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Classes Still Available in DavidsonLearns Fall term

by | Sep 3, 2017 | DavidsonLearns

It’s not too late to join DavidsonLearns. We still have an amazing variety of classes available for the 2017 Fall Term

As you look at our current courses, you may want to take a closer look at The Spanish Golden Age and the Myth of Don Juan that starts later this month. Here is a special message from our instructor, Deborah Fosberg Nelson:

To understand 16th century Spain, one must be aware of eight previous centuries of conflict between Christian and Muslim medieval kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula. This conflict ended in 1492, after which Spain enjoyed a period of conquests, wealth, and a flourishing of the arts and literature known as the “Siglo de Oro” or Golden Age. My course will explore this background and its relationship to the exuberance of characters in one of Lope de Vega’s plays.  Lope was a colorful individual, called “the Monster of Nature” by his rival Cervantes. In addition to numerous love affairs and careers, he produced 3000 sonnets, several novels, novellas, and epic poems and over 500 plays. His plays showcase heroic Christian warriors and highlight the noble spirit of Catholic peasants fighting against infidels and tyrants.

After Lope de Vega we will explore the energy of Baroque Spain in a play by Tirso de Molina.  Tirso was a poet, dramatist, and Roman Catholic monk, best known for creating the original character of Don Juan. We cannot help but enjoy this seducer and betrayer of women in spite of his moral depravity, because he is lovingly described through humor and poetry. This first Don Juan is condemned at the end of the play, as were many Spaniards in the Age of the Inquisition.  Nevertheless, both the author and we, the public, find much to admire. We will then jump from the 1640’s to the 1840’s and our second Don Juan protagonist. This Don Juan will be redeemed and saved by love. We have moved from the era of the Counter-Reformation to that of Romanticism. The declarations of love which transform our cheating protagonist fall from Dona Ines’ lips and speak of a different century in the history and literature of Spain.

Currently, eight of our courses have already filled:

  • Connections and Conflicts in the Humanities: Revolution
  • The United States Civil War: A New Birth of Freedom
  • International Affairs: Global Hot Spots
  • It’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ to It: Memoir Writing
  • “All Things in Common”: American Religious Communities
  • Beginning Genealogy
  • The Life, Letters, and Poetry of Emily Dickinson
  • The Fascination of Fragrance

but, in addition to The Spanish Golden Age and the Myth of Don Juan, we have a few spaces left in the following courses:

  • The Other Nuremburg: The Trials of Japanese War Criminals. Discussion will include the less well-known trials of Japanese war criminals by the United States and other allied governments, including history’s sometimes harsh judgments on these trials as “victor’s justice” and as examples of racism.
    • Instructor: Jeanie Welch.  Four sessions beginning September 11th.
  • Sufism. This course will introduce Sufism, the predominant mystical tradition of Islam. Explore Sufism within the broader Islamic tradition, its roots, doctrines, and practices, as well as its historical origins, development, cultural significance for Islamic civilization, and place in the contemporary Islamic world.
    • Instructor: Rizwan Zamir.  Five sessions beginning September 15th.
  • Intelligence Collection and Espionage Activities During the American Revolutionary War. Discover the vital role of intelligence and espionage operations by both the Americans and the British during the American Revolutionary War.
    • Instructor: Tom Rynne.  Six sessions beginning October 4th.
  • Chinese Culture in the Tang Dynasty (7th—10th centuries). We will explore a recognized peak of Chinese literature and art during the Tang Dynasty. Discussions will focus on the art of the word, while also considering philosophy, religion, and the visual and musical arts.
    • Instructor: Gill Holland. Five sessions beginning October 9th.

Our classes offer intellectual stimulation in a friendly setting with highly qualified instructors. If you decide to join us, you can find registration instructions here.


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