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  • The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters

    Professor David Brody, Professor of Painting and Drawing

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Many of us have the mistaken idea that only “born artists” can paint. But the truth is much more exciting—with the right training, anyone can learn the skill of painting! In The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters, artist David Brody teaches those skills in 34 easy-to-follow lessons. He begins by teaching the basics and then moves on to developing technique by having you copy from some of the world’s most iconic paintings.
    View Lecture List (34)
    Many of us have the mistaken idea that only “born artists” can paint. But the truth is much more exciting—with the right training, anyone can learn the skill of painting! In The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters, artist David Brody teaches those skills in 34 easy-to-follow lessons. He begins by teaching the basics and then moves on to developing technique by having you copy from some of the world’s most iconic paintings.
    View Lecture List (34)
    34 Lectures  |  The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters
    Lecture Titles (34)
    • 1
      The Grand Tradition of Painting
      Humans have been painting for more than 40,000 years and creating pigments for more than 300,000 years. You'll join that great tradition by making your own pigments and paints in this lesson. Learn why the masters began their careers by copying others and why this is the best time in history to learn to paint. x
    • 2
      Health and Safety in the Studio
      Oil-based paints are considered the most versatile medium for painters today. But with pigments, oils, and solvents comes the potential danger of toxicity and combustion. Learn how to take proper safety precautions—reading the Safety Data Sheet and product label for each item you buy, ventilating the room where you paint, and properly disposing of hazardous waste. x
    • 3
      Basic Painting Materials
      What are the “must-haves” for your workspace? Learn about necessary supplies, including paper, pencils, additives, brushes, and the six specific tubes of paint you’ll need for your first palette. You’ll also learn why so many painters rely on the mahl stick—and how to build your own. x
    • 4
      Studio Setup and Brush Care
      Make sure your workspace meets your specific needs and preferences. Explore your lighting options for both natural and artificial light and learn how they impact your painting, palette, and subject. You'll also learn how to set your paints on the palette to allow for greatest efficiency and flexibility, and how to clean everything at the end of your session with brush cleaners you'll build yourself. x
    • 5
      First Exercises: Line and Mark
      Studying John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X, you’ll learn how the placement of the brush in your hand affects the types of strokes you can make. As you test various options with your own brush placement, pressure, speed, and dilutions, you’ll experiment with a variety of lines and marks—and examine those of Van Gogh, Cézanne, and many others. x
    • 6
      First Exercises: Value, Edges, and Texture
      In this lesson, you’ll experiment with many ways to change value by changing opacity, hatching, stippling, and more. You’ll also learn a variety of ways to create an edge, making it hard or soft. You’ll experiment with many different ways to both apply and remove paint, and learn about the relationships between thick and thin layers—and what will stand the test of time. x
    • 7
      Creating Basic Forms: Lines, Shapes, and Solids
      As you study line, texture, contour, space, and proportion, you’ll learn how painters can start with a flat shape and create a three-dimensional solid. By examining Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and other paintings, you’ll learn how artists build upon simple geometric figures to create highly organized groupings of interlocking shapes. x
    • 8
      Value: Making a Value Scale
      With the goal of painting grisailles and brunailles—paintings executed entirely in shades of gray or brown, respectively—you’ll learn a step-by-step method for developing two appropriate value scales. In the process, you’ll explore paint mixing, assessing the value of those mixtures, identifying and correcting mistakes, and understanding the effects of simultaneous contrast. x
    • 9
      Value: A Simple Still Life
      Before creating a brunaille based on Norman Lundin’s Simple Still Life–Three Cups, you’ll learn how to transfer the cartoon files—the underdrawings in your course guidebook—to your surface, as well as options for using the grid system to scale up or down. You’ll visually take the painting apart to carefully identify the work’s shapes, and then use your value chart to guide you through the painting process. x
    • 10
      Value: Mood, Palette, and Light
      Learn how value affects the mood of a painting—with a greater range of values bringing higher energy and a smaller range bringing a softer, calmer mood. Explore how value also can be used to create pattern, a focal hierarchy, and the illusion of space and three-dimensional volume. You’ll also examine the way light can be used to give a flat effect or to produce greater drama with a chiaroscuro. x
    • 11
      Value: Block and Sphere in Grisaille
      By painting a chiaroscuro block and sphere in grisaille, you’ll apply value mixing skills—with 17 different values in this exercise—and explore the way light affects rectilinear and curvilinear forms. You’ll practice blending edges, experimenting with a variety of brushes and the use of horizontal and vertical strokes. x
    • 12
      The Figure and a Portrait in Brunaille
      In this lesson, you'll experiment with using value intuitively, leaving behind the numerical references you used previously. You'll learn how the illusion of a complex three-dimensional form is created as you work with value and shadows. And you'll learn to see the planar structure beneath an object, considering both value and edges as you bring life to the structure. x
    • 13
      Working with the Earth Tone Palette
      In this lesson, you’ll explore the full palette of earth tones, black, and white—a palette that has been used for millennia in every geographic area. As you experiment with a color-mixing exercise, methodically developing a chart to reveal the full range of this palette, you’ll observe the way the colors seem to change depending on their context. x
    • 14
      Ensuring Accurate Proportions
      Explore the benefits of the gridded velo, calipers, beam compasses, and even tracing paper. These tools have been used from da Vinci to the modern age for developing precise proportions when painting. Specifically, learn how to work with proportional dividers to help the accuracy of your work, whether you're copying from another painting or painting a still life. x
    • 15
      Composition: Shape, Ground, and Format
      Nothing is more important to the success of a painting than composition—the organization of elements that brings cohesion to the work. Learn how to look deeply at paintings to discover compositional patterns and to improve your own work by examining format, simple and compound aggregate shapes, the box strategy, the crucial role played by “background,” and more. x
    • 16
      Composition: Leonardo and the Armature
      Learn how to develop and work with an armature, the structure that determines the organization of elements in your painting and guides the viewer's eyes through your work. Whether it's the placement of a large figure or the angle of a hairline, generations of artists from diverse cultures have depended on the armature to bring visual power into their works. x
    • 17
      Composition: Balance, Focus, and Space
      Learn how to construct your painting to control the viewer's path through its visual information. What do you want the observer to attend to first, second, next? You'll explore the elements of compositional weight and balance, space, hierarchy, focal considerations, color, and more to understand the ways in which each of these factors affects your viewer's experience. x
    • 18
      Degas, Hammershøi, and Other Projects
      In this lesson, you’ll practice the elements you’ve learned—from value to composition—with several painting assignments. In addition to a still life, you’ll work with cartoons of paintings by Degas and Hammershøi, and numerous specific suggestions for painting groupings of geometric solids, fabric, and maybe even a room in your own home. x
    • 19
      Materials: Oil Paint Brands and Quality
      Two tubes of paint with similar names—or even the exact same name—can appear and behave very differently depending on their chemical composition and the processes used in manufacturing. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to glean information from paint labels and how to utilize the Color IndexTM, often abbreviated CIGN, the international classification system for dyes and pigments. x
    • 20
      Materials: Oil Paint Characteristics
      Learn how opacity, tinting strength, permanence, and consistency affect your paint's performance, and how to identify these characteristics from the paint's label. You'll also learn how to make sure your paint is safe, how to proceed if the label does note a health hazard, and how to care for your paints once in your workspace. x
