Weather and climate have been shaping human history for thousands of years. Blizzards, hurricanes, droughts, dust storms, and floods: all of them have been turning points. Weather disasters seem so much bigger than we are, but they're accurate barometers for telling us about what we value as human beings. This course will examine some of these major turning points (some of them based on controversial evidence!), from the ancient world, to Napoleon's invasion of Russia, to the Dust Bowl, to Hurricane Katrina. How have weather disasters shaped human history, and what can this tell us about how we think about climate change today?
The United States is a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope and liberty peoples around the world have struggled to reach. Yet Americans have not always welcomed new arrivals with open arms. From colonial days to the present, debates over immigration help define whom Americans are, what they believe their country has and should be, and reveal most of all each generation’s politics and priorities.Do our the debates over immigration reform indicate the welcome mat has worn thin? What does it mean to hold out a beacon to the world's "tired, poor, huddled masses"? Do we welcome immigrants in because of or despite their economic impact on the United States?
The Story of America is a complex narrative, weaving together the fabric of a diverse nation. This presentation will use the power of cinema to reflect a variety of complex themes that frame our country. We will see how talented filmmakers have given us a composite sketch that outlines where we've been, where we are now, and perhaps where America might be heading in the future with regard to The American Dream, Social Justice, Coming of Age, War, and ending with The Underdog.Films include The Godfather, To Kill a Mockingbird, Saving Private Ryan, Easy Rider, Rocky, and more!