Courses and Workshops

Home Courses and Workshops

Monday, Starts January 22

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Imperial China

Douglas Lee

This course will offer a comprehensive survey of Imperial Chinese history and culture, from the First Empire of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BCE 220 CE), through the Late Imperial China of the Ming (1368– 1644 CE) and Qing (Ch’ing, 1644–1800 CE) Dynasties. We will compare government, foreign relations, economics, and society and culture across all these periods.

1 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Joy of Singing

Lauren Carley

Prepare your body, brain, and voice to sing with ease, expressiveness, and projection. Learn four traditional rounds and five part-songs by ear, plus choral skills such as legato, staccato, fermata, ritard, timbre, and head and chest voice. More experienced participants may sing in trios or anchor their sections. We will perform for invited guests during the last class. Open to all levels.

66 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Our Brains: Molecules to Memory

Peter Ralston

This course will describe the activities of nerve cells and how drugs or disease alter their functioning. We will discuss the organization of neuronal networks that serve major mechanisms, such as hearing and memory. We will introduce each lecture with a basic neuroscience topic, then discuss related clinical concepts. This course will contain a mix of new topics and topics covered in Ralston’s previous classes.

97 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Animals in Literature

Dorothy Gilbert

Gain a deeper awareness of how humans have made use of other animals — in thought and art, metaphor and satire — to understand ourselves. Increasingly science tells us that animals are far more like us than we thought, yet many species are disappearing. What is it to be human? What do we truly share with our fellow creatures? Why have we always been drawn to them and made them a part of our mental lives and creative expression.

26 slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Life/Story: A Memoir Workshop

Tamim Ansary

This workshop is for anyone interested in writing a memoir or short memoir-based pieces. We will discuss how to get started, keep the words flowing, zero in on a story, and rediscover the forgotten. We will also explore ways to shape a narrative, invest a story with drama, humor, and suspense, and enhance the narrative with dialogue, descriptive details, and vivid language. Classes will include writing activities and discussion of your work.

0 slots available
$225.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Berkeley

Standing on Sacred Ground

Christopher "Toby" McLeod

Why are sacred places important to indigenous people? What do the values and worldviews of aboriginal cultures hold as lessons for Western society in times of ecological collapse? How can each of us deepen our connection to nature in an authentic way? Filmmaker Christopher McLeod has spent 40 years collaborating with native people to document conflicts over sacred places. His films explore the relationship between nature and culture, how individuals of all cultures yearn for spiritual connection to nature, how mining, dams, climate change, New Age appropriation and Christian evangelism conflict with native spiritual practices. We will view McLeod’s films In the Light of Reverence (2001), the four-part Standing on Sacred Ground series (2013), and his new film Guardians of the Sacred (2017) in six sessions with Native American guests.

138 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley
Cancelled

The Dangerous Media Landscape

Beverly Crawford

Today’s media landscape is dangerous territory. Hoaxes, “clickbait” headlines, and opinion that passes for news are creating confusion, punching holes in the truth, and leading us to doubt everything branded as “news.” Hyper-partisan blogs generate more traffic on social media than real news sites. We will look at the phenomenal rise of fake news, who writes it, why people believe it, and its consequences.

5 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The Search for Earth-like Planets

Warren Wiscombe

The number of likely exoplanets has grown from zero in 1990 to over 5,000 in 2017. Survey the types of exoplanets, from hot Jupiters to super-Earths; how they form; how we detect them and what we can observe; what their climates may be; what “habitable” means and which exoplanets are possibly habitable; and what the histories of Earth, Mars, and Venus tell us about possible Earthlike planets elsewhere.

53 slots available
$145.00

Tuesday, Starts January 23

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lafayette

Dream Work and Archetypal Mythology

Barry Friedman

Dreams are vehicles to help us realize who we are and who we can become, as well as understand our relationship to the world and the divine. Learn how to work deeply with your dreams through personal sharing and response. Discuss major archetypal motifs that appear in our dreams and connect us to the world of mythology and meaning. This creative process is at once enlightening, transformative, and healing.