    • 21
      Color: Theory and Exercises
      Learn the difference between additive and subtractive mixing, how those processes impact the colors you'll see when you mix your paints, and why formal color theory doesn't always reflect how paints work in the real world. You'll begin to create your own color chart in order to experiment with the value, hue, and saturation of your particular paints. x
    • 22
      Color: Painting with Limited Palettes
      Examine the limited palettes used by some of the great masters throughout history—monochrome, dominant hue, analogous, split complementary, and more—and explore how they strategized color usage to create a particular mood in a painting. You’ll build your own palette as you explore an exercise on color mixing, trying to match your paints to a specific color on a print. x
    • 23
      Materials: All about Medium
      All painters would love to find a medium that would cause the exact result they want with no negative effects. Instead, it's all about compromise. Learn about the pros and cons of linseed oil, oil of rosemary, odorless mineral spirits, hydrocarbon resins, balsams, yellow beeswax, and more. You'll experiment with making damar varnish and find recipes for numerous others. x
    • 24
      Materials: All about Brushes
      Although almost all artists today paint with brushes, painters have experimented with an enormous variety of tools—from fingers to squeegees. In this lesson, you’ll explore the two main categories of brushes, their variability in price, and how to best care for them. You’ll also learn why hog hair is the best natural bristle and why “sable” brushes are almost never made from sable. x
    • 25
      Materials: Flexible Supports
      With step-by-step instructions, you'll build your own flexible support, starting with purchasing the supports and linen, and then stretching the linen over the frame. To create the needed barrier between the textile and the paint, you'll make a rabbit-hide glue solution and then prime with a lead white ground. You'll also learn a great variety of options for future experiments. x
    • 26
      Materials: Rigid Supports
      Many artists choose to paint on rigid supports—wood, metal, or even glass—which preserve paintings for much longer periods than flexible supports. Learn why plywood and composite panels are today’s popular choice for those who paint on wood, how to prepare wooden surfaces before painting, and step-by-step directions for making your own gesso. x
    • 27
      Materials: Carpentry for the Studio
      Many artists want their own supports, studio tables, stretchers, and strainers made to custom specs to best meet their specific needs. In this lesson, you'll learn how to build chassis for canvases and panels, a painting table, and a brush table. Step-by-step instructions for the tables can also be found in the course guidebook. x
    • 28
      Project: A Modigliani Portrait
      In this lesson, you'll experiment with painting Amedeo Modigliani's Portrait of a Young Girl. In this work and others, Modigliani worked with the ratio of the canvas itself, as opposed to the natural proportions of the figure. You'll learn to see and paint those unusual proportions in his orange-blue complementary system. x
    • 29
      Project: A Degas Ballerina
      By painting a study of The Ballerina, by Edgar Degas, you'll work extensively with washes in a red-green complementary-analogous palette. You'll experiment with a great range of mark making, both positively with your brush and negatively with scratched hatchings, and work with several tools to remove paint as you emulate Degas' texture. x
    • 30
      Project: A Corot Landscape
      Painting a study based on Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Bridge on the Saôn at Mâcon—with its palpable illusion of light and air—gives you the opportunity to work with a greater depth of space than in any previous painting in this course and with brush strokes you haven’t used before. You’ll be challenged also by using his double complementary palette. x
    • 31
      Project: Derain's Portrait of Matisse
      In this lesson, you’ll paint a study based on André Derain’s iconic 1905 portrait of his friend Henri Matisse, using highly saturated color that modulates from light to dark and warm to cool as you move around the head. In copying Derain’s style, you’ll use hue, value, and brush marks to make sure the head is the focus of the piece. x
    • 32
      Project: A Porter Self-Portrait
      In this lecture, you'll paint a study based on a Fairfield Porter self-portrait. Porter focused on observational figure painting with works that relied on strong abstract shape relationships. In this painting, you'll work with opacity and density as you create all the large and small, positive and negative shapes that come together as a type of grid of interlocking puzzle pieces. x
    • 33
      Painting's Evolution: Indirect Painting
      Explore the significant differences between indirect and direct painting. You’ll learn which tools and techniques to use depending on which type of work you want to produce—the historical indirect method of using thin translucent paint on top a smooth white panel, or the more modern method of using opaque paint on the rougher, less reflective surface of canvas. x
    • 34
      Nighthawks, The Scream, and Other Projects
      In this lesson, you'll study Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and Munch's The Scream. While viewers often think the Munch was painted in a moment of emotional outburst, both paintings were highly premeditated and meticulously created with numerous advanced studies. By examining the many steps these painters went through in preparation, you will improve your own artistic process as well. x
  • Understanding the Old Testament

    Professor Robert D. Miller II, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    The Old Testament is one of the foundational documents of Western civilization. In this course, you’ll study a selection of the major books of the Old Testament, probing their meaning and relevance. Among these, you’ll explore the prophets, the wisdom literature, and the apocalyptic literature, finding their deeper historical and religious import, as well as their sublime literary treasures.
    View Lecture List (24)
    The Old Testament is one of the foundational documents of Western civilization. In this course, you’ll study a selection of the major books of the Old Testament, probing their meaning and relevance. Among these, you’ll explore the prophets, the wisdom literature, and the apocalyptic literature, finding their deeper historical and religious import, as well as their sublime literary treasures.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the Old Testament
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Old Testament as Literature
      Consider the historical and literary contexts of the Old Testament, and take an overview of this course. Then, study the events contained within the first six days of creation. For each day, note what was created, how God evaluated it, and how the events of the days are interconnected. Also, observe how the events establish an elaborate pattern and what that pattern meant to ancient Israelites. x
    • 2
      The Genesis Creation Story
      Look at the creation of humanity according to Genesis Chapter 1, and in particular, at how we interpret the idea that humans were made in the image and likeness of God. Then learn about the unique seventh day— the Sabbath—and how the Sabbath was also a day of creation. Investigate the intriguing question of the authorship of the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch or Torah. x
    • 3
      What God Intended for Adam and Eve
      Here, delve into the story of the Garden of Eden. Grasp God's purpose in creating humans as beings that are both material and spiritual. Consider the significance of the god-like role given to Adam to name other creatures. Learn how woman was created as a counterpart (and even rescuer) of man, and how the creation story accounts for a world that is not what God intended. x
    • 4
      When Things Go Wrong in the Garden of Eden
      In the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, explore how ancient Israelites understood the nature of sin. Follow Adam and Eve's transgression in eating the forbidden fruit and note how this act disrupts both the relationship between the two humans and between humanity and nature. See how the ultimate consequence of the humans' actions is the loss of fellowship with God. x
    • 5
      Abraham, the Father of Three Faiths
      In a deep look at the figure of Abraham, the spiritual father of three major religions, examine the features of the Covenant made between God and Abraham as Abraham embarks on his legendary journey. Study the three promises God makes, and what God asks of Abraham. Learn about the paradox embodied in God's command that Abraham sacrifice his son, and what this signifies about the nature of faith. x
    • 6
      Moses and the Exodus
