historical work. Who were Luke's sources? What story does he want to tell? How and why does his story unfold? x
    • 14
      Luke's Inclusive Message
      The grand narrative in the books Luke through Acts spans 60 years and presents a unified narrative of early Christian history. In this second lecture on Luke, look at the people and parables presented in his history-particularly the women, both named and anonymous, he writes about. Encounter a truly expansive, inclusive vision for Christianity. x
    • 15
      The Apostles and Church in Luke and Acts
      Because Luke was writing as a historian, probably between the years A.D. 90 and A.D. 120, he didn't merely re-create the past. Rather, Luke has a perspective on the history he tells. Unpack his vision of early Christian history and consider what message he is sending to his readers. Compare that message to the earlier Gospel according to Mark."" x
    • 16
      Jesus as the Divine Word in John
      The Gospel according to John" is an anomaly, set apart from the other three "Synoptic Gospels." Although the basic story of Jesus remains the same, running from the ministry of John the Baptist to the death and resurrection of Jesus, John's gospel contains more philosophy and has been called a more "spiritual" gospel." x
    • 17
      Jesus and the Jews in the Gospel of John
      In addition to its spiritual philosophy, the Gospel of John also contains troubling rhetoric around Jews and Judaism. Investigate the reasons behind John's depiction of the Jews and why it is so negative. See why John's portrayal of Jesus has made this gospel both an object of theological controversy and a source of deep spirituality. x
    • 18
      The Community of John after the Gospel
      What happened when an early Christian community began to fall apart? Disagreements over theology, challenges to church leadership, or disintegration of the group altogether were common, and the letters of John tackle these problems head-on. Delve into early efforts to unify a fractured church. x
    • 19
      In Search of the Historical Jesus
      The Historical Jesus" refers to the man named Jesus of Nazareth as opposed to the Christ we find in the gospels-a challenge for historians given that the gospels are our primary sources. Trace the development of biblical scholarship and research after the Renaissance and Enlightenment, when scholars began to think critically about the man named Jesus." x
    • 20
      Interpreting Abraham in Hebrews and James
      You might think of Abraham as belonging to the Old Testament, but he plays a mighty role in the writings of the New Testament. In the book of Hebrews, Abraham appears as a model of faith, whereas, in James he is an object of controversy over how people are saved-by faith alone or by faith and works. x
    • 21
      Churches in Crisis in 1-2 Peter and Jude
      Along with James and the three letters of John, 1-2 Peter and Jude are known as the catholic" or general epistles because they are addressed to multiple congregations, or Christians, in general. See what these most recent books of the New Testament tell us about a mature and growing religious movement." x
    • 22
      New Leaders in the Pastoral Epistles
      Paul's first and second letters to Timothy and the letter to Titus form a special group of epistles because they were written not to congregations but to church pastors, offering advice for how individual leaders ought to conduct themselves and guide their congregations. Together, they help us explore the development of an independent, organized religion. x
    • 23
      Revelation: Envisioning God's Reality
      The book of Revelation presents a complex; symbolic; and, at times, even bizarre vision of the present day and the future. In this lecture, Professor Brakke outlines why the Romans persecuted the Christians before turning to the content of Christ's revelation to John. Dive into this fascinating, challenging book. x
    • 24
      The Quest for Unity in the New Testament
      In this final lecture, revisit the paradox between the New Testament's diversity and unity, a single text comprised of 27 different books. See how theologians and scholars over the years have tackled this paradox. Examples include the Christian leaders Irenaeus, Origen, and Martin Luther, as well as modern historical researchers. x
  • Taking Control of Your Personal Data

    Professor Jennifer Golbeck, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    We have never before in human history been able to share so much about ourselves so quickly. Neither have we ever been so exposed to forces that want to take advantage of that capability. This course will open your eyes to the surprising extent of that exposure and will discuss your options for keeping your personal data as safe as possible, help you determine your personal privacy profile, and understand the current U.S. laws and proposed state laws regarding privacy.
    View Lecture List (12)
    We have never before in human history been able to share so much about ourselves so quickly. Neither have we ever been so exposed to forces that want to take advantage of that capability. This course will open your eyes to the surprising extent of that exposure and will discuss your options for keeping your personal data as safe as possible, help you determine your personal privacy profile, and understand the current U.S. laws and proposed state laws regarding privacy.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Taking Control of Your Personal Data
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      How Your Data Tells Secrets
      You probably know that anything you post on the internet is fair game; it can be used by advertisers, political parties, and others to target you with messages. Learn what else they use—from scratches on your camera lens in your pictures to a “like” from a friend-of-a-friend—to learn about you in unexpected detail and to predict your future behavior with surprising accuracy. x
    • 2
      The Mechanics of Data Harvesting
      No matter how careful you are about your online presence, information can be uncovered about you from data you didn't even know was being collected. One Washington Post reporter discovered that within one week, 5,400 hidden apps and trackers had received data from his phone! Learn some steps you can take to limit access to your personal information. x
    • 3
      Privacy Preferences: It's All about You
      How much do you care about your privacy? How concerned are you that specific individuals or groups could access your data? Examine why you must honestly identify your privacy profile before determining how to protect your online presence. Then, you can explore the privacy options that best meet your needs, knowing that it's always a tradeoff between privacy and convenience. x
    • 4
      The Upside of Personal Data Use
      We tend to be comfortable with the internet “knowing” about us when we understand how it acquired our data and how it’s being used. While ads geared to our purchase history might be annoying, we don’t find them nefarious. But you’ll be shocked to learn just how valuable those “recommender” algorithms are to the companies that own them. x
    • 5
      Online Tracking: Yes, You're Being Followed
      You don’t have to post information about yourself on a social media site to leave a trail of personal information; you’re unwittingly doing that every single time you visit a website—any website. Your IP address, cookies, browser fingerprinting, and more, create and track an electronic trail of your activities. Explore how you can block these trackers and hide your web activity to protect your privacy. x
    • 6
      Nowhere to Hide? Privacy under Surveillance
      When you accepted that car-tracking device from your auto insurance company, you chose to exchange some privacy for potential discounts. But you’ll be surprised to learn about the many other choices you make that you did not know could invade privacy—from using a medical device in your own bedroom to visiting the directory kiosk in a shopping mall, and much more. x
    • 7
      Consent: The Heart of Privacy Control
      When was the last time you thoroughly read and understood the privacy policies of your social media platforms? If you’re like most people, the answer is “never.” But how can you control your personal information if you don’t understand what you’re consenting to? Explore the myriad ways in which a lack of transparency has created societal harm in the past—and potential solutions. x
    • 8
      Data Scandals and the Lessons They Teach
      The website has assured you that your data is secure, so what can go wrong? Learn what the Cambridge Analytica, Google Buzz, and Ashley Madison scandals, among others, have taught us about data security. These debacles resulted in more than just personal inconvenience. Although we can never know the full extent of their effects, we do know lives were at stake. x
    • 9
      The Dark Web: Where Privacy Rules
      Is there any way to keep your comings and goings on the internet completely private? The answer might be the ominous-sounding dark web—not accessible from regular web browsers and not indexed by search engines. Explore the dark web and its Tor browser. Learn exactly how they protect your privacy and why you might, or might not, want to go that route. x
    • 10
      Algorithmic Bias: When AI Gets It Wrong
      Algorithms are built to learn from the vast amount of data collected about us for a variety of purposes, including significant decisions addressing employment, mortgage lending, and more. Discover how both the data and the algorithms can include accidental bias. Learn how this bias can impact people's lives, and what steps can be taken to address the issue. x
    • 11
      Privacy on the Global Stage
      Europeans legally own all data about themselves, and companies must comply with their wishes. In the United States, two-party communications are protected, but third-party communications (e.g., on Facebook) are not. In China, with an intrusive government, citizens have no expectations of privacy. Explore how these different privacy paradigms affect daily life—from bank loans to dating. x
    • 12
      Navigating the Future of Personal Data
      Examine the case of DNA and the fascinating effects of its changing access, use, and expected privacy—from interesting personal information to help in crime fighting to discrimination. With technology changing so quickly, can any real privacy assurances ever be made? Explore the California Consumer Privacy Act and the ways in which that law could affect all of us, in any U.S. state. x
  • Getting Your Legal House in Order

