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Scholars Series

Monday Scholars: World War II - Battlefield Europe


 

LIVE Zoom Event - At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM

Mondays: 1:00 - 2:30 PM 
April 4 - June 27*

*No meeting on May 30

 

About Monday Scholars:

Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with live virtual discussion! All you need to do in advance is be eager to learn and discuss. Each week, you will log in and together, via Zoom, all of us will watch two video lectures presented by Dr. David R. Stone. Then, via Zoom, OWL's Karen Pasternak will lead everyone in a discussion of what we just watched.

 

About the course:

World War II: Battleship Europe: Today’s geopolitical climate is a product of World War II. The United States, France, Germany, Russia, and Britain—all of these world powers and their sense of place in the 21st century were profoundly shaped by the most savage, sweeping war in human history. The topic is so vast that it requires an expert historian to make sense of it all. How was the war in Europe fought over the course of seven long, arduous years? What led to Germany’s early sustained gains, and what eventually stymied its advances? Why did the war in Europe unfold the way it did, and what socio-economic factors led to Germany’s unconditional surrender after millions of lives were lost?

For award-winning Professor David R. Stone of the U.S. Naval War College, it all boils down to a matter of strategy. Strategic choices—political ones, economic ones, military ones—are the organizing principles that can help any of us make sense of the war in Europe. “Political and military leaders had to make hard decisions,” Professor Stone says. “We can learn a lot by looking at those choices.” 

Using a distinctly European perspective (in which the United States is a supporting player instead of a main character), this course provides a fresh lens through which to study the European Theater’s major battles, larger-than-life personalities, twists of fate, and tales of intrigue. You’ll uncover the strategic decisions behind U-boat assaults, urban bombing campaigns, Operation Barbarossa, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the invasion of Italy, the French resistance, the fall of Berlin, V-2 rockets, and so much more. By the end of the last lecture, you’ll better understand why the war in Europe unfolded the way it did—and why its legacy resonates for all players down to this very day.


About the instructor:

David R. Stone is a Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College, where he began teaching in 2015 and became chair of its Strategy and Policy Department in 2018. He received a B.A. in History and Mathematics from Wabash College and a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, and he taught at Hamilton College and Kansas State University.

Professor Stone’s book Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926–1933 won the ASEEES Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize and the Historical Society Best First Book Prize. He also published A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya and The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914–1917. He edited The Soviet Union at War 1941–1945 and is the author of several dozen articles on Russian military history and foreign policy.

  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 815 3732 4869
  • Password: 026953

 

 

Tuesday Scholars: The Great Tours - Ireland & Northern Ireland


 

LIVE Zoom Event - At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM

Tuesdays: 1:00 - 2:30 PM 
May 17 - August 2

About Tuesday Scholars:

Tuesday Scholars combines the best of online learning with live virtual discussion! All you need to do in advance is be eager to learn and discuss. Each week, you will log in and together, via Zoom, all of us will watch two video lectures presented by Dr. Marc C. Conner. Then, via Zoom, OWL's Karen Pasternak will lead everyone in a discussion of what we just watched.

 

About the course:

Ireland is one of the most enchanting places in the world to visit. Split between the independent Republic of Ireland and the British Northern Ireland, the Emerald Isle is home to breathtaking natural scenery; world-renowned artistic and cultural achievements; and a mysterious, passionate—and sometimes turbulent—history. From the spectacular vistas of the Cliffs of Moher to the hallowed stage of the Abbey Theatre, a tour of this magical island rewards even armchair travelers with a unique array of historical, cultural, and scenic delights.

Less than 200 miles across and home to roughly 6.5 million people, Ireland is packed with an astonishing array of tourist treasures, including:

* Dublin, truly a world-class epicenter for arts, culture, music, and more
* Belfast, whose story showcases the north-south and Catholic-Protestant divide, yet is more welcoming to visitors today than ever before
* The Dingle Peninsula and the Wild Atlantic Way, places where Irish is still spoken and the scenery is stunning
* Ancient ruins, Norman castles, and medieval cathedrals that showcase the complex history of the island
* Country farms and village pubs that offer an inviting look at the real Ireland

The Great Tours: Ireland and Northern Ireland gives you the chance to traverse this amazing land with a leading scholar in the field of Irish history, culture, and literature. Taught by Professor Marc Conner, president of Skidmore College and a scholar of modern Irish literature, these 24 captivating lessons give you a sweeping tour of the Emerald Isle, from the Guinness Brewery in Dublin to the ancient ruins of Newgrange to the battle-scarred village of Derry in Northern Ireland.