      Read the Call of Moses to liberate the Israelites in Egypt and observe how it resonates with the call of other Biblical prophets. Investigate the Hebrew name of God, Yahweh; how God's nature is expressed in the name; and why Jews did not speak or write it. Finally, take account of scholarly controversy regarding interpretations of the Ten Plagues and the meaning of the Exodus from Egypt. x
    • 7
      The Ten Commandments
      Consider why the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, has a significance beyond that of the other 603 commandments in the Torah, and note how the Ten are numbered within different religious traditions. Examine each of the commandments and grasp how these directives by God were intended not to constrain humanity, but to guarantee freedom, of the community and of each individual. x
    • 8
      The Covenant Code in Exodus
      The Covenant Code contains some of the oldest laws of ancient Israel. Read the Code's many laws, on subjects from religious regulations to social justice, noting that they are considered divine in origin. Compare the Code to the laws of other ancient Near Eastern societies. Learn how, more than legal codes, the laws functioned as moral education regarding notions of human justice. x
    • 9
      Leviticus at a Crossroads
      The book of Leviticus sets out the ways Israelites were to live as God's people. Delve into three sections of the text, beginning with sacrificial practices. Examine five types of ritual sacrifice and the motives or purposes of each. Investigate the Manual of Impurities, which includes dietary rules on the purity of food. Then learn about the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year. x
    • 10
      Deuteronomy to Kings
      Take account of the context of Judges, within the Old Testament books that reveal the story of the Israelites in the Promised Land. Assess different accounts of how the Israelites came to the land of Canaan. Then witness the violent cycle in which they fell into idolatrous behavior, then wound up in enslavement, followed by God sending them a series of charismatic leaders (“judges”) to free them. x
    • 11
      The Book of Judges
      Follow the unfolding narrative of Judges, as the leaders sent to free the Israelites themselves fall from virtue. Study the stories of Gideon and his son, Abimelech, and note archaeological discoveries that show amazing similarities to the biblical story. Conclude with the trials of Jephthah and Samson, and the tragic conclusion of Judges, as Israel descends into immorality and violence. x
    • 12
      The Books of Samuel
      Chart the origins of prophecy in ancient Israel, with prophecy seen during ecstatic, trancelike spiritual practices. Observe how Samuel, the last judge, initiated monarchy among the Israelites, appointing Saul as king. Trace the disastrous reign of David, and the story of Bathsheba. Then meet the wise Solomon, builder of the first temple to Israel’s God, where worship—significantly—focused on a text, not an image. x
    • 13
      The Books of Kings
      Examine the role of the prophet in ancient Israel as the conscience of the nation. Study the life of the prophet Elijah, his actions to affirm the supremacy of God, and his later disillusion and disobedience to God. Grasp Elijah's role in the fall of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah to Assyria and Babylon, a story which, nevertheless, ends on a note of hope. x
    • 14
      Biblical Short Stories: Ruth and Esther
      Discover the genre of the biblical short story: Old Testament books that recount single plots, often focusing on displaced women. Learn the story of Ruth, of the land of Moab—Israel’s hated enemy, who survived in Bethlehem through loyalty and resourcefulness. Also, encounter the Jewish, Persian Queen Esther, who saved her people by honoring her Jewishness while being queen of a gentile society. x
    • 15
      Amos, Prophet of Justice
      Explore the preaching of the prophet Amos and his passionate theme of justice for the poor and vulnerable. Note how, as an outsider, Amos brings the northern kingdom of Israel to task for its crimes against the poor, seen in acts such as debt slavery, distortions of justice, and the treatment of concubines. Contemplate Amos’s “three woes” against Israel, and also his concluding vision of hope. x
    • 16
      The Prophet Isaiah in Three Movements
      Examine the three distinct sections of Isaiah: first, the prophet’s stern denunciation of social injustice, and his intimation of a new era of peace under a messianic king; next, a promise of restoration and redemption for Israel, through the figure of the “Suffering Servant”; and finally, the vision of a post-exile Jerusalem, where all peoples are included within the worship of God. x
    • 17
      Jeremiah, Persecuted Prophet
      Within the life and preaching of the prophet Jeremiah, study the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 7, regarding his “temple sermon” preaching against idolatry, injustice, and fraudulent worship. Witness the prophet’s response to his later persecution, and his struggle against his own call to be a prophet. Also read the hopeful prophecy in which God offers a new covenant to Israel, a covenant of forgiveness which will be everlasting. x
    • 18
      Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature
      In approaching the prophetic oracles and stories of the book of Daniel, delve into the genre of Apocalyptic literature—revelation which discloses a transcendent reality. Note the appearance in Daniel of the figure of “the Son of Man,” a divine, human-like being enthroned by God. Study the story of Daniel’s exile to Babylon and take account of its message for diaspora Jews. x
    • 19
      How Scholars Study Psalms
      Uncover the musical nature of the book of Psalms, which were prayers that were originally sung, and how the Psalms embody the words of humans to God. Study the poetic features of the Psalms, highlighting parallelism (correspondence of lines). See how these patterns structure the Psalms and help to decipher meaning. Learn about the titles of the individual Psalms and what they tell us, and how the Psalms fall into five sections or “books.” x
    • 20
      The Music of the Psalms
      In a second look at Psalms, investigate the primary psalm genres—hymns, thanksgivings, and laments— taking account, in each, of who is speaking within a given Psalm and with what intent. Also delve into lesser genres, such as wisdom psalms, pilgrimage songs, and penitential psalms. Discover how psalms are structured, and how these beloved prayers express the gamut of human emotions. x
    • 21
      Proverbs in the Bible: Wisdom Literature
      As context for the book of Proverbs, discover the Old Testament genre of “wisdom literature” and the varieties of knowledge it encompasses. In the first, nine sections of Proverbs, study the use of paired metaphors that guide the reader’s understanding. Examine the use of personification in Proverbs to express wisdom: as referred to as a woman, as present with God at creation, and as equivalent to the nature of the universe. x
    • 22
      Job's Suffering and Understanding
      Immerse yourself in the mysteries of the book of Job, first identifying its biblical genre and unusual literary structure. Witness God's wager with the accuser, who questions Job's faith, and see the unfolding of the guiltless Job's ensuing tribulations and reckoning with God. Contemplate the many historical explanations of God's actions, and what the narrative suggests about divine providence and human value. x
    • 23
      Ecclesiastes and the "Vanity of Vanities"
      Grapple with the fascinating and elusive text of the book of Ecclesiastes. In the apparent bleakness of Qohelet's words, grasp why many through the centuries have found the book depressing. With a careful and rigorous reading, plumb the verses for their deeper meaning: a singular vision of affirmation, reaching beyond the futility of human life to an authentic joy in the gifts of God. x
    • 24
      Slaying the Dragons of the Old Testament
      Conclude by examining a recurrent image within the Old Testament: the figure of the dragon as the personification of evil. Look back through the entire Old Testament at the metaphor of dragon-slaying, at the hands of God, and explore its appearance within earlier mythic traditions. Through multiple textual references, see how this unusual metaphor constitutes an analogy for human suffering and redemption. x
  • Understanding the New Testament

    Professor David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Join Professor David Brakke, an award-winning Professor of History at The Ohio State University, for Understanding the New Testament. In these 24 eye-opening lectures, he takes you behind the scenes to study not only the text of the New Testament, but also the authors and the world in which it was created.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Join Professor David Brakke, an award-winning Professor of History at The Ohio State University, for Understanding the New Testament. In these 24 eye-opening lectures, he takes you behind the scenes to study not only the text of the New Testament, but also the authors and the world in which it was created.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the New Testament
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Paradox of the New Testament