    Professor Sally Hurme, JD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    In Getting Your Legal House in Order, author and elder law attorney Sally Balch Hurme gives you a practical, step-by-step foray into your legal affairs. From property rights to wills and trusts to insurance and estate planning, these 18 eye-opening lectures give you everything you need to prepare your finances and your future. Filled with accessible advise, this course should be required viewing for people of any age.

    View Lecture List (18)

    In Getting Your Legal House in Order, author and elder law attorney Sally Balch Hurme gives you a practical, step-by-step foray into your legal affairs. From property rights to wills and trusts to insurance and estate planning, these 18 eye-opening lectures give you everything you need to prepare your finances and your future. Filled with accessible advise, this course should be required viewing for people of any age.

    View Lecture List (18)
    18 Lectures  |  Getting Your Legal House in Order
    Lecture Titles (18)
    • 1
      Get Your Legal Life Together Now!
      Begin your course with a survey of what makes up your legal house, from the ordinary day-to-day documents you already have to estate planning tools and considerations. You’ll quickly learn that “getting your legal house in order” is less daunting than it sounds—and it starts with an inventory you will take in this first lecture. x
    • 2
      Reducing Debt by Reading the Fine Print
      Too often, debt is easy to get into but hard to get out of, which is problematic because not only can debt limit your choices today, but it can also endanger the future for you and your loved ones. Here, you will review the major types of consumer debt, things you should consider before taking on debt, and the relationship between debt and your credit score. x
    • 3
      Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
      Everyone is a potential target of identity thieves, and the best way to defend yourself is to understand how thieves operate. Whether it's a phony call from the IRS or someone rooting around in your trash for account numbers and passcodes, thieves can be wily. Learn several strategies for defending yourself and your data. x
    • 4
      Knowing Your Property Rights
      Property is central to American law, but as anyone who has run afoul of the local zoning board or a condominium's HOA understands, your name might be on the deed (or lease), but property restrictions are rampant. Explore the many rights, responsibilities, restrictions, and hassles of owning and renting property. x
    • 5
      Deciding Whether a Timeshare Is for You
      The marketing literature paints a lovely picture: an ownership stake in vacation property that will set your family up for years of getaways. Timeshares may be wildly popular, but an inside investigation of the costs shows they don’t always add up to a wise investment. Find out what you need to know before buying—or selling—a timeshare. x
    • 6
      Choosing the Insurance You Need
      Insurance is something you buy with the hope that you'll never have to use it. But if you ever do need it, you certainly want to make sure you are covered. Unpack some of the most common types of insurance and arm yourself with a newfound understanding of policies and coverage. x
    • 7
      Figuring Out Your Retirement Finances
      Making the leap from a regular paycheck in your working years to living off your savings in retirement can be scary, and planning ahead is the best way to take care of yourself. From 401(k)s and IRAs to annuities and defined-benefit pension plans, get to know the financial instruments that will take care of you in your golden years. x
    • 8
      Making the Most of Medicare and Medicaid
      No one has ever been accused of saying Medicare and Medicaid are easy to understand. Like the rest of the American health care system, Medicare and Medicaid are built around confusing concepts such as coverage, deductibles, coinsurance—and even “Medigap insurance.” Learn how to make the most of your medical insurance options in later life. x
    • 9
      Weighing the Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
      For some, a reverse mortgage can be a handy tool in retirement, providing a flow of steady cash backed by property you own. Here, you will find out what exactly a reverse mortgage is, how it works, who might want one, and why you might want to avoid them altogether. x
    • 10
      Comparing Retirement Communities
      Where do you want to live in retirement? From resort-like active 50+ communities to Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), today's seniors have more choices than ever before. Survey the ins and outs of age-specific communities, the continuum of care, and what to watch for when planning your finances. x
    • 11
      Drafting Your Estate Plan
      A will is a central document in your estate plan, a way to distribute property that is not already designated by some other way. Reflect on what a will does, why you might or might not need one, and what happens to your property if you die without one. Also, begin thinking about what you should include in a will. x
    • 12
      Understanding and Using Trusts
      Although you’ve no doubt heard of a “trust,” there is a great deal of confusion and misinformation around the concept. Continue reflecting on your estate plan in this lecture that demystifies what a trust is, why you might need both a will and a trust, what you don’t want to put in a trust, and a few special reasons to set one up. x
    • 13
      Controlling Who Gets Your Property
      How you own what you own can make a big difference when it comes time to settle your estate. Consider the legal theory of property “interests”—or rights of ownership—and how you would like your property divided up. Things get complicated in a hurry when it comes to joint ownership, you’ll want to pay close attention if you have a partial interest in a piece of property. x
    • 14
      Separating Probate Facts from Fiction
      At its most basic, “probate” is a court-monitored procedure that determines the validity of a will, inventories assets, and settles claims on an estate. Think of the court as a referee to a game involving heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, executors, administrators, and other players. Get to know how to make probate as smooth and simple as possible for your family. x
    • 15
      Conveying Your Personal Wishes in Writing
      The process of dividing up property can lead to nasty disputes within a family. Fortunately, you can take two easy steps to head off potential family feuds: Write a letter of instruction for your final wishes and another letter for your personal belongings. From organ donation to the type of funeral you want, a letter can save a lot of heartache. x
    • 16
      Creating a Financial Power of Attorney
      A “power of attorney” is a simple document that gives written authorization to someone to represent you or act on your behalf. As you will learn in this lecture, every adult should have a power of attorney for matters of health and a second power of attorney for matters of finance. See why, and then explore the responsibility of being an agent. x
    • 17
      Caregiving by Contract or Court Order
      Much has been written about caregiving, but in this lecture, you will study two legal aspects of the caregiving relationship: the compensation contract for hiring a caregiver or paying a family member for services and the process of working through legal guardianship. Discover a few legal nuances and why they are important. x
    • 18
      Preparing Medical Advance Directives
      One of the kindest things you can do for your family is spare them the distress of having to face decisions about your health care without knowing your wishes. In this final lecture, delve into advanced care planning (including health care powers of attorney)—what treatments you want, and in what circumstances. As with all the tools you have studied, an advance directive is about peace of mind. x
  • Fighting Misinformation: Digital Media Literacy