10 slots available
$225.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

French Short Stories

Caroline Smadja

This course will examine French short stories from the late 19th and 20th centuries. Colette’s “The Hand” sets a perfect example of what is now dubbed flash fiction. Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” remains a classic to this day. In addition to Albert Camus and Françoise Sagan, we’ll also study Marcel Aymée and Anna Gavalda, lesser known by U.S. readers. Discussion questions will be available seven to 10 days in advance.

20 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley
Cancelled

Religion and World Politics

Dayna Barnes

This course will examine important religious trends, conflicts, and political events from around the world. Topics include Christianity, imperialism, and U.S. foreign policy; Islam and Arab nationalism; Hinduism and the creation of modern India; Shinto and Japanese militarism;
and Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism in political protest and national identity in Asia.

300 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The Rise and Fall of World Communism in the 20th Century

George Breslauer

The rise and fall of world communism was one of the great dramas of the 20th century---born in wars (World War I, World II, Cold War), offering an alternative modernity to that of the capitalist world, and ultimately succumbing to the pressures of Cold War, capitalist globalization, over-bureaucratization, and popular disaffection. The result was either systemic collapse (the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe) or a fundamental alteration of key features of the communist system (China, Vietnam). Beyond that, a few hangers-on remain: North Korea, Laos, and Cuba, while many non-ruling communist parties have transformed themselves in either a more-radical or more social-democratic direction.

217 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lafayette

The Symphonies of Gustav Mahler

Stephen Schultz

Conduct an in-depth historical survey of the 11 symphonic works of Gustav Mahler. Trace the composer’s stylistic evolution during the four stages of his creative life, and clarify the main characteristics of these periods. We will focus on form, harmonic and melodic characteristics, and programmatic and emotional content. We will also compare and contrast many different conducting styles and interpretations.

131 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette

California Election 2018

Chuck McFadden

Political campaigns use a variety of strategies to move voters in a desired direction, including direct mail, commercials, rallies, and social media. Explore what goes into designing a ballot measure or candidate campaign. Review California’s gubernatorial candidates and the challenges facing each hopeful. We will occasionally divide into opposing campaign staffs on specific issues so everyone will have a chance to be a political strategist.

135 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Discover the Ottoman Empire

Douglas Brookes

The Ottoman Empire ruled most of the Middle East and Southeastern Europe for about 400 years — and its fall in 1922 helped shape the modern Middle East — yet few Americans know much about it. Discover the major historical trends that influenced the state. Investigate key aspects such as religion, the imperial family, and the harem system, and explore Ottoman language, literature, music, art, and architecture.

50 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

It’s All About the Song

Peter Elman

The essence of popular music is the song; whether it is folk, pop, rock, rhythm and blues or country, the song is the core of the popular record. This course examines the lives and work of six great songwriters/artists of the golden era of rock and roll. We will study the contributions of Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, the team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Brian Wilson, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell.

209 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Shakespeare Among the Moderns

Hugh Richmond

Compare six modern plays to their Shakespearean precedents: Shaw’s Pygmalion (The Taming of the Shrew); Chekhov’s Seagull (Hamlet); Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Much Ado About Nothing); Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Hamlet); O’Neil’s The Emperor Jones (Othello); and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (King Lear). The approach will stress performance, such as Paul Robeson as both Othello and Emperor Jones.

0 slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Writing Children’s Picture Books

Dashka Slater

Illustrated children’s books are an enduring and unique form — but how do you go about writing one? Walk through the process from the idea to the finished manuscript. We will do weekly writing assignments and workshop them in class. This class — for experienced and beginning writers alike — will offer a minimum of fear and a maximum of fun. No illustration skills required.

0 slots available
$225.00

Wednesday, Starts January 24

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Juan Rulfo

John Campion

Gabriel Garcia Marquez said of Juan Rulfo’s works, “They add up to no more than 300 pages; but … they are as durable as the pages that have come down to us from Sophocles.” Rulfo’s masterful stories follow the existential struggles — both external and internal — of common people in revolutionary and postrevolutionary Mexico. Closely read these stories and look deeply at their context, language, and mind-boggling narration.

