This experience is optimized for Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

Please upgrade your browser

Priority Code

Cancel
New Releases
New Releases
  • Law School for Everyone

    Taught By Multiple Professors

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Get the same foundational knowledge as other lawyers—without the time and financial commitment of law school. In the 48 lectures of Law School for Everyone, four exceptional law professors recreate key parts of the first-year law student experience, introducing you to the areas of law most every beginning student studies: litigation and legal practice, criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, and torts.

    View Lecture List (48)
    48 Lectures  |  Law School for Everyone
    Lecture Titles (48)
    • 1
      Litigation: Litigation and the American Legal System
      In this lecture, use a 1963 Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, as a window into the relationship between litigation and the American legal system. You'll explore why we adopted this particular system, how it works, and why we teach law in America the way we do. x
    • 2
      Litigation: Thinking like a Lawyer
      To think like a lawyer, you have to approach legal doctrine actively and critically. Here, Professor Shadel teaches you how to read cases with an eye for particular concepts every good lawyer must keep in mind, including the role of precedent, inductive and deductive reasoning skills, and the use of analogies. x
    • 3
      Litigation: Representing Your Client
      All lawyers have responsibilities to their clients and to the integrity of the justice system. But what are the bounds of a lawyer's responsibility in representing a client? What's confidential and what's not? For answers to these and other questions, consider challenges arising in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. x
    • 4
      Litigation: Trial Strategy behind the Scenes
      Continuing with the case of George Zimmerman, explore the intricate nature of trial strategy that takes place away from the jury's eyes. Learn how lawyers operate before a trial, and how a jury is selected. Also, examine how media coverage impacts what happens inside (and outside) the courtroom. x
    • 5
      Litigation: Opening Statements: The Moment of Primacy
      A powerful opening statement requires many things: credibility, persuasion, logic. Using the George Zimmerman and O.J. Simpson trials as case studies, go inside the (sometimes tricky) art of crafting palpable opening statements that grab the jury's attention and leave it eager to hear the testimony to come. x
    • 6
      Litigation: Direct Examination: Questioning Your Witnesses
      Direct examination has been popularized by countless TV crime dramas. But how does it work in a real courtroom? In this lecture, learn how lawyers figure out whom to put on the witness stand, what questions they should ask, and how to prepare witnesses for their day in court. x
    • 7
      Litigation: The Art of the Objection
      During a trial, any lapse in a lawyer's attention could be extremely costly. Enter the task of voicing objections. Here, look at some of the most common types of evidentiary issues that might call for objections and learn why lawyers get only one shot at raising one. x
    • 8
      Litigation: Problematic Evidence
      Why are innocent people sometimes convicted of crimes they didn’t commit? Often, it’s because a jury is persuaded by problematic evidence. How do lawyers navigate these troubled legal waters? Investigate three of the most important kinds of flawed evidence: false confessions, mistaken eyewitness identification, and flawed “expert” evidence. x
    • 9
      Litigation: Controlling Cross-Examination
      Explore how lawyers cross-examine a witness without losing control, without eliciting unexpected answers, and without offending the jury. Along the way, you'll learn tips for effective cross-examination, study the cross-examination skills of renowned civil and criminal defense attorney Roy Black, and learn about the process of conducting impeachments. x
    • 10
      Litigation: Closing Arguments: Driving Your Theory Home
      Closing arguments are a chance for lawyers to connect all the dots for the jury. In this lecture, study one powerful example of a successful closing argument: Johnnie Cochran's on behalf of O.J. Simpson. Then, consider some of the things a lawyer shouldn't do when closing a case. x
    • 11
      Litigation: Understanding the Appellate Process
      When people criticize the United States as an overly litigious society, they're often referring to its system of appellate review. How, exactly, do appellate courts operate? How do lawyers file appellate briefs or make oral arguments for an appeal? Professor Shadel helps you make sense of the appellate process. x
    • 12
      Litigation: Arguing before the Supreme Court
      A case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States is one of great significance. First, consider the history and evolution of the Supreme Court over the centuries. Then, using Citizens United v. FEC, gain insights into how political and ideological dynamics within the Court affect the cases brought before it. x
    • 13
      Criminal Law: Who Defines Crimes, and How?
      To understand how criminal law works, you first have to understand what a crime is. What are the purposes of criminal law? Why is textualism so important to distinguishing the bygone era of common-law crimes from those of the 21st century? Who are the key players involved in defining a crime? x
    • 14
      Criminal Law: Crime and the Guilty Mind
      In this lecture, explore the fundamental requirement of mens rea, or the guilty mind. Topics here include: how criminal intent is traditionally defined, the relationship between malice and motive, what happens when a defendant claims to lack a guilty mind, and the concept of criminal liability without fault (known as strict liability). x
    • 15
      Criminal Law: Homicide and Moral Culpability
      Homicides, according to Professor Hoffmann, are unique among crimes. In this lecture, examine the pyramid of homicidal crimes, including involuntary manslaughter, second-degree murder, and first-degree murder. Also, consider several real-world examples that highlight the issue of culpability in homicide, including the case of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides. x
    • 16
      Criminal Law: The Law of Self-Defense
      Turn to self-defense and get a better understanding of how criminal law tries to balance between the rights of the threatened and those who are threats. Along the way, consider issues including “the retreat doctrine,” the “battered spouse syndrome,” “stand your ground” laws, and the use of deadly force by the police. x
    • 17
      Criminal Law: Federal Crimes and Federal Power
      The U.S. federal government might be the most powerful government in the world—but it’s power to prohibit and punish crimes is relatively constrained. In this intriguing lecture, Professor Hoffmann reveals the important distinctions in scope, meaning, and effect between state criminal law and federal criminal law in the United States. x
    • 18
      Criminal Law: Cruel and Unusual Punishments
      Pour over the “cruel and unusual punishments” clause of the Eighth Amendment in search of why the Supreme Court has had so much trouble applying this provision to real-world criminal cases. By the end of this lecture, you’ll realize why the Eighth Amendment is considered by some legal experts to be a constitutional enigma. x
    • 19
      Criminal Law: Due Process and the Right to Counsel
      Powell v. Alabama, better known as the Scottsboro case, is one of the most important in the history of American criminal procedure law. Where did the Supreme Court find the legal authority to force states to provide all criminal defendants, regardless of race or economic station, with fundamental rights? x
    • 20
      Criminal Law: Government Searches and Privacy Rights
      In the first of two lectures on the Fourth Amendment, go inside the fascinating history behind the topic of government searches and privacy rights. You’ll consider the scope of the Fourth Amendment, learn what defines “search” and “seizure,” and ponder the role of modern technology in affecting how the Fourth Amendment works. x
    • 21
      Criminal Law: The Shrinking Warrant Requirement
      Continue looking at the Fourth Amendment. How do search warrants work? Can police enter a home without a warrant? Topics include the exclusionary rule, which provides that evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment be excluded from criminal prosecutions, and the vague standard of “probable cause.” x
    • 22
      Criminal Law: The Fifth Amendment Privilege
      According to the Fifth Amendment, “no person…shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” Examine the history of this core aspect of the Bill of Rights. Learn how the amendment works in and out of court, how the privilege has become subject to compromises over time, and what “pleading the fifth” actually requires. x
    • 23
      Criminal Law: Miranda and Police Interrogations
      “You have the right to remain silent.” These are perhaps the most famous words in American criminal justice. In this lecture, investigate the historical and legal background of the Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda decision. Professor Hoffmann builds his lecture around two key issues at the heart of this still-controversial decision. x
    • 24
      Criminal Law: Plea Bargains, Jury Trials, and Justice