      The New Testament is comprised of 27 books by more than a dozen authors, yet it is also presented as a single, unified text. How do you resolve the paradox of one book versus many? In this opening lecture, see how historians view the New Testament and why they are excited by its diversity of voices. x
    • 2
      The Jewish Origins of Christian Faith
      Before delving into the New Testament, you first must look at ancient Judaism for context about the birth of Christianity. Here, explore key stories and themes of the Old Testament—including God’s covenants with Abraham, Moses, and David, as well as Jewish eschatology—to understand the world of Jesus of Nazareth. x
    • 3
      1 Thessalonians and Paul's Ministry
      The New Testament includes many types of narrative, among them gospels, epistles, and revelations. In this first lecture on Paul's epistles, you will reflect on the chronologically earliest book of the New Testament. Examine the structure of a Pauline letter, and find out what his mission of evangelism was all about. x
    • 4
      The Salvation of Gentiles in Galatians
      Continue your study of Paul's epistles with a detailed look at his letter to the Galatians. In it, he offers a scathing rebuke to a congregation he believes has backslid after his departure. Find out why he believed it was so important to establish faith in Jesus as the one and only quality that gets you into heaven. x
    • 5
      Romans on God, Faith, and Israel
      Paul’s letter to the Romans is his theological masterpiece. Because he had never been to Rome, he wrote this letter to introduce himself and his teachings to lay the groundwork for his arrival. Unpack the key message of his theology—namely, that one is made righteous solely through faith in Jesus Christ. x
    • 6
      Community Conflicts in 1-2 Corinthians
      In this first of two lectures about Paul's letters to the Corinthians, you will consider one tension inherent to Christian congregations. In Paul's theology, everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord, yet Corinth was a prosperous and diverse city. How did Paul reconcile economic, intellectual, and educational diversity with religious unity? x
    • 7
      Worship and Leaders in Paul's Congregations
      The two letters to the Corinthians give us great insight into Paul's theology, but they also provide interesting historical evidence for how early Christian congregations operated. How did believers worship? Who were the church leaders? What were the roles for men and women? Find out what the letters tell us about the community. x
    • 8
      Paul's Theology on Slavery and Christ
      Although Paul's letters to Philemon and to the Philippians are very different, they have two important things in common. Paul wrote them both from prison, and they each concern slavery. Gain insight into Paul's views around imprisonment, as well as his ideas about Christ's humanity and divinity. x
    • 9
      Adapting Paul's Teachings to New Situations
      Not all of Paul’s letters were composed by the apostle himself. The three “Deutero-Pauline” letters (2 Thessalonians, Colossians, and Ephesians) likely date to the years after Paul’s death. In content, they seek to reassure readers that a series of events must occur before the end times arrive and that faith in Christ is all that is necessary for salvation in the present. x
    • 10
      Jesus as the Suffering Son of Man in Mark
      Shift your attention from Paul's epistles to the gospels, starting with the Gospel According to Mark. After reviewing what historians know about the author and the book's composition, Professor Brakke surveys the time of Jesus' ministry and death and explicates the key themes of Mark's gospel. x
    • 11
      Jesus as the New Moses in Matthew
      The unknown Christian who wrote the gospel now called Matthew presents a different theological portrait of Jesus and his ministry than Mark. Whereas Jesus in Mark is a mysterious figure, Matthew emphasizes Jesus' divinity. In this lecture, compare the two gospels and what scholars believe about their composition. x
    • 12
      The Church in the Gospel of Matthew
      Continue your study of the Gospel of Matthew, which gives us the only mention of the word “church” in all of the four gospels. Consider Matthew’s interest in forming and leading the church, and reflect on the conflict, in Matthew, between the Jesus who teaches Jewish law and the Jesus who critiques Jewish leaders. x
    • 13
      Luke and Acts on God's History of Salvation
      The Gospel of Luke is the first book in a two-volume work, the second being the book of Acts. Luke presents himself as a historian, so consider the two-volume Luke-Acts as a historical work. Who were Luke's sources? What story does he want to tell? How and why does his story unfold? x
    • 14
      Luke's Inclusive Message
      The grand narrative in the books Luke through Acts spans 60 years and presents a unified narrative of early Christian history. In this second lecture on Luke, look at the people and parables presented in his history—particularly the women, both named and anonymous, he writes about. Encounter a truly expansive, inclusive vision for Christianity. x
    • 15
      The Apostles and Church in Luke and Acts
      Because Luke was writing as a historian, probably between the years A.D. 90 and A.D. 120, he didn’t merely re-create the past. Rather, Luke has a perspective on the history he tells. Unpack his vision of early Christian history and consider what message he is sending to his readers. Compare that message to the earlier “Gospel according to Mark.” x
    • 16
      Jesus as the Divine Word in John
      The “Gospel according to John” is an anomaly, set apart from the other three “Synoptic Gospels.” Although the basic story of Jesus remains the same, running from the ministry of John the Baptist to the death and resurrection of Jesus, John’s gospel contains more philosophy and has been called a more “spiritual” gospel. x
    • 17
      Jesus and the Jews in the Gospel of John
      In addition to its spiritual philosophy, the Gospel of John also contains troubling rhetoric around Jews and Judaism. Investigate the reasons behind John's depiction of the Jews and why it is so negative. See why John's portrayal of Jesus has made this gospel both an object of theological controversy and a source of deep spirituality. x
    • 18
      The Community of John after the Gospel
      What happened when an early Christian community began to fall apart? Disagreements over theology, challenges to church leadership, or disintegration of the group altogether were common, and the letters of John tackle these problems head-on. Delve into early efforts to unify a fractured church. x
    • 19
      In Search of the Historical Jesus
      The “Historical Jesus” refers to the man named Jesus of Nazareth as opposed to the Christ we find in the gospels—a challenge for historians given that the gospels are our primary sources. Trace the development of biblical scholarship and research after the Renaissance and Enlightenment, when scholars began to think critically about the man named Jesus. x
    • 20
      Interpreting Abraham in Hebrews and James
      You might think of Abraham as belonging to the Old Testament, but he plays a mighty role in the writings of the New Testament. In the book of Hebrews, Abraham appears as a model of faith, whereas, in James he is an object of controversy over how people are saved—by faith alone or by faith and works. x
    • 21
      Churches in Crisis in 1-2 Peter and Jude
      Along with James and the three letters of John, 1-2 Peter and Jude are known as the “catholic” or general epistles because they are addressed to multiple congregations, or Christians, in general. See what these most recent books of the New Testament tell us about a mature and growing religious movement. x
    • 22
      New Leaders in the Pastoral Epistles
      Paul's first and second letters to Timothy and the letter to Titus form a special group of epistles because they were written not to congregations but to church pastors, offering advice for how individual leaders ought to conduct themselves and guide their congregations. Together, they help us explore the development of an independent, organized religion. x
    • 23
      Revelation: Envisioning God's Reality
      The book of Revelation presents a complex; symbolic; and, at times, even bizarre vision of the present day and the future. In this lecture, Professor Brakke outlines why the Romans persecuted the Christians before turning to the content of Christ's revelation to John. Dive into this fascinating, challenging book. x
    • 24
      The Quest for Unity in the New Testament
      In this final lecture, revisit the paradox between the New Testament's diversity and unity, a single text comprised of 27 different books. See how theologians and scholars over the years have tackled this paradox. Examples include the Christian leaders Irenaeus, Origen, and Martin Luther, as well as modern historical researchers. x
  • America's Musical Heritage

    Professor Anthony Seeger, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In Professor Anthony Seeger’s America’s Musical Heritage, learn how to listen to the music of America with new ears. Produced in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings—proprietor of the vast treasury of American vernacular music—these 12 lectures explore more than 200 years of music from trailblazers like Scott Joplin, the Memphis Jug Band, Woody Guthrie, and many others.
