History and Culture Courses

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


Fall 2016


An Introduction to the U.S. Constitution

This course will discover how the federal government was formed by the adoption, by the Continental Congress, of the Articles of Confederation. Students will explore the shortcomings and defects of the Articles, and how those led to the development of the Constitutional Congress' call for a Constitutional Convention. The proceedings of the convention, and the debates that ensued after the new Constitution was offered for ratification, will also be discussed. The Bill of Rights' origin and passage will be visited briefly, and the various sections of the Constitution and their interpretations by court systems, will also be addressed.

Fee: $80 Senior Adult Fee: $48 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-518-C | 09/12/16-10/31/16 | J. Warner | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Jewish Scriptures: Their Origin, Greek Version, Apocrypha, and Early Christian Uses

Attend this intriguing new series from Dr. Karen Gray. Through four different sessions, students will examine the roots and formation of the Jewish canon, its versions, and the various uses Christians made of Jewish sacred writings. The course will also include selections from non-canonical writings treasured by the Hebrew people, and the adaptation and incorporation of Jewish writings into Christian doctrines is considered.

Fee: $87 Senior Adult Fee: $52 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-527-C | 09/28/16-12/07/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Origins of Jewish Scriptures

This course considers from where the writings that came to be regarded as sacred by the Hebrew people originated. It surveys the relationship of oral to written texts, the redactions made during the centuries before scribes sought to freeze them in immutable form, and how the canon of what would be regarded as the most sacred texts formed.

Fee: $22 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-528-C | 09/28/16-09/28/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


The Septuagint

The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the sacred Hebrew texts made in Egypt in 300-200 BC, and this presentation surveys the history and reason for its making, and what is known today of the quality of the translation and the sources in the possession of the translators. Dr. Gray looks at some of the details learned about Hebrew scripture in general, and the Septuagint in particular, from the Septuagint manuscripts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Fee: $22 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-529-D | 10/19/16-10/19/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Jewish Apocrypha and Other Non-Canonical Writings

This course reviews works that were treasured by the Hebrew people. Many of these writings were prophetical works from post-exile Judaism. Dr. Gray also provides an overview of the Book of Enoch, and the complex Enochian tradition, and its literature. As well as providing background information, this class includes selections from these fascinating works.

Fee: $22 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-531-E | 11/16/16-11/16/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Early Christian Uses of Jewish Scriptures

This course explores Christian sources for and versions of Jewish religious writings used, in particular, by New Testament authors and the Church Fathers. How Christians understood and adapted Jewish writings to their own doctrines and teachings is considered. Furthermore, texts of particularly great importance to Christian theology are selected for special attention, and discussed.

Fee: $22 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-532-F | 12/07/16-12/07/16 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Maryland's Blue Ridge: 1.2 Billon Years Of History

Maryland Blue Ridge History and Culture will feature an interactive overview of the long and rich history of our region. We will focus on South Mountain, Catoctin Mountain, and the intermontane area in between, and will also relate this material to the history of the adjacent valleys. We will examine the complex geologic history of the area, focusing on the Blue Ridge orogeny, as well as the flora and fauna of the region as they developed over time. The course will also touch on Paleoindian and Native American history, European settlement, and the role of the Civil War, focusing on the Maryland Campaign of 1862. The culture and folklore of the area will be explored, as will attempts at conservation and preservation of local areas. Two field trips will be a component of this course, and students will meet at the field trip site. Some walking during these trips will be required.

Fee: $187 Senior Adult Fee: $109 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-534-C | 09/14/16-11/18/16 | R. Cook | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692

These infamous trials have been described as our "national crackup" en route to the United States Constitution. It is one of the seminal episodes in colonial American history where the central roles are held by women and girls. In this program, we'll discuss the background of witchcraft in Europe and the New England colonies, particularly Puritan Massachusetts Bay, where the trials occurred. We'll cover the roles of religion, culture, war, and economics as possible background causes for the hysteria produced. Husbands accused their wives; children accused adults; neighbors accused neighbors. We'll cover the immediate causes; the trials themselves, and the results, which included the executions of fourteen women and five men. We'll also learn how and why these trials came to an abrupt ending, and the role that witchcraft plays in a society.

Fee: $68 Senior Adult Fee: $46 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-535-D | 10/11/16-10/25/16 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Slavery in Colonial America

In this class, we'll investigate why and how Native American nations enslaved their own and other ethnic groups. We'll learn how American colonies, particularly Massachusetts and South Carolina, accelerated the enslavement of Native Americans. We'll also discover why European colonies in the Caribbean used Native Americans as slaves. We'll cover why certain agricultural crops grown in America and the Caribbean, such as tobacco, rice, and sugar cane, was labor intensive; and employed task and gang labor. Finally, we'll see why these regions enslaved Africans, and investigate the relationships between Native Americans and African-Americans.

Fee: $68 Senior Adult Fee: $46 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-536-C | 09/13/16-09/27/16 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


The 1778 Rhode Island Campaign in the American Revolution

The military campaign involved key figures of the American Revolution, such as Nathaniel Greene and George Washington. It was unique in that its geography included the mainland, islands, and open sea--even a hurricane--spanning New York to Boston. It included the country's first fully integrated regiment of African-Americans and Native Americans. For the first time it involved the Franco-American Alliance of 1778. We'll review failed attempts to wrest control of Rhode Island from the British prior to 1778; we'll ascertain how our government, under the Articles of Confederation, contributed to failure. We'll cover the main events and why they also failed. We'll discover how the foreign alliance with France was quickly frayed by US General John Sullivan, commander of American forces for this campaign, and how said alliance was subsequently repaired.

Fee: $68 Senior Adult Fee: $46 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-537-E | 11/15/16-11/29/16 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register