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

April 2024June 2024

May 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 April 29, May 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23
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

A Journey Through The History of the Hobbit 1
First in the Series Spotlight   FULL

An Intensive Reading of the Tao Te Ching/Daode jing 道德經

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on April 29, May 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22.
"The Way that can be talked about is not the lasting Way": so begins this classic text of world literature and Chinese philosophical and religious thought. The Tao Te Ching has been read, interpreted, and applied in a variety of ways throughout Chinese and world history. We'll do a close reading as well as explore the larger commentarial tradition surrounding it, using it as a gateway to explore further dimensions of East Asian culture and to spark conversations within the class.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Beginning Japanese 3
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on May 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28
Focusing on chapters three (depending on how far we got in Beginning Japanese 2), four, and five in the textbook, we plan to improve our understanding of particles, verb categories and conjugations, describing where things are, forming the past tense of verbs, and increasing our abilities to use and "conjugate" adjectives----which do have tense in Japanese. As always, we will also be increasing our vocabulary and kanji knowledge. This module should be especially exciting because after laying various foundations in the first two units, we now begin to be able to actually have short conversations and form everyday useful sentences.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Bible as Literature: The Gospels in the Their Contexts

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 5:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on April 29, May 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23
This module considers the gospels in their contexts; addressing their genre, the communities to whom they are addressed, their origins, early tradition and legend about how they came to be, comparisons of their literatures to other Hellenistic and Near Eastern ones, the synoptic problem, and related issues.
Precepted by Dr. Larry Swain

Book Club: God Emperor of Dune 1
First in the Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 10:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on April 29, May 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23.
"Is this your Golden Path, Tyrant?"

In this two-month module, we will read and discuss the fourth Dune novel, God Emperor of Dune. Three millennia after the events of the first Dune trilogy, Leto Atreides II rules the known universe with inhuman ruthlessness. All but immortal, Leto goads humanity onward to a new evolutionary pathway. The future of the species depends upon it. He will stop at nothing to achieve his vision - even if it means his own destruction and the end of civilization as we know it...

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

Creative Writing: Aristotle's Poetics for Story-Tellers
Spotlight   Hybrid

Mondays (lecture will be recorded live) & Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on April 29, May 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23.
What makes a good story? How can we make our characters feel like real people?

Using a combination of recorded lectures, in-class discussion and exercises, you will find out how to employ Aristotle’s precepts on character, theme and emotional catharsis to enrich your creative practice. You will also discover how Aristotle’s teleological understanding of causality can help you discover the final design of your creative work. This module will be a must for fiction authors, screenwriters and directors, RPG game masters, or anyone who wants to weave a dynamic tale!

The module will follow an 8-lesson structure as follows:
• Lecture 1: Introduction to the Poetics
• Workshop 1: Your Narrative's Purpose

• Lecture 2: Character and Theme
• Workshop 2: Discovering Your Character and Theme

• Lecture 3: Structure
• Workshop 3: Unfolding Your Story's Structure

• Lecture 4: Catharsis
• Workshop 4: Sticking the Landing
Precepted by Dr. Julian Barr

Creative Writing: Emotional Stakes (Novel in a Year)
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on April 29, May 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23,
Congratulations! You have Characters in a Setting enacting a Plot!

In this workshop you'll explore how your motivations for writing and the themes which worry or puzzle or fascinate you shape your stories. You’ll identify your methods for exploring these themes and consider other methods consonant with your authorial voice. How are your characters changing and responding to their own explorations? You'll examine tools for finding what elements have already slipped into your stories, possibly subconsciously, and tools for intentionally using such emotional connection points to bring more strength to your stories. Each class will introduce a few new tools, offer in-class prompts for trying them, and open the floor to discuss our discoveries and their relevance to our works in progress.

Novel in a Year Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year 11) which, while open to all who have a mature writing project ready for close scrutiny, is designed specifically for students who have completed at least 4 previous modules in the Novel in a Year sequence). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video here.

Exploring William Gibson's Jackpot: Agency

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for seven sessions on
May 2 (1 hour),
May 7 (1 hour),
May 9 (1 hour and 15 minutes beginning at 7:45),
May 14 (1 hour and 15 minutes beginning at 7:45)
Skip May 16
May 21 (1 hour and 15 minutes beginning at 7:45),
May 23 ( 1 hour and 15 minutes beginning at 7:45)
May 28 (1 hour beginning at 8)
Agency is the second novel of William Gibson's Jackpot Trilogy. Agency's timeline emerges in a branch universe where the 2016 election went otherwise and a somewhat salty AI assistant gets loose in the internet. Nanobot assassinations and attenuated time travel, surly barristas and tech billionaires, smart-ass AI and an elderly super-empowerd Detective Inspector Ainsley work to avoid the blades of the looming Jackpot. Although a sequel to The Peripheral, you need not have read that book to enjoy Agency. Please join us!
Precepted by Dr. Patrick Malloy

Introduction to Ancient Magic 1
First in the Series

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on May 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, (skip 27), 29
An introduction to magic in the ancient world provides a short survey of the earliest known magical texts and objects, including the Pyramid texts, Sumerian exorcism spells, and objects used in different apotropaic rituals. Divination and other forms of magic will be included as well. What was the earliest magic? What did it do and how did it work? Who practiced magic? How was magic related to religion?
Precepted by Shawn Gaffney

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 9
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on May 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30
The ninth 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 continue 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 - 10
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Fridays at 9:00 AM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on May 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28
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, Katakana, and Kanji, and covering 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

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 3
(Section 1)
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:00 AM Eastern with Dr. Sara Brown for eight 1-hour sessions on May 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30.
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown (Section 1)

Middle High German Series: A Month of Minnesang

Meeting Wednesdays & Fridays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on May 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24
During the 12th and 13th centuries, the Provençal tradition of courtly love poetry spread to Germany, where it became the lyrical genre known as Minnesang. It quickly took on a life of its own and developed into a medieval literary scene of the best type—complete with rivalries, drama, and satire! Come join us for a month of reading a selection of poems from this almost inexhaustible literary field.

This class is simultaneously meant as a literary survey and as language practice for Signum’s growing cohort of Middle High German enthusiasts. For every iteration, Dr. Schendel chooses a selection of poetry from the Early, Classical, and Late periods based on student interest. The shorter length of these poems makes them perfect reading material for beginning-, intermediate-, and even advanced-level MHG readers and will allow for an in-depth discussion of the poems.

The reading texts (which vary by iteration) will be supplied from a number of anthologies and editions according to the Fair Use doctrine, but Dr. Schendel will also provide ISBN numbers so students can buy their own copies. After all, who wouldn’t like to impress their houseguests with a hardcover copy of Des Minnesangs Frühling on the coffee table?
Precepted by Dr. Isaac Schendel
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].