2024 Fall Online Courses

Biomedical Sciences Research Seminar Series

Group Leader: Sunny Kumar
Meets on: Friday 1 to 3 PM
Starting: 10/11/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 6 | Class Size: 30

This course is a research seminar offered in partnership with the Mass General Postdoc Association (MGPA) Science Communications Committee. Each week, two research fellows (MDs or PhDs) at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School will deliver a presentation on their ongoing research. Informative talks will be followed by interactive Q&A sessions with class participants. The far-ranging topics will cover different fields in medical research, including neuroscience, oncology, cardiology, and epidemiology. No prior scientific knowledge is expected from course participants, and no weekly preparation is required. The…

Dutch Art: Frans Hals and Other Current Topics

Group Leader: Amy Golahny
Meets on: Tuesday 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Starting: 10/8/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 3 | Class Size: 35

Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and other Dutch artists have been receiving attention recently for exhibitions and reinterpretations of their artwork. This seminar explores aspects of current research in art history, from the “Rembrandt Year” of 2019 to the present, including rediscoveries of Rembrandt paintings and drawings, connections between Frans Hals and Rembrandt, and other topics. The major Frans Hals exhibition of 2023-2024 will be covered in this course, along with the work of lesser known artists including David Bailly, Hans Bol, and Jacques Vrel. The current exhibition at the…

Giorgio Vasari and his legacy: 450th years celebration of his death

Group Leader: Liana Cheney
Meets on: Thursday 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Starting: 10/10/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 6 | Class Size: 50

This seminar will honor the life and work of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), who founded the discipline of art history. Vasari was a knowledgeable artist in classics, emblems, and mythography and a significant figure in art history. An accomplished painter, architect, art collector, and historical writer in sixteenth-century Tuscany, he was celebrated for his invaluable contributions to the art world through his art theory and artistic achievements. This seminar will delve into Vasari's artistic innovations that continue to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts today. It will also examine Vasari's…

Music at the Court of Frederick the Great 1732-1786

Group Leader: Andrus Madsen
Meets on: Wednesday 10 AM to noon
Starting: 10/9/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 6 | Class Size: 35

Frederick the Great was not just a capable ruler and significant world leader, but also a very skilled flutist and composer. In his passion for music, he assembled a body of talent that made his orchestra the envy of any other monarch. The concentration of genius among the composers at his court was unrivaled at the time. As Crown Prince in 1732, eight years before ascending the throne, Frederick founded his court orchestra, drawing in the best of the young talent at the time. He envied the Dresden…

Our Huge National Debt: Will we make it?

Group Leader: Carroll Perry
Meets on: Tuesday 1 to 3 PM
Starting: 10/15/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 5 | Class Size: 20

Alexander Hamilton left us with two important messages when he took over as our first Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington: 1) No country that cannot issue and sell its own debt can survive as a country, and 2) It is very important to involve the moneyed interests of a nation in the country’s health and well-being through the buying of bonds. If the rich do not care, the country will not survive. We have taken Hamilton’s advice, some would say to extremes. We approach this fall’s…

Science in the News

Group Leader: Kaitlin Rhee
Meets on: Friday 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Starting: 10/11/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 6 | Class Size: 24

This seminar series will introduce participants to groundbreaking work being done in the worlds of science and medicine. A series of local scientists will share their stories and facilitate interactive discussions on a broad range of interdisciplinary research topics and their various implications. These speakers have experience in both academia and industry, some conducting basic research and others doing more translational work. Past topics have included: developing new therapeutic antibodies in cancer, finding solutions to bacterial drug resistance, explaining the science of climate change, debunking computer processing speed…

The Ties That Bind: Reading Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Group Leader: Diane Thompson
Meets on: Friday 1 to 3 PM
Starting: 10/11/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 5 | Class Size: 30

In Toni Morrison’s third novel, Song of Solomon, she introduces us to the Dead family. It is a family living in the same city yet divided by time and misunderstanding. On one side is Macon Dead II, on the other is his sister Pilate Dead, and standing in the middle is Macon “Milkman” Dead III, the protagonist of this family saga. Growing up, Milkman is taught that his father’s way of life is the “right” way and his aunt’s way of life is “wrong.” As Milkman grows from…

The Women's Movement: The Second Wave of Feminist Pioneers

Group Leader: Linda Berger
Meets on: Monday 10 AM to noon
Starting: 10/7/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 5 | Class Size: 50

The First Wave of feminism occurred during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Western world and centered on property rights and the right to vote. This course will study the Second Wave (1960s-1980s), which focused on women in the workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights. The course will begin with Betty Friedan's landmark book, The Feminist Mystique (1963), and will continue with discussions of the feminist writing of Simone Beauvoir, Kate Millet, Germaine Greer, Susan Brownmiller and Gloria Steinem.   Note: No class will be held…

When is the Music Group Greater than the Sum of Its Parts?

Group Leader: Teresa Lyons
Meets on: Monday 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Starting: 10/21/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 6 | Class Size: 20

What leads to successful and lasting performance careers for music group members? Why did the Beatles break up at the height of their career after less than ten years together, while the internationally known Guarneri String Quartet performed together successfully for over 42 years?? How important, even critical, is teamwork for any music group’s success? When do the individual’s professional and personal needs conflict with group success? When is conflict helpful to a group’s performance and when is it not? Did you know that the rock group Metallica,…

World Religions and Ways of Truth

Group Leader: Olga Turcotte
Meets on: Monday 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Starting: 10/21/2024
Venue: Online
Sessions: 6 | Class Size: 20

Join us to study some of the world’s key belief systems, in a fun and friendly atmosphere. This seminar will touch upon the main aspects of the six major ways of Truth, as they are known and practiced today. We will start with the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), where we will read about God creating the world in six days (hence our six sessions). We will then explore Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Polytheism, and Shinto, some of which have their own creation stories and all of…