History, Political Science & Law

Upcoming Courses


Explore a World War II story through S. Sgt. Jacob John de Vries's sketches of people, landscapes, and churches in France, Austria, and Germany in 1944-45. De Vries served in the US Army 103rd Infantry (Cactus) Division in Europe and First Allied Air Borne Army occupying forces in Berlin. Even before his formal art training, he was always sketching, including during his four years in the Army. The storyteller is John's daughter, Janet.

Thursday, June 13, Synchronous Online
This is the first part of a two-semester course surveying the history of the US Air Force from the earliest beginnings of flight through the end of the Cold War and into first Gulf War. The course progresses chronologically and includes an overview of evolving technical aviation advancements, organizational changes, aircraft roles and missions, major air-related military operations, and famous personalities associated with Air Force history.

Wednesdays; 6/05, 6/12, 6/26, 7/03 (skip 6/19), TBD - UR Campus
We will explore the interaction between Indian and Western cultures, leading to architecture of great variety, ingenuity, and occasional elegance. Nonetheless, some British buildings were viewed as the 'Unhappy Bastards' of the colonial encounter.

Tuesday, June 18, TBD - UR Campus
Identified and excavated during the Yorktown Shipwreck Archaeological Project, Betsy represents the measures taken by the British to carry on the fight before their ultimate surrender at Yorktown in 1781. In the over 40 years since Betsy's rediscovery, learn how the wreck continues to teach us about the history of the battle, and the ways in which 18th century materials pulled from York River have been preserved.

Friday, July 26, TBD - UR Campus
Due to illness, the instructor has cancelled for this semester. Have you found some of your ancestors, collected information, started a family tree... and want to do more? This class will help you make sense of what you have, expand your research skills, learn to use more advanced tools and techniques, and broaden your knowledge of genealogical resources. The goal is to build on what you have already done and add to the depth and breadth of your family history.

Mondays and Thursdays, 7/8, 11, 15, 18, TBD - UR Campus
Due to illness, the instructor has cancelled for this semester. Have you ever wanted to trace your family history, but didn't know how to begin, or became overwhelmed when you did? Then, this class is for you. Learn how to set goals and stay organized; use basic research tools, techniques, and reliable sources; and ways to ensure you have the facts. The goal is to give you skills and resources to begin discovering your ancestors and their true stories.

Mondays and Thursdays, June 10, 13, 17, 20, TBD - UR Campus
Would you like to find out what happened AFTER the containers found under Lee were opened? Kate Ridgway, State Archaeological Conservator for the Department of Historic Resources, talks about the efforts to preserve artifacts removed from the Lee Monument, including preparing for the day they were found through the current preservation efforts and how these efforts helped inform the removal of the cornerstone boxes under other monuments on Monument Avenue.

Friday, 7/19, TBD - UR Campus
Critical thinking is crucial to important events like the 2024 elections, which encourage us to explore not just what to think, but how to think. This course will cover the importance of thinking critically as well as explore the existence of conspiracy theories, the role of science as an authority, the use of logic and avoidance of logical fallacies, the functioning of the brain, and solutions to help correct our thinking.

Tuesdays, 7/2, 9, 16, 23, TBD - UR Campus
The Osher Institute at Dartmouth College is offering its summer lecture series via livestream to Osher colleagues across the nation. This year's theme is America's Role in Preserving Peace and Prosperity. Lecture one is 'US Global Leadership Challenged.' We will add a more detailed description when it's available.

Wednesday, July 10, Synchronous Online
Over a protracted period of time, authoritarian powers have mobilized and taken the initiative, and in the process sought to reshape the global landscape. Led by ambitious regimes in China and Russia, the multiyear authoritarian surge poses enormous challenges to democratic standards, principles, and ideas. If the United States and its democratic allies are to meet this top order challenge and set the global trajectory on a more positive course, they will need a new, more competitive mindset.

Wednesday, July 17, Synchronous Online
The Osher Institute at Dartmouth College is offering its summer lecture series via livestream to Osher colleagues across the nation. This year's theme is America's Role in Preserving Peace and Prosperity. Lecture four is 'DRIVEN OUT: Human Displacement and the Challenge of Forced Migration.' The description was not available at the time of printing, but is in our online registration system.

Wednesday, July 31, Synchronous Online
Since the rise of social media and the 2016 election, there has been increasing recognition that facts themselves have become a battleground, amid widespread disinformation (that is, the often viral circulation of falsehoods) and misinformation (the intentional promulgation of untruths) are considered epidemic by many. We will consider how prevalent the problems really are, what practical difference they are making, including in our politics, how the press has been responding (for both better and worse), and how these phenomena in America interact with similar issues elsewhere.

Wednesday, Aug 7, Synchronous Online
This session will start with the geopolitical cards dealt to the United States, Russia, and China. While the United States and its partners and allies are attempting to maintain a maritime global order to foster trade, China and Russia are great continental powers increasingly fixated on dominating territory. These differences have precipitated a Second Cold War. We will examine how the democracies won the First Cold War without fighting a hot war.

Wednesday, Aug 14, Synchronous Online
Let's talk about planning for the future. How can you be sure you estate plans are carried out properly? Topics will include medical directives, powers of attorney, wills and trusts. Elder Law will also be discussed. Questions are welcome!

