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

December 2023February 2024

January 2024 Modules

Advanced Old English Series: Readings in Prose
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
Welcome to the Readings in Prose page for the Advanced Old English Series in which students explore, in alternating months, a work of prose and then a work of poetry to introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old English texts available for study. Each month Dr. Swain surveys the group to see what they want to tackle next from month to month.
Precepted by Dr. Larry Swain

Advanced Old Norse Readings Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

This series will help introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old Norse texts available for study. Each month, Dr. Anderson surveys the group using the Old Norse survey form to see which text students are most interested in exploring next.

Note: Please refer to the Required Texts section on a month's iteration page to see which texts the group has decided upon for a given month.

Precepted by Dr. Carl Anderson

Book Club: Children of Dune (Part 2 of 2)
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 10:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
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 Dr. Julian Barr

Book Club: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers (Part Two)
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29
Join Ms. Elise for a cozy, relaxed Book Club series, where participants come to our Club meetings with their own reflections and discussion questions about the text. YOU get to guide the magic! In this module, our readings will specifically focus on Book IV of The Lord of the Rings. Bring a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, and enjoy!

Discovering the Discworld: Quis Custodiet Custard?

Mondays & Tuesdays at 11:00 AM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
Terry Pratchett’s early work fits the category of parody, and his later work certainly maintains that early mocking spirit. In his later Discworld novels, however, especially The City Watch sequence, Pratchett turns his mocking lens from generic conventions and tropes to the dangerous ideologies and power structures that permeate contemporary urban life. Edward James calls The City Watch novels “the most political of Pratchett’s works,” and Neil Gaiman reminds us that “beneath any jollity, there is a foundation of fury.” Pratchett’s “fury” and the City Watch novels’ politics together invite us to consider the sequence as social satire and explore what Pratchett may be arguing needs to change, whilst still enjoying the novels for their humour and wonderfully entertaining narrative style.

In this course, we will explore The City Watch novels and do exactly that: laugh and have fun whilst discussing the underlying messages that Pratchett offers us.

Access to the listed texts is desirable. Prior knowledge of at least the majority of the listed texts will be assumed.
Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown

Exploring Romance of the Three Kingdoms 三國演義
(Section 2)
Spotlight 

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for seven 70-minute sessions on January 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, (skip 24), 29, and 31.
Considered to be one the major classics of pre-modern Chinese literature, Romance of the Three Kingdoms focuses on a story of political and military struggle featuring an impressive array of characters, many of whom have become touchstones of Chinese cultural heritage and artistic interest. This novel has spawned a wide arrange of operas, stories, video game series, musical compositions, television and web series, as well as garnering much academic attention since it was first published in the 14th century. Join us as we read, discuss, analyze, and place in its cultural and historical contexts this major work of Chinese historical fiction.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed (Section 2)

History of the Book Arts

Meeting Saturdays at 3:00 PM Eastern for four 2-hour sessions on January 6, 13, 20, 27
This module gives an overview of writing and alphabets, literary and other works written on stone, papyrus, wax, and parchment.

More from Dr. Swain about this module: I love reading and writing. Both are "technological" revolutions that effected historical moments in human history. This module will look at the development of writing and of reading, the kinds of materials we have written on, and how we prepared those surfaces to record our words. We will learn vocabulary that is used to talk about all this. There will be a lot of pretty pictures!
Precepted by Dr. Larry Swain

His Dark Materials in Context: The Amber Spyglass

Meeting Fridays at 10:00 AM Eastern for four 2-hour sessions on January 5, 12, 19, 26.
Sir Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is widely regarded as a modern classic, has been described by The New Statesman as “the most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings,” and has been adapted onto stage, radio, and screen. The series is also deep and complex, drawing from a rich array of literary, philosophical, and theological ideas.

In this three-module series we will read, successively, the three novels in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, juxtaposing each with selected materials that will allow us to read Pullman’s work both on its own and in conversation with other works. Students can join one, two, or all three modules. There are no prerequisites.

• Module 1: His Dark Materials in Context: The Golden Compass (a.k.a. Northern Lights) (October 2023)

• Module 2: His Dark Materials in Context: The Subtle Knife (December 2023)

• Module 3: His Dark Materials in Context: The Amber Spyglass (January 2023)

Intermediate Latin Translation: The Vulgate Psalms
Spotlight 

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 2, 4, (skip 9) 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
Designed for students who have completed an introductory Latin textbook and wish to explore real Latin texts at a gentle pace, this class will walk students through a selection of Psalms from the Latin Vulgate, adapting the quantity of texts and homework to meet the needs of the enrolled students. We will parse passages and read the psalms clause by clause, moving somewhat slowly to allow ample time for grammatical review as students test different translation techniques and absorb new abbreviations, grammatical quirks, and irregular or new forms.

Note: Students who took this module in 2023 are welcome to repeat it; the 2024 module will feature different psalms than its predecessor.
Precepted by Dr. Faith Acker

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 5
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 2, (skip 4), 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
The fifth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese: From Zero - 6
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Fridays at 9:00 AM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, and 26
This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

Old English 4
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29
Ready to begin learning Old English? This series of modules introduces students to the vocabulary and structure of the earliest recorded form of the English language. One year of modules prepares the student to read texts from over a thousand years ago! Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students ready to learn Old English will communicate with our Director and Professor Swain to make the right placement for everyone.
Precepted by Dr. Isaac Schendel

The Haunting of Hill House
 Hybrid

Webinars: Recorded Webinar Meetings on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for four 1-hour sessions on Jan 2, 9, 16, and 23

Discussion Sessions: Meeting on Fridays at 8:00 PM Eastern for four 1-hour discussion groups on Jan 5, 12, 19, and 26
The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson is a classic of Gothic horror, a haunted house tale lauded by critics, loved by readers, and repeatedly adapted for stage and screen for more than half a century. What makes this novel a successful example of its genre? Why has it spoken to generations of readers? How does its messages represent and/or transcend its time? In this module we will explore the context and inspirations for The Haunting of Hill House, its popular and critical receptions, its place in Shirley Jackson’s larger body of work, and its impact on contemporary readers.

Note for March 2024: This module will be followed by a companion module in March: A Haunting on the Hill: Elizabeth Hand’s Answer to Shirley Jackson.
Precepted by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis

Tolkien's Unfinished Tales

Meeting Wednesdays & Fridays at 10:00 AM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on January 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26
The Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth is a collection of stories and essays by J.R.R. Tolkien which are filled with all the wonderful elements of story-telling that are to be found in The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and yet, for some reason, they are less well-known and less studied. Some, like ‘Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife’, offer a compelling insight into the Second Age and the time of Númenor. Others, such as ‘The History of Galadriel and Celeborn’, ‘The Quest of Erebor’, or ‘The Hunt for the Ring’, shed further light on the events of the Third Age that are so familiar to readers of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. We will discuss some of these stories and place them in the context of the other Middle-earth works.

Access to a copy of The Unfinished Tales is essential. Prior knowledge of the stories within is desirable, but you could read them as we go along.
Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].