Courses and Workshops

HomeCourses and Workshops

Monday, Starts September 28

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

Joy of Singing

Lauren Carley

Would you like to strengthen your singing and speaking voice, increase your range and projection, and grow in confidence while learning five to eight songs in harmony?

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

Memoir Workshop

Tamim Ansary

Are you interested in writing a memoir or short memoir-based pieces? Look at good examples from literary writers and explore the nuts and bolts of the writing process, such as how to zero in on a subject and keep the words flowing.

No slots available
$225.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Natural History of the Golden State

Jeff Hart

Based on the instructor’s e-book, this course is a stimulating exploration of our state’s nature. Richly embellished with photography, it will begin with an introduction to California’s diverse landscape, climate, and organic life.

No slots available
$185.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Genius of Sondheim

Bonnie Weiss

What makes Stephen Sondheim the most exciting and revolutionary composer/ lyricist of our time? This in-depth look at his life’s work will demonstrate why music and theater critics, psychologists, and theater-goers find him so compelling and controversial.

$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Investigating a Death Penalty Case

Judith Coburn

Like the popular NPR podcast “Serial,”  this course will focus on one murder case. Students will review original police reports, see a video of police interrogating the suspect, and hear how the defense investigated the physical evidence and prepared a social history of the defendant's life.

No slots available
$185.00

Tuesday, Starts September 29

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

Engaging with Life: Volunteering and Neuroplasticity

Amelia Barili

What does helping others have to do with the healthy, progressive functioning of our brains? We will study how volunteering a few hours a week can cultivate neuroplasticity and participate in discussions and contemplative practices to expand our minds and hearts.

No slots available
$225.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

From the Japanese American Internment to 9/11

John Tateishi

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued an order that resulted in the exclusion and imprisonment of Japanese Americans, an action supported by Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court.

No slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Myths of Origin

Clare Fischer

How did it all begin? Explore creation narratives of traditional cultures in Australia, North and South America, and Africa. We will read and discuss diverse understandings of beginnings, foundational relationships, and implications for social and moral life.

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

The Roberts Court and the First Amendment

William Turner

Since John Roberts became the chief justice of the Supreme Court, we have seen several momentous First Amendment decisions, including Citizens United, perhaps the most misunderstood decision of all time.

$145.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette

Existentialism

Richard Lichtman

Existentialism is a mood, a feeling, a sense of limit and despair — as in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and King Lear — as well as a complex set of philosophies about time, the limit of life, freedom and responsibility, anxiety, and the encounter and occasional transcendence of the awa

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

Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of Liberty

Mick Chantler

Examine the enigmatic character of our third president and the role he played in the early years of the Republic.

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

Unsung: Shakespeare's Minor Characters

Philippa Kelly

This course asks us to be dramaturgs, thinking in bigger and broader ways about some of Shakespeare’s smaller roles — Kent, Albany, and France in King Lear; Old Siward, Lady Macduff, the murderers, and Fleance in Macbeth; Camillo, Mamillius, and Antigonus in A Winter’s Tale

$185.00
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Tech 2.0

David Casuto

Computer security, hardware, software, browsers, Cloud Computing, podcasting, social media, shortcuts, tips, file management, mobile devices, tablets/iPads… If these computer terms sound intimidating (or intriguing), this course is for you!

$225.00

Wednesday, Starts September 30

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

Canadian Politics and the 2015 Election

Irene Bloemraad

Using the October 19, 2015, Canadian national election as a focal point, this course will examine Canadian politics and policy as a counterpoint to dynamics in the United States. We will welcome acclaimed guest lecturers, such as University of British Columbia political scientist Kenneth Carty.

$110.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Ripple Effects: An Alternative View of World History

Tamim Ansary

This is a new version of the course offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. Like a jazz musician, Ansary never gives the same performance twice as he continuously seeks fresh perspectives in an attempt to combine Euro-, Sino-, or Islamo-centric world histories into a single global narrative.

