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The following course information is effective for the Spring 2018 term.

CDIS 5 True Crime, Cinematically Speaking

Whoever thinks crime never pays has never seen the box office returns or the critical acclaim when a good film tells the true story of a felony. This series will look at four cinematic recreations of real crimes, and the lineup will include Jack Black as a Sunday school teacher with something in his freezer and Jeremy Irons shows us how the 1 percent live – and die. The series also will recall how Arthur Penn changed movies and how Martin Sheen knows how to do a crime spree, especially if Sissy Spacek watches him. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 5 Class Schedule

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CDIS 7 Women with a Purpose

This series will look at four films with female protagonists and let participants decide whether the endings are happy. First, Dorothy Mackaill will make her existential choice in a pre-code film by William Wellman, and then Jane Fonda will step up for an existential Depression-era dance. If that’s not enough to convince participants that these women mean it, Whoopi Goldberg will take a subversive walk and help Sissy Spacek see the light before a Coen brothers remake shows viewers that women with a purpose start young. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 7 Class Schedule

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CDIS 13 Great Decisions Discussion Group

Great Decisions is an opportunity to study, discuss and share opinions about some of today’s complex foreign policy issues using articles provided by the Foreign Policy Association, an independent nonpartisan and non-governmental organization that has worked to educate the public about foreign policy issues since 1918. The eight topics for discussion in 2018 are The waning of Pax Americana?; Russia’s foreign policy; China and America: the new geopolitical equation; Media and foreign policy; Turkey: a partner in crisis; U.S. global engagement and the military; South Africa’s fragile democracy; Global health: progress and challenges. Please order your Great Decisions 2018 Briefing Book online at http://fpa.org/ and read the first topic before the first session.

Part 1: First four topics. Class meets every other Tuesday. (4 sessions)
Part 2: Last four topics. Class meets every other Tuesday. No class Tuesday, March 20. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 13 Class Schedule

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CDIS 39 Beginning Computer 1

This course is designed for the individual who is afraid of the computer and has never taken a computer class. Class will cover terminology, mouse control, file management, beginning word processing and web browsing using a Windows operating system. (5 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 39 Class Schedule

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CDIS 40 Beginning Computer 2

This course is for those who have completed Beginning Computer 1 and would like to continue learning. Topics covered: email (including attachments, adding contacts, organizing inboxes, etc.) and advanced Internet skills (including cloud computing, sharing files, etc.). (5 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 40 Class Schedule

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CDIS 60 Great Broadway Composers

Broadway maven and award winning cultural historian Barry Bradford returns with an all new class on the greatest Broadway composers of all time. Each week will bring the work of a different composer into focus. Barry will offer insights, biographical material and numerous examples of each composer's work. Topics may include George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rogers and Hammerstein. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 60 Class Schedule

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CDIS 61 The Civil War - Year by Year

As America faces serious questions about its Civil War history, we proudly present presidential award winning historian Barry Bradford for a timely class looking at the roots, personalities, events and significance of the Civil War. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 61 Class Schedule

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CDIS 62 Fascinating American Biographies

By popular request, historian Barry Bradford returns with an all new class consisting of multimedia biographies of important and interesting Americans. Topics may include Orson Welles, Jackie Robinson, Herbert Hoover and Sidney Poitier. (4 sessions)

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 62 Class Schedule

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CDIS 63 Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Each December, Barry presents a recap of his choice for the top 10 news stories of the previous year and then makes his predictions for what will be the top news stories of the next year. We will also look at the list of the important people we lost in 2017 and begin thinking about the challenges and the possibilities of the New Year. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 64 Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman began her life in obscurity, as a slave on a Maryland plantation. She spent parts of her life in secrecy, rescuing slaves out of slavery and later scouting out invasion routes during the Civil War. In 2020 she will join a group of highly visible and highly select group of Americans: her likeness will be on the $20 bill. Get to know one of our most remarkable Americans. (1 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 65 The Amazing Adventure of Bertha Benz and the History of the German Automobile

The superb reputation of German cars is legendary: Porsche, BMW, AUDI, and Mercedes Benz have millions of fans all over the world and are synonymous with the quality and success of German engineering. But hardly anyone knows that the history of the automobile's origin is, to a great extent, due to Bertha Benz, a young mother of five, who 130 years ago - in a secret attempt to visit her mother - became the first human being ever to drive an automobile over a long distance. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 65 Class Schedule

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CDIS 66 Operation Freedom: 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift

It was perhaps one of the greatest adventures in American military history: the Berlin airlift of 1948-49. When Soviet troops closed all access routes to West Berlin by land, sea, and rail 70 years ago, thus threatening the lives of 2,5 million people and provoking the first major international crisis of the Cold War, American General Lucius D. Clay did not hesitate and proceeded to build a bold and fantastic bridge across the sky, involving 700 planes and 250,000 flights over a period of 14 months. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 66 Class Schedule

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CDIS 67 America's Presidential Elections

The history of America's presidential elections will unfold over five fascinating weeks. Presidential award-winning historian Barry Bradford will walk us through every election from 1790 through 2016. We will learn about the candidates, the issues and the changing nature of political elections and how American history was shaped by the decisions we made. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 68 The Adams Family