    Taught By Multiple Professors

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) has teamed up with The Great Courses to provide an outstanding eight-lecture series designed to arm you with the very skills needed to defuse the threat of misinformation media. Ms.Tara Susman-Peña, a senior technical advisor, and her colleagues at IREX, Mehri Druckman and Nina Odura, will lead you step by step through the history, evolution, science, and impact of misinformation in Fighting Misinformation: Digital Media Literacy, an eight-lecture course that helps you to develop the skills you need to combat fakes, stereotypes, and frauds within every kind of media source.

    View Lecture List (8)

    The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) has teamed up with The Great Courses to provide an outstanding eight-lecture series designed to arm you with the very skills needed to defuse the threat of misinformation media. Ms.Tara Susman-Peña, a senior technical advisor, and her colleagues at IREX, Mehri Druckman and Nina Odura, will lead you step by step through the history, evolution, science, and impact of misinformation in Fighting Misinformation: Digital Media Literacy, an eight-lecture course that helps you to develop the skills you need to combat fakes, stereotypes, and frauds within every kind of media source.

    View Lecture List (8)
    8 Lectures  |  Fighting Misinformation: Digital Media Literacy
    Lecture Titles (8)
    • 1
      The Misinformation Threat
      Democracy depends on a well-informed, discerning electorate, equipped to judge the validity of the information available. In this first lecture, Ms. Susman-Peña and her esteemed colleagues at IREX delve into the concepts of misinformation and disinformation, and explain the critical ways in which falsehoods, slander, prejudice, and bad ideas can threaten American democracy. x
    • 2
      The Evolution of Media and Misinformation
      Options for news sources have expanded exponentially in the digital age. Content is at our fingertips from traditional news sources, but anyone can now be a publisher of information on the internet, and computer algorithms are influencing what you see every day. How do we sort the legitimate news from false, misleading, or opinion content? Travel with your instructors through the history of communication technology as you learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff. x
    • 3
      Misinformation and the Brain
      Humans often fail to critically evaluate the world around us. Take a close look at the machinations of misinformation, and how it can be used in conjunction with our natural cognitive biases to lead us astray. Learn about the role of reality distortion, the “Barnum effect,” selective recall, and confirmation bias in misinformation, and how techniques like “Label to Disable” and “Care before You Share” can help. x
    • 4
      Seeing Through Visual Misinformation
      Visual images have been selected, edited, reframed—even manipulated—before they reach us, often in ways designed to elicit an emotional response. Explore the impact of reuse and mislabeling, photo selection effect, and deliberate alteration or forgery to affect how we see and feel about an image. Then, employ Label to Disable to diffuse the threat of visual misinformation. x
    • 5
      Countering Fakes and Stereotypes in Media
      How do fake information and stereotypes combine to produce an especially damaging type of misinformation? Fake information, including fake social media accounts, fake chat messages, and fake reviews, can infiltrate our electronic lives. See how stereotypes can magnify the damage done by fake information, and consider the difficult questions presented by the human tendency toward bias. x
    • 6
      Journalistic Verification Skills
      Your ability to differentiate between fact and opinion and to judge the quality of media content is vital to a functional democracy. You do not have to go it alone. Learn how the professionals test and verify information, as well as what websites, plug-ins, and tactics can help you determine journalistic integrity and accuracy of information. x
    • 7
      Assessing Science and Health News
      How can we make good decisions about important health and science issues if we cannot trust the news we get about them? Scientific knowledge, by its very nature, is always changing, but using some simple methods described in this segment, you can ascertain the validity of health and science information. x
    • 8
      Technology, Misinformation, and the Future
      The rise of new technology has led to a simultaneous, exponential increase in misinformation—locally, nationally, and even internationally. Learn how artificial intelligence and augmented reality programs are being used to spread misinformation, and how media literacy, Label to Disable, and Care before You Share can be used to combat its spread. x
  • Everyday Guide to Beer
    Course  |  Everyday Guide to Beer

