Fall 2015 Drew Mini-Course Offerings

Registration begins Friday, December 5th

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How a Linguist Looks at English

Instructor: Jim Hala is professor of English at Drew. He specializes in Old and Middle English Literature, Celtic Literature and Linguistics.

Five Mondays: Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2;   1:30 – 3:30 pm

What do linguists do? How does their approach to language differ from that of non-linguists? How does language work? What is “bad grammar” or a “bad word?” Is English in decline? Is Spanish taking over? We will be examining these and other questions from the point of view of linguistics.

We will begin with the history of languages in the West from about the fifth century BCE through to English today. We will examine the constituent parts of language: phonemics and phonetics, morphology, syntax. We will consider the ways in which language affects knowledge. And finally, a look at how language interacts, or even creates, social structures. One of our primary resources will be the participants’ stories of their own experiences with languages, its triumphs and its snafus.

Music in the Fifties

Instructor: Dr. Robert W. Butts is an adjunct professor in the graduate school at Drew as well as a widely noted conductor, composer and teacher. His lectures on music history have been a mainstay of the minicourse program for nineteen years.

Five Tuesdays: Jan. 13, 20, 27;   Feb. 3, 10;   10 am – 12 pm

In the arts, the 1950s could be said to begin in 1945 and end in 1964.   During this period, music was at the center of cultural development whether in the concert world, the popular music world or on stage and screen.   Broadway’s Golden Age, begun with Oklahoma continued throughout the period with works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Stein, Bernstein, Adler and Ross, and Wilson. Popular music evolved in many directions including Rock & Roll, Country & Western, and Rhythm & Blues as well with the continued popularity of the swing artists and the great vocalists like Sinatra, Crosby, Fitzgerald, Cole and Martin.

Several of the greatest film scores created by Tiomkin, Bernstein, Hermann, Mancini, North, Rozsa and Newman were heard with films of the period. Opera was rejuvenated with the works of Britten, Menotti, Barber, Stravinsky and Poulenc.The concert world exploded in a myriad of modern directions led by composers from the United States, The Soviet Union, and South America.

America in the Sixties – Closed (full enrollment)

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

Five Tuesdays: Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27; Feb. 3; 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Between 1963 and 1975, the United States experienced changes in almost every aspect of life. Race, sex/gender, politics, international relations, popular culture, environment, education–change was everywhere. Before these changes occurred, Americans seemed a relatively united people who agreed on a consensus of goals; after the 1960s, American society was marked by division and decentralization. We will try to evaluate what these changes have meant for the public and the nation.

Five Great Challenges for Philosophy

Instructor: Erik Anderson is NEH Distinguished Chair of Humanities and professor of Philosophy at Drew.

Five Wednesdays: Jan. 14, 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11;   10 am – 12 pm

The renowned German Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant famously declared, “Metaphysics has as the proper object of its enquiries three ideas only: God, Freedom, and Immortality.” To these three challenges for philosophy: the nature and existence of God; the possibility of human freedom; and the possibility of life after death, we will add two more: the nature and scope of human knowledge, and the nature of beauty and aesthetic judgment. Over five successive weeks we will study and discuss some celebrated attempts by Descartes, Hume, Kant, Russell and others to address these challenges.

Shakespeare: An Introduction

Instructor: Frank Occhiogrosso is emeritus professor of English at Drew and has specialized in the works of Shakespeare. His courses for us on the American musical theater have been very popular.

Five Thursdays: Jan.. 29; Feb. 5, 19, 26, March 5; 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Note: No class on March 12

Week 1–the Sonnets

Week 2–one of the great comedies: Much Ado About Nothing

Week 3–one of the great histories: either Richard II or Henry V

Week 4–one of the great tragedies: Othello

Week 5–one of the great tragicomedies/romances: The Tempest

The Art of the Renaissance in Italy

Instructor: Roberto Osti is an artist and illustrator and is adjunct professor of arts and letters in the Caspersen Graduate School at Drew.

Five Saturdays: Jan. 17, 24, 31; Feb. 7, 14; 10 am – 12 pm

An introduction to the art of one of the most exciting periods in the history of art.

Week 1 – Classic origins: Greece and Rome; leading to the Renaissance: the Middle Ages

Week 2 – The Early Renaissance: Florence and Siena, Pythagoras, Perspective, Anatomy, Composition.

Week 3 -The High Renaissance: Rome, Michelangelo, Mannerists.

Week 4 – The Venetians: Titian, Giorgione; Durer as bridge to the North.

Week 5 – Sexuality in the Renaissance: Ficino, Leonardo, Michelangelo; the sexuality of Christ.