Tuesday, Aug 13, TBD - UR Campus
We will explore Haveli, a traditional home of rich Marwari businessmen in Rajasthan with a unique style and decoration.

Wednesday, June 12, TBD - UR Campus
FIELD TRIP Since 1976, St. John's Church Foundation has presented historical reenactments of the Second Virginia Convention of March 1775 at its original location. Come hear Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, who will engage in the arguments of the Second Virginia Convention, leading to Patrick Henry's immortal words 'Give me liberty or give me death!'

Sunday, June 23, Historic St. John's Church ( No seats currently available )
Thursday, 7/4, Historic St. John's Church
A study of the Roman Empire scarcely requires justification. The Roman achievements in the realms of politics, economics, diplomacy and the role of women remain remarkable, even after 2,000 years. But its decline and fall provide a cautionary tale for the US today. Is the America of today the Rome of yesterday?

Mondays, June 10, 17, 24, July 1, Synchronous Online
FIELD TRIP to the VA Museum of History and Culture: Julia Child's insatiable curiosity and tenacious spirit drove her to endlessly try, test, prove and communicate how to make delicious food. Learning to cook empowered Julia and she in turn empowered others, profoundly transforming American cuisine and food culture. Julia Child: A Recipe for Life explores the key ingredients that led to Julia's personal evolution and America's culinary revolution. Offered twice: please register for only one session.

Friday, Aug 9, Virginia Museum of History and Culture
The automobile has shaped the way we conduct modern life - from the way we eat our meals down to the songs we sing. It is endlessly fascinating to learn where we have come from and where we are going on our automotive journey. This course will make relevant the impact of the automobile on our everyday lives so even those who do not tout the title of "gearhead" may enjoy the experience and walk away with more knowledge and insight into our world than they had before.

Saturdays; 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8/03, 8/10, 8/17, Synchronous Online
The women included in this course were practitioners of psychoanalysis and wrote extensively about their work. These women have been selected because of the significance of their thought for psychoanalytic practice. We will articulate what is different about the contributions of women to psychoanalytic theory. And we will concentrate on women who were considered important: Karen Horney, Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Ana Maria Rizzuto and others.

Tuesdays, July 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug 6, 13, Synchronous Online
One email; three perfect strangers; and a story unfolds.... Learn how an email paved the way for sick children in Kaunas, Lithuania, to receive blankets made by women who attend Duck United Methodist Church in Duck, NC.

Monday, July 29, TBD - UR Campus
FIELD TRIP Join us for this two-part tour at the Valentine Museum, exploring through photography the evolving role of the Valentine to address the changing needs of the Richmond community. Learn how, thirty years after the Civil War, a new generation took over Richmond's segregated economic, municipal, social, and cultural institutions. Opening in April 2024, 'Turning Point: Richmond in the 1890s' details the tensions that arose during this tumultuous decade and its lasting effects on Richmond today.

Friday, June 7th, Valentine Museum (1 seats (3%) remaining)
FIELD TRIP Those who created the Lost Cause narrative used cultural and social centers of power to make it successful: education, media, politics, money, religion, and violence. The exhibit uses evidence to show how Edward Valentine, leaders in Richmond, and others around the country reframed the reality of the Civil War. It uncovers the stories behind the Lost Cause, its legacy, and those who resisted the myth. Fees are non-refundable unless we are able to fill your slot.

Friday 7/12, Valentine Museum (5 seats (17%) remaining)
Songwriters are modern-day bards who serve as historians and preservers of the oral tradition of our culture. Songs reflect and influence what humans consider important: ideas, feelings, and stories, often using poetic imagery. What do women songwriters and singers have to tell us? We'll talk about Loretta Lynn, Shania Twain, Kacey Musgraves, Joni Mitchell, Brandi Carlisle, and Nanci Griffith.

Fridays, Aug 2 and 9, Synchronous Online
An examination of the Holocaust from its causes to implementation using some lesser-known heroes and villains can provide an up-close look at how and why it unfolded. The course includes Holocaust survivor live testimonial and provides an extensive resource list of books, podcasts, museums, fact-based films/documentaries and TV shows used as resource materials.

Tuesdays; 6/11, 6/18, 6/25, 7/2, 7/9 & 7/16, TBD - UR Campus
Shenandoah National Park stands out as one of Virginia's top tourist attractions. Awe-inspiring vistas and abundant wildlife attract millions of people to explore the park's peaks and hollows. However, the park's modern beauty came at a heavy cost. Virginia evicted thousands of local residents to return the land to 'wilderness.' Join us as we explore the complicated origins of one of Virginia's most beautiful assets.

Monday, Aug 5, Synchronous Online
This historical survey of immigration to the US after 1790 covers the influx of Germans, Irish, Chinese, Southern and Eastern Europeans, plus western hemisphere migrants. We'll examine the major immigration laws passed by Congress and their unintended consequences, citizenship requirements, 'push' and 'pull' factors, eugenics, xenophobia, and economic forces. Why do people migrate? Why do we support immigration? Why do we resist it?

Fridays; 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28, TBD - UR Campus ( No seats currently available )
Everyone has possessions they want to make sure are preserved for the next generation. Learn how conservators can help you make your treasures last. What makes a person a conservator? What makes a conservator different from a restorer? How can you find a conservator you can trust? This lecture will help you learn more about conservators and what to expect when you work with one.

Friday, 11/12, TBD - UR Campus