Geography & History Courses

Magic in the Middle Ages
ADD FREE starts 4 May 2015
Magical thought has always attracted human imagination. In this course, you'll explore the Middle Ages through a wide conception of magic, examining medieval culture, beliefs and practices from the perspective of different areas of knowledge (History, Literature, Art History and History of Science). Popular magic, as well as magie savante (alchemy, geomancy and necromancy) will be addressed and we will also deal with artistic manifestations, such as relics, art objects, the Saint Grail and Arthurian literature.

The Changing Global Order
ADD FREE starts 1 June 2015
This course deals with international relations, peace and security and brings together a number of experts from the field and academia to share their perspectives. The course will help students gain insight into conflict resolution and the role organizations such as the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the African Union and NATO play in a changing world.

History of Boston
ADD FREE starts 4 May 2015
The course explores Boston from the 1600s to the present. Learn about the Massachusett Indians who lived on the land we now know as Boston before the Puritans arrived. Discover how these settlers created a system of self-government so strong that Boston became the most democratic community on the planet and the birthplace of the Revolutionary War. Trace the city's role in the American anti-slavery movement and the Civil War. Understand how Boston remains revolutionary to this day, redefining education, the arts and medicine by creating some of the best museums, orchestras, hospitals and schools in the world.

The European Union in Global Governance
ADD FREE starts 5 May 2015
The study of the EU as an international actor has become a key element in European and International Law and Relations. At the end of the course students will be able to identify and understand the main challenges of the EU and its Member States in the world today, and how they affect us personally; understand the means which the EU has at its disposal to tackle these challenges, and learn ways to critically evaluate its performance; and situate the EU as an international actor into the main theoretical approaches to International Relations, and harness these approaches to analyse current topics in global politics.

World War 1: Trauma and Memory
ADD FREE starts 25 May 2015
In this free online course, you will study the subject of physical and mental trauma, its treatments and its representation. You will focus not only on the trauma experienced by combatants but also the effects of World War I on civilian populations. Over three weeks, you'll learn just how devastating the effects of World War I were in terms of casualties across the many combatant nations, and examine the problem of "shell shock" and how deeply it affected the lives of those who lived through it. You will also develop the skills to carry out your own independent research.

From State Control to Remote Control:
Warfare in the 21st Century

ADD FREE starts 13 April 2015
Explore the impact and ethics of using drones, special ops units and private security firms in this free online course. States are increasingly using remote control methods, such as drones and special op units for activities that were traditionally performed by their conventional armed forces. The killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by US Special Forces; the drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; and the engagement of Academi (formerly Blackwater and Xe Services) in Iraq are just a few examples. This free online course looks at the reasons for this trend, including technological innovation; security privatisation; risk aversion among politicians and the public; and the opportunity that remote methods provide to circumvent the law.

The Holocaust: an Introduction - Part 1
ADD FREE starts 20 April 2015
This free online course explores the complex history of the Holocaust, highlighting its impact on our world today. It was co-produced by Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem – the World Center for Holocaust Research. This course is the first of a two-part series and covers three themes over a three-week period: Week 1: From Hatred to Core Ideology; Week 2: The World and the Jews in World War II; Week 3: The Isolation Abyss - the Perspective of the Individual

The Holocaust: an Introduction - Part 2
ADD FREE starts 11 May 2015
This free online course explores the complex history of the Holocaust, highlighting its impact on our world today. It was co-produced by Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem – the World Center for Holocaust Research. This course is the second of a two-part series and covers three themes over a three-week period: Week 1: The Final Solution; Week 2: Jewish and Non-Jewish Responses to the Holocaust; Week 3: The End of the War

The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia (Part 1)
ADD FREE starts 14 April 2015
This 5-week introductory course is for those who would like to explore vernacular architecture – the subject and study of everyday buildings, landscapes and sites that are not designed by professional architects but "ordinary" people. We’ll explore vernacular architecture as an expression of local identity, indigenous traditions, and assimilation of different cultures. The course will also cover topics such as native building materials, the interaction between people, culture and the vernacular, and the vernacular landscape. It has a special focus on the built heritage of Asia and allows learners to take a closer look at examples in diverse locales, such as the leather yurts in Mongolia, timber houses in Japan, brick, mud and straw houses in India, and grey brick courtyard houses in Southern China.

Objects That Define America
ADD FREE starts 15 April 2015
This course, produced in cooperation with The Great Courses, will explore four key themes in the History of America as presented by Dr. Richard Kurin, Undersecretary for History, Art and Culture at the Smithsonian. American Icons; Rights and Liberties; America the Beautiful; Spirit of Invention. Students will gain a unique perspective on American history and culture by learning the stories behind objects that were, and continue to be, an essential part of U.S. history. You will also reflect on the personal meaning these objects have for you, and the role that symbolic objects play in your own histories. The course is adapted from the video lecture series produced by Smithsonian and The Great Courses, "Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour Through History."

World War 1: A History in 100 Stories
ADD FREE starts 13 April 2015
Change the way you see World War 1 as you explore stories of hope, suffering and loss from newly released historical archives. This free online course is part of the 100 Stories Project at Monash University, commemorating the Anzac centenary and exploring the cost of war. The course will take place either side of Anzac Day, and suggests new and more inclusive ways of remembering. Each week we'll examine a different topic, including the physical and psychological wounds of war: shell shock, disability and trauma; women's mobilisation both at home and in the field; and what we've called ‘the other Anzac': indigenous soldiers too often ignored in our history. We'll examine grief and mourning; protest and repatriation, the politics of war and its intensely personal dimensions. By the end of this course, you'll have a better understanding of one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th Century, and the skills to embark on independent research of your own.

