Saturday, January 6, 2024






(Oxford University Press)

Harriet Tubman, Union Spy

Thursday, February 29 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Hired by the Union Army during the Civil War, Harriet Tubman ventured into the heart of slave territory—Beaufort, South Carolina —to live, work, and gather intelligence for a daring raid up the Combahee River to attack the major plantations of Rice Country, the breadbasket of the Confederacy. Historian Edda L. Fields-Black—a descendent of one of the soldiers in the June 1863 action that liberated 756 enslaved people—traces the raid’s planning, participants, execution, and aftermath.





Writing a Novel: A Character-Driven Approach

4-Session Afternoon Course
Friday, March 8 to 29 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Ready to take that novel-in-progress out of the drawer? Find the inspiration you need as award-winning author Elizabeth Poliner leads a practical four-part series focused on understanding and creating a character-driven approach to novel writing—one that allows plots and structures to develop organically. She covers elements including character, setting, narration, and structure, as well as theme, research, and the ever-essential role of revision.





The Colosseum, Rome (Photo: Paolo Gaetano/Istock)

The History of Western Art

2-Session Weekend Series
Saturday, March 16 and 23 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton leads a two-session survey of Western art from prehistory to the present day. Explore the constantly evolving aesthetic preferences that swing between naturalism and abstraction; unravel the stories behind some of the world’s most iconic artwork; and discover the profound impact they have had on our understanding of art and society.

World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit





Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, ca. 1746, by Elias Gottlob Haussmann (Museum of City History, Leipzig)

Bach's Sacred Cantatas: A Journey Through Human Emotions

Thursday, March 21 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Why does Johann Sebastian Bach’s music remain deeply relevant to our times despite having been composed 300 years ago? Because it draws on all shades of timeless human emotions. The composer’s religious cantatas—poetic and musical commentaries on sacred texts associated with specific dates on the Lutheran liturgical calendar—are vivid showcases of that complex emotional understanding. Singer Thierry van Bastelaer examines the sources of their power and their significance in Bach’s output.





Interior view of the museum; renovated and designed by Gehry Partners (Steve Hall © Hall + Merrick Photographers, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art: Frank Gehry's Revision

In-Person Weekend All-Day Tour
Saturday, March 23 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Enjoy a day that spotlights architect Frank Gehry’s designs for the recent renovation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. En route to Philadelphia, Bill Keene, a lecturer in history, urban studies, and architecture, offers an overview of Gehry’s career and the backstory of the project. At the museum, a staff-led architectural tour brings you into some of the most dramatic of the reimagined spaces that blend past and present.





Federalists vs. Antifederalists: Why the Battle Over the Constitution Still Matters

Monday, March 25 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

When the Constitutional Convention ended on Sept. 17, 1787, the battle over the Constitution had just begun. Federalists advocated for a strong central government; Antifederalists sought for power to lie within the states. Historian Denver Brunsman describes the battle of ideas and tactics that surrounded the process to ratify the Constitution and the patterns of political debate that persist to this day.





USS South Carolina (U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph)

The WWI Navy: Second to None

Tuesday, March 26 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

For the U.S. Navy, World War I was the first significant test of an armed force branch billed as “second to none.” Could it rise to the challenge in the clash of powerful forces that had engulfed Europe? Chris Rentfrow, director of the Navy Museums Division at the Naval History and Heritage Command at Washington Navy Yard, examines the growing role of the Navy during early decades of the 20th century and the critical role its forces played in WWI.





Quetzalcoatl, guarding the entrance to the ruins of the Aztec main temple in downtown Mexico City

Mexico City in the Footsteps of Moctezuma: Aztec Art and Architecture

Wednesday, March 27 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

While the Aztec, or Mexica, people of today’s Central Mexico had no specific word that corresponds precisely to the Western term “art,” they had very specific ideas about what made objects cualli—a word for good or right in the Nahuatl language. Ellen Hoobler, a curator at Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum, surveys the architecture of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, site of modern Mexico City, and considers the techniques and materials of a limited selection of the Mexica’s surviving art treasures in stone, ceramics, and feather mosaics.

World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit





Depiction of Jesus on the ceiling of the Florence Baptistery di San Giovanni (detail)

Images of Christ: Variations and Themes

Art-full Friday, Live from Tuscany
Friday, March 29 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Jesus Christ is an instantly recognizable figure, perhaps the most frequently depicted in all Western art. Since scripture does not provide a description of what Christ looked like, painters and mosaic-makers would often resort to the artistic canons of their time to create an image of the Nazarene. Renaissance art historian Elaine Ruffolo delves into some of the most impactful portrayals of Christ, uncovering how social, political, and religious contexts directly shaped the iconic image we recognize today.

World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit






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