    View Lecture List (12)
    In Professor Anthony Seeger’s America’s Musical Heritage, learn how to listen to the music of America with new ears. Produced in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings—proprietor of the vast treasury of American vernacular music—these 12 lectures explore more than 200 years of music from trailblazers like Scott Joplin, the Memphis Jug Band, Woody Guthrie, and many others.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  America's Musical Heritage
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Inheriting America's Musical Traditions
      Use classic children’s music—everything from jump rope rhymes to lullabies—as a fascinating window into America’s musical traditions and how they open up a plethora of musical doors and memories. Also, get an introduction to some of the many incredible treasures contained in the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series. x
    • 2
      American Revolutionary and Wartime Music
      American music has shaped the meaning of war, making it a more shared experience. Take a closer listen to music from the Revolutionary War (“The President’s March”) and the Civil War (“I’m Going Home to Dixie”), as well as anti-war songs including “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” x
    • 3
      European Empires and American Music
      The United States is built on a foundation of pre-existing musical heritages from people who were already in North America before the nation was born. Survey the musical traditions of the British, French, and Spanish empires, as well as influence from Indigenous groups—some of which still endure to this day. x
    • 4
      Minstrel Shows and Variety Shows
      In this lecture, Professor Seeger wrestles with the development of American minstrel shows in the 1830s, with their roots in slavery and racial stereotypes. Then, he reveals how these problematic shows laid the groundwork for other musical traditions, including circuses, medicine shows, and the popular entertainment known as vaudeville. x
    • 5
      Music of American Movement and Dance
      From square dances (the official state dance in over 20 states) to the waltz (one of America’s earliest dance crazes), investigate the relationship between movement and music in the United States. Discover how the human body can synchronize itself to an external rhythm—a response known as rhythmic entrainment. x
    • 6
      Hymns, Spirituals, and Chants in America
      Examine the main strands of religious music in the United States. Among the many you’ll look at are spirituals (both European and African variations); religious chants from Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim traditions; and ring shouts and shape-note singing. Also, spend time with popular compositions like “Northfield” and “Amazing Grace.” x
    • 7
      Brass Bands, Powwows, and Folk Festivals
      How does music bring like-minded people together? In this lecture, turn to three traditions of voluntary, public music in America: brass bands, powwows, and folk music festivals. Learn how each tradition—despite their unique sounds and histories—offers fellowship, reinforces bonds, and helps foster a sense of communal history. x
    • 8
      American Music of Politics and Protest
      In the United States, the ties between music and political and protest movements are deep and long-standing. Here, explore political parodies known as “zipper songs” and iconic songs about disenfranchised women, workers, and African-Americans, including “Bread and Roses,” “Solidarity Forever,” and “We Shall Overcome.” x
    • 9
      The Banjo: An African Gift to American Music
      Follow the story of the banjo, a musical instrument whose development is intertwined with larger American themes of slavery, conflict, struggle, ingenuity, and musical inventiveness. Plus, learn how musical instruments change shape and sound, and deepen your understanding of the ways we interpret cultural and musical ownership today. x
    • 10
      The Roots of Country Music in America
      Visit the Appalachian region of the Southeast and unearth the roots of “country music” (a term that wasn’t used until the 1950s) in mountain “hillbilly” music. Along the way, consider some of the many tropes of this genre of music, exemplified by a song from 1947 called “Goodbye, Old Paint.” x
    • 11
      American Piano, Ragtime, and Early Jazz
      From concert pianos to player pianos, explore the inner workings of one of music’s most iconic instruments and its many variations. Then, witness the power of the piano in ragtime music (including Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag”) and its role in the emergence of jazz, one of America’s most thrilling musical forms. x
    • 12
      The Musical Gumbo of New Orleans
      What makes the city of New Orleans more musically extraordinary than other American cities? The answer: a rare combination of distinct musical and cultural influences coming together in one place. Professor Seeger closes out this course with an appreciation of the importance of place in American music. x
  • A Field Guide to the Planets

    Professor Sabine Stanley, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Now that we’ve explored every major world in our solar system with cutting-edge science, it’s a perfect time to get to know the neighbors. Your instructor, Sabine Stanley, Ph.D., a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, guides you through this system on a thrilling ride of discovery, illustrated by the phenomenal images NASA has gathered through its telescopes, cameras, and laboratories on Earth; in low-Earth orbit; and throughout the solar system.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Now that we’ve explored every major world in our solar system with cutting-edge science, it’s a perfect time to get to know the neighbors. Your instructor, Sabine Stanley, Ph.D., a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, guides you through this system on a thrilling ride of discovery, illustrated by the phenomenal images NASA has gathered through its telescopes, cameras, and laboratories on Earth; in low-Earth orbit; and throughout the solar system.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  A Field Guide to the Planets
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      How the Solar System Family Is Organized
      Since 1962, robots have been exploring our solar system to help answer this most important question: Who are we? With fascinating data and images now in hand, explore this family album overview of our planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, Kuiper Belt objects, and long-period comets-and fly through some of our solar system's most unique features! x
    • 2
      Mercury, the Extreme Little Planet
      Mercury is a planet of many solar system extremes-smallest planet, closest to the Sun, shortest year, most elliptical orbit, smallest axis tilt, and largest fraction of iron. Learn how these characteristics and others have resulted in a planet where the Sun sometimes moves backwards across the sky, where water ice has been found at the poles, and a magnetic field that offers more protection than Mars'. x
    • 3
      Venus, the Veiled Greenhouse Planet
      While the Venusian carbon dioxide atmosphere has resulted in a runaway greenhouse effect and the hottest surface temperature in the solar system, the Earth and Venus actually contain about the same amount of carbon. Explore the forces that resulted in the extreme atmospheric differences between these two otherwise-similar planets. x
    • 4
      Earth: How Plate Tectonics Sets Up Life
      Given the striking similarities between the four terrestrial planets, why is Earth the only one teeming with life? Proposed as a bold theory less than 70 years ago, could plate tectonics be a main driver of life on Earth? Explore the fascinating movement of our planet's surface and the many ways in which a geologically-active Earth has sustained our biologically-active planet. x
    • 5
      Orbiting Earth: Up through the Atmosphere
      Compared to Venus or the giant planets, Earth has a relatively thin atmosphere. And yet, without this single, fragile layer, life would not have evolved and thrived. Discover the unique properties of each atmospheric layer- and encounter specific ways we've explored each layer as a springboard to exploring the rest of our solar system. x
    • 6
      Exploring the Earth-Moon System
      Our Moon, formed from the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, is by far the largest moon in the solar system relative to its planet's size. Explore the many ways in which this uniquely coupled system affects the tides on Earth and on the Moon, our rotation and revolution, the process of tidal locking, and even the planetary stability that has allowed for the development of life on Earth. x
    • 7
      Humans on the Moon: A Never-Ending Story
      Even before the invention of telescopes, humans were familiar with the dark lunar highlands and bright maria on the Moon's surface. But now, with knowledge gained from both robotic and crewed missions, you can also explore fascinating and complex lunar swirls, sinuous rilles, and the lava tubes that hold promise as ideal locations for future lunar bases. x
    • 8
      Exploring Mars from Space and the Ground
      Humanity's fascination with Mars is never-ending-from the days when we posited a planet covered in straight-line canals and vegetation to NASA's current Moon to Mars program. Learn how the intriguing similarities and differences between Earth and Mars have resulted in Mars' planet-wide dust storms, migrating polar ice caps, and 3.9-billion-year-old impact craters. x
    • 9
      Water on Mars and Prospects for Life
      Recent robotic exploration provides tantalizing evidence: Mars' barren landscape could have been much more Earth-like in the past. With warmer temperatures, a thicker atmosphere, and the possibility of water oceans and tsunamis, could Mars have an Earth sibling that supported life? Learn about the thrilling recent discoveries that will guide future exploration and scientific inquiry on the red planet. x
    • 10
      Near-Earth Asteroids and the Asteroid Belt
      Fans of science fiction, or the natural history of our planet, know that a collision with an asteroid has the potential to obliterate civilization as we know it. With 20,000 asteroids identified in near-Earth orbit, how can collision be avoided? Learn why these rocky bodies, and those in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, never accreted into planets and how we might harness their resources for future space travel. x