    Distinguished Professor Emeritus Charles W. Bamforth, Pope of Foam

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Professor Emeritus Charlie Bamforth of the University of California, Davis, often referred to as the “Pope of Foam” within the beer industry, has spent more than 40 years crafting, writing, and teaching others about beer and how to make it. In the 12 lessons of the The Everyday Guide to Beer, Dr. Bamforth takes you on a journey through the history of this surprisingly complex beverage.
    View Lecture List (12)
    Professor Emeritus Charlie Bamforth of the University of California, Davis, often referred to as the “Pope of Foam” within the beer industry, has spent more than 40 years crafting, writing, and teaching others about beer and how to make it. In the 12 lessons of the The Everyday Guide to Beer, Dr. Bamforth takes you on a journey through the history of this surprisingly complex beverage.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Everyday Guide to Beer
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      8,000 Years of Beer
      Begin your journey with a primer on the history of beer and its place among peoples like the Sumerians, Egyptians, and the Medieval Benedictines. You'll learn about figures like Dukes William IV and Ludwig X of Bavaria and the Reinheitsgebot, and even hear the fascinating story behind the origin of British pub signs. x
    • 2
      Malt, Hops, Yeast, Water: How Beer Is Made
      Now that you've traveled through beer's history, you're ready to discover how it's made. You'll go in-depth with ingredients like malt and hops, and which geographic regions of the world each variety comes from. Then, Sierra Nevada's Head Brewer Scott Jennings will take you through the process of how this elite brewery produces its award-winning beer. x
    • 3
      A Grand Tour of Beer Styles
      Different fermentation techniques can result in radically different beer styles and flavors. Explore this concept within the context of products like ice beers, light beers, and dry" beers, as well as with unique categories like gueuze and lambics." x
    • 4
      All about Ales
      Ale is one of beer's most significant and diverse classifications. Here, you'll investigate popular versions like pale ales, India pale ales (IPAs), and Scotch ales. But did you know that porters and stouts are also ales? Go in depth with this important beer category and then discover the unique characteristics of each sub-type. x
    • 5
      All about Lagers
      Germany's impact on beer history cannot be overstated, and nowhere is this more prevalent than when drinking a glass of lager. A deceptively difficult beer to brew, this category includes styles like doppelbocks, marzens, and the increasingly popular Oktoberfest. But an Oktoberfestbier in Germany means something very different than it does in other parts of the world. x
    • 6
      Beers of the World: Who Drinks What
      The world's leading beer brand has significantly more market share than Budweiser and Coors Light combined, and you've likely never heard of it. In this lesson on the business of beer, find out how this is possible and what top producers like Anheuser-Busch InBev, and micro and regional breweries all mean for the industry as a whole. x
    • 7
      Enjoying Beer I: The Perfect Pour
      How a beer looks can influence our perception before we even take our first sip. Learn why everything from a beer's packaging and label to the bottles a brewery uses can affect our experience. You'll also discover how to pour a beer properly to get the appropriate amount of foam, and what nucleation sites in a glass do for both presentation and flavor. x
    • 8
      Enjoying Beer II: Maximizing Flavor
      Did you know that the aroma from hops is made up of at least 420 different compounds? Learn the typical flavor each type of malt infuses into a beer and how different chemicals combine to form the sweet, salt, sour, or bitter notes each style is known for. Conclude with the proper serving temperature for most of the major beer types you've learned about in previous lessons. x
    • 9
      Enjoying Beer III: Buying and Storing
      The way beer is stored, packaged, and distributed can have a huge impact on how it tastes. Ryan Mintzer, packaging and warehouse manager at Sierra Nevada, will take you through some of the brewery's best practices to ensure that each beer has optimal flavor and freshness before being poured into your glass. x
    • 10
      Pairing Beer with Food
      Pairing beer with food effectively can take some practice, but a few important tips will help you plan that next meal with confidence. Whether it's matching beer with existing recipes or actually adding it into a dish, beer's versatility should not be underestimated. Experience a five-course dinner menu with beer pairings, specially prepared by Jessie Massie, head chef at Sierra Nevada's Mills River Taproom. x
    • 11
      The Science of Quality Beer
      Quality in beer can be very subjective and a difficult thing to quantify. General Manager Brian Grossman, of Sierra Nevada's Mills River facility, and Quality Manager Liz Huber discuss this idea and how measurements of alcohol by volume (ABV), clarity, pH, and other checks are used to achieve desired results. x
    • 12
      Beer and Human Health
      Nutritious or just empty calories? In this final lesson, Dr. Bamforth will take you through the health benefits and risks associated with beer consumption, such as recommended consumption limits and why moderation has been preached since this beverage's early days. However, beer also contains antioxidants and an array of vitamins like niacin, folic acid, and riboflavin. x
  • The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters

    Professor David Brody, Professor of Painting and Drawing

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Many of us have the mistaken idea that only “born artists” can paint. But the truth is much more exciting—with the right training, anyone can learn the skill of painting! In The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters, artist David Brody teaches those skills in 34 easy-to-follow lessons. He begins by teaching the basics and then moves on to developing technique by having you copy from some of the world’s most iconic paintings.
    View Lecture List (34)
    Many of us have the mistaken idea that only “born artists” can paint. But the truth is much more exciting—with the right training, anyone can learn the skill of painting! In The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters, artist David Brody teaches those skills in 34 easy-to-follow lessons. He begins by teaching the basics and then moves on to developing technique by having you copy from some of the world’s most iconic paintings.
    View Lecture List (34)
    34 Lectures  |  The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters
    Lecture Titles (34)
    • 1
      The Grand Tradition of Painting
      Humans have been painting for more than 40,000 years and creating pigments for more than 300,000 years. You'll join that great tradition by making your own pigments and paints in this lesson. Learn why the masters began their careers by copying others and why this is the best time in history to learn to paint. x
    • 2
      Health and Safety in the Studio
      Oil-based paints are considered the most versatile medium for painters today. But with pigments, oils, and solvents comes the potential danger of toxicity and combustion. Learn how to take proper safety precautions-reading the Safety Data Sheet and product label for each item you buy, ventilating the room where you paint, and properly disposing of hazardous waste. x
    • 3
      Basic Painting Materials
      What are the must-haves" for your workspace? Learn about necessary supplies, including paper, pencils, additives, brushes, and the six specific tubes of paint you'll need for your first palette. You'll also learn why so many painters rely on the mahl stick-and how to build your own." x
    • 4
      Studio Setup and Brush Care
      Make sure your workspace meets your specific needs and preferences. Explore your lighting options for both natural and artificial light and learn how they impact your painting, palette, and subject. You'll also learn how to set your paints on the palette to allow for greatest efficiency and flexibility, and how to clean everything at the end of your session with brush cleaners you'll build yourself. x
    • 5
      First Exercises: Line and Mark
      Studying John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Madame X, you'll learn how the placement of the brush in your hand affects the types of strokes you can make. As you test various options with your own brush placement, pressure, speed, and dilutions, you'll experiment with a variety of lines and marks-and examine those of Van Gogh, Cezanne, and many others. x
    • 6
      First Exercises: Value, Edges, and Texture
      In this lesson, you'll experiment with many ways to change value by changing opacity, hatching, stippling, and more. You'll also learn a variety of ways to create an edge, making it hard or soft. You'll experiment with many different ways to both apply and remove paint, and learn about the relationships between thick and thin layers-and what will stand the test of time. x
    • 7
      Creating Basic Forms: Lines, Shapes, and Solids
      As you study line, texture, contour, space, and proportion, you'll learn how painters can start with a flat shape and create a three-dimensional solid. By examining Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and other paintings, you'll learn how artists build upon simple geometric figures to create highly organized groupings of interlocking shapes. x
    • 8
      Value: Making a Value Scale
      With the goal of painting grisailles and brunailles-paintings executed entirely in shades of gray or brown, respectively-you'll learn a step-by-step method for developing two appropriate value scales. In the process, you'll explore paint mixing, assessing the value of those mixtures, identifying and correcting mistakes, and understanding the effects of simultaneous contrast. x
    • 9
      Value: A Simple Still Life
      Before creating a brunaille based on Norman Lundin's Simple Still Life-Three Cups, you'll learn how to transfer the cartoon files-the underdrawings in your course guidebook-to your surface, as well as options for using the grid system to scale up or down. You'll visually take the painting apart to carefully identify the work's shapes, and then use your value chart to guide you through the painting process. x
    • 10
      Value: Mood, Palette, and Light
      Learn how value affects the mood of a painting-with a greater range of values bringing higher energy and a smaller range bringing a softer, calmer mood. Explore how value also can be used to create pattern, a focal hierarchy, and the illusion of space and three-dimensional volume. You'll also examine the way light can be used to give a flat effect or to produce greater drama with a chiaroscuro. x
    • 11
      Value: Block and Sphere in Grisaille
      By painting a chiaroscuro block and sphere in grisaille, you'll apply value mixing skills-with 17 different values in this exercise-and explore the way light affects rectilinear and curvilinear forms. You'll practice blending edges, experimenting with a variety of brushes and the use of horizontal and vertical strokes. x
    • 12
      The Figure and a Portrait in Brunaille
      In this lesson, you'll experiment with using value intuitively, leaving behind the numerical references you used previously. You'll learn how the illusion of a complex three-dimensional form is created as you work with value and shadows. And you'll learn to see the planar structure beneath an object, considering both value and edges as you bring life to the structure. x
    • 13
      Working with the Earth Tone Palette
      In this lesson, you'll explore the full palette of earth tones, black, and white-a palette that has been used for millennia in every geographic area. As you experiment with a color-mixing exercise, methodically developing a chart to reveal the full range of this palette, you'll observe the way the colors seem to change depending on their context. x
    • 14
      Ensuring Accurate Proportions
      Explore the benefits of the gridded velo, calipers, beam compasses, and even tracing paper. These tools have been used from da Vinci to the modern age for developing precise proportions when painting. Specifically, learn how to work with proportional dividers to help the accuracy of your work, whether you're copying from another painting or painting a still life. x
    • 15
      Composition: Shape, Ground, and Format
      Nothing is more important to the success of a painting than composition-the organization of elements that brings cohesion to the work. Learn how to look deeply at paintings to discover compositional patterns and to improve your own work by examining format, simple and compound aggregate shapes, the box strategy, the crucial role played by background," and more." x
    • 16
      Composition: Leonardo and the Armature
      Learn how to develop and work with an armature, the structure that determines the organization of elements in your painting and guides the viewer's eyes through your work. Whether it's the placement of a large figure or the angle of a hairline, generations of artists from diverse cultures have depended on the armature to bring visual power into their works. x
