Discover the Best History Classes in Los Angeles
Where can the history buffs in Los Angeles go to learn more about their topic of choice? Almost anywhere. The City of Angeles is bursting with opportunities for its residents to learn more about the city and the vast swath of human history. It doesn’t matter whether the interested parties already know a fair bit about their topic of choice or are coming to the study of history as beginners. Historical experts throughout Los Angeles can connect with students in-person and online to teach them more about the topics that interest them the most.
Which of these Los Angeles history classes stand out from the rest? Take a gander at the list of some of the best-liked history courses in the area to learn more.
Why You Should Learn History in Los Angeles
Choosing to learn more about history in Los Angeles has a number of benefits. For starters, learning about history in-person or online allows Los Angeles residents to get to know one another. Los Angeles is a thriving city playing host to millions of people, not counting the travelers who come in and out of the area. History course participants can forge connections based on mutual interests that, in turn, can see relationships bloom and carry on outside of the classroom.
Moreover, learning about history can prove relaxing for interested parties. Anyone who gets to deep-dive into their personal interests can readily shed the stress of a busy day in favor of lessons on Alexander the Great or the Indus River Valley civilization. Even Los Angeles-oriented courses can leave students more appreciative of the city they live in.
Last but not least, learning about history can have professional benefits. Professionals who work in liberal arts-related fields can use the lessons they learn about different cultures and historical events as inspiration for future projects. Even professionals in more structured environments like accounting or business can use the lessons taught by history to avoid mistakes that might prove detrimental to their careers.
The study of history, in other words, has a myriad of benefits in today’s constantly-evolving environment. Students in Los Angeles who want to make the most of those benefits just need to find the right history course for them.
In-Person History Classes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles’ in-person history courses are hubs for history buffs looking for like-minded friends. Some of the best in-person history classes available in the City of Angels include the following:
From Sondheim to Hamilton: The History of Musicals, Urban Elective
Los Angeles is a Mecca for theater kids. Residents don’t have to have a pre-existing knowledge of theater, though, if they want to participate in courses like Urban Elective’s “From Sondheim to Hamilton: The History of Musicals.” While the title of the course speaks to fans of the latest Broadway hit, “Hamilton,” instructor Katie Hemming runs the gamut from operettas, including those she’s performed in, to Disney musicals.
Hemmings runs her course out of the Bluebird Brasserie. Students participate in six weeks of classes, visiting the Bluebird Brasserie once a week for two hours. Those six weeks' classes cost $129.
The Dark History of Los Angeles, Urban Elective
Urban Elective’s “The Dark History of Los Angeles” introduces students to the City of Angel’s less-savory history as it took place from the 1850s to today. Students do not have to have any pre-existing knowledge of the city’s dark history to participate in and enjoy this program. Likewise, the course does not require students to purchase any additional materials or even engage in any extracurricular work.
The course tends to run for six weeks at a time and most often takes place on Monday evenings. Students do have to pay a registration fee of $129 before they can participate in the program. Students who register for the program get to learn directly from instructor Joan Renner, author of the blog “Deranged L.A. Crimes,” and practiced historian.
Urban Elective’s “The Dark History of Los Angeles” course takes place in person at Boomtown Brewery in Los Angeles. Interested parties can contact Urban Elective at [email protected] with any questions they may have about the course’s upcoming session.
Getty Center: Architecture Tour, Museum Hack
Not every in-person history course in Los Angeles needs to take place in a classroom. Several take place in the city itself, including within its museums. The Getty Center, for example, offers a range of historically-oriented art tours to curious-minded visitors. These tours include its Architecture Tour.
The Architecture Tour at the Getty Center comes free of charge to visitors. The tour runs every day once an hour, making it accessible to all parties curious about the building’s design. Parties interested in participating in the tour should arrive at the Information Desk 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour they want to join.
These tours run for 45 minutes and are first come, first serve. Fortunately, the number of tours operating every day makes it easy for visitors to learn more about the Getty Center’s architecture, no matter when they arrive.
Virtual History Classes
History buffs who can’t attend in-person lectures but do have access to a strong Internet connection can forgo in-person history courses in favor of virtual alternatives. Some of Los Angeles’ best history classes include the following:
Introduction to Trauma, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research’s “Introduction to Trauma” sounds like a psychological course. Instead, the course highlights how the interdisciplinary study of trauma has advanced over the past two decades. Instructor Loren Dent focuses on the cultural, political, and clinical interpretations of trauma and how those interpretations have impacted parties suffering from an altered mental condition.