    • 11
      Mighty Jupiter, The Ruling Gas Giant
      Does Jupiter have a greater similarity to the Earth or to the Sun? It depends on which characteristics you consider. Explore the many ways in which Jupiter is unique among the planets and consider what our solar system would be like without it. This gas giant might seem too far away to make a difference in your daily life, but without Jupiter, life on Earth might never have had a chance. x
    • 12
      Jupiter's Planetlike System of Moons
      Today we know of 79 Jovian moons-the spherical Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, and dozens of other smaller, odd-shaped satellites. Learn why Jupiter's gravitational forces plus the orbital resonance of the three interior moons make these some of the most promising places to search for extraterrestrial life-and why scientists believe the Jovian system once included generations of other moons, now gone. x
    • 13
      Saturn and the Rings: Gravity's Masterpiece
      With its exquisitely complex ring system, NASA describes Saturn as the jewel of our solar system." Learn what decades of exploration have revealed about the origin and morphology of these ever-changing icy rings and how they interact with Saturn's closest moons. From the rings to propeller moonlets, a massive hexagonal polar storm, and the giant vortex, our fascination with Saturn never ends!" x
    • 14
      Saturn's Moons: Titan to Enceladus
      With a system of 62 moons located in and far beyond its ring system, Saturn has outer moons that are some of the most fascinating worlds in the solar system. Learn why Titan and Enceladus hold such promise in our search for extraterrestrial life-from global subsurface oceans of water on both moons, to Titan's Earth-like surface and organic molecules in its atmosphere. It's no wonder that NASA has announced its Dragonfly mission to Titan, scheduled to launch in 2026. x
    • 15
      Uranus: A Water World on Its Side
      What a fascinating world Voyager 2 revealed in 1986 during its short flyby of Uranus! Learn why Uranus seems to orbit on its side" surrounded by a delicate system of 13 rings and 27 moons, how we discovered its multi-polar magnetic field, and why scientists think Uranus might contain an ocean made of liquid diamond, with floating chunks of solid "diamond-bergs!"" x
    • 16
      Neptune: Windy with the Wildest Moon
      Neptune is the coldest, but also the stormiest, planet in the solar system and the only planet that cannot be seen with the naked eye from Earth. Its moon Triton is the only spherical moon in the solar system that's an irregular satellite that orbits opposite the direction of all the planets. Learn how tidal forces are not only changing that orbit, but also causing geologic activity on its surface-a surface that contains organic compounds. x
    • 17
      Pluto and Charon: The Binary Worlds
      Although Pluto is no longer categorized as a planet, Pluto the dwarf planet" and its "moon" Charon are considered the closest thing in the solar system to a binary planet system. Explore the fascinating revelations from the New Horizons mission, including Pluto's glacial flows, floating mountains, extreme seasons, unexpectedly complex atmosphere, and a surface that appears to be dusted in complex organic molecules." x
    • 18
      Comets, the Kuiper Belt, and the Oort Cloud
      Learn why scientists believe comets-the leftovers" of planet formation in the outer solar system-could be partially responsible for the flourishing of life on Earth, bringing both water and organic material to the inner solar system. And explore the more distant Oort Cloud, where billions of cometary objects orbit at the outermost boundary of the solar system." x
    • 19
      How Our Sun Defines Our Solar System
      Fly through the corona of what is by far the largest, most massive, and most significant object in the solar system: the Sun. In fact, at 99.9 percent of the total mass of the system, you could say the Sun IS the solar system. With its gravity, heat, light, magnetic fields, and plasma storms, learn how the Sun affects every object in the system-and how we are in a race to learn more about coronal mass ejections before one destroys trillions of dollar's worth of electronics on Earth. x
    • 20
      A Solar System Time Machine and Meteorites
      Today we see an orderly solar system with planets staying in their orbits around the sun, moons staying in their orbits around the planets, and comets coming and going in predictable fashion. But how did it all start? Learn how a molecular cloud gave rise to a proto-planetary disk in which our solar system developed step by step across time and space-and is developing still. x
    • 21
      What the Biggest Exoplanets Reveal
      Planets orbiting other stars used to be purely in the realm of science fiction. How did we begin discovering them by the thousands? Learn about the methods scientists have used to discover so many exoplanets so quickly. From hot Jupiters" to "mini-Neptunes" to planets whose clouds rain molten glass, these discoveries demonstrate that ours is not the only type of planetary system possible!" x
    • 22
      Closing in on Earthlike Exoplanets
      Beginning in 2009, the Kepler Space Telescope began staring intensively at a single patch of sky, about one quarter of one percent of the sky. After staring for four years straight, scientists had identified about 1,200 new planets. Sift through the Kepler discoveries for planets with a variety of Earth-like features, including presence in a habitable" zone, and learn why billions of Earthlike planets are estimated to exist in our galaxy." x
    • 23
      Planets Migrated in Our Early Solar System!
      The surprising detection of gas giant planets orbiting extremely close to other stars has led to the realization that planets can form in one part of a stellar system and then migrate to another part. Did that happen in our own solar system? Learn about the evidence for a Late Heavy Bombardment" on the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, how migration of one or more giant planets could have caused it, and how such migration could have affected the solar system we see today." x
    • 24
      Human Futures in the Solar System
      What are the next big ideas that will help us ask and answer the next big questions? Consider the fascinating future technologies of centimeter-sized satellites propelled by laser photons, liquid mirror telescopes on the Moon, a magnetic shield large enough to help terraform Mars, and more. Nourish your imagination, and experience the inspiration of space exploration! x
  • Learning German: A Journey through Language and Culture

    Professor James Pfrehm, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Taught by Professor James Pfrehm of Ithaca College, this course teaches all the skills needed to understand and speak basic German. Focusing on major attractions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, these lessons are perfect preparation for anyone who wants to experience German-speaking culture first-hand: from conversing with locals to reading signs and menus to navigating the railways and Autobahn.
    View Lecture List (30)
    Taught by Professor James Pfrehm of Ithaca College, this course teaches all the skills needed to understand and speak basic German. Focusing on major attractions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, these lessons are perfect preparation for anyone who wants to experience German-speaking culture first-hand: from conversing with locals to reading signs and menus to navigating the railways and Autobahn.
    View Lecture List (30)
    30 Lectures  |  Learning German: A Journey through Language and Culture
    Lecture Titles (30)
    • 1
      Willkommen!
      Guten Tag! Your first lesson in German introduces you to useful expressions and some of the distinctive sounds of the language. Professor Pfrehm shows how to turn u into u (u with an umlaut) and how to transform ch, spoken in the front part of the mouth (as in ich, meaning I"), into German's back-of-the-throat ch (as in the composer Bach). And, you'll discover why German is worth learning." x
    • 2
      Definite Articles, Gender, and Nouns
      Meet German's three definite articles-der, die, and das-which correspond to masculine, feminine, and neuter grammatical genders. Get tips on how to predict the gender of nouns. Learn the names of the letters of the alphabet and their pronunciations. Survey the countries where German is an official language. And add to your growing vocabulary-from der Arm (arm) to die Zeit (time). x
    • 3
      Personal Pronouns and the Verb sein
      Warm up with Zungenbrecher (literally, tongue-breakers"). These are phrases that add fun to learning German pronunciation. Then study the singular and plural forms of the personal pronouns. Practice conjugating the most important verb in the German language, sein (to be). Finally, discover how to make singular nouns plural, looking for patterns that will aid memorization." x
    • 4
      Regular Verbs in the Present Tense
      Begin with the greeting, Wie geht's? (more formally, Wie geht es Ihnen?) Rehearse responses, such as, Es geht mir gut and Es geht mir Ausgezeichnet. Practice conjugating present-tense regular verbs, and discover the wonderful utility of the indefinite pronoun man. Finally, learn the German names and nationalities for European countries. Along the way, encounter a new sound: the a-umlaut, a. x
    • 5
      Indefinite Articles and Numbers to 100
      Indulge your appetite for German by learning the protocol for ordering drinks in a pub and treats in a bakery. Dip into the relevant vocabulary, focusing on the indefinite articles and the numbers from 0 to 100, which are pleasingly like numbers in English. Get a taste of German's famous system of word endings, known as inflections, which are packed with useful grammatical information. x
    • 6
      Eine Reise nach Wien und Salzburg
      Travel to two cities in Austria, Vienna (called Wien) and Salzburg, to practice your fundamental skills in German. Learn useful expressions for giving directions. Then investigate the beautifully simple word gern, which expresses approval or enjoyment. Find out how to negate a statement with a well-placed nicht. And along the way, you'll drool over Vienna's multitude of delicious coffee libations! x
