2020 Spring Courses

Opening Pandora’s Box: A Masterwork of Silent Cinema

Group Leader: ROBERT MANNING
Meets on: Thursdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 4/2/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: The Engineering Center
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In this class we will devote our attention to one film, a gem from the Golden Age of German cinema, Pandora’s Box (1929), and explore the enigmatic screen presence of its magnetic star, Louise Brooks. Along the way, we’ll explore the classical myth of Pandora, the Golden Age of German cinema, Hollywood, the heady and decadent days of the Weimar Republic, modernism, sexuality, violence, innocence and, of course, the star of the film, Louise Brooks as Lulu. In Louise Brooks – a flapper from Kansas, Ziegfeld Follies dancer,…

Pioneer Women on the Northern Plains

Group Leader: LINDA BERGER
Meets on: Wednesdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 4/1/2020
Sessions: 5
Exceptions: recurring
Location: King's Chapel Parish House
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In the settlement of the American West, we can distinguish between the mining frontier, starting with the Gold Rush in California, and the agricultural frontier. This is a course about the agricultural frontier of the middle of America, and the pioneers who farmed it. Extending from Texas up to Canada, this area was labeled the Great American Desert on early 19th century maps, and in the 20th century was known as The Dust Bowl. Many people refer to it today as the Great Plains. The material we will…

Rembrandt in Context: His Horizon of Expectations

Group Leader: AMY GOLAHNY
Meets on: Wednesdays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 2/19/2020
Sessions: 5
Exceptions: recurring
Location: Fisher College
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Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) is enjoying much attention in 2019 on the 350th anniversary of his death. This course examines his work in context of his training, his network, and his impact on artists of his time, taking into account recent research. Rembrandt’s background includes a fine education at the Leiden Latin school, which included drawing. He trained with two artists, Jacob van Swanenburg and Pieter Lastman, who gave him secondhand experience with Italy and Italian art currents. We will discuss works by Rembrandt with respect to this…

Sacred and Profane Art In Padua

Group Leader: LIANA CHENEY
Meets on: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 5/5/2020
Sessions: 4
Exceptions:
Location: Prescott House
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Padua, the picturesque and oldest city in Italy, has been the center of culture since antiquity and especially during the Renaissance. This mini course focuses on the artistic achievements of Renaissance Florentine artists such as Giotto and Donatello and Venetian painter Andrea Mantegna. In 1300, The Scrovegni family invited Giotto to paint their chapel with religious themes. In 1450, the Narni family commissioned Donatello to sculpt in bronze an equestrian monument, Gattamelata. While the Venetian painter Mantegna decorated the Overtari Chapel in 1450 (partially destroyed during WWII). Giotto…

Science in the News

Group Leader: EMILY KERR, Coordinator
Meets on: Fridays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 4/17/2020
Sessions: 5
Exceptions: recurring
Location: The Engineering Center
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We live in an exciting time for science, with rapid and fundamental discoveries coming from the biomedical sciences, technology, and the physical sciences. This seminar brings a series of graduate students or postdoctoral scholars from Harvard or MIT to discuss their research. All speakers have been trained in science communication by Harvard’s Science in the News graduate organization. Possible topics include how animals change color, the competition between human neurons in brain function, and the use of the brain as inspiration for nanoelectrons.

The -Omics Revolution: Big Data and Personalized Medicine

Group Leader: SWETA GUPTA and AMY TSURUMI
Meets on: Thursdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 3/26/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: Prescott House
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Recent development of various -omics technologies have made it possible to generate a molecular profile of all gene sequence/activity, proteins, and metabolites from biospecimens. The objective of this course is to cover these new methods and highlight how big data generated from these approaches can contribute to the implementation of personalized medicine and the development of new treatments. We will provide technical information in lay terms about select -omics technologies (transcriptomics, (epi)genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) and machine learning/ artificial intelligence analyses methods that are applied to -omics big data…

The Decameron

Group Leader: FRANCESCA PIANA
Meets on: Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 3/31/2020
Sessions: 5
Exceptions: recurring
Location: King's Chapel Parish House
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The Decameron, a collection of novellas written by Giovanni Boccaccio, a master in storytelling, became popular not long after it was published around 1351. It inspired writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Keats. It is the year 1348, the plague is depleting the population in Florence. People hurriedly cross streets not to meet anyone who might be contaminated. There are unburied corpses everywhere, and the stench of death permeates the city. This is not a place for young people who want to live and enjoy life. Seven young…

The History of Early Technology: Steamless Stalkings

Group Leader: GEORGE MESZOLY
Meets on: Thursdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 2/13/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: Prescott House
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"Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born." —ALAN KAY This seminar will cover the history of technology and engineering from the time of the earliest civilizations up to the age of steam. Civilization itself could not exist without technology; canals, city walls, transport of materials, metalwork. All were the result of technical breakthroughs that led to the construction of the civilizations of Sumer and Egypt, and later supported the advances of the classical world of Greece and Rome. However, we will not focus exclusively on…

The Poetry of Robert Frost

Group Leader: ALAN HELMS
Meets on: Tuesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 3/31/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: Arlington Street Church
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Robert Frost is one of America’s greatest poets, and I would gladly put him in competition with the world’s best. For one thing, he’s technically superb. He’s the last great sonneteer and one of the best in a line stretching from Shakespeare through Milton and Keats to Yeats and the present. In this class we will discuss his poetry in depth. The level of quality in his poetry is amazingly high (the worthless in Wordsworth is probably 50%, in William Carlos Williams at least 80%, but in Frost…

The Story of the 8th Air Force and 1204th Bomb Group’s Successful Air Assault Against Germany and Japan 1942-1945

Group Leader: LAWRENCE CLIFFORD
Meets on: Tuesdays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 2/4/2020
Sessions: 6
Exceptions: recurring
Location: King's Chapel Parish House
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Many of you may remember the movie and TV series Twelve O’clock High about the 8th Air Force and the 1204th Bomb Group that successfully provided an air assault against Germany and Japan during World War II. In this class, we will discuss the real story. Without these air assaults the war would have been prolonged for much longer. Most of the 1204th Bomb Group flying against Japan from the Mariana Islands were crews that had flown for the 8th Air Force over Germany 1942-1944. We will discuss…

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