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Arts, Humanities and Sciences

Deepen your understanding of the world through a range of engaging arts, humanities, sciences and interdisciplinary courses taught by outstanding Rice University faculty and other experts. Join a lively intellectual community and learn about timely and timeless issues in our regularly changing roster of courses.

Spring Courses

World War I: 100 Years Later   John Bradley Starts: February 14
In honor of the 100th anniversary of World War I, military historian John Bradley explores the precursors, campaigns and legacy of the “War to End All Wars.”

The Future of Human Evolution   Scott E. Solomon, Ph.D. Starts: February 20
Drawing on research from genetics, demography, psychology, microbiology and medicine, Dr. Scott Solomon reviews our evolutionary past, examining how we continue to evolve and considering our future as a species.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Master of Emotion   Carlos Andrés Botero Starts: February 20
Carlos Andrés Botero, musical ambassador and assistant conductor of the Houston Symphony, considers the middle years of Beethoven’s life, revealing the compositional talents and emotional power that permeate Beethoven’s oeuvre.

Music and the Human Spirit: The Soundtrack of Your Life   Nancy Gisbrecht Bailey, Ph.D. Starts: February 20
From classical and jazz to popular music, musicologist Nancy Gisbrecht Bailey, Ph.D., reveals how music influences and celebrates the human spirit.

Real Love: The Psychology and Practice of Authentic Love   Michael Winters, Ph.D. Starts: February 20
Authentic relationships require work to sustain and grow. In this supportive course for couples and individuals, Michael Winters, Ph.D., provides insights on nurturing love that values each partner’s uniqueness.

More Broadway Showstoppers   Debra Dickinson Starts: February 21
Former professional actress Debra Dickinson offers a behind-the-scenes look at the most memorable moments of Broadway musicals, uncovering the back story of some of the best-loved song and dance numbers in musical theater.

Young Planets and the Formation of Solar Systems   Christopher Johns-Krull, Ph.D. Starts: February 28
During the past two decades, more than 3,000 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Christopher Johns-Krull, Ph.D., introduces current theories of planet formation and considers prospects for finding life elsewhere in our solar system and our near galactic neighborhood.

Democracy and Disagreement   Elizabeth Barre, Ph.D. Starts: March 1
Dr. Elizabeth Barre explores psychological, anthropological and philosophical accounts of disagreement and considers our ethical commitments and how to organize our collective lives with respect for the diverse perspectives that characterize democracies.

Full World: Houston’s Economic and Ecologic Future   Jim Blackburn, J.D. Starts: March 1
Environmental lawyer, planner and professor Jim Blackburn shares a model for how Houston and other cities can thrive in a “full world” where our economic and ecologic well-being are increasingly interwoven.

Reading Children’s Literature   Joshua Eyler, Ph.D. Starts: March 7 (Day), March 9 (Evening)
Dr. Joshua Eyler examines how literary analysis and personal meaning can illuminate children’s literature in a journey through Oz, Pooh Corner, the Sahara, medieval England, Hogwarts, 1950’s Georgia and back to your own childhood.

The History of Victorian England   Newell Boyd, Ph.D. Starts: March 16
Historian Newell Boyd surveys Great Britain from 1837 to 1901, challenging traditional views of Victorian times and highlighting a society that was more irreverent, more creative and less inhibited than previously believed.

Greek Mythology   Louis A. Markos, Ph.D. Starts: March 20
Tour the dramatic world of Greek mythology with English professor Louis Markos, Ph.D., exploring ancient stories of gods and heroes that have inspired poets and writers for centuries.

Living Hinduism: Lessons for People of All Faiths Sravana Borkataky-Varma, Ph.D.
Starts: March 21 (Evening), March 23 (Day)
Dr. Sravana Borkataky-Varma examines Hinduism as a “lived” religion, sharing dual perspectives as a scholar and practitioner of one of the oldest and largest religions in the world.

Selected Rice faculty and community speakers
Starts: March 22
Outstanding Rice University faculty and other experts from the arts, humanities and sciences provide insights on topics ranging from Albert Einstein to the Amazon, with a different subject at every session.

Movies and Music Arthur Gottschalk, D.M.A.
Starts: March 23
Professor of music composition and theory, Arthur Gottschalk, D.M.A., explores the history and impact of music in film, including some of the most influential uses of music in classic motion pictures.

Heart Health: Prevention, Treatments and Innovations Hani Jneid, M.D. and selected
Texas Medical Center speakers
Starts: March 29
With appropriate lifestyle changes, optimal medical treatments and targeted therapeutic interventions, the prospect for a long and high quality life with heart disease is excellent. Texas Medical Center experts share the latest clinical and research insights on heart health.