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Humanities, History & Culture


Booth, Lincoln And The Shot That Changed History

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

Learn the backstory behind one of the most controversial presidents in American history as well as the life and career of his assassin, and the chain of events and politics that led to the American Civil War, and Lincoln’s untimely death at Ford’s Theater.

Tues, Feb 25, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 238

Queen Victoria And The British Empire: 1837-1861

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

Victoria ascended to the throne at the age of 18 in 1837 and served until her death in 1901, establishing her reign as the second longest in British history. In the early decades, she was served by six Prime Ministers and dealt with political and social issues such as the Bedchamber Crisis, the Irish Famine, the Mine and Factory Acts, the Corn Laws and numerous mutinies and wars throughout the Empire. In the same period, she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and gave birth to nine children. We will view this era through the intriguing life of Victoria and her role as a wife, mother, monarch and molder of English society. 3 SESSIONS

Wed, Feb 12-26, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $65, XHUMN 330

Meet The Presidents

Daniel Radel, history instructor, journalist

Begin with (Teddy) Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson, discuss Trust Busting, Square Deal, American Imperialism and World War I; move to Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, (Franklin) Roosevelt and Truman, discuss Prohibition, Roaring 20s, Stock Market Crash and Great Depression, The New Deal, World War II and the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb. 3 SESSIONS

Fri, Mar 6-Mar 20, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 249

How Jewish Law Informs Ethical Debate

Brooks Susman, history, philosophy instructor and rabbi emeritus

How do Judaism’s laws and stories influence our actions and beliefs in today’s world? Sections of the Talmud and Midrash will be shared and discussed. Topics for review include; contraception and abortion, capital punishment, the existence of prophesy, and the individual as a member of society – as well as topics suggested by the class. 4 SESSIONS

Mon, Mar 23-Apr 20, 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Fee and Code: $85, XPHIL 068
Class does not meet on April 6

“The Irish Whales”: Forgotten Irish-American Olympians Of The 1900s

Maureen Dunphy-Brady, M.A. NYU Glucksman Ireland House, Irish historian

Success in sports is one way that immigrants can gain acceptance in America and achieve socio-economic advancement. Discover the fascinating story of a group of Irish athletes, members of the NYPD, who were denied access to the New York Athletics Club and established the Irish American Athletic Club. Nicknamed “The Whales” due to their physical size, athletic prowess – and voracious appetites – they dominated field events at the Olympic games between 1896 and 1924. In spite of achieving international fame, they are largely forgotten. We’ll examine their lives and remarkable achievements against a backdrop of emigration, national identity, assimilation, and Irish nationalism.

Mon, Mar 23, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $24, XIRIG 143
Wall Campus

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 popculture and contemporary issues, such as the removal of Confederate flags and statues from public spaces will be discussed. 2 SESSIONS

Tues, Mar 24 & Mar 31, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $39, XHUMN 319

Queen Victoria And The British Empire: 1861-1901

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

As the Empire continued to expand in the last decades of the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria withdrew in grief after the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert. As she gradually emerged back into public life, she assumed her duties as Queen of England and Empress of India. In this era of imperialism, one-fourth of the world’s population was under her rule by the end of the nineteenth century. While she openly expressed her hatred of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, she formed close friendships with two men, John Brown and Abdul Karin, and often depended on their advice. Victoria was a fascinating and opinionated woman who influenced the history of the western world during the era we now refer to as the “Victorian Era”. 3 SESSIONS

Wed, Apr 1-Apr 15, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $65, XHUMN 331

The History Of The Irish In America

Henry McNally, M.A., M.S., Irish Historian

And what a history it is! Irish were among the very first settlers in America, a few as adventurers, most as servants some as parolees. Soon, they came in larger numbers, Protestants looking for religious freedom escape from British intolerance; they would soon become the most ardent revolutionaries. Then they came in hoards, Catholics, unlettered, unwashed and unwanted, threatening the very existence of a still-young America. As those arrivals pushed out from the ghettoes of American cities, they changed America forever, demanding that the country live up to the promises of the Constitution and setting an example for immigrant groups who followed. By the early 20th Century, the Irish controlled the big cities and had begun to frequent the halls of Congress and the board rooms of Wall Street. We’ll follow their paths, for those were diverse and often at odds; and conclude with a consideration of Irish America today, including the very real question: “Is there an Irish America?” 5 SESSIONS

Wed, Apr 1-29, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $85, XIRIG 141

The Devil: A Biography

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

Since the dawn of humanity, the notion of good vs. evil has played a part in our daily lives. This lecture will examine our constructs of the Devil, also known as Lucifer and the anti-Christ. We will work our way through antiquity, Judeo-Christian theology, and end in modern times with a study of demonology and Satan’s role in popular culture, and books and movies such as The Exorcist.

Tues, Apr 7, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 329

Becoming Fearless: Buddhist Principles and Practices

Cheryl Bartholomew, PhD, professor emerita, George Mason University

Buddhism teaches us that we can live a fearless life if we drop our armor, stay in the moment, and let go. We will discuss how expectations and attachment lead to fear and how cultivating mindfulness can lead to fearlessness. Learn that when we dare to be vulnerable and accept ourselves and our feelings, we can develop the courage to live authentic, fearless lives. 3 SESSIONS

Tues, Apr 21-May 5, 10 am-noon
Fee & Code: $65, XPHIL 073

Another One Bites The Dust

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor, presidential scholar, blogger

Based on the popular book How They Croaked, we will examine some of the “awful ends of the awfully famous”. What happened to Henry VIII’s body after he died? What did doctors do to George Washington that may have actually killed him? How many doctors’ hands prodded the gunshot wound of James Garfield? Find out about death, dying, and other morbid curiosities in this shocking but darkly comic presentation. Warning: not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Tues, Apr 21, 10 am-noon

Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 284

History Of Photography

Marisa Sottos, M.A, instructor

Photography plays a large role in your life whether you are aware of it or not. We’ll examine the history of photography and how its impact informs today’s visual culture. From Daguerreotypes to Polaroids, learn about different forms of photography, our increasingly image-based world and how it all began. We’ll explore the early multiple inventions of photography, the invention of dry-plate photography (film), and instant photography. We’ll look at the work of photographers Louise-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, Alfred Stieglitz, Julia Margaret Cameron, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, George Eastman, Diane Arbus, and more. Perfect for those who want a better picture of photography! 2 SESSIONS

Wed, April 22 & 29,10 am-noon
Fee & Code: $45, XHUMN 334

Conspiracy Theories: An Exploration

Christian Perez, instructor

What exactly are conspiracy theories, and where do they come from? Do shadowy allpowerful
groups secretly control the world? We’ll delve into some of the more prominent conspiracy theories and the issues they raise. 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, Apr 29-May 13, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 307

The New Normal Of The Global Economy

Joseph Bonacci, MBA, instructor

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. 3 SESSIONS

Tues, May 5-19, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 321



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