    • 7
      Asking Questions and Numbers above 100
      Start with another satisfying Zungenbrecher. Then get acquainted with the different ways of asking questions-both open-ended and close-ended questions. Survey the interrogative pronouns, focusing on the special uses of wo, wohin, and woher, which all mean where," but with distinct implications regarding motion and place. Finally, learn to count to a billion! (Without saying every single number on the way.)" x
    • 8
      The Nominative and Accusative Cases, and kein-
      Plunge into German's grammatical case system, covering the nominative and accusative cases, which correspond to the subject and direct object. View a declension table of nominative and accusative endings for articles, and practice them in a tour of a typical house, learning household words. And discover how to negate a noun phrase with kein, and the supreme utility of the expression, es gibt. x
    • 9
      Time in German and Possessive Pronouns
      Wie viel Uhr ist es? (What time is it?) Learn to tell time and how to read a railway timetable. Rehearse using the prepositions um, von, and bis in a temporal context. Also discover that German has three distinct words that cover our English term, time." Then dive into possessive pronouns-in singular and plural, as well as nominative and accusative-picking up new vocabulary along the way." x
    • 10
      Coordinating Conjunctions and der- Words
      Coordinating conjunctions-such as aber, denn, oder, sondern, and und-allow you to link two dependent clauses in expressive ways. Get the hang of these simple words that let you say complex things. Then unlock the secret of German syntax with the Word Position Model. Finally, study a handy class of noun modifiers, called der-words, that have endings patterned after the definite article. x
    • 11
      Modal Verbs and More Accusative
      Use the public service messages on German Bierdeckeln (beer coasters) to launch into modal verbs-a two-part verb construction that expresses desire, necessity, or possibility, as in Ich mochte Deutsch lernen (I would like to learn German). Review the months, seasons, and days of the week. Also, see how the accusative case is used with certain expressions of time and after specific prepositions. x
    • 12
      Eine Reise nach Munchen und Rothenburg ob der Tauber
      Prost! Open with toasting customs at Oktoberfest in Munchen (Munich). Your visit to this vibrant city and to charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber introduce you to stem-vowel changing irregular verbs-those that undergo a simple vowel change in the present tense, second-person familiar, and third-person forms. These verbs are generally so common that the irregular forms are quickly memorized. x
    • 13
      Present Perfect and da- and wo- Compounds
      Learn to form compounds with da- and wo- plus a preposition, as in dahin (to there) and wohin (to where?). Then leave the present tense to meet your first past-tense form, confusingly called the present perfect. Concentrating on verbs classified as weak, discover that their present perfect forms are satisfyingly regular. Finally, practice getting these syntactic elements in the right order. x
    • 14
      Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren
      Via a love story, encounter irregular strong verbs in the present perfect tense. Along the way, find out where the terms weak and strong come from (hint: the same scholar who compiled a famous collection of German fairy tales). Then explore vowel changes, known as ablaut, which characterize strong verbs. Cover all seven ablaut classes. Also, learn about model verbs and mixed-class verbs. x
    • 15
      Separable-Prefix Verbs
      Open with a tutorial on the refuse recycling system in Germany, leading to final pointers on the present perfect, which for native speakers is the most widely used tense for expressing past events in everyday speech. Then tackle another widely used grammatical feature, separable-prefix verbs, seeing how they fit into the Word Position Model introduced in Lesson 10. Finally, go clothes shopping! x
    • 16
      Subordinate and Infinitive Clauses
      Meet two German superstars-singers Herbert Gronemeyer and Annemarie Eilfeld-in a dialogue that covers subordinate and infinitive clauses. Together with indirect questions, which are formed just like subordinate clauses, these constructions take your German fluency to a new level. Then, use the Word Position Model, plus fresh insights into word order, to build a classic long sentence in German. x
    • 17
      More Infinitive Clauses and the Dative Case
      Sankt Nikolaus (Father Christmas) sings a holiday song and introduces the useful dependent clause, um...zu + infinitive. Also learn how to deal with the dative-the case used for indirect objects and that answers the question, to whom or for whom?" Practice fitting this form between the subject and direct object, and see how it relates to the case forms you've already learned." x
    • 18
      Eine Reise nach Zurich und Zermatt
      Visit two attractions in German-speaking Switzerland: the charming city Zurich and the Alpine resort Zermatt. Featuring a chocolate factory and other delights, the dialogue brings up the dative forms of possessive pronouns, which follow the pattern of ein-words. Next, learn the dative endings for der-words. Finally, discover an interesting exception to word order rules presented earlier. x
    • 19
      Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns
      Learn parts of the human body from two unusual experts: male and female Schaufensterpuppen (mannequins). Then, visit a German doctor in a dialogue that introduces reflexive verbs and pronouns. These verbs involve actions that refer back to the subject of the clause, such as sich fuhlen (to feel; or literally, to feel oneself). The examples you cover take pronouns in the accusative case. x
    • 20
      More Dative and Subordinating Conjunctions
      Continue your study of reflexive verbs and pronouns by looking at constructions that require the pronoun in the dative case. One example is the very useful sentence Das ist mir egal (I don't care). Then step back and consider the four major uses of the dative. Also learn how "The Blue Danube" waltz by Johann Strauss II is the key to learning some of the most common prepositions with dative objects. x
    • 21
      The Simple Past
      Delve into the checkered past of Professor Pfrehm as you learn about ... the past-the simple past, that is. This tense is different in form from the present perfect you learned in Lessons 13-15, but its meaning is the same, though it is mostly used in formal writing. Cover the simple past forms of the verbs sein, haben, and geben, and the modal verbs mussen, konnen, mogen, durfen, wollen, and sollen. x
    • 22
      Bauerin Barbel und die drei rotbartigen Zwerge
      Enter the world of fantasy with a Marchen (fairy tale) designed especially for this course to present verbs in the simple past tense. Featuring a widow in distress, strange little men with red beards, and a gruesome plot twist, the story is so thrilling that the seven classes of simple past endings for strong verbs, plus the much less complicated paradigms for weak verbs, will go down like candy. x
    • 23
      More Simple Past and Relative Pronouns
      Reach the exciting conclusion of the fairy tale from the previous lesson, while finishing your exploration of the simple past. Then turn to vocabulary for professions and the workplace, using it to construct sentences that present a new grammatical element: relative pronouns. Learn 12 of the 16 relative pronouns, which happen to be identical to the definite articles (with one exception). x
    • 24
      Eine Reise nach Hamburg und Cuxhaven
      Travel to two more intriguing destinations in the German-speaking world: the bustling German port of Hamburg and the quaint seaside town of Cuxhaven. Hear about die Wattwanderung, a remarkable walk across an extensive mudflat near Cuxhaven. Meanwhile, learn to form the imperative mood, which is used to issue commands, and practice constructing relative clauses with prepositions. x
    • 25
      Two-Way Prepositions and Verbs That Use Them
      So far, you have studied prepositions that always take the dative case (bei, mit, von, etc.) or the accusative (durch, bis, fur, etc.). Now, look at those that can take either case, depending on the context. These two-way" prepositions include an, auf, and in. Study the verbs that often accompany them, expressing either location (and, therefore, dative) or placement/destination (hence accusative)." x
    • 26
      Comparative/Superlative and Adjective Endings
      Professor Pfrehm introduces his three favorite German-language movies-a war film, a spy drama, and a sci-fi thriller-giving tips on the best way to watch them to improve your German comprehension, all while being entertained! His goal is not film criticism, but rather teaching you how to construct comparative and superlative sentences. After that, he tackles the three sets of adjectival endings. x
    • 27
      The Genitive Case and the Passive Voice
      Practice your first joke in German. Then meet the fourth and final German case-the genitive-completing your study of the case system. See how von + a dative construction performs the same function as the genitive. Then turn to prepositions that take the genitive, such as wegen, trotz, and laut. Finally, plunge into the passive voice, learning how to turn the object of a sentence into the subject. x
    • 28
      The Subjunctive Mood
      So far, you have been using mostly the indicative mood-the verbal form used to express reality and facts-with a brief foray into the imperative mood used to express commands (in Lesson 24). Now, learn the mood for expressing contrary-to-fact or hypothetical situations: the subjunctive. The dialogue centers around the frustrations and second thoughts attending the purchase of a new smartphone. x
    • 29
      Eine Reise nach Wittenberg und Berlin
      Dig deeper into the subjunctive by learning to express hypotheticals in the past tense. The dialogue takes you through eastern Germany via the famous Autobahn: first to Wittenberg, site of Martin Luther's historic challenge to the Catholic Church, and then on to Berlin, where you survey some of the many monuments and museums, including sites commemorating the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust. x
    • 30
      Our Journey: The End or Just the Beginning?