15 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Personal Safety and Empowerment

Christine Schoefer

It’s not uncommon to feel physically less sure of ourselves and more vulnerable as we age. Cultivate awareness in public and private situations; practice prevention and de-escalation; set and enforce your personal boundaries; and learn simple, effective physical techniques for self-defense. Each class will include discussion, journal writing, role playing, and simple movement. Appropriate for most levels of fitness.

23 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The Symphony, Part 1

Alexandra Amati-Camperi

Explore the first part of the “golden century of the symphony” through analysis of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and others. Learn about the musical features and formal structures of a symphony and the chronological development of the genre. Then go beyond the music to study its representation of changing social structures in central Europe in the 18th century.

204 slots available
$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Bay Area Documentary Filmmakers

Michael Fox

Bay Area documentary filmmakers expose contemporary and historical injustices at home and abroad and spotlight the work of unknown or forgotten artists and activists. Each session will feature a new or recent one-hour film followed by a candid, in-person conversation with the director. We’ll focus on the practical, financial, creative, and ethical aspects of crafting documentaries, from conception through editing to broadcast and distribution.

199 slots available
$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Sex and the Supreme Court

Marshall Krause

The U.S. Constitution now protects samesex marriage, unrestricted media depiction of sexuality, unrestricted sexual activities in private, women’s right to choose in child-bearing and contraception, sexual discrimination and harassment, interracial marriage, and fluid sexual identities and equal treatment for all. Review and discuss these developments and their longrange implications.

20 slots available
$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Song and Dance Men of the Silver Screen

Bonnie Weiss

Learn about the marvelous men of movie musicals who have enchanted us with their fabulous feet and way with a song. Discover who was also a classical composer, who was a jazz pianist, who was a lion tamer, and who was a political activist and (closet) intellectual! Featured performers include Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ray Bolger, Bill Bojangles Robinson, the Nicholas Brothers, and Donald O’Connor.

1 slots available
$145.00

Thursday, Starts January 25

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Economics of Globalization

Joanna Moss

The first great globalization (1870–1914) brought the world economically closer together than in any earlier period. However, World War I and the Great Depression ended this extraordinary period. Today, globalization has again become central to economies worldwide. Examine the economic effects of globalization on international trade, international labor migration, the international monetary system and economic integration, and global economic crises.

0 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lafayette

The Golden Age of Russian Culture

Elena Sheygal-Placzek

The Golden Age of Russian culture embraced most of the 19th century. Explore the intertwining of literature, music, art, and folklore within the context of historical and cultural factors, such as the quest for national identity, a peculiar amalgam of aristocratic and peasant culture, and the Russian value system and mentality. Meet the poet Pushkin, composer Glinka, painter Levitan, and other lesser-known artists.

122 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Understanding Astrobiology

Margaret Race

This course will provide an accessible overview of current space research and astrobiology missions searching for evidence of life beyond Earth. In addition to putting astrobiology science and technology in context, we’ll also discuss challenging real-world issues involving policy, ethical, theological, and societal implications of a possible discovery of ET. Far-out thinkers welcome!

262 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Asia in Focus

Darren Zook

Asia has always been a politically dynamic and culturally vibrant part of the world. Focus on six countries that have come to the forefront of global concern and interest, either because of dramatic shifts in the political and cultural landscape or because of ongoing and persistent issues that seem to defy a lasting solution. Gain a greater understanding of India, Myanmar/ Burma, Singapore, Indonesia, China, and the Korean Peninsula.

141 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Five Personal Pieces

Deborah Lichtman

Gain tools to depict a few memorable events from your life. Try your hand at sketches of people and places, scenes with action and dialogue, and passages of description and reflection. Read published excerpts to learn about literary technique, then practice through writing exercises. You’ll leave with a portfolio of five personal pieces and constructive feedback for future writing projects.

0 slots available
$225.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Mexico: A Nation’s History, Culture, and Prospects, Part 1

Alex Saragoza

This two-part course will encompass political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of Mexico’s past and present. Part 1 (Winter 2018) will cover the period from the defeat of the Aztecs to the mass protests of 1968. Part 2 (Spring 2018) will cover 1968 to the present, including the prospects for the presidential election of July 2018. We will discuss the interface between the United States and Mexico throughout.

