Lifelong Learning History and Current Events Courses
Lifelong Learning courses are designed primarily for students age 50 and over. Not all listed courses are offered each semester. See schedule of Lifelong Learning classes to find current schedules, location, dates, and costs.
Civil War in Montgomery County Overview, Course: ILL679, 1.5 Hours
Maryland was a slave state that did not secede from the Union during the Civil War, and Montgomery County occupied a strategic position just north of the capital of the northern states and at the Potomac River border between the warring factions. Troops from both sides of the conflict marched through the county at various times during the War, massive numbers of Union troops were trained here, Confederate raiders made frequent forays, and spying and smuggling were rampant. Explore what it would have been like to live in Montgomery County during these times.
Conflict—Modern Middle East, ILL 637- Hours: 37.5 co-listed with credit
Join us to examine the contemporary conflicts and problems of the Middle East and their impact upon world politics, including U.S. foreign policy. The class covers the period from the late 18th century to the present and explores the Islamic heritage, the impact of Western imperialism, modernization and the tension between traditionalism and modernity, the rise of Arab nationalism and political revolutionary change, inter-Arab rivalries, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the impact of oil, and the role of the superpowers. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Getting Pumped About Politics: The Lifeblood of Democracy, ILL622- Hours: 12
Politics is not a dirty word! That is the spirit behind this course that promises adult learners fresh insights and new information about elections in 2014—a year that is shaping up as one of the most fascinating in a long time for Montgomery County voters. Yes, the offices are close to home, and many of the candidates have familiar names and faces. But developments at the national and international levels—on subjects that range from immigration to taxes to health care—are likely to influence the outcomes, according to the experts from the fields of politics, academia, news and lobbying who will make presentations to students. The guest presenters will provide analyses of campaigns for county council, county executive, the state legislature, governor and more. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Historical Book Discussions, Course: ILL657, 8 Hours
Analyze important recent studies in history. This course is for all students with a general interest in Western history and cutting-edge work in the field. This semester we look at Thomas Jefferson through the lens of Jon Meacham’s New York Times bestseller, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (Random House, 2012). The book provides a fair treatment of a complex subject, addressing his monumental achievements for the United States (including the Declaration of Independence) and his controversial position on slavery. Major themes include Jefferson and the Enlightenment, life at Monticello, Jefferson and religion, the American Revolution, and slavery. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
History of Islam and Impact of Globalization, Course: ILL682, 6 Hours
Muslims or followers of Islam comprise 1.62 billion adherents or 23% of world population by 2010 figures. 54 countries of the world are Muslim majority countries. This class will include a brief survey of the followers of Islam today where the overwhelming majority are non-Arabs with historical and cultural roots in democratic social and political orders. Islam with Judaism and Christianity are referred to as the Abrahamic religions or the religions of the book. In its core beliefs, Islam has no conflict or contradiction with Christianity and Judaism. At present times when we are being forced to seek a common destiny as citizens of the world for survival, where globalization has emerged as the mechanism for seeking that common destiny, it is essential to seek the commonality between these 3 great religions to strengthen the process of globalization to build a peaceful world and fight common dangers that threaten all of us collectively. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
International Political and Social Issues, Course: ILL692, 12 Hours
Every year new discoveries, technologies, understandings, conflicts and occurrences from around the world contribute to trigger citizen-led movements, shift the balance in the US between various political, economic, and social groups and set new tipping points. Join in lively and frank moderated round table discussions with select guest expert speakers. Topics may include Japan’s Nuclear Power Dilemma, Syria’s Internal Civil Strife, Global Immigration Trends, Euro Zone Instability, International Corporate Agriculture, and Global Internet Access. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Iran: Politics, Leaders, Historical Overview, ILL628- Hours: 12
Iran is in the news lately, but have you ever wondered how it came to be the country that it is today? This course will cover the historical, political, and social systems of Iran from the 20th-Century to present day. Learn about Iran’s culture, religion, and social aspects and how they affect politics. Political leaders and their leadership styles will be covered. Particular attention will be focused on the upcoming presidential election. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
The Odyssey of a Civil War Soldier, Course: ILL684, 1.5 Hours
George P. McClelland served with the 155th Pennsylvania Infantry, Army of the Potomac, from August 1862 to his discharge in June 1865. Author Robert Plumb reads from McClelland’s letters and narrative excerpts from his recently published book, Your Brother in Arms, which offer a front-line soldier’s view of some of the most crucial battles fought during the Civil War. Literate and evocative, the letters convey an authentic perspective of a soldier who experienced one of the bloodiest and most transformative wars in American history. The presentation concludes with a book sale and signing.
Songs and Stories of the Blue and Gray, Course: ILL694, 1.5 Hours
Join a descendant of Civil War veterans who shares songs and stories from the War Between the States, wearing both blue and gray, and accompanying himself on guitar.
World History: A Comparative Survey from the Ancient World to A.D. 1500, ILL610- Hours: 37.5 – co-listed with credit
This course covers the world’s great cultures, religions, and political systems. It offers you the opportunity to understand contemporary life in terms of the accumulated cultural experiences of the world and to appreciate the growing interdependence of modern nations. This course covers from the ancient world to A.D. 1500. A comparative inquiry into the emergence and flowering of ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilizations; the Christian Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe; China and the development of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism; Hinduism and Indian empires; Islam and its conquests and the rise of the Ottoman Empire; civilizations of the Americas; and African developments. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
World History: A Comparative Survey from A.D. 1500 to the Present ILL643- Hours: 37.5 – co-listed with credit
This course covers the world’s great cultures, religious, and political systems. You will have an opportunity to understand contemporary life in terms of the accumulated cultural experiences of the world and to appreciate the growing interdependence of modern nations. This comparative Course covers autonomous local developments in the various parts of the world as well as the settling of the New World; the scientific and industrial revolutions and their diffusion; Western dominance of the non-Western world and its decline; the rise of mass societies, Marxism, and worldwide revolutions; the effects of two world wars; and the struggles to modernize. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.