Once upon a time two extraordinary people, John Adams and Abigail Smith, fell in love, married, and founded an American political dynasty, a dynasty marked with both great success and tragedy. That dynasty also tells the national story of struggle and transformation in America's first 100 years. The class examines four generations of Adamses including volcanic John Adams, flinty Abigail Adams; brilliant but belittled John Quincy, his wife, beleaguered Louisa Catherine Adams, who found life as an Adams no easy thing; adept and diplomatic Charles Francis; and languid historian Henry Adams, winner of a Pulitzer for his autobiography. (4 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 68 Class Schedule

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CDIS 69 Origins of the Federal Reserve

The Fed – our nation’s central banking system – was created after a century-plus of banking chaos in the young United States, all of which resulted in a series of economic booms and busts. This lively and lucid presentation will trace the history of the United States biggest bank from Alexander Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States to the vast and influential system of today. Come and learn about where your money comes from – literally. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 70 Roosevelt Women

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had many sources of support and advice when he was president of the United States, such as his cabinet and his close friends. But he had a group of women from whom he gained political help and emotional support. This class focuses on five of them: his mother, Sarah Delano Roosevelt; his wife Eleanor; the woman who nearly broke up his marriage, Lucy Mercer Rutherford; his personal secretary, Missy LeHand; and his Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold a Cabinet position. Smart, savvy and intensely loyal, these women were directly involved in guiding the United States through some of its darkest years. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 72 Origins of the Second Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Its interpretation continues to be the focus of intense debate. This (nonpartisan) class focuses on the history behind this amendment: the norms of weapon ownership and use in the 18th century, the opinions of the Founders, and the regulations found in the individual states. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 72 Class Schedule

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CDIS 74 Presidential Power: Tyranny or Crisis Management?

We'll explore the extent and limits of presidential power along with a historical overview of circumstances that required presidential intervention. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 76 Adam, Eve and Us

Genesis 2-3 tells the story of a god, a man, a woman, a snake, and a prohibition. Over time, this simple origin myth becomes a driving force behind the West’s view of male/female relationships, human sinfulness, humanity’s control over nature, sexuality, and the ceaseless desire to regain Paradise lost. This talk examines how the story of Adam and Eve deeply affects (infects?) Western culture and shapes the way we think about ourselves. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 79 The Amazing Agatha

Uncover the many aspects of Agatha Christie. In terms of sales, she has eclipsed everyone but Shakespeare and the Bible. Yes, she wrote about 80 mysteries, many in exotic locales, which she spent time in as the wife of a British archeologist. Less known is that she also wrote romantic fiction under another name. But the biggest mystery of all was what happened in her own life. Agatha will intrigue you almost as much as her mysteries. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 84 Overlooked Americans

Join historian Gary Midkiff for a fascinating look at 12 Americans who you may not recognize but should know, including:
The hero of the Flint, Michigan, contaminated water crisis
The driving force behind the Prohibition amendment
The two men who made medical history saving “blue babies”
The female Chicago playwright whose first production changed American theater. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 84 Class Schedule

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CDIS 85 Reconstruction

The U.S. Civil War ended in 1865, but fighting in various forms continued in the south until 1877. Constitutional amendments. Presidential vetoes. A presidential impeachment. White supremacists. The Freedman’s Bureau. Military occupation. Carpetbaggers. Scalawags. Redeemers. Andrew Johnson. Ulysses S. Grant. Rutherford B. Hayes. The Panic of 1873. Join historian Gary Midkiff for a review of this tumultuous period. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 85 Class Schedule

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CDIS 86 Our Least Competent Presidents

Historians and political scientists enjoy debating who was our best President, or who had the best foreign policy or domestic agenda. But historian Gary Midkiff will guide you on a tour of the other end of the spectrum to analyze and explain why men such as James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce are always rated at the bottom. Each was a competent person with a solid political background who failed as President. We will look at the 12 (of our past 43) Presidents rated lowest by C-Span and try to understand their mistakes. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 86 Class Schedule

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CDIS 87 Foreign Policy Book Club

Each month (for 3 consecutive months) participants will read a best-selling book about foreign policy and then meet to discuss the implications of that book. Books will be selected in advance by the facilitator and a list of study questions will be provided for each. Class meets on October 6, November 3 and December 1. (3 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

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CDIS 88 Draining Chicago: The Early City and the North Area

The flow of the Chicago River was turned away from Lake Michigan in 1900 and the time had come to re-direct the sewers that had been discharging directly to the lake in Lake View, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Evanston, and Wilmette, a massive undertaking. The District improved the sluggish North Branch and constructed the North Shore Channel for a new outlet for sewage. Population growth caused sewage and industrial waste to overwhelm the rivers and canals, and a network of intercepting sewers and a treatment plant was built. As the urban landscape was paved over, flooding became the new and growing problem. Deep tunnels and surface reservoirs became integral to the drainage responsibilities of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. This is the complicated, ever-changing, and surprising story of draining Chicago. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 88 Class Schedule

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CDIS 90 Who Wrote the Bible?

Modern discoveries in archaeology, linguistics and literary studies have transformed how we understand the Bible. For both religious and non-religious readers, the real historical context for the Bible's creation offers new insights into ancient texts. (2 sessions)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: Yes

Open CDIS 90 Class Schedule

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CDIS 95 John and Abigail: A Love Story

Boy meets girl. As man and woman John and Abigail Adams were swept into the American independence movement. Together they helped shape the times that they were born in and founded a political dynasty — but at a great cost to their marriage and family. This class will tell the very personal story of their marriage and family, and how the nation’s founding influenced it. (1 session)

Typically Offered: Offered summer, fall & spring.

Offered Spring 2018: No

  • Subject:
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