      Ninety-percent of all criminal cases, surprisingly, don’t end in a trial but in a plea bargain. In this lecture, consider both plea bargains and criminal trials and how they complement one another. How—and why—did plea bargains come to dominate American justice? How does the jury system work? x
    • 25
      Civil Procedure: Procedural Rights and Why They Matter
      What makes civil procedure different from all other courses law students encounter in their first year of school? Using a hypothetical lawsuit and two Supreme Court cases, explore the broad set of issues and questions any system of litigation must address, including the procedures needed to clear a person's name. x
    • 26
      Civil Procedure: Subject Matter Jurisdiction
      Professor Smith discusses jurisdiction: the power of the courts to hear a case and to render a judgment. As you'll discover, there are really two different types of jurisdiction, one of which is subject matter jurisdiction, which refers to the court's authority to hear cases concerning a particular subject matter. x
    • 27
      Civil Procedure: Jurisdiction over the Defendant
      Just because a court has jurisdiction over a case doesn't mean it has jurisdiction over the defendant. Enter personal jurisdiction. Learn why this doctrine hasn't been constant over time, the importance of the (eventually replaced) Pennoyer ruling, and when an out-of-state defendant should be subject to personal jurisdiction. x
    • 28
      Civil Procedure: A Modern Approach to Personal Jurisdiction
      Continue your look at personal jurisdiction by examining how the approach evolved into its modern standard, as well as the limits this approach places on the power of a plaintiff to haul a defendant into court far from the defendant's home. Central to this: 1945's International Shoe Co. v. Washington. x
    • 29
      Civil Procedure: The Role of Pleadings
      Pleading is the process by which parties inform one another, and the court, of their allegations, claims, and defenses. Go inside the first step in the pre-trial process for a close look at the rules that govern pleading. As you’ll learn, the rules governing pleading can make—or break—a suit. x
    • 30
      Civil Procedure: Understanding Complex Litigation
      Lawsuits today often involve multiple plaintiffs suing multiple defendants on multiple claims. How does this kind of complex litigation work? First, consider the rules governing “joinder”—when claims and parties can be joined in one suit. Then, turn to a familiar (and special) multi-party suit: the class action. x
    • 31
      Civil Procedure: The Use and Abuse of Discovery
      No, the discovery process isn’t glamorous. But it’s important in that it allows parties access to information to support their claims and defenses. How do we define the “scope of discovery,” as well as terms like “substantial need” and “work product”? How can the process be used to wear down plaintiffs? x
    • 32
      Civil Procedure: Deciding a Case before the Trial Ends
      In this lecture, consider the mechanisms of a motion for summary judgment, by which a judge can resolve a suit with something less than a complete trial. Central to this lecture are two important cases that highlight the nuances of this type of motion: Celotex v. Catrett and Denman v. Spain. x
    • 33
      Civil Procedure: The Right to a Civil Jury Trial
      Juries undoubtedly play an important role in civil procedure, even in cases that don't end up having a trial before a jury. Here, consider the virtues and drawbacks of having juries decide issues in civil suits, then explore the scope of this right as guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment. x
    • 34
      Civil Procedure: Determining What Law Applies
      How does one tell whether a particular rule of state law is procedural or, instead, substantive? Which law applies—and when? Here, a famous case between two taxicab transfer companies offers an extreme and fascinating illustration of the procedural problems that can arise between federal and state courts. x
    • 35
      Civil Procedure: Relitigation and Preclusion
      The subject of this lecture isn’t about getting a case right—it’s about getting a case over with. Consider the rules that prevent parties from relitigating matters that courts have already decided. What’s the difference between prior litigation and subsequent litigation? Several important cases offer illuminating insights. x
    • 36
      Civil Procedure: Appeals and How They Are Judged
      Trial courts, intermediate courts of appeals, the Supreme Court—different courts play different roles in our legal system. First, consider when a party is allowed to appeal a decision by a trial court. Then, consider the standards of review that appellate courts apply when reviewing trial court decisions. x
    • 37
      Torts: The Calamitous World of Tort Law
      Start your whirlwind tour of torts with an exam question Professor Cheng gives to his own students: one that will introduce you to the history, complexity—and oddities—of this aspect of law. What behaviors does tort law expect from us? What harms can we be responsible for? x
    • 38
      Torts: Legal Duty to Others
      While we're morally obligated to help others, we're not necessarily legally obligated to help, regardless of what religious and ethical authorities may advise. Welcome to the concept of affirmative duty. Here, learn why this rule exists, examine legislative efforts to change it, and consider some well-established exceptions to the rule. x
    • 39
      Torts: Reasonable Care and the Reasonable Person
      In this lecture, investigate the concepts of reasonable care and the concept the legal system uses to determine it: the reasonable person. You’ll consider the meaning of reasonable care, debates over the proper definition of “fault,” the relationship between reasonable care and cost-benefit analysis, and more. x
    • 40
      Torts: Rules versus Standards of Care
      Lawyers define rules as the alternative to flexible, case-specific standards. Rules, as you’ll discover in this lecture, have their advantages and disadvantages over standards—but they all take power and discretion away from the jury. Professor Cheng uses an example that hits close to home for many of us: speed limits. x
    • 41
      Torts: The Complexities of Factual Causation
      Of all the doctrines in tort law, factual causation appears to be the most scientific and value-neutral. The truth, however, may surprise you. Learn why determinations about causation aren’t simple, but do matter—a lot. Also, consider whether the causation question is more philosophical than scientific. x
    • 42
      Torts: Legal Causation and Foreseeability
      Cases involving legal causation and the foreseeability test are the favorites of many law professors. Using one of the most famous cases in the torts canon, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, discover why legal causation is so intricately linked to policy, our sense of justice, and moral responsibility. x
    • 43
      Torts: Liability for the Acts of Others
      First, take a closer look at vicarious liability, a tort doctrine that states an employer is strictly liable for torts committed by employees during the scope of their employment. Then, consider the related tort doctrine of joint and several liability, which deals with when multiple parties contribute to a tort. x
    • 44
      Torts: When Tort Plaintiffs Share the Blame
      The focus of this lecture is on negligence or other culpable conduct on the part of the plaintiff. What does tort law say about what happens when a plaintiff is at fault? Just how much of a two-way street is an issue like safety? For some answers, look to seat belts. x
    • 45
      Torts: Animals, Blasting, and Strict Liability
      Explore traditional strict liability through the lens of two common kinds of claims that don't require negligence: damage caused by animals and damage caused by ultra-hazardous blasts and explosions. Along the way, examine whether or not strict liability really is all that different from conventional negligence. x
    • 46
      Torts: The Rise of Products Liability
      Tort law isn't fixed in stone but instead evolves to meet a changing society. Case in point: the development of modern products liability law. In the first of two lectures on the subject, walk through some elegant cases in torts to determine why products liability has promoted litigation on a massive scale. x
    • 47
      Torts: Products Liability Today
      Here, Professor Cheng dives into modern products liability doctrine. What kinds of product defects qualify for this treatment? What kinds of products and manufacturers qualify? What's the effect of government regulations in certain cases? How are these massive cases, sometimes involving thousands of plaintiffs, resolved? x
    • 48
      Torts: Punitive Damages and Their Limits
      What are punitive damages? Why do we have them? How can the legal system rein in out-of-control juries? To get answers to these three questions, look to a case that's long been the symbol of a legal system run amok: Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, or the case of the spilled hot coffee. x
  • Food, Science, and the Human Body

    Professor Alyssa Crittenden, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In these 36 lectures, get answers to questions about the evolution of the human diet and its relationship to our bodies. Bringing together insights from fields including anthropology, health science, biology, and sociology, this partnership between The Great Courses and National Geographic lays bare what science can teach us about food.

