Spring 2014 Drew Mini-Course Offerings

Registration is now open. Classes begin January 27th, 2014

This program of non-credit short courses is jointly sponsored by Drew University’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and the Friends of the Madison Public Library.  These courses are intended to be suitable for the general public, with no prerequisites. However, they are taught at a level consistent with Drew University’s outstanding academic reputation. There are no examinations, grades, or required reading.

Please print registration form, fill it out and mail with your check to the address on the form.  Please provide an e-mail address as your registration will be confirmed via email.

Spring 2014 Registration form

Questions?  Email:  minicourses@drew.edu or Call: 973-408-3118

Artists Who Happen to be Women

Instructor: Barbara Tomlinson Five Mondays: Jan. 27; Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24;    1:00 – 3:00 pm – Note that this class begins one half hour earlier than the others.

In 1971 Linda Nochlin published an essay in which she posed the question, “Why have there been no great women artists?”.  As we will learn, others had asked this question decades earlier with no success.  Nochlin’s essay fell on more fertile ground and many women, artists and historians, were ready to explore answers.  This course is a brief historical survey of the women in western culture who have been artists.  It explains why, as late as 1971, Nochlin was having to question their very existence.

Barbara Tomlinson was the Course Coordinator of the humanities component of Kean University’s General Education Program before retirement.  She is one of our most popular lecturers.

Between the Wars Part II: Music in the 1930s

Instructor: Robert Butts
Five Tuesdays: Jan. 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25;   1:30 – 3:30 pm

The  Crash of 1929 impacted music and the arts as well. The free-spending days of constant experimentation and social/cultural life-styles that marked the 1920s evolved into a way of approaching creativity that was as concerned with accessibility and development as with avant-garde wildness. Dance and popular music styles continued to influence all areas of the music world the dominance of the small jazz combo and sweet orchestra were superceded by the big bands that defined the swing era. Popular music artists wrote songs in what was called “folk” style, usually aimed at combining entertainment with social awareness.     Film scoring became a major compositional activity and concert composers began emphasizing more traditionally inspired scores. Political turmoil also marked the decade and many major European composers came to America, influencing music from Carnegie Hall to Broadway.   Major musical figures of the period included Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Aaron Copland, Kurt Weill, Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Bela Bartok, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Gian Carlo Menotti.

Dr. Robert W. Butts is a widely noted conductor, composer and teacher whose lectures on music history have been a mainstay of the minicourse program for eighteen years.

Non-State Actors Shaping the International System (This course full, and registration is now closed)

Instructor: Douglas Simon
Five Wednesdays: Jan. 29; Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26; 1:30 – 3:30 pm

This series will take a critical look at a number of non-state actors and how they influence the international system.  The entities that will be the focus of the series are not the giant multinational corporations and terrorist groups that have received so much attention in recent years, but some of the lesser known actors.
Session I  Mercenaries: The Private Security Firms
Session II: Criminals: Drug Cartels
Session III: Merchants of Death: The World of Arms Dealers
Session IV: The Rise of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Session V: Private Individuals Who Make a Difference

Douglas Simon is emeritus Professor of Political Science  at Drew. His courses are among our most popular and usually sell-out.

The Poets of Tin Pan Alley

Instructor: Frank Occhiogrosso
Five Thursdays: Jan. 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27; 1:30 – 3:30 pm

The songs written for the Broadway stage and the Hollywood screen in the period from the 1920′s to the 1950′s represent the Golden Age of American theater music.  The lyricists who collaborated with the great composers in that period refined their art and achieved such an extraordinarily high standard of excellence that we’ve been singing their songs ever since. In this  course we will examine the work of the greatest of these lyricists, focusing on the wit, the rhyme, the wordplay, and the recurrent themes of some of their most memorable songs. Specifically, we will explore the work of Ira Gershwin, Lorenz hart, Cole Porter, Yip Harburg, and Stephen Sondheim.
Frank Occhiogrosso is emeritus professor of English at Drew. His courses for us on the American musical theater are a labor of love.

America in the Forties and Fifties (This course full, and registration is now closed)

Instructor: J. Perry Leavell
Five Tuesdays: March 18, 25; April 1, 8, 22; 1:30 – 3:30 pm – Note: No class on April 15

Perry Leavell continues his lectures on the history of the twentieth century. World War II, atomic bombs, suburbs, prosperity, Korea, Cold War, the baby boom, civil rights, and a birth-control pill.  We will have a lot to talk and think about.

Perry Leavell, emeritus professor of History at Drew,  is one of our most popular teachers. His courses always sell out.

The Hebrew Bible and the Religion of Ancient Israel

Instructor: William Stroker
Five Wednesdays: March 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16 ; 1:30 – 3:30 pm

The course will focus on the religion of Ancient Israel as mirrored in the Hebrew Bible.  We will treat the materials historically, placing them in the contexts out of which they arose and to which they responded.  Particular attention will be paid to the relation of the development of religious understandings to the historical experience of the Israelite people.  Themes of particular interest are: the understanding of Israel as the covenant people of God, major emphases of ancient Israelite law, central aspects of ancient Israelite worship, the role of prophecy, and the religious restoration following the Babylonian Exile.

William Stroker is emeritus professor of Religion at Drew. He has taught several previous minicourses on the history of Judaism and Christianity which have been among our most popular.

Further information regarding these courses, reading materials, availability, and make-up sessions  is available at the following web site at www.drewminicourses.org.