Humanities, History & Culture


The American Civil War

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor
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. 3 SESSIONS

Thurs, Sep 26-Oct 10, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 304

Vampires: History, Myth, And Movies

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor
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 can be scarier than fiction.

Tues, Oct 1, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 318

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

Thurs, Oct 3-17, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 307

The Devil: A Biography

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor
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, Oct 8, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 329

Wives Of Henry VIII – Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived

Lyndell O’Hara, PhD, history professor, Nyack College
To this day, English school children memorize the limerick describing the fate of the six wives of Henry VIII. Each of the six women – the devout Katherine of Aragon, the ambitious Anne Boleyn, the strong Jane Seymour, the quiet Anne of Cleaves, the imprudent Katherine Howard and the wise Katherine Parr – were remarkably unique as wives, women and Queens of England. We will consider the fascinating lives and deaths of these extraordinary sixteenth century queens and the intrigue of the courts which surrounded them. 3 SESSIONS

Mon, Oct 14-28, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $65, XHUMN 311

Buddhist Principles & Practices: Who Do We Choose To Be?

Cheryl Bartholomew, PhD, professor emerita, George Mason University
We live in challenging times in an age when there seems to be constant change and the unsettling feeling that nothing is permanent. We are bombarded by choices and pressure that lead to anxiety and other ailments. Is there a better way? Buddhism teaches that all of life is a mutual co-arising. Everything conditions and is conditioned by everything else. The answers are in the way we treat ourselves and others. Learn how Buddhist principles and practices such as qi gong, meditation, energy healing, and mindfulness can help us lead a more peaceful and authentic life. 3 SESSIONS

Tues, Oct 15-29, 10 am-noon
Fee & Code: $ 65, XPHIL 072

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. 3 SESSIONS

Tues, Oct 15-29, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $69, XHUMN 321

Dreaming The Italian Dream, Discovering Treasures And Mysteries

Patricia Skea, instructor
Thinking that you’ve been there, done that (Rome, Florence, Venice)? Think again! Come and learn from a 10-year Italian resident about all the wonderful, and often secret, places that most travel agents simply don’t, or can’t, know about! Take a virtual tour through Italy with an expat professor, who spent weekends and vacations discovering off-the-beaten path locations of Italy and exploring secret spots within better-known cities and towns. Discover why Italy is the number one travel destination in the world! Hint: it isn’t just the food! 3 SESSIONS

Wed, Oct 16-30, 6-8 pm
Fee and Code: $65, XHUMN 274

Witchcraft Discussion And Viewing Of “The Witch”

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor
Is there such thing as a historically accurate horror film? In 2015, the acclaimed movie The Witch came close. This class will begin with a brief lecture on witchcraft and the inquisition, before moving closer to home with the Salem Witch Trials. Religious, sociological, and psychological implications will be studied. After that, we will view the film in its entirety to see what life was like in a rural New England homestead dealing with hardship and possibly witchcraft invading their daily life. A discussion will follow. Bring popcorn! (Note: some elements of this class have been previously taught by the instructor. Film is Rated R; 92 mins.)

Thurs, Oct 17, 6-9 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 328

Legends Of New Jersey Fact Or Fiction

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor
New Jersey is legendary. Explore the legends 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?

Tues, Oct 22, 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 1-Nov 15, 10 am-noon
Fee and Code: $39, XHUMN 288

Great Decisions: Populism In Europe

Gregory Caggiano, historian, instructor
Great Decisions is America’s global affairs discussion program with instructor guidance provided by the Foreign Policy Association. The program model involves classroom meetings to watch the Great Decisions briefing DVDs and discussing the most critical global issues facing America today.

Thurs, Nov 14, 1-3 pm
Fee and Code: $29, XHUMN 327

Visiting Israel

Brooks Susman, history, philosophy instructor and rabbi emeritus
Whether you have never been to Israel, you’re a one-timer or frequent visitor or even a part time resident, join us to explore and discuss the history, architecture and traditions of the land holy to the three Abrahamic religions. One of the world’s smallest countries (its size comparable to New Jersey), it boasts geographic variety ranging from desert to mountain to sea. One of the world’s newer countries, its past extends to the dawn of recorded history. Don’t miss this ‘armchair’ visit. 2 SESSIONS

Thurs, Dec 12-19, 9:30-11:30 am
Fee and Code: $39, XTRVL 010



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