    View Lecture List (36)
    36 Lectures  |  Food, Science, and the Human Body
    Lecture Titles (36)
    • 1
      Paleo Diets and the Ancestral Appetite
      Do we have an ancestral appetite? First, uncover how similar the current Paleo diet fad is to what our actual ancestors ate. Then, learn how digestive anatomy and neural expansion played a role in the evolution of nutrition. Finally, determine whether or not humans are adapted to one specific diet. x
    • 2
      Our Hunter-Gatherer Past
      For the bulk of human history, our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. Using fascinating research from a study of one of Africa's last foraging populations, Professor Crittenden reveals insights into how hunter-gatherer societies function, and how they may have shaped the diversity of human nutrition. x
    • 3
      Stones, Bones, and Teeth
      For clues to the history of human nutrition, scientists look to fossils in the form of stones, bones, and teeth. In this lecture, learn what scientists discovered about the ancestral dinner plate through stone artifacts used for butchery, the bones of the human cranium, and the dentition of early humans. x
    • 4
      Did Meat Eating Make Us Human?
      Learn how meat changed the playing field for our earliest ancestors. First, trace the history of meat eating through human evolution. Then, use data from cut marks on bones to decipher when, exactly, we began to eat meat. Also, consider the nutritive benefits (and dangers) linked with meat consumption. x
    • 5
      Insects: The Other White Meat
      There are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth, and 2 billion people regularly consume insects as part of their diet. In this lecture, Professor Crittenden takes you inside the fascinating world of entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) and the ways we turn to insects for nutrition. x
    • 6
      Was the Stone Age Menu Mostly Vegetarian?
      Explore the critical role that plant foods have played in our diet. You'll study plant microfossils that radically change what we thought we knew about the Stone Age menu. You'll learn the essential role played by underground storage organs (or "tubers"). And you'll revisit Professor Crittenden's research on plant-processing techniques among Tanzanian foragers. x
    • 7
      Cooking and the Control of Fire
      Roasting. Boiling. Baking. Grilling. When did our ancestors start cooking with fire, and how? Find out in this lecture that takes you back nearly 1 million years on a journey to find out how we evolved to eat our food cooked, whether using boiling stones or a butane torch. x
    • 8
      The Neolithic Revolution
      Discover what prompted large populations of people to drastically change their subsistence strategy by domesticating plants and animals, Also, learn how this Neolithic revolution permanently altered the human diet, as well as paved the way for massive population growth, the development of nation states, and new vectors for disease. x
    • 9
      The Changing Disease-Scape
      Turn now to a darker product of the Neolithic revolution: the growth of zoonotic diseases, or diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites that spread between animals and humans. Among the ones you'll encounter here are Lyme disease, West Nile virus, malaria, salmonella, and E. coli. x
    • 10
      How Foods Spread around the World
      Once domestication was in full swing, foods began to be exchanged among different groups, leading to the subject of this lecture: delocalization. In order to better understand the development of this process, in which food consumed in one area is produced far away, you'll consider examples and case studies including bananas, apples, tomatoes, and corn. x
    • 11
      The History of the Spice Trade
      They're a common enough item in our pantries today, but in the past, spices were highly valued and tightly guarded, and were the catalyst for creating and destroying empires. Examine the spices that were critically important during the opening decades of the spice routes, including pepper, cloves, ginger, and garlic. x
    • 12
      How Sugar and Salt Shaped World History
      Salt and sugar have also played large roles in food production and global health. Topics in this lecture include how sugar is extracted from sugar cane, the rise of alternative sweeteners and sugar substitutes, early non-dietary uses of salt, and the dangers of a high-sodium diet. x
    • 13
      A Brief History of Bread
      Bread, in all its forms, is one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. It was also the foundation for many civilizations. Here, consider aspects about this dietary staple, including the art of leavening, the religious and social roles of light and dark bread, and the artisanal bread movement. x
    • 14
      The Science and Secrets of Chocolate
      Today, chocolate is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. In this lecture, Professor Crittenden takes you back in time so you can follow chocolate's trek around the world, considering not only its history and chemical properties, but its role in the current global market in the form of powerful chocolate empires. x
    • 15
      Water: The Liquid of Life
      Of all the water on Earth, only a fraction of it is drinkable. How much water is used by humans throughout the world? How did bottled water become so popular? Why is water fluoridation so controversial? How can we work to conserve water, both as a nation and in our everyday lives? x
    • 16
      Beer, Mead, and the Fun of Fermentation
      From ancient Egyptian experiments to the 21st-century microbrewery down the street from your house, explore the intricate links between the fermentation of wheat and honey and human civilization. As you follow our love affair with beer and mead, you'll be surprised to learn just how accidental their discovery was. x
    • 17
      Humanity's Love of Wine
      Continue looking at our relationship with fermented beverages, this time with a look into the story of fermenting grapes into wine. Topics include the science behind viticulture and the production of different types of wine, the reasons winemakers are turning away from cork, and “retsina,” one of the oldest types of white wine. x
    • 18
      Coffee: Love or Addiction?
