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Arts & Humanities

02 A More Perfect Union: How We, the People, Can Talk to One Another

Ms Steve Drucker, Retired Counselor

Communication can solve problems or it can do harm. Come and practice conversational skills that get to the heart of what we hope to share in daily life, with respect and cooperation. Skills like self-care, listening, and empathy flow from the “better angels of our nature.” Bring notebook and pens.

03 Ancient Egypt’s Messages in Word, Art and Architecture

Brian Alm, Independent Scholar

Come hear the ancient Egyptians speak to us from the depths of time. We will go back 5,000 years to listen to their stories and explore the rich treasures of their thought, expressed in literature, art and architecture. Egypt, arguably the most fascinating of all ancient cultures, has much to tell us, if only we can crack the code and understand the mysteries -- and we can.

04 Everyday Poetry

Ryan Collins
Midwest Writing Center and St Ambrose University


We will read and discuss our way through the rich landscape of contemporary American poetry, via some popular venues: the “Poem-a-Day” project, The New York Times, and others. We’ll also respond with our own writing, to develop a conversation with our readings throughout the course.

05 Fantasy, Reality, and Morality

Prof Sarah McDowell
Augustana College


Join me in reading A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore by Ursula LeGuin to discover how reading fantasy can help us face reality. We will explore notions of freedom, identity, mortality, and responsibility as we seek to answer the question, “How should I live my life?”

06 Heinrich Böll’s: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

Dr Tamara Feldent
Augustana College


An innocent, honorable person has nothing to fear from the media and police overreach even in an age of terrorism, right? Heinrich Böll examines that notion in his 1974 novel The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, and in 2018 the topic is eerily relevant. Participants should obtain the Penguin Classics edition of the book before the first day of class. ISBN: 978-014305404

07 History Behind the News

Dr Arthur Pitz
St Ambrose University


We’ll look at the history behind key news items of our era such as admitting immigration-refugees; the multilateral Iran deal; roots of our uncivil public discourse; and topics participants wish to discuss. We’ll investigate historical parallels to illuminate these current events. Partisan politics will be avoided as much as possible.

08 The Play’s the Thing

Dr. Don Wooten

An exploration of major classic plays in four categories: Greek tragedy and comedy; Shakespearean tragedy and comedy (with an aside on history plays).

09 The Renaissance and Michelangelo’s Sculpture

Dr Giancarlo Maiorino
Professor Emeritus, Indiana University


An introduction to Renaissance sculpture, which will center on Michelangelo’s major works. Since artworks express context, questions will be asked about the meaning of “renaissance,” “classicism,” “humanism,” and the controversial meaning of culture and civilization. What role did the Renaissance play in the shift from a Ptolemaic world-view to a Copernican world-view? What does the phrase “man made in the image of God” mean? Why is the Renaissance considered the beginning of modern capitalism?

10 Understanding Political Violence in the 21st Century

Ms Jordan Schneider
Interlink-MCQC


101 in political violence for the average person. Understand the various groups around the world who engage in political violence. Attendees will have the chance to ask questions about terrorism, and jihadist violence in a free and open environment. Categories covered will include state-sponsored political violence, co-terrorists, secular and religious affiliated groups.

11 Why Do Nations Fight?

Rev Larry Conway
Pastor, Retired Army Chaplain


This is an interdisciplinary course regarding why nations engage in conflict, centering on belief systems and how they motivate nations to fight and to seek peace. Insights from sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, political science, and religion will also help us see the motivational factors behind conflict.

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