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

Russians: Portrait of a Nation

Elena Sheygal-Placzek

The course will present an insider’s view of Russian life and culture with an emphasis on the national character and mentality.

$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Cyberspace Risks and Liabilities

Eric Sinrod

In our information age, access to and use of computer technology is fraught with critical risks for its many rewards.

$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Music and Gender

John Prescott

In this fascinating historical look at the relationship between Western music and gender, explore the gender-bending nature of opera performers and characters. Examine the role of women in composing and performing classical music, as well as the gender associations of different instruments.

$145.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Mystical Poets of Old Persia

Roger Housden

The verses of Rumi and Hafez, the 13th- and 14th-century mystical poets of old Persia, have become popular today with people throughout the Western world.  Director Peter Brook has turned Attar’s The Conference of the Birds, long venerated for its deep wisdom, into a play.

$185.00

Thursday, Starts October 1

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

How the Brain Works and When It Doesn't, Part 1

Peter Ralston

Learn about nerve cell functions and how neuronal networks are organized in the human brain. Each lecture will introduce a basic neuroscience topic, followed by a discussion of related clinical concepts.

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

LBJ

Larry Bensky

Lyndon Baines Johnson became president because of a domestic tragedy: the assassination of President Kennedy. And he left the presidency because of an international tragedy: the Vietnam War. Initially hailed for bringing the country together, LBJ became reviled as his policies tore it apart.

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

The Newest Smithsonian: African American History and Culture

Cecilia O'Leary

Go behind the scenes of the vast new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to look at how a Smithsonian is created, artifacts are acquired, and narratives and exhibits are crafted.

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

Your Life is a Poem

Devorah Major

This course will look at memoir poems of others and invite participants to create their own poems, during the workshop and at home, based on moments from their own lives. The goal is to write five to 10 poems, as well as to create a handmade book for our finished poems.

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

California Modernism and the Making of Modern Architecture

Pierluigi Serraino

While extensive literature exists on Greene & Greene, Bernard Maybeck, Irving Gill, Richard Neutra, and other venerable California architects, we know very little about how this work came to be.

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

Holding on & Letting Go

Lauren Vanett

As we age, how can we uncover and integrate the wisdom we have gained while continuing to allow growth and change to take place? In this experiential class, we will use mindfulness and grounding practices to cultivate presence.

No slots available
$225.00
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Writing between the Lines: Using Style to Make Meaning

Deborah Lichtman

What is the relationship between form and content? How do novelists create suspense with syntax? How can an effective sentence become a brilliant one? Explore these questions by studying the work and techniques of some great prose stylists.

$225.00

Friday, Starts October 2

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Intensive Sessions: The Sacred Feminine - Epic (1)

Beverly Allen

The Sacred Feminine has been a key to wholeness in many cultures, for both men and women, for millennia — but that principle is missing in contemporary life.

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

Drawing Fundamentals

Danny Neece

Explore the key elements of drawing, including line, shape, tone, compositional design, and the drawing field. Learn how to creatively establish relationships and proportion, as well as the illusory third dimension, and touch on different modes of abstraction.

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

Moving Pictures: Dance and Film

Kathryn Roszak

Dance and film make thrilling partners. View a few selected films, then review and discuss key elements of dance across this interesting landscape.

$185.00

Thursday, Starts October 8

1:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Lafayette

Top Docs: The 2015 Oscar Documentary Nominees

Michael Fox

The Academy Award nominees for documentary feature are hailed as the best theatrically-released nonfiction films of the year. We’ll watch one of the 2015 finalists each week — Last Days in Vietnam, Finding Vivian Maier, Virunga, Citizenfour, and The Salt of  the Earth.

$145.00

Friday, Starts November 6

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Intensive Sessions: The Sacred Feminine - Fairy Tales (2)

Beverly Allen

The Sacred Feminine has been a key to wholeness in many cultures, for both men and women, for millennia — but that principle is missing in contemporary life.

$145.00