104 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette

The Fab Four and Rolling Stones, 1962–70

Peter Elman

In 1964, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones came, saw, and conquered the United States. We often forget that they took an American art form — rock and roll — and showed us how it could be done. Examine six phases in the history of each band, exploring how these young Brits parlayed their obsession with American music into untold fame and fortune. Look closely at why one band lasted seven years, while the other has lasted 54 years.

72 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Berkeley

The Wisdom of Grief

Lauren Vanett,Harvey Schwartz

There is transformative potential inherent in grieving. We will explore myths and models of grief, obstacles to it, and how personal strengths can support it. Cultivate skills to support others who are grieving by increasing your self-awareness and selfcare. (Note: This class is not grief therapy and is not recommended for those who have suffered a recent loss. Contact the instructors if you’re unsure about participating.)

15 slots available
$185.00

Friday, Starts January 26

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Memory Book

David Casuto

Create beautiful books that tell your stories and memories with printed images, photographs, and text. Learn scanning, editing, enhancing, and touching up, with the ultimate goal of adding your content to a customized online photo book. You may create your books as gifts, personal memoirs, travel journals, or family heirlooms. Bring your own laptops to class. No iPads or tablets, please.

24 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Pen and Ink Fundamentals

This session will rely on drawing and sketching as you provide the unique creative approach to the medium. Learn techniques for effectively working with pen, brush, and inks. Subjects will range from still life to working from photos. Topics will include loose sketching, contrast, texturing, hatching techniques, composition, and illustration. All skill levels welcome.

0 slots available
$225.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Pen and Ink Fundamentals

This session will rely on drawing and sketching as you provide the unique creative approach to the medium. Learn techniques for effectively working with pen, brush, and inks. Subjects will range from still life to working from photos. Topics will include loose sketching, contrast, texturing, hatching techniques, composition, and illustration. All skill levels welcome.

0 slots available
$225.00

Monday, Starts September 25

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Joy of Singing

Lauren Carley

Prepare your body, brain, and voice to sing with ease, expressiveness, and projection. Learn four traditional rounds and five part-songs by ear, plus choral skills such as legato, staccato, fermata, ritard, timbre, and head and chest voice. More experienced participants may sing in trios or anchor their sections. We will perform for invited guests during the last class. Open to all levels.

28 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Leonard Cohen: Tower of Song

Jannie Dresser

Long before Leonard Cohen gained fame as a singer, he was a prize-winning poet and budding novelist. He was deeply influenced by Judaism, Catholicism, and Buddhism, and drew on diverse cultural references in songs of love, conflict, war and peace, and the vagaries of belief. Look beyond his triumphant “Hallelujah” as we celebrate a 60-year career and explore the inspirations behind his provocative, erotic, and often dark lyrics.

0 slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The Brain and the Mind

Jesse Bengson

Explore recent revelations concerning the relationship between the mind and the brain. Is there a difference between your mind and your brain? How does dreaming rewire the brain? How does aging change the brain’s structure? How does the brain create consciousness? We will explore these and other topics in a large lecture format.

2 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Writing Funny

Arje Shaw

What’s better than a good laugh? Creating that laugh. This interactive comedy-writing workshop will explore the components of humor and how to apply it to your work. Join us if you want to have fun, learn, and be inspired to write better, faster, and funnier. Taught in a supportive environment, where everyone gets a chance to present, and open to writers of all levels.

1 slots available
$225.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Zen Buddhism and Temple Arts

Marcia Lieberman

Devotion in Buddhist spiritual life is expressed in an array of physical and artistic ways. Through lectures, visual materials, hands-on practice, and fieldtrips, we will examine the beauty and creativity that is encouraged in practices such as the enso, zengo work, Japanese landscape gardening, altar care, and the way of tea. What are the aesthetic concerns around these rituals, and how do they impact social interactions?