    • 17
      Composition: Balance, Focus, and Space
      Learn how to construct your painting to control the viewer's path through its visual information. What do you want the observer to attend to first, second, next? You'll explore the elements of compositional weight and balance, space, hierarchy, focal considerations, color, and more to understand the ways in which each of these factors affects your viewer's experience. x
    • 18
      Degas, Hammershoi, and Other Projects
      In this lesson, you'll practice the elements you've learned-from value to composition-with several painting assignments. In addition to a still life, you'll work with cartoons of paintings by Degas and Hammershoi, and numerous specific suggestions for painting groupings of geometric solids, fabric, and maybe even a room in your own home. x
    • 19
      Materials: Oil Paint Brands and Quality
      Two tubes of paint with similar names-or even the exact same name-can appear and behave very differently depending on their chemical composition and the processes used in manufacturing. In this lesson, you'll learn how to glean information from paint labels and how to utilize the Color IndexTM, often abbreviated CIGN, the international classification system for dyes and pigments. x
    • 20
      Materials: Oil Paint Characteristics
      Learn how opacity, tinting strength, permanence, and consistency affect your paint's performance, and how to identify these characteristics from the paint's label. You'll also learn how to make sure your paint is safe, how to proceed if the label does note a health hazard, and how to care for your paints once in your workspace. x
    • 21
      Color: Theory and Exercises
      Learn the difference between additive and subtractive mixing, how those processes impact the colors you'll see when you mix your paints, and why formal color theory doesn't always reflect how paints work in the real world. You'll begin to create your own color chart in order to experiment with the value, hue, and saturation of your particular paints. x
    • 22
      Color: Painting with Limited Palettes
      Examine the limited palettes used by some of the great masters throughout history-monochrome, dominant hue, analogous, split complementary, and more-and explore how they strategized color usage to create a particular mood in a painting. You'll build your own palette as you explore an exercise on color mixing, trying to match your paints to a specific color on a print. x
    • 23
      Materials: All about Medium
      All painters would love to find a medium that would cause the exact result they want with no negative effects. Instead, it's all about compromise. Learn about the pros and cons of linseed oil, oil of rosemary, odorless mineral spirits, hydrocarbon resins, balsams, yellow beeswax, and more. You'll experiment with making damar varnish and find recipes for numerous others. x
    • 24
      Materials: All about Brushes
      Although almost all artists today paint with brushes, painters have experimented with an enormous variety of tools-from fingers to squeegees. In this lesson, you'll explore the two main categories of brushes, their variability in price, and how to best care for them. You'll also learn why hog hair is the best natural bristle and why sable" brushes are almost never made from sable." x
    • 25
      Materials: Flexible Supports
      With step-by-step instructions, you'll build your own flexible support, starting with purchasing the supports and linen, and then stretching the linen over the frame. To create the needed barrier between the textile and the paint, you'll make a rabbit-hide glue solution and then prime with a lead white ground. You'll also learn a great variety of options for future experiments. x
    • 26
      Materials: Rigid Supports
      Many artists choose to paint on rigid supports-wood, metal, or even glass-which preserve paintings for much longer periods than flexible supports. Learn why plywood and composite panels are today's popular choice for those who paint on wood, how to prepare wooden surfaces before painting, and step-by-step directions for making your own gesso. x
    • 27
      Materials: Carpentry for the Studio
      Many artists want their own supports, studio tables, stretchers, and strainers made to custom specs to best meet their specific needs. In this lesson, you'll learn how to build chassis for canvases and panels, a painting table, and a brush table. Step-by-step instructions for the tables can also be found in the course guidebook. x
    • 28
      Project: A Modigliani Portrait
      In this lesson, you'll experiment with painting Amedeo Modigliani's Portrait of a Young Girl. In this work and others, Modigliani worked with the ratio of the canvas itself, as opposed to the natural proportions of the figure. You'll learn to see and paint those unusual proportions in his orange-blue complementary system. x
    • 29
      Project: A Degas Ballerina
      By painting a study of The Ballerina, by Edgar Degas, you'll work extensively with washes in a red-green complementary-analogous palette. You'll experiment with a great range of mark making, both positively with your brush and negatively with scratched hatchings, and work with several tools to remove paint as you emulate Degas' texture. x
    • 30
      Project: A Corot Landscape
      Painting a study based on Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's Bridge on the Saon at Macon-with its palpable illusion of light and air-gives you the opportunity to work with a greater depth of space than in any previous painting in this course and with brush strokes you haven't used before. You'll be challenged also by using his double complementary palette. x
    • 31
      Project: Derain's Portrait of Matisse
      In this lesson, you'll paint a study based on Andre Derain's iconic 1905 portrait of his friend Henri Matisse, using highly saturated color that modulates from light to dark and warm to cool as you move around the head. In copying Derain's style, you'll use hue, value, and brush marks to make sure the head is the focus of the piece. x
    • 32
      Project: A Porter Self-Portrait
      In this lecture, you'll paint a study based on a Fairfield Porter self-portrait. Porter focused on observational figure painting with works that relied on strong abstract shape relationships. In this painting, you'll work with opacity and density as you create all the large and small, positive and negative shapes that come together as a type of grid of interlocking puzzle pieces. x
    • 33
      Painting's Evolution: Indirect Painting
      Explore the significant differences between indirect and direct painting. You'll learn which tools and techniques to use depending on which type of work you want to produce-the historical indirect method of using thin translucent paint on top a smooth white panel, or the more modern method of using opaque paint on the rougher, less reflective surface of canvas. x
    • 34
      Nighthawks, The Scream, and Other Projects
      In this lesson, you'll study Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and Munch's The Scream. While viewers often think the Munch was painted in a moment of emotional outburst, both paintings were highly premeditated and meticulously created with numerous advanced studies. By examining the many steps these painters went through in preparation, you will improve your own artistic process as well. x
  • A Historian Goes to the Movies: Ancient Rome