About the instructor:

Marc C. Conner is the President of Skidmore College. He earned degrees in English and Philosophy at the University of Washington, followed by master’s and doctorate degrees in English at Princeton University. He was previously the Jo M. and James Ballengee Professor of English at Washington and Lee University and served as provost and chief academic officer from 2016 to 2020. He also taught at Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Conner is a specialist in modern literature, particularly Irish and American literature. He is a regular presenter at the major Irish studies gatherings, including the Lady Gregory–Yeats Autumn Gathering in Galway, the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, and the Trieste Joyce School. He serves as secretary/treasurer of the Ralph Ellison Society and presents regularly at the American Literature Association annual conference. At Washington and Lee University, he created a study abroad program in Ireland, and he has led adult education programs to Ireland and other Celtic lands. He also received the university’s Outstanding Teacher Award and the Anece F. McCloud Excellence in Diversity Award.

Professor Conner’s books include The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered; The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century; The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison; Screening Modern Irish Drama and Fiction; Screening Contemporary Irish Drama and Fiction; and Global Ralph Ellison.


  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 838 0009 2931
  • Password: 002805

 

 

Friday Scholars: History of Russia - From Peter the Great to Gorbachev


 

LIVE Zoom Event - At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM

Fridays: 1:00 - 2:30 PM 
April 1 - July 29*

*No class April 15

About Friday Scholars:

Friday Scholars combines the best of online learning with live virtual discussion! All you need to do in advance is be eager to learn and discuss. Each week, you will log in and together, via Zoom, all of us will watch two video lectures presented by Dr. Mark Steinberg. Then, via Zoom, OWL's Karen Pasternak will lead everyone in a discussion of what we just watched.

 

About the course:

It’s difficult to imagine a nation with a history more compelling for Americans than Russia. Yet many Americans have never had the opportunity to study Russia in depth, and to see how the forces of history came together to shape a future so different from the dreams of most ordinary Russian people, eager to see their nation embrace Western values of progress, human rights, and justice.

This course focuses on 300 years of Russian history from Peter the Great to Gorbachev by examining the lives of the men and women who, in fact, were Russia. This is history told through biography. In this course, you'll examine key individuals and groups, the contexts in which they thought and acted, and their driving ideas. Discover historical themes made clear not by discussing treaties, war declarations, or economic statistics —but by examining the lives and ideas of the men and women who were Russia: tsars, emperors, Communist Party leaders, writers, artists, peasants, and factory workers.

Grasp what Russian life was like as Professor Steinberg analyzes ideas of power not only from the viewpoint of its rulers, but also from that of the ruled; the theme of happiness and its pursuit that resonates throughout Russian history, and ideas of morality and ethics as wielded by both the Russian state and its critics.

Professor Steinberg draws on his own years of experience as an author, a student in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and, more recently, as a world-class historian granted access to once-secret government archives. Listen as he brings alive the vibrant Russian imagination—so willing to visualize a different kind of life for its people, yet so burdened by its darker sides of doubt and pessimism that those visions were rejected.

 

About the instructor:

Dr. Mark Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the Director of the Russian and East European Center, designated as a national resource center by the Department of Education. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, Santa Cruz and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to taking his post at the University of Illinois, Professor Steinberg taught at the University of Oregon, Harvard University, and Yale University. He has received many awards for his teaching, including the Sarai Ribicoff Prize for Teaching at Yale University (1993) and, at Illinois, the George and Gladys Queen Excellence in History Teaching Award (1998 and 2002) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2002). In 2001, the University of Illinois gave him one of its highest honors and named him a University Scholar.

 

  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 891 4871 2101
  • Password: 921754