9 slots available
$185.00

Tuesday, Starts September 26

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Bruce Springsteen: “The Boss” of Rock

Peter Elman

Delve into the career and music of “The Boss,” Bruce Springsteen. Travel from the juke joints of the Jersey Shore to his discovery at Columbia studios; from the covers of Time and Newsweek to his three-year legal limbo; and from sold-out stadiums for Born in the USA to the acoustic elegance of Nebraska. At 67, Springsteen continues to be America’s greatest rocker and working-class hero, whose brilliant records and performances are the stuff of legend. Note: this is an eight-week course. The last class meeting is on November 14.

157 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lafayette
Cancelled

Japanese History

Dayna Barnes

In the past 160 years, Japan has gone from a closed, feudal, and pre-industrial country to a technologically advanced global power. What brought about these changes? Starting with its “opening” in 1853, this class will cover the rapid Meiji-era modernization, 20th-century imperialism, defeat and devastation after World War II, and reinvention as a pacifist economic power. We will also consider current events and trends and Japan’s future.
This course has been cancelled due to a change in the instructor's availability.

$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lafayette

Life/Story: a Memoir Writing Workshop

Tamim Ansary

Discuss the features of good memoirs and good writing — how to get started, keep the words flowing, zero in on a story, and rediscover the forgotten. Learn how to shape a narrative, invest the story with drama, humor, and suspense, and enhance the writing with dialogue, descriptive details, and vivid language. Classes will include writing activities and discussion.

0 slots available
$225.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Philosophy for Everyday Life

Rob Merker

We all face big questions every day, from the metaphysical — “What is the purpose of life?” — to the mundane, such as, “Should I give a dollar to that homeless person?” Philosophers have been thinking about these types of questions for thousands of years. We will apply the ideas of philosophers from the ancient past to the lives we lead and questions we ponder today.

0 slots available
$185.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Volunteering, Meditation, and Neuroplasticity

Amelia Barili

Meditation and volunteering are good for your heart, brain, and whole being. Combined, they foster positive neuroplasticity. Study the science of neuroplasticity, and meditate to expand your mind and heart. You will also volunteer outside of class for one to two hours each week at English-inAction, International House, or Refugee Transitions. This experiential learning will deepen our knowledge of other cultures and help international students, refugees, and immigrants in the often-challenging transition to American life.

1 slots available
$225.00
10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Lafayette

The Silk Road Continues: The Western End

Hossein Khosrowjah

This is a follow-up to the Spring 2017 Silk Roads course with a special emphasis on the western regions along the Silk Road. We will explore how the Silk Road(s) shaped and connected the arts, culture, and some significant aspects of the history of Rome (the Roman Republic and Empire before and after the division between Rome and Byzantium), Arabic and Islamic societies, Persia (before and after Islam), and central Asian civilizations. We will also briefly address the interconnectedness of these cultures in the modern era. The course will explore the overarching themes of cultural, artistic, religious, and economic exchanges among Silk Road civilizations as the earliest instance of globalization. This course is open to all; it is not necessary to have taken the Spring 2017 course.

88 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette

Internment: Lessons in Democracy

John Tateishi

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order that resulted in the exclusion and imprisonment of Japanese Americans as “enemy aliens.” Thirty years later, Japanese Americans demanded redress for their imprisonment. Examine this history, the constitutional issues, and the impact of this period on the treatment of U.S. Arab and Muslim communities since 9/11 and in current immigration debates.

119 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Murder: a Defense Team's Investigation

Judith Coburn,Al Wax

Like Season One of the popular NPR podcast “Serial,” this course will focus on one murder case. Review original police reports, and view police department videos of interviews with suspects. Hear how the defense team’s lawyer and investigator examined the physical evidence, found witnesses, prepared a social history of the defendant’s life, and created a legal defense.

0 slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Reconstruction: The Post-Civil-War South

Mick Chantler

The people of Old Dixie were shocked and humiliated by their unexpected defeat at the hands of the detested Yankees, and their social order was irrevocably changed. Trace the struggles that the South faced following the Civil War, and examine how Southern attitudes, Northern vindictiveness, and entrenched racism on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line combined to shape a political and social legacy that continues today. Note: This is an eight-week class. the last class meeting is on Tuesday, November 14.

