Courses and Workshops

HomeCourses and Workshops

Monday, Starts March 27

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

Joy of Singing

Lauren Carley

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

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

Short Stories of Jorge Luis Borges

John Campion

Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentinian poet, essayist, and short-story writer whose philosophical and fantasy works broke new ground and opened doors for Spanish language writers.

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

All Kinds of Writing for All Kinds of People

Dashka Slater

Are you a memoirist? Fiction writer? Essayist? Poet? How will you know until you’ve tried? Whether you’re an experienced writer who wants to branch out, or a novice searching for your favored form, this class is a chance to experiment.

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

Immigration Past and Present

Admir Skodo

Immigration is often framed as a “crisis” or “problem,” while the words “immigrant,” “refugee,” and “asylum seeker” have taken on negative and monolithic meanings. We will critically examine immigration through social, political, legal, and scientific lenses using a variety of case studies.

14 slots available
$185.00

Tuesday, Starts March 28

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

Building a Great Memoir

Louise Nayer

Uncover potent moments from your past through the basic elements of memoir: sensory detail, scene versus summary, dialogue, time shifts, tension, and voice. Read great memoirists and a supplement to help you get started. Do in-class exercises and work with peers.

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

Myths of Modern Life

Edwin Bernbaum

A study of the different functions of myth and ritual in traditional cultures can give us surprising new insights into similar mythic roles that influential stories, ideas and practices play in modern life, often outside our usual awareness.

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

Rock 'n' Roll Road Trip, Part 2

Peter Elman

The sequel to Rock and Roll Road trip Part One, Part Two continues the journey: Rock ‘n’ roll moves West and grows up, 1965-1975.

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

The First 100 Days: Foreign Policy

Darren Zook

Engage in informative, critical discussions of six major foreign policy challenges the 45th president will have to confront in the first 100 days of office.

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

Artful Essays for Pleasure and Publication

Elizabeth Fishel

An artful personal essay showcases your wisdom, wit, and window on the world. Learn how to turn your ideas into short, shapely works. Examine the best of today’s essays and be inspired by Joan Didion, Anne Lamott, Oliver Sacks, and Nora Ephron, among others.

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

Myth, Music and Philosophy

Kayleen Asbo

Explore the history of Western classical music using Nietzsche’s philosophical template. Trace the aesthetic swings between Apollo’s realm of order, balance, moderation, logic, and clarity, and the wild, raw, emotional passion of Dionysus.

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

Science and Knowledge

Martin Pollard

While science helps us understand problems and improve our lives and our society, there is so much misunderstanding and controversy, particularly around issues such as medicine, climate change, evolution, and energy. Why does it seem that scientists and the public are talking past each other?

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

The United States as a Pacific Power

Dayna Barnes

The United States is often thought of as an Atlantic-facing power because of its close linguistic, cultural, economic and historical ties to Europe. But the United States is also a major regional power in the Asia Pacific.

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

Writing and Publishing in the Bay Area

Malcolm Margolin

The Bay Area is home to thousands of writers, including some of the world’s most prominent novelists, poets, and nonfiction writers, as well as scores of presses. Independent booksellers have withstood the assault of chain stores and electronic ordering, and their numbers are expanding.

283 slots available
$145.00

Wednesday, Starts March 29

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

Perception and Misperception Across Cultures

Joseph Lurie

How can the very same concept, word, sound, gesture, touch, image, or even color differ dramatically in meaning across cultures? Examine how this plays out in news stories, the experience of newly arrived immigrants and Americans abroad, and at UC Berkeley’s International House.

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

Conversations about Race

Marjorie Shultz

Focus on information, attitudes, and arguments about race, particularly black-white relations, in the United States today. Lectures on facts and research data will be coupled with discussions about recent works by nonwhite authors covering their perspectives and experiences.

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

Great Works of Sacred Literature

Barbara Claire Freeman

Read classics from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Taoist religious traditions, and consider how these great works respond to the problem of life’s meaning: where to find it, and how to seek it. Does suffering have a purpose, and if so, what can it teach us?

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

Master Narratives of World History

Tamim Ansary

Explore the origins of the Chinese, Indian, Persian, Mesopotamian/Egyptian, and Greco- Roman civilizations. Focus on what made each of these a coherent gestalt bound together by its own world-historical narrative.

205 slots available
$145.00

Thursday, Starts March 30

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

How your Brain Works and When It Doesn't, Part 3

Peter Ralston

This course is the third in a series about normal functions of the brain and changes related to disease or injury. Each lecture will introduce you to a basic neuroscience topic, followed by a discussion of related clinical concepts.

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

International Sport and Globalization

George Wright

Discuss the influence that globalization has had on sports, with an emphasis on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

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

Modern Cosmology: How Can Scientists Be Sure?

Marc Davis

Cosmology is the study of the origins and large-scale nature of our universe. Examine the history and current theory of creation, and what observational tests can teach us. While recent theoretical developments can seem outrageous at first, they are probably correct.

