50 years of Country-Rock, 1965-present: Creating a New American Musical Genre
Mondays, September 14 - October 19, 2020
This class will cover the historically significant country-rock movement in American music, which started with the Byrds in LA in 1965 and spread across the country, changing the musical landscape of popular music. We will explore how two roots-oriented genres--country music and rock and roll-borrowed from each other and merged to create a new genre which has since spawned many sub-genres, each with its own unique approach to country-rock. Because albums, rather than just singles, became the prevalent form of delivering music in the 1970’s to the consumer/listener, we will look at several artists and their key albums, as well as trends in instruments, arrangements and lyric-writing that made up the songs.
Winding Paths through Inexpressible Darkness: Ancient Mystery Cults
Tuesdays, September 15 - October 20, 2020
This course explores the Mysteries of the Mediterranean world, namely, the secretive rituals associated with the Great Mother Cybele, Demeter, Dionysus, Orpheus, Isis, Mithras, and Jesus Christ. We will travel vertically from plumbing the deep caves of Gaia to straining at the furthest reaches of our sky-seeking fear-shaken imagination. Though they hid from us what they were up to (“mystery” root word, mu, means to keep your mouth shut), nonetheless we will try to get a sense of what deep meaning women and men found there, bathed in blood, gripped by terror, dying to be reborn.
Virtual Reality: Hype, Reality and the Hyperreal
Wednesdays, September 16 - October 21, 2020
Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) presents us with interesting philosophical problems. Even if you are not convinced by metaphysical idealism, the idea that reality is an illusion created in one’s own mind or the mind of God, VR is a technologically created empirical idealism that one can experience regardless of the truth of metaphysical idealism. Therefore, some of the worries that philosophers of the idealist bent had about perception, come back full force when we use these technologies. We live in a world now where mediated truth has us second-guessing what we think to be the true facts of the world, VR will take this one step further towards the hyperreal which will have us second guessing everything we think is real.
German Art of the 20th Century through World War II
Thursdays, September 17 - October 22, 2020
Between 1900 and 1945 Germany experienced two world wars and several art movements, many with a specific political element. The earliest art movement, German Expressionism, began before World War I and emphasized bold colors, as well as the artist's inner feelings or ideas over replicating reality. The two main groups of expressionist artists were Die Brücke (The Bridge) and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) was associated with the post-World War I Weimar Republic. The Nazi regime banned modern art and this course examines artists associated with these avant-garde movements whose work was subsequently condemned as “degenerate” or “subversive” and spotlighted in the Nazi’s 1937 Degenerate Art exhibition.
Groundbreaking Films of the 70s
Fridays, September 18 - October 2, 2020
Some films are “just movies.” Others leave an indelible stamp on their era and have a lasting impact that extends far beyond what can be measured in years. In this course we’ll take an in-depth look at six films that transformed 1970s American filmmaking and continue to shape our culture today: Jaws (1975), Rocky (1976), and Apocalypse Now (1979).