History and Culture Courses

Spring 2016


Re-Writing the Past: Thomas Chatterton To Iolo Morganwg

Poets and forgers of traditional materials, Thomas Chatterton and Welsh antiquarian Edward Williams-better known by his bardic name of Iolo Morganwg-are the focus of this presentation. Dr. Gray discusses their powerful influence on the romantic movement in Chatterton's case; and on the resurgence of interest in all things Celtic (in Morganwg's case). Selections from their works guide her discussion of how such work is to be valued in a literary sense.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-505-J1 | 04/20/16-04/20/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Romancing the Scotish Lowlands: From Robert Burns to Walter Scott

Two great Scottish writers, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, are focused on in this lecture that will explore their very different lives and works. Special attention is given to the dramatic ways in which each man reveals, transmits, and then himself contributed to the colorful culture and traditions of Scotland. Dr. Gray also explores their place in the wider romantic and Celtic literary spirit of the time and discusses the distinction between "lowland" and "highland" Scotland.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-506-K1 | 05/25/16-05/25/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Thomas Jefferson and the Louisianna Purchase, 1803-1812

Explore Jefferson's political philosophy, and why he abandoned it in the purchase and governance of the Louisiana Territory. Also under discussion are the expedition of Lewis & Clark and its multiple facets, and the treason and trial of Aaron Burr, overseen by Jefferson.

Fee: $63 Senior Adult Fee: $38 Materials Fee: $4 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-515-J | 04/12/16-05/03/16 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


The First Three French and Indian Wars, 1688-1744

The "WAG Wars" established the causes for the last French & Indian War, which set the stage for the American Revolution. This course will cover the background causes, events in France's and Great Britain's colonies, and results of each war. Roles played by colonies of the region will also be discussed.

Fee: $63 Senior Adult Fee: $38 Materials Fee: $4 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-516-K | 05/24/16-06/14/16 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


C & O Canal

This one-day seminar examines the efforts to provide water transportation up the Potomac Valley. It begins with colonial times, and culminates with the establishment of the C & O Canal National Historical Park.

Fee: $67 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-525-K | 05/07/16-05/07/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


C & O Canal Walk

Explore the rich history of the C & O Canal Towpath with Dr. Karen Gray. We'll spend an afternoon learning about the history of the canal, specifically around Dams 4 & 5, and McMahon's Mill. Plan to meet at the Park & Ride on I-70 just below the SW quadrant of the interchange with 622/Downsville Pike. Transportation will be provided to parts of the walk by bus.

Fee: $39 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-526-K | 05/15/16-05/15/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Cicero: a Man for All Seasons

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a philosopher and Linguist, as well as a powerful lawyer, orator, and statesman. But in addition, he was a political theorist and a Roman Constitutionalist who championed the Roman Republican government in the face of civil war and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar. In this lecture, Dr. Karen Gray provides a richly-illustrated PowerPoint presentation on his life and thought, including selections from his writings that reveal much about his time as well as speak, with surprising relevance, to our own time in particular and the human situation in general.  Time is allowed for discussion at the conclusion of the lecture.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-752-L | 06/22/16-06/22/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Summer 2016


Exploring Viking History and Lore

Among the old Icelandic sagas are two that have come to be called the Vinland Sagas. They contain the oldest European descriptions of North America and the stories of the vikings? experiences sailing to and from it, and briefly living there. In these lectures Dr. Karen Gray provides and overview of the Viking culture and period, the building and sailing of Viking ships, and the two sagas of their journeys to America, 500 years before Columbus.

Fee: $80 Senior Adult Fee: $54 Materials Fee: $5 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-519-A | 07/06/16-07/27/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


The Early Viking Movement

For a three hundred year period, from about 780 to 1070, Viking people from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway engaged in what is called the "Viking Movement." It took them as far as Greenland and North America to the north and west, the Mediterranean in the South, and deep into Russia to the east. In this lecture Dr. Gray discusses the history of this movement as well as the difficulties with the Christian annals and chronicles that are our primary source of information on this movement.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-520-A | 07/06/16-07/06/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Viking Voyages

Much has been learned in recent years about the way the Vikings built their ships and sailed them. In this lecture Dr. Gray surveys the most recent understandings, some of it gained from building and sailing contemporary replicas such as the Sea Stallion. Sections of the sagas that shed light on the Viking's sailing experience are read as part of the lecture.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-521-A | 07/13/16-07/13/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


The Greenlander's Saga: Erik the Red And Leif Eriksson

Containing the stories of men such as Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson, the Greenlander?s saga is rich in Viking lore as well as seeds of historic fact. Dr. Gray discusses the source of the saga and brings in information from archaeology and other fields as she discusses the stories, people, and culture of the saga.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-522-A | 07/20/16-07/20/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Gudrid's Saga

The second saga might well be called Gudrid's saga, as the story of this Viking woman is a strong thread running through it. Dr. Gray will focus particularly upon Gudrid in this lecture as well as make comparisons between this saga and that of the Greenlanders where they overlap.

Fee: $20 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-523-A | 07/27/16-07/27/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register