38 slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Berkeley

The Expanded Self: Taking Compassionate Action in Your Life

Lauren Vanett

This course is an opportunity to appreciate who you are and who you would like to be. Reflect on past challenges and successes, cultivate self-compassion, and envision your best possible future. This hands-on journey uses mindfulness meditation and evidence-based practices from positive psychology, builds awareness of how to move beyond self-limiting beliefs, and exposes hidden capacities that you can use to activate your inner and outer life.

1 slots available
$185.00

Wednesday, Starts September 27

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Goya: the Birth of a Modern Artist

Isidra Mencos

Goya lived in a period of intense political upheaval, civil wars, and a discredited monarchy. His art mixed the hopeful viewpoint of the Enlightenment with the emotional intensity of Romanticism, while upending the traditional role of an artist. Although wealthy clients sponsored some of his work, his independent works showed the depths of horror to which humanity could descend. Examine Goya’s major works, including royal tapestries, portraits, dark etchings (“Los Caprichos”), and the desperate Black Paintings.

11 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Symphonic Season Fall 2017

Alexandra Amati-Camperi

The Bay Area offers an abundance of riches when it comes to symphonic music. We will examine works being performed at various venues this fall, including Haydn’s earliest symphonies, Mozart’s “Little G Minor” symphony, and Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 9. Explore each piece in detail to gain a deeper appreciation for it. This course does not include performance tickets; participants are encouraged to attend on their own.

206 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The World According to Samuel Beckett

David Alpaugh

The work of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and always entertaining, illuminating, and metaphorical. Classes will include lectures on Beckett’s aesthetic and place in literary history, along with video clips from Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Happy Days, Play, Not I, Footfalls, and Catastrophe — with performances by Burgess Meredith, Julianne Moore, Michael Gambon, Susan Fitzgerald, Sir Arthur John Gielgud, and others.

0 slots available
$185.00
1:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Berkeley
Cancelled

American-led Military Occupations (1945–2014)

Dayna Barnes

The Allied occupations of Germany and Japan after World War II are remembered as the “good occupations” for successfully turning militaristic enemies into stable and democratic allies. Japan has recently emerged as a potential model for future nation-building projects, and a foil for understanding failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. But how did these American-led projects differ, and what can they teach us about the benefits and pitfalls of foreign interventions?
This course has been cancelled due to a change in the instructor's availability.

0 slots available
$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Artful Essays for Pleasure and Publication

Elizabeth Fishel

Learn how to turn your opinions, memories, and ideas into short, shapely works for pleasure or publication. Examine excellent essays by Joan Didion, Anne Lamott, Oliver Sacks, and Nora Ephron, among others. Gain practical tips on style, structure, scene setting, and creating a narrative arc. In-class prompts will kickstart opinion pieces, first-person and travel essays, and blog posts. Receive thoughtful feedback on your work and guidance on where to publish your work in print and online.

0 slots available
$225.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Ezra Stoller: Photographer of Modern Architecture

Pierluigi Serraino

Ezra Stoller (1915–2004), an architectural photographer based in New York, produced countless iconic images of 20th-century modern architecture in America that contributed immeasurably to its mythology and leadership worldwide. His photos of the Finnish Pavilion, designed by Alvar Aalto for the 1939 New York Expo, and New York’s Lever House, completed in 1952 by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, are the definitive images of these architectural giants.

49 slots available
$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Nanotechnology: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Younes Ataiiyan

Would you buy socks treated with silver nanoparticles that you could wear for several weeks knowing that these particles would eventually end up in the environment? Would you buy a golf club made with carbon nanotubes knowing that inhaling the nanotubes could be as dangerous as asbestos? Consider the scientific concepts, technological advances, and environmental and ethical issues facing nanotechnology as more consumer products enter the market.

16 slots available
$185.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The Rise of Modern Jazz (1940-1959)

Jeff Denson

During the 1940s and 50s, jazz transitioned from its role as entertainment to an art form celebrating individual expression. Beginning with bebop and ending with Miles Davis’s iconic “Kind of Blue,” we will examine this groundbreaking music and the innovators who created it — all within the context of WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, and other historical events. Includes audio and video recordings and live demonstrations.