      Each year, over 500 billion cups of coffee are served. Reconsider this popular drink and its relationship with world history. Along the way, you'll explore the ways coffee is harvested, how caffeine works on your body and mind, popular ways to drink coffee, and the origins of the free-trade movement. x
    • 19
      The Roots of Tea
      What is the source of the nearly 1,500 different types of tea in the world? How did tea spread from Japan to Europe? What are the differences between green, black, and white teas? How was the tea bag accidentally invented? Is drinking tea good for your health? Get the answers in this lecture. x
    • 20
      The Fizz on Soda
      Soda was once an embodiment of the American dream. Now, it's one of the worst contributors to obesity-related diseases. Make sense of this fizzy drink by exploring its origins as patented medicine, the soda wars between Coke and Pepsi, and the health risks associated with its high sugar content. x
    • 21
      Food as Ritual
      Humans don't just eat for nutrition. It's a deeply symbolic activity as well. In this lecture, consider some of the many different categories of food rituals around the world, including fasting for Ramadan, making sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead, bobbing for apples during Halloween, and America's favorite fall feast: Thanksgiving. x
    • 22
      When People Eat Things That Aren't Food
      Sometimes, people consume things that are not considered food, from dirt to hair to human flesh. Professor Crittenden introduces you to some of the more outlandish dietary practices around the world, including placentophagy (in which a mother eats the placenta after giving birth) and anthropophagy (also known as cannibalism). x
    • 23
      Food as Recreational Drugs
      Throughout history, we've consumed food not just for nourishment, but also for psychological effects. In this lecture, go inside the world of recreational drugs, including psilocybin mushrooms, edible marijuana treats, and addictions to foods like chocolate or french fries. x
    • 24
      Food as Medicine
      Is there a substantial link between diet and disease prevention? Professor Crittenden explains the medicinal histories behind several foods. Among them are ginger (thought to help with digestive issues) and cinnamon (used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments), as well as goji berries, chocolate, and pomegranate. x
    • 25
      The Coevolution of Genes and Diet
      Biological and cultural evolution are not separate phenomena, and this is nowhere better exemplified than with diet. In this lecture, Professor Crittenden discusses the ways in which our genes and diet have co-evolved. You'll witness this fascinating process through examples of how our body evolved to metabolize (or not) enzymes like lactase and amylase, as well as omega 3 fatty acids. x
    • 26
      The Scoop on Poop
      There's a lot we can learn about the end point of nutrition. Here, trace the science and history of excrement, including its oldest fossilized forms (known as coprolites), the study of latrine systems in ancient Rome, and the important role played by gut bacteria in excrement production. x
    • 27
      The Gut Microbiome
      Your body can play host to anywhere from 30 to 50 trillion bacterial cells, the most species of which are in your gut. Learn how gut microbiota help us metabolize food and drugs, and defend us against pathogens. Put simply: these microbes are fellow travelers in human evolution. x
    • 28
      Brain Food
      There's data out there to suggest that it's possible to feed your brain. In this lecture on the links between diet and the brain, explore the role of hormones like insulin and leptin; unpack the tangled links between food cravings and addiction; and consider how the MIND diet can help delay neurodegeneration. x
    • 29
      You Are What Your Mother Ate
      Your diet as a fetus has a powerful influence on your life as an adult. What micronutrients are most important to your first nine months of life? What did a historic Dutch famine reveal about the consequences of sub-standard nutrition during pregnancy? What can we learn from studying heritable changes in gene expression? x
    • 30
      Civilization: Diets and Diseases
      Professor Crittenden explains the second and third epidemiological transitions in human evolution and the changing face of the world's disease-scape. First is the decline over the last two centuries of infectious disease and the rise of chronic degenerative diseases (like diabetes). Then there's the re-emergence of drug-resistant infectious diseases (like Zika). x
    • 31
      What the World Is Eating
      Take a fascinating tour of different meals from around the world to better appreciate the global tradition of eating. Cultural cuisines you explore are those listed by the United Nations as part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage,” and include Japanese cuisine, Mexican cuisine, and French cuisine. x
    • 32
      The Overnutrition Epidemic
      According to the World Health Organization, most of the world's population now lives in countries where obesity kills more people than malnutrition. In this insightful lecture, explore the two-pronged pathway to global obesity: decreased physical activity and radical changes in diet (including the massive consumption of sugar). x
    • 33
      World Poverty and Undernutrition
      Every night, one in eight people goes to bed hungry. Get an eye-opening look at undernourishment in the developing and post-industrialized worlds. You’ll consider the two types of malnourishment, the concept of “plump poverty,” the roles played by urban slums and overpopulation, and ways we can work to eradicate world hunger. x
    • 34
      Should the World Eat Meat?
      In the first of two lectures on the politics of food, explore whether or not sustainable meat production is a myth or reality. What are the environmental costs of meat production? How can we rethink the way we house, feed, and raise livestock? Is too much meat bad for our health? x
    • 35
      Should We Be Powered by Plants?
      Turn now to the politics of eating a plant-based diet. What are the health benefits of vegetarianism and veganism? Why do people decide to follow this diet? What role does beauty play in food waste? What exactly is the controversy surrounding the organic foods movement and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? x
    • 36
      The Future of Food
      Artificial meat. Bio-fortified crops. Vertical farms in the middle of cities. Bread grown from spent grains used in breweries. Crops grown with agroforestry methods. Conclude the course with a broad look at developing a food system that is better equipped to deal with population growth and diminishing resources. x
  • Quilting Essentials: From Design to Color and Beyond

    Heather Thomas, Quilting Expert

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Discover a new approach to an old craft with expert textile designer and quilt artist Heather Thomas from National Quilters Circle.

    View Lecture List (30)
    30 Lectures  |  Quilting Essentials: From Design to Color and Beyond
    Lecture Titles (30)
    • 1
      Introduction and Block Basics
      Begin your journey into quilting by looking at a series of finished quilted works and gaining an understanding of how they were designed and what makes them work. Then get an overview of basic design principles, followed by an introduction to the basics of block construction, including measuring, cutting, and piecing, as well as a few tricks that will help with complex designs. x
    • 2
      Quilt Settings
      In this lesson, learn some of the basic setting options including straight set, diagonal set, medallion set, horizontal set, and off set. As you gain an understanding of each type of setting, you will also be introduced to the special math principles that are the foundation of each type and how to use them in your work. x
    • 3
      Sashing, Coping Strips & Borders
      See how coping strips can be used to stop action and help fit a pieced border to a pieced body of a quilt. You will also examine assorted styles of sashing and follow along as Heather demonstrates a simple stitch-and-slash technique. Close this lesson with great information on how borders work and which are ideal for bed quilts versus hanging quilts. x
    • 4
      Designing Your Own Unique Quilts
      Many quilters begin with commercial quilt patterns, but in this lesson, you will learn how to take your work from the craft level to that of an artist by understanding how to design and create your own original work. Get a feel for the depth and breadth of the skills you will add to your toolbox as you plan, experiment, create—and learn from missteps along the way. x
    • 5
      Becoming an Artist
      Heather uses her 30 years of personal experience and many of her original works to illustrate her journey to becoming an artist. Learn how a better understanding of each step of your own work will improve it over time, as well as the value of acquiring new skills through trial and error rather than simply through books and patterns. x