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

The New Family

Doris Hanappi

This course is devoted to exploring the changing nature of jobs, gender relations in the labor market, the influence of the marketplace on the family, and work-family balance.

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

Core Strengths

Lauren Vanett

Research shows that it’s easier to change behavior by developing new pathways in the brain versus trying to fix habits that no longer serve us. Take a fresh look at how to use your core strengths differently in order to engage your brain and create greater life satisfaction.

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

The Silk Road: Asian Art Then and Now

Hossein Khosrowjah

For more than 2,000 years, the Silk Road carried more than commercial goods through Asia: it was an instrument of globalization before the term was coined. Understand the role that the Silk Road played in transporting commercial goods, religions, cultures, and the arts across the continent.

125 slots available
$145.00
1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Lafayette

Goya: the Birth of a Modern Artist

Isidra Mencos

Goya lived in a period of political upheaval, civil wars, and a discredited monarchy. His art evolved from the critical but hopeful viewpoint of the Enlightenment, to a personal reflection on the lack of meaning in a modern society.

128 slots available
$145.00

Monday, Starts April 3

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Berkeley
Note change in time and location

The Concerto, Part 2

Alexandra Amati-Camperi

Explore the concerto during the romantic and post-romantic periods, with a brief excursion into hybrid forms at the turn of the 20th century. Focus on the concerto’s evolution, expansion, and changed role in society, including its use as a political tool.

101 slots available
$145.00

Wednesday, Starts April 5

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Berkeley

An Introduction to Metafiction

Stephanie Wells

In postmodern literature, every convention—and every reader—gets challenged. Metafiction calls attention, often jarringly, to the very fact that it’s fiction. Explore the boundaries of narrative in texts with shifting perspectives, unreliable narrators, and contradictory plotlines.

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

The Moral Turn in Scandinavian Arts

Linda Rugg

Literature and visual arts offer a platform to consider deeply how ethical or moral decisions are made, either in the recesses of an individual human heart or the stage of national politics. Consider some difficult moral questions posed in Scandinavian culture.

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

10 slots available
$225.00

Thursday, Starts April 6

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

Global Lens: The International Documentary

Michael Fox

The view from abroad is revealing, refreshing, and occasionally jarring. View six films — most of which have never been screened in the United States — and discuss their aims, strategies, choices, and ethics.

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

Motown (1960–72)

Peter Elman

Through lectures, slide shows, CDs, videos, and live music, this course will concentrate on the people who started, nurtured, and established the Motown label as the driving force behind American popular music at that time.

151 slots available
$145.00

Friday, Starts April 7

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.

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

Watercolor

Danny Neece

Explore the world of nature through watercolor painting. Discuss watercolor theory, paint application, pen techniques, and draftsmanship. Learn how to paint trees, plants, landscapes, and mammals. Basic drawing skills are suggested but not required — open to all levels.

1 slots available
$225.00

Monday, Starts January 23

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 learn five to eight songs in harmony?

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

Life/Story: A Memoir Workshop

Tamim Ansary

For those interested in writing a memoir or short memoir-based pieces, this workshop will discuss how to get started, keep the words flowing, zero in on a story, and rediscover the forgotten.

-1 slots available
$225.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Literature and Film of the GDR

Marion Gerlind

Explore popular East German literature and film of the 1960s and 70s, and discuss its dynamic, magical, marginal, social critical, realistic, and subversive subtexts.

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

Early American Poetry

Jannie Dresser

In the American colonies, both poetry and oral traditions were significant forms of expression.

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

Hippie Modernism

Pierluigi Serraino

In the mid-1960s, growing discomfort with the techno-determinism of modernity prompted a reassessment of its impact on society. Architecture registered this momentous transformation in both its constructions and its relationship to the un-constructed world.

26 slots available
$145.00
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? This class will carefully take you through the process from the idea to the finished manuscript. We will do weekly writing assignments and workshop them in class.

0 slots available
$225.00

Tuesday, Starts January 24

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Berkeley
Note change in location

Archetypal Mythology and Dreamwork

Barry Friedman

In various spiritual and mythological traditions, 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.

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

The First 100 Days: Domestic Challenges for the 45th President

Darren Zook

This course will offer a series of informative and critically engaged discussions of six major challenges in the realm of domestic policy that the 45th president will have to confront in the first 100 days of office. 

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

The North of Spain

Alex Saragoza

Examine the history and culture of the northern Spanish provinces of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Navarra, and the Pais Vasco (Basque country).

61 slots available
$145.00
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley
Note change in location

The People’s Republic of China

Douglas Lee

Survey the history of the People’s Republic of China, from the struggles to establish a communist regime to the reforms of Dong Xiaoping in the late 20th century.

