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Arts & Humanities

01 The Dagger Before Us: MacBeth

John Turner, Scott Community College

Few of Shakespeare’s works are better known or bloodier than MacBeth. we’ll discuss why Shakespeare is so relevant today, view the recent Fassbender version, and have a discussion on the last day with the director and cast members of the Prenzie performance that will happen in January. Text available everywhere.

02 Does Everybody Have a Price?

Dr. Tamara Felden, Augustana College

Friedrich Duerrenmatt, the Swiss author and dramatist, certainly thinks so. And if everyone has a price, what is ours? We will examine this challenging and timeless question by reading the play and viewing the film that is based on it. We will also ask questions such as: How do the theatre and film productions differ? Are these differences inherent in the medium? If so, why? Except for the third Sunday, when we will view the film, class will consist of discussion on forms of literature, free will and ethics, and anything else we want to pursue as a group. Friedrich Duerrenmatt's The Visit is approximately 140 pages long and readily available in paperback format. Any (English language) edition will be fine.

03 Introduction to Storytelling

Rev. Julie Monnard, Lutheran Pastor

Sometimes, simply reading a story isn't engaging. Whether it is quality time with a child, keeping employees focused, or teaching a Sunday School class, storytelling is an effective way of sharing a story. This class will show you how to tell 'told' stories, including children's books, fairy tales, and Bible stories. We also will try interactive storytelling and create our own stories. This will be a hands-on class. Students will practice telling stories each session.

04 Islam, Science, Food and Art: What We Didn't Learn in Social Studies

Dr. Lisa Killinger, Muslim Community of the QC

In this lively, interactive course, participants will explore topics about Islam and Muslims that may not have made it into our social studies books. We will journey through Islamic arts, including architecture, calligraphy and music. We will examine Islam's contributions to science such as: algebra, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, and navigational science. Lastly, the tapestry of cultures of the American Muslim community will be examined, with an optional field trip to a local mosque for dinner.

05 Paris Moderns, 1850-1950

Dr. Claire Kovacs, Augustanan College

If you visited French Moderns at the Figge and are interested in learning more about the art of the period, then this is the class for you. For all who visited or called it home, the 'City of Light' was a space for inspiration and a site of rapid artistic development, spurred by shifting urban, social, cultural, intellectual, and political environments. The class will investigate transformations of painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking through the expressive styles of Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism, Dada, Cubism, and Surrealism. Each week of the course will focus on one of the themes of the recent Figge exhibition, French Moderns: Landscape, Still Life, Portraits and Figures, and the Nude.

06 Sophocles and Shakespeare Run for President

Dr. Don Wooten, Retired

Classical authors had a lot to say about political leaders and their relationships with citizens. Shakespeare, in particular, gives us portraits of the strong and the weak, the virtuous and the venal, in Roman and English history plays. The Greek dramatists did not hesitate to address the same topics.

07 Timeless Ancient Egypt

Brian Alm, Independent Scholar

The cultural and religious ideas planted early in ancient Egypt continued on for more than 3,000 years, with very little change, despite the lack of creed or canon; in fact, because there was no dogma to render religion, belief and mythology inflexible. Let’s take one final CommU journey through time and probe the ideas, motifs of art and architecture, practices, rituals, theologies and myths, and see what we can learn among the marvels and mysteries of this profound and ancient culture.

08 Understanding Vaccines: How They're Made and How the Immune System Responds

Dr. Dara Weman-Geedey, Augustana College

Trying to keep up with conflicting information about vaccines can be confusing to say the least -- and when people turn to the internet for information, they may be overwhelmed by scientific jargon or scared by a personal story shared on someone's blog. Can't someone use plain, old English to just explain how vaccines are made and why the CDC recommends so many of them? Our goals in this course are to sort through the information on vaccines using regular, every day words. We'll look at how vaccines are made (and why they're made that way), why boosters or multiple doses of some vaccines are required to form immunity, why there seem to be so many vaccines nowadays as compared to "when you were a child," and what the most common side-effects are for vaccines. We'll also go over the now retracted Lancet article by Andrew Wakefield in which he suggested a connection between vaccines and autism. This course will require patience and an open-minded interest in what the science really shows. We will not debate any vaccine-related issue in this course -- we'll just be examining the facts from a scientific perspective.

09 Zachor--Remember, Don't Forget

Dr. Arthur Pitz, Muscatine Community College

We'll be attempting to come to grips with the Shoah (Holocaust). How and why could that happen? What has been its legacy? How can we teach it now that most of the survivors-witnesses have passed away? As part of that, we'll discuss the history of antisemitism (man's oldest lasting prejudice) and the American Eugenics Movement. We'll use a variety of handouts and AV sources. Course will include some disturbing content.

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