      Finish with a series of unaided dialogues of increasing difficulty, covering grammar you have studied in the course. You'll be surprised at how much you understand! Looking ahead, Professor Pfrehm offers tips and strategies for improving your German, from getting a German-speaking, video-chat pal to subscribing to German language podcasts. And so, viel Gluck, auf Wiedersehen, und bis gleich! x
  • The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin

    Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In the 12 lectures of The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin, investigate communism’s journey from a theory to a movement that rocked the world. You’ll meet thinkers and revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky; unpack the meaning of texts like Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto; and experience the shock and awe of the Paris Commune, Lenin’s October Revolution, and other events.
    View Lecture List (12)
    In the 12 lectures of The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin, investigate communism’s journey from a theory to a movement that rocked the world. You’ll meet thinkers and revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky; unpack the meaning of texts like Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto; and experience the shock and awe of the Paris Commune, Lenin’s October Revolution, and other events.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      The Locomotive of History
      Come to see Lenin's arrival at Petrograd's Finland Station in April 1917 as one of the most important turning points in modern history: the establishment of a communist regime after decades of theory. Also, preview the themes you'll explore in these lectures, and get solid definitions of terms such as communism and socialism. x
    • 2
      Marx and Engels: An Intellectual Partnership
      The revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would rock society-and soon affect the lives of millions of people. Here, explore their body of theory (known as dialectical materialism") and learn how Marxism offered something different: a tableau of history with starring roles played by the toiling masses and economic forces." x
    • 3
      The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital
      First, unpack the meaning of the revolutionary messages in The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Then, use a basic vocabulary of Marxist concepts to better understand Marx's model of history and economics. Last, examine how the revolutionary lives of Marx and Engels sought to unify theory with practice. x
    • 4
      The 1871 Paris Commune as a Model of Revolt
      Investigate the violent upheaval of the Paris Commune in 1871: a political experiment that lasted a mere 10 weeks. The Paris Commune would make Marx one of the most feared and hated men in the world; although it failed, Marx considered it a living example of the dictatorship of the proletariat."" x
    • 5
      Marxism after Marx
      In the decades following the death of Marx in 1883, the socialist movement grew-but also became highly factional over arguments about theory and organizational tactics. In this lecture, learn about the rise of political parties in Germany and America, the establishment of the Second International, and the struggle over revisionism."" x
    • 6
      Revolutionary Russias
      Why did a Marxist regime come to power in Russia of all places-especially when Marx considered it an unpromising place for a proletarian revolution? Professor Liulevicius tackles this question and also probes Russia's revolutionary tradition and the ideas of Georgi Plekhanov, the figure who did the most to bring Marx's teachings to Russia. x
    • 7
      The Making of Lenin
      Take a detailed look at the life of Lenin, whose ideas and actions propelled him to become the first man to bring communist theory into power in 1917. Here, focus on Lenin's hardness in the face of the 1891-1892 famine, his manifesto What Is to Be Done?, and the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions. x
    • 8
      World War I as a Revolutionary Opportunity
      With the outbreak of the First World War, Lenin-who called war an accelerator of history"-had the world crisis he could turn to his advantage. Topics here include Marxist debates over the philosophies of defensism vs. defeatism, the arrival of Leon Trotsky and his theory of "permanent revolution," and the widening rift between socialists and communists." x
    • 9
      Red October: How the Bolsheviks Seized Power
      The Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917, a moment that would be celebrated afterward as Red October, or the Great October Socialist Revolution. Here, examine the formula for success behind the Bolshevik takeover, the mythologizing of Red October in film and music, and the dawn of a new secret police force: the Cheka. x
    • 10
      Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary Martyr
      Spend time with one of the most famous women radicals in history: the Polish-German socialist Rosa Luxemburg. Follow her revolutionary activities throughout Switzerland, Poland, and Germany; her support of spontaneous revolt over centralized conspiracy; her struggles with the ambiguities of revolutionary devotion; and her ultimate martyrdom. x
    • 11
      The Red Bridge to World Revolution
      How does a revolutionary regime build a bridge to world revolution? After a look at the Third International, or Comintern," created in 1919 to spread the message of global revolution, explore failed attempts at sovietizing Hungary and Bavaria and the Soviet-Polish War of 1920, which dashed remaining hopes for linking up with Germany." x
    • 12
      Toward a New Communist Civilization
      Follow the trajectory of Bolshevik social experiments to inaugurate a new civilization up through the death of Lenin in 1924. You'll learn about Lenin's monumental propaganda" plan, which changed the appearance of Russia; the nationalist program of "putting down roots"; party recruitment drives and purges; and even the mummification of Lenin's body." x
  • The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine

    Instructor Paul Wagner, Wine Author and Lecturer

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    With nearly 150,000 wines for sale in the U.S. market, the world of wine can seem needlessly complex. Cut through the clutter with eight down-to-earth, practical, and accessible lessons that will take the intimidation factor out of choosing, drinking, and enjoying wines, led by Professor Paul Wagner, who has dedicated his career to what he calls, “democratizing wine appreciation.” From swirl to finish, he’ll introduce you to the vocabulary you need to speak intelligently about wine and to understand what each term means when it comes to finding wines you’ll love.
    View Lecture List (8)
    With nearly 150,000 wines for sale in the U.S. market, the world of wine can seem needlessly complex. Cut through the clutter with eight down-to-earth, practical, and accessible lessons that will take the intimidation factor out of choosing, drinking, and enjoying wines, led by Professor Paul Wagner, who has dedicated his career to what he calls, “democratizing wine appreciation.” From swirl to finish, he’ll introduce you to the vocabulary you need to speak intelligently about wine and to understand what each term means when it comes to finding wines you’ll love.
    View Lecture List (8)
    8 Lectures  |  The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine
    Lecture Titles (8)
    • 1
      How to Explore Your Glass of Wine
      In this lesson, we explore how to use four of our five senses to explore a glass of wine, and what these senses can tell us not only about the wine, but also about our own taste profiles and sensitivities. This is the first step toward determining which wines we really like the best. x
    • 2
      Key Elements in Wine and How to Taste Them
      When sommeliers talk about wine, they focus on a few key elements that define wine style and character. Now that you know how to use your senses to taste wine, let's use those tools to identify these elements and help you understand them. And in the meantime, this will also let you speak to those crazy sommeliers in their own language! x
    • 3
      Choosing White Wines
      What kind of white wines do you like? In this lesson, we'll explore the best-known white wines and get a basic idea of what each one tastes like. Once you are familiar with these, you'll be able to talk to a sommelier in a restaurant without fear, and you'll be able to use these examples to understand thousands of other wines in the world. x
    • 4
      Choosing Red Wines
      Now that you have a firm grip on white wines, let's tackle red wines using the same basic techniques. And since there are even more styles of red wine than white, this one will be even more fun-and more helpful in your visits to a restaurant or wine shop. x
    • 5
      Choosing Sparkling and Dessert Wines
      While 90 percent of the world's wines fall into the categories of red and white, here is where we discover the rest, from sparkling wines and roses to legendary dessert wines and aperitifs. Sure, sparkling wine may be perfect for celebrations, but by the time we are done with this lesson, you'll use it for far more than that. And you'll have a lot of other wines that will serve just as well. x
    • 6
      The History of Wine: From Babylon to James Bond
      Since the beginning of recorded history, wine has enjoyed a special place in social celebrations around the world. In this lesson, we follow the course of wine's role in society and how it affects the way we enjoy wine today. x
    • 7
      The Wine Service Ritual in Restaurants
      There are few things that cause as much anxiety as ordering wine at a fine dining restaurant. And yet, it doesn't have to be this way. This lesson explains each step of formal wine service, gives tips on the best way to proceed, and focuses on how you can you best use this moment to make sure that your wine, and your dinner, are a success. x
    • 8
      Having Fun with Wine
      Wine isn't just another drink. It's part of a meal, part of a celebration, or maybe just a celebration in itself. This lesson will lead you through the ways that wine can add joy to lots of different occasions and guide you to find the ones that might be best for you or for your guests to enjoy in any situation. x