We offer credit and noncredit learning opportunities in a variety of subjects, from more traditional disciplines such as literature and philosophy, to business-oriented courses, to master’s degrees. Our courses are conveniently located in-person at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center and NBC Tower in downtown Chicago, and are primarily in the evening and on weekends, to fit the schedule of working adults. We also offer online courses, for those not located in Chicago, or who wish to study from home.
Four thousand years ago, the eastern Mediterranean world was united by international cultural diplomacy. Within thirty years these systems collapsed though environmental and political factors, underscored by the invasion of the mysterious "Sea People."
There is a long and varied history of the writer as flanuer - the passionate wanderer. Sometimes the writing is transformed by the very act of walking or deepened by discoveries made along the way, but it is always changed by looking at one’s environment anew.
The focus of this course is to explore the depths of the human condition by illuminating central realms of human experience using the tools of imagination, beautiful language and a compassionate heart.
Buddhism has played an important role in shaping the imagination of the "Orient" in modern Europe and North America, providing a mirror to rethink both oneself and the other.
This class will take up one of the most important figures in Japanese Zen, Ekaku Hakuin, by reading his spiritual autobiography, Wild Ivy, and two of his short but key texts, "Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin" and "Zen Words for the Heart."
Who or what am I, and what kind of world do I inhabit? What explains why some of us prosper while others fail? Am I really obliged to do this, that, and the other thing just because my culture says so? How can I face the inevitable pains and miseries that seem to sap my life of meaning—many of which I’m dealing with precisely
Hobbes's Leviathan considered a political landscape influenced by ancient Greek and medieval Christian thought and attempted to construct a new commonwealth that would be immune to both, giving birth to the modern approach to politics.
Borges is an acknowledged master of the short story. In just a few pages he creates a fictional world that often revolves around a thought experiment or philosophical question: What would happen if you couldn’t forget anything? What if you told the Theseus myth from the point of view of the Minotaur?
A classic of modern Italian literature, Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s masterpiece, The Leopard (1958), tells the fascinating story of the decline and fall of Don Fabrizio’s aristocratic line.
This course celebrates a high point in western musical culture around the orbit of two iconic cities between 1790 and 1830. From the London of Haydn's symphonies and oratorios to the Vienna of Schubert's astounding final year, this course features listening, live performance, and in-class analysis.
In this course, we consider Greek myth as mythology, as a body of tales organized as a system. We will examine three main groups of myth: gods and cosmic myths, myths about heroes, and myths about Heracles. Some attention will be paid to monsters.
"Every plague novel is a parable," Harvard historian Jill Lepore recently remarked. If so, what lessons are to be learned?
In this class we will encounter two of Rushdie's early but important novels, starting with Midnight's Children and then moving to Shame (the novel considered an important precursor to The Satanic Verses and one that remains pertinent today).
We will use the resources of the Landmark edition of Julius Caesar's writings to explore the Roman Civil War from Caesar's perspective. The Landmark edition, with its support structure of maps and timelines, will give us a set of tools and context to allow us to focus more closely on the text itself. We will supplement our reading with
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead foregrounds those two friends of Hamlet's whose interactions with the principals and plot moments question: what is real? What is meaning? The novel Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon is a comic, grieving absurdist fantasy.
The Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults offers a rigorous, noncredit liberal arts curriculum that draws on the strong Socratic tradition at the University of Chicago and covers the foundations of modern Western political and social thought.
This course will explore the built legacy of Chicago, from the 1893 World's Fair to the global tourist city.
This class will be devoted to key works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, starting with the groundbreaking 100 Years of Solitude and supplementing with a selection of short stories, to include "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" and "The Autumn of the Patriarch."
Long works such as memoirs and novels must sustain voice, action, and reader interest for the duration. This course will address the unique challenges and opportunities of long-form prose, both fiction and creative nonfiction.
This course will now take place online.
In this course, we will take up a close reading of Plato’s dialogue, Phaedrus.
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