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History Lessons Coming up in New York

Reading the Iliad

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Greenwich Village
53 Washington Sq South 6th Fl, New York, New York 10012

The Iliad stands at the start of most histories of western literature, even as it remains enduringly strange—often, it seems, at odds with the very tradition it has been taken to inaugurate.  In our course, we will attempt to recapture some of the strangeness and some of the continuing relevance of the Iliad. We will closely read...


4 sessions

Traversing the Veil:Alchemy, Wisdom, & The Modern Witch

at Think Olio - Lower East Side
16B Orchard St, New York, New York 10002

The facts about Halloween/Samhain, widely celebrated in the U.S., depend upon what you read.  According to some, during the "burning times" in Europe (during the 16th - 18th centuries), perhaps 60,000 witches, many of whom were  women and followers of pre-Christian religions were killed, and often tortured before being killed.  These...


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Food of the Dead: A Culinary History of Funeral Food

at Brooklyn Brainery - Brooklyn
190 Underhill Ave Brooklyn, NY 11238, Brooklyn, New York 11238

At the end of an early American funeral, participants were given a cookie: spiced with caraway, and stamped with a special design, they were often kept for years as a memento of the departed. Although mourning traditions have changed over time, and vary from place to place, what they have in common is food and drink. From the home parlour to the funeral...


History Series: Ancient Egypt - History & Legacy

at Queensborough Community College - Bayside
222-05 56th Ave, Bayside, New York 11364

Ancient Egypt has been a focus of awe and fascination for thousands of years. Egypt has always exerted a powerful allure in popular and high culture. The Egyptians have influenced civilization in art, architecture, religion, philosophy, literature, travel, science, even the movies. We are lucky in New York City to have two great collections of Egyptian...


2 sessions

The Urgent Need for Critical Thinking & Anecdotes

at Think Olio - Williamsburg
28 Frost St, Brooklyn, New York 11211

OlioNote Fundraiser The Urgent Need for Critical Thinking & Anecdotes are Better Than Evidence It often seems that the practice of critical thinking is easily discarded in favor of the adoption and use of fully formed opinions, discourses or theories. Avoiding thinking for oneself has two major dangers: we may fall into a perpetually skeptical...


The Handmaid and the Hound

at Think Olio - Greenwich Village
828 Broadway, New York, New York 10003

For a new generation of readers, the fears of the future funneled through these two contemporary classics have achieved critical mass and are more forecast than creative fancy. And that’s because they project an eerie déjà vu quality to the tumult of 2017.  In varying measures, “Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fahrenheit 451” speak to the...


Chocolate: A Complex Intersection

at Brooklyn Museum - Prospect Heights
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Unpack and upend colonial narratives through an interdisciplinary investigation of the history and production process of chocolate. The session will begin with a 30-minute conversation with Museum curators and educators in our American Art galleries. Afterward, we will head to Brooklyn Botanic Garden to learn about the cultivation and growth of cacao...


History, Ecology & Architecture of the West Village

at Brooklyn Brainery

Full Class Name: History, Ecology & Architecture of the West Village Walking Tour Discover NYC’s dynamic waterfront history through a guided walking tour of the West Village neighborhood, led by a local historian. Explore Manhattan’s role as a major trade center and port through a chronological trip of history, ecology...


Revolutionary Women's Poetry

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Throughout history, revolutions and collective resistance to oppression have found inspiration and expression through poetry. Poets have played direct roles in revolutionary struggles, and their poems have expressed protest against harsh realities as well as dreams of liberation across a wide range of styles and genres. In this class we'll consider...


The Real History of Thanksgiving

at Brooklyn Brainery - Gowanus
333 Douglass St, Brooklyn, New York 11217

Thanksgiving started back in the day of the Pilgrims...right? In this talk, we'll cover the whole history of the most American holiday, from what really happened in Plymouth, to the rush of nostalgia that made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the 19th century. We'll check out how immigrants and suburban housing developments further...


The Teachings of Emerson, Thoreau & Whitman

at New York Open Center - Flatiron
22 E 30th St, New York, New York 10016

The Transcendentalist movement of the 19th century was a period of revolutionary and reflective thought. It brought forth some of the greatest visionary thinkers in American history who awakened the nation to its rightful spiritual and intellectual heritage. Their writings continue to inspire us to be ever-conscious of all-pervading Spirit, to seek...


Australian Politics 101

at Brooklyn Brainery - Brooklyn
190 Underhill Ave Brooklyn, NY 11238, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Can you name the Prime Minister of Australia? With a big election looming in 2016, there may soon be a new one. Do you know who gave the famous “Misogyny Speech” in Parliament? If you don’t, you’re missing out, because Australian politics is not your mid-day C-SPAN stuff. This class will give you an overview of the structure, major personalities,...


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From Radical Doubt to Absolute Certainty

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - DUMBO
18 Bridge St, New York, New York 11201

Descartes’ Meditations: From Radical Doubt to Absolute Certainty “To demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations…to devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions.” This is the project that René Descartes sets forth in the first of his Meditations on First Philosophy:...


4 sessions

Haunted History: Bog Bodies of Iron Age Europe

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

“Bog bodies”: the eerily well-preserved remains of hundreds of people – men, women, and children – found in the swamps and peaty wetlands of northern Europe. Many times police have been called to what appears to be a modern murder scene, only to discover that the body dates back to the Iron Age, over two thousand years ago.  The...


Chocolate: A Bittersweet History

at New York Botanical Garden - Midtown
20 W 44th St, New York, New York 10036

For 5,000 years, cacao has been a plant that brings out the best and worst in mankind. Ethnobotanist Brian Hockaday will trace the journey of Theobroma cacao, from its earliest use as an alcoholic beverage to its pivotal role in Mayan society and politics; from its violent adoption by colonial powers to its primacy in modern global economics, tropical...