Current Courses | DavidsonLearns | United States

Courses

Our goal is to enhance the intellectual, social, and cultural life of adults by providing challenging, diverse, and relevant courses on academic topics. Most of our classes are four to six weeks long and meet once a week for 1-1/2 or 2 hours. Our volunteer instructors are motivated by their desire to share their knowledge and facilitate thoughtful discussions on academic topics. 

 

We have two semesters: Fall and Winter/Spring. 

Winter/Spring 2020 Current Courses  ( * ordered by day)

If you would like to take a course that is full, please add your name to the waitlist, and we will contact you if a seat becomes available. Please do not contact the instructor directly.  

Behavioral Economics: Nudge Theory

Economists traditionally assumed that individuals make rational decisions. That assumption fails to explain peoples’ contradictory choices, lack of self-control, or tendency to base decisions on emotion rather than logic. This course focuses on the use of nudge theory to influence behavior. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

$66

Dr. Ted Amato

January 13, 2020 - February 17, 2020

Seeing and Hearing Opera through La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini

Whether you have always wondered what it was like to listen to an opera or you have been listening to opera your entire life, this course is for you. No previous knowledge of music or opera is necessary. Just bring your ears, your heart, and an open mind. We will explore the wonders of opera as it touches upon the human experience through the element that makes us most human, the voice! More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

$44

January 13, 2020 - February 3, 2020

Jacquelyn Culpepper

Beyond Inspiration, Pity, and Charity: Exploring Disability Studies

We are used to thinking about diversity and multiculturalism in terms of race, gender, and sexuality. But what about disability? Why does it matter to consider disability not just as we typically do--as a medical diagnosis, tragedy, or inspiration--but as a complexly embodied and culturally defined identity that has a history and a culture?  More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

$66

January 20, 2020 - February 24, 2020

Dr. Ann Fox

21st Century Grandparenting in the United States

This class will explore the evolution in the roles of grandparents over our lifetimes. We will investigate grandparenting through discussion, reading, role playing and sharing. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$55

Dr. Colleen Thrailkill

January 27, 2020 - February 24, 2020

Realism in Mid-Nineteenth Century Art and Literature

Adam Bede is George Eliot's high Victorian realistic novel about pastoral life in Hayslope in northern England. It includes chapters of tragedy and of comedy, characters that are among the richest in British literature, and beautiful passages that lend themselves to fruitful analysis. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

2:00 AM - 3:30 PM

$55

Dr. Gill Holland

February 10, 2020 - March 9, 2020

They Made the News

A survey of the people, the events, and the inventions that developed mass media -- from the cave painters of Europe to the press barons of the 19th Century to today's Fake News pundits. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

$77

March 9, 2020 - April 20, 2020

Mark Washburn

Depictions of Race on Film

Recent Oscar-related controversies have highlighted the representation of race on film. In this course, we will look at older classics and at new films to approach this topic from a variety of angles, including what constitutes positive or negative imagery. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Monday

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

$66

Dr. Maggie McCarthy

March 16, 2020 - April 20, 2020

Democracy's Enduring Quirk: The Electoral College

How should the President be elected? This critical question was sharply debated for months in 1787 when a constitution was being created for the new nation. What we wound up with was a compromise that has endured for centuries and, like so many compromises, pleases few on either side. It is the Electoral College. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Tuesday

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

$66

January 14, 2020 - February 18, 2020

Mark Washburn

“Faith of Our (Political) Fathers”: Religion and the American Presidency

How has religion influenced the lives and careers of our American Presidents? What did they believe, and how did their beliefs influence the way that they led our nation? More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Tuesday

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$55

January 28, 2020 - February 25, 2020

Dr. John Kuykendall

Semiotics and Structuralism: The Study of Signs in Society

Semiotics is the “science of signs,” the study of how sign systems function to produce meaning in both natural and cultural contexts. After an introduction, we will study cultural semiotics through reading classic texts. This primarily lecture course is for the intellectually adventuresome. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Tuesday