    • 6
      Color Theory & Elements of Design
      Dip into the basics of color theory, which will help you understand how colors work together and how to integrate them successfully into your work, including the benefits of having a color wheel for reference. Then, follow Heather as she walks you through the elements of design and shows you the many ways you can begin to put those elements into play. x
    • 7
      Technique, Visual Language & Working in a Series
      Every technique you learn adds another tool to your tool box, opening the possibilities for your work and giving you the confidence to try new things. Learn how to apply the techniques you have learned to develop your own visual language and make each new quilt unique. One way to improve both your technique and visual language over time is by working in series, a method Heather demonstrates through several of her own pieces. x
    • 8
      Freestyle Piecing: Beyond the Block
      If you are hoping to take your work beyond the traditional look of blocks, here is where to begin. Explore the possibilities of freestyle techniques by looking at successful freestyle works, while also getting an introduction to the elements of composition and technique that makes freestyle so flexible. x
    • 9
      Guide to Composition and Freestyle Piecing
      Explore the unlimited possibilities of quilting by taking what you have learned about traditional techniques and applying them to freestyle work. Learn how to place quilt block freestyle by using drawings and a design wall to create a template for your work. Finally, see how you can bring it all together through your color choices and arrangement. x
    • 10
      The Color Wheel & Color Scale
      Return to the brief introduction you received in color theory and dive deeper into the use of color wheels and the color scale when choosing fabrics and creating patterns for your work. Gain a more thorough understanding of color through an exploration of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, as well as pure hue, tints, tones, and shades for every segment of the color wheel. x
    • 11
      Value, Texture, & the 12 Colors
      Learn how the inherent value of a color affects how it works in combination with other colors by painting or creating value scales with cloth. Move from value to texture, looking at the many ways textures and patterns can be used to create movement, rhythm, and more. Close this lesson with a look at the twelve colors of the color wheel and create your own color wheels and scales for future reference. x
    • 12
      Interaction of Color & Principles of Design
      Follow Heather through a series of guided exercises to help illustrate how colors interact, including working with neutrals, exploring direct complements, and playing with triads and tetrads. Combine this exploration of color with another look at the three principles of design by applying color theory to create balance, unity, and variety. x
    • 13
      Color: It's all about the Contrast
      Contrast can create dynamism in a piece, making it one of the most crucial elements of design in quilting. Compare multiple finished pieces to see how contrast works, beginning with a black and white piece and moving into subtler works utilizing tones, tints, and shades. Also see how other forms of contrast can be used when the colors for a chosen piece are very similar. x
    • 14
      Color Expanded: Bold Personalities
      Better understand color by looking at visual temperature and what makes a color warm, cool, or temperature neutral, as well as what temperature can do to the overall impact of your work. Heather walks you through the many ways color can be used to create unity and variety in your quilting projects and offers a detailed workshop on the process of creating a colorful whole cloth quilt. x
    • 15
      Broadening Your Experience and Practicing
      The number one tool you will bring to every quilting or crafting project will be your own practice and experience. One of the best ways to refine your own skills and design knowledge is by working in a series, which Heather demonstrates though several of her own projects. As you go, learn how to examine and critique work (your own and that of others), and close with a look at how color brings certain real-world associations to your art. x
    • 16
      Products & Tools
      Machine quilting involves many decisions about what tools and products to use—find out which are necessary and which are a matter of marketing. From thread weights and needles to presser feet, Heather will help you understand how every decision you make will affect the outcome of your quilts and how to create work that will last. x
    • 17
      Design, Ergonomics, Basting & Doodling
      This lesson begins by introducing you to many design options, breaking down the benefits of each. Then, learn how to improve your experience by approaching your sewing machine from a new angle, lessening the physical strain that can interfere with your work, as well as a new way of basting that will give you more freedom of movement. End by experimenting with free-motion doodling on your sewing machine. x
    • 18
      Nine Basic Stitch-Outs
      Learn everything you need to know about fills and motifs you can use in your work, from curvy or angled lines to stippling and flowers. Get all of techniques you need to keep your work neat and tidy while you master nine basic stitch outs that can take your project to the next level. x
    • 19
      Machine Quilting Design Basics
      Look at machine quilting in a new way by understanding the ways you can use your machine as a valuable design tool and to extend the life of your fabric and stitch-based work. Along the way, Heather helps dispel many myths that surround machine quilting and will introduce you to a valuable set of skills that require no additional tools or specialized machines. x
    • 20
      New Alternatives to Free-Motion Stitching
      Complex designs can require an immense amount of hand stitching, but this lesson shows you how to create an applique look without any hand stitching by combining machine doodling and fabric paints and inks. Discover the tools and techniques you can use to create amazing designs with shading and color by introducing alternative methods into your skill set. x
    • 21
      Creating Your Design & Tracing Your Motif
      Create an original design by mixing and matching motifs, or even creating one from scratch. As you learn to select and arrange the elements you want, Heather helps you bring them together using the principles of design. She also demonstrates her methods for transferring designs to the fabric surface, as well as her preferred batting choices and basting technique. x
    • 22
      Free-Motion Stitching Your Design
      Begin your foray into free-motion stitching your own design by approaching your machine from an ergonomic standpoint for comfort and efficiency. Then, follow along as Heather demonstrates how to stitch traced lines and how to choose the perfect stitch out to fill negative space. Also, learn a valuable technique to hide less-than-perfect stitching! x
    • 23
      Adding Color
      Enhance your stitched design with color, starting with a look at how distinct color mediums like ink, paint, or fabric markers move on a fabric surface, and how different kinds of markers and brushes can be used. Heather then colors a stitched piece, demonstrating multiple wet and dry shading techniques and discussing how to choose colors to best enhance your designs. x
    • 24
      Final Shading
      Once you have finished stitching and coloring your quilt, Heather shows you how to square up your piece and bind it using fabric that is the same color as your thread. She will then show you how to look over your finished piece from several different angles to determine where to add highlights and lowlights to enhance or downplay specific areas. x
    • 25
      Paper Clay, Hot Fixed Metal & Embellishments
      Discover the possibilities of unexpected elements, like paper clay, iron-on hot fixed metals, and other embellishments that create interest without weighing your quilt down. You may be surprised at how much can be changed in the composition of a quilt by simply adding a few unconventional details, and how easily they can be incorporated with a little practice. x
    • 26
      Basting, Quilting & the Finishing Touches
      Finishing a project that makes use of embellishments can be tricky, so this lesson walks you through the process of quilting your piece without damaging the surface elements or disrupting your design. Finally, follow step-by-step instructions on binding your piece, with an emphasis on how to keep hanging pieces flat. x
    • 27
      Unique Embellishments, Surfaces, & Stitching
      From “schnibbles” (many little bits of cloth) to metal leaf, from personalized hand stitching to ribbon quilting, get a sampling of the many ways you can bring interest and excitement to simple designs and motifs. Heather goes over the important tools you will need for each surface treatment, demonstrates over half a dozen decorative hand stitches, and walks you through several tucks and trims. x