    Professor Gregory S. Aldrete, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    From Ben-Hur to Spartacus to Gladiator, get a front-row look at the great movies that have shaped ancient Rome’s role in popular culture and memory. The 12 lectures of Professor Gregory S. Aldrete’s A Historian Goes to the Movies: Ancient Rome cover over 50 years of cinematic history and talent, and immerse you in the glory and grandeur—and even the folly—of classic and contemporary films set in Roman antiquity.

    View Lecture List (12)

    From Ben-Hur to Spartacus to Gladiator, get a front-row look at the great movies that have shaped ancient Rome’s role in popular culture and memory. The 12 lectures of Professor Gregory S. Aldrete’s A Historian Goes to the Movies: Ancient Rome cover over 50 years of cinematic history and talent, and immerse you in the glory and grandeur—and even the folly—of classic and contemporary films set in Roman antiquity.

    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  A Historian Goes to the Movies: Ancient Rome
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Quo Vadis Kick-Starts the Sword-and-Sandal Genre
      Few films did as much to shape the modern movie-going public’s notions of ancient Rome as Quo Vadis. Discover how this film, released in 1951 by MGM Studios, ushered in the golden age of the so-called “sword-and-sandal” picture, with its irresistible formula of evil, arrogant Romans versus virtuous, devout Christians. x
    • 2
      Ben-Hur: The Greatest Chariot Race
      Ben-Hur, from 1959, was an enormous financial risk that nevertheless became a cash machine for MGM Studios. In this lecture, unpack the intricate tensions between the Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur and the Roman aristocrat Messala, then analyze the historical accuracies (and inaccuracies) of the film's iconic naval battle and chariot race sequences. x
    • 3
      Spartacus: Kubrick's Controversial Epic
      Discover what makes Spartacus—despite being one of the best-known cinema epics of ancient Rome—something of an oddity. It’s a gladiator film with only one scene of combat. Its production was rife with conflict. Its narrative misrepresents the real-life Spartacus’s goals. And it played an important role in Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist movement. x
    • 4
      Cleopatra: Spectacle Gone Wild
      How did the 1963 film, Cleopatra, bring about the destruction of the golden age of epic films set in ancient Rome—and destroy the old Hollywood studio system? How does this film treat the historical accounts of figures like Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Octavian? Why do its grand costumes and sets still deserve admiration? x
    • 5
      The Fall of the Roman Empire and Ancient Epics
      With its $19 million price tag and its $4.75 million in returns, The Fall of the Roman Empire was an unmitigated financial disaster. From its connections to 1960s global politics to its elaborate reconstruction of the Roman Forum to its bleak ending, explore why some critics and scholars regard this as a sophisticated take on ancient Rome. x
    • 6
      I, Claudius: The BBC Makes an Anti-Epic
      Consider the 1976 BBC production of I, Claudius, which has been credited as one of the most influential and memorable portraits of the ancient world ever to appear on the screen—big or small. Set between 24 B.C. and A.D. 54, the miniseries created an intimate look at the reigns of emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. x
    • 7
      Life of Brian: The Roman World's a Funny Place
      What would a parody of sword-and-sandal films, with all their genre conventions and clichés, look like? Discover how Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a witty parody of both biblical and Roman epic films, took on gladiatorial games, ancient Roman society and religion, and the human tendency toward factionalism and tribalism. x
    • 8
      Gladiator: The Historical Epic Revived
      Why did big-budget epics of the ancient world fall out of fashion? How did the 2000 film, Gladiator, single-handedly resuscitate a genre that had been dormant for nearly 40 years? What has recent scholarship revealed about the film’s portrayals of gladiator battles and the lives of ancient Roman emperors—their truths, falsehoods, and embellishments? x
    • 9
      Rome: HBO's Gritty Take on Ancient History
      To get a sense of what living in ancient Rome was really like for the average person, the best place to look is the HBO miniseries, Rome. Learn how, despite its flaws, this short-lived series offers accurate (if gritty) views of different religious beliefs, the role of slavery in ancient Roman society, and more. x
    • 10
      Centurion and The Eagle: The Legions in Britain
      Explore two films that take on the legendary story of an ancient Roman legion lost in the mists of Britain. Both Centurion and The Eagle, while not as well-known as some of the other films featured in this course, nevertheless, offer solid insights into Roman military tactics and raise central issues about Roman imperialism. x
    • 11
      Scipione l'africano and Fellini Satyricon
      While both were Italian productions, Scipione l’africano and Fellini Satyricon couldn’t be more dissimilar in style. Examine how these two films—one a pompous work of propaganda from 1937, the other a subversive piece of overindulgence from 1969—are best seen as products of the eras in which they were made. x
    • 12
      Bread and Circuses in Sci-Fi Films
      The Hunger Games, The Matrix, The Running Man, Rollerball, Ready Player One—each of these wildly different sci-fi films derive their premise from a line of poetry by the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal. How has a simple motif about “bread and circuses” powered some of the most memorable sci-fi plots in cinema? x
  • Experiencing Hubble: Exploring the Milky Way

    Professor David M. Meyer, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Taught by Dr. David Meyer of Northwestern University, this course takes you on a tour of the Milky Way galaxy through spectacular images during the Hubble Space Telescope's third decade of operation. You view stars, star cluster, nebulae, and more, while learning such concepts as star birth, planet formation, black holes, and galactic evolution. The result is a tour that is as awe-inspiring as it is instructive, while also showing what it means to live in a galaxy.
    View Lecture List (12)
    Taught by Dr. David Meyer of Northwestern University, this course takes you on a tour of the Milky Way galaxy through spectacular images during the Hubble Space Telescope's third decade of operation. You view stars, star cluster, nebulae, and more, while learning such concepts as star birth, planet formation, black holes, and galactic evolution. The result is a tour that is as awe-inspiring as it is instructive, while also showing what it means to live in a galaxy.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Experiencing Hubble: Exploring the Milky Way
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      The Unseen Face of Our Spiral Galaxy
      Your Hubble Space Telescope tour of the Milky Way galaxy begins with an overview of the spectacular images you will encounter in the course. Dr. Meyer notes that our location in the disk of the Milky Way makes it difficult to discern the galaxy's large-scale structure. But by studying clues both near and far, astronomers have identified another spiral galaxy that is a close match to ours. x
    • 2
      Viewing the Galaxy through a Comet
      Focus on Comet ISON as it passes inside the orbit of Jupiter, just a few light-minutes from Earth. In the same frame, Hubble reveals additional distant objects in our galaxy, but also galaxies billions of light years distant—a striking case of extreme depth of field. Discover that comets are icy leftovers from the formation of the solar system, and they populate the Oort Cloud, which extends partway to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. x
    • 3
      A Cloud of Stardust: The Horsehead Nebula
      Your stop in this lecture is the famous Horsehead Nebula—a two-light-year appendage of a vast molecular cloud composed of gas and dust. Dr. Meyer discusses the physical processes that turn these clouds into stellar nurseries. The horsehead shape is the accidental outcome of ultraviolet radiation pouring from a nearby young star, which acts like a blowtorch on the dark nebular material. x
    • 4
      A Star Awakens: The Jets of Herbig-Haro 24
      Described in a Hubble press release as a “cosmic, double-bladed lightsaber,” Herbig-Haro 24 is a pair of energetic jets emerging from the polar regions of a newborn star. Such jets are a common feature in star-forming regions. Their high speed and tendency to form in pulses allow long-lived observatories like Hubble to show them in action via time-lapse movies made over several years. x
    • 5
      A Star Cluster Blossoms: Westerlund 2
      Visit some of the hottest, most luminous stars in the galaxy, the young cluster known as Westerlund 2. Compare this group with other star clusters, using the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram to grasp what color and luminosity say about stellar evolution. Drawing on this information, predict the future of Westerlund 2, and reflect on the cluster where the Sun probably formed 4.6 billion years ago. x
    • 6
      An Interstellar Cavity: The Bubble Nebula
      Focus on the delicate Bubble Nebula, a sphere of gas 8 light-years across, which is being inflated by the strong wind from a hot, young star 45 times more massive than the Sun. Many such structures have been recorded by Hubble, vividly showing the process of mass loss by stars—sometimes gradually, sometimes explosively—which enriches space with elements heavier than helium. x
    • 7
      The Interstellar Echo of a Variable Star
      In one of the most beautiful sequences ever photographed by Hubble, a ring of light radiates through a nebula—like ripples from a stone tossed in a pond. This view is the light echo of a Cepheid variable star, seen in time-lapse as it reverberates at light speed through the surrounding dust cloud. Learn how the properties of Cepheids are the key to measuring distances in our galactic neighborhood. x
    • 8
      Tracing the Veil of a Prehistoric Supernova
      Thousands of years ago, light from a stellar explosion in the constellation Cygnus reached Earth. Ever since, remnants of that supernova event have been speeding apart, until they now form a ghostly feature called the Veil Nebula. View Hubble and other telescopic images to learn how supernovae shape the elemental composition of the galaxy, making possible rocky planets such as Earth. x
    • 9
      The Stellar Vortex at the Galactic Center
      Begin a new section of the course that investigates the large-scale structure of the Milky Way. In this lecture, journey to the galactic center, which Hubble shows to be populated by millions of densely packed stars, orbiting a black hole with the mass of 4 million suns. Study other examples of supermassive black holes in galactic cores and theories on how they form. x
    • 10
      The Galactic Halo's Largest Star Cluster
      Over a hundred globular star clusters are scattered like sparkling snow globes in a halo around the Milky Way. Each is composed of hundreds of thousands to millions of stars. Explore Hubble's views of the inner regions of these clusters, learning their connection to the early epoch of star formation in the universe. Some of the clusters are remnants of dwarf galaxies, captured by the Milky Way. x
    • 11
      Satellite Galaxies: The Magellanic Clouds
      Zero in on the largest of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, known as LMC and SMC. View Hubble's images of the Tarantula Nebula with its brilliant cluster R136 in the LMC, and NGC 602 in the SMC (often voted as one of the top 10 Hubble photos of all time). Trace the likely history of the Magellanic Clouds and their link to the origin of the Milky Way. x
    • 12
      The Future of the Milky Way
      Finish your tour of the Milky Way by traveling to the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda, seeing it in a dazzling composite of 7,400 Hubble exposures in 411 star fields. Chart the fate of the Milky Way as Andromeda speeds toward it for a collision billions of years from now. Hubble's views of other galactic collisions show what to expect from this surprisingly graceful merger of two giant galaxies. x
  • America's Musical Heritage

