History and Culture Courses

Spring 2015


American Dynasty the Roosevelt

Join D.C. Tour Director, Carol Bessette, as she leads you on this interesting new tour featuring the Roosevelts: Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor. We will begin at the FDR Memorial, and then head to Teddy Roosevelt Island, a place most Washingtonians have never seen. We will have a buffet lunch in the Vantage Point Restaurant, on the 17th floor overlooking Georgetown with beautiful panoramic views, in Arlington, V.A. After lunch, we will continue our tour into the Lafayette Square Historic District and learn more Roosevelt stories, as well as a stop to see the house where Franklin and Eleanor were living when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Tour fee includes a fully-equipped motor coach, gratuity, any entrance fees, and buffet lunch. Departure is from the Valley Mall.

Fee: $77 Registration Fee: $8

ANE-314-J | 04/30/15-04/30/15 | C. Bessette | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Early French Tristan Isolde

One of the better known Celtic myths that became part of the Arthurian cycle is that of the adulterous love affair between Tristan, nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, and the king's mid-12th century French manuscript but also surveys briefly some other extensive sources of the tales.

Fee: $15 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-455-J | 04/29/15-04/29/15 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Native American Beliefs

Explore pre-and post-contact Native American religious beliefs of the Northeast, including Maryland, with Deborah "Turtle" Swartz. In this fascinating course, participants will learn about the difference between soul and spirit; the concepts of heaven, supporters and helpers and a afterlife, as well as discover how these beliefs are implemented in Native American cultures - from regalia to festivals to the mourning war concepts. Compare the differences of Native American beliefs to basic beliefs of other word wide religions.

Fee: $60 Senior Adult Fee: $35 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-461-K | 05/04/15-05/18/15 | D. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Iroquois American Revolution

Learn why and how Great Britain employed the Iroquoian Confederacy against the 13 colonies in the American Revolution. We will cover Iroquoian involvement in the war effort from 1777 to 1782-particularly in the colonies of New York and Pennsylvania and in the Ohio country. We will learn why two nations of the League - the Oneida and the Tuscarora-primarily fought with the patriots and how the Revolution became a civil war within their League. We will also learn of the treaties ending the war and how the League was geographically divided.

Fee: $60 Senior Adult Fee: $36 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-465-J | 04/13/15-04/27/15 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Washingtons & Lees of North Va

Join historian Roger Swartz as we tour Washington's childhood home, Pope's Creek Plantation, i and Stratford Hall, Robert E. Lee's boyhood home and the home of his ancestors: Thomas Lee (formed the Ohio Company of VA and MD-a fur trading company that led to conflict with the French in the Ohio Valley and the French & Indian War; Richard Henry Lee (made motion for independence in 1776), and Lightfoot Lee (signed the Declaration of Independence). There will be an en route lecture giving background to Washington's family as well as the Lees. Our goal is to point out the contrast between the two homes and show the difference in economic status between Virginia aristocracy and the "middling folk" represented by the Washingtons. Space is limited. Bring a bag lunch to eat under the Pope's Creek pavilion. Fee includes a fully-equipped motor coach, gratuity, and entrance fees. Departure is from the Valley Mall.

Fee: $69 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-466-K | 05/14/15-05/14/15 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


1765: Rebels in the Land

Discover the Conocheague District's Black Boys rebellion against the policies of Great Britain. Topics include: reasons for civil disobedience and fighting British forces in the Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley and Bedford, the major events, the results. We will then analyze why these disturbances were local in nature. Finally we will compare and contrast the Black Boys to the Paxtang Boys in the upper Cumberland Valley and present day Harrisburg. The second portion deals with the Stamp Act crisis of 1765. We will discuss the causes for the Act, its provisions, and why it met political and physical resistance in all 13 colonies. Finally, we will analyze the impact of this crisis. 2015 marks the 250th anniversary of both events.

Fee: $60 Senior Adult Fee: $36 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-467-K | 05/05/15-05/26/15 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Thomas Jefferson's Legacy

This program first covers major events in Jefferson's private and public life, as well as his personal traits. Topics include those for which he wanted to be remembered: the University of Virginia; religious toleration in Virginia; and the Declaration of Independence. Others include: the Louisiana Purchase; slavery at Monticello; the Kentucky Resolutions; his attempts at curbing Federalist foreign policy of presidents Washington and Adams; and his efforts to reduce federalist government and the results in his administration while president. Finally, we will analyze and discuss his place in American history.

Fee: $60 Senior Adult Fee: $36 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-468-L | 06/08/15-06/29/15 | R. Swartz | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register


Summer 2015


Nag Hammadi Coptic Gnostic Lib

In 1945 a collection of 12 leather-bound papyrus books was found sealed in a large jar at the base of cliffs on the west side of the Nile in Upper Egypt. These 4th century manuscripts contain texts now identified as gnostic and that provide intriguing views of Jesus and those around him, as well as reveal early Christian understandings and beliefs that subsequently vanished. In most cases they represent the only copy of these works that we have, and as such they dramatically changed our understanding of the diversity of the writings shared and preserved by early Christian believers. In these lectures Dr. Gray recounts the dramatic story of the discovery and dispersion of the codices, before the nature of the find was understood. She also includes readings from and discussion of selected texts from such sources as the uniquely important Gospel of Thomas, a treatise on the origin of the world, and a gnostically-modified version of Plato's Republic. In the process, she draws on some of the most recent scholarship and translations. Dr. Gray's lectures are heavily illustrated with PowerPoint slides and followed by a half-hour discussion period.

Fee: $72 Senior Adult Fee: $45 Registration Fee: $8

DIS-470-A | 07/08/15-07/22/15 | K. Gray | Check WebAdvisor for course details and Register