Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

November 2023January 2024

December 2023 Modules

Book Club:Children of Dune (Part 1 of 2) Series Spotlight

Have you seen the Preacher?

In this two-month module, we will read and discuss the third Dune novel, Children of Dune. Chaos and civil war threaten the Atreides legacy as religious fanatics rise to challenge the family’s rule.

The culmination of the initial Dune trilogy is another sweeping epic of intrigue and survival in the face of overwhelming odds. We will explore themes like hero cults, history, politics and religious violence, as the heirs of Paul Atreides discover the path laid out for them—and its deadly consequences.

Whether you are a new or continuing student in our Dune book club, all are welcome to join this class. Connect with book lovers, compare to the adaptations, and share your insights.

Let the spice flow!

Precepted by Julian Barr.

Creative Writing: Oral Storytelling Spotlight

Meeting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on December 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18
Storytelling might just be our oldest art, crossing time, cultures, and continents. Crafting a story suitable for telling demands a heightened awareness of audience, medium, and meaning. Telling a story requires fluidity in a register both intimate and stylized. We'll learn, create, and tell our short tales in a month of cooperative fun and work. We will use a collaborative and encouraging mode of feedback. You will end the month with two or three new stories to revise and practice and a toolkit for exploring this art.

Note: For more information about the Collaborative Feedback Method in SPACE, please check out our video here.

Exploring Violet Evergarden Spotlight

Meeting Wednesdays & Fridays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on December 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27
Come join us for a stunning coming-of-age fantasy anime that follows the story of Violet Evergarden, a former soldier who finds forgiveness, healing, and self-worth through the unassuming power of writing letters. In this module, we will discuss how Violet Evergarden functions as a postwar recovery and travel story, as well as the anime’s use of Victorian and post-World War I aesthetics to tell Violet’s unusual yet unforgettable tale.

Introduction to Computer Programming Concepts Spotlight

Meeting Saturdays at 10:00 AM Eastern for four 2-hour sessions on December 2, 9, 16, (skip 23), and 30
This module introduces you to the grammatical structure of a programming language. It's designed to give you the mental framework to learn any programming language more easily; though the syntax of programming languages can differ, the basic principles are the same. You'll learn about building blocks like variables, objects, and functions, and common patterns like if statements, switches, and for loops. And you'll put it all together and write your first simple program.

Note: Two class sessions will be considered lab sections, one in the middle of the month and one at the end. They will give you dedicated time to ask questions about your own projects, and explore topics we may not have covered in class.

Precepted by Seth Wilson.

Representing Utopia through the Ages Spotlight

While the idea of establishing an ‘actual’ utopia has been disparaged since the first half of the twentieth century from socio-political perspectives (e.g. the failed age of ideology from 1917-1945), literary and related cultural narratives have a long history of imagining and representing utopia (also paradise, the golden age, etc.). These utopias often function to criticize the problematic social norms and climates of their times as well as providing progressive imaginings for a better future, often based on certain ideals or virtues. In this module, we go on a chronological tour of different representations of utopia, including: the paleolithic utopia of hunter-gatherers (e.g. as discussed in Harari’s Homo Sapiens) (before 10,000 BC), the Bronze Age utopia of Minoan Crete (4000-1400 BCE), Plato’s mythical island of Atlantis (ca 400 BC), the pastoral utopia of the Roman poet Virgil (ca 40 BC), the New World utopia of Sir Thomas More (1516), the Enlightened, reasoned utopia of Robinson Crusoe (1719), Tolkien’s fantasy utopia of Númenor (ca 1940), and more.

Precepted by Hamish Williams.

The Fantastic in East Asia Spotlight

Come join us as we explore various aspects of the weird, the strange, the uncanny, the dreamlike, and the visionary in East Asian literature, religion, folktales, poetry, and popular media. Whether it is ecstatic visions in Daoist texts, shamanistic expressions in Chinese poetry, gumiho and ghosts in KDramas, or stories such as that of the Yuki Onna (Snow Woman) in Japanese folklore, we’ll explore them all (and perhaps more!) in this class.
Precepted by Robert Steed.

The Old Saxon for Old English Readers Spotlight

Old Saxon, the continental cousin to Old English, was the language spoken in Northern Germany from the ninth to the twelfth century. It is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Anglo-Saxon, so Old English students will easily be able to read and understand it. The language boasts a number of smaller texts, but the Hêliand, an epic poem of nearly 6,000 lines, remains its most prestigious literary monument. It tells the story of Jesus Christ (the “Hêliand,” meaning “Savior”) reimagined as a Saxon lord with a retinue of twelve thanes, and it is comparable to the Old English Beowulf. In our Space module, we will read and discuss selections of this poem. Some familiarity with Old English is required.

Precepted by Isaac Schendel.
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].