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

The Supreme Court and Public Policy

Roy Ulrich

Explore foundational questions in the study of American constitutional politics and techniques of constitutional interpretation. What are the political implications of a written constitution designed to limit the power of the national government?

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

Earth’s Climate History

Warren Wiscombe

Earth is often called the “Goldilocks Planet” because its climate has been “just right” for life, with notable exceptions such as mass extinctions. Survey major milestones in the 4.5-billion-year history of Earth’s climate and how that climate has interacted with life.

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

Iranian Cinema

Hossein Khosrowjah

Gain an overview of post-revolutionary Iranian national cinema, which has garnered international popularity and critical acclaim since the late 1980s for being innovative, ethical, and compassionate.

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

The Wisdom of Grief

Lauren Vanett

Grieving offers tremendous potential for transformation. Explore myths and models of grief, obstacles to grief, and how personal strengths can support it. Cultivate skills, such as self-awareness and self-care, that can help you support others.

4 slots available
$225.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Lafayette
Note change in time

Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Trip

Peter Elman

Take a chronological and geographic road trip across several American regions where key musical movements sprung up between 1955 and 1970. We’ll also explore one legend’s 1965 masterworks.

0 slots available
$145.00

Wednesday, Starts January 25

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

Current Cases Before the U.S. Supreme Court (new students)

Marshall Krause

Students will be introduced to how the U.S. Supreme Court works and its place in our constitutional system, then study 10 current cases.

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

Russian Art and Culture

Elena Sheygal-Placzek

Focusing on the Golden Age of Russian culture, we will explore the intertwining of literature, music, art, and dance.

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

The Concerto: Its History and Importance

Alexandra Amati-Camperi

 Explore the concerto from its baroque origins in vocal music to its “codified” classical structure. Investigate the cultural and social aspects and functions of the concerto.

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

Current Cases Before the U.S. Supreme Court (returning students)

Marshall Krause

Students will be introduced to how the U.S. Supreme Court works and its place in our constitutional system, then study 10 current cases.

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

Fictions of Feminine Desire

Barbara Claire Freeman

Freud famously asked, “What does woman want?” and claimed that the question was unanswerable. Explore three 20th-century women’s novels — The Awakening, Sula, and The Passion — that respond to his question.

59 slots available
$80.00
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Berkeley

Poets of Broadway

Bonnie Weiss

Lyric writers rarely receive the acclaim that is lauded upon their composer partners. Yet the richness of thought, feeling, wit, and whimsy that are crucial to our most cherished show tunes would not exist without these Broadway bards.

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

Writing Between the Lines

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.

1 slots available
$225.00

Thursday, Starts January 26

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

Bay Area Documentary Filmmakers

Michael Fox

The Bay Area documentary filmmaking community has been recognized internationally for decades for exposing contemporary and historical injustices at home and abroad, and for spotlighting the work of unknown or forgotten artists and activists.

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

Celebrating the Lyric Tradition: A Poetry Workshop

David Roderick

Explore various ways in which poems can be experienced and enjoyed. Students will read, hear, memorize, and discuss poems from the lyric tradition, including odes, ballads, sonnets, and pastoral poems. We will then produce and workshop our own poems that resist or extend these traditions.

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

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.

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

Exploring Justice

Gloria Neumeier

The U.S. criminal justice system is both costly and ineffective. While our country totals only 5 percent of the world’s population, we hold an alarming 25 percent of the worldwide prison population.

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

Global Hotspots

Darren Zook

Engage in informative, critical discussions of six “hotspots,” conflict zones that are defining and challenging the global political landscape today and in the future: the South China/West Philippine Sea; the Russian Fringe; Europe, Brexit, and the migrant crisis; the so-called Islamic State; th

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

Renaissance to Revolution: History through Art

Bruce Elliott

Examine the relationship between history and art. Art can celebrate historical developments, as it did in the Italian Renaissance and French Enlightenment.

145 slots available
$145.00
1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Lafayette

Provence: A Thoughtful Visit

Beverly Allen

Provence’s sensual offerings—clement climate, delicious cuisine, a rich artistic tradition, remarkable light, and vast fields of lavender—have made it justifiably famous. Less familiar, however, is its history.

116 slots available
$145.00

Friday, Starts January 27

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

Beginning Digital Photography

Move beyond the automatic settings of your digital SLR camera and start creating works of art. Learn about the photographic process, including exposure, composition, lighting, and subject matter, and share your work with the class.

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

Memory Book

David Casuto

Use your digital and printed images, photographs, and text to create beautiful bound books that tell your stories and memories. Learn scanning, editing, enhancing, and touching up, with the ultimate goal of adding your content to a customized online photo book.

0 slots available
$225.00

Thursday, Starts February 9

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Berkeley

Theater Making; from Script to Production

Anthony Clarvoe

Focusing on three Aurora Theatre productions, this class will explore how theater is made. Each show is bookended with two classes to help you gain insights into the play and meet some of the artists.

0 slots available
$185.00