    Professor Anthony Seeger, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In Professor Anthony Seeger’s America’s Musical Heritage, learn how to listen to the music of America with new ears. Produced in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings—proprietor of the vast treasury of American vernacular music—these 12 lectures explore more than 200 years of music from trailblazers like Scott Joplin, the Memphis Jug Band, Woody Guthrie, and many others.
    View Lecture List (12)
    In Professor Anthony Seeger’s America’s Musical Heritage, learn how to listen to the music of America with new ears. Produced in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings—proprietor of the vast treasury of American vernacular music—these 12 lectures explore more than 200 years of music from trailblazers like Scott Joplin, the Memphis Jug Band, Woody Guthrie, and many others.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  America's Musical Heritage
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Inheriting America's Musical Traditions
      Use classic children's music-everything from jump rope rhymes to lullabies-as a fascinating window into America's musical traditions and how they open up a plethora of musical doors and memories. Also, get an introduction to some of the many incredible treasures contained in the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series. x
    • 2
      American Revolutionary and Wartime Music
      American music has shaped the meaning of war, making it a more shared experience. Take a closer listen to music from the Revolutionary War (The President's March") and the Civil War ("I'm Going Home to Dixie"), as well as anti-war songs including "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier."" x
    • 3
      European Empires and American Music
      The United States is built on a foundation of pre-existing musical heritages from people who were already in North America before the nation was born. Survey the musical traditions of the British, French, and Spanish empires, as well as influence from Indigenous groups-some of which still endure to this day. x
    • 4
      Minstrel Shows and Variety Shows
      In this lecture, Professor Seeger wrestles with the development of American minstrel shows in the 1830s, with their roots in slavery and racial stereotypes. Then, he reveals how these problematic shows laid the groundwork for other musical traditions, including circuses, medicine shows, and the popular entertainment known as vaudeville. x
    • 5
      Music of American Movement and Dance
      From square dances (the official state dance in over 20 states) to the waltz (one of America's earliest dance crazes), investigate the relationship between movement and music in the United States. Discover how the human body can synchronize itself to an external rhythm-a response known as rhythmic entrainment. x
    • 6
      Hymns, Spirituals, and Chants in America
      Examine the main strands of religious music in the United States. Among the many you'll look at are spirituals (both European and African variations); religious chants from Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim traditions; and ring shouts and shape-note singing. Also, spend time with popular compositions like Northfield" and "Amazing Grace."" x
    • 7
      Brass Bands, Powwows, and Folk Festivals
      How does music bring like-minded people together? In this lecture, turn to three traditions of voluntary, public music in America: brass bands, powwows, and folk music festivals. Learn how each tradition-despite their unique sounds and histories-offers fellowship, reinforces bonds, and helps foster a sense of communal history. x
    • 8
      American Music of Politics and Protest
      In the United States, the ties between music and political and protest movements are deep and long-standing. Here, explore political parodies known as zipper songs" and iconic songs about disenfranchised women, workers, and African-Americans, including "Bread and Roses," "Solidarity Forever," and "We Shall Overcome."" x
    • 9
      The Banjo: An African Gift to American Music
      Follow the story of the banjo, a musical instrument whose development is intertwined with larger American themes of slavery, conflict, struggle, ingenuity, and musical inventiveness. Plus, learn how musical instruments change shape and sound, and deepen your understanding of the ways we interpret cultural and musical ownership today. x
    • 10
      The Roots of Country Music in America
      Visit the Appalachian region of the Southeast and unearth the roots of country music" (a term that wasn't used until the 1950s) in mountain "hillbilly" music. Along the way, consider some of the many tropes of this genre of music, exemplified by a song from 1947 called "Goodbye, Old Paint."" x
    • 11
      American Piano, Ragtime, and Early Jazz
      From concert pianos to player pianos, explore the inner workings of one of music's most iconic instruments and its many variations. Then, witness the power of the piano in ragtime music (including Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag") and its role in the emergence of jazz, one of America's most thrilling musical forms." x
    • 12
      The Musical Gumbo of New Orleans
      What makes the city of New Orleans more musically extraordinary than other American cities? The answer: a rare combination of distinct musical and cultural influences coming together in one place. Professor Seeger closes out this course with an appreciation of the importance of place in American music. x
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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.
    View Lecture List (12)
    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
  • 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 writin