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.
Italy in the Age of the Renaissance, See course listing under Art and Art History
World History: A Comparative Survey from the Ancient World to A.D.1500, LLI-610 – Hours: 37.5
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 inter- dependence of modern nations. Join us for this 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 Present, LLI-643 -Hours: 37.5
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.
Conflict—Modern Middle East, LLI-637 – Hours: 37.5
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.
International Political and Social Issues, LLI-692 – Hours: 12
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: Human Trafficking and the Growing Global Epidemic of Slavery; Syria’s Internal Civil Strife: How is the crisis affecting the Middle East and US Policy?; Governance Obstacles in Latin America: Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Unaccompanied Minors; The Intersections of International Human Rights, Public Health, and Disadvantage; The Future Impact of Climate Change and Energy Resources on the Balance of World Power; The Global Prevalence of Corruption: An Overview of Indicators and Impacts. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
British Intellectual Ideas and Their Impact on American Society, LLI- 703 – Hours: 12
Britain from the 17th Century on gave the world both imperialism and intellectual brilliance. This course will examine the transformational ideas of Bacon, Hobbes, Bunyon, Locke, Newton, and Newcommon and their connection to social, political, and religious roots of American society and the American Revolution. A look at each of the ideas is interesting, but so is the question of how they all came from one small island and roughly at the same time. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
The Lincoln Penny as a Course in U.S. History, LLI-711 – Hours: 12
Do you pick up a penny when you see it on the ground? Let’s take a closer look and explore the symbolic significance and historical background of elements used on both sides of the coin as representation of the entire American Experience and foundation precepts of American society. Topics include his- tory of Lincoln’s coin, representation of ideas of the Declaration of Independence, Commemoration of President Lincoln, motto, religion as a form of freedom, and more. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Latin American Cultures: Mexico, Behind the Mask, LLI-706 – Hours: 12
This course provides an overview of Mexican history, politics, and culture for anyone wishing to broaden their knowledge and understanding of our enigmatic neighbor to the South and Latin American societies more generally. Explore the mysterious richness of the ancient indigenous civilizations that served as the foundation to Mexican society until their total transformation during the colonial period. Learn about the Conquista and the fight for independence, and what the Cinco de Mayo really celebrates. Analyze how the Mexican Revolution (the lesser-known Revolution of 1917) changed not only the political and economic order of this society, but also its culture (the muralists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were part of a Government effort to promote a more Mexican conception of art). Learn how, at the beginning of the 21st century, Mexico is trying to modernize the social and political goals of that century old revolution by embracing a more globalized cultural and political version of itself. We will be drawing on a range of cultural forms (novels, short stories, essays, film, music, art) as a window into this history; and we will listen carefully to the voices of the major social actors of the time, in order to understand Mexico’s quest to consolidate its identity not just vis-à-vis Spain, Europe, and 20th-century United States, but for itself. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
History of Islam and Impact of Globalization, LLI-682 – Hours: 6
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. It is essential to seek the commonality between these three great religions to strength- en the process of globalization to build a peaceful world and fight common dangers that threaten all of us collectively. Students will be engaged into a fascinating discussion. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Montgomery County in the Civil War, LLI-667 – Hours: 7.5
This course commemorates the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and its impact on people, lives, communities, and landscapes of Montgomery County. As the Civil War unfolded across the nation, the residents of Montgomery County lived in a war zone. Strategically located next to the Federal City of Washington, Montgomery County and Maryland were of vital importance to the security of the nation’s capital. For the first time since the War of 1812, the people of Montgomery County felt the impact of war. This course will use a multimedia approach to bring alive the history of the Civil War in Montgomery County including lecture, Power- Point slide presentations, video, live music of the Civil War era by a costumed reenactor, and first-person portrayal of a local Civil War surgeon. Additionally, this course will include a historical overview; a discussion of slavery; and a showing of the Emmy award winning video “Life in a War Zone” that one of the instructors, Susan Soderberg, helped to produce. This class is presented by published authors who are instructors at the Montgomery County Historical Society. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
Exploring Local History, LLI-724 – Hours: 6
Rockville, Maryland, has a long and fascinating history. Settled by the 1750s, selected as the seat of Montgomery County government in 1776, incorporated in 1860, and having experienced phenomenal growth since World War II, Rockville has been an important base for trade and legal matters for 250 years. Early residents, and those who passed through this area long before and since, left evidence of their lives here for us to see. This course will use a multimedia approach to bring Rockville history alive: lecture; PowerPoint and slide presentations; and a guided walking tour of historic Rockville. Historical booklets and books written by the instructor will be available for those who may wish to purchase them. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.