Understanding Russia: A Cultural History [TTC Audio]
31 October 2018, 18:01
2018 | Course No 8374 | M4B@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hours and 56 minutes | 411.47MB
From the earliest recorded history of the Russian state, its people have sought to define their place in the world. And while many of us look to make sense of Russia through its political history, in many ways a real grasp of this awe-inspiring country comes from looking closely at its cultural achievements.
The 24 lectures of Understanding Russia: A Cultural History survey hundreds of years of Russian culture, from the world of Ivan the Terrible to the dawn of the Soviet Union to the post-war tensions of Putin's Russia. Blending history with cultural studies, they are designed to bring you closer than ever before to the Russian people - not just the authoritarian rulers like Peter the Great, the Romanovs, and Stalin but the everyday men and women who sought their own meaning in the poetry of Pushkin, the comfort of early folk tales, the faith of medieval iconography, the avant-garde films of Eisenstein, and more.
You'll discover surprising insights into centuries of cultural history, including peasant superstitions, such as avoiding whistling indoors, and the culture of queuing for goods and services that defined everyday life for ordinary Soviets. You'll also spend time in the company of novelists, painters, poets, filmmakers, impresarios, composers, revolutionaries, and intellectuals who shaped Russia in myriad ways, including The Five, a group of composers who created a distinctly national sound based in part on Russian folk music; and Sergei Eisenstein, the filmmaker whose Battleship Potemkin revolutionized the language of cinema.
In a time when the eyes of the Western world are constantly drawn to Russia, it's amazing how little we really know about its culture. These lectures will help you finally understand that complex, thrilling, and undeniably fascinating spirit.
Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy [TTC Audio]
13 May 2018, 04:33
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 13 hours and 30 minutes | 389.73MB
The science fiction genre has become increasingly influential in mainstream popular culture, evolving into one of the most engaging storytelling tools we use to think about technology and consider the shape of the future. Along the way, it has also become one of the major lenses we use to explore important philosophical questions.
The origins of science fiction are most often thought to trace to Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, a story born from a night of spooky tale-telling by the fireside that explores scientific, moral, and ethical questions that were of great concern in the 19th century - and that continue to resonate today. And, although novels and short stories built the foundations of science fiction, film and television have emerged as equally powerful, experimental, and enjoyable ways to experience the genre. Even as far back as the silent era, films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis have used science fiction to tell stories that explore many facets of human experience.
In Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy David Kyle Johnson, of King's College, takes you on a 24-lecture exploration of the final frontiers of philosophy across several decades of science fiction in film and television. From big-budget blockbusters to television series featuring aliens in rubber masks, Professor Johnson finds food for philosophical thought in a wide range of stories. By looking at serious questions through astonishing tales and astounding technologies, you will see how science fiction allows us to consider immense, vital - and sometimes controversial - ideas with a rare combination of engagement and critical distance.
Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages [TTC Audio]
13 May 2018, 04:21
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hours and 40 minutes | 361.98MB
Roughly 2,500 years ago, the Athenian people established a radical democracy in which power derived from the votes of everyday citizens. At a time when local governments ranged from oligarchy to tyranny, the elite classes of Athens gradually ceded power to the inexperienced masses, whose votes served as referendums for everything from taxation to war to welfare. The sequence of events that led to this development is astonishing, and the society that flourished under Athenian democracy is one of the greatest - even if greatly flawed - achievements in world history.
Today, when the foundations of our own democracy are under greater and greater scrutiny, the Athenian experiment in citizen rule offers a powerful object lesson in national politics. How did the Athenian system of democracy work? What were its strengths and weaknesses? And how does it compare to democracy in our world today? Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages answers these questions and more with 24 captivating lectures. Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University takes us back to ancient Greece and unpacks the development and workings of Athenian democracy. You'll witness the story of history through the lens of Athenian government, going inside the assemblies and courts to find out how democracy worked - and where it came up short.
You may be familiar with the broad strokes of Athenian history, but Professor Garland's unique lens offers a wealth of insights into everything from taxation and welfare to military structure and strategy. Go beyond the traditional "kings and battles" history to gain a sense of what life was like for the people living in the democracy. The heart of Athenian democracy is the "demos", the body of citizens who participated in public assemblies, made speeches, and voted on matters of law. But because only citizens were allowed to vote, Professor Garland also explores Athens through the eyes of women, immigrants, and slaves who could not participate.