New Classes. New Cities. Discounts and More!

A Full Day of Learning: History and Art (NYC)

October 26, 2019 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM


9:30 AM - 10:50 AM
The American Revolution: Remarkable Stories You've Never Heard Before

Richard Bell / University of Maryland

The American Revolution is this country’s founding moment. It marks the birth of a nation committed to the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a staple of school and college curriculums and as a result, most people know something about the American Revolution and about the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence and led their thirteen colonies into a bold new future as the United States.

But the full story of the American Revolution requires us to look beyond the lives of Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson. This class focuses on all the things you might not have learned in high school or college about this great struggle for independence. It probes unexpected corners of this sprawling, eight-year war and expands its cast of characters substantially to include the typhoid-ridden immigrant corset-maker who wrote the pamphlet that gave colonists the confidence to believe they could beat Britain; the Massachusetts woman who disguised herself as a man so that she could serve in Washington’s Army; the enslaved stable hand at Mount Vernon who ran off to join the war and who ended up on the other side of the world; and the widow who became the most important Native American leader during the war. Studying their lives and exploits will reveal the breadth and depth of the sacrifices that the colonists made as they worked to turn a small-scale protest over the price of goods like tea into a fight for freedom.

Richard Bell / University of Maryland
Richard Bell is a Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home". He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

11:10 AM - 12:20 PM
A Different America: How Our Country Has Changed From 1969 Through Today

Matthew Andrews / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

How much has American society changed since the 1960s? And how do you gauge the extent of this change? In this session we will try to answer these questions by exploring a few of the more significant and pivotal moments in American history through the prism of sports. We will look beyond competitive outcomes on the fields of play—who won, who lost, and by how much?—and instead will focus on what these moments can reveal about the struggles for racial justice and gender equality in our nation.

Throughout our session we will consider the ways sports—a marathon, a college football game, a prizefight, a tennis match—have reflected larger trends in American life as well as influenced American history and the nation we occupy today. Whether this influence has been positive or negative is another question we will consider.

Matthew Andrews / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matthew Andrews teaches American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His courses use the history of American sports to explore race relations, gender ideals, political protest, and American identity. Professor Andrews was asked by the UNC student body to give the honorific "Last Lecture" to the graduating class of 2015. HIs students voted him their university's "Best Professor" in 2016.

12:20 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch Break

1 hour and 10 minute / Lunch Break

Students will have a 1 hour and 10 minute lunch break. You may bring your own or purchase it at a nearby restaurant.

1:30 PM - 2:50 PM
The Story of America in 7 Books

Joseph Luzzi / Bard College

In 1869, as our nation was recovering from the devastations of the Civil War, the critic John William DeForest described the quest for "the Great American Novel," suggesting how difficult it was to capture the complexity and diversity of the American experience in a single book. The past century and a half has seen many remarkable attempts by a wide range of authors to meet this challenge and distill the essence of U.S. history into the pages of unforgettable writing.

In this brand new course, we will explore those 7 books that best represent this quest to tell the American story, answering such questions as: What does it mean to be "American"? What are the books that have had the greatest impact on U.S. history and culture? How can fiction illuminate the hard truths of American life? This presentation will lead audiences through the fascinating world of American literature, as we explore how masterpieces ranging from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury to Toni Morrison's Beloved, Joseph Heller's Catch-22, and Philip Roth's American Pastoral, and more, reveal the characters and conflicts of the American spirit.

Joseph Luzzi / Bard College
Joseph Luzzi is a Literature and Italian Professor at Bard College, and was previously a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Scaglione Prize for his teaching. He is also the author of the audio course, "The Art of Reading." Professor Luzzi previously taught at Yale University, where he was awarded a Yale College Teaching Prize.

3:10 PM - 4:30 PM
Four Paintings in NYC Every Art Lover Should See

Tina Rivers Ryan / Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo), Formerly Columbia University

Despite the recent proliferation of art galleries, auction houses, and art fairs around the globe, New York remains a key capital of the art world. One of its greatest assets is its museums, which together house an almost unparalleled embarrassment of riches. These museums draw millions of international visitors each year; happily, many of us don't have to travel quite so far to take in a special exhibition or revisit a permanent collection. Yet museum-going can be daunting, whether or not you consider yourself an art lover: the sheer volume of objects on display can be overwhelming (not to mention the volume of the crowds, or the volume of the noise!). Even when we’re brave enough to jump in, it's easy to get fatigued—if we're really looking, a single room of art can last us all day, and many of us try to manage much more than that in just a few hours.
In order to help you make the most of your museum-going time, this talk suggests not just what you should be looking at, but how you should be looking at it. We will use as examples four of the most important, stunning, moving, and innovative paintings in New York—the ones that are worth your time, every time. It is designed for both the newly curious and those of you who have made museum-going part of your regular routine. If you're new to looking at art, it will help you find your bearings as you begin to explore the greatest of our city's permanent collections. If you're already familiar with these collections, it will help you see old favorites with fresh eyes, as we spend the morning learning what makes these masterpieces so marvelous.
  • Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait (the Frick)
  • Manet’s Mademoiselle V in the Costume of an Espada (the Met)
  • Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 (MoMA)
  • and one more to be announced in class!

Tina Rivers Ryan / Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo), Formerly Columbia University
An art historian by training, Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan is currently a curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. She holds five degrees in art history, including a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia, and has taught classes on art at museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as at the University at Buffalo, the Pratt Institute, and Columbia, where she was one of the top-ranked instructors of the introduction to art history. A regular critic for Artforum, the world's leading art publication, her writing also has appeared in scholarly journals and books, and in catalogs published by museums across America and Europe.

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