The World On Your Plate: Foods That Changed History

Laura Neitzel, PhD., Academic Director, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

Americans eat an average of 142 pounds of potatoes per year. We fry them, bake them, boil them, and mash them. But did you know that the humble potato was also responsible for the rise of the West? That the tomato in your salad was an agent of globalization? Or that your postprandial cup of tea fueled the industrial revolution? Come savor some food stories and learn about historical influences that shape every morsel you put in your mouth. Continental breakfast included.

Fri, Sep 14, 9:30-11:30 am
Fee and Code: $45, XHUMN 254

The American Civil War

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

Explore the battles, the leadership, and the human drama of the Civil War. Discuss the causes of the Civil War and the major battles including First Manassas, Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg. Examine the dramatic Surrender at Appomattox. Finally, analyze the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Please note: elements of this class have been presented by the speaker previously.

Thurs, Sep 27-Oct 11, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 304

Conspiracy Theories: An Exploration

Christian Perez, Brookdale political science instructor 

What exactly are conspiracy theories, and where do they come from? Do shadowy all-powerful groups secretly control the world? This presentation will delve into some of the more prominent conspiracy theories and the issues raised by them. We will examine how conspiracy theories have crept into the political and cultural mainstream, and what signs you should look for when evaluating a supposed conspiracy theory. We know that human history has been riddled with tales of conspiracies, but what differentiates them from conspiracy theories? Aren’t conspiracy theorists just being skeptical? This presentation contends that grand scheme conspiracy theories are ultimately just lazy political science. But that could just be what they want you to believe. 3 SESSIONS

Wed, Oct 3-17, 6-8 pm
Fee & Code: $69, XHUMN 307

Cleopatra Queen Of Egypt

Lyndell O’Hara, PhD, history professor, Nyack College

The story of Cleopatra VII, the Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt in the first century B.C., has been portrayed in novels, plays and Hollywood films (Elizabeth Taylor springs to mind!). Yet the political genius and astute rule of this ancient queen is often overlooked. After she married, and then murdered two of her brothers to attain sole power in the land, she cultivated relationships with two of the most influential Romans of the time, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Known in her time for her wit and intelligence, Cleopatra was the last of the Egyptian pharaohs and certainly one of the greatest. 3 SESSIONS

Wed, Oct 24-Nov 7, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 094

The New Normal Of The Global Economy

Joseph Bonacci, MBA

The rise of populism in the United States and Europe has ushered in a new era for the global economy. How will protectionist policies affect trade and relationships with our partners? Begin with the formation of the European Union and adoption of the Euro. Explore the potential breakup of the EU and ramifications of such an event. Gain an understanding of emerging market fundamentals and risks in contrast to US and European developed markets.

Tues, Oct 2-16, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 321

Vampires: History, Myth, And Movies

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

Are vampires simply legends or something more? Our journey will cover the historical basis, folklore, and pop culture evolution of the vampire from a hideous monster into a suave and sexy predator as seen in many Hollywood films. Learn how Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee transformed our interpretations, and how Bram Stoker based one of the most famous horror characters of all-time from a real person, Vlad Tepes. Sometimes fact is scarier than fiction.

Thurs, Oct 18, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 318

Legends Of New Jersey: Fact Or Fiction

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

New Jersey is legendary. Explore the legends and history of New Jersey surrounding historical sites, local cemeteries and private residences. The story of the Jersey Devil will be examined and his existence called into question. Are these legends Fact or Fiction?

Thurs, Oct 25, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 236

Meet The Presidents: Founding Fathers

Daniel Radel, history instructor, journalist

Revisit the Early American Republic through the eyes of the first presidents. Start with George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and the Age of Federalism; go to James Madison and the War of 1812, James Monroe and the Compromise of 1820, John Quincy Adams’ so-called Corrupt Bargain and end with “Old Hickory” Andrew Jackson. 3 SESSIONS

Fri, Nov 2-16, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 288

Reconstructing Reconstruction

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

A look at Reconstruction following the American Civil War and its effects on our country, felt immediately and today. Examine life in the post-war South, Jim Crow laws, the mythology of the “Lost Cause” and its reflection in the popular films “the Birth of a Nation” and “Gone With the Wind.” The portrayal of African Americans in early 20th Century pop-culture and contemporary issues, such as the removal of Confederate flags and statues from public spaces will be discussed. 2 SESSIONS

Thurs, Nov 8 & 15, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $39, XHUMN 319

History Of Liquor: A Spirited Discussion

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

From the life-giving beers and wines of Ancient Sumeria, to
the controversial absinthe and American Prohibition of the 20th Century, alcohol has endured a spirited and tumultuous existence. Learn the history behind many different liquors from around the world, how they can be served, and what everybody is drinking today. What brandy can trace its legacy back to Noah’s Ark? Why was absinthe banned for so many years? Why are there so many different types of whiskey? Find out in
this spirited program!

Thurs, Dec 6, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 267

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