The Modern Scholar: Astronomy I: Earth, Sky, and Planets

James B. Kaler - 2003
    By studying the physical astronomy of all the planets in the Solar System, we can attempt to understand their true nature. Ultimately, these lectures will bring us to a greater understanding of the Solar System's creation, which brings us again back to the beginning and what it means to us as we look outward from our rotating Earth.

Odyssey of the West I: Hebrews and Greeks

Timothy B. Shutt - 2007
    Each professor addresses an area of personal expertise and focuses not only on the matter at hand, but on the larger story-on the links between the works and the figures discussed. The lectures address-in chronological sequence-a series of major works that have shaped the ongoing development of Western thought both in their own right and in cultural dialogue with other traditions. In the process, the course engages many of the most perennial and far-reaching questions that we face in our daily lives.Lecture 1 From Sumer to AthensLecture 2 The Epic of GilgameshLecture 3 The Hebrew Bible: Historical Background and GenesisLecture 4 The Hebrew Bible: Exodus and the CovenantLecture 5 The Hebrew Bible: Psalms, Prophets, The Song of Songs, and JobLecture 6 Greece: From the Bronze Age to the Archaic AgeLecture 7 The IliadLecture 8 Homer: The OdysseyLecture 9 Hesiod and Lyric PoetryLecture 10 Greek Tragedy: AeschylusLecture 11 Greek Tragedy: SophoclesLecture 12 Greek Tragedy: EuripidesLecture 13 Herodotus of HalicarnassusLecture 14 Greek Art

A History of Ancient Greece

Eric H. Cline - 2006
    Cline delves into the history of ancient Greece, frequently considered to be the founding nation of democracy in Western civilization. The history of this remarkable civilization abounds with momentous events and cultural landmarks that resonate through the millennia. Professor Cline touches on the most compelling and informative aspects of Greek history and accomplishment, providing revealing insights along the way and lending a fresh perspective throughout this entertaining and evocative course.

He Said, She Said (Exploring the Different Ways Men and Women Communicate)

Deborah Tannen - 1996
    Each course introduces listeners to fascinating, and sometimes startling, insights into the intellectual forces that shape our understanding of the world. Each package includes 14 riveting lectures presented by notable professors as well as a book-length course guide.Professor Deborah Tannen's groundbreaking research into the fundamental differences between the ways in which the sexes communicate using language forms the basis for this fascinating series of lectures. From conversational style and body language to the use of tone and idiom, and beginning very early in life, men and women relate to each other and among themselves in startlingly different—and surprisingly predictable—ways. This course explores many of the reasons for these differences and probes the pitfalls, consequences, and benefits of these varying modes of interaction.COURSE LECTURES He Said/She Said: A Framework for Understanding Conversations Between Men and Women The Source of Gender Patterns: Children at Play A Cross-Cultural Approach to Gender Talk The Role of Opposition in Men's Relationships The Role of Talk inWomen's Relationships The Interplay of Power and Connection Ambiguity and Polysemy: Two Keys toUnderstanding Language and Gender Indirectness: Not in So Many Words Talking at Home: Gender in the Family Talking at Work Who Talks More?: Public and Private Speaking A History of Research on Gender and Languages Nature/Nurture: The Source of Gender Differences Conclusion: What Can You Do? Deborah Tannen is University Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has written countless articles along with nineteen books, including the best-sellingYou Just Don't Understand, That's Not What I Meant!, and I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partners, Sibs, and Kids When You Are All Adults.Tannen lectures around the world and regularly appears on television as an expert oninterpersonal communication.

The Story of Human Language

John McWhorter - 2004
    There are good reasons that language fascinates us so. It not only defines humans as a species, placing us head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators, but it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries. For example: * How did different languages come to be? * Why isn’t there just a single language? * How does a language change, and when it does, is that change indicative of decay or growth? * How does a language become extinct? Dr. John McWhorter, one of America’s leading linguists and a frequent commentator on network television and National Public Radio, addresses these and other questions as he takes you on an in-depth, 36-lecture tour of the development of human language, showing how a single tongue spoken 150,000 years ago has evolved into the estimated 6,000 languages used around the world today.An accomplished scholar, Professor McWhorter is also a skilled popularizer, whose book The Power of Babel was called "startling, provocative, and remarkably entertaining," by the San Diego Union-Tribune.The London Times called him "a born teacher." And Steven Pinker, best known as the author of The Language Instinct, offered this praise for the book: "McWhorter’s arguments are sharply reasoned, refreshingly honest, and thoroughly original."Course Lecture Titles1. What Is Language? 2. When Language Began 3. How Language Changes—Sound Change 4. How Language Changes—Building New Material 5. How Language Changes—Meaning and Order 6. How Language Changes—Many Directions 7. How Language Changes—Modern English 8. Language Families—Indo-European 9. Language Families—Tracing Indo-European 10. Language Families—Diversity of Structures 11. Language Families—Clues to the Past 12. The Case Against the World’s First Language 13. The Case For the World’s First Language 14. Dialects—Subspecies of Species 15. Dialects—Where Do You Draw the Line? 16. Dialects—Two Tongues in One Mouth 17. Dialects—The Standard as Token of the Past 18. Dialects—Spoken Style, Written Style 19. Dialects—The Fallacy of Blackboard Grammar 20. Language Mixture—Words 21. Language Mixture—Grammar 22. Language Mixture—Language Areas 23. Language Develops Beyond the Call of Duty 24. Language Interrupted 25. A New Perspective on the Story of English 26. Does Culture Drive Language Change? 27. Language Starts Over—Pidgins 28. Language Starts Over—Creoles I 29. Language Starts Over—Creoles II 30. Language Starts Over—Signs of the New 31. Language Starts Over—The Creole Continuum 32. What Is Black English? 33. Language Death—The Problem 34. Language Death—Prognosis 35. Artificial Languages 36. Finale—Master Class