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$66

February 11, 2020 - March 17, 2020

Dr. Alan Singerman

Global Trade and International Relations

Everyday our lives are impacted by the dynamic interplay between global trade and highly charged international relations. Understanding this interplay and having complete and accurate information are critical in making informed decisions and having broad-based perspectives on world events. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Tuesday

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

$66

March 10, 2020 - April 14, 2020

Greg Knudson

Contemplating Rodin

Expand your understanding of Auguste Rodin’s work by participating in a pre-exhibit behind-the-scenes look at the process of planning and installing an exhibit of his major works at Davidson College. Tour the College’s sculpture workshop and learn about his lost wax sculpture process and his body of work and influence. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Wednesday

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

$33

Lia Newman

January 15, 2020 - February 5, 2020

The Historical Origins of Modern Medicine

Together we will trace the evolution from pre-historic through modern times of various influences (cultural, philosophical, ethical, and religious) on the development of modern medicine. Our exploration will touch on the arts, humanities, and science of healing practices. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Wednesday

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

$66

Dr. Joe Konen

February 19, 2020 - March 25, 2020

Seneca Falls to Suffrage

This course will cover the 72-year-long effort to gain women the right to vote. It will begin with the Seneca Falls convention of 1848, when women first publicly demanded the right to vote, and end in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Wednesday

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

$44

Dr. Sally McMillen

March 4, 2020 - March 25, 2020

Intelligence In the Cold War

The early Cold War was perhaps the most dangerous phase in the history of the world. Both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had thermonuclear war-heads on hair-trigger alert and nuclear-tip missiles that could hit any target in the world within minutes. Intelligence helped to stabilize this dangerous standoff, as both superpowers and their allies relied heavily on intelligence to avoid a direct conflict. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Wednesday

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

$66

Dates:

Instructor:

Thomas Rynne

April 1, 2020 - May 6, 2020

Beginning Genealogy Workshop

Interested in exploring your family tree? Reach for the first branch with this introduction to genealogical research. It’s suitable for those who have never tried genealogy … or who have dabbled in it but have not made much progress. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Thursday

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

$55

Dr. Christopher J. Ritz

January 16, 2020 - February 13, 2020

Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor

Study the life and theology of Flannery O'Connor and then apply that learning to the analysis of several short stories, mostly drawn from her second collection, Everything That Rises Must ConvergeMore details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Thursday

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

$66

Dr. Tony Abbott

January 23, 2020 - February 27, 2020

Romare Bearden: Contemporary Art History

Study the life and works of the great collage artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988), an African-American raised in Charlotte whose work tells the story of many aspects of African-American life in the South, the North, Europe, and the Caribbean, during the middle of the 20th century. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Thursday

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

$44

Dr. Shaw Smith

February 13, 2020 - March 5, 2020

World Religions

The world’s most influential religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, find expression in a variety of beliefs, rituals, and practices, both across and within each of the five. Led by instructors from each tradition and focusing on a specific strand within each tradition, we will explore how religion influences the way people understand the world, act in it, and relate to others. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Thursday

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

$66

Dr. Rob Spach

March 19, 2020 - April 23, 2020

Intermediate/Advanced Genealogy Workshop

Get ready for some serious digging into your family history. This workshop focuses on furthering your original research, breaking down “brick walls,” and determining your next steps. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Thursday

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

$55

Dr. Marilyn Rousseau

April 2, 2020 - April 30, 2020

The Making of a Modern Greek Tragedy

This course provides a front row seat to the complete writing, workshopping, and production process of Stephen Kaliski’s The Refugees, the Davidson College Theatre Department’s spring 2020 mainstage show. Join the playwright and the scenic designer for periodic meetings over the course of the semester. More details...

Day:

Time:

Cost:

Dates:

Instructor:

Friday

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

$33

Stephen Kaliski & Anita Tripathi

January 17, 2020 - April 17, 2020

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