Friday, April 04, 2008

Lifelong Learning Update

Good Witch and I have almost finished "The History of World Literature" a Teaching Company course consisting of 48 30-minute lectures.

The course begins with Gilgamesh and ends with Salmon Rushdie, and along the way it stops in India, China, Japan, England, Russia, France, Germany, the United States, and other countries. It shows how stories, and ways of telling stories, migrated around the world over time and influenced other writers in faraway cultures. It also shows how literature is influenced by, and causes, changes in politics, religion, science, and other human endeavors.

Professor Grant L. Voth is an engaging personality who delivers his lectures in a seemingly casual way that belies their exquisite organization and allows his rapid delivery to succeed.

We've now enjoyed our way through survey courses in history, music, and literature, picking up innumerable interesting facts along the way. But the most significant concept that I've internalized is how advances in one facet of a culture affect other facets, so that "progress" shows up in many related forms. Understanding humanity, therefore, requires looking across all its activities as they change over time, often in synchronous ways.

Maybe it's time for a science or religion course. We'll keep you posted.

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