    • 28
      Playing with Beads, Bling & Sheer Fabrics
      Hand-beading and sheer fabrics open brand new possibilities for the surface of a piece. In the spirit of exploration, Heather walks you through hands-on demonstrations of hand-beading and creating a piece with layered sheer fabrics. Gain valuable insight into how embellishments interact with other fabrics and design choices throughout every step of every project. x
    • 29
      Exploring Edges & Finishes
      While much of a designer's energy will go into the motifs, colors, layout, and patterns of a piece, the edges and finishes of your quilt are just as important to a complete and harmonized design. Go over some of the many ways you can edge and finish assorted designs, keeping in mind the three design principles of balance, unity, and variety. x
    • 30
      Displaying Your Quilts Like a Pro
      In this final lesson, get an overview of methods you can use to display your work, including creating your own hand-twisted wire frames with simple tools, and stretching your quilt like a traditional painted canvas. Look at multiple ways to hang your pieces, going beyond traditional methods and giving each project the treatment that displays it at its absolute best. x
  • A Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales

    Instructor Hannah B. Harvey, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In The Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales, Dr. Hannah Blevins Harvey unpacks more than 60 of our most beloved stories, fables, fairy tales, and songs from around the world. Not only does she provide you with a fascinating, in-depth view into the history, context, and deeper meaning of the tales we know and love, she also treats you to dynamic, theatrical, and engaging tellings of these cherished tales.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  A Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      “Sleeping Beauty”: Once Upon a Time
      Get introduced to folktales and the various classifications as Dr. Harvey introduces you to the wide world of folklore. You’ll hear the 1697 Charles Perrault version of “Sleeping Beauty”—one that you may not be familiar with—and take a deep dive into the meaning behind the symbolism and the importance differences between this story and the Grimm version we are more familiar with. Dr. Zheala Qayyum, from Yale University’s Medical School and Department of Psychiatry, provides some deep insights about what folktales mean to children. x
    • 2
      “Beauty and the Beast” I: The Sleeping Prince
      Dr. Harvey introduces you to a Norse tale called “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.” The major components of this story can be found in similar tales from Spain and Ancient Greece, and you’ll find familiar elements in two well-known French traditional tales. This story introduces us to the theme of transformation—a theme that is both scary and exciting, and is a common in folktales to help us understand how we grow and change, and to teach the lesson that looks can be deceiving. x
    • 3
      “Beauty and the Beast” II: Being Brave
      Dive deeper into the use of transformation in stories as Dr. Harvey presents a version of “Beauty and the Beast” based on the classic French story recorded in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont. Compare that version to the German story by Ludwig Bechstein in 1847 called “Beauty’s Stone Sisters.” Dr. Qayyum provides some additional insights into how the theme of transformation can provide beneficial lessons for children as they grow. Dr. Harvey concludes this lesson with an Ancient Greek tale called “Cupid and Pysche,” which demonstrates how bravery can be the root of transformations. x
    • 4
      “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Transformations
      Continuing with the theme of transformation, Dr. Harvey introduces you to a variety of interpretations of the classic story “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” starting with an 1896 composition known as a “symphonic poem” by Paul Dukas and notes Goethe’s poem from the 1700s. She provides the original story from the first century Egypt and treats you to “The Doctor and His Pupil” from France, with insights why we enjoy transformation stories. x
    • 5
      “Cinderella” I: If the Shoe Fits
      There are many versions of “Cinderella,” and Dr. Harvey takes you through the Italian tale by Basile called “The Cat Cinderella” and Perrault’s 1690’s French version. She walks through the similarities in motifs, with both stories focusing on a “rags-to-riches theme” and an “if the shoe fits” conclusion, but notes not all versions of this story had the iconic glass slipper. Dr. Harvey provides several eye-opening insights as she examines the differences between older versions of this tale and the ones we know today. x
    • 6
      “Cinderella” II: Baba Yaga and Goddessesa
      With the French and Italian versions of “Cinderella,” Dr. Harvey presented a classic “rise” tale, but “Cinderella” is the one of the world’s oldest “magic tales” with many versions, interpretations, and morals. In this lesson, Dr. Harvey introduces the Russian character of Baba Yaga, who is like characters we know from both “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel.” “Vasilisa the Fair” follows the traditional “Cinderella” story, but with many twists and offers the idea that there can be ambiguity in folklore characters, rather than having them represent the absolute points of good or evil. x
    • 7
      “Cinderella” III: The Mooing Godmother
      “Cinderella” stories go back 7000 years, and Mah Pishani is possibly one of the oldest. This Iranian story provides a very different take on the same themes you’ve become familiar with. Unlike the bickering evil step-sisters, this version is about finding connection with family and community—in particular among women—and about love that stretches beyond the grave. x
    • 8
      “The Brave Little Tailor”: Giants!
      Why do we love toppling giants? Stories such as David and Goliath resonate, giving us hope that we can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Dr. Qayyum discusses this phenomena as Dr. Harvey shares two stories: “The Legend of the Chocolate Hills” from the Philippines, and “The Little Tailor,” adapted from the 1857 version by the brothers Grimm, which itself was adapted from the 1557 story called “Der Wegkurtzer” by Martinus Montanus. Dr. Harvey notes how the original tale came to fruition during a period when we looked towards reason and power to solve our own problems, rather than believing in superstition and divine intervention. x
    • 9
      “Jack and the Beanstalk”: Archetypes
      Many scholars believe that the beanstalk in “Jack and the Beanstalk” is a reference to the Tree of Life, which is one of our most iconic global images. In Hinduism, The Tree of Life is known as the Eternal Banyan Tree (the Akshaya Vata). In Islam and Christianity, it is the one tree that God ordered humans not to eat—Christianity extends this image into the New Testament when Christ the immortal is nailed “to a tree” (making the cross a tree that brings eternal life). Dr. Harvey presents these insights and more through the telling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and the Norse myth “Yggdrasil The World Tree.” x
    • 10
      "Hansel and Gretel": Ogres
      Folklorists believe that stories like Hansel and Gretel may have begun during the Great Famine in Europe, during the late Medieval age, about 700 years ago. We may be familiar with the classic German version portrayed by the Grimm brothers, but Dr. Harvey shows us how the Scottish version has something else living in the house in the woods as she shares both “Hansel and Gretel” and “Mollie Whuppie.” Both stories introduce the themes of triumph and besting evil powers. x
    • 11
      “Rumpelstiltskin”: Naming Our Fears
      In this lecture, Dr. Harvey presents several stories that come from all over the world, each of which explore the power of naming. Starting with classic story “Rumpelstiltskin” from Germany, collected by the Grimm brothers in 1857, you’ll also hear an Egyptian creation myth, a Judeo-Christian creation myth, the Egyptian story of Ra and Isis, and “Peerie Fool” from the Orkney Islands, which pulls elements from Norse and Scottish folklore. x
    • 12
      Tom Thumb and Thumbelina: Little Heroes
      “Tom Thumb” is grounded in oral folklore, meaning it was passed through the ages verbally as the storytellers could not read or write. Dr. Qayyum discusses the joy in reading stories out loud. Dr. Harvey shares J.O. Halliwell’s poetic version of “Tom Thumb” as well as a Hans Christian Andersen’s “Thumbelina” and discusses the differences between traditionally defined folktales and stories written by literary authors. x
    • 13
      “Emperor’s New Clothes”: Looks Can Deceive
