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

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Courses added in the last 30 days (newest first)

Exploring William Gibson's Jackpot: Agency

Added Feb. 22, 2024
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!

In the Age of Wonder: The Many Themes of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal

Added Feb. 20, 2024
The Dark Crystal, a film directed and created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, was released at Christmastime in 1982. An attempt at a more mature and decidedly darker direction for Henson, it performed modestly in the box office to mixed reviews. Despite its poor initial beginnings, over the next 42 years, The Dark Crystal became a cult classic. Why the appeal all these years later? In this class we will explore this multifaceted dark fantasy as a stand of world building from the better appreciated “Muppet” canon. Over the course of eight sessions we will discuss the world of Thra through the film itself, seen afresh with the new lenses of various forms of modern criticism. Please join us for a combination of short lectures and lively discussion of this visual and technical masterpiece whether you’re a long-time fan or neophyte.
Precepted by Kerra Fletcher and Jay Moses

The Story of Cinema: A SPACE Odyssey

Added Feb. 19, 2024
How did cinema develop from a curiosity of the early 20th century to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today?

The story of the rise of filmmaking as both mass entertainment and an art form is a tale of epic proportions that is still in the making. From Victor Fleming to Tarantino and John Ford to Spielberg, the medium of film has turned into the backbone of modern storytelling. Just as the novels of Dickens and Cervantes captured the attention and imaginations of generations of audiences, the classics of cinema will provide food for thought and discussion for generations to come. Take a deep dive with us into the greatest and most fascinating movies that cinematic history has to offer as we make an Odyssey through the stories that made film the art form that it is today. Join in with our analytical discussions led by a professional film critic and movie podcaster, and together we will explore the enduring quality of the best that film has to offer.

For the first module of this series, "The Story of Cinema: A SPACE Odyssey," we will be exploring some of the most unique and innovative space and science fiction films in history:

• Class 1: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
• Class 2: Star Wars (1977)
• Class 3: Alien (1979)
• Class 4: Blade Runner (1982)
• Class 5: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
• Class 6: Minority Report (2002)
• Class 7: Interstellar (2014)
• Class 8: Arrival (2016)
Precepted by Patrick Lyon

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends Series Series

Added Feb. 15, 2024
Natsume’s Book of Friends is a contemplative and heartfelt anime/manga series about a boy who inherited a book from his grandmother, allowing him to control youkai. Instead, he chooses to free them. This series sits at the intersection of fantasy and slice of life, and it touches on many aspects of Japanese folklore and culture, at the same time telling a story about connection and compassion.

This series is primarily discussion based, with some contextual information provided by the preceptor. There will be a Google Doc for class discussion and your preceptor will use slides, but sparingly.
Precepted by Nancy "Anni" Foasberg

Wayward Children Novella Series Series

Added Feb. 15, 2024
Boarding schools have become a staple in fantasy, but Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children specializes in children that have stumbled into and then out of portals and haven't quite managed to adjust to being back from their adventures. There are three rules at Eleanor West's: No Solicitations, No Visitors, and No Quests.
Precepted by Laurel Stevens

The Andre Norton Nebula Award

Added Feb. 6, 2024
Join Dr. Sara Brown and Sparrow Alden as they read their way through the winners and nominees of the Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction. How do these books speak to their special audience? What do they reflect about changing society? How do they build or break down their readers' connection to modern culture? How do they use heritage and world mythology to bring their stories to life?

Each time this module is presented, we will choose two different Norton Award novels to read, enjoy, discuss, and analyze with various critical tools. Mostly we're going to read great books and have fun working to understand them at deeper and deeper levels.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden and Sara Brown

Intermediate Latin Translation: The Vulgate Hester

Added Feb. 2, 2024
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 Hester from the Latin Vulgate, adapting the quantity of texts and homework to meet the needs of the enrolled students. We will parse passages and work through Hester 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.
Precepted by Faith Acker

Book Club: God Emperor of Dune

Added Jan. 29, 2024
"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 Julian Barr

Book Club: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Added Jan. 29, 2024
Blimey, let's read the third Harry Potter book!

We will get together twice a week to explore the series, reading through the books at a relaxed pace. Connect with fellow readers and share your insights as we discover (or rediscover) the magic.

Over one month, we will follow twelve-year-old Harry's adventures as he uncovers the dark secrets lurking beneath Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Whispers and plots abound within the castle, as Harry must confront the evil legacy of Voldemort.

This book club is all about sharing the moments of unexpected, joyful discovery through close reading. Focusing on the text, we will share our personal readings and experiences. We will learn from our classmates in a kindness-first, supportive environment.

Together, we can tackle some big questions about the series. What was it about the Harry Potter books that resonated with so many people? To what extent is it possible or indeed desirable to separate art from artist?

Most of all, however, we will have an inclusive dialogue that embraces a multiplicity of views and enriches our experience of the text.
Precepted by Julian Barr

Yōkai and Legends: Exploring the Weird in Japanese and Latin American Cultures

Added Jan. 29, 2024
Ghost stories are an important element from all cultures, but in weird and, of course, mysterious ways, there seem to be similar legends and stories of Yōkai in Japanese and Latin American Cultures. From the similarities of Obon with Día de los Muertos to different legends such as Kuchisake onna and La Llorona, we will discuss these legends within their cultural context and have fun with these weird and fantastic beings.
Precepted by Pilar Barrera and Robert Steed
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].