Causes of War
ADD FREE starts 13 April 2015
What causes armed conflict in the world today? This free onlien course examines current thinking on this critical question. It looks at a range of modern and historical conflicts and draws on a variety of theories and approaches. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in world affairs.

Over six weeks you will: define what war is and what it is not; become acquainted with Liberal and Realist theories of international relations; explore arguments about the causes of inter-state and non-state wars (such as insurgencies and revolutions); and use evidence to evaluate different theories of war The course will help you develop your capacity for independent learning and increase your understanding of conflict and international affairs.

Lips and Teeth: Korea and China in Modern Times
ADD FREE starts 27 April 2015
Explore the historical evolution of China and the Korean Peninsula and discover the implications for today. As countries across Asia - and the globe - wrestle with the impact of China's rise, nowhere are the opportunities and threats of a wealthy and powerful China felt more keenly than next door, on the Korean Peninsula. Understanding the history and current reality behind Sino-Korean relations - countries long-described as being as close yet as different as “lips and teeth” - opens up a window onto the key geopolitical transformation of the present age.

Sagas and Space - Thinking Space in Viking Age and Medieval Scandinavia
ADD FREE starts 7 Apr 2015
Space is a basic category of human thought. Thinking about spaces, places, locations, or landscapes covers a spectrum of meanings from the concrete and material through to the abstract and metaphorical. In this course, you will explore various categories of space in the field of Old Norse culture. Guided by international guest scholars from different fields, we’ll learn how mythological, heroic, historical, geographical spaces or landscapes look in written and oral narratives, and also on picture-stones, runic inscriptions, paintings, woodcarvings and manuscripts. The course will also examine the relationship between texts, images and maps and the process of mapping itself.

Greek and Roman Mythology
ADD FREE starts 27 Apr 2015
In this fascinating course, you will journey back into time and explore the myths of ancient Greece and Rome. The course will help you understand the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies and nations. We will also examine the way that the Greeks and Romans themselves understood their own myths. Are myths subtle codes that contain universal truth? Are they a window into the deep recesses of a given culture? The course will discuss these questions through various topics, including the creation of the universe, the relationship between gods and mortals, human nature, religion, the family, sex, love and death.

American Capitalism: A History
ADD FREE starts 23 Mar 2015
In this course, you will learn how the United States became the world's leading economic power. It focuses on essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism's on-going revolution. You’ll examine how economic development fueled the United States' evolution from 13 backwater colonies to a global power.

The Emergence of the Modern Middle East (Part 2)
ADD FREE starts 12 Apr 2015
This course will discuss the developments in the Middle East from the early 20th century to the present. It will discuss the rise and retreat of Arab nationalism, the problems of internal cohesion of the Arab states, issues of religion and state, and the evolution of Islamist politics. It will also focus on the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its impact on the region and will conclude with an in depth analysis of the “Arab Spring” by placing these contemporary revolutionary events in their historical context.

Jewish Diaspora in Modern China
ADD FREE always open
Jewish Diaspora in China is a unique experience for world Jewry, as China is the only country in Far East that has had Jews living in its society for over 1,000 years. What brought such a large number of Jews to China? Where did these people come from? How did they arrive? Were they all in China at the same time? What happened to them after they arrived? Where are they now? The story of Jews in modern China is fascinating and uplifting, and this course will examine these questions and more.

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution
ADD FREE starts 25 Mar 2015
In his free course, you will learn how advances in geospatial technology and analytical methods have changed how we do everything, and you’ll discover how to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest tools. The course brings together core concepts in cartography, geographic information systems and spatial thinking with real- world examples to provide the fundamentals necessary to engage with Geography beyond the surface-level. Participants will explore what makes spatial information special, how spatial data is created, how spatial analysis is conducted, and how to design maps so they effectively tell the stories we wish to share. We will work with the latest mapping and analysis software to explore geographic problems.

World War 1: Changing Faces of Heroism
ADD FREE starts 9 Mar 2015
In this free course developed by University of Leeds, you will learn how World War I moved the world away from traditional views of heroism and created new kinds of heroes and heroines. Through discussion and analysis of art, literature, film and television, you’ll explore the portrayals of heroism before, during and after the war. The course will examine the changing faces of heroism, from figureheads and brave warriors to the ordinary soldiers and front-line nurses. The emergence of alternative hero figures, including anti-war campaigners and vulnerable, shell shocked soldiers, is also covered. This course is part of a series designed in partnership with the BBC to commemorate the war.

Introduction to Ancient Greek History
ADD FREE always open
This is an introductory course in Greek history tracing the development of Greek civilization as manifested in political, intellectual, and creative achievements from the Bronze Age to the end of the classical period. Students will read original sources in translation as well as the works of modern scholars.

Ancient Israel
ADD FREE always open
You may think you know ancient Israel quite well, or you may be sure you know nothing. In either case, this course is designed to make the acquaintance from scratch. Ancient Israel is strange, sometimes shocking, diverse, and mostly hidden. It can be approached from archaeology and non-biblical writing as well as from the Bible as its most famous artifact. The instructor is a biblical scholar and student of ancient literature, so this class will lean toward what is written, embracing the Bible as a source. The course assumes no prior knowledge, and all knowledge is built from the ground up based on primary evidence, the actual material from the ancient world – including the Bible.

The Camera Never Lies
ADD FREE always open
This course introduces e-learners to the use of images and other media as historical evidence in the 20th century. It examines issues of authenticity and manipulation, and the role of film and historical adoptions as public history. The course is designed for those who have a general interest in history that draws on photojournalism as primary evidence, and films based on historical events.

Roman Architecture
ADD FREE always open
This course from Yale University is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. Architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii and Central Italy are highlighted, and the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner’s personal collection.

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