      Just like the lessons learned in the stories Dr. Harvey covers in this lecture, the stories themselves can be deceiving, too. Dr. Harvey first shares the Hans Christian Andersen story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and then “The Happy Prince” by British playwright Oscar Wilde. Both stores are often mistaken for oral tradition folktales, yet were literary tales by one author. x
    • 14
      “Town Musicians of Bremen”: Unwanted Animals
      Dr. Harvey and Dr. Qayyum discuss the use of how animals in oral folklore often stand in for humans and why this technique can make it easier to recognize the lessons or points of each story. You’ll hear the story of “The Town Musicians of Bremen”—a tale that has been so prolific and retold through so many forms of art that in Bremen you can find a statue to the storied animals. Dr. Harvey also looks at how various cultures such as Germany, India, and the Netherlands both treated and depicted older characters. She concludes with a “Japanese Wisdom Tale.” x
    • 15
      “Puss in Boots” and “The Frog Prince”: Fitting In
      Well before his debut in Shrek, “Puss in Boots” was making a name for himself in the Panchatantra. Considered one of the most influential written records of oral folklore, this Indian collection of more than 700 animal fables and folk stories dates back more than 1700 years ago, features a cat who serves as a magical helper and tries to make his fortune in a king’s castle, and has spawned hundreds of versions. Dr. Harvey shares a French version from 1697, as well as “Iron Heinrich”—or “The Frog Prince”—from Grimm. x
    • 16
      “Three Little Pigs”: Third Time’s a Charm
      Dr. Harvey looks at the power of numbers in folktales, specifically the magic of three and seven (three pigs, seven dwarves), citing Orion and his three-starred belt who chases the seven Pleiades sisters. She notes how even the story formats are broken into threes: Beginning, Middle, and End. She shares the stories of “The Three Little Goslings” (the Italian version of the German “Three Little Pigs”) and “The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs,” which is also a Grimm story from Germany. x
    • 17
      “The Little Red Hen”: Formula Tales
      Repetition and patterned verse are often the backbone to some of our most beloved tales. Known as formula tales, these stories are easy to retell as we know what to say and expect. Dr. Harvey presents a wide-range of formula tales including, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” from Norway, Joseph Jacob’s “Henny Penny” from Australia, “The Gingerbread Man,” Mary Dodge’s 1874 classic “Little Red Hen,” and “The Three Bears” which was written by English poet laureate Robert Southey and therefore lends itself to being a cante tale. x
    • 18
      “How the Camel Got His Hump”: Pourquoi Tales
      Many fictional stories—from ancient myths and creation stories to folktales—are an attempt to explain why things in the world are the way they are. Some of the most famous pourquoi tales come from Aesop and Rudyard Kipling. Dr. Harvey shares several pourquoi tales from around the world, including Kipling’s “How the Camel Got His Hump” from his “Just So Stories” published in India. She also shares an African-American tale “Why the Rabbit has Long Ears and a Short Tail” and the 1929 Norse story “Why the Sea is Salty.” x
    • 19
      Lions and Tigers and Bears: Fables
      We may never have heard of a certain slave from a household in the Greek city of Phrygia if not for his charming use of morals in folktales, but Aesop has made a name for himself. Dr. Harvey presents several of his tales, including “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “Androcles and the Lion,” “The Stone in the Road,” “The Fox and the Wolf,” and “Belling the Cat.” She also shares Kipling’s “Camel Poem” and “How the Hamster Got his Tail,” a Kenyan story about why hamsters have small tails. x
    • 20
      “Snow White”: Beauty and Handsomeness
      Beauty plays an integral part in many folktales and both Dr. Harvey and Dr. Qayyum weigh in on why beauty matters, how beauty is akin to as power in many stories, and how, as these stories got retold and rewritten (by men), the roles men played became more heroic while the roles women played became designated to looking lovely. Using Grimm’s “Snow White” as a lens to examine the use of beauty and instruments of femininity, Dr. Harvey explains how these stories are often metaphors for life and what is happening in our real worlds and cultures. x
    • 21
      “Rapunzel”: Maiden/Mother/Crone
      Femininity is once again examined, this time with a focus on the roles women play in stories. Dr. Harvey shares a combined (and more family friendly) version of “Rapunzel,” pulling from Grimm’s German version and Basile’s Italian version. Looking at the triad of Maiden/Mother/Crone and Warrior/Father/Sage, Dr. Harvey shows how stories reduce and distill all our life experiences into simple symbols; in such stories, each component is represented by a separate character even though we rarely experience such defined periods of existence. x
    • 22
      King Arthur and Winnie the Pooh: Heroic Quests
      Continuing with the triad theme, Dr. Harvey uses this lecture to explore the role of the masculine hero, comparing the actions, motifs, and quests of King Arthur and Winnie the Pooh as she shares “Merlin, Arthur, and the Two Swords” and “Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole.” Through this lecture, Dr. Harvey defines the category of legends and discusses how fictional accounts based on true-life historical figures (or sometimes even made-up ones) gave birth to the American tradition of Tall Tales. x
    • 23
      American Tall Tales and Folk Songs
      Dr. Harvey jumps into the 20th century to demonstrate how Tall Tales reinforce the ideals of the cultures where they were born. For example, many of America’s well-known Tall Tales deal with characters from the wild west and carry themes of expansion, colonization, and progress. After sharing the stories of “Pecos Bill,” “Katy Goodgrit” and “Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox,” Dr. Harvey delves into how ballads and folksongs served as a voice of concerns from those who couldn’t speak. She presents “The Ballad of John Henry” and “The Ballad of Casey Jones.” x
    • 24
      Happily Ever After: How Our Stories End
      Dr. Harvey reviews the fundamentals of storytelling and expands on common themes that can be found across tales that span time and location, such as protection of family, being resourceful, demonstrating bravery, overcoming entrapment, rising from a diminutive state to become a mighty hero, and more. She also recounts the common characters and locations found in stories through the ages. She shares her favorite tale, “The Wonderful Pot” from Denmark, and concludes with a Scottish tale called “Death in a Nut.” x
  • Understanding Imperial China: Dynasties, Life, and Culture

    Professor Andrew R. Wilson, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    A knowledge of China’s majestic empire is essential for any understanding of its present. In this course, you’ll discover what daily life was like for government bureaucrats, for scholars, for women of the court, for soldiers, merchants, craftspeople, emperors, concubines, poets, farmers, and many others—all set against the backdrop of the richness, the diversity, the genius, and the splendor of imperial China.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding Imperial China: Dynasties, Life, and Culture
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Opium, Trade, and War in Imperial China
      Begin by examining a pervasive symbol of late imperial China: opium. Learn about the history of opium use, the ritual of opium smoking, and the luxurious opium culture of the Chinese elite. Note how opium became inextricably linked with imperial culture, society, and economics. Chart the role of the British opium trade, the Opium Wars, and Chinese measures to eradicate the drug. x
    • 2
      The First Emperor's Terra-Cotta Warriors
      Uncover the story behind the famous terra-cotta warriors, one of China's most celebrated archaeological treasures. Travel into daily life in the Qin Dynasty, China's first empire; encounter the emperor Qinshi Huangdi, builder of the warriors, and observe his highly bureaucratic and technocratic regime. Explore the site of the terra-cotta army, and how the extraordinary clay figures were made. x
    • 3
      China's Early Golden Age: The Han Dynasty
      Enter the lives of the Han nobility—China’s second imperial dynasty—through their tombs, whose fabulous artifacts bear witness to their lavish lifestyle, diet, and concern for learning. Take account of the Han golden age, during which essential imperial institutions were established and Han territories were expanded. Also take note of the rise of a new and powerful scholarly elite. x
    • 4
      Amazing Ban Clan: Historian, Soldier, Woman
      Three extraordinary siblings stand out in China's imperial history. Follow the lives of Han-era twin brothers Ban Gu and Ban Chao, and their remarkable sister Ban Zhao. Investigate Ban Gu's life of learning and his important writing on history and governmental policy. Note Ban Chao's illustrious military career and achievements, and Ban Zhao's significant impact as a scholar, teacher, and poet. x