125 slots available
$145.00

Thursday, Starts September 28

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Cybersecurity: a Guide for the Perplexed

Darren Zook

Cybersecurity is one of the most important elements in national and international affairs, yet it remains one of the most misunderstood aspects of the security infrastructure. This course will cover everything from personal security — Is my smart TV spying on me? — to international threats — Can Russian hackers really change an American election? Presented in a clear, accessible, and friendly format for both absolute beginners and more experienced tech-users.

63 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lafayette

Documentary Touchstones 2

Michael Fox

In this follow-up to last fall’s Part 1, survey canonical documentaries of lasting power and influence, from Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, and The Man with a Movie Camera through World War II propaganda films and latter-century essay films. Discuss documentary ethics, the use of metaphor and poetry, the intersection of reality, truth, and storytelling, and our evolving relationship to images.

100 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Gratitude: Its Positive Impact

Sara Orem

People who experience gratitude cope better with stress and enjoy more robust physical health. And gratitude can be cultivated and practiced. Based on “The Science of Happiness,” a globally popular class taught by Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, this course blends online and in-person learning and uses articles, video, and discussion to help you develop a gratitude mindset. Learn gratitude practices and discuss the challenges of consistency.

Note: this course is five weeks long. The last class meeting is on October 26.

1 slots available
$110.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette

A Living Shakespeare

Philippa Kelly

Who was Shakespeare the man, and what inspired him in writing some of the world’s most searching explorations of the human soul? What was his stagecraft? We will think deeply about As You Like It, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. Students are encouraged to see As You Like It and Measure for Measure at Cal Shakes, but all participants will benefit from the course’s rich insights.

89 slots available
$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Staging Science: Physics and Physicians

Anthony Clarvoe

Science has inspired theater artists to stage passionate ethical conflicts and mind-bending images of existence. Read and discuss George Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Caryl Churchill’s A Number, Margaret Edson’s Wit, and Nick Payne’s Constellations. These plays (all available in filmed or live versions) use the shape-shifting nature of theatrical time and space to present the impact of the work of physicists and physicians on our ideas about human life.

3 slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

The Roberts Court and the First Amendment

William Turner

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. has decided more free speech cases than any previous court, including Citizens United and issues involving national security, funeral protests, violent video games, the rights of high school students, abortion buffer zones, a “constitutional right to lie” about military service, and, in 2017, trademarks that disparage racial groups and a “constitutional right to Facebook.” Consider a selection of opinions, which have been edited for ease of reading.

150 slots available
$145.00

Friday, Starts September 29

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Drawing Fundamentals

Explore the key elements of drawing, including line, shape, tone, compositional design, and the drawing field. Learn how to creatively establish relationships, proportion, and the illusory third dimension, and touch on different modes of abstraction. We will address the role of drawing in imagination, invention, and image development. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, you can develop a free and fluent command of the drawing process and a conceptual understanding of key principles.

0 slots available
$225.00
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Twentieth Century Women Writers

Stephanie Wells

Examine ground-breaking writings by women in the 20th century. Although there are many common themes — including female creativity, marriage, maternity, identity, gender, feminist politics, patriarchal culture, love, sex, and desire — the works encompass too many themes, styles, and objectives to be viewed monolithically. Writers may include Kate Chopin, Zora Neale Hurston, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Cisneros, Joyce Carol Oates, and Toni Morrison.

78 slots available
$145.00

Friday, Starts October 20

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Moving Pictures: Dance and Film

Kathryn Roszak

Dance and film make thrilling partners. View highlights of contemporary successes such as La La Land and classics like Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain. Look at the acclaimed new documentary Dancer, inspired by the powerful story of Sergei Polunin. Meet guest filmmakers and see short films by local talents such as Amy Seiwert, Dana Genshaft, and Kate Duhamel. Other films under consideration include the dramatic documentary Mr. Gaga, featuring Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Note: This class meets for 4 weeks from October 20 through November 9.  The first three classes meet on Fridays, and the last class meets Thursday.

1 slots available
$145.00