Instructor Dent notes in the course syllabus that while students do not have to have a pre-existing understanding of trauma or even mental health history, students should be prepared to commit to an intense reading schedule. The authors students will touch on throughout this course include:
- Jean Laplanche
- Philip Bromberg
- Ricardo Ainslie
- Bessel Van Der Kolk
- Ruth Leys
Participants must pay a course fee of $335 to participate in this four-week program. The course runs on Sundays from 2 PM EST to 5 PM EST. That said, students can participate in this program from anywhere in the world, including Los Angeles. The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research recommends that participants verify their Internet speed and Zoom accounts before registering for this program.
Los Angeles Uprisings, Crash Course Black American History
When in doubt, history buffs in Los Angeles and beyond can turn to CrashCourse for - what else? - a crash course on their chosen historical topic. CrashCourse offers a generalized history course free of charge on YouTube, but it also offers more specialized programs for curious minds.
Crash Course Black American History specifically offers Los Angeles-specific programs, including its Los Angeles Uprisings class. This class runs for less than 15 minutes and, unfortunately, does not allow students to interact with Clint Smith, the course’s instructor, directly. That said, students can dive into the video’s comments to exchange information about the course’s materials with their fellow viewers.
As mentioned, students do not have to pay a dime to access the Los Angeles Uprisings program or any other Crash Course history virtual lessons. Students can, however, visit the platform’s Patreon to access behind-the-scenes materials and additional history lessons.
Private Group History Classes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles also hosts a number of private group history classes, including the following:
Virtual Trivia: Name the Year
Los Angeles doesn’t offer so many private group history courses as it does offer opportunities for history-minded people to come together in small groups and quiz one another on specific areas of study. Los Angeles’ virtual trivia, including its Virtual Trivia: Name That Year, serves as an ideal conference in which the area’s history buffs can come together and compete for prizes based on their knowledge of each decade’s most notable historical events.
A Virtual Trivia: Name the Year session costs $360 for 15 participants. That said, the game’s host can entertain up to 200 participants for a cost of $10 for each participant over the initial 15. These sessions are available any day of the week, and hosts do not charge booking fees. That said, parties must cancel their event at least 30 days before their trivia night if they want a full refund. Cancellations after that 30-day period see the primary host charged 15 percent of the game night’s total cost.
Participants should come to their sessions with a Zoom account, a strong Internet connection, and a computer that can handle real-time audio and video. Interested parties can work with the game’s host to create specialized trivia categories that cater to a group’s specific interests. Customization costs an additional $150.
Virtual Trivia: 90s Cartoons
Virtual Trivia: 90s Cartoons operates similarly to Virtual Trivia: Name the Year. These history and pop culture-related sessions are ideal for students of history who appreciate the finer points of animation, not to mention pop culture trends and developments in the world of large corporations like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
These sessions cost $360 for 15 participants, though hosts can entertain up to 200 history buffs. Each invitee to take the total participant count above that original 15 will cost $10 to register. Private session hosts offer these trivia games any day of the week and in most environments, from office get-togethers to at-home game nights.
Virtual Dumpling Making
Food and history are intimately tied together. Anyone who wants to learn more about the history of certain food groups or even, in some cases, their own cultural history can participate in a range of private virtual food-making workshops. One such workshop offered through CourseHorse Experiences includes its Virtual Dumpling Making session. This session allows up to 500 people to learn about the vast cultural history of dumplings and how to make their favorites in their own homes.
There’s no one place where the dumpling came from, after all. Course participants can learn the difference between Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean dumplings, along with dumplings from other Asian countries. Registrants can request that CourseHorse’s hosts schedule their program for any day of the week.
CourseHorse recommends that students come prepared to physically create dumplings alongside the course’s instructors. The course specifically focuses on two kinds of dumplings: pork & celery and mushroom veggie. The ingredients participants need to purchase in advance include:
- Black vinegar
- Ground pork or ground beef
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine
- Sesame oil
The Virtual Dumpling Making workshop costs $395 for the first 10 participants, not including each participant’s individual ingredient cost. After that, incoming registrants may pay $20 to participate in the course.