    • 5
      China's Buddhist Monks and Daoist Recluses
      Buddhism and Daoism played integral roles in the culture of imperial China. Learn about the origins of Chinese Buddhism, the monastic life in China, and the historic travels of the Buddhist monk Faxian. Then study the emergence of Daoism and its traditions of metaphysical exploration and the rustic, natural life, as seen in the works of Tao Yuanming, imperial China's first great poet. x
    • 6
      Cosmopolitan Chang'an: Tang Dynasty Capital
      Travel to the golden age of Chang'an, the medieval world's most resplendent city. Uncover its structure, its grand boulevards, and its stunning palatial, official, and religious architecture. Investigate the city's diverse population and its districts, parks, and pleasure quarters. Visit Chang'an's iconic Eastern and Western markets, and take account of the factors in the city's ultimate undoing. x
    • 7
      China's Grand Canal: Lifeline of an Empire
      Track the historical significance and changing fortunes of the Grand Canal. Beginning in the Sui Dynasty, explore the evolution and engineering of the canal system and its vital role in imperial economics, politics, and culture. Learn about its maintenance and management, its varied personnel, and how the health of the canal directly mirrored the political health of the empire. x
    • 8
      Triumph and Tragedy in Tang Poetry
      Delve into the aristocratic society of the Tang Dynasty and the particular social and political meaning given to poetry within this world. See how poetry of various genres was used within specific social contexts, in the example of court poet Wang Wei. Follow the fortunes of beloved Tang poets Li Bai and Du Fu, as they embodied the vogue and singular significance of poetry in Chinese culture. x
    • 9
      Life and Times of Song Dynasty Literati
      In the Song Dynasty, classical literacy and the civil service examinations were the path to official position. Here, trace the lives of two celebrated literati who emerged from this system. First meet Su Shi, passionate public servant, fun-loving style setter, and man of letters. Contrast Su's life with that of Zhu Xi, probing moral philosopher and architect of Neo-Confucianism. x
    • 10
      A Day's Journey along the Qingming Scroll
      This lecture reveals life in the Song Dynasty by means of the Qingming Shanghetu, a renowned painted scroll of the early 12th century. Reading the 17-foot scroll sequentially, travel through its vivid imagery of people, animals, buildings, vehicles, and landscapes, as it depicts scenes of daily life and conveys the remarkable technological, cultural, and economic sophistication of the Song. x
    • 11
      Peasant Life on the Yellow River
      Discover the vital farming communities of the Yellow River watershed. Study the culture of farming and rural society, and delve into how peasants lived—their dwellings, clothing, diet, work and gender roles, and family structures. Take account of the hardships faced by peasants through taxation and corrupt local officialdom and of the natural and manmade disasters that plagued rural populations. x
    • 12
      Rice, Silk, and Tea: South China's Peasants
      Learn about the process of wet-rice cultivation, as it shaped the daily lives of Southern peasants, from paddy preparation and irrigation to planting, weeding, and final harvesting. Then investigate tea growing and how peasants processed the leaves into different tea varieties. Finally, study Chinese silk production, taking note of the role of women in both the silk and tea industries. x
    • 13
      Genghis Khan and the Rise of the Mongols
      Look deeply into the life of Temujin, who became the fearsome Genghis Khan. Investigate the steppe culture of the Northern tribal warriors who would conquer China and their nomadic lifestyle of herding and raiding. Trace Temujin's phenomenal rise to power as he gathered massive legions of tribal followers, founding the Mongol Empire. Explore social and political life among the Mongols. x
    • 14
      The Mongols and Marco Polo in Xanadu
      The century-long era known as the Pax Mongolica was a time of extraordinary East-West trade and cross-cultural communication. Learn about this epoch through the remarkable journeys of Marco Polo and his family, the missionary Giovanni de Montecorvino, the Nestorian priest and diplomat Rabban Bar Sauma, and others, as they reveal the astonishing multiculturalism of the Mongol world. x
    • 15
      Admiral Zheng He's Treasure Fleet
      Take to the seas with Ming-era Admiral Zheng He, whose travels on behalf of the emperor Yongle were the stuff of legend. Witness life aboard Zheng's huge treasure ships, nine-masted behemoths laden with luxury goods. Follow the commander's seven voyages, as he plied the Indian Ocean and ventured to points beyond to proclaim the glories of the Ming court and to enlarge its cultural and economic power. x
    • 16
      China's Bound Feet, Brides, and Widows
      In exploring the experience of women in imperial China, learn about the customs surrounding traditional married life, such as the painful practice of foot binding, the process of betrothal and marriage arrangements, the wedding festivities, and the duties and lifestyle of a wife. Also investigate the social ideal of the chaste widow and its shadow, the luxurious world of courtesans. x
    • 17
      Ming Dynasty Trade and Spanish Silver
      Visit the teeming port of Manila, where the 16th century influx of Spanish silver made the city a vibrant hub of East-West exchange. Observe how the import of New World silver and crops to China sparked a remarkable period of prosperous living. Note the proliferation of restaurants, travel guides, fashion, leisure activities, commercial sex, and popular religion that characterized the era. x
    • 18
      The Great Wall and Military Life in China
      Delve into the lives of soldiers under the Ming, often incorrectly viewed as an un-martial dynasty. Learn about military culture, weaponry, and lifestyle under 14th century warlord Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty. Contrast this military era with that of the 16th century, when commercialization and technology gave rise to both the Great Wall and to remarkably modern Ming armies. x
    • 19
      Qing Dynasty: Soul Stealers and Sedition
      Witness the national hysteria that ensued from accusations that masons and other undesirables were stealing human souls. Investigate the public fear of sorcery, and the emperor's fear of sedition, which fueled the turmoil. Follow Emperor Qianlong's handling of the crisis, as it reveals the workings of the Qing justice system and the emperor's deep engagement with the empire's moral well-being. x
    • 20
      Emperor Qianlong Hosts a British Ambassador
      At the emperor's palatial summer residence in 1793, visit the imperial kitchens, as chefs and culinary workers from around the empire prepare a banquet of epic proportions. Learn about the staggering scale of the operation of the Imperial Buttery, which fed the emperor's household, and how a dazzling imperial feast served as the backdrop for a key diplomatic engagement. x
    • 21
      The Taiping Rebellion and Its Cult Leader
      The mid 19th century saw both foreign invasion and a revolt that sought to remake Chinese society. Follow the underlying social unrest in South China, and the rise of the charismatic leader Hong Xiuquan, who fomented a rebellion based in religious fanaticism. Observe the military prowess of the rebels, the massive size of the conflict, and how it unfolded as the bloodiest civil war in history. x
    • 22
      China's Treaty Ports
      Following the Opium War of 1842, a range of Chinese seaports were opened to foreign trade and foreign residence. Learn about the colorful history of these ports, how they became enmeshed in a global labor trade, and how they functioned as Euro-Asian hybrid cities. Grasp how the treaty ports were emblematic of a period of economic and political domination by foreigners. x
    • 23
      Experiencing China's Civil Service Exams
      For centuries, the imperial civil service exams selected candidates for important government positions. Trace the dramatic history of the examinations, which involved years of intensive study, a grueling testing ordeal, and life-changing benefits for the successful. Take account of the profound social and cultural significance of the exams and their role in the administration of the empire. x
    • 24
      China's Last Dynasty: Fall of the Manchus
      Finally, examine the factors that led to the dissolution of China’s empire. Contrast the powerful military machine of the early Manchu dynasty with its degradation by the 19th century. Grasp how the three pillars of Manchu power—its military, its cultural/economic influence, and its subjects’ loyalty—were systematically undermined, culminating in the abdication of the last emperor in 1912. x
Video title