Understanding Movies: The Art and History of Film (The Modern Scholar)

Raphael Shargel - 2008
    It traces the experiments and innovations that gave rise to the modern cinema, developing a vocabulary that helps explain the variety of choices filmmakers make when they construct shots and edit them together. In each lecture, Professor Raphael Shargel introduces a period of film history, talks about its importance, covers aspects of cinematic technique, and illustrates his points by analyzing specific movies from the era under discussion. The course thus has both breadth and depth, covering the major movements in film history while at the same time focusing on key pictures worthy of study and enjoyment. Lecture 1 The Origins of Cinema and the Grammar of FilmLecture 2 Film Imagery and the Theory of MontageLecture 3 Storytelling in the 1930s and StagecoachLecture 4 Citizen Kane: An American MasterpieceLecture 5 World War II and the Cinema of Community: Casablanca; Now, Voyager; and It's a Wonderful LifeLecture 6 Noir and Neorealism: Bicycle Thieves and On the WaterfrontLecture 7 Love and the Mirror of Death: Alfred Hitchcock's VertigoLecture 8 Widescreen: The World Writ Large and Intimate: The ApartmentLecture 9 The New Wave in France: The 400 Blows and Week-endLecture 10 The American New Wave I: Politics and Family: The GodfatherLecture 11 The American New Wave II: The Social Canvas: NashvilleLecture 12 The Rule of the Blockbuster: Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost ArkLecture 13 Gender, Race, and the Varieties of Cinematic Experience: Vagabond, Do the Right Thing, and Lone StarLecture 14 The Contemporary Maverick: Goodfellas, Million Dollar Baby, Persepolisfrom

English Grammar Boot Camp

Anne Curzan - 2016
    But what is grammar? In fact, it's the integral basis of how we speak and write.As such, a refined awareness of grammar opens a world of possibilities for both your pleasure in the English language and your skill in using it, in both speech and the written word. As a foundation for writing, a detailed grounding in grammar and usage will hugely expand your resources for meaningful verbal expression, for navigating the subtleties of the language, and for achieving clarity of communication and stylistic power.In English Grammar Boot Camp, linguist and popular Great Courses instructor Professor Curzan takes you on an enjoyable exploration of the essential aspects of English grammar. These 24 spirited and accessible lectures offer you a comprehensive core training - a linguistic "boot camp," by which we mean a thorough immersion in all of the key elements of English grammar and usage, in their most immediate, practical application.Here you get a breadth of perspective and context you won't find elsewhere, leaving you with a more choices and rich verbal resources for your own use of the language. In discussing the different parts of speech, Professor Curzan directs your attention to how the element at hand evolved. Highlighting reflections from 18th- and 19th-century usage guides as well as from multiple modern commentators, she guides you in examining real-world language use in a variety of contexts, helping you develop a sophisticated frame of reference and a deep awareness of the idiosyncrasies of English.This delightful and superbly insightful course offers you a unique opportunity to explore the linguistic riches of the English language, and to significantly deepen your mastery of grammar, usage, and style.

Fundamental Cases: The Twentieth-Century Courtroom Battles that Changed our Nation

Alan M. Dershowitz - 2006
    Professor and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz looks at history through the prism of the trial, because a trial presents a snapshot of what is going on at a particular point in time in the nation's history.

Building a Better Vocabulary

Kevin Flanigan - 2015
    A great vocabulary can enhance your speaking, writing, and even thinking skills. This course will boost your vocabulary, whether you want to enhance your personal lexicon, write or speak more articulately in professional settings, or advance your knowledge of the English language. For anyone who has ever grasped for the perfect word at a particular moment, this course provides a research-based and enjoyable method for improving your vocabulary. Building a Better Vocabulary offers an intriguing look at the nuts and bolts of English, teaches you the etymology and morphology - or the history and structure - of words, and delves into the cognitive science behind committing new words to long-term memory. By the end of the 36 enjoyable lectures, you will have a practical framework for continuing to build your vocabulary by discovering new words and fully mastering the nuances of familiar ones. If you are an avid reader, you may have previously encountered some of the words in this course. But even the most voracious reader will be surprised and delighted by these eye-opening lectures, which delve into the building blocks of the English language and reveal intriguing new nuances to words you thought you knew well. These lectures will kindle a passion for the process by which words are created and for the beauty of the words you read, speak, and hear every day.

The Decline and Fall of Rome

Thomas F. Madden - 2008
    What caused a civilization of such accomplishments to disintegrate? In this informative and lively series of lectures, renowned history professor Thomas F. Madden serves as the ultimate guide through the fall of ancient Rome. Professor Madden correlates the principles of Roman conduct— both governmental and military—that would forever change the world. Rome was an empire unlike the world had ever seen, and one that will likely never be duplicated. Peopled with personages of great distinction and even greater ambition, at once notable for humanity’s great promise and flawed nature, the Roman Empire contributed many of history’s proudest advancements. Here Professor Madden invites audiences to explore all the grandeur of this fallen empire. Lecture 1 The Decline and Fall of What?Lecture 2 The Sick RepublicLecture 3 The Augustan RevolutionLecture 4 The Julio-Claudian EmperorsLecture 5 Instability and WarLecture 6 Order Restored: The Five Good Emperors, 96–180Lecture 7 Military DictatorshipLecture 8 The Spreading Anarchy, 235–284Lecture 9 Diocletian and the Reform of EmpireLecture 10 Constantine and the Conversion of EmpireLecture 11 The New Threat of HeresyLecture 12 Theodosius and His SuccessorsLecture 13 The Fall of RomeLecture 14 Rome After Rome

Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Mignon Fogarty - 2008
    Grammar Girl, is determined to wipe out bad grammar—but she's also determined to make the process as painless as possible. A couple of years ago, she created a weekly podcast to tackle some of the most common mistakes people make while communicating. The podcasts have now been downloaded more than twenty million times, and Mignon has dispensed grammar tips on Oprah and appeared on the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.Written with the wit, warmth, and accessibility that the podcasts are known for, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing covers the grammar rules and word-choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers. From "between vs. among" and "although vs. while" to comma splices and misplaced modifiers, Mignon offers memory tricks and clear explanations that will help readers recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules. Chock-full of tips on style, business writing, and effective e-mailing, Grammar Girl's print debut deserves a spot on every communicator's desk.

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

Steven Pinker - 1994
    With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

Gabriel Wyner - 2014
    At thirty years old, Gabriel Wyner speaks six languages fluently.  He didn’t learn them in school -- who does? -- rather, he learned them in the past few years, working on his own and practicing on the subway, using simple techniques and free online resources. In Fluent Forever Wyner reveals what he’s discovered.   The greatest challenge to learning a foreign language is the challenge of memory; there are just too many words and too many rules. For every new word we learn, we seem to forget two old ones, and as a result, fluency can seem out of reach. Fluent Forever tackles this challenge head-on. With empathy for the language-challenged and abundant humor, Wyner deconstructs the learning process, revealing how to build a foreign language in your mind from the ground up.  Starting with pronunciation, you’ll learn how to rewire your ears and turn foreign sounds into familiar sounds. You'll retrain your tongue to produce those sounds accurately, using tricks from opera singers and actors. Next, you'll begin to tackle words, and connect sounds and spellings to imagery, rather than translations, which will enable you to think in a foreign language.  And with the help of sophisticated spaced-repetition techniques, you'll be able to memorize hundreds of words a month in minutes every day. Soon, you'll gain the ability to learn grammar and more difficult abstract words--without the tedious drills and exercises of language classes and grammar books.  This is brain hacking at its most exciting, taking what we know about neuroscience and linguistics and using it to create the most efficient and enjoyable way to learn a foreign language in the spare minutes of your day.

Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark

Cecelia Watson - 2019
    Stephen King, Hemingway, Vonnegut, and Orwell detest it. Herman Melville, Henry James, and Rebecca Solnit love it. But why? When is it effective? Have we been misusing it? Should we even care?In Semicolon, Cecelia Watson charts the rise and fall of this infamous punctuation mark, which for years was the trendiest one in the world of letters. But in the nineteenth century, as grammar books became all the rage, the rules of how we use language became both stricter and more confusing, with the semicolon a prime victim. Taking us on a breezy journey through a range of examples—from Milton’s manuscripts to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail” to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep—Watson reveals how traditional grammar rules make us less successful at communicating with each other than we’d think. Even the most die-hard grammar fanatics would be better served by tossing the rule books and learning a better way to engage with language.Through her rollicking biography of the semicolon, Watson writes a guide to grammar that explains why we don’t need guides at all, and refocuses our attention on the deepest, most primary value of language: true communication.

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

Gretchen McCulloch - 2019
    Language is humanity's most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What's more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time.Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer "LOL" or "lol," why ~sparkly tildes~ succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.Because Internet is essential reading for